17 Direct Selling Skills (Selling Techniques For Direct Sales Agents)

A great salesperson should be able to sell anything, whether in demand or not. Though having high-demand products is an advantage, still you shouldn’t be limited on how much you can earn from selling any quality product. 

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If you want to learn how to sell like a pro and make continuous profit as a direct sales agent, these direct selling skills plus tips for selling will help.

17 Direct selling skills that work for everyone

  1. Know the products you sell 

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A direct sales agent is the closest representation of a company to the customer. You must fully understand the product you sell to adequately represent the company, giving answers to customers’ questions. This direct selling skill is the first step to convincing a person to buy your product.

Nothing convinces a customer than an experience of satisfaction gotten by the seller. So, since many customers don’t want to dip their feet into a completely strange river, you need to know your product, use it personally, and believe in it.

  1.  Set goals

You can never achieve a goal you didn’t set. So, to navigate your direct selling business properly, you must first have a clear and specific vision of what you want from it. 

The best way to set goals is by writing them down. Since many goals float in our heads, they quickly pass by, and we remember them no more until the time passes when we were supposed to achieve them. So, writing down your goals on paper is essential.

Photo of a notebook with goals; having goals is one of the direct selling skills every sales agent needs

You hold yourself more accountable to your goals when you have a tangible list to go back to. This list will also guide you on what to strive for and help you see where you’re not performing very well.

When writing down your goals, divide them into production goals, income goals, the progress of the company ranking, and why you need the business to work.

When you know why you need the business to work and how it will make you feel if it doesn’t, it will give you the motivation to push when you face dark days.

  1. Develop your interpersonal skills

Somewhere along the line of direct sales and networking, you will be a team member, recruit, and a leader. To succeed, you must cultivate the ability to build good relationships with people. The more you build relationships and work with people without hitches, the farther that you will excel in your business.

Most people make the mistake of putting their business first before relationships. This shows off a selfish interest, making it difficult for your prospects, recruits, or customers to connect with you. Instead, put your relationships first, then the business will follow naturally, and you will start noticing growth either directly or through referrals.

  1.  Polish your communication skills

Without excellent communication skills, your customer will never see why they need the product. This doesn’t only have to do with your ability to speak convincily; it also involves your listening ability to be able to answer questions from the customers. 

Great communication skills will also help in forming a bond with your customers. People don’t just buy from anyone; they prefer to buy from those they know, trust, or like; because they feel more confident dealing with them.

Photo of a woman explaining something on a whiteboard; good communication skills is one of the direct selling skills every sales agent needs
  1. Never stop improving your skills

Your career starts to stall the day you stop learning and improving your skills. To excel in direct selling; go for seminars, read books, attend retreats and conferences held by ASEA to polish up your selling skills

  1. Be positive

Everybody will not buy your product, and hearing ‘no’ often can make you feel discouraged. However, you must stay positive and have an internal excitement about the product you sell. This will keep you going amidst rejections and help you think of better ways to present your products to ensure sales.

  1. Time management

No matter what, always try to keep to your schedule. Without these, people will not want to buy your product or join your team. It is totally unprofessional to miss an appointment, and it makes you seem unreliable. 

Your customers must know that you will always be there, and you can be counted upon. 

  1. Patience

It takes time to sell a product and build a team. With direct selling and other endeavors, you need time to develop your business and gain mastery before it becomes a steady source of income. Perhaps, the only problem with marketing is that people give up too soon when they fail after some initial baby steps.

Patience is also needed when conversing with potential team members and customers. Without patience, you quickly become frustrated. That is why you must tell yourself right from the beginning that it will take time and effort to build a direct sales business. People grow, and they only do this by practicing. Practice takes time.

Here’s a quick tip. You will stay patient and focused if you practice detachment from your business outcomes. This way, the business will be more enjoyable.

  1. Transparency 

Direct sales gurus understand the impact of transparency and candor in their communication so they use these direct selling skills with employees and customers. Candor refers to facing the truth in all situations, good or bad.

To lead successfully in direct selling, your recruits must trust your words. Don’t blame others when it is your mistake. Always remember to give credit when due, and above all, name the challenges alongside the opportunities with the same amount of openness.

  1. Empathy

A distributor with good direct selling skills knows how to see and listen to their customers’ complaints, feeling them as their own. This is very vital to long-term inspiration and success.

Team leaders and customers prefer to be under people who understand their pain points because they believe such people are not fake and will not take advantage of them. A trustworthy direct selling agent with the zeal of becoming a leader must show genuine empathy. Without these, your standing will be diminished, with no consistent customer base.

  1. Presentation skills

Presentation is usually needed for some levels of direct selling jobs. Hence, it is vital to have good presentation skills. Depending on your level, means of selling your products, and the company you portray, you may be required to stand before prospects, discussing your company, its product, services, their merits, and why customers should buy from you.

