Ten years ago, Meredith Berkich, Chief Growth Officer at Jenkon, attended a DSA event that made a massive impact on her. The speaker gave a presentation on technology and said, “The reality is that direct selling companies need to be technology companies first if they intend to survive and thrive.” This was a significant “light bulb” moment for Meredith, and the quote has stuck with her to this day. In this episode of the Direct Sales Masterclass, Meredith and I discuss how technology decisions can either hinder your company’s vision or drive your successful momentum.
When I attended my first direct sales event in 1991, I helped my dad sell cassette tapes and training tools in the back of the room. We sold different titles that helped distributors introduce the company’s opportunity to their prospects. You could buy a pack of 50 tapes and ten training workbooks for $50. The titles included: “Leverage, Opportunity, and Timing,” “The Right Place. The Right Time. The Right Opportunity.”, and “If Not Now, When?” The industry focused on the opportunity pathway and the tools reflected that. Fast forward 30 years and most things about the direct sales journey have changed. Everything from the tools and the back-office to the customer journey and prospecting techniques. This edition of the Direct Sales Masterclass features a conversation with Jim Marks, the Chief Revenue Officer and Co-founder of DirectScale.
2021 was an exciting year for the direct sales industry. In-person meetings resumed, large industry gatherings were held, and the industry moved forward in new and innovative ways. The Direct Sales Masterclass had several guests from diverse backgrounds. We covered topics ranging from how to formulate the right products to maximize the use of your back office.
When Social Selling News opened its doors in 2018, their goal was to become the eyes and ears of the direct selling industry. Over the last few years, they have become just that.
Compliance—it’s a hot topic of conversation in the direct sales industry. For some, it’s a concern and a priority and for others, it’s something that is (at best) ignored by sticking their head in the sand. Being proactive when it comes to compliance ensures that you protect your company and field. If ignored, the compliance issue can create major problems that can have negative impacts on your company.
The Direct Sales Back Office is typically the brain behind a company’s business. Everything from commissions and reporting to incentives and promotions runs through the back end. Frequently the back office provider also offers a shopping solution and tools to communicate with the field and the customer base. Knowing the best way to utilize your back office can make the difference between growth and profitability and struggles and business challenges. Two months ago, Trace Jensen joined the Verb sales team. Trace has over two decades of experience working with various back office providers. This episode of the Direct Sales Masterclass focuses on tips to help you maximize your back office in ways that can impact your growth and momentum.
I remember sitting in the conference room at our office meeting several years ago with a group who was starting a new direct sales company. They had questions about tools, compensation plans, leaders, and even events. I asked them if they had a product yet. Their answer was surprising. They said, “We haven’t thought a lot about that. We figured if we get the other parts of the business lined up, the product is just an afterthought.” Fast forward 15 years and I am so grateful for how the industry has changed. Gone are the days where Direct Sales was the vehicle and the product didn’t matter. In the current direct sales climate, you must have a product focus and a customer journey to be successful. So, what does it take to create a successful product, and what are the benefits of releasing a product in direct sales? I recently sat down with Dr. Shawn Talbott, Chief Science Officer at Amare Global, to discuss this very topic. Dr. Talbott has over two decades of experience formulating products in the direct sales industry. He has worked for start-ups and billion-dollar brands. His insights help show what it takes to create successful products that will produce a loyal customer base.
The direct sales industry has always been about relationships. It’s the power of a successful network. And that network is established by creating a connection with someone and building a relationship. The most successful distributors successfully enroll customers and team members after establishing a connection. The same is true for successful direct sales companies: their success is built on making strong connections and relationships with their distributors and their customers. At the end of the day, it boils down to creating a connection that builds a lasting relationship and then fostering that over the life-cycle of the journey. This episode of the Direct Sales Masterclass features a conversation with the CEO of Chalk Couture, Kristine Widtfeldt. We discuss the importance of connections and how you can provide the right tools to the field to help them create and maintain those connections.
A couple of years ago, a friend of mine recommended that I read the book: Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller. Immediately it became one of my favorite books. I have since read it a few times and recommended it to several clients. The principles it teaches have great application for direct sales companies. The subtitle of the book states: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen. With the recent shifts in direct sales focusing on the customer journey, this messaging is more important than ever. In my experience, the companies that implement this concept effectively are the ones who are experiencing dramatic growth. This episode of the Direct Sales Masterclass focuses on Building a Story Brand and implementing key growth accelerators to help them achieve massive success. The guests on this episode are Terrel Transtrum, the CEO of ServiceQuest and Alex Schauer, Partner at ServiceQuest.
Recently, Verb was ranked as the number one app in the direct sales space. This is something that our team is very proud of, and something that took a collective effort to achieve. What started as a simple solution for a handful of clients has become a platform with more than 100 clients and over 1.6 million app downloads. To support this growth, we have a full team of experts who handle everything from onboarding to special projects for our clients. This edition of the Direct Sales Masterclass features a conversation with Michelle Lee, Director of Client Success, and Alan Anderson, Director of Sales Ops.