Direct Sales 201: Leadership Excellence

Direct Sales is a nearly $30 Billion industry in the U.S. alone. With over 16 million consultants across the country, and sales growth that has continued to increase over the past ten years, you’d think it would be easy, right?

Well, divide that money up over all the consultants in the U.S. and you’ll quickly see that it equals about $1875 per consultant per year. Not what I’d call a living wage. And the fact of the matter is that for every 100 consultants in the industry, only 8 of them are working more than 30 hours per week at their career.

Most of the direct sellers that are working more than 30 hours per week in their business are direct sales leaders. In an industry with 16 millions consultants, millions of products, and thousands of companies to choose from, there’s a problem for companies and leaders alike – retention.

In fact, the number of consultants joining the business outpaces sales growth by more than double.

That means that sales are increasing, but that more consultants are in the field competing for those sales dollars.

Which makes retention an even bigger problem for leaders today. With so many choices, compensation plans, and products, we’re witnessing a mass exodus of teams from one company to another, where they think the grass might be greener, or they’ve been promised a special bonus from the company when they move to a the new company.

All of this migration is caused by three factors:

  • Training
  • Survival
  • Loyalty

Consultants are trained to focus on the short-term. The old “carrot and stick” routine to encourage consultants to behave in a certain way for a period of time doesn’t work like it used to.

It’s time train leaders and consultants how to run a consistently profitable business, and hold our teams accountable to a higher standard of excellence. I’ve said over and over again:

“We train people how to behave based on what we tolerate and what we expect.”

The companies of the direct selling industry are no different. They’ve trained their sales force for decades to expect pay for performance, and now, when the performance piece is more difficult, you’ve got teams dropping like flies.

You can’t blame consultants for jumping ship to the next new shiny company on the block. They’ve got basic needs of their families to meet. Many consultants are single parents or sole providers for their family. If they’re not seeing results in their business, and something better looking comes along, you can’t fault them looking for a way to survive. No amount of reward and recognition is going to keep them loyal when they can’t put food on the table.

Loyalty is an issue that affects all sides of the leadership equation. Leaders are the frustrated middle men when the home office makes an announcement that ruffles the feathers of the sales force. Comp plans are changing in many companies, new requirements are being instituted as a matter of saving companies from going under.

The leaders that have been there all along don’t feel they’re being heard, and their teams are frustrated to boot. Or worse, companies are closing up shop and giving leaders only a few days notice. That’s like working a job for ten or twelve years making a good living, and then being told that in seven days it’s all going away.

That hurts. It creates distrust. I’ve experienced it first hand with several direct sales companies – both as a leader and a consultant. You have teams that want explanations, and you have none to give. It leaves everyone with a bitter taste in their mouth and a knot in their stomach.

At the same time, I’ve watched some organizations transition fully in tact to a new company, and go on to have record breaking years of growth.

What is it about the sheer loyalty that those consultants had to their leader that made it possible for them to transition relatively effortlessly to a new company? And how can you hone that kind of loyalty for your own direct sales organization?

As a direct sales coach and trainer, I’ve worked with leaders who’ve shared stories like these with me over the years, and every time the questions are the same:

“How do I build a strong team, that I don’t have to babysit, that performs consistently?”
“How do I motivate the “dead weight” on my team to actually do something?”
“How do I get to the point where I am running my business, instead of my business running me?”

Over the course of the past few years, I’ve spent countless hours working with my clients to answer those questions, producing profitable results for their companies, their teams, and themselves.


Direct Sales 201 – Leadership Excellence

Much like our flagship 100-level program for new and established consultants, Leadership Excellence is about building a profitable direct selling business as a leader in your company. Whether you’ve got a team of ten or ten thousand, Direct Sales 201 addresses three key needs in leadership training:

  1. Identify and cultivate consistent, productive consultants to increase organizational sales.
  2. Identify and cultivate new leaders to grow your organization and increase team bonus income.
  3. Inspire your team to stay active and consistent to build a stable, profitable financial foundation for your business.

