As a direct sales leader, one of the most challenging tasks is to keep your direct sales team engaged. Your downline is often the most important part of your business; their high productivity helps you achieve your team sales numbers. You walk a fine line as a leader and a manager and it’s your responsibility to know what your team will respond to and what they won’t.
So how do you do that?
Easier said than done, but with a little help, you can set yourself and your team up for success! Here are 4 ways to keep your direct sales team engaged and help meet your team sales goals.
Know your direct sales team
The first secret to engaging your team is to get to know them, not just their likes and dislikes, but REALLY get to know them. Learn what they expect out of being a consultant, what they expect of you, and how they want to be supported. Being a leader is more than just knowing what motivates your team, it’s getting to the heart of why they joined and what they expect their support to look like. Because all of this is unique to the individual, your responsibility is to know what each person on your team expects of you.
Leaders in direct sales are in a very unique position; your downline doesn’t work FOR you, they are business owners themselves so the relationship you have with your team is going to naturally look different than a manager/employee relationship within an organization.
Use Google Forms or Documents to create an electronic getting to know you form where you ask why they joined, what kind of support they expect, how do they want to be kept informed of company and team announcements, contact information, how they like to be recognized, and whatever else is going to help you support your new team member. Believe it or not, not everyone likes public recognition so be sure to really understand how each of your direct downlines like to be recognized. You could inadvertently erode someone’s self-esteem if you publicly recognize someone who loathes it.
Create an email list
Not everyone is always on social media. Assuming your new team members will be on it as much as you and other team members could cause you some heartburn. They may not engage in your team Facebook groups which could cause frustration for you as a leader and for the team member. Offering an email opt-in option (via the Google Form or other opt-in options) is a great way to give your direct sales team members a choice of how they want to engage and get their information from you. Depending on your new team member’s marketing strategy, they may not be on social media at all so having alternative ways to communicate and keep them informed is key.
If you’re looking for email providers, we love Convertkit and Mailerlite. They are inexpensive for small businesses that are just starting and affordable for growing businesses. We find their sequences to be easy to set up and automation is easy and accurate. Note: Some email providers may not allow direct sales/MLM company representation. Make sure to do your due diligence that you stay in compliance.
Provide valuable content
Wherever you engage with your team, be it in a social media group or via email, it’s critical that you push out content to them that will help them be successful in whatever way they are looking for. Simply adding them to all the groups isn’t helpful; it’s overwhelming for your new teammate. Develop an onboarding strategy to welcome them. Some information to consider including in your onboarding would be content that introduces them to you, the team, your team mission statement, the company and their mission, a tour of their back office, and finally how they can reach out for support.
An email sequence can be set up with your email provider, allowing all of it to be automated once your new team member is opted in. Utilizing email as your primary contact source, you can easily send files, videos, Zoom link replays, and more allowing your team to catch up when they are ready. The goal is to meet them where they are.
Utilize a team content calendar
Let’s face it, as a direct sales team leader, you have a lot on your plate. You are running your own personal business while also trying to keep an entire team moving forward. You are creating content for your own public and private customer-facing channels so creating another set of content can feel overwhelming. You’ve probably heard and may have used customer content calendars, but maybe you’ve never heard of, or used, a team content calendar.
Team content calendars take the guesswork out of creating content for your team while also creating team culture and keeping them engaged and active. Planning and scheduling content for your direct sales team helps you automate a small portion of your business without losing interest from your team. Team content calendars can be extensive and not only include what topics to post but also can include the graphics, saving you tons of time in creating content, topics, and copy, in some cases. Schedule the whole year of team content in one sitting so you can focus on your income producing activities for your personal business.
Get it scheduled
So now that you have the 4 ways to keep your direct sales team engaged, what action are you taking to make it happen? Remember, your goal is to support, motivate, and lead by serving your team first. Your downline is passive income, but you still have to nurture it. The more you can automate your direct sales team communications and content, the less you have to stress about throughout the year.
What’s the one tip you’re going to use? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to come join us in Direct Creatives Marketplace Community on Facebook! Meet our store owners, network with other like-minded women owned businesses, and get more ideas like these to help you scale!