May is the time of year when many direct sales companies are sending their top achievers on incentive trips. Some of you are just returning, and I’m hearing feedback from my coaching clients about how much fun they’ve had, how special they feel, and how easy it was once they applied a few simple strategies to their business.
If your direct sales business could use a little inspiration, consider working towards earning your company incentive trip. Here are a few tips to get you on your way to being on the boat the next time the company sets sail to an exotic locale, or for any incentive your company may be offering throughout the year:
- Run your direct sales business like there’s always an incentive going on. If you wait for an incentive, chances are good, you’ll spend the first half of the incentive period trying to line up shows/presentations and recruiting interviews. That wastes too much time. Incentives are designed to reward business growth. If your direct sales business is always in growth mode, it’s far easier to hit the incentive goals.
- Do more than the minimums in your direct sales business. Rarely is a direct sales incentive program focused on rewarding people that are barely getting by. Expect that you’ll have to book more shows into your calendar, hold more interviews, and increase your sales by at least half again as much as your company’s minimum performance expectations.
- Partner with others for accountability and support. One consultant that still holds the recruiting award for her company added more than 50 new recruits to her front line in a single month. She didn’t do it alone. Her family rallied around her, took over much of her home responsibilities, and gave her the freedom to schedule recruiting interviews, hold more parties, and hit all her goals. If you have an unsupportive family, you need to connect with other consultants (or your leader), to help you be successful.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. I’ve heard horror stories from consultants that submitted their final qualifying show within minutes of the deadline – only to find out they didn’t qualify because there was a declined credit card, or some other error with the show. Plan your schedule to ensure that you’ve got at least a 3 day cushion from your last submitted show. That way, if there are problems, you can resolve them before the incentive deadline passes.
- Play the numbers. We’ve talked about how direct sellers can use quarterly planning and keeping track of the numbers in your direct sales business. Include incentive program goals in your planning process. If your annual trip requires 6 new recruits, plan for adding those recruits. Know how many interviews you have to do to recruit those 6 and make it your goal to schedule the interviews – again at LEAST 3 days before the deadline. For recruits, you may need a few days more. Look at the numbers in your business and know where you need to improve.
- Don’t sacrifice relationships for prizes. Never push someone into buying, booking, or joining your team just because you want to earn an incentive reward. In truth, the company doesn’t care if you win the incentive prize, what they really want is for you to grow your business and be more successful. You should want the same thing for yourself and each of your team members. Imagine how you’d feel if you later found out that someone pushed you into doing something for their own gains rather than your own best interests? It’s better to miss out on the trip by one recruit, than to push that person and have hard feelings for the rest of your working time together. Plus, my own research has found that those that are pushed rarely stick around more than a month or two. That’s too much work for too little return in my book. Plus, you’ll develop a reputation for being a pushy consultant – making it even harder to build your business in the future.
Trust these guidelines to help you grow a successful direct sales business, and not only will you see your performance improve during the incentive period, you’ll also improve the way your business performs throughout the year.
© 2010 Lisa Robbin Young.
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Lisa Robbin Young is a certified direct sales marketing coach, teaching direct sellers to grow their business like a real business instead of an expensive hobby. Sign up for her free weekly ezine at http://www.homepartysolution.com/