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!

Lead Capture

Lead captures are specially designed landing pages that collect information about leads on your website when they click through an ad. Information like name, email, phone number, age, locality, all fall in the definition of lead capture. Companies use such information and demographics to run specialized marketing campaigns.

Multi-level marketing

Multi-level marketing means selling goods through participants or distributors, who earn a commission on any sale they make, and any sale made by members recruited by them. Multi-level marketing is mainly used by direct selling companies, where the role of distributors is crucial.

Network Marketing

The definition of network marketing is a business model in which companies depend on person-to-person sales that independent representatives handle. These representatives or distributors leverage their network, either online or in-person, to generate sales and generate leads.


The meaning of opportunity is as straightforward as it gets. It’s a business opportunity offered to the new distributors by MLM companies. These business opportunities are risk-free and do not call for any financial investment. In many cases, the distributors are not even required to hold inventories. And even if they do, the company will repurchase the products if the distributor cannot make a sale.


Organization, in MLM business, refers to the parent company that hires the distributors and arranges them in a particular downline. The parent company provides inventories to independent business entities and distributors to boost sales.

Override Commission

An override commission or override pay is the commission paid to distributors in an MLM organization which is based on a percentage of sales volume of their direct recruit or sponsored team members' gross sales.

Passive Income

Passive income is the amount earned by doing little to no work. Passive income can have many sources. In an MLM business model, the distributors earn passive income from their recruits in the form of override commission. The recruits must give the upper-ranked member who recruited them.

Personal Volume

Personal volume is the number of sales or revenue generated by a distributor within a specific time. When evaluating the group volume of a particular group in direct selling, an MLM company adds up the personal volume of each distributor in the group.


Probation is the distributor status that usually comes before the distributor agreement is terminated. Once a distributor moves to inactive status, they will have a defined period of time to become active again and be eligible for commissions before moving to terminated status.


The definition of product is any item manufactured or refined for sale by a person or an entity. The product can be anything, from daily consumables to medicine, or anything that is presented for sale.

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