One of the most powerful tools available to companies is the distributor council. Whether it’s an MLM distributor council or a Home Party Plan Consultant council, such a council is comprised of field leaders who meet with the corporate team in a spirit of collaboration. Variations in councils, member selection criteria, venues, purposes, outputs and frequency present an interesting challenge. One thing is for sure, distributor councils work; and great distributor councils work great!
Purposes of MLM Distributor Councils
The purposes for which a distributor advisory council may be established are numerous. It may be a one-time council to solve a significant problem. It may be convened for a period, such as six months or a year, in order to oversee or participate in an important project. It may be a rotating council with evolving duties and areas of focus. Regardless of the purpose for establishing a council, the effective distributor advisory councils have several very important things in common.
First, councils can wield power—and they should. On the other hand, convening a council can take your best workers out of their environment and cause a loss of momentum of not handled correctly. The irony of this dilemma is that if the wrong kind of power is given, or claimed, the most powerful and effective leaders immediately lose their true power and effectiveness that comes through providing leadership in the field.
Second, distributor councils can represent the voice of the field while carrying the message of the company back to the field. The most effective councils are comprised of leaders who are in the trenches, constantly testing the pulse, handling objections and making presentations and enrolling new recruits. Their highest calling is with their people, and the good ones know what’s going on. Involvement in any council is secondary in overall importance.
Finally, they provide a potentially effective group for test markets, focus groups and advisory services. We say “potentially” because, again, if the right people make it to the council and if you really listen to what they have to say and then act on it, you will enjoy stronger growth and retention. Period.
Some of the purposes for which councils are assembled and convened include the following:
- Periodic (quarterly / monthly) communications between corporate and field leaders. Sometimes, nothing beats knee-to-knee, eyeball-to-eyeball, belly-to-belly communication!
- Frequent “download” of important lessons learned in the field, what’s working and what’s not working
- Regular off-loading of concerns, objections, complaints that commonly land with the field leaders but don’t always seem to be heard at the corporate office
- Confidential testing of concepts, upgrades and improvements (products, compensation, service)
- Brainstorming solutions to extremes: downturns or fast growth
- Recognition, bonding and team building
- Instruction, training and development
Free Guide to MLM Distributor Councils
LaunchSmart™ will send you the free definitive MLM guide on distributor councils, which presents the key considerations for selecting a council, assembling the council and getting full mutual benefit from council involvement in the strategic planning and tactical implementation of your company’s growth and retention plan. The guide addresses in detail the following areas related to distributor councils:
- Criteria and Selection
- Helpful Tips