Why Incentives Work for Direct Sellers

carrot-stickI’m a pretty competitive person. Okay, if I’m being totally honest, I’m one of the most competitive people I know. While it can be a challenge and it’s something I’ve had to learn to control as I’ve moved through my life, it also served me very well when I was an active direct seller. As a direct seller, you deal with basically two types of competition; competition with yourself and competition with others. And, if you’re like me, the latter can seriously contribute to the former.


By that I mean, yes it’s great to set goals for yourself and push yourself to reach them (that’s just like competing with yourself), but there’s something about knowing you’re only a few spaces behind someone else to give you that little extra boost you need to put in the extra effort to pass them. That’s why your company not only informs you of the requirements to earn their incentives, they also tell you who’s already earned them or who’s close.


That little tug in your gut that you feel when you see your name on a list of the top 5 people about to earn an incentive prize and you’re number 3 is what will create the desire in you to go for it. That’s why they publish those lists. The beauty of incentives in direct sales is it’s the ultimate “win-win” because while you’re earning the incentive, you’re making money and building your team. Think about how much product you’ve sold and how many people you’ve brought into your direct sales business in the process of earning those free trips or other incentives your direct sales business offers. 


Incentives are an excellent way to motivate your personal direct sales team as well. Not only will it get them moving toward building their businesses, but it goes a long way toward fostering a better, more supportive relationship between you and your representatives. I used to love to shower my team with gifts!
A few direct sales training tips to remember when offering an incentive:
  • Make it clear what they’re working toward (what’s the prize?)
  • Make it clear exactly what they have to do to earn it and by when
  • Have a clear system in place for tracking everyone’s progress prior to announcing your incentive
Here are a few of my best direct sales training ideas for incentivizing your team:
  • Want to increase the number of guests at your monthly meetings (HINT: the answer is YES!!)? Why not offer your group incentives around meeting attendance and guests?
    • Bring 1 guest, receive a small prize, bring 2 guests, receive a better gift, bring the most guests, receive something really nice (as long as it’s more than 3 – I always put a minimum if I was giving away something really good.)
    • Publicize a great gift item and let your members know they get one ticket for every guest they bring, and 10 bonus tickets if they bring 3 or more guests.
    • Offer incentives for consistent attendance at your meetings.
  • Create incentives around those areas of your direct sales business that are suffering. Your representatives aren’t sponsoring? Offer incentives for those who sponsor 1, 2, or more new representatives in any given month. Are bookings a problem for your team? Choose a night, host a “booking blitz” where they all get on the phone for the same hour, then give incentive gifts for those who book 1 show, more than 5 shows, or the most shows.
  • If, as a leader, you are up for a large monetary incentive if your team performs in a certain way, consider offering to share your bonus if you reach the goal by a certain time (For many of my coaching clients, this has made the difference between earning an executive promotion and not making it). When your team gets on board to support you (and nothing speaks louder than money to get people on board), it’s much easier to achieve the volume or group numbers you need to hit your goal.
One thing I caution my personal clients about is spending a lot of money on incentive gifts (even if you can afford it). This practice isn’t duplicable. You probably earn lots of free product from your company (often as incentive gifts, while we’re on the subject), and you may also have retired items in your storage area that you can stand to part with. I also loved to give away inexpensive flowers (a dozen carnations is usually less than $10.00) as a small incentive gift. You’d be surprised at how special people feel when you hand them a flower. The bottom line, keep spending on incentives to a minimum.


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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.



2017-03-24T08:33:39-07:00Goal Setting, Leadership, Team Building|