This 12-week multi-media program is designed to help today’s direct sales leader identify and cultivate a team of consistent, productive consultants, to increase organizational sales results, increase your own profits, and free up your time to focus on core business activities and still have a life of your own.

Direct Sales 201 is a course several years in the making. After working on these concepts with my own team, I shared this knowledge with my private coaching clients, helping them reach new heights in their own businesses. The results surprised even me. But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what happened to Phyllis in our first 90 days working together:

“I wanted to share this with you …  our commission checks were just posted …. OMGOODNESS, I think I’m going to have a heart attack! It is double my highest commission check yet! HOLY SCHMOLY!

“Our team is now at 1,063 consultants; our total team sales were over $800,000.00 in October; my personal team sales were over $150,000.00; 220 new consultants joined our team (34 joined my first line); 3 promoted to Senior Consultant; 2 promoted to Director, 2 promoted to Senior Director, and I promoted to Senior Executive Director (all promotions should be “official” on November 5 (there are more promotions, too, within my personal Directors’ downlines that I will know about later). Thanks for everything Lisa!”

Phyllis O’Neill
Executive Director, Thirty-One Gifts

Read more client raves & reviews here (opens in a new window)

Every leader deserves to have results like that – if they’re working their business effectively. Direct Sales 201 bridges the gap that exists in the current leadership training on the market. It’s a comprehensive, affordable program that covers all the elements of building a profitable business as a direct sales leader. Take a look at what you’ll learn in this course:

  • Why your wants, goals, and dreams only matter to you (and how to make them more important to your organization).
  • How to identify your leadership style, and cultivate the three other leadership styles in your organization.
  • How to pinpoint the exact needs of your team, and train them to be more engaged and more productive.
  • Why every team has some “dead weight” and how to keep it to a minimum in your organization.
  • How to effectively create a “recruiting culture” with your leadership team.
  • The three core needs of every leader, every consultant, and how to meet those needs without killing yourself or babysitting them.
  • The three things you must do to build a loyal team that will “eat nails for you”
  • How to protect yourself and your income in the event of a company closure or major shake-up in your direct sales company.
  • And more

It’s Never Been Easier To Train Your Leaders To Be More Effective

Direct Sales 201 features easy to follow, quick to implement strategies that are suited to the time-crunched direct sales leader. If you’re a leader with a team of ten or ten thousand, Direct Sales 201 provides a powerful set of tools to help you get your team started on the right foot – with a business-focused mindset and training that helps them understand the responsibilities of leadership like never before.

Bite-sized training

Each module is delivered in several short segments – perfect for a time-crunched leader that’s looking for quick, easy to implement, actionable ideas they can put to work immediately in their business. With 12 different modules, there are dozens of videos in this program designed to help you get more out of your business. Plus, we’ve included a set of bonus videos from some well-known authors and leaders in the business world. This will help your team get even more clarity on what it means to run a successful, profitable business instead of an expensive hobby.

“Trickle Down” Team Training

Each module also contains a “take it back to the team” segment that allows you to take what you’ve learned and deliver training to your leadership team in a way that works for them. That’s 12 training lessons to help you navigate the year with ease. My “trickle down” training includes videos and worksheets that you can freely share within your organization. You could develop a year-long monthly coaching program, or a 12-week intensive for aspiring leaders without having to re-invent the wheel.

Audios & Downloads

You’ll also get online playback of the audio training, as well as MP3’s to take on the go, plus PDF transcripts of the audio training. Then of course there are downloadable worksheets, handouts, and supplemental course materials to take this learning even farther and make your team even more successful.

What’s The Investment?

What would having one qualified, consistently profitable leader mean to your organization? When you take this material to your leadership team, the value will be incrementally more! This material could easily bring you and your organization tens of thousands of dollars in new income in the first year of implementation.

Which makes this the deal of the year, because it’s already included in the Direct Sales Classroom enrollment fee. That means you get ALL the Direct Sales 100 level courses AND Direct Sales 201 for a single enrollment fee. Budget-friendly payment plans are also available.



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