Launching a new Direct Selling Company (home party or MLM) and getting it off the ground can be a very complex and difficult process. Especially if you’re doing it on your own. Unlike many things, the world of Direct Sales is not something that you can just YouTube and find easy-to-follow tutorials on how to effectively build and grow a Direct Selling Company. There are many areas that must be considered, such as building your compensation plan (and keeping it legal), training your field, compliance, legal, your sales pitch, how to motivate your sales force, recruiting, retention, logistics, what software are you going to use, how do you keep a balanced budget, communication with your field, customer service, social marketing, and the list goes on and on. The best practices for each of these disciplines is truly unique for the world of direct selling. Much of what drives the peculiarities is the fact that your products will be demonstrated and sold by an army of independent field sales reps – who will make a decision each day whether or not to work their business and stay with your company.
Because of these complexities, only 20% of all direct selling startups are in business after one year. The other 80% have failed in their attempt to launch. However, what we have found is that if the entrepreneurs will take the time early to learn and follow proven best practices and processes for starting and running a direct selling company – that success rate is as high as 80% still in business and growing after one year.
We want more successes and less failures! We’re sure you do to! Failures are bad for the industry and leave thousands of independent sales reps’ dreams laying in the wake. Successes breed confidence and good will in the direct selling industry and help independent sales reps reach their dreams and aspirations. To increase success rates – YOUR success, we have brought together in one place, at one event, the industry’s leading experts in these different fields to educate you on Best Practices of Starting, Building, and Growing your Direct Selling Business.
The Direct Selling Symposium is a place of education, learning, and mentoring – and includes front-of-the-room instruction as well as individual coaching sessions. It is NOT a time when services are sold – in fact it is prohibited. Whether you’re an entrepreneur starting from scratch or leveraging your existing business by diversifying into the direct selling space – attending the Direct Selling Symposium will shave years off your learning curve, and dramatically increase the likelihood of success. We look forward to seeing you there!
So . . . you’ve decided to start a direct selling company. Or at least you’re seriously considering it. You’re contemplating entering into that great world of MLM or party plan marketing – or some cross between the two. I still remember when I entered direct selling. It was over a decade ago. I was acting as an advisor to executive teams and I was leveraging specific areas of expertise that I had developed outside of network marketing. I had started, operated, and sold a half-dozen businesses of my own. As I began my career as a consultant to direct selling companies, a colleague who was experienced in the industry gave me some sage advice. He said: “Dave, about 70% of what you know about traditional business will apply with just a bit of adaptation. But the other 30% is REALLY different.” I remember thinking at the time – how different can it really be? Well, it’s very different.
Here’s what you’re getting into. Your products or services will be sold through a network of independent representatives – let’s just call them distributors. Each of those distributors will decide to “join” your company because someone they know and trust (another one of your distributors) recommends it to them, and because they like the products or services you’ll be offering. Most of them have probably already had some kind of personal experience with network marketing – and most of the time it probably wasn’t all that positive. If they haven’t been directly involved in MLM before, they most likely have some negative stereotypical ideas about it. But they’re taking a leap of faith. They hope your products and services actually provide the benefits that have been touted. And they hope they can make some extra money, like their friend has told them. They hope you’re a great company with a great leadership team, as has been promised. But they don’t yet believe. And they don’t even know you, your company, or your executive team yet – let alone trust you!
This is the very person, times thousands, who will make or break your business. And every day they will decide whether or not they are going to continue using your products or services and whether or not they are going to recruit others. They will do that based a great deal on how they “feel” and how much trust and belief they have in you and your company. And how you handle every single interaction with them, from the time they sign up, to when they open their first shipment, to every call they have with your customer service team, to the training you provide them, to the compensation system you offer, and on and on – will determine whether they move forward and do anything, or do nothing. A few even slightly negative experiences because you haven’t got the right systems in place – and you’ve lost them! And without them, you have nothing!
