As a direct seller, you have the opportunity to build your business not only locally (which I recommend to begin with), but nationally and even internationally. Building a team that’s spread out over several time zones can be a great way to increase your organization, but it also brings its own unique set of challenges. Supporting remote team members is certainly more challenging than supporting those who are local, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, it’s really not as challenging as it may seem.
When I started my direct sales business, I was a remote recruit. My upline lived 4 hours away and I pretty much started with no knowledge about how to succeed. As a network marketer, I had an entire team of remote recruits because I did virtually all of my recruiting over the internet. So I’ve experienced this from both sides and I have a clear idea about what it takes to help remote team members succeed.
Here are my top 5 tips for mentoring and supporting remote team members.
1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
I encourage you to limit the amount of time during which you’re available to your local team, in part to teach them to be resourceful and find their own answers whenever possible. Remote team members, however, are inherently independent out of necessity. For them, you want to be a little more available, because they aren’t getting the benefit of your hands-on mentoring. Set up a schedule with specific times to talk with them (at least a few times a week when they’re first getting started) and use e-mail, text, or social media to communicate as well. You could even consider using Skype or Google Hangouts so the connection between you is more personal.
2. Make Sure She’s Ready Before She Does Her First Party
This is important with all your new representatives, but it’s crucial with remote team members. Because they don’t have the benefit of coming with you to a party to observe or even attending your new representative training, they can only rely on your one-on-one training to ensure they’re prepared to step in front of a group of people and do their first party. Set up a training schedule with them early on and make sure you stick to it.
3. Record Your Party
If at all possible, have someone record your party (or at least the most important parts) and send that to them so they can study and learn from it. Youtube makes this easier than its ever been. Don’t worry about making this video perfect (a video taken with your smart phone is fine). The idea is to let her “come along” with you to a party without actually being there.
4. Make Sure She Knows How to Use The Resources on the Company Website
Take some time and walk your representative through all of the online tools your company offers. Make sure she knows how to use them and that she’s taking advantage of any and all corporate training.
5. Include Your Remote Team Members in Your Monthly Recognition
Even if you’re doing live meetings and have recognition as a part of them, you can still include remote team members. Send out an e-mail to your entire team listing those who’ve earned recognition as a follow up to your live meetings, post the results in your private team Facebook Group, and make a point to single out those remote team members who can’t be present at your live meetings to collect their incentive rewards. Mail any awards you can’t give them in person as soon as you can, and keep them up to date on any pertinent information you cover during your live meeting which effects them.
If you establish a strong mentoring relationship with your remote team members right from the beginning and let them know that their success is important to you, you’ll find this is a great way to grow a national or international team and explode your business.
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Julie Anne Jones is direct sales corporate consultant, coach, and trainer, and the CEO of Julie Anne Jones, Inc. She is known for her authentic and easy-to-use scripting and specializes in specific language and tools for success in direct sales. To learn more about Julie Anne and her products and services, and to read her weekly blog posts, visit her at www.julieannejones.com.