Businesses use the Internet to accomplish a variety of objectives. Party Plan companies use the Internet in much the same ways as network marketing companies, though each has different needs and applications. MLM consultants extol the virtues of the Internet for the following:
- Prospecting and recruiting MLM distributors
- Generating leads
- Distributor service
- Party plan bookings and hostess support
- Enrolling and ordering
- Affiliate websites
- Distributor training
- Back office for genealogies and volume analysis
The Internet world is becoming increasingly complex, and opportunities abound when it comes to supporting distributors. Some companies have shown that it is possible for independent distributors to recruit and build meaningful volumes and organizations while working from a PC. Of course, as success stories surface, a natural question becomes, “If the success of direct selling is in person-to-person selling, how do we become high-tech without trading high-touch?”
One of the advantages that companies exploit is to use the Internet to simplify how to communicate the business opportunity message through electronic sponsoring, educating, training, and mentoring through the use of technology. Not surprisingly, these companies attract volumes in recruits and sales. Yet, sadly their distributor attrition is significantly higher across the board. The point? The price for high volume Internet recruiting is a high rate of distributor attrition unless a company builds in high-touch to augment high tech.
Here is a real-life example: a global direct-selling company conducted a survey that discovered about 40% of recruits in English-speaking United States were work-at-home moms who had turned to the Internet to find home-based businesses that could help them to earn $200 to $300 in extra monthly income. The company found that it was not harnessing the power of the Internet, but that independent distributors were using their skills and prowess to attract and enroll new recruits. Upon closer examination, a significant disconnect occurs when a new recruit seeks to grow through Internet prospecting but neither the company nor the recruiters providing systems or training to show how. As a result, attrition ran rampant among the new recruits.
Remember that technology will never replace person-to-person, eyeball-to-eyeball communications. As technology advances, be diligent in using the available tools to build personal relationships with distributors and customers. The future of MLM business and party plan companies is in how well they harness technology and the Internet.