In our last article, we described a common miscommunication between direct selling businesses and their target audience of distributors.
Companies keep trying to appeal to distributors by offering the possibility of massive monthly earnings. But most distributors aren’t considering direct sales as a means of getting rich—they’re simply looking for a gig, and they think of your firm as a fun, flexible way to supplement their income. They realize, even if you don’t, that your direct selling company is part of the gig economy.
How can we fix this communication problem? The answer isn’t easy, but it is simple. Here are four simple steps to getting your firm on the same page with your distributors and customers.
1. Accept that you don’t have all the answers.
Yes, the first step is a rather philosophical one. Cast aside all your assumptions about what makes your distributors tick. Be willing to learn everything you can about how to keep your people motivated to sell and buy your products.
If you’re truly open to absorbing as much knowledge as possible, then you’ll naturally start looking for the tools that can help you do that quickly. That leads us to our next step.
2. Implement the same tools that companies are using to understand you.
Did you know you’re being watched right now? It’s true. Your ISP is tracking your internet usage. Facebook knows what you’re into. Google knows what you’re emailing about.
We’re not trying to scare you with images of a Big Brother society. In fact, we’re pretty sure that if you stop and think about it, you’ll agree that the companies you patronize now know you almost better than you know yourself.
How do they do it? With artificial intelligence tools that recognize patterns in your behavior, predict your next moves, and are always waiting with another targeted offer.
Such tools also exist for direct selling firms to use on their distributors and customers—for example, DirecTech Labs DISTRO®, an AI that we built specifically for this purpose.
DISTRO spots behavior patterns among your distributors that are hard to detect and starts using this information to your advantage.
3. Segment your distributor base for a deeper understanding.
In a perfect world, you’d be able to understand each and every one of your distributors deeply. But as your direct selling firm grows, this kind of intimacy becomes increasingly difficult.
Do the next best thing: use the behavioral data you’ve gathered to categorize your distributors into behavioral groups. We call this process segmentation—and we’ve written about it in detail.
Segmentation enables you to communicate more effectively with your distributors. Some distributors treat the job as a gig – a way to earn a few extra bucks. You want to communicate with this group of distributors differently than a different group of distributors that treats the job as their primary source of income. What motivates this group is different than what motivates the gigsters.
When you put distributors into distinct groups, you’ll have a much easier time finding the exact messaging that resonates with them. But this process will still require some elbow grease.
4. Experiment—and then experiment again.
Now that you’ve categorized your field into behavior-based groups, it’s time to start experimenting with the types of messaging that will encourage your distributors to do what they’re supposed to do: take care of their downlines or customers.
If you’ve implemented the right tools, you’ll be able to reach your groups easily and measure the results almost instantly. Getting immediate feedback enables you to tweak your messaging and try again and again.
Never stop testing, measuring, and tweaking. When you use a sophisticated AI and messaging platform to communicate with your distributors, you’ll get analytics on what works and what doesn’t. Your next move will always be clear.
Compare that to the status quo, in which direct selling firms are constantly relying on hunches to figure out what will keep distributors motivated—and it takes months to measure the impact of any change in messaging.
If you keep doing that, you’ll be dead in the water. A little technology can go a long way toward helping you understand your Field better and can enhance your Field’s experience with your brand.
Of course, many direct selling firms aren’t implementing AI technology. They’re implementing far more expensive CRM technology (like Salesforce) as their “solution” to the ongoing customer churn problem in our industry. We’ll get into the gory details in our next article.
We have a lot more to share about how you can address your retention problem. It’s probably easier if you read our new eBook: How Direct Selling Can Use AI to Solve The Age-Old Retention Problem.
Sound intriguing? We’d love to tell you more about DISTRO? Contact us with your questions.