This week on the Modern Direct Seller Podcast, it’s time for a leadership heart-to-heart. We know that the fall selling season is just around the corner. So, as we step away from summer plans and company conferences, we need to make sure that we not only keep our energy high, but also focus on building strong teams and better engaging the consultants already working with us. Listen in to learn how to meet each of your team members where they are and apply their perspectives to your training so that they’re as excited to grow their businesses as you are!
Time based notes:
- 3:15 Personal vs. team excitement
- 6:41 Leading a voluntary work force
- 8:16 Why people join direct sales
- 10:36 Why people leave direct sales
- 11:23 Engage each segment of your team
- 15:28 Be intentional about team building
- 17:15 “Wake Up Your Team for Fall” Workshop
Engage Your Team in Time for Fall
So, it’s time for a leadership heart-to-heart. We know that the fall selling season is just around the corner. I just got back into town after a whirlwind of a couple of months seeing so many of our incredible corporate clients, as well as many of you at your direct sales conference over the summer. I did a little bit of math, and I definitely have been gone more than I have been home this summer, which has been exciting and challenging and maybe a little exhausting, all at the same time, but totally worth it.
But, as we step away from summer plans and company conferences, we need to make sure that we not only keep our energy high, but the energy on our time. I love the fact that I can really share some ideas based on where you’re at right now in your business here in August 2023, because I realized that we create a lot of regular content over here, but we don’t always put a ton of content out there speaking directly to leaders. So, this is going to be a little heart-to-heart coffee chat; it’s going to be real. And, I’m here to be transparent about what we’re experiencing in the market right now as a direct sales leader. I think it’s going to be helpful to think about your direct sales team and how you can get them working and engaged here in the fall season.
So, let’s just be real. We all know that we experienced a season of hyper-growth in direct sales from 2020, 2021, even into 2022. Of course, people were at home a lot more. People had a little bit more time on their hands, and were open to new opportunities, and really looking at flexible entrepreneurship as a way to build their income. And, you know, I think during this time, we kind of sat back and relaxed a little bit, right? We had people asking to join teams, and they were ready to jump on board and excited to get started. We didn’t quite have to work for it as hard as we did pre-COVID.
So, here in 2023, many leaders that have been around for a bit are experiencing a season that looks closer to 2018, 2019, before we saw this hyper-growth season that we experienced. So, it can be a bit frustrating as a leader, when you’re thinking, “Gosh, I’m doing the same things that I was doing before, and I’m not getting that same result. In fact, I’m having to work a lot harder to get the same results that I was used to over the last couple of years.”
I don’t talk about this a whole lot, but my background before stepping into direct sales was working for a global leader in leadership training. I spent a little bit over 10 years there. And, it was an incredible opportunity. I worked in our marketing strategy department and really had the opportunity to see on the inside how corporate leaders were being trained. And, a lot of the conversation, a lot of the things that we talked about in the leadership trainings for our clients, was really how to lead right. A lot of times, we’re really good at our job. And then, we step into leadership, and we have a whole new dynamic, right? We have people to think about, and personalities, and it comes with a lot more responsibility, but a lot more opportunity, also.
So, in a traditional job, if you’re the boss, you have performance objectives for your team, and you have reviews with them on the regular. And, when you’re in direct sales, it looks nothing like that. You are leading a voluntary workforce. The people on your team don’t have to work if they don’t want to. That’s the reality, right? You’re not their boss. And, you have to learn how to lead in a way that influences them, motivates them, and gets them excited to get up and really build their business.
So, one of the things that we don’t talk a whole lot about is really why people join the business, right? Of course, people are looking to make some additional income, but they’re also looking for community, and to be a part of something, and to have some fun. So, when you’re thinking about what it takes to engage your team and keep them selling and being part of your community, a big piece of that is the fun factor, right? Like, what is it that makes your team fun and exciting, where they feel like they belong and they’re part of a community?
We also know that people want to make some money. If you’re not making money in this business, then it’s kind of hard to stick around. So, when we’re thinking about the money that people need to make, the sweet spot we heard at DSA this year is about $200. Long gone are the days of posing in front of private jets and luxury vehicles. People are really just wanting to make a couple hundred bucks extra every single month. So, to make it worth it, and to stay engaged and to stay a part of this community, we need to make sure that their sales volume is around $1,000 each month, right? With a 25% commission, that would be a $250 paycheck for the average person.
But, with that, we know that this is not their full-time focus. And so, your team is also looking to be spoon-fed. They are looking for the “easy” button. And, those of us that have been around for a while know that there’s not really any secret shortcuts or things that are just going to make money rain from the sky. But, we know that there’s ways to simplify this business and not overcomplicate it and keep it easy and straightforward for them so they can have some fun, they can make some money, and it can feel easy and breezy, right? So, as you’re thinking about your team and engagement, those are a couple of factors that I really want you to think about: the fun factor; how to make it easy; and how to make it financially worth it.
So, if you’ve lost teammates, and maybe even lost some of your leaders over the last couple of years—that’s normal. That is not unique to you. We’re hearing that across the board. But, when we think about what we lose those people to… Some have gone back to work full-time, looking for a full-time salary. Some of them lost the joy that their business brought them. Some of them switched to another gig job, or maybe even left your company for another direct sales company, because their eyes were on the grass being greener on the other side. So, when we’re thinking about those people that have walked away, it’s probably for one of those reasons. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t easy, and it didn’t feel worth it.
So, as you’re thinking about getting your team working this fall season, a couple of really clear action steps that you can take away are, Number One: Take a good hard look at what it’s like to be a brand-new consultant on your team. Is it fun? Is it easy? How can you help them make a couple $100? And then, as we’re thinking about those factors, we really want to check in with people personally. And, you can do this in a couple of different ways. You could do this in a one-to-one message. You could do a survey to your team, or a poll in your group. But, you want to get an idea of where people are at in their business.
As a leader, I would craft a survey or a series of questions for your team, where you can gain a better picture of what they’re looking to get out of this business. It might be something as simple as “For the fall season, what best describes you? A) I’m looking to build my team and grow my income exponentially, B) I’m here for a couple hundred extra dollars to help with my holiday expenses, or C) I’m just here for the friends and family discount.” So, once you have an idea of what category each member of your team fits into, then you can really customize how you’re supporting with them.
So, those A’s, the people that are here to really build and grow and have a substantial income, are going to be the ones that you focus on the most, right? Those that are looking to make a couple extra hundred dollars—your B’s—those are going to be the people that you want to make it really easy for. Like, “Hey, we’re hosting a mega event. I’m doing an unboxing event. I made this video. Here’s some scripting. Here’s some messaging. Go ahead and piggyback off of what I’m doing to help you get to that couple hundred dollars a month that you’re looking to make.”
And then, there are those that are there for the friends and family discount. I think we forget about them quite often. And, this is a question I’ve asked in a number of leadership events over the course of the summer: “What percent of your team are discounters, are hobbyists, or are just there for their personal use?” And, the numbers are pretty high. I mean, I would say upwards of 75%. In some cases, 80% or 90% of the team is just there for personal use. So, as we’re thinking about those people and how to best serve them, we really need to treat them like customers, right? We need to think about what we do in our customer group and how we can do that for our team. So, is it an unboxing? Is it a giveaway? Is it product education? What can we do for those that are just there for the discount to keep them shopping? Because, here’s the reality: Our Number One goal is to get as much product as we can in their hands. If they have product in their hands, even if their intent is just to use it for themselves, it’s more likely that that’s going to plant the seeds for them to tell other people about it. So, we want to keep them shopping.
So, think about how you can really teach your team about the products that you’re selling and keep them excited and engaged. Typically, leaders do a great job of this in their personal business, and then somebody gets excited, and they join their team. And, all of a sudden, it’s all business. “Nope, we’ve segmented you into the business category now, and you don’t get the fun factor.” They don’t get all of the extra cool things that they were experiencing as a customer from you in your customer group, or from following you on social. So, think a little bit about how you can engage your team, just like you engage your customers.
I want to switch gears a tiny bit here, because we also have to think about bringing in fresh energy. When we have seasons that feel a little bit stagnant, or we don’t have that hyper-growth that we experienced, we have the same people on our team just hanging out, right? We have the go-getters. We have the discounters. We have the people that are just kind of there. So really, we need to bring in fresh energy to keep things exciting. So, I want to challenge you, as a leader, to take a hard look at how intentional you are being about building your team. Are you leading by example? Have you asked people to join your team lately? If you haven’t, have you lost a little bit of that belief? Have you lost that good momentum that you felt over the course of the last couple of years? How do you get back to that? Because, when you’re leading, and you’re growing, and you’re team building, it’s going to rub off on your team. You lead by example.
So, with that said, if you are looking to bring back your team mojo, wake up your team for the fall, finish the year strong, and get excited about the fall season, then you’ve got to join me on August 22 for our “Wake Up Your Team for Fall Season” Workshop. It’s totally free. We’re talking about an action plan. We’re going to get into that survey and the right questions to ask; how you can segment your team to best serve them; how to treat them more like a customer; how to boost up engagement, like you do for your customer, but do that for your team; and also bring back that focus on team building and bringing in some fresh energy.
So, come join me! It’s on August 22 at 9:00 AM Pacific/12:00 Eastern; it’s just around the corner. I’m so excited for this workshop. It literally is the first time we’ve done a workshop specifically designed for leaders. So, if you’re currently a leader, or an aspiring leader, definitely come hang out. You can save your seat at ModernDirectSeller.com/WakeUp, and you can invite your leadership team to come join you, as well.
Learn how to engage and energize your team for the new selling season with our free workshop, “Wake Up Your Team for Fall”! Register at ModernDirectSeller.com/WakeUp.
Take Action: What is one tactic that you can implement to keep your team engaged this Fall?