Reading: Blended Methods are the Future of Direct Selling

As some of you know, I work with the great Alan Luce over at Luce and Associates, direct selling consultants.  We help startup direct sales companies launch successfully, as well as those companies that need to make a change.  As a result, even though you only see the social media side of me, it gives me a chance to really dig into all the operations of a direct selling company.  Alan’s even threatening to teach me how to write a compensation plan! 🙂  This gives me a really deep perspective on how social media affects the overall operations of a company.  It helps me get you beyond the surface, and into the heart of things.

Alan and I recently collaborated on an article in Direct Selling News, our industry’s trade publication.  We’ve been exploring the ways that party plan and network marketing methods are merging.  More and more companies are finding that the sales force is leading the way on this.  Network marketers are starting new recruits with group sales events so that people experience retail profit right away.  More and more party plan companies are putting into place customer clubs, and many party plan sellers are selling one on one as well as in their parties.  The advent of the internet and social media is part of why this is happening.

Anyway, I thought you’d be interested in reading the article, which is in this month’s Direct Selling News.  It’s called “Blended Methods are the Future of Direct Selling” and you can read it by clicking here.

I would love to hear what you think!  Have you been using blended methods yourself?  Are there strong opinions about one method or another in your organization?  Please share in the comments!

image credit: bcmom

4 Responses to Reading: Blended Methods are the Future of Direct Selling
  1. Lorian Rivers
    June 10, 2010 | 6:41 pm

    I couldn’t agree more! I think the networking marketing concept is fantastic, but have always been one that felt if I was not using and promoting the products TOO, how could I expect others to join me in the business. Combining DS and Network Marketing allows us to create and build our business from both sides!

  2. Mark Bosworth
    June 10, 2010 | 5:25 pm

    Great article! I think the blending of sales techniques is inevitable and great. Direct Selling has always brought the entrepreneurial flair to business. Consultants are rewarded for their innovation and daring.

    I believe the one big problem here is complexity. The beauty of having one simple model (MLM or Party Plan) is that it is easy to teach and communicate. The more options and complications you have the harder it is for a part-time Consultant to understand “what the heck do I do to be successful”.

    In my humble opinion the key to success is finding the right way and time to introduce these blended techniques so they can be absorbed by Consultants and become useful. Training on new techniques only when the Consultant is ready to absorb them is the key.

    • Jennifer Fong
      June 10, 2010 | 11:26 pm

      Alan presented a panel on this at the DSA Annual Meeting. I think you would have enjoyed it Mark. Lots of interesting issues to think through. I think you make some great points.

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