Are You Embarrassed to be a Direct Seller?
If you have a direct sales business, do you cringe at the thought of someone asking you what you do? In social or business settings do you silently hope that the subject of your occupation never comes up? Or if it does, do you mention your day job and omit that you have a direct selling business? Or do you try to come up with something clever to say so that you don’t have to admit that you do “one of THOSE.”
You’re not alone. I hear this sentiment echo’d on a frequent basis. But hang with me, I can dispel this myth and show you why it is a great business to be in.
Oh, Is It One of Those?
Let’s face it, direct sales doesn’t exactly have the best reputation as far as being a bona fide business. Sure some of those who are in a direct sales business may speak highly of it, and the top portion of those making decent money may think it’s the best thing since avocados were discovered. But by and large, it’s looked at as ‘One of Those’. ‘One of those scams; one of those where you pay for the business opportunity; one of those with over priced products; one of those where your family and friends pray each time they see you that you don’t ask them to join or host a party; one of those where you never make any real money.’
Yikes! Yes I did just say that. I didn’t say that I believe all of that. I’ve just been in direct sales for 22 years and I’ve heard it all and I’ve received objections and flack that goes along with it.
Yes I am embarrassed to say that I’m a direct seller. There. I said it. I admit it. I love what I do and don’t have a problem with it, but rather than say that I’m a direct seller, I say that I am a business owner. I don’t want people to think that I do “One of Those.” I want to break through the stigma. I am successful with my business. I’m a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. I do offer a great product, that is affordably priced and of excellent quality. I’ve been with the company since 2006. There are so many alternatives to running your business than the traditional home party that many of you have shunned over the years. I run my business like a business and not like a cheerleading club or tee-ball league.
It’s not that I think I’m better or above doing “One of Those.” My college education and experience is in Business Administration and in Homeland Security and here I am hawking wax. Life took an interesting twist for me within the last 24 months and for now; I know I am just blessed to have an income that supports my family as a medically disabled single parent. Scentsy offers that opportunity to me and to many others.
Personally I think it’d be easier to be loud and proud about what I did if it didn’t have such a weak reputation; though we’d need a major paradigm shift to change the opinions of others about the industry. I’m doing my part to change the reputation that direct sales is and can be a genuine business, even the name sounds um, less than corporate “Superstar Director.” I have a hard time saying with a straight face “I’m a Superstar!” It sounds like I think I’m Mary Katherine Gallagher (Molly Shannon’s Catholic schoolgirl character on Saturday Night Live who dreams of superstardom). Don’t get hung up on the titles – not the title direct seller and not the title of the ranks. They’re just words.
I run my business like a business and employ corporate techniques and methodologies to my business. I don’t get into rah-rah and silly s-p-i-r-i-t. Some people do, and that’s great, it’s just not for me. But if you do like things, you can certainly get that with direct sales, if you choose to. I just don’t happen to fit in with many of the other more traditional direct sellers.
So Where Am I Going With This?
There actually is a point here… and it’s sharp! Someone once said that direct selling is about Making it Simple and Duplicatable. I do like simple. But duplicatable, no thanks, not for me. I say Make It Your Own. You may totally disagree with me on this one, and I respect that. I’m just saying that based on conversations I’ve with a whole segment of people who haven’t given direct sales a try based on some misconceived notions.
In spite of the less than respectable reputation that direct selling has in some circles, you can be successful as a direct seller. If you’re willing to work within the boundaries that the parent company gives you; and willing to be creative, you can have a great business where you can earn a decent income. Don’t necessarily poo-poo the idea simply because you don’t want to do One of Those.
Because of my medical disability, I work my business online. I would love to get out more, but limitations prohibit that. When someone asks me what I do, I respond that I am a Business Owner or an Internet Marketer. Maybe you don’t have the knowledge, skills or abilities to work your business online, but now that you know there are many alternatives to the traditional home party, you should maybe give direct sales a second look. You could say that you’re “in sales” or you could say that “you have a candle (or gift) business.”
Perhaps now that you know that we don’t all make a list of 100 people we know and we don’t all advocate contacting everyone within a three foot radius to buy, host or join, it might be time for you to take a serious look at Direct Sales. I think you’ll be pleasantly be surprised.
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a WAHM from Michigan and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping others start and maintain a candle business. You can find Laurie at https://la.Scentsy.us, http://www.ThrivingCandleBusiness.com or http://www.Twitter.com/thrivingcandle