Direct sales are all the rage these days. There’s money to be made, great products to sell, friends to network with, a team to build, events to do, opportunities to include your family, and the list goes on. Some of the companies and products are truly excellent, others not so much. You may one of those that loves your direct sale business(es), or you may have sworn off them and are annoyed at all your direct sales friends.
I don’t want to debate the issue, simply share with you what I’ve learned in my time with direct sales, and suggest some things to consider before jumping in. I’ve only been a consultant with one company, Lilla Rose, but I’m very familiar with other companies, know people in nearly all of them, have gone to the parties, shared booths at events beside them, and seriously considered joining a couple others.
I’ve very much enjoyed Lilla Rose. It’s a small but growing company, the support from other consultants and headquarters is incredible, there’s no pressure or minimums, and I absolutely love the product. The Flexi-Clips and other hair accessories are unlike any other hair accessories available, totally comfortable, feminine, and easy to use. I still sell Lilla Rose; see my ad in the sidebar. 🙂
I started with Lilla Rose in May of 2013, just over 4 years ago. I joined because I fell in love with the products after winning a free one in a giveaway. I intended to just buy for myself and my family, because signing up gave me an automatic 30% discount, and the minimum to sell was $29 a year.
However, I joined a Facebook group for other Lilla Rose consultants, and they had such great ideas for selling that I decided to try it out. Over the next few years, I did local events such as festivals, community days, and holiday bazaars. I did some home parties, catalog parties, and Facebook parties. My business grew, I built a team, and met many wonderful people.
It was a great season, and I learned so much. I had never done in-person sales before, so learning to sell at events, build relationships, engage customers, and also “make the sale” were all challenging but good lessons. Doing home parties added an extra layer of working with hostesses, making it an enjoyable evening for guests, and learning the skills of entertaining and selling without being “salesy”. Keeping records, accounting, and doing taxes was less enjoyable but just as important.
Along the way, I got to share the Gospel with people and make connections that went far beyond a business, whether it was praying with a customer or simply making her day by smiling and chatting and helping her feel pretty. I will never regret serving people through Lilla Rose.
By now, though, you may be seeing that I’m no longer actively doing Lilla Rose. And you’d be right. 🙂 I’ve chosen to cut way back on the time I was investing in Lilla Rose. I still have a website (www.lillarose.biz/HairElegance) and will do a party on request, but I’m no longer pursuing new events or leads. I have several reasons, but it all boils down to seasons and heart motivations.
The Lord has been faithfully teaching me that there are seasons for different things. For example, right now I’m in a season of singleness. That doesn’t mean that singleness is better than marriage or vice versa, or that I won’t joyfully go into the next season when He deems it time. Simply that He’s put me in a season of singleness for right now. The same thing goes for Lilla Rose. There was a season when He clearly had me working on that, and God taught me so much and grew me in the process. But the season has changed to have a lot of other things in my life that don’t leave as much room for Lilla Rose, and that’s okay too.
The other factor to my decision is heart motivations. When I started out, I wanted to learn, I wanted to bless people, I wanted to take on new challenges. But in the last year or so, I found myself worrying more about the profit margin, the competition, and the business side of things. I still love Flexi-Clips, but they are, after all, just a hair clip. I began to seriously question the wisdom of spending days introducing people to a hair clip, when I could be doing so many other things with that time.
I don’t regret my decision to sell Lilla Rose. I don’t regret my decision to cut heavily down on selling Lilla Rose. Here are some questions I’d recommend considering before joining a direct sales company, or in evaluating your current commitment to a company:
- In my current season of life, how much time can I practically commit to running a business? Is it enough? What will I do if I’m tempted to invest more time than I should?
- What are my motives for direct sales? Are they God-honoring or selfish?
- How much do I believe in this product? Is it “a nice thing to sell”, or something I’m passionate about? Without passion, direct sales won’t be much fun.
- What venues will I pursue (ie. Selling online, home parties, events, etc), and how will they affect my other responsibilities? For example, will I need child care to do an event? Will I get overly attached to my phone if I’m selling online?
- What priorities has God given me right now? How does direct sales impact them?
- How much money will I need to make for this to be worth it? That amount will need to be a non-negotiable goal, or you may waste time in unprofitable sales avenues.
- How can I use direct sales for the glory of God? What specific ways will I be able to advance His kingdom through direct sales? How can I build that into my “business plan”?
- What does my family think of the idea? Do I have their full support? How can I involve them (specifically, mom’s including their children as a teaching opportunity)?
- Most importantly, is it God’s will for me to do this right now?
I’m thankful that God had Lilla Rose as part of His will for me. I’ve enjoyed it and am still enjoying it at the turned-down level. But I’m also glad that He has led me and opened up other opportunities. May He grant you wisdom as you consider His will for you!
Because I always love hearing from my readers, what has your experience been with direct sales (good or bad)? What questions or considerations would you add to my list? And how has God worked in your life through direct sales?
Blessings to you, friends!