Managing Reputation Challenges as a Direct Sales Company
Many individuals and companies have had long-term success with direct sales. There is a reason why it continues to be used to this day, despite the stigmas that have arisen about it. An excellent reputation is more important than ever for direct sales, as customers can quickly research anyone (and anything) online. Are there ways to manage a reputation and always look great in searches?
This is a look at the direct sales industry as a whole and what people can do to make sure that they are not turning away potential customers simply because their reputation is less than ideal.
Defining direct sales
Any individual or company selling a product to a customer without using retail space works in the direct sales industry. There are some companies that 100% rely on this sales tactic to make money. This can be a profitable way for individuals who become great at generating sales but struggle for others. From a company perspective, they are moving products without having to pay upfront costs for a traditional sales team. Instead, they pay a cut of the profits to the direct sales representative. This means those working in sales rely 100% on commission.
What makes direct sales so enticing?
Direct sales might not be for everyone, but there are reasons why so many people give it a try as a way to start earning money. They might not always stick with it, but there are benefits to jumping in and seeing what can happen.
Easy to start
Jumping into direct sales is easy for those looking to start making money. There are some instances where there is no start-up cost whatsoever, while others require just a little bit of money. The opportunity is something that entices a lot of people who might be frustrated with other jobs or competing with others in the past.
It might have a small barrier to entry, but it is still a competitive sales job where each individual is in charge of so much. Not only do they need to build up their reputation as a person in direct sales, but they need to market and talk up what they are selling as well.
No set schedule
More and more people love having the opportunity to work from home and do things on their time. That is why jobs in direct sales continue to flourish. If a person can’t commit to a typical schedule, this makes it much easier to fit in work here and there to fill in the gaps. That can be a good thing and a bad thing, depending on how an individual handles being their own boss.
Some people can excel with this type of setup, but others find out that they need to have motivation while on the clock. Even though most people working in direct sales are technically working for somebody else, it is up to them to decide how much effort they put into selling.
A huge factor in success comes down to time management. Some people are motivated enough to go out there and have the success they never thought possible compared to a standard job. Others find it very tempting to coast and not establish a schedule that they can stick with to see things through. Those people typically move on to another product or give up on selling directly altogether.
Believing any product
This might be the best reason to get into direct sales. An individual tries out a product on their own, find out that they really like it, and then starts spreading the news while making money from others. It makes working in direct sales fun because it is a product someone stands by, and it seems very authentic to sell to others.
There are way too many people trying to work in direct sales that do not know much about the product they are trying to move. It can hurt a person’s reputation right away if they are not experts on whatever it is they are selling. There is that certain amount of passion behind an individual testimonial that just can’t be found elsewhere.
Dealing with multi-level marketing (MLM) skepticism
When people hear about direct sales, some directly label all of them as multi-level marketing or illegal pyramid schemes. This is very damaging to any reputation, as it is going to be an instant turn-off for those who already have an opinion formed. Someone who works in direct sales can either look to change the perception of a particular brand or only work with brands that do not have that negative connection.
It is important to point out that direct sales and multi-level marketing are not exactly the same thing. Direct sales is a specific business model using independent contractors to sell products directly to customers. Traditionally, it used to be through in-person sales (door-to-door, hosting parties, etc.), but more and more people are utilizing the internet now. For multi-level marketing, the difference is that these contractors are also working to recruit others to work for the company. They then make money by recruiting and getting those people to sell, rather than necessarily putting in the work themselves.
Not all multi-level marketing companies are necessarily bad, either. There is a stigma that they are all pyramid schemes. Legitimate MLM companies make money off of selling products, not purely money off of individuals they bring into the company.
Handling the challenges of the direct sales industry
Once a person decides that they are ready to work in the direct sales industry, specific challenges will come up. Some of it has to do with building up a solid reputation as a trusted seller, and others have to do with the products. How a person handles these challenges can make a big difference between having success and burning out.
The industry is full of individuals who go in with great expectations but end up falling short. By having a good strategy in place beforehand and then knowing how to handle specific issues, there is a much higher chance of success.
Reputation management for sellers
Individuals are only going to buy products from individuals who have a solid reputation. A lot of sellers will start with their friend base and social media, and that mostly consists of individuals known in real life. The challenge is expanding that reach and connecting with a customer base that does not know the seller directly.
Building up a trusted, authentic reputation online helps with that. That means working with only a select few products and knowing as much as possible about them, instead of trying to sell everything imaginable. Having truthful stories and testimonials help significantly as well.
For individuals who might not have the most robust online presence currently, Direct Sales Defenders can help with that. Individuals can clear their names and solidify their reputation online as a go-to source for a particular product. They can also help individuals rank for lucrative keywords that will bring in new customers organically searching for the product.
Remember, working in direct sales also means competing with other sellers of the same product. The consumer has their choice of sellers to buy from, but those who have premium ranking positions and a way to connect with an audience tend to have the most success.
Reputation management for the product
An individual can be the best direct salesman in the world, but if the product is subpar, it is only going to go so far. Consumers are smarter than ever, and they are reading reviews and doing research on every product they come across. Even one negative review for a direct sales product can cause people to label the entire company as a scam.
This is where Direct Sales Defenders can really be of assistance. A product can have hundreds of positive reviews, but it just takes one or two negative reviews to put skepticism in the mind of buyers instantly. The worst part is, that they can be negative reviews simply from individuals who did not use the product correctly, or even worse, from competitors.
Direct Sales Defenders can help fix any reputation challenges that get in the way of a product. Brands rely heavily on their online reputation these days, and ignoring a problem and hoping it goes away will not happen. There is already enough skepticism surrounding direct sales that a company should not risk any terrible looks.
Staying on top of your reputation
Direct Sales Defenders can help companies and direct sellers in multiple ways. Whether it is assisting with the initial struggles of a new product, fighting through a crisis, or building up strong brand recognition for the future, facing problems without help can be overwhelming.
Those in need of assistance do not have to be at the mercy of anonymous reviews and search engines showing false information on the first page. Reputation is everything in the direct sales industry and one of the best ways to fight against the dreaded “MLM” label that so many consumers are quick to use.