Monday, May 14, 2007

Direct Marketing/Sales
  • Start-up cost: RM1,000-RM3,000
  • Potential earnings: RM20,000-RM50,000
  • Typical fees: Percentage basis
  • Advertising: Word of mouth, direct mail, cold calling
  • Qualifications: Energy, persistence, ability to manage time well
  • Equipment needed: None
  • Staff required: None at first
  • Handicapped opportunity: No
  • Hidden costs: Some organizations charge for catalogs and other sales materials, attendance at meetings, inventory replacement
  • Lowdown: Many, many people try their hand at direct sales, yet only a few of them make it big. What is the difference? Consider your goals. Do you want to make a few bucks and sell a line of products you like to family, friends, and acquaintances? Is your main goal to make your own purchases at a discount? Or are you planning to put the effort and commitment into direct sales that you would into establishing any other type of small business? Many products are best sold person-to-person because they benefit from demonstration. Finding an excellent product line to work with is vital, and you should feel confident in the company as well. The rest is up to your selling skills and personal drive. Many direct sales-oriented companies encourage their salespeople to create networks, additional salespeople whose sales bring a percentage to the person who recruited them. This practice acts as an incentive to everyone in the sales force. It is the way to large earnings, if you can achieve it.
  • Start-Up: Costs to start are very low (around RM1,000), but watch out for hidden charges and fees from the manufacturers. These should warn you off the companies that might exploit you. An income of RM20,000 in the beginning is realistic.
  • Bottom-Line Advice: How many opportunities are left in this country in which your own hard work will define your success? Direct sales is one of them. Are you comfortable with cold-calling? Are you committed enough to keep yourself going with no one to answer to but yourself? Do you genuinely like people and enjoy helping them find products that will add something to their lives? Or, on the other hand, would you be satisfied with direct sales as an add-on to some other activity? Be sure you’re clear on what you want, and what you will need to do to achieve it. If you have big ambitions, you’ll need a very big commitment to achieve them in direct marketing and sales.

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