It's a strange thing, the Direct Sales world. Companies may sell via catalogues only, websites, or through party plan. Some even do a mix of those three. As the world has opened up more with the advance of the internet and social media, so have the avenues through which you can find a direct sales company. If you know where to look, they are EVERYWHERE!
As a consultant you are trying to find your footing in the world of sales based from home (usually), and compete with all the big businesses that have huge advertising budgets. As a small business that sells via party plan or website only, you can sometimes be seen as inferior to those bigger companies. And due to the nature of some people in the past, can be seen as spammy or 'one of those annoying party companies'. So you try to find your own way and voice to be heard over the thousands of others out there!
Not all Direct Sales companies are the same. They all have their own brand values and conditions for consultants (and clients too sometimes). Such a vast range of products can be bought from a Direct Sales company these days too! Beauty products, clothes, food, jewellery...even toys for grown ups. Of course, not every company is available in every country (though potential customers wish they would do so! and soon).
Just as all companies are different, so can the culture of being someone's 'Only' consultant. Those that carry the same products with every consultant strongly cling on to their customers, and it's even frowned upon in the rules of the company to poach anyone else's customers. But then there are companies now where each consultant has their own stock, which is likely to be different to any other consultant in the area. With these companies they are encouraged to share their customers around to be able to find items or patterns they are searching for. But whichever type of company, if you don't look after your customers, they may not return ever again. It is essential to build relationships with them, and make them feel valued (which they are! Without customers, you don't have a successful business).
Word of Mouth and great reviews can do wonders for whatever type of DS company you are with. So if you buy a product from someone who does right by you, let them know what a great job they are doing, and let your friends know who to go to. Your consultant will love you for it! Because you are not just lining the pockets of some big company director- purchasing with someone in direct sales is helping them send their kids to dance lessons, to buy a coffee with friends, to finally have a family holiday together! You are helping someone who's trying to make ends meet and pay their monthly bills. You are helping someone just like you!