Three Keys to Achieving Direct Sales Success in Japan

Feb 18, 2021 7:00:00 AM / by McKinley Oswald

Historically, Japan has been a top three market in the direct sales industry. When launched and supported correctly, success in Japan can lead to major growth and global momentum. On the flip side, when launched incorrectly it can mean failure to produce in one of the key direct sales markets. Verb is committed to supporting our clients as they enter Japan or continue to develop their existing business in Japan. To that end, Verb has a team in Japan that helps to launch, support, and develop the Verb platform with our clients. This Masterclass features a discussion with members of our Verb Japan Team: Lon Combs, Ken Kurokawa, and Nick Hoggan, Verb’s Chief Revenue Officer.


Click here to view the full Masterclass Video, click here.

verb App - Japan phones - 1

Japan is one of the best markets for direct sales companies. Some interesting stats about this market:


  • Third largest market with approximately 10% of global industry sales
  • Over 3,000,000 direct sellers in Japan
  • 80% of direct sellers in Japan are female
  • Overnight shipping country-wide
  • Early adopters of technology
  • Strong history in direct selling


Japan is roughly the size of California but has approximately half the population of the United States.


3 Keys to Success in Japan

The difference to finding success in the Japan market can often be as simple as the difference between dipping your toe in the water and jumping in the pool. It is a market that requires commitment and potential rewards for showing that commitment. There are definitely some pitfalls to avoid as you enter the market or strive and build a strong business in Japan. Three keys to finding success include:


  1. Translation: This requires the right effort - an effort much greater than just using Google Translator. Adopting the right language translation and adapting it to the culture is critical to get it right.
  2. Commitment: Showing the market that you are committed by localizing and getting an on-the-ground team is a critical step.
  3. Provide the Tools: Understand how the business is done in Japan and provide the field with the technology and tools that they need to succeed.



With only 20% of the land in the country being livable, the population tends to be very condensed. And with this closeness comes an impact of in-person connectivity. For decades the business has been built with coffee shop/restaurant meetings, hotel meetings, and in-person presentations. With the onset of the pandemic, technology adoption in direct sales has increased dramatically. Having the right technology for your field to build the business is key.



And it isn’t just the legacy companies that are finding success in Japan. Numerous younger companies are finding success as well. That success is coming from following the keys to enter the market, adapting to the culture, and showing a commitment to long-term results. Some of the key takeaways for that success includes finding unique products, making compensation tweaks that fit the market, and localizing all of the company’s tools and marketing efforts.



Verb Japan Helps Support Technology Needs

With our recent launch with Young Living Japan and other companies, Verb’s team in Japan has become a resource for companies looking to succeed with our platform in the market. Different from other companies, Verb’s team is located in Japan and can support with on-boarding and implementation, training, and support. Knowing the potential needs of our clients in the market and being able to support them made this a key initiative for our company.



Helping with everything from on-boarding and education to customer acquisition through sampling, the Verb platform in Japan can be a huge win for the company by providing the right tools for the field.



Topics: Technology, digital tools, Direct Sales, Sales Enablement, Sales Tool, japan, 2021, Keys to Success

McKinley Oswald

Written by McKinley Oswald

President of Global Sales for Verb

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