The DSN ranking of companies for 2012 is now complete and posted on our website. On April 3 of this past month we had the honor of once again hosting over 300 guests at the 2012 DSN Global 100 Banquet. We always look forward to rolling out the red carpet, bringing in the lights and a bit of glitz, and enjoying an evening of celebration inclusive of the DSN Global 100 recognition. We identify 100 companies, but the evening is always about honoring all who compose and make the direct selling industry possible.
Brian Connolly, Chairman of Miche and former Executive Vice President of Avon, graciously served as the Master of Ceremonies for the entire evening, making the first toast to all of the independent contractors who truly represent the essence of the industry, which is the opportunity to engage in an entrepreneurial-based channel of distribution. Brian then presented the Bravo Momentum Award to It Works! Global and the Bravo Growth Award to Nerium. Both of these companies delivered outstanding, record-breaking performance that served and inspired both consumers and independent business owners during 2012.
Alessando Carlucci, CEO of Natura and Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, received the DSN Bravo Leadership Award and delivered the keynote address. Brazil-based Natura, which sells cosmetics, fragrances and personal-care products, is known for prizing social impact and sustainability as highly as its return to shareholders, even describing the company’s results on them equally in its annual report. Under Carlucci’s leadership, Natura has developed a salesforce of 1.5 million people in Latin America. He brings those same societal and entrepreneurial values into his WFDSA role. Complete coverage of the event and the DSN Global 100 will be published in our June issue.
As we now move through the month of May and look toward this year’s Direct Selling Association Annual Meeting (www.dsa.org), there is much optimism regarding the outlook for direct selling. Recruiting remains strong across the industry from this perspective, and the media attention to job creation should also continue to support increasing interest in direct selling companies. Some of the negative publicity and activities that challenged the industry during the latter part of 2012 may very well have ignited a positive wave of communication supported by the enormous engagement of direct sellers in social media.
Recently, USA Today’s Maria Bartiromo interviewed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde to discuss jobs, growth and the global economy prior to IMF meetings in Washington, D.C. One of Maria’s questions related to the 200 million people around the world who are out of work. Lagarde mentioned in her explanation of solutions the importance of unleashing creative potential and the enterprise spirit that exists pretty much everywhere. As I read this article, it was just another reminder of how important our industry’s story is and what it could mean to so many who still simply do not know what they don’t know. Direct selling companies are of the few who maintain open doors of opportunity to people from all walks of life who are seeking a way to chart their own destiny. Approximately 100 million people (WFDSA data) have already chosen a direct selling opportunity; the companies can certainly serve and support more.
Our cover story this month focuses on that most important period in the life of the new consultant/distributor—the first 90 days! It is referred to by basically every direct selling company as the most critical period in the development process, beginning with how the new person gets engaged. All who say yes to a direct selling opportunity do so because there is a belief that the opportunity can be life-changing. The term “life-changing” may have many different definitions; however, what is actually experienced in the first 90 days usually determines the outcome of the time, money and effort invested. We appreciate very much the open sharing and contributions from the companies who participated in the content of this article.
Good news! We are embracing digital! Beginning in the month of June, our monthly magazine will expand to digital format, enabling access through the Apple Newsstand and Google Play Store. It will be available for iPads and iPhones, as well as Android tablets and smart phones. Expanding to a digital format enlarges the resources of Direct Selling News. Our global friends have found it very difficult to be subscribers due to the postage requirements and the long and often damaging delays in shipment.
Recent data reveals that the use of tablets is expected to exceed 190 million by the end of this year and reach 350 million by the end of 2017. Our new app will allow for links and other information to be shared easily. We are excited about this expansion and the increased exposure it will provide to those who advertise with DSN.
Until next month… enjoy the issue!
Publisher and Editor in Chief