Verb’s Direct Sales Master Class Series: Lesson 1

Apr 15, 2020 7:00:00 AM / by McKinley Oswald

Activity = Income

In 1989 my dad purchased a cassette duplication company whose main clients were direct sales companies. Early on I attended an event where we set up a booth at the back of the event room and sold recruiting and training tapes to the attendees. I was immediately fascinated by the business model, the success stories, the products—everything. And that’s how my direct sales education began.

Over the past 30 years I’ve attended hundreds of direct sales events. I’ve worked with hundreds of direct sales executives and companies and had the opportunity to meet some amazing industry leaders who have been a part of some incredible success stories. I’ve also seen some of the pitfalls that some leaders and companies avoided, and unfortunately others didn’t. It’s been an amazing education where I’ve gained some great insights about the industry and I’ve grown to love the best of what the direct sales industry has to offer.

Recently I’ve had mentors and friends around me pushing me to share some of these insights in a public forum. Over the next several weeks I will be sharing some of these thoughts. I’ve reached out to some industry leaders and asked them to participate with me on this journey. My hope is that what we share here will be applicable to issues that you and your direct sales company are dealing with. Whether you are a distributor just getting started or an industry leader with years of experience, the basic principles will hopefully apply to you. If you are an executive of a start-up or a part of a corporate team running a billion-dollar company, the principles we share here may be a help to challenges that you are facing.

We are calling this series the Direct Sales Master Class. Typically, a master class shares skills and lessons that need to be applied to a specific industry or discipline. I hope you will join us in this journey, reach out and share your thoughts, and that together we can all make this industry better. The people I invite to share their thoughts in the coming weeks will bring different areas of focus and experience that will benefit those who follow along.

Let’s get started.

Lesson #1:

Activity = Income and the right tools can dramatically impact your activity


In the late ‘90s I was working with a new direct sales company that had burst onto the scene and hit some massive momentum. They quickly went from start-up to $50 million in monthly revenue. As I traveled around the country and to some of their international events, there was one message that was repeated frequently from their executive team: Activity = Income and the right tools can significantly impact your activity.

Everything related to activity was measured. From the number of home parties and meetings in a town to the number of sales tools being purchased and distributed. A common theme was created in the company’s culture—activity, activity, activity. Along with this message it was providing the right tools to impact that activity. The largest growing organizations had leaders who understood that their personal income was going to be impacted by the activity of their team. And driving these behaviors and activity with tools could create momentum. Focusing on this basic principle drove unique actions, helped this company grow to an industry giant, and made life-changing income for thousands of leaders.

I’ve seen some incredible tools that companies have used to create massive momentum. Early on it was the cassette tape—remember this one? Dead Doctors Don’t Lie. I keep a copy on my desk to remind me of the power of tools. Now, distributors can build their businesses on their smart phone. Gone are the days of the cassette, but the need for tools—the right tools—is as important as ever. And, if you have the right tools and measure activity, you can impact the income of your leaders, the people getting started, and the overall company revenue and bottom line.

Verb - Archive - Cassette Tape 1-2

In the current environment with people staying at home due to the COVID-19 virus, the right tools and the right activity are as important as ever. Your company is either on hold with people waiting for things to settle, or they are aggressively creating opportunities for their salesforce to continue to create activity and find ways to succeed.

Let me share some details about a recent success story with one of our clients. This client does a few hundred million in annual revenue. Last month amid the crisis, they achieved a record-breaking month with their highest revenue in company history. What did they do to achieve this success while the economy was dropping dramatically, and people were being isolated to their homes? Simple, they focused on activity. One of the ways they did this was by providing tools and promotions through their Verb app. They sent push notifications to their field through the app letting them know of new social media images to promote social promotions, video content to be shared with prospects, and stayed in constant communication with their field through the app. The table below shows a snapshot of their increased activity in the month of March which greatly impacted their sales.

Verb - Stats - Caption

Some key takeaways:

  • An increase of more than 35% in distributors creating activity through the app from the two previous months
  • A nearly 250% increase in the number of shares through the app over the previous month
  • An engagement of 3x the number of unique prospects as compared to the prior month

As you can see, by simply focusing on activity and giving the field the right tools, this company heavily impacted their revenue and the income of their company and their distributors. Their concerted efforts were simple: they created tools (in this case video and social media images to be shared through their app) and ran promotions to drive the right behaviors and create massive activity. And their efforts paid off with a record-breaking month. Their team gathered together at the end of the month to review the app data and plan their next month’s promotions. Measuring the activity and then adjusting sales and marketing efforts will ensure that the growth trend continues.

Utilizing the Verb app has benefits for impacting your company’s activity. Here are just a few:

  • Centralized location for your company’s tools (videos, social images, PDFs)
  • Notifications sent to your salesforce through the app
  • Promotions to be shared on social media
  • Samples for your customers to try before they buy
  • Interactive video technology for your salesforce to stay connected with their contacts
  • Data to help your sales team drive their marketing efforts

Last week we launched our app for a company via a virtual event to their salesforce. The event had to be adjusted and the company was focused on providing the right tools to drive activity in this environment. Their CEO communicated to our team that he was so excited that they were launching the app at this time. Providing this type of a tool would allow them to continue driving activity in a time when home parties and events were put on hold. His words were: “The timing could not be any better.” The launch was extremely successful and in the first week thousands of distributors were creating activity that the company was measuring and utilizing to create success moving forward.

It really can be that simple: Activity = Income. And just as important: The right tools can drive the activity and the sales and income of your company and your distributors.



Topics: Business, Technology, Marketing, Best Practices, Direct Sales, Sales Enablement, Verb App, Income, Masterclass, McKinley Oswald

McKinley Oswald

Written by McKinley Oswald

President of Global Sales for Verb

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