7 years ago
August 24, 2017

3 Common Direct Sales Issues and Solutions

Direct sales businesses have taken off in the past few years. While it was popular in the past, the internet has made this business model much more accessible and easier…

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

Direct sales businesses have taken off in the past few years. While it was popular in the past, the internet has made this business model much more accessible and easier to manage for the average sales person. It’s easier to communicate with your parent company; it’s easier to set up events, connect with customers, offer product information, and get started.

But this doesn’t mean that direct sales models do not have their issues. These types of sales businesses have been widely scrutinized. Here are some of the common issues associated with direct sales and some solutions to right the ship:

1. Not treating direct sales like a business

Just like any other business model, if you treat direct sales as a business, you can have success. Many direct sales reps have issues because they treat it more like a job than like a small business. If you want to have success, set it up just like any other business and be willing to put the time and effort into it. You are selling products and services; therefore, you need a good sales process, strong customer service, and a strategy to keep your sales funnel full.

2. Qualifying prospects

Who you sell to matters. One of the main issues with direct sales is that reps try to sell to everyone they know – friends, family, co-workers. But rather than try to find their true customer base, they try to reach as many people as possible. When this happens, your efforts will be met with minimal response. Take some time upfront to understand who your customers are and how the products/services you are selling will help them address a need or solve a problem in their life.

3. Overpromising

One of the biggest issues direct sales companies run into has to do with their sales reps. Also, referrals are a big part of this business model, and reps are encouraged to find others to open similar businesses to sell the company’s merchandise. However, in doing so, many sale reps overpromise and fail to communicate a fair assessment of what the job entails.

“The second challenge to direct sales involves overzealous representatives that often make big promises for easy money. Most direct sales companies strive to keep their reps honest. In fact, some companies worry so much about overzealous reps misrepresenting the business, that the company doesn’t allow reps to use the company name in advertising,” says Mindy Lilyquist on The Balance.

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Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.