Can Your Direct Selling Firm Survive Our Strong Economy?
As of this writing, the U.S. labor market is surging. Isn’t this just the worst?
Most people would read this opening and wrinkle their brows in confusion. But as a direct selling professional, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Your company may very well be struggling to recruit people who really want to build businesses selling your products. If so, you’re probably wondering why this would be so difficult in a strong economy. Actually, it’s probably the strong economy that’s causing the difficulty. (Stay with me here….)
Why It’s Getting Harder to Recruit Sales Reps
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we reached an important milestone in April 2018. For the first time in at least 20 years, the number of unemployed workers dropped below the number of open jobs in the U.S.
This means companies are doing so well that they can’t even find enough skilled workers to fill the positions they’re creating.
This situation can actually hurt direct selling firms in a couple of ways. First of all, when people are able to find demanding full-time employment, they’re probably going to be less likely to explore income opportunities as sales reps for companies like yours. It takes a lot of discipline to come home from the 8-to-5 rat race, change gears, and then do even more work in the evenings or on weekends.
But even people who are less inclined towards full-time positions are changing their attitude toward direct selling. There’s lots of part-time work available. People who value flexibility as much as salary are often choosing to take a part-time position as a sort of “gig,” and then do some direct selling work on the side as another “gig.”
In other words, they’re not looking to be one of your top distributors. But they’ll be happy to try to sell a few hundred bucks worth of your products every month.
These realities can and should change your strategy for growing your direct selling business in a robust economy.
Instead of More Recruitment, Try This
People who have “star distributor” potential are getting harder and harder to find. But the flip side—the good news in this good economy—is that with such low unemployment, the population at large has more money to spend.
So if you’ve been knocking yourself out trying to attract new sales reps and wondering what you’re doing wrong, maybe it’s time to give yourself a break. I’m not saying you should stop recruiting distributors—I’m saying it’s not worth pouring all your energy into something that’s so challenging right now.
In a strong economy, people want to buy, not sell. Go where the money is. Divert more resources into attracting new customers. Get your name out there. The quality of your products will speak for itself—and in time, some of your most ardent customers will naturally want to become distributors anyway.
When you do recruit sales reps in this economy, just remember to focus on what a cool gig it is to sell your products. Talk about the flexibility of working anywhere and anytime. Emphasize that there’s no pressure to be a six-figure distributor—and that many people with day jobs appreciate the chance to generate some extra spending money by working with you.
Stand together, direct selling professionals. Together, we can survive this great economy (and yes, my tongue is firmly in my cheek).
We’re very excited about these upcoming capabilities in the DirecTech Labs platform. Take a closer look at how DirecTech Labs works.
We have a lot more to share about how you can address your retention problem. It’s probably easier if you read our eBook: How Direct Selling Can Use AI to Solve The Age-Old Retention Problem
Learn how PM-International achieved up to 27% revenue uplift over 6 months by extending the lifespan of its distributors and customers around the world. Download the case study here.