If you’re new to the world of direct selling, you may be seeking out any and all resources you can find in order to learn more and become a successful entrepreneur. That’s awesome—and there’s a lot to learn in our industry!
With that in mind, we asked some of our most seasoned independent Wine Guides—members of our Elite Leadership Team— to share their top direct selling tips with you. Each of their responses bring a unique personal perspective to the table—but, interestingly, all of the advice aligned in four overarching direct sales tips:
Direct Sales Tips
- Learn from others
- Form connections
- Define success and set goals
- Be consistent
We’ve organized these direct selling tips into the four categories above so you can take a look at which ones might be most impactful for you—but, go ahead and read through them all; you won’t be disappointed!
The Master List Of Direct Selling Tips From 11 Experts
Learn from the mistakes and successes of others.
“Ask for exactly what you need—and learn to be direct, concise, and friendly doing it!
- Ask your family for the time you need to run your business.
- Ask your hosts for their ‘buy-in’ to plan a successful event.
- Ask your mentor for advice when you’re struggling.
- Ask your team members to observe your boundaries of business vs. personal time.
- Ask your customers if they would like to restock when their favorite products are available.
- Ask your company to create the support tools and resources to enhance efficiency in your business.
There is never a reason to feel awkward or apologetic when communicating your needs to others, so long as you do it in a respectful and kind manner and truly allow them the freedom the say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ without using manipulation.” Cindy Hughes, Ruby Director & Independent Wine Guide
“Follow in the footsteps of those who have walked before you. We have a lot of best practices [at Traveling Vineyard], so there is no need to recreate the wheel. Follow the steps for success that your company or other successful direct sales consultants do. These are typically very simple ‘best practices’ that include resources, technology and wording that the company provides and that leaders are more than willing to educate and train you on. Keep it simple.” Jenny Kuzbek, Ruby Director & Independent Wine Guide
Make connections and form relationships.
“You do not need to be a sales expert or wine expert (or whatever your product is!) to change your life. People buy from people they like and trust. I came into this business with no sales experience or wine knowledge, but I knew how to have fun! Remember to be a BLT: Believable, Likable, and Trustworthy. The wine sells itself, you just have to be there to show it to people, be that BLT, and provide a fun, relaxing wine tasting experience and your sales will soar!” Heather Kes, Ruby Director & Independent Wine Guide
“In reference to team building in a direct selling company, it is important that we figure out a potential team member’s purpose for joining the company and find how this business can fulfill their need. When [you] understand their purpose for joining … [you] can help them achieve that goal. So, I can sum [my top direct selling tip] up in one word … LISTEN!” Kim Courtney, Ruby Director & Independent Wine Guide
“I think my biggest tip is that I always try to relate to the customers and find a way to make a personal connection with everyone in the room. It goes a long way if they know you care about them and are listening, not just there to sell. And, this makes it easier to reach out to them later.” Jenn Bruns, Ruby Director & Independent Wine Guide
Define what success means to you.
“My biggest advice for those in direct sales is that you must personally determine your definition of success. In a corporate world it is easy to see if you are successful (because of a defined job role and career advancement), but it is harder in direct sales. Everyone joins for different reasons: Some for the product discount, some for fun, some to make a bit of part time spending money, and some for a full-time paycheck. However, your success is only measured by what you deem as successful, and you can’t compare your success with someone else’s success. So if you reach your goal…..you are a success. That may mean that you earn $50 to go on a date with your husband or you earn $3000 and cover all your monthly expenses. It is very individual and depends on what you want and how much effort you are willing to put into it.” Melissa Rouswell, Ruby Director & Independent Wine Guide
“Pick a product or company you truly believe in—something that makes you happy. Figure out what your personal definition of success is, and go for it wholeheartedly without worrying about how others perceive your success.” Elizabeth Allen, Emerald Director & Independent Wine Guide
Consistency is key.
“On a more practical side—set aside your ‘when’ early on: When are you going to work your business? We are often told that random efforts yield random results, and that’s true. Even if you can only devote 15 minutes per day to your business, keep working those 15 minutes consistently with income-producing activities and it will pay off.” Elizabeth Allen, Emerald Director & Independent Wine Guide
“My tip is to be consistent. Even if you only have 5 minutes a day to devote to your business, then consistently spend those 5 minutes every single day making calls, setting up events, etc. Doing a little can take you a long way and is better than doing nothing.” Julie Skogen, Ruby Director & Independent Wine Guide
“My top tip would be to just never give up! In my opinion, it is the only way you could fail at this business. If you continually put one foot in front of the other and don’t let the struggles or day-to-day distractions get to you, you will reach your goals. I tell my team, ‘Focus on your effort, and the results will come.’ It’s easy to become discouraged when you don’t see immediate (or even mid-range) results, but if you just stick with it, you will get there!” Penny Fitzgerald, Emerald Director & Independent Wine Guide
“When I think about how I’ve been able to have success and what sets me apart from others, it comes down to consistency. I have remained consistent in my business since the day I started. I have consistently touched my business everyday, I have consistently held events each week (averaging five per month) and I have consistently participated in company training opportunities, monthly calls, regional meetings and company wide conferences.
While I’ve had months along they way that were not as successful as I wanted them to be, I didn’t stray from my plan to remain consistent in touching my business; reaching out to potential hosts, potential team members, and current team members. I haven’t taken a break from my business in 6.5 years—however, I’ve always maintained a working schedule that I enjoy and that hasn’t interfered with family time. My ‘work’ with direct sales has never really felt like work. I look forward to the daily tasks that help keep my business growing. It’s not a job when it’s fun and you are in control.” Tanya Van Someren, Ruby Director & Independent Wine Guide
“My best tip for running a successful direct selling business is to be consistent. When you are consistently holding events every month, you’ll build confidence, increase your skill set, and experience higher sales and more bookings. I recommend holding at least one event a week so your skills stay fresh, so you get bookings to create future paydays, and to provide a consistent income stream. You’ll also be able to mentally bounce back quickly from an event that didn’t go as planned if you have another one to look forward to soon after. When you are consistent, you’ll never find yourself on the brink of going out of business, and you’ll show your friends, family, customers and team members that you’re a serious entrepreneur.” Debbie Allen, Diamond Director & Independent Wine Guide
We’re so thankful each of these leaders shared their best direct selling tips with us—they are rock stars in our organization, and they’re dedicated entrepreneurs who are serious about improving their lives (while having serious fun doing it). To find out more about what the path to becoming a Wine Guide looks like, check out the guide below.