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It’s Just a Distributor Kit; What’s the Big Deal?

February 23, 2011

The urgency of the immediate can prevent owners and CEOs from taking the time to ask pointed questions about seemingly inconsequential day-to-day activities in their company. That is a critical error!

So why do companies, or better yet, why should companies provide distributor kits to their new recruits? Ask 10 owners, CEOs or field leaders and you’ll most likely get 10 different answers. While most of those answers may not be wrong, I have found that they are usually not the best reasons to develop and maintain a quality kit program.

One could argue that distributor kits are important because:

“All of the other companies send one”.

“Our lawyer said we should send a kit”.

“The distributors expect one”.

“We have to justify our sign up fee”.

But just because you have an argument, that doesn’t make it a good one! Having a poor argument may prevent you from considering all the factors in this very simple issue.

I have pondered this question as a corporate staff member, distributor and industry supplier. Encouraging, educating, and equipping are the three compelling reasons a company should send a quality, well thought out kit to each new distributor.

Encouraging

The first 30 days of the distributor’s relationship with the new company are critical. The difference between a highly effective new distributor and a drop out is defined clearly by the activities the distributor either attempts or fails to attempt within the first month.

A properly designed, high quality kit is the very first time the distributor is touched by the company. They may have known their sponsor for 30 years, or even be related; but the relationship with your company is just beginning. It is clearly the company’s responsibility to manage this relationship in the early days. The new distributor’s first and most lasting impression will be determined by the material you provide in the initial kit, and the expediency with which it was provided.

The contents and design of the kit will also shape the new distributor’s perception of “Can I do this business?” Too much material will damage their confidence as easily as not providing the essentials. If they think they can they are right. If they think they can’t they are right! Perhaps more importantly in the first impression are the questions about his or her decision to sign up. Questions will naturally arise “Am I important to this company? or Is there value in the materials I received?”

Educating

You certainly don’t want to overwhelm a new distributor with an encyclopedia full of text; however, there are some critical components to consider.

First provide a 30 day plan of action. If you don’t clearly spell out the distributor’s responsibilities, they will expect the checks to magically fly into the mail box and then quit in disappointment.

Second, regardless of whether or not you think they will read them, you have a moral and legal obligation to provide a copy of the company policies and procedures. It is unconscionable to expect anyone to adhere to your rules if you haven’t provided them. While some feel that checking off a box on a set of Internet rules and regulations is sufficient, I would personally not want to defend myself in a court of law with that being the only evidence!

Third, if you expect your distributors to sell your products and services give them a basic product educational piece. Properly designed collateral is easy to understand and doesn’t require the distributor to be a scientist to relay the features and benefits to a prospective customer.

Equipping

Once the distributor has his or her kit, and some basic educational materials, they need tools to immediately begin building their business. I strongly recommend that you include a couple of sales/recruiting tools in your initial distributor kit.

Providing recruiting and or sales tools in the distributor kit accomplishes two important things. First, it allows the distributor to become productive from day one. They won’t have the excuse of “I’ll share the opportunity/product as soon as I have studied it and am an expert”. Without tools, the distributor may fall victim to the fear of rejection. An effective tool changes the focus to the tool. Providing tools allows the prospect to reject the tool, without rejecting the messenger.

Second, as mentioned, inactivity in the first 30 days will inevitably lead to attrition. Any positive activity will increase the probability of the retention of the new distributor. Increasing the retention of new distributors for even an additional 30 to 60 days will make a huge difference in your bottom line. Do the math with your data and see what you threw away last year!

 

It all boils down to this; the most often overlooked, and most easily corrected flaw in many programs is the failure to utilize an effective distributor kit. Take a few minutes to review your program. You owe it to yourself, your company and your stockholders. The worst thing that could happen is an increase in recruitment, sales and distributor retention.

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