So, attending the Direct Selling Symposium is an acknowledgement that you are stepping into a unique, and very powerful, and potentially very lucrative business model – and that you must learn the best practices from industry experts who are most qualified to teach them to you. It is an investment in your future, and dramatically increases the probability of your success. Welcome to the wacky world of direct selling! I look forward to meeting you, and serving you!
Ken related any buying experience to purchasing a Flat Screen TV. If you go into Best Buy, you will find a wall FULL of flat screens that you can buy, most of them have very similar features, price points are comparable for a lot of them, and the overall choice is usually not a very clear one.
He said if we get to the end of the wall you will be looking at a SONY for $2000 and a Samsung for $500. Both are the same size, both have similar features, and as you are standing there looking and deciding, a young man in khakis and a blue shirt jogs up and mentions he noticed you eying the SONY.
From there, this highly trained young man proceeds to give you all of the amazing capabilities of the SONY:
|Warranty Terms – Parts||1 year limited|
|Warranty Terms – Labor||1 year limited|
|Weight||11.1 lbs. with stand (10.6 lbs. without)|
|TV Type||LED Flat-Panel|
|Screen Size Class||32"|
|Screen Size (Measured Diagonally)||31-1/2"||Size of the screen, in inches, measured diagonally from corner to corner.|
|Vertical Resolution||720p||Maximum number of horizontal lines (or pixels) that can be displayed from the top of the TV screen to the bottom. The greater the number of lines, the better the picture.|
|Screen Refresh Rate||60Hz||This refers to how many times per second a TV screen image is completely reconstructed. A TV with a 60Hz refresh rate means that the picture will be completely rebuilt 60 times in one second. Why is this important? Generally, the more the screen is refreshed, the smoother the images will appear.|
|Product Height (with stand)||18-1/4"|
|Product Height (without stand)||17-3/8"|
|Product Depth (with stand)||6-1/2"|
|Product Depth (without stand)||3"|
|HDMI Inputs||2||HDMI carries both digital video and audio (at resolutions up to 1080p) in a single cable. It provides the highest-quality connection between your TV and Blu-ray players, personal computers, video game consoles and more. The more inputs your TV has, the more devices you can connect directly.|
I’m willing to bet that all of you scrolled right past all of the specs that I listed, and not because you are not in the market for a TV, but because specs and details are not sexy. They don’t connect anything to us. Sure HDMI capabilities are important, but I’d like to see you go out and purchase a new TV today that doesn’t have that.
Here is the point: Humans have NEVER made a purchasing decision using our BRAIN, instead we use our GUT, and what makes us feel good, important, validated, powerful, awesome, welcome etc… When someone asks you to make a final decision we don’t say “I’ve evaluated the facts and decided that I will choose the SONY. Instead we say “I FEEL good about the SONY”… Why? Because we all know that when our friends come over to watch the game they will say “WOW… Nice, and it’s a SONY.”
Ken went on to explain how Harley creates disciples, not customers. Brand Ambassadors are not just owners. This is done through something he called "Visible Passion and Enthusiasm." He explains how contagious this is and that people become Visibly Passionate and Enthusiastic by having their own chance to share their story (Which is really your story that becomes part of them through their own personal experience). And here is the kicker in all of this: People love to talk about their favorite person in the world… Themselves!
People want to say “Look at me!” “Notice me!” This is why Facebook and all social networking works. People say look at me, and even more exciting, people validate it and say “I like that”. The result is dopamine, and people are addicted to it. So where all of this is leading to is that in order to differentiate your company from all the other companies out there, the story has to resonate with people in their gut. As you get to the heart, and don’t worry about the head, you will unlock success for your company.
Ken closed with this: “What is the message that you want them to share, and how are you going to get them to share it?”
