Direct Sales Terminology for the Beginner

Written by Nicole Dean

When you first decide to join a direct sales company, one of the first things you’ll notice is the lingo –a language all its own. There may be words you’ve never heard before or words that don’t mean what you think
they would.  We’ve put together a glossary to help you become more familiar with the terminology that will become part of your everyday life. The lingo varies somewhat between companies, but generally similar
terminology is used throughout all direct sales companies.

Annual Conference or Seminar: This is usually a trip to a large city where everyone in a designated area or district goes to get awarded for sales and recruits. Often the conferences are filled with shows, classes and awards ceremonies. They are fun, motivational and encouraging to attend. Some companies offer an incentive, like a free pass or discounted rate to the
conference for meeting a specific sales goal or recruiting goal.

Client: A more sophisticated term for a customer.

Clientele is the plural form of client.

Close or closing: The act of getting the customer to make a commitment to purchase.

Cold calling: The act of making phone calls to unknown persons or persons not expecting a call from you or your company and there is no known need of the person receiving the call.

Commission:  The amount of money you, the salesperson, will make from the sales at a show, class or party.

Consultant: A term often used in place of ‘salesperson’  by direct sales companies.

Consumer: The person purchasing and/or using the product or service.

Customer Service: Taking care of your customers, their needs and desires in a professional and courteous manner.

Database: A record of all your clientele’s information, purchases, desires, etc. A database can be stored in a folder in a file cabinet, on index cards or on a spreadsheet in a computer software program such as Microsoft Excel.

Demographics: The information about people in a certain marketing area or territory such as age, number of men, number of women, number of mothers, number of children, income brackets, home owners, renters, line of work, etc.

Distribution Center: A building located closer to an area, region or district that houses products and makes shipping less costly and timelier.

Host/Hostess: The person holding the show, class, party or meeting in their home. Usually the hostess will receive free or discounted items for reaching a certain number of sales and/or recruits at their show.

Incentive: A reward for sales or purchases.

Inventory: Products or goods on-hand, ready to sell.

Marketing: The act of displaying and presenting goods, products or services to the consumer, enticing them to purchase.

National Sales Director: A sales director who has achieved the highest level of sales and recruits in the company.

Networking: Building relationships with others in the marketing area.

Objection: Reasons or excuses a consumer may use to resist making a purchase.

Recruiter: The person who signs you up when you join a direct sales company. The recruiter is your direct up line leader. In most direct sales companies they will make some commission from your sales.

Residual Income: Recurring money that is earned from a first sale, usually of a service, over a period of time.

Sales Director: A leader, who has recruited a certain number of people to their team, met a set amount of sales and holds the weekly team meetings. The director is also responsible for encouraging their down line, building the team up and motivating sales. This is the person a new recruit can go to for answers regarding the product or company. Often times, a Director will
drive a car they’ve earned due to sales and recruits.

Target market: A certain group of people the company or salesperson wishes to sell to.

Team Trainer: A person specialized in training new recruits all about the product or service being sold. They have met a certain amount of sales and know the product well.

Up line: The people on your team that are already part of the business. In most direct sales companies your up line makes some money from your sales. The higher up they are, the more recruits there are under them and
the more money they make from the sales of their down line teammates.

Warm calling: The act of making phone calls to contacts who are already clients or who are expecting a call from your company or there is a known need of the person receiving the call.

These are just a few of the new terms you will hear, and they may vary some between companies, but don’t let the lingo scare you. Learn it, get familiar with it and start using it yourself. The sooner you do, the more
likely you are to succeed in your new direct sales business.

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