But that’s not a pass to just sit back and let life happen. A new year is a great time to reflect on what you want, evaluate your goals, and figure out how you want to achieve them.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to men. By December 2020, employers had cut up to 140,000 jobs—with women accounting for all the job losses. Many women have had to rely on side gigs to make ends meet for their families and are in search of how to make extra income while working from home.
Perhaps you’ve considered working as an independent contractor for a direct sales company. Or maybe you’re interested in taking your side-business to the next level. If that’s the case, here are some important questions to ask your direct sales company in 2021.
To ensure your success, make sure you ask the following questions before accepting your new role.
1. How will I be compensated?
A side hustle allows you to learn new skills while making some extra money. But what metrics will your pay be based on? Ask right away about compensation. The more clarity you have, the more confident you’ll be going about your tasks. Some helpful questions to ask include:
Do I have to pay an initial investment?
How do I get paid?
Will I get commission as well as base pay?
How often will I get paid?
2. How does the virtual sales process work?
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, life “won’t get back to normal until late 2021.” Until then, how does your direct sales company expect you to make sales in adherence to CDC safety guidelines?
Some companies recommend networking and marketing on social media platforms, which is a great way to get in front of your audience. Outside of these, you’ll also need ways to demonstrate products.
Zoom and Skype are two of the top video conferencing platforms. Ask your direct sales company if they have a preference and if you need your own account, or if you can piggyback off their corporate account.
3. How long will it take to speak proficiently about a product line?
When you learn something new, it takes a while to feel comfortable about it.
Learning about the product, the company, and the sales process will take some time. Once you become proficient, you’ll speak with confidence and be able to sway potential customers more easily.
Confirm from management how long it takes most salespeople to reach this point so you can monitor your progress.
4. How do customers make purchases?
Many direct sales companies have links that you can give to customers. The link takes them to product pages and allows them to set up a cart and make purchases. However, the link you are given is often unique to you, which allows the company to track your sales and pay you a commission.
Some companies may go a different route. Clarify how customers will make their purchases so that:
You can quickly and professionally guide them where they need to go
You can make sure you’re compensated for your work
5. How can I improve my sales strategy?
While working from home and pursuing side gigs aren’t anything new, the way most people do business has changed quite a bit in the past year.
Harvard Business Review observes that many organizations are still trying to use strategies that worked in a good economy. Now that we’re in a tighter market, companies have to pivot and focus on implementing new sales strategies.
If you’re working for a direct sales company, learning and applying the latest sales techniques will keep sales coming your way during challenging times.
Even if they don’t have any COVID-19-specific strategy updates, you can ask how to improve your personal strategy. Your manager might have recommendations based on your previous performance.
6. Do they focus on value-based selling?
The price of a product is always of concern to the customer—now more than ever. Ask your company contact or manager if part of their sales/marketing process is focused on providing value to the customer. Simply listing everything that your product can do isn’t going to impress potential customers these days. However, showing them how the product will save them time, money, or frustration will interest people more. Working with a company that focuses on value-based selling will help you make more money.
7. Are all the teams close-knit?
In the past, some companies preferred a definite distinction between their teams, such as sales, marketing, and customer service.
Fortunately, more companies recognize that sales isn’t restricted to the sales team. When all departments work together, the value of products and services goes up in the seller’s eyes.
It’s especially important for the sales and marketing teams to work in tandem. Sales reps can provide valuable insights to the marketing team and explain customer needs.
Ask your direct sales team how closely you’ll work with other teams (if at all).
8. What’s the time investment?
Most direct sales companies encourage people to work part-time, but just how much time do you need to invest? Ask your direct sales team if there’s a minimum time investment. Also, ask them if there’s any time frame for filling weekly or monthly quotas and if incentives are offered when these are met quicker.
Expand your work-from-home income in 2021
Setting goals for your side hustle is important to building a viable home-based business. What if you want more than part-time work, though? What if you’ve reached your side gig goals and are ready for a new challenge?
Vector Marketing can help you advance your WFH sales skills and income. One way is with managerial positions, including assistant manager, branch manager, and district manager options.
A new position with Vector Marketing can increase your income while teaching you valuable skills that will serve you now and in whatever role you decide to take on in the future.
Are you ready to start a profitable side gig? Request an interview with the Vector Marketing team to learn more.