Target Marketing in Direct Sales (Part One)

(First in a series)

I previously posted a video on this very topic, and it seems the time has come for further discussion of target marketing as it relates to direct sellers.

Gone are the days when you could naievely suggest that a product “sells itself” or that your catalog has “somehing for everyone” inside.

Let’s be realistic. Not everyone will buy your product, or attend your party. It’s foolish to think so, and even more foolish to try to convince potential reprsentatives that direct sales is “easy money”.

Direct sales is a lot easier than, say, digging ditches. It is NOT, however something for everyone.

One of the phrases I like to use is “Direct sales is something anyone CAN do, but not everyone will.”

Likewise, there is also a target market for your particular product or service – including your compensation plan and hostess package.

The sooner we, as direct sellers, embrace that idea, the better.
It also goes withouth saying that the sooner direct sales companies relay this message to their field, the more profitable they will become.

Frankly, every direct sales company on the planet aleady has a target market in mind when they develop their products and services. They would be out of their minds if they didn’t. For example, Mary Kay does NOT cater to hundreds of thousands of men in the world. Their market is very clearly a female market, with particular demographics to drill down even further.

Theirs is not a clientele that frequents Wal-Mart (on the whole). They have a target profile of customers, reps and leaders that they know will be best suited to their products and services.

How do I know? Look at the catalog.

Look at any catalog for that matter. Right there, within the pages, you’ll see pictures denoting a certain kind of lifestyle, maybe even models depicting a certain age range for a particular product.

Every successful company in the world has a target market.

Why not you?

As direct sellers, we are told to talk to everyone – and you’ve heard me rail on this before. I’m even seeing more and more direct sales trainers and speakers hop on the “something for everyone” bandwagon in an effort to book more events on their calendar (I’ll blog on this issue later in the week).

NOBODY – and I mean this – NOBODY has something for everyone. No one can be an expert at everything, and it’s silly to even pretend you are in this age of specialities.

In fact, it’s our specialities that make us unique and valuable in the world. Generalists find that they lose out to experts that have a very specific niche. I’m seeing it right now as I watch other direct sales trainers “losing market share” to less experienced trainers that have a strong, proven area of expertise.

Don’t let yourself fall into this trap.

Get clear on who you love serving. As a coach, I make it clear that I only work with people that are serious about growing a profitable direct sales business – not an expensive hobby. I love the reaction, the interest and the level of commitment these men and women bring to the table. I never have to doubt if my client is going to do their homework, because I’ve weeded out the “tire kickers” in my business.

Who do you love serving? Sketch out a profile of your ideal customer. Get detailed. Perhaps you already work with an ideal client – perhaps your ideal is a blend of several people you work with. If you have no customers, begin idealizing and sketch out what you think/feel would be a perfect-fit customer for your business.

Then do the same thing for your perfect-fit recruits/team members.

A surprising thing will happen.

When you build it, they will come. It takes some effort (I’ll talk more about this in a future article), but it does happen.

You may, so long as you do not alter it and include the following information (with active links as appropriate):

Lisa Robbin Young is the founder of, a free online community for direct sellers. Lisa is a certified direct sales marketing coach helping consultants and leaders use the Internet to grow their direct sales business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Register today for her free target marketing program for direct sellers at

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