Recent articles in USA Today and The Wall Street Journal shared information from the Pew Research Center in Washington about the new surge of 18-34-year-old women whose rally cry is “show me the money.” The articles cited that two-thirds of these women say being successful in a high-paying career is one of the most important things or a very important thing in their lives, but they still want to have a good marriage and be good parents.
As I was reading those articles, I realized they wanted the same thing I had enjoyed for many years, which is also the reason why I am a strong advocate of direct selling as being the ideal way to earn money and maintain a healthy balance in life. Unfortunately, many prospects who look into joining a direct selling company have the perception of very part-time work for a little extra money. Indeed, the facts do support that a small percentage of direct sellers earn a lot of money while the majority earn incomes comparable with part-time work. What’s missing in this thinking process is that the opportunity to earn a lot of money is available to anyone who wants to pursue it. Therefore, changing perceptions is something every company and every leader are very much concerned about. I have always believed that in building companies and organizations we get exactly what we look for. As a result, we must be sure that we are asking for what we truly want. Anything less will produce results that are less than what we want. As I thought about the articles I mentioned earlier, I also thought about the mental checklist I always refer to when coaching or speaking to today’s independent contractors.
I have always believed that in building companies and organizations we get exactly what we look for.
Does the company literature ask what the company is looking for? If two-thirds of women are looking for a high-paying career then it simply makes sense to position the marketing material to the target audience. This is simple, yet easy not to do.
Are the Starter Kits positioned as the first step to opening a business? I have often observed “kits on sale,” and subsequently, organizational leaders who drift to promoting the reduced price of the kit as the reason to get started, forgetting to position the kit as the first step to opening a business. Kits on sale can be a great incentive when accompanied by a business conversation. For example, “Right now is the perfect time to get started because with the special offer to join you can use the savings to add a few items to your kit, which will help you increase your sales and earnings.” A brief word of caution: Those who are attracted to discounted starter kits can easily become “kit-nappers” who can drive your consultants and leaders insane as they try to get them to hold their first party. Based on my observations, only about 10–30 percent of “kit-nappers” ever place an order. Imagine what could happen with a small tweak in the marketing message to ensure the purchase of the kit is always positioned as the first step to opening a business.
The message creates the result. I recently conducted a Direct Selling Leadership boot camp, and I was amazed at how many leaders came up to me after three and a half days of intensive training and said, “Wow, I get it now. For the first time I discovered what I was doing wrong and now I know what I can do to correct it so I get better results.” Many of the attendees were excited to learn how changing their offer can change their results. Past attendees shared experiences about how the quality of their prospects improved when they began to talk about the business opportunity more and the kit less. Some attendees made a simple change in their home presentations and went from talking about earning a couple hundred dollars per month to having guests paint a picture of what would happen if they brought an additional $1,000 into their family household income.
Women are not only earning more, but also making spending decisions on over 85 percent of the income that comes into the family’s household, which is why it’s important to get them to see in their minds what they would do with the additional income. One consultant attendee who was also a full-time teacher told me she changed her goal from “hold a couple parties” per month to “earn a minimum of $1,000 per month.” Shifting her goal from a vague notion of doing parties into achieving a specific dollar amount redefines the message she tells herself every day, which will have a huge impact on creating the results she is looking for.
Corporate attendees to the same workshop also discovered how simple changes in the marketing messages could educate their leaders to look for and attract more business builders for their company. Many were surprised to find out they were not training their leaders to a high enough level to help them get better results and higher income. As a side note, you can’t have a compensation plan that tells them they can make a six-figure income and then not have a step-by-step training system that helps them reach it.
The rule of thumb is “Simplify to Multiply.” Reward mediocrity and you’ll just keep getting more of it. If you want superstars, reward superstars! Are you showing them the money or the incentives? If today’s women are looking for high-paying careers and your company has the ability to provide them, why wouldn’t you want to offer it? More important, what are you doing consistently to make them aware of the possibilities of achieving the incomes they desire? While speaking at conventions and leadership conferences I often ask those who are working a full-time job in addition to their direct selling business to stand. A large percentage of the audience is on their feet, and then I ask them to remain standing if they would like to quit their full-time job and use their direct selling business as their sole means of income. About 50 percent of them remain standing, which proves they want it but are not sure how to get it.
Paint the bigger picture! When independent consultants recognize that they are building a business, more earn more money, which is the primary reason they join. For over 22 years I have taught a system that focuses on how to paint the bigger picture and raise the bar for the people recruited as well as the importance of presenting the income opportunity consistently in all conversations and encounters. The result is less incentive-driven consultants and more income-driven consultants. These types of consultants also find it easier to talk about sponsoring as a way to increase income, and it should be no surprise that they then also win the most incentives, and gain the greater promotions and recognition.
Mirroring the statistics in the Pew Research Report, there are many people in your company who want to earn lots more than they are earning now, but they don’t know how to get it or are confused because the company message may not be in alignment with the team they would like to build. What can you do to help more people have more success, earn more income and begin living the life they want and deserve?
Karen Phelps is an author, professional speaker and direct selling industry expert. Sign up for free newsletters at www.karenphelps.com. To hire Phelps to inspire and motivate your audience, contact her at (248) 625-4897.