Reputation is the biggest factor facing Direct Selling companies right now. In the 2022 Direct Sales Trends Report, corporate and field respondents alike cited the industry's reputation as the biggest risk for the future of direct sales. This isn't news to anyone.
The real question is, how can the industry proactively improve the industry's reputation for long-term change.
Key Stone Habits
In Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, he attempts to unlock the power of productivity by learning the secrets of those who are incredibly productive.
The book is a series of anecdotes alongside the psychological explanation of how habits create change. In one such anecdote Duhigg describes how Aloca, the world’s eighth largest producer of aluminium, 5X their profit over a CEO’s tenure all because he prioritized one simple thing… Health & Safety.
CEO, Paul O’Neill, told his investors, his leadership team, his warehouse staff, everyone… that the number one priority, the number one metric to track was workforce safety. He empowered every individual to come forward if they witnessed something detrimental to workplace safety and reporting managers had a narrow window in which it was mandatory for them to bring the concern or breach to the leadership team. Instead of dismissing concerns or brushing them off, everyone's empowered to make change.
To some companies, this might seem like a nice thing to have but not the core focus. Yet, over time, this unwavering focus on worker safety paid off, yielding greater productivity, thus improving product quality, in turn reducing costs and ultimately increasing sales.
What CEO Paul O’Neill achieved is the stuff of legends. Whether knowingly or not he rewired his company’s keystone habit. (A habit which defines how you run your life or your business.) And the only way to achieve real, sustainable, long-lasting change is to alter your keystone habits.
The question is, then, What keystone habit could change the future of direct sales?
What keystone habit could change the future of direct sales?
When reading about Aloca’s example, it begs the question, what if every seller is responsible for the spread of misinformation?
- If the environment at companies is a culture of education, empowerment and improvement
- If every direct seller is responsible for reporting bad practices within their team to corporate about misinformation, misleading claims, misuse of social media platforms etc.
- If the people who reported these incidents are rewarded
- If the people who made the infringement are met with education and professional development support...
...Then how quickly could the direct sales industry reform the misinformed practices that cast a shadow upon the industry?
Compliance is more often met with groans than enthusiasm. But, if you make it so that compliance is key for every single direct seller, in fact, it's the most important part of their job — protecting the reputation of their company and for doing so they get rewarded… then compliance will rapidly become the unifying factor for all teams, leaders, sellers, customers and corporate alike.
For more deep dives into how the Reputation of the Direct Sales Industry can be improved for long-lasting change, check out the 2022 Direct Sales Trends Report focusing on: