Breaking Down the Fundamentals of a Customer Rewards Program Without a doubt, what I have been asked to help companies with the most over the last three years is in helping them create and launch a Customer Rewards Program. These programs are called all kinds of different things (e.g. Loyalty Programs, Referral Programs, Preferred Customer Programs, Points Programs, etc.), but the core interest is in finding ways for the corporate team to engage Customers more in a way that leads to more orders … [Read more...]
It’s Time to Do a New Thing
I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to write about this month. Not that I didn’t have ideas. I have lots of ideas. Tons of ‘em. Too many, in fact. I mean, when you mix the “resolution-centric, hope-springs-eternal, goal-setting” spirit of the New Year with the “What-the-$#@&-is-going-on-around-here?!!” mindset of most direct selling execs these days, the stakes for picking the right article topic seem high. I struggled with going uber-specific and tactical vs. staying philosophical and … [Read more...]
How To Start Thinking Differently About Compensation Plans
There’s something that’s becoming quite evident in direct selling right now: Yesterday’s compensation plan design best practices don’t pack the punch that they used to. And no wonder: It’s a completely different world now. And yet, so many direct selling companies are choosing to “tweak” their plans, adding some flashy trends on top of an otherwise outdated foundation. I get the hesitancy. Changing compensation plans is not for the faint of heart (or the weak of mind). It’s scary to move into … [Read more...]
Embracing a Next-Steps Mentality
I go to a church that is built on a simple but profound principle: help people take their next step in their spiritual journey. When you hear it explained, it’s a pretty powerful concept. The idea is that everyone, no matter where on their journey they are, has a next step to take. Everyone can progress. Everyone can still become more. In many ways, I feel like this is the underlying promise that every direct sales company offers. As an industry that celebrates personal development, what we … [Read more...]
3 Stats Direct Selling Companies Must Pay More Attention to in 2023
One of the things I love about my job as a consultant to direct selling companies is that I get to work with a variety of companies at a variety of stages. And while I see little nuances and differences among them all, I can promise you that all direct selling companies have much more in common than they think. So, when I start to see some work that I’m doing with several clients resonate at a really high level, it makes me think, “That would make for a great article!” And today’s article is … [Read more...]
What Norms Aren’t Worth Rushing Back to?
As we all do everything we can to rush back to normal, stop and consider what “normals” actually aren’t worth rushing back to. I heard this statement on a podcast recently. It’s not a podcast specific to direct sales, but it’s a statement that has haunted me over the last 10 days or so. As we navigate our way past the initial shock and awe of the pandemic, and now settle into figuring out what to do now, I think every strategic discussion should incorporate this question as its starting … [Read more...]
Our Story Is Better Than Their Story. Are You Telling It?
From company announcements to proclamations from the investing world to regulatory agency decisions to even a TV series, there is no shortage of hot opinions and big news in the world of direct selling. As the old saying goes, “any news is good news.” But is that really true here? It seems the only news we’re getting falls in the “bad news” category. Further, the only opinions those of us in the industry are giving are just opinions and pontifications on that bad news. Maybe the reason it … [Read more...]
How to Create a Marketing Roadmap That Gets Results
Marketing and communications have never been more important within the direct sales industry than they are right now. While good marketing always has been a common thread among successful companies, it’s often been overlooked as a recognized driver, playing second fiddle to compensation plan design, product development, field training and the like. Today’s direct sales marketing leader has a lot on his or her plate. In a new way, the industry is recognizing the need to deliberately … [Read more...]
Free Webinar – Strategic Planning Done Right with Brett Duncan
What thoughts go through your head when you hear the phrase "Strategic Planning?" Do you shudder in fear at the thought of late nights prepping spreadsheets and powerpoint decks? Do you start to yawn as you think of sitting idle for days on end in the same conference room chair? Do you get anxious feeling like you're already behind and that your planning process is more of a thorn in your flesh instead of a strategic advantage? REGISTER NOW Turn Planning into Something You Want to Do (Not … [Read more...]
What is Your Onliness Statement?
If you haven’t read Marty Neumier’s book ZAG, the best advice I can give you is to leave this page and immediately go find one of Neumier’s books. Both ZAG and The Brand Gap represent milestone moments in my own understanding of how marketing works best. In ZAG, Neumier suggests creating an “onliness statement” for your product or company. Here’s how it works: Our brand is the only _______ that _______. That’s it. Fill in the blanks however you see fit. For example: We are the … [Read more...]
The 9 Overlooked Benefits of an Attractive Customer Program
Plenty of experts have reported on and provided suggestions about how to respond to new regulatory requirements and best practices that have popped up in direct selling over the past two years. One of those best practices is the creation of a strong and distinct customer program, in which a customer would be allowed and encouraged to purchase products and, in most cases, receive a discount without having to become a distributor and have the ability to earn income. My thinking on this is… why … [Read more...]
Why SEO Matters for Direct Sales Companies
At the corporate office, one question you have to be constantly asking yourself is, “How can we help our individual reps in ways that they can’t help themselves?” Answers to this question typically hover in the more logistical area of the business. Shipping product. Mailing checks. Creating products. These are all things that a sizeable corporate entity, not an individual sales rep, should focus on streamlining. It ultimately helps facilitate evangelism, which is what we’re all … [Read more...]
Are You Just Strategically Wishing?
The next time the strategic planning season is upon you, don’t do what most smart, well-meaning people do. My experience has shown me that most people confuse the words “strategy” and “wish.” They’ll bellow decrees of how 2018 will be the year we increase sales, or boost recruiting, or retain more customers. Sounds great; who doesn’t want to do any of that stuff? But it’s not a strategy. Difference Between Wishes & Strategy Wishes usually encompass only the “what.” They answer the … [Read more...]
What Can the NFL Draft Teach Us About Strategy?
Last week (April 27, 2017), we Americans got to enjoy what has quickly become a national holiday. Or at least it seems that way. It's the NFL Draft. Lots of analysis and educated guessing goes into the days, weeks and even months leading up to it. And since the draft, there's been no shortage of grading and analysis, as well. I definitely get excited about the draft, too, but for different reasons. I absolutely love what the NFL draft teaches us about strategy. Because, even though all 32 … [Read more...]