10 years ago
January 6, 2015

Hiring Sales People for a Direct Sales Company

Direct sales companies rely on hiring sales people to hit their revenue targets.

Rhys Metler

Direct sales companyDirect sales companies rely upon their sales people more so than any other sales organizations due to the fact that they don’t have store locations, relationship-based sales cycles or residuals that many other companies enjoy. In fact, most direct sales companies don’t even have large marketing budgets. Their sales force is responsible for every bit of their revenue. A poor salesman can negatively impact a direct seller in numerous ways to a much higher degree than a traditional consumer sales organization. That is why the hiring process is so critical and identifying key characteristics in potential candidates utterly essential.

In-Home Interaction

Most, if not all, of the interaction between consumers and direct sales companies takes place in the consumer’s home or that of the sales person. This differs greatly from nearly all other sales types and is the first factor to consider when hiring the sales people that will be meeting with customers in their homes. As opposed to the normal requisite business acumen that most companies seek out in prospective employees, direct sales companies must first consider the personal interaction their employees have with the buyers of their products. The ability to converse comfortably with customers in their homes while achieving success in progressing toward a sale is not a skill to be taken lightly and one that can be difficult to determine in the interview and screening process. Hiring managers must really get to know job candidates to determine their interpersonal skills and how they will be able to handle blending the professional tasks they must accomplish with the personal environment they take place in. Direct sales jobs are not for everyone and sorting out those with the in-home skills to succeed is the primary challenge in the hiring process.

Home Office

Another unique challenge that many direct sales companies face when hiring sales people is finding the self-starters needed to work the varied schedules and odd hours required. Direct sales people are often door knockers that go to work when most people are just getting home. They typically work out of their own homes and need to be organized and disciplined in order to achieve sales success. Again, these are difficult features to determine in a brief interview or by perusing resumes. Those tasked with doing the hiring for direct sales companies must really dig into the work history as well as the personal history of applicants to find out if they are strong in areas like self motivation and at-home organization. This is especially difficult for those prospective employees that haven’t worked from home before. Many sales superstars have failed miserably when they set out to work from home where the structure of an office is not available.


A final aspect of the hiring process faced by direct sales companies that is of paramount importance is in evaluating the character of the applicants. Because they operate in the homes of consumers and handle transactions personally the character and trust worthiness of sales people working for direct sales companies must be scrutinized closely. Verifying work history, thoroughly checking references and performing detailed interviews, while important for any job, are vital components for direct sellers hiring sales people.

The sales people that work for direct sales companies provide unique and challenging services that can have a huge impact. The process of hiring those employees is a key function in the success of direct sales organizations and should be tailored to thoroughly evaluate factors such as in-home customer interaction, their ability to work from their own home and the character of the applicants.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.