Miche began with a spill and every intention of being the next great kiosk company in every mall across America. Over its short 5½ year history Miche evolved its wholesale manufacture business model working with distributors, retailers, home shopping networks, direct TV marketing, tradeshows, and home parties. With a product that is unlike anything on the market place and that demands to be picked up and “experienced”, Miche found its place and future in home parties. Growing from 300 distributors to 16,000 representatives sharing the business every day the sales growth from $200,000 in its first year to over 80 Million dollar company in just five years is in no small part a direct result of and the unexpected avenue of distribution and the passion of the people who represent Miche, now all over the globe.
The tour will be hosted by Jayma Woods, Executive Vice President of Domestic Distribution, who has been with the company since the beginning. She has held several key roles at the company and is now responsible for managing its team of Account Representatives and Regional Managers. Miche Bag Distributors thrive under Woods’ guidance, and her commitment to and passion for the company and its products are truly contagious.
The tour will be held on February 20, 2013, the day before the symposium. It is an optional event, and space is limited, so be sure to add “Optional Company Tour” when you register. This promises to be an exciting and informative event for everyone, especially for home party plan companies and traditional retail businesses adding or switching to a direct selling model.
Thanks Sonia (from India) for the question about big companies going MLM.
Here is a question for the MLM Consultant about big companies going MLM. I am planning to launch a new MLM company and I am beginning to see that the model is very strong. Why don’t big established companies start MLM as the returns in this are huge. Is there something I am missing?
The MLM Expert Response:
A surprising number of large companies are considering, testing, and actually launching MLM divisions. We support clients that are confidentially testing new markets. Others have already jumped in. Examples include Kimberly Clark (Fortune 500 Company), Discovery Toys, Dove Chocolate, Jockey, and Maidenform. Direct selling is a business model that works well for many products and services, and we believe that it will continue to gain prominence and acceptance in the global markets.
That’s one of the reasons we are wildly excited about MLM!
Thanks for contacting us. Terrel
P.S. Be sure to join us at the Direct Selling Symposium. You’ll be amazed by all that you will learn about starting and running a successful direct selling company. Here’s the link: www.directsellingsymposium.eventbrite.com
We’re happy to announce a new monthly startup conference for MLM and home party startups.
How will this be different from other conferences? Here are our audacious claims:
- It will be held in a city that’s easy to get to, a full one-day seminar
- We will hold it on a Friday each month so that you only have to take a day from your other work. We know that most of our clients have commitments to juggle
- There will be no selling! Honestly, it will be a conference with just the right balance and depth of information to help start-up and early-stage companies at all levels
- It is designed as a springboard from which you can return home and get right to work
- You’ll receive materials, guides, and tools that we have developed over decades in working with the direct selling giants
- The curriculum will feature four separate presenters who have received the coveted DSA (Direct Selling Association) Partnership Award. This is the first-ever (and ONLY) conference with this caliber of presenters all in a single event
- We’ll cover compensation plan, legal, software, best practices, forecasting, funding, and getting your first 1,000 recruits. Plus more!
- We’re nice people and we want you to succeed!
We invite you to take a close look at the MLM Startup Conference that begins in March. Click here to register at the LaunchSmart website.
Accepting the 2009 DSA Partnership Award, Top MLM Consultant Terrel Transtrum thanked the audience of more than 1,000 of his colleagues and peers, “The DSA tonight recognizes the extreme value of serving distributors well, of doing all we can to assure their success.”
“To the front-line customer service agents who wrangle with the most challenging issues in business, who put on their best faces every morning, and who represent our companies with confidence and courage, this award sends the message that you are our best hope for keeping relationships into the relationship business of direct selling.”
The Direct Selling Association Partnership Award recognizes supplier member companies that provide the most impactful and measurable services and goods to its members. Terrel Transtrum is the first and only MLM Consultant to receive the prestigious DSA Partnership Award for services related to MLM Best Practices, MLM Customer Service, MLM Operations, MLM Startup, and related coaching provided by an MLM Consultant and MLM Consulting Team.