Growth is important in all industries, no doubt about it. In today’s challenging business environment, this is crucial at least to prevent complete failure. That said, growth is probably more important in direct selling than it is in many other industries. And this is especially so on the acquisition of sales force members.
We generally call this “recruiting”. What we also generally do is to accept a high level of attrition in this industry as a given. Even from the day that direct seller joins the company. But does this have to be so? Maybe not! Let’s have a look at the common causes of attrition.
Some of those who leave a direct sales company do so because they feel they just don’t fit in. Whether it be a hobby, a way of socializing, a part-time source of income or a full-time business, this can happen to anybody. As long as it is a “true” reason and there is nothing else behind it, there is not much a company can do to reverse this. But what if there is something else behind this reason on the surface?
In some cases, the reason for leaving is the sponsor or even the whole upline. It can be a sponsor’s pure neglect that ends up with losing that “recruit”. In other times, it is an unrealistic income expectation created purely by the sponsor. Even if it is merely a clash of personalities between two people, I believe there is a lot of homework that can be done by the company management.
And yes, sometimes it is the company itself that is the cause of people’s leaving. Poor customer services, commissions payments not made on time, frequent price and/or compensation plan changes, neglect in communicating news updates and announcements in a timely manner… These definitely lead to higher attrition rates.
4) Dissatisfaction With the Opportunity
One of the common reasons is being discontent with present or potential earnings. Individuals might set their own expectations too high, the company sometimes intentionally or unintentionally send wrong messages and in some cases, the compensation plan itself is not well-designed.
Most of the field members are part-timers and hobbyists in direct selling. This is a fact. So, probably it will never be possible to even get close to perfection. Still, I believe companies can make significant moves in that direction.
The first step here is identifying the true reasons why the direct sellers leave. Once this phase is over, it will not be too difficult to deal with each of them. Don’t you think so?
Hakki Ozmorali is the Principal of WDS Consultancy, a management consulting firm in Canada specialized in providing services to direct selling firms. WDS Consultancy is a Supplier Member of the Canada DSA. It is also the publisher of The World of Direct Selling, global industry’s leading weekly online publication since 2010. Hakki is an experienced professional with a strong background in direct sales. His work experiences in direct selling include Country and Regional Manager roles at various multinationals. You can contact Hakki here.