There are lots of benefits when it comes to joining a direct marketing company. For moms, flexibility and income are definitely at the forefront.
But like any other business, you need to nurture it.
We asked three entrepreneur moms to share how they manage and have grown their direct marketing businesses.
Meet Our Direct Marketers
Sheri Beatty has been a Calgary based independent sales rep for Silpada since 2008, selling handcrafted sterling silver jewellery. With her husband travelling frequently for work, Sheri loves the flexibility of a home-based business. Silpada allows Sheri to run her home, taxi her two boys and feel proud of what she has accomplished in her business.
As Group Director with Steeped Tea in Calgary, mom of three Whitney Chan loves sharing her knowledge on how to make a perfect cup of tea as well how to incorporate tea in your cooking. Founded in 2006, Steeped Tea has quickly become one of the fastest growing direct selling companies in Canada.
Established in 1955, and recently launched in Canada in 2013, Park Lane Jewellry is the World’s Largest Direct Selling jewellery company! Independent sales rep Deanna Jones of Calgary is a stay at home mom of two young children and enjoys the flexibility of working hours that suit her life.
How do you market yourself?
If I said I expose myself, would you know what I mean??? My sense of humour is part of me and what makes me memorable. People don’t usually have enough fun. I market the FUN of what I do, the fun at a party with no formal presentation, the lighter side of business. Marketing is NOT about asking…or answering…the “so, what do you do?” Stand out in authenticity. Be where there are people in your target market and listen to them. I will test different groups and different organizations. I donate my products. I donate my time. And I’m learning, often slowly, but I am learning. ~ Sheri
I use the marketing materials made available to me by the Steeped Tea Head Office. I also leave my business card in various places. For example I leave them with tips at restaurants, give to parents I meet at my children’s school, and a few times I have left them in bathroom stalls, Yes I said bathroom stalls as you never know. ~ Whitney
Trade Shows, word of mouth, home parties/appointments and social media. ~ Deanna
What are some tips to grow your team?
Asking your hostesses and customers to join you in the business is the obvious answer. They are already fans of your product. You can ask them if they had to pick one friend to do the business and one friend to host a party, who would those friends be. Have a referral program in place to compensate those who help you to grow outside of your parties. ~ Sheri
I pass on leads to team members as when my other team members grow their team it grows mine. I also try to ask each person I met if they would like to see the business opportunity with Steeped Tea. ~ Whitney
I like to find people that want to change their lives and not every warm body to meet goals. ~ Deanna
What company incentives are you working towards?
Honestly, I have been sidetracked with my goal of earning a trip called “Be Dazzled in the Desert”, and now that you’ve asked… and after I looked at my numbers… I am working towards it! Personally, it’s not necessarily an incentive that ignites my fire, it is a consistency in my business that I am striving for. I can’t always go on the reward trips so a business consistency is much more desirable. ~ Sheri
Right now I am working towards a trip to Jamaica. An all inclusive trip for FREE sounds good for me. And for the month of May, I am trying to earn a new ice tea tumbler. ~ Whitney
I am working towards going to Disney World. ~ Deanna
How many hours a week do you dedicate to growing your direct sales business?
That is a great question and it varies every week. GROWING? Five hours a week. ~ Sheri
I follow the power hour system. I dedicate 1 hour per day towards my business. That is the minimum amount of time. Some days it may be longer depending on my schedule but that hour is in my schedule every day. ~ Whitney
I work on my business from 10 to 20 hours. ~ Deanna
What are some ways to build your customer base and generate leads?
Social media seems the obvious answer but sales boils down to relationships and honesty. You can start some relationships through social media. Other relationships are built there. I’m old school. I need the phone and I need flesh time, as in “in-person” time. ~ Sheri
I participate in various trade shows. I also do follow up calls to past customers. ~ Whitney
I do a Enter To win box on my table. Talk to anyone wearing jewellery. ~ Deanna
With so many direct marketing companies on the market today, what things should you consider when choosing the one that is best for you?
#1 – Passion. Deepak Chopra says, “Always go with your passions. Never ask yourself if it’s realistic or not.” If you have no passion for the product or what the product is doing for others, you won’t be excited about it. Without excitement, you won’t have the drive. #2 – Practicality for YOU to DO the business. If you don’t drive, it’s going to be very challenging to do a home party plan that requires a few boxes being brought to your hostess’ home to display for her guests to see. Online shopping from catalogues, depending on the product, only goes so far. The delivery of the product has to work for your schedule and abilities as well. #3 – Start-up costs vary greatly and the business plans vary greatly as well. Your dollars spent on initial investment in a company, where orders are shipped directly to the end user, should be recuperated within 30 days. #4 – Research. With so many opportunities popping up, do your research. Ask the opinion of others who are NOT in the business. Of course you can Google any complaints on why any company business plan doesn’t work, but dig further than that. What is it’s track record? Consider the science. Consider the debt of the company. Understand what you have to do to earn the income being projected. Is there a celebrity promoting it because of their expertise or because they are a household face? Call the Head Office. ~ Sheri
You need to choose something that you will be passionate about. You shouldn’t consider what is the newest thing or if the market is saturated. Pick a business you are excited about. ~ Whitney
First of all look at the compensation plan and monthly quotas, if you are having to put your own money in to stay active that may be a red flag. Also look at the person you are signing under and explain what you want out of it, this way you are on the same page. ~ Deanna
What advice would you give someone just starting out as a rep?
Plan your 30, 60 and 90-day goals with your sponsor. Make a list of everyone you know. Everyone. With no judgement. Then be honest with yourself and honest with who you talk to. It’s okay to say, “I’m starting my business and I want your opinion on my presentation.” “I was thinking you’d let me spoil you with free product if you’d be one of my first hostesses.” ~ Sheri
Be excited! Tell EVERYONE what you joined and starting to do. If you are not excited, who will be interested in having a show or joining your team. ~ Whitney
My best advice is to keep expenses low and gather all training that is offered. ~ Deanna
What qualities make a successful team leader?
A successful team leader is a listener and a motivator. When you speak with a successful team leader, he/she is positive, non-judgmental, loyal, focused, determined, goal-oriented and organized. ~ Sheri
You need to have the ability to ask for help when needed. ~ Whitney
A person that understands that if they are doing well then you will. Not to put pressure on your team so you can make your goals. Look at your team as partners and not $$. ~ Deanna
For reps who are not on your team, but sell for the same company, what’s your advice for working alongside each other?
It’s an expectation that you will get the same service and quality from one franchise location to another franchise location, right? If you think of a coffee franchise or a food chain, the difference might only be in how big the smile was on the person serving you. That same concept needs to be practiced when you find another representative selling the same product, regardless of whose team they are a part of. You are both representing the brand. Operate your business from within the guidelines put forth from the company where you agreed to represent them. There is plenty of business to go around. Everywhere. Be respectful. ~ Sheri
My advice is support each other. We are all trying to reach the same goal so buy products from each other. Then if some random person compliments that item you have, tell them where they can get their own. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising. ~ Whitney
We are all part of the overall team and should treat and help others grow. ~ Deanna