This is an interesting and intriguing time to be in our industry. Being a part of the industry for some time, each of us has most likely seen many changes. But one thing always remains steadfast. The backbone of everything in the direct selling space is our salesforce. We can create every tool necessary, however, it’s much more than that. Today’s salesforce is smarter, faster and savvier than ever before. They do their homework and research before they join companies.
In this new digital world, they expect whatever business(es) they choose to work with to be current with trends, simple to operate, profitable—and FAST! Plus, the competition to attract and retain field members is fierce in today’s workforce.
With a 3.7 percent unemployment rate, US employers are aggressively competing for workers everywhere—and the direct selling industry is no exception. Every direct sales business needs a strong, reliable, engaged and satisfied field, so the race for attracting talent in a competitive landscape can be challenging. The direct sales landscape (like all other industries) is unrecognizable compared to a decade ago and even more so in the past three years. Is this a good thing? YES!
The direct sales industry can compete within the gig economy and win! As a channel, we have so much more to offer. We are, after all, The Original Gig. Working from the comfort of home, low start-up cost, quick compensation, company support and personal growth can be much more attractive than many other gig opportunities out there.
Flexible Financial Freedom
How can we do that? Attracting new entrepreneurs means satisfying their expectations. Companies that offer flexible payment options and safe, secure, speedy payments—usually on the same day—provide a better experience; improve attrition rates; and become more attractive to those entrepreneurs looking for a side or full-time home business to join. Instant payments build loyalty, trust, belief and engagement. This, in turn, creates a desire to grow their businesses and the desire to increase income. It becomes a snowball effect.
Instant payments are key to unlocking the vast talent pool of the growing gig economy. The Future of Work: Insights into the 2023 Gig Economy Workforce study conducted by Dr. Robert A. Peterson and John T. Fleming and sponsored PayQuicker found that 83 percent of gig workers cite the importance of being paid immediately for performance when looking for a new gig. The importance of immediate pay for performance was endorsed by the gig workers surveyed, particularly women. A large percentage of the direct sales industry salesforce are female and being paid immediately for performance was stated as more important for female gig workers.
Instant Payment Supports Retention
When asked, “How do you primarily use the money you earn from your gig,” 49 percent of the gig workers surveyed in 2023 stated that they used their gig earnings to pay household bills. This percentage is a significant increase from 2020, when 37 percent of the gig workers surveyed stated that they used their gig earnings to pay household bills. This 12 percent increase for households indicates that independent contractors are relying on being paid on time to pay their bills. Getting instant access to commissions earned could create more loyalty to the brand and support retention of the salesforce.
Another important factor is security and fraud protection. This is extremely important to today’s salesforce. Having a secure, safe platform with secure commission accounts that ensures authentication of the user; has multifactor authentication; bank-grade security; and is compliant with regulations worldwide allows the field to feel safe with their earnings that are deposited into a personal account.
Additionally, a brand debit/credit card validates and helps to promote the entrepreneur’s business, while a reliable payment back office that tracks payments, expenses and even offers tax documents increases the loyalty, trust and belief of the entrepreneur.
Plus, the ability to purchase anywhere with personal branded debit cards (virtual and plastic) instantly, with the option of mobile wallets, is a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Multiple, flexible payment options are key as well. Instant access to a virtual card that they can start spending on immediately upon registration is also extremely important. They want to use their earnings immediately.
What Entrepreneurs Want—and Need
This is what today’s entrepreneur wants with their commissions. While faster payments are just one of many ways that the relationship between the field and the company becomes stronger, it IS known as one of the top items on their checklist when choosing a company to represent.
One last observation which I think is the most important is that those who have fast access to their earnings work harder and more frequently. People love getting paid for a job well done and seeing it in black and white. It helps as a motivator to work toward that $500 needed to pay bills, a mortgage, pay down debt, etc. This is the golden nugget, that intangible that makes a difference. There is no better satisfaction for everyone involved in this industry than seeing those goals achieved and success attained. I’m glad we are all a part of the equation to help their success in an ever-changing and complex economy.
In conclusion, direct selling organizations need a secure and compliant solution to deliver payouts to their salesforce with minimum overhead that caters to the diverse payment needs of all global demographics. Keeping sellers engaged in today’s competitive market is a top priority, while increasing internal efficiencies and reducing costs are key to business growth. Faster payments to your distributors mean they grow their business—and yours—faster.
With over 30 years of experience in the direct sales industry, Darla Brown is a seasoned executive who began her career as a distributor in the field and then moved into the corporate world of direct sales as an executive in sales, marketing and management. As Global Vice President of Customer Growth at PayQuicker, Darla supports new and existing clients with their global payout needs.
From the November 2023 issue of Direct Selling News magazine.