Ever wonder the real nuts and bolts behind the direct sales businesses that are so popular among moms today? I interviewed five Dallas moms about their experiences – including why they chose a particular company, how much it cost to get started, and how they deal with the potential awkwardness of selling to friends.
Tracy Matthews, Beautycounter (skincare line)
Background: Previously worked in advertising, now a stay-at-home mother of two.
Cost: Enrollment fee of $85 (includes website and business materials) + cost of sample kit (ranges from $249-749).
Q: Why did you like this line?
My dear friend and co-consultant lost her mother to cancer a couple of years ago. It really hit their family hard, and we both started to look closer at what we were putting into our bodies in the way of food, as well as what household cleaners we used, and ultimately what we were putting onto our bodies. She stumbled upon Beautycounter’s safe, non-toxic products for the whole family. It was a no-brainer for me to join.
Q: How is business?
I have months that are great and then months that are slower, depending on what else I have going on. The financial part is exactly what you make of it. The company has been running some really great promotions lately and I’ve noticed a difference in my paycheck as a result. Also, the personal discount (25%) is great!
Q: Advice for newbies?
It takes some time for people to hear your message and then want to purchase. I have friends who have been watching my posts and emails for months, and then finally said, “tell me more”. Those are the best sales, when they come to you. Definitely set up a business page on Facebook so you can post everything there instead of your personal page.
Jenny Abbott, Noonday Collection (artisan-crafted jewelry, handbags, and accessories)
Background: Former school teacher, now stay-at-home mom of three.
Cost: Choice of 3 Collections ($199, $349, or $699) + the money you spend on business cards, jewelry display, picture frames, etc.
Q: Why did you choose Noonday Collection?
I so firmly believe in its mission: partnering with 29 artisan businesses in twelve countries to help provide dignified jobs in vulnerable communities.
Q: You have joined the company in the past few months, how is it going so far?
My first month was really working through the online training and getting my supplies ready in preparation for my first trunk show, which I hosted about a week after Noonday’s Spring 2016 line launched. I had fewer people attend than I would have liked, but I understand women are busy and it may take awhile to get the word out! I’m currently in the process of booking shows for April and May. This is where I have to get out of my personal comfort zone and ask women if they are interested in hosting a trunk show.
Q: Any advice for people interested in doing something similar?
Only join a company in whose products you really believe. Be okay with the fact that you may not necessarily make a ton of money. As far as not annoying your friends, I’ve tried to take the approach of how I’d like to be treated. I’m open that I am an Ambassador, but I don’t drop it into every conversation!
Nicole Cardwell, Rodan & Fields (skincare line)
Background: Pharmaceutical sales for 13 years, now stay-at-home mom of three.
Cost: Choice of three levels: $395, $695, or $995.
Q: Why this line?
With my back ground in clinically studied products it felt natural to sell a premium skin care line that has gone through third-party clinical trials. Through my sales experience, I have discovered the importance of selling a superior product. No matter how persuasive or persistent a person is, if your product is inferior it is almost impossible to overcome.
Q:You are rather new to the business – how is it going so far?
I purchased the $695 kit and earned my money back within 1.5 months.
Q: Advice for those just starting out?
Run your business the way that feels most comfortable to you. I personally don’t feel the need to ask Facebook friends for business that I am not already on an email/text level with. That Facebook friend will see your social media posts and reach out to you if they need help.
Alli Eagan, India Hicks (British heritage-inspired accessories, beauty, and gifts)
Background: Former Alumni Relations Director, now a stay-at-home mom of two.
Cost: Choice of levels: $149, $449, and $749.
Q: Why did you choose this particular lifestyle brand?
I have followed India Hicks herself for many years. Over a year ago learned that she was launching her own business. As luck would have it, I saw on Instagram that she was in Dallas for an event. I readied myself quickly only to attend on a whim. India casually entered the room with her vibrant smile, energetic strut, and personal warmth – she came right up to me, gave me a hug, and introduced herself as if we were old friends. I believe the India Hicks opportunity came to me rather than my seeking out an opportunity, and that made the decision easy to say ‘yes!’.
Q: You are now a Senior Director -what’s your advice for success?
I knew that if I was going to put my name on something, it had to be something I personally loved and would wear myself. This natural approach has been the key to my success as I wear the scarves, purses, perfume, and accessories on a daily basis. When I wear the Maddison May cross body bag to drop off and pick up at school, others notice!
Melissa McGaughey, Plexus (nutritional supplements)
Background: Owner of Eduralife Nutrition, health coach, personal trainer, Pilates instructor and mom of one daughter.
Cost: $34.95 per year to become a Plexus ambassador and receive wholesale pricing on the products. When you sign up as ambassador, you choose a welcome pack for your initial order which starts at $99.
Q: Why Plexus?
As a health coach and sports nutritionist, I know the importance of filling in the gaps in our diets with good quality vitamins and supplements. I had no intention to sell products when I joined. I just wanted the wholesale pricing (to try it out). After thoroughly researching the ingredients in the products, and seeing amazing results for myself and family, I wanted to share the products with my clients and other people so they could experience the benefits, too.
Q: Have you been happy with the financial gains?
The compensation plan is like no other I have ever seen. It has been a huge financial blessing for our family!
Are you a mom in direct sales? Share your experience and advice below!