What’s the difference between MLM, network marketing, party plan, and direct sales?

Actually, they all fall under the general umbrella of “direct sales.” Historically, direct selling only involved direct person-to-person sales, often door-to-door. In the 1950’s companies such as Amway, Shaklee and Mary Kay introduced to the direct seller the ability to sponsor other sellers, to build a sales organization, and to receive an override commission on the sales in their sales organization at multiple levels. This is the origin of MLM, multilevel marketing and network marketing, which are all the same thing; i.e., direct sales with a multiple-level

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This blog post is the companion post to the video: Success Stories in the MLM, Direct Selling, Network Marketing Industry, in which MLM Attorney, Jeffrey Babener, discusses the successes of leaders in the direct selling industry.

There have been many studies done in regards to what makes successful direct selling companies. Many case studies have been done about Mary Kay and her leadership, which have been cited at schools like the Harvard Business School and the Wharton Business School. Many schools have lectured on the institution of direct selling. Many people have added business modules on entrepreneurship in an effort to understand what it is about these renegade, visionary and charismatic individuals that cause people to flock to them, follow them and build this type of business for themselves.

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