Are You Listening to Them?
Alan Luce, founder and CEO of Luce, Murphy, Fong and Associates recommended in his article “Tips For Coping…” that the direct selling companies should listen more to the newcomers to their organizations. What Alan exactly said was:
“Pay attention to how your newest sales folks are doing the business. It is usually the case that our sale forces find ways to work new technologies and social changes into their businesses before their companies do. In times of change it is very important that the company be open to input from new sellers as to how they want to do the business. Companies most often look to the opinions and input from their top leaders when trying to figure out what is going on. In my experience top sales leaders are among the most conservative folks in your organization and are frequently deeply opposed to needed changes.
It is critically important that the company create ways to access unfiltered input from their newest sales folks. After all, our top leaders often represent yesterday’s best practices. It is the new folks that will be your leaders of the future. If you do not currently have effective ways of learning what your new folks are doing and what they want from the company you will need to create them.”
The tendency at many of the direct selling companies is to listen more if not only, to the top leaders. There are reasons to this, ranging from motivating the top leaders in an effort to understand the life on the field and to learning from those who have been more experienced. I have no objections to any of these reasons. However, I believe this should have not be at the cost of paying less attention to the newcomers.
Today, this is maybe more important than ever. These newcomers are coming from a generation with very different expectations from a direct selling company and even from life, actually. The training sessions you have been conducting for years for example, may not suit these people at all. And these people are coming with very different methods of communicating with each other and with the whole world. Consequently, they recruit and sponsor differently, they sell differently and they lead their downlines differently.
So, yes, the direct selling companies have to create innovative ways to understand these younger people better. And sooner the better.