New distributors hear this as soon as they join; seasoned distributors live it every day; trainers shout it from the rooftops so their organizations get it loud and clear… “Be a product of the product!" What does this mean?
That depends on the company you are with. If you are a distributor for a company that offers health and nutritional products, being a product of the product means that you start your day with quality supplements and an energy drink. When that morning coffee break rolls around, you skip the coffee and donuts and re-fuel your body with your best selling power bar and make healthy meal choices throughout your day. For these distributors, being a product of the product means they understand the importance of good nutrition. They take every opportunity to use their company’s products to live a happier and healthier life.
For those of you who represent a skin care line, being a product of the product means having healthy glowing skin that defies the passage of time. Every morning you cleanse, tone and moisturize with the best products your company offers. You protect your skin from the sun, drink plenty of water and end your day with a nightly ritual of youth enhancing cleansers, creams and lotions.
A representative for a company selling products for the home is a product of the product when she transforms her living space into a place of beauty, warmth and comfort using just the right accessories.
And this phenomenon doesn’t stop at just products; it extends to services as well. From long distance to legal advice, direct selling companies are on the cutting edge of delivering top quality services to today’s consumer. Being a product of the product means having an unshakable belief in what you sell and using it every opportunity you get. It is this philosophy of becoming your own best customer that has made this industry the economic powerhouse that it is today, generating more than $26 billion in sales in 2001 in the United States alone.
So the question we pose is “Why stop here?" Why not flex our collective economic muscle, harness the buying power of the more then 12 million direct sellers in the United States and begin a new trend of becoming a product of the industry? Being a product of the industry means that we, as direct sellers, begin to look to “our own" for the products and services we use every day. From the moment we rise through the end of the day, we are faced with opportunities to strengthen the collective buying power of our own industry by purchasing products and services from other direct sellers. Stop for a moment and look around you. The shampoo in your shower, the pots and pans in your cupboards, the vitamins on your counter, the food in your pantry, the cleaning products in your laundry room, the clothes in your closet, and the phone on your desk… literally every product you use is now available through a direct sales company.
Let’s take a look at the tremendous impact this could have on our industry. Suppose this new “buying direct" trend were to inspire one out of every two direct sellers to spend an average of $100 more per month on products and services purchased through direct selling channels. That would mean that 6 million out of the 12 million direct sellers in the United States would perhaps switch their long distance provider, change their skin care brand, start on a nutritional program, and buy this season’s fashion and accessories from fellow direct sellers and so on.
This simple act of buying direct would infuse more than $600 million dollars into our industry each month, resulting in skyrocketing revenues of 7.2 billion dollars more per year in the United States alone! Assuming approximately half of those revenues are paid to distributors through commissions and overrides, this new trend could put more than 3 billion dollars into the pockets of direct sellers in the United States in one year alone. With more than 44 million direct sellers throughout the world, “buying direct" could be the tipping point that brings direct selling out of the closet and into the hearts and minds of consumers everywhere.
What needs to be in place for this new phenomenon to take hold? First and foremost, companies must get rid of old beliefs and policies that discourage their distributors from networking with or buying from other direct sellers. Stop thinking that the simple act of buying products is going to cause your distributors to “jump ship. " Instead, have faith in the bond you have with your sales force and focus your efforts on enhancing the support services that will keep them loyal and steadfast in their commitment to you.
Secondly, we must each form the habit of looking first to direct sellers in our community who offer products and services we need. By doing so, we transform a simple monetary transaction into a personal statement of belief in, and support of, this industry we have grown to love. Help launch this new trend of buying direct by joining the tens of thousands of direct sellers who have set a goal to look first to “our own" for the products and services they use every day. Together, we can strengthen our industry.
Jane Deuber is a Co-Founder of http://www.DSWA.org (the only association dedicated to the needs of the independent party plan and network marketing professionals). Discover what makes the DSWA so unique. Listen to three motivating and informative free teleseminars by visiting http://www.mydswa.org/tele_class.asp