Look into direct selling
By Antonia Chitty
Have you wondered whether Avon, Usborne books, or one of the hundreds of other direct selling opportunities might be the way for you to make a few extra quid each month?
There are plenty of different companies offering you the chance to join up and sell their products. Start up fees range from £20 to £200, depending on the kit you need to get started. You may be asked to pay for catalogues, order forms and samples. Some companies let you take the cost of your start up kit off your first sales, or may have offers where you get more kit for less money. The samples in your kit are vital as they are what you will use to entice people to buy.
How to choose
Pick a product you like and that you think is genuinely good: this will make your job much easier. Check if people want to buy it. Ask everyone you can how often they stock up on make up, jewellery or kitchen products, whatever you want to sell, how much they might spend, and if they would buy from you. Check that there aren’t lots of reps competing for the same sales. Consider a product that people need to replace, like greetings cards or cleaning products.
Once you have an idea of the sort of product and companies you might like to sell for, give them a call and ask to meet the local manager. Make sure you can work with her, and that she has the time to offer you the support you need to get started. If you make a great start, and then run out of people to sell to, ask her what advice she might offer. Your manager should be your greatest ally, so check out how she can help you.
To be a successful rep you need to look beyond family and friends, and make the most of opportunities to sell at groups and get people to hold parties for you. One tip is to make sure that you come away from each party or event with a booking for at least one more. Make the most of special offers to encourage people to buy.
Beyond sales, many reps make most of their money from recruiting team members. You then earn a few per cent of the earnings of your recruits, and offer them support in return. If you recruit a number of people this can soon add up, especially if they then recruit a team of their own.