I bet when you signed up for your direct sales company you didn’t know how understanding sales psychology in direct sales was going to make such a huge impact.

Some products are easier to sell than others. They are low-emotional commitment, low-risk, and easy to accept. People can jump and say yes! to something that is shiny and fun.

Jewelry? Clothing? Accessories? Decor?

Once you buy them, there’s no commitment expected of you. No one cares if you never wear that necklace. To do so would have the same effect as if you wore it every day. If you buy a new shade of lipstick, it doesn’t mean you dislike your other shades or that you won’t wear those other shades ever again. It just means you’ve added a new color to your collection.

These things are much easier to sell than, say, health, wellness, skin care, or even weight management products. Sales psychology.

Have you ever wondered why? Why is someone more easily convinced to buy a stick of lipstick they don’t need over something that will help give them health benefits and possibly help them live better?


Understanding Sales Psychology in Direct Sales

Before you can really dig into how consumers view direct sales products, you need to consider the consumer product adoption curve and how it applies to your products:

  1. Awareness. I know the product exists.
  2. Acknowledgment. I like the product.
  3. Acceptance. I might need the product.
  4. Adoption. I’m willing to try the product.
  5. Behavior change. I’m trying the product.
  6. Behavior sustained. I’m using the product.

When you’re talking about health, wellness, skin/body care, food choices, and weight management, people know that they will have to make a big behavior change — in fact, they have to make an entire lifestyle change. If they buy that skin care but don’t use it, what happens? They feel like they’ve wasted their money. Or worse, they feel like they’ve failed to do what they needed to do.

They have to stop doing one thing, something that they know and something that they enjoy doing and are comfortable with, and start doing something else.

This is a very different emotional “ask” than something shiny like “hey – want to buy a shiny pair of earring or a nice smelling candle?!”

It’s a pretty big jump from step 1 to step 6 when step 5 is “stop doing everything you do and learn a whole new way of living.”

So what does this mean? A couple things.

First. Consider where your ideal client (and there is an ideal client — if there wasn’t, your brand wouldn’t exist) sits on the adoption curve. Have they ever heard of your product before? What have they heard? Have they tried it? Do they already use a similar product and if so, how much of a change would it take for them to adopt your product instead?

If they’re at step 1 and you’re trying to get them to step 6? That’s a really big ask. It would be easier to nudge them to step 2 or 3. See if you can help them understand what the difference is between your product and the product or lifestyle they already enjoy without focusing on everything that’s wrong with the product they already love and use regularly.

Second. Assess the emotional commitment required to use your product. Easy? No huge behavioral change required? Easier to sell. Huge sustained behavioral change required? Harder to sell. Which means your strategic approach might need to be a little different, and include emotional as well as product-value and lifestyle appeals. Think about the ask. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect, and meet them where they ARE, versus where you want them to be.


Brenda Ster in a rectangle frame sitting at her desk with notecards and a marker with the words Understanding the way people buy online is helpful to remember for your sales plan for the blog post Understanding Sales Psychology in Direct Sales