Motivation is crucial for success in direct selling. A well-thought rewarding mechanism boosts morale and motivates the field organization members towards further achievements. As obvious these might have sounded so far, there are a few critical issues that need to be addressed to benefit from recognition the most, that are sometimes totally ignored.
As a starting point, recognition has to be taken strategically. That is, it must be an integral part of a direct selling company’s overall strategy. In this highly competitive environment, companies need to make the most out of their own resources. And the field organization by nature is the resource that is the most responsive to recognition.
In direct sales, there are many areas in where one can recognize better performers: Sales/month, recruits/month, sales of a newly launched product, reactivates/month, increase over previous month’s and year’s sales or recruits… not to mention qualifications for higher ranks according to the compensation plan.
Here are some important points to consider when structuring recognition programs:
The path to recognition must be predetermined.
The way to rewards must be clear and must be the same for everybody who are eligible to participate. This path should not be changed on the way unless there is a valid reason to it. Ignoring this can highly demotivate the field force, damage trust and consequently, hurt your business.
The rewards have to be meaningful.
They should represent a value to the individuals. Never think of a reward twice, if you have the slightest doubt about its perceived value. The first reward that comes to mind is not necessarily the best one. So, it is important to research and know in advance what really motivates the organization.
The positive effect of immediacy must not be underestimated.
The reward has to be presented as soon as possible following the achievement. It’s always “sooner the better”. As time passes, members of your organization will naturally forget what it was all about, an outcome that absolutely you would not want to see.
The recognition should be made in public.
As the circumstances allow, it should also involve that person’s downline organization whether this occurs on an offline or an online platform. What the individual had accomplished and what s/he received should be clearly mentioned, and out loud! The achievers should also appear on all relevant company publications (newsletter, website, social media platforms, etc.).
Last but not least: Cash or non-cash rewards
A reward in a recognition program does not need to be cash, and sometimes it should not be cash at all. Cash is known to bring little emotional engagement, to be spent quickly and it can easily be forgotten. Moreover, cash is not a cost-effective option because of the difference between the (higher) perceived value of a non-cash reward and its (lower) actual cost to the company.
Many people who join this industry are attracted by the comparably generous recognition involved and do stay because of it. So, it is vitally important to take advantage of this highly motivating factor.
Hakki Ozmorali is the Principal of WDS Consultancy, a management consulting firm in Canada specialized in providing services to direct selling firms. WDS Consultancy is a proud Supplier Member of the Canada DSA. It is also the publisher of The World of Direct Selling, global industry’s leading weekly online publication since 2010. Hakki is an experienced professional with a strong background in direct sales. His work experiences in direct selling include Country and Regional Manager roles at various multinationals. You can contact Hakki here.SHARE THIS: