Direct Sales Versus Network Marketing

When I tell people that I started out in direct sales and that now I represent both direct sales and network marketing, their eyes glaze over.  To the average Joe, from what it appears, both are the same and only the lucky do well as most simply bug their friends and families.

Here’s what I think.  You (yes, YOU—- EVERY average Joe) can do well in both direct sales OR in network marketing, but both are different.

Direct sales is seller based.  The most income goes to a distributor when she makes a retail sale.  Generally speaking, direct sales deals with higher ticket items, one time sales, and durable items.  I’ve been in direct sales for fourteen years now.  I sell products to a client and she reorders the products (because I’m smart enough to be with a company with products that need reordering!), but there is no monthly committment.  My clients can decide to go a few months without purchasing, or purchase a lot now and nothing later.  I do get an income from my team members’ commissions, but that’s not the focus in starting a direct sales business.  The focus is the product and selling the product to clients and THEN building a team.

Network marketing deals more with long term RESIDUAL income (as opposed to sales profit).  The retail commissions may be lower because the money is also directed more strongly towards bonuses to upline management.  Oftentimes in network marketing you sponsor a downline that sells AND consumes the products on a monthly committment basis.  You have multiple team members who you know are all ordering a similar monthly amount.  In direct sales you might go months without your team members ordering (but when they do order, it might be higher amounts).  Your focus in network marketing is building your downline—- having a lot of customers but no team doesn’t help you succeed.  In direct sales you can have NO TEAM but still make a full time income just from sales (it’s harder to do without the team, but it’s do-able).

There are those that say network marketing is easier to get into because the cost is less to get started.  That’s not the case with the companies I represent.  My direct sales company is less expensive to start (and easier to make money quickly) than my network marketing company.  Both are worthwhile.

It’s not easy to understand the differences and sometimes they are quite subtle.

Any questions?

Aside from parenting special needs twins, Heather Price represents three direct sales and network marketing companies. She started with a popular skin care/ cosmetics company in 2000, and added the greeting card and video email companies in 2008 and 2012 specifically to encourage other direct sales professionals to use out of the box tools to promote their businesses. Heather enjoys selling the products and building teams with these companies. Do you need extra income? You can find out more from the “work with Heather” pull down menu at In 2012 she added social media services to her portfolio. For a limited number of clients, she tweets, pins, posts, connects, curates content, uploads videos, and generally explodes the social media presence of small businesses. Heather’s businesses can be found at , , and . To ask Heather about her social media services, put your info here:

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