There is a 30-billion dollar a year industry that's hiring... And what's more,,,all workers can say they're in charge of their own businesses.
It's mostly female... And can be very lucrative... And in tonight's news ten special report... We explain how direct selling, as it's called,,, can take a woman from the living room to her very own board room.
This is not your regular Saturday night gathering of friends....”You can wear it more like a choker…” says Shannon Proctor, demonstrating.
This is a business opportunity for Shannon... a jewelry advisor
Lia Sophia is a direct sales jewelry company... one where sales consultants sell the product at parties like this one, in private homes…making Shannon a bank teller by day, and a businesswoman by night... depending on if and when she wants to work... and make money.
Then there's the mother of all direct marketing companies --- Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Judy Vallin is a Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay...
She's been with the company long enough that she was personally trained by the founder, Mary Kay herself. And yes, she's earned the pink Cadillac.
She like many women, chose direct sales because of the flexible schedule -- her children were small when she started.
“I thought you know they're so small for so short of a time that I didn't want to continue working in corporate America,” she says.
Mary Kay consultants can earn 50 percent of what they sell
But Judy warns -- direct sales aren’t easy. Consultants have to find customers...and put in the hours, just like a corporate job.
One of the biggest reasons women get involed in direct sales is the money…and the flexible schedule... but there are other reasons.
Julie Weeks is the president and CEO of WomenAble,,, and an expert on female entrepeneurs... and as she says, “probably 80 percent of people involved in direct selling are women. It's a leg into entrepreneurship.
A convenient, low-risk leg into entrepreneurship.
“It fits in the nooks and crannies of your life”
Martha Truscott is the executive regional vice president for Arbonne, a 26 year old company that markets upscale skin care products through one-on-one direct marketing...”we are a 500 million dollar company.”
Arbonne takes care of research, production and much of the marketing. Martha and her team of consultants find the customers...
“This is a great opportunity to be able to start something w/o having huge financial risks.”
So, the verdict, according to expert Julie Weeks? “It's a training ground in a lot of respect for other enterprises.”
A training ground... or a lifetime profession... either way,, there's money and confidence to be found... if you work at it.
The direct selling association has these tips so you don't get scammed: avoid companies that charge a substantial entry fee, beyond the cost of a starter kit.... Pressure you to buy large quantities of inventory... Won't buy back the inventory is you quit.... Or sell few or no products to consumers.