Many startup entrepreneurs are too quick to overlook the direct sales model. After all, isn’t direct sales about in-home parties, pink Cadillacs, and casual hobbyists? This flawed thinking often prevents inventive leaders from gaining traction with their “Big Idea.”
If only entrepreneurs knew the truth and we could save them from misconceptions. The direct sales channel removes traditional barriers to starting a small business while unleashing the most powerful, influential force on the planet—network marketers.
In fact, speed to market is a major reason entrepreneurs choose direct sales in the first place. It may be the reason you are reading this article!
You may choose the direct sales channel for a unique business model as a go-to-market strategy. Or seeking to expand your current business to include a direct sales channel, may be the right fit.
The most powerful marketing tool is a volunteer army of product advocates.
No doubt about it, influencer marketing and affiliate sales are on the rise. Now is the best time to use the direct sales channel to grow your startup.
The Four Benefits of the Direct Sales Business Model
#1 Increase Speed to Market
When you have an incredible, life-changing product, time is of the essence.
There’s no faster way to get your product in people’s hands than through direct-to-consumer sales.
If you’re skeptical, consider the alternative. After working years for public consumption approval, and investing tens of thousands of dollars, the wait continues. You’ll spend another 2-3 years vying for meetings with store owners for desirable shelf space. If you’re lucky, you may even get the chance to spend tens of thousands of dollars more for an end cap placement.
After all of that, when your product starts gathering dust amidst established competitors, you’ll lose your spot. And finally, all your hard work ends up on the“Clearance” table, RIP. The big brands will carry on, investing mega budgets to keep their products front of mind with their target consumers.
Startups simply don’t have the time or the money to compete.
Direct sales, or network marketing, removes the barrier of speed and risk!
Save yourself the trouble and the heartache of trying to get noticed by the big box stores. Instead get your products where they belong: in the hands of your customer loyalists.
Don’t spend your budget on shelf space. Let your website showcase your products and draw your user experience on your terms by putting your advertising dollar into the pocket of people who have captured your vision.
Read how Pricing Strategy Can Make or Break Your Compensation Plan
Instead of hoping for sales, partner with passionate, driven super users. Your ideal customer will be an advocate for new products that impact both their lives, and those within their sphere of influence.
#2 Spotlight your Unique Selling Proposition
Getting your products in the door and on the retail store shelf is only half the battle. Once they’re there, they must sell.
Imagine your customer standing in front of the shelf with your flagship product at eye level. Your packaging is beautifully complete with a compelling tagline. Yet, you’re missing the key piece of the puzzle: social proof.
So, your potential customer does the natural thing and calls over a store employee. “What do you think about this product?” They ask. “Do other customers like it?”
Will the employee who has worked there for less than 6 months (on average) know what sets your product apart? Nope.
Are they motivated to promote your product over the other dozen on the shelf? Not likely.
Will they have a personal, inspirational story to share about your product? You see where this is going, right?
The average retail store employee can’t differentiate between your probiotic and 20 other competitors. The grocery stocker isn’t vested in your protein powder. Selling ANY product outweighs selling your product for the health food store cashier.
Through direct sales, you can tell your story in a compelling, strategic way.
Your educated network of distributors believes in the story because it is true for them and the people they care about. The facts will tell, the stories will sell.
Your customers get a customized experience with a product ambassador who knows and cares about them.
Once your product proves itself to be the solution to your customer’s problem, they will buy it again. And again. AND, tell their friends!
#3 Amplify your Advertising Impact
Have you ever found yourself choosing a restaurant based on a recommendation in Yelp? Or decided what to order once you get there? I do it all the time—and I’m rarely disappointed.
It doesn’t matter if I know the person who wrote the review in real life. What matters is a human being made the recommendation. We trust word-of-mouth marketing over any other kind of advertising. Social proof is powerful and the statistics back it up.
Television and online advertising can be effective. But when people are ready to spend money, they prefer to read reviews to hear from like-minded people.
By choosing a direct sales model, your advertising is authentic, passionate, and powerful. Why invest limited dollars in marketing departments and expensive campaigns that don’t net results? Your advertising budget is cost-effective when it leverages word-of-mouth marketing. Not to mention the massive uptick in retention rates…
Bottom line, invest in people who will serve as your customers, salesforce, and be part of your marketing team. They’re driven to be successful at all three. They believe in your product and the lifestyle benefits they experience by using it, loving it, and sharing it!!
#4 Transform lives in a meaningful way
The reason I’ve dedicated my adult career to network marketing is not that it’s all about business development. It’s because it’s all about personal development.
I started as a distributor in a direct sales business after having my first baby. The moment I went to hand our tiny infant over to a nanny so I could return to work, I knew I had to change my career.
Network marketing allowed me to build a successful business and raise my family at the same time. Our family’s priorities remained THE priorities. Plus, I saw hundreds, if not thousands, of people like me experience transformation. For some, it was their lifestyle, for others, their social and presentation skills. For others, their humanity.
But across the board most became better people, myself included, as their confidence and self-awareness grew. At the end of the day, direct selling is a personal development program attached to products and compensation.
The Network Marketing Community
I love the way John Maxwell writes in his book, The Power of Five for Network Marketing: “Network Marketing is an environment that embraces good values. When good values are learned and lived, the value of the person increases and their value to others begins to rise.”
Today, as I serve the Jenkon team and clients, I know we’re making an impact on people who want transformation on their terms.
When you choose a direct sales model for your startup, you’re giving people a choice. Your company could be the gateway to getting a free product to enhance their health and well-being. Or paying down debt. It could be a relief from daunting medical bills. Or, a much-needed vacation for the whole family. Sometimes, it’s the hope of stress-free retirement.
As the leader of a Direct Selling company, you are the keeper of people’s hopes and dreams of a better way of life.
You are transforming lives. You are:
- allowing individuals to benefit from products they couldn’t normally afford;
- giving a parent the chance to spend more time with their children;
- providing a way to achieve flexible income diversification and security;
- empowering the next generation with leadership skills to be the change we need in this world; and
- creating a community of people who wake up each day excited to learn, grow and be the best version of themselves.
It’s a ripple effect much broader than financial profitability, a robust bottom line, or double-digit EBITDA.
The true reward of a direct sales model?
Transforming people’s lives—from the inside out.
Ready to catapult your Direct Sales Start-Up to incredible heights?
To hit the ground running in direct sales, you need technology that provides a firm foundation to grow with you. At Jenkon, we know how challenging it is to build and launch a direct sales company from the ground up. At the speed you can scale, your technology must seamlessly support your growth.
Technology should never hinder the vision of your company.
For over 40 years, we’ve partnered with companies of all sizes to help them scale without limitations. With the introduction of JoT (the Jenkon of Things), you get an affordable, all-in-one, proven technology platform you’ll never outgrow.
Don’t waste time, money, or precious momentum. Launch right the first time with a proven, globally trusted innovator.
Schedule a Discovery Session today! Let’s explore how our robust, streamlined platform can provide the stability and long-term collaboration to build your Enterprise.