Using Direct Sales To Weather The Economic Storm

The Meadville Tribune:

“We had to get back on track and try to get back up that hill,” said Conneaut Lake’s Sharla Buzzard.

The sluggish American economy hit home for her and her family in a big way last year when her husband, Derrick, lost his job when the company he worked for went bankrupt. (He’s since started his own construction company and the family is getting back on its feet.)

At the time, Sharla was working as a substitute teacher’s aide while taking care of their twin 9-year-old daughters. She needed another source of income, but her time was limited.

She found direct selling was the answer.

She sells either through one-on-one consultations or through party plans, also called trunk shows. They work like this: A client of Buzzard’s will host a party and invite friends over; Buzzard brings catalogs and samples of her goods; the partygoers browse and (hopefully) buy; and the party’s host earns free merchandise while Buzzard gets a commission of the total sales.

“It’s not me to stand up and do a presentation,” said Buzzard. “What I do is I go around the room and work with them, show them where everything is. If they like it, they buy it. I’m not telling my own personal story. Everybody has a different style.”

Photo from labor2008

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