A friend of mine is fond of saying, if you have a good thing, share.  And it seems a lot of us have a good thing and are sharing.

As I mentioned in my inaugural blog, Pulling out the Negativity, I’m a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils.  When my husband discovered this, I got the disdain for all things direct sales, mid-level marketing, MLM lecture.  That he didn’t know Avon was a direct sales company struck me as funny. Our conversation got me to thinking there were probably other companies with good products that he and others don’t equate as being direct sales companies.  Opinions and experiences, past and present, may also foster a possible disconnect between disliking the direct sales concept, but liking products by direct sales companies.

But the times are a changing, and so is the popularity of direct sales.  Last year, over 18 million people sold $34.5 billion in direct sales products, an increase of 5.5 percent over 2013.  Some other interesting direct sales tidbits:  About 70 percent of sales made are person-to-person, and a little over 20 percent through parties.  The South accounts for 37.4 percent of direct sales nationwide.  Health and Wellness products are most popular, followed by Services and Home and Family Care.  I was pleased to see my company at the top of this month’s direct sales momentum in an article that ranked the top 200 direct sales companies.

That 70 percent of sales are made person-to-person is striking.  It underscores the importance of personal relationships in an age of telecommuting and online shopping.  I believe the best distributors/consultants/representatives are those who share (not push) their passion and product experience with others and who are more interested in building personal relationships than in building numbers (sales, team members).  The latter will happen if the right foundation is built.

In addition to being a distributor, I am also a direct sales consumer.  I enjoy purchasing unique, high quality purses, clothing and wellness items from friends I trust. I also understand some of the direct sales marketing criticisms, such as product pricing and aggressive sales tactics.  Yes, distributors/consultants/representatives make commission from their sales and that is factored into product pricing, but how is that different from any other retail pricing?  And I know I am not alone in my dislike of being added to a social media group without being asked first.

My favorite direct sales companies are those that give you the option to be a customer or a distributor/consultant/representative and offer customer rewards programs.  In addition to providing a list of those companies, I’m giving a shout out to my friends who are their distributors/consultants/representatives:

21-Day Fix – Andrea

Avon – Mary

It Works! – Klaudya

Matilda Jane Clothing – Lena

Perfectly Posh – Amanda

Rodan + Fields  – Murfreesboro, TN – Margie

Rodan + Fields – Nashville, TN – Julie

Tupperware – Lisa

Young Living Essential Oils – Kim

Parties:

CAbi – Kathy

Luci Bags – Kim

Nortex – Beth

Happy sharing!

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