Even when you’re not on stage with thousands of people, the products may require demonstration. For instance, door-to-door direct sellers of vacuum cleaners usually spend hours in people’s homes, demonstrating how the products work and the benefits to the family. 

  1. Be organized

You will get overwhelmed in the long run if you’re not organized with your business. There are different ways to stay organized, including using a simple daily planner or an online software program. Whatever it is, you should have a filing system, contact list, or anything that gives you easy access to your business information. Though you cannot build this system in a day, doing one thing at a time will make it more realistic than ever.

  1. Have a workplace

Most workers from home, especially direct selling agents, fail because they do not have a place dedicated to their job. This could be a corner of your house, a table, or a basement. Whatever it is, there should be a place dedicated to your work so that whenever you are there, you can easily disconnect from every other thing and give yourself to the business.

  1. Network

To expand your business beyond your friends and family, you must network. However, you can’t do that if you do not meet new people. So, know that the next new person you are meeting is an opportunity to expand your business. So wherever you are and whatever you’re talking about, always incorporate your product into the discussion.

  1.  Stay passionate

Passion is an indispensable direct selling skill. It won’t always be rosy, and there will genuinely be days when you want to back out. However, even on these challenging days, take your mind back to why you started this job in the first place to keep your fire burning. 

The difference between people that succeed in direct sales and those who don’t is their ability to stay excited about their products on difficult days.

  1.  Learn to identify an interested customer

Recognizing people who have even the slightest interest in buying your products or joining your team is an irreplaceable skill. Most interested people will ask more questions about the product or company, or others will pay close attention when you mention a benefit.

Photo of two women talking; learning how to spot an interested customer is one of the great direct selling skills

Similarly, they can ask you how you got into the business, how you started it, and your current earning. These clues can be as subtle as linking up with you on social media, offering to help you arrange stuff in your car, or sitting close to you during lunch.

Generally, if someone starts a conversation about your business, it’s a glaring sign that they could be interested. To get the best results with these people, give out small but organized pieces of information so you do not overwhelm them. 

  1. Closing sales

Closing a sale is important for direct selling as well as other businesses. Generally, closing deals has to do with your ability to persuade a customer to buy the product finally. 

To effectively close deals, you must be confident, persuasive, and act with a certain amount of courage. Since some companies clearly state their sales closing techniques, find out if your direct selling company requires some conversation ratios or quotas to guide distributors on how to close sales. 

5 Tips for selling any kind of product

With these tips for selling discussed below, you can sell anything to anyone.

  1. Highlight the features and benefits

Features are not the same as benefits, but some direct selling agents translate features as benefits to their customers. This way, it’s important to understand your products and how they can better your customers’ lives.

Read this article on how to differentiate between the features and benefits of a product 

Photo of a woman buying flowers from a florist; highlighting benefits over features is one of the great direct selling skills
  1.  Make the customer believe you’re on their side

Robert Caldini shared this powerful tip in his book, Influence and it has helped many sellers. No matter the scenario, make your customer feel like you are on their side and not the company’s. Make them believe that you want them to have the best experience with the products and enjoy the numerous benefits, not just selling a product for some company they don’t care about.

  1. Question their status quo 

You will likely meet the “No, I’m good” customers. To fix these, attack their status quo. In subtle ways, make them feel guilty for missing a life-changing opportunity. 

For instance, if you’re selling nutritional supplements that will better their health, ask why they would give up a chance to supply their body with the right nutrition when they have an opportunity to. 

When they realize that their health is paramount, they will see the need to invest in good nutritional supplements, which you happen to have with you.

  1. Tell them they’re free to make a choice

This direct selling skill is backed up by 42 psychological studies involving about 22,000 participants. Customers get quickly turned off when they notice you’re compelling them to buy a product. No one likes to feel compelled, and though selling is more of a persuasion game, you should always make them feel like they have freedom of choice because they do. 

That way, the customer will feel more relaxed to buy because you have killed the fear of making them play into your game. Now, for them, buying will be a decision, not a result of some kind of manipulation.

  1.  Ask for referrals

Despite how hard you try, some customers won’t just buy your product. Instead of just walking away and losing everything completely, ask them for the next best thing, a referral. They can help you talk to a friend interested in their products or give you their contact details. The latter is more probable for a future sale.

When discussing with the next prospect, tell them the friend’s name that referred you to them. This will quickly build proximity and trust, making it easier to close the sale.


Becoming a successful direct sales agent requires a combination of many skills which include product knowledge, communication skills, empathy, time management and the ability to close a sale, amongst others.

Even the most difficult customers can be gotten with good marketing skills; apply the direct selling skills discussed in this post for optimal success in your direct sales business.

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