Multi-level marketing, network marketing and direct sales. These are just a few of the words often used to describe the type of business that myself and millions of others are involved with. While all are accurate terms to describe this field, I would like to propose that we simply start calling it what it is, and treat it as such…a business!
Why Direct Sales is So Popular
2016 yielded the second highest direct retail sales in history, at an estimated $35.54 billion! There is a reason why more and more companies are choosing direct sales consultants to sell their products. It is smart business and it works! There is also a reason why millions of people choose to become a consultant each year. How many careers do you know of that allow you full control of your schedule, hours, customers, strategy, pay and well, almost everything else?! It is incredibly enticing, that concept of running your own business exactly how you want and getting paid on an even scale, regardless of race, gender, age, etc. No glass ceilings here ladies! Heck, there isn’t even a cap on how much you can make.
For too long though, this industry and the people within it have been viewed through the lens of misperception and misunderstanding. I would know as I myself was one of those people, and not that long ago. I quickly made assumptions about those involved and figured they were going to hound me to buy something, so I was already planning a quick exit strategy in my head. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
According to the DSA (Direct Selling Association), a record 20.5 million people were involved in direct selling in the United States alone in 2016! As such, I can pretty much guarantee that you already personally know at least a few people who are involved with a direct sales company (think Scentsy, Pampered Chef, etc.) right now. Unfortunately, I am also certain that you have heard of a few unpleasant experiences, either with a direct sales consultant or from a consultant. There are valid reasons why this industry, and consultants within it, have gotten a bad rap.
However, I am writing this post so that you will also see the many valid reasons behind why direct sales companies offer a uniquely rewarding, flexible and yes, completely legitimate and fair opportunity to a wide variety of people, including myself. I will do so by debunking the top 4 misconceptions surrounding direct sales companies, specifically those involved in multi-level marketing (MLM).