In our last article, I floated the idea that when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) speaks its mind about direct selling, rather than cringing in anticipation of some horrid outcome-—we might listen a bit more deeply as sometimes they are cluing us into an opportunity to build a better business.
As I mentioned, that certainly applies to the FTC’s statements about making realistic income promises to our sales reps. We should also sit up and consider the ideas when the FTC offers advice on the customer experience. Especially in a time when the industry is facing disruption, any opportunity to think outside of our antiquated boxes can often do some good.
At the Direct Selling Association (DSA) Fall Conference, FTC Lois Greisman (Associate Director of the Division of Marketing Practices) said there’s skepticism about how much people are actually using the products offered by direct sales companies.
Companies proudly shout from the rooftops at how much product they are moving. But in some cases, these units are mainly just “moving” from the company’s warehouses to the distributors’ garages. Or (potentially even worse) more often to the homes of customers who made a purchase with intent to use the products, yet they remain in the box weeks after arrival as the initial motivation for the outcome our products promise has faded.
Because most companies focus on acquisition and leave retention to chance, few distributors are taught the value of customer care and are already on to the next before their customer has even received their first product. It’s no wonder so man companies suffer from extremely low re-order rates. It’s no wonder that despite recruiting thousands of new people a month, many companies are surprised to find themselves contracting. This is a failure of customer engagement.
The FTC is right to warn us that we, as an industry, need to keep better track of how much people are actually using our products. The trouble is, that kind of data has been difficult to come by. Even some high-level knowledge about consumption can lead to incredible business value. And today it is possible to get it.
It would be helpful for direct sales companies to know who’s consuming the product, and how much they’re consuming. But it would be even better to be able to measure all of the activities of our sales reps. The more accurately we measure the experience people are having with our products, the better we get at taking care of our customers.
To that end, DirecTech Labs provides tools to help you track exactly what activities your sales reps are engaging in and what the results were. This functionality works equally well for distributors as well as corporate salespeople.
Next year, we’ll be expanding this functionality to let you track your customers. You’ll finally be able to see how much product they’re actually consuming. Not only will you be able to report on this to the FTC, but you’ll gain peace of mind that you’re providing a good customer experience.
We’re very excited about these upcoming capabilities in the DirecTech Labs platform. 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 27% revenue uplift over 6 months by extending the lifespan of its distributors and customers around the world. Download the case study here