The Truth ( HARD) TRUTH about MLMs and Direct Sales: Vending World Woes + What coordinators and business owner wont tell you.

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You’d have to be living under a rock to never run into someone involved in multi-level marketing (MLM), direct sales or network marketing. Most people I know have been to party or hosted a party trying to help the rep sell make up, skin care, leggings, Tupperware or whatever else you can think of. Most reps try to get people to either buy a product(normally priced above market value) or get someone to sign up by telling them how they can leverage their time and money.

Now I wont get into the why this shouldn’t be people’s first plan to start their own “business” but I am going to talk about why in MLM and DSC are not what event planners, customers and grass-root businesses want at market. Now personally I feel that it’s fair game for everyone because the events that I host the people like certain DSC but this isn’t the case everywhere.

 

Your technically not a “small business”

I know this will hurt a lot of people’s feeling but direct sales is not an actual small business. For one Multi-Level Marketing is NOT entrepreneurship because you do not control the product or the cost, you don’t have creative control, your goal is to get more people in your “downline” than actually selling your product and some but not all get real emotional when an “outsider” gives legitimate criticisms of the business model. Some reps say the outsider “don’t believe”, ” they are a hater” or ” they just don’t want to see you make it”. Which by the way is not true at all. We want you to make it and some do(very little) but they do.

When coordinators are looking for vendors they are looking for the next fresh product, maybe a local crafters or organic soap maker. They want the shoppers experience to be unique, cultural, exciting because they are getting one of a kind items that they can’t get anywhere else. Now before you tell me ” You can’t get this one of a kind product from this DSC at any store” let me help you understand.  I am saying  you can’t buy a soap maker’s product at Macy’s, Lush or any brick and moratar or find it online unless the owner decides to put it there. It’s literaly exclusive to them and the people who by from them. When small businesses come to market they don’t want to see a DSC because most wont say this but it’s because they don’t have respect for the DSC.

Too many people especially a small business owner that has to get everything by themselves and à la carte feel that DSC reps “cheated” by slapping a few bucks(really hundreds or thousands) into an already made business that provides them with all your marketing materials( most reps still have to buy that too), creativity, pricing and over all business plan on a silver platter and all you have to do is convince someone to buy it. That my friend is a commission sales job not a small business.

Then we have the opinion of the important people who make the market even a market, the shoppers. Shoppers go to market’s, craft fairs and vending markets so that they can find one of a kind things, cheaper items, more natural items and most of all because they love supporting small businesses. When shoppers go to these community outings and the first 5 booths are DSC most turn right around and go to the nearest mall. I mean why shop at a local market if your going to pay department store prices if not more anyway? Some shoppers will keep strolling and if you notice the majority of the business that is conducted is with the non DSC and that is because they can get your products at anytime by going online.

There is way too many of you

I put together community markets on a regular basis and even though I want to support all my DSC reps out there it’s very overwhelming when you post about an event coming up and you get 25 of the same DSC hounding your inbox. I let DSC sign up for my markets but it get’s really crazy and away from my brand goal when I have 50 DSC and 10 small businesses at my market. As event company owners at least for me it’s not about the money so I will turn down DSC after I get about 5 or 8 because the purpose at least for my brand is to help small business owners not corporations.

Now you have some event companies that will book every single DSC they can get in the door because DSC reps will undercut one another( I have seen this happen and OMG) to get into markets and pay pretty much any price. Now if you don’t see the patterns that takes place then you are in denial. Those markets that are filled with only DSC have the following characteristics.

  1. Low foot traffic because people have seen it already
  2. No marketing and a Facebook post here and there doesn’t count
  3.  You can never get in contact with the organizers and you most likely will never hear from them. They most likely wont even show up to the market because they already know the back lash that is coming.
  4. You pay a crap load of money for a booth space. Side note: Find out what the venue cost the organizer, see how many food trucks and booths can actually fit and then divide. You will get the lowest price it will cost for each vendor. You mostly will pay more because of course the organizer has to pay themselves, a team, marketing, venue, internet access( just get a hotspot through your cell provider) and other stupid fees.
  5. DON’T PAY OVER $100 for a single booth. Hopefully you make your booth fee back but it’s not a guarantee and then you will be mad. Now if it’s like the Rodeo, Nutcracker Market, Beer Fest or something highly publicized and you know for a FACT you will make some money then pay for it.

 

There isn’t any creativity
You know I can deal with DSC but for the ones that can’t they feel you lack creativity. Have you ever scrolled down your timeline on Facebook and get bombarded with all these pictures and ads of these women wearing the product and then you look at who posted it and it isn’t even the same person? Well that is not creative at all and it makes you look lazy in an already silver platter system.
If your going to be in DS you can at least post your own pictures, create your own content and stop slapping buy me up and start educating. Every post on your business page doesn’t have to be about your company, it’s okay to talk 6 degrees to the left of your business. Also get rid of the marketing materials they provide like the business cards,  brochures and whatever else and create your own. Personally I will take you more serious as DS reps because you are at least thinking outside the box.
For example, the company provides you with a website great that is so wonderful but you need your own personal website or blog. People need to get to know you as a person, bceome a industry leader and influencer. If your selling clothes, jewelry or makeup start a beauty/fashion blog that talk about the latest trends going on in your city and then incorporate your products into it. If you don’t know where to start I can lead you in the right direction so shoot me an email.
Simple things that I mentioned above can really change your results in a DSC but you have to step out this circle especially if you want to be more successful. Direct Sales is a great way to get your feet wet in the entrepreneurial and business world( If it doesn’t cost you a morgage and college tuition) so it’s not all bad but how you go about it will set you apart.

 

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