Glossary of Direct Selling Terms

Whether you are a new social influencer, brand ambassador, or a successful business builder, we're sure you've had a time when you heard a direct selling term you didn't know the meaning of or weren't sure if you were using the word correctly.

Here is a comprehensive glossary of industry terms used in the direct selling, multi-level marking (MLM), influencer marketing, and networking marketing industries to help you sound like an expert from day one.

If you found we missed a term, please let us know here!


Follow-up in sales means the steps you take after presenting your initial pitch to your prospects or after you have made a sale. In other words, it's a way of reminding your customers of your brand by contacting them from time to time. The most common follow-up strategies in modern marketing are phone calls and emails.

Forced Matrix

Forced Matrix in MLM businesses is an organizational structure where the employees or distributors are arranged into a fixed number of rows and columns with a limited width. Thus, the primary members of the column remain at the top, and the new members hired by them are placed in their downline. Each sale made by the downline member adds up to the commission of the primary members of the matrix.


Genealogy, in MLM companies, is a tree of representatives or distributors that forms the backbone of any compensation plan made by the organization. It contains the current and historical records of all the members included and how they are connected to a company's income opportunity.

Group volume

Group volume, in MLM business, is the sum of personal sale volumes of all the distributors in an independent representative's downline. Similarly, the individual sales volume of the independent representative is also added to his group volume.

Hot Prospects

Hot prospects are those who have already bought your product. Once your prospects enter the hot circle, your goal should be to keep them coming back for more through different tactics like discounts and complementary products. Such prospects may even become your brand ambassadors and bring in more customers.

Inactive Status

Inactive distributors are those who aren’t earning any commission due to inactivity or have little to no contribution to the overall sales volume. Each MLM will have different rules to remain active in a given month or quarter in order to earch a commission.


In MLM, incentives are the extra bonuses or rewards given to a distributor when she achieves specific targets defined by the company, like a certain number of sales made in a particular time. These rewards and bonuses are provided to the distributors to motivate them to do even better.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing means “using influential social media personalities to reach millions of people through digital platforms.” As most influencers are considered experts in their niche, they promote your product through detailed reviews, social media posts, stories, etc. It is one of the most effective but expensive forms of marketing.

Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is an inclusive term used for different strategies that MLM or other companies use to market their services and products online. Usually, products are marketed through blogs, social media influencers, videos, paid promotions, and online ads.

Landing Pages

Landing pages refer to the specific pages on the website on which a prospect lands after clicking on an ad. Once the lead lands on the page, she is encouraged to buy the product through compelling landing page copies, which are written by conversion specialist copywriters.

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