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Direct Seller

Direct sellers demonstrate and sell products such as books, candles, clothing, cookware, cosmetics, costume jewellery, craft supplies, gourmet food, hobby items, household cleaning products, toys, and vitamins.

Also Known As

Consultant, Product Demonstrator, Salesperson, Network Marketers

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Direct Distributors (6623.1) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Other Elemental Sales Occupations (G973) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other sales related occupations (6623) 
  • 2016 NOC: Other sales related occupations (6623) 
  • 2021 NOC: Other sales related occupations (65109) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Direct Distributors

2006 NOC: 6623.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to present sample products and catalogues, and to explain desirable qualities of products

SOCIAL

Interest in persuading customers by soliciting sales of goods and services directly to individuals or at sales parties

directive

Interest in handling merchandise to canvass prospective customers; may develop lists of prospective customers or follow leads supplied by management, and may distribute advertising literature and provide samples

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Direct sellers sell goods or services to consumers. They are most often self-employed. They may travel to customers’ homes to make sales. They may also sell goods at fairs, trade shows, and booths in shopping malls.

Duties and responsibilities vary. In general, direct sellers:

  • Set up displays and demonstrations
  • Give out samples, advertising, and catalogues
  • Explain how products work
  • Write orders, accept payments, and pass orders to others to process
  • Buy products from companies at wholesale prices
  • Deliver goods to customers and track orders sent by the company
  • Show others how to place orders online
  • Attend meetings to learn about new products and special offers
  • Learn new sales skills
  • Handle refunds and exchanges or support customers to do so
  • Convey customer concerns and complaints to the company

Some direct sellers contact people by telephone, in person, on social media, or through online promotions. Others hold home parties for groups, also called “network marketing.”) Some do both. Others work with other direct sellers to staff booths at events and in shopping centres.

Those who sell in person:

  • Find new customers through people they know
  • Encourage customers to recommend them to others
  • Show product samples to friends, relatives, and others
  • Work in a select area or, more often, look for customers anywhere

Those who hold sales parties may do some or all of the above and also:

  • Demonstrate to party guests how the product(s) work
  • Reward party hosts by giving them merchandise or other benefits
  • Ask attendees to host sales parties at their homes
  • Recruit new sellers from friends, relatives, and party attendees
  • Help new recruits get started
Working Conditions
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Most direct sellers work part time from their own homes. Some work full time. Their work involves travel to homes and other sales locations.

Those who hold sales parties most often do so on evenings and weekends when most customers are available. They then do the follow-up work from home as quickly as possible after the party.

Traits & Skills
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Direct sellers need:

  • Self-motivation
  • Time-management skills
  • Enthusiasm
  • A willingness to learn about the products they sell
  • A willingness to work with people

They should enjoy:

  • Telling people about the products they’re selling
  • Selling goods or services
  • Taking responsibility for projects

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Other sales related occupations

2016 NOC: 6623

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 16 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 28, 2021 and Nov 25, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Personal Suitability: Excellent oral communication
Personal Suitability: Dependability
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Teleworking Information: On the road job
Solicit sales and sell goods or services
Provide customer service
Personal Suitability: Effective interpersonal skills
Tasks: Solicit sales and sell goods or services
Set up and display merchandise on sidewalks, at public events or in stores
Personal Suitability: Organized
Educational Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Minimum Education Varies

There are no education or experience requirements. Having worked in customer service or sales is an asset. It can help to speak more than one language.

Some companies offer support to increase sales. This may include training programs, contests, or promotions. Training programs and materials are usually free or low cost.

Those thinking about direct sales should research any company they think of working for. This is very important if they need to spend money in advance. For example, they may need to buy samples to show customers. Factors to consider include:

  • Company reputation
  • Number of years in business
  • Business record
  • Product and sales integrity

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Apr 08, 2022
  • Certification Not Regulated

Direct sellers in Alberta require a direct selling business license from Service Alberta They may also need a municipal business licence.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Most direct sellers are self-employed. They operate the business from their home and pay their own travel expenses.

Advancement opportunities may take the form of more or better sales areas. Top sellers may earn promotions or bonuses.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6623: Other sales related occupations occupational group, 76.7% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6623: Other sales related occupations occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 77 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2019-2023 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Apr 08, 2022

Direct sellers’ earnings vary from month to month and year to year because they are based on commission. Commissions may increase with sales volume.

In network marketing, direct sellers build a passive income stream on top of their own commissions. This is based on sales made by direct sellers they have recruited. The larger their network, the larger their income. This can sometimes help to level out their income over the year.

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies

Updated Mar 31, 2022. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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