In a previous article, we discussed one of the clear advantages of having a day job: there’s a built-in, or extrinsic, motivation involved in working for someone else. You work harder because you want that promotion and raise, or because you’re afraid of getting demoted or fired.
Many people sign on as direct sales distributors because they want to break the shackles of the day job. But then they discover that if they’re actually going to make any money, they’re going to need to tap into their intrinsic motivation.
That’s where you come in. If you’re charged with getting the most out of your distributors, you’ve probably launched programs designed to drive higher sales numbers. And you’ve probably been disappointed before with the results.
At DirecTech Labs, we’ve analyzed the lifecycles of millions of people in the direct sales industry across 40 countries. This encompasses about six years worth of data. In doing so, we’ve found new indicators as to why broad-based motivational programs don’t work. Customers and distributors fall into nine unique behavioral categories.
At one end of the spectrum are the customers who only buy from your company once. At the other end are the top 0.1 percent of distributors—the true superstars. Everyone else falls into one of the seven “in-between” categories.
Now, if you send the same motivational message to all nine of these categories, you may very well see a spike in your overall sales numbers. But this will likely be because one or two categories responded extremely well and bumped up their sales. Meanwhile, the other seven categories may have been alienated by your message. In the long run, then, your motivational programs may be doing more harm than good.
How, you may ask, could a motivational message actually alienate or even offend anyone in your distributor base? Don’t we all get dozens of insignificant emails per day and simply delete them?
Well, yes. But put yourself in the shoes of Stacey, who first discovered your company as a customer. She liked your products so much—and shared them with so many of her friends—that she eventually became a distributor. She planned on having two or three parties per year at which she would introduce acquaintances to your products, provide lots of samples, have tons of fun, and make a little extra spending money.
Monday morning, Stacey receives your email offering a bonus to any distributor who sells $2,000+ in product over the next 30 days. Then she gets a call from her upline pushing her to run for it.
Stacey scratches her head and thinks, “What’s the most I’ve ever sold in a month….$300? What am I doing wrong? Maybe I’ll never really succeed at this. Maybe I’m not good enough.
Stacey may very well delete the email, but by sending her that message, you’ve planted the idea in her mind that she’s a small fry. A mediocrity. Someone who’s relatively unimportant to your company if she’s not trying to play a big game.
Of course, we all know that if you attract enough Staceys who are consistent about having two or three product parties per year, your bottom line will look just fine.
So, how about tailoring your messages to people like Stacey? How about offering her training that is appropriate for the pace and volume of business she’s best suited for? She’ll stick around longer, be more loyal to your brand, and keep bringing in all sorts of new customers and team members for far longer than she would have otherwise.
This is what hyper-personalization enables you to do. And it’s built into the DirecTech Labs artificial intelligence (AI) platform.
Hyperpersonalization helps you understand and send targeted messages to the segments of distributors and customers in your company. You may find that several of your segments are so similar that they’ll be motivated by the same messages, though not necessarily at the same time in their lifecycle. But at least, just breaking out your messaging into several tiers across your organization can do wonders for your results.
For example, you might send one message for your top-tier distributors as well as two lower tiers who aspire to get there. You could send another message to those who are at varying stages of building a business. A third message could address your Staceys. And a fourth could invite your longtime customers to refer friends for other rewards outside of cash and promotions.
Not everything you try will work, of course. But with the right management philosophies and tracking metrics in place, you’ll learn and evolve rapidly.
At DirecTech Labs, AI Distro® analyzes customer and field behavior, segmenting all of your people on a daily basis. Distro sends hyper-personalized alerts that motivate the right people into actions they can feel confident in taking. Today we focus on keeping people active longer. Marketing teams use Distro’s insights to create more targeted email campaigns. Sales teams use these insights to rethink how, when, and what sorts of promotions to run. You’ll motivate everyone appropriately for their level, without overwhelming your newcomers or boring your go-getters. 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 25% revenue uplift over 6 months by extending the lifespan of its distributors and customers around the world. Download the case study here.