It’s no secret that the key to success in building a direct selling business is establishing an army of innovative, driven distributors. But how do you achieve this highest goal within an organization? In today’s highly competitive direct selling marketplace, distributor recognition is what many distributors crave to keep them motivated. What steps are you taking to attract the best and the brightest distributors in the industry? How are you differentiating your direct selling opportunity from the rest? If you can’t answer these questions with certainty, now is the time to reinvent yourself! If you are evaluating joining a company here are some common programs you might ask about before committing your time and resources to one business.
Direct Selling Car Programs
First introduced in 1969, the Mary Kay pink Cadillac incentive is perhaps one of the most infamous distributor recognition programs in the direct selling industry. Today ViSalus, Shaklee, and Nerium are among the direct selling organizations that include a car program in their incentive packages. While these car programs are clearly very enticing, do they actually work? The proof is in the pudding.
“Our two top reasons for having the [car] program are recognition and retention—both extremely important in the industry,” says TD Robinson, Director of Recognition at Shaklee. “Driving a Shaklee car is a tangible, physical representation of the benefits of building a business. Distributors show them off with pride to their downline, their upline, to recruits, to sponsors, and to their family. They’re also definitely a retention tool. Once you get someone into a car, they’ll go the extra mile to make monthly goals and keep that car.”
Not convinced? Mary Kay consultant Carol Taylor recently earned her fifteenth pink Cadillac! That’s right; Taylor has been a consultant since 1981. She earned her first Cadillac in 1983 and has been driving one ever since. Her moto? “Driving free since 1983!”  In Carol’s case, it is easy to argue that the Mary Kay car program has been a huge incentive and an effective retention tool. If you are looking to establish a distributor recognition program that delivers, or improves upon an existing program, we encourage you to seriously consider a car incentive!
Good Old Fashioned Distributor Recognition
In addition to incentivizing direct selling representatives with flashy cars and bonuses, one of the most impactful ways to celebrate their success is to sing their praises. Taking the time to publicly recognize those distributors who are making your company a success can pay off. Most companies have regular conventions where distributors are recognized. Younique hosts an annual convention. During the 3 day event, top producers are recognized for their achievements and given a sneak peek into the latest Younique product and business developments. Organo Gold has a program where a distributor earns a pin for achieving certain levels of volume. Consistency is rewarded by giving a new pin for consecutive achievement.
As you outline the future of your distributor recognition program, we encourage you to make public recognition a part of your plan. For a relatively nominal fee you can celebrate the leaders who make your organization a success.
Distributor Trips and Training as an Incentive
What better way to reward your top earners than to provide training and development. By sharpening their skills they stand to earn more and your organization benefits as well. The leadership team at It Works! offers a program they have named Dash. This three day event provides an opportunity for top earners to work hard and play hard. During Dash, top producers are recognized for their accomplishment and spoiled with a little R&R, all while honing their skills as distributors. Similarly, Monat also uses a range of training and trips as rewards for distributors.
These events serve many purposes. They offer an opportunity to connect with the very distributors who are making your business a success. They serve as a pep rally of sorts to remind your distributors why they chose to be a part of your business opportunity. And perhaps most importantly, they provide the platform for on-going distributor development.
Distinguishing Yourself with a Winning Recognition Program
Are you starting a new company or are you the leader of a large team of direct sellers? As you set out to distinguish your organization with an enticing distributor recognition program, we hope you will keep these examples in mind. As you create or update your incentive program it’s important to consider your corporate culture and your target demographic. The incentives that will resonate with distributors of health products are completely different than those that will motivate distributors of financial or beauty products. Need further guidance? Consider these programs and companies specializing in incentive products and services:
Don’t just recognize your top performers, provide them with a visual reminder of their accomplishments. Fusion Frames offers an award solution system which fuses office printer technology and affordable, striking, shadowboxed certificate frames.
Recognize your top distributors and help them grow their businesses with custom products and marketing tools. Axis Promotions offers marketing and promotional services to direct selling companies.
What better way to motivate your distributors than to reward their hard work with vacation incentives? Carnival Cruise Lines offers the Carnival Corporate Club. This unique program includes a wide variety of business solutions specifically positioned to incentivize distributors, all while increasing your bottom line.
Offering personalized, luxury items is yet another great way to recognize your top earners. Paul Anthony Awards works with top direct selling companies to create custom watches, jewelry and leather goods. These beautiful, high-end products are the perfect way to tastefully celebrate the great achievements of your distributors.
Distributor recognition is an important part of the overall rewards and compensation that a company gives out. Most companies provide a range of recognition programs from cars to trips. Companies should look at what other companies are doing. However, the trick is to come up with a unique set of rewards that matches and creates the company culture.