In my last post I discussed the frustration that direct sales companies sometimes have with regard to attendance at company sponsored events and convention. At the end of the article and throughout my social media I put out a survey of direct sellers to find out why they come to company conventions, and what might prevent them from attending.
Following are the results of my survey. I received 21 responses, which is not a large amount by any means (maybe I should have incentivized it!) but I do believe these results are fairly typical among independent consultants and direct selling leaders. What I do not know is if only people who are already excited about convention replied, or if enough of the neutral or negative people participated.
Let me know what you think in the comments of this post, or how you might use this information.
What are your favorite aspects of attending your company’s convention?
These answers are in order of most popular to least:
1. Hearing Success Stories
2. Incentive trip/contest announcement
3. Meeting others
4. Meeting with my team
5. Recognition/leadership promotion
6. Understand company/product better
7. Learn new skills
8. Feel supported
9. New product launch
10. Fun getaway
What are the reasons that might prevent you from attending a company event?
Ranked in order of most common answer to least:
1. The expense of staying in a hotel, possibly flying
2. The expense of registering
3. The time away from home/job/kids
4. They are usually an inconvenient location
5. The travel time involved is too much
6. I can get same info from other company communication (newsletter, back office training, conference calls, team meetings)
7. I will get new product samples anyway, just a little later
8. I already feel supported other ways (via leader, calls, trainings)
Additional comments regarding reasons they might not attend:
• A family emergency is certainly one reason that would keep me from attending.
• The lack of recognition for the little guys (new builders)
• Conference attendance should be an INCENTIVE to earn – just like a trip – or at least earn free registration or company shopping credits etc —something to help offset the cost.
• I have only missed one National conference in my 11 years with [company] and that is because my work would not give me the time off.
• The only reason I would not attend is if I had some other conflict for those dates. Convention/regional meetings/leadership retreats are a must for me!
What would you like to see MORE of at your company’s event?
• Guest speakers….last convention had no guest speakers and it was too corporate.
• Incentives for lowering the expense of attending.
• People in direct sales love to talk so more brainstorming or sharing sessions would be helpful. You hear from the top but all consultants like to share.
• Personal development training – working on that
• Allow enough time to take all the classes/training. The schedule is so tight that you can’t attend every session.
• Recognition by level of achievement… newest to established members! The newcomers are the future if they are trained!
• More ideas or help to help Independent Sales Reps
•Question and Answer time with top leaders
• On line conferencing
• Cheaper registration
• Personal coaching
• Putting together of regional groups–so you can meet others who might not be on your team, but are in your area
• Training for different levels. As a leader I don’t need to be grouped in with the newbies. It would be great to learn more about motivating, leading and training.
• Opportunities to see top sellers use and sell the products. I dont want just a product sheet – I want to see it being romanced.
• Love the trainings from other consultants!
• Individualized training based on title
What would you like to see LESS of at your company’s event?
• Sappy why stories
• Less politicking and more ways to get attendees to meet other people instead of groups of cliques
• Not losing new product launch completely, but don’t spend a half day on the topic. Better left as a space to be visited during ‘down time’
• Recognition sometimes goes on forever and people not getting recognized lose interest.
• Less time spent highlighting, then reviewing some of the incentives (self-explanatory) and more time on ideas, techniques, cross selling, etc.
• Pushing instead of empowering, telling instead of guiding and mentoring.
• One individual having majority of time to speak
• Motivational speaking and awards
• Just make the meetings shorter
• I get irked over the whole–the only way to succeed is to grow a team emphasis. I realize its important, but there are other things too
• I know that so many people enjoy hearing their peers success but It DOES NOT motivate me. Some yes is good but too much demotivates and makes me want to check out.
• Speakers who aren’t in the industry — strictly motivational — Im more motivated learning from and expert in my industry – not just someone with a cool story or who overcame a life adversity.
What is your company doing at their events that is just right?
• Involving leaders in training.
• Weekly national meeting, monthly team meetings
• Weekly webinars, offering incentives for lowering the expense, having a regional leader that is a corporate employee.
• Great energy with fantastic music and involvement from stage! I love going to hear the loud music.
• Frequency, recognition, personal and professional development
• The company has scaled back on the number of days we had to be at convention (used to be 5 days) without sacrificing the quality and content of training. Our top leaders are presenters for many of the classes and do an excellent job of sharing their knowledge, ideas, and skills.
• Setting them in far away locations at the wrong day and time during the week instead of weekends which is useful for FT employees who want to learn more to build an income to quit their job!
• They do hold monthly meetings . Our District Sales Manager is an amazing help for us
• Building excitement
• Online conferencing
What specific RESULTS have you seen from attending your company’s events?
• Excitement over new product..always hold an Open House the week after and it increases my bookings.
• Keeps me focused on the product
• I can’t quantify any. I’m always more excited and bring that excitement to my parties/etc.
• I always get great ideas that help me with better results in dating, holding parties, and recruiting. Some things I have heard before and I just need a reminder.
• Growth in vision which has always resulted in business growth and bigger cheques
• Increased sales and sponsoring. More practical, useful, creative ideas to implement
• Not much… I do most of my training online however I missed good meetings!
• Seeing the actual product and hearing about it does help me sell more.
• Feeling more loyalty so when times are tough I’m not willing to quit
• Very few results. My checking account has always been my best motivation. No one follows up on contacts afterwards. Mostly self-centered needy people attend these meetings.
• Resells me on the dream of why I started the business in the first place
• I feel like I have better product knowledge, more enthusiasm and connections with the company and the other consultants.
• I am more motivated by them so I come back and put new things into place. Book more parties, talk to more people.
• Motivation to grow
• Higher sales and higher recruiting when trainers/speakers are in the industry and sharing REAL and practical steps for these areas – not water guns and poms at shows and all that ridiculous hoo-ha!
• Increased motivation, knowledge base increase
• When i come home from national conference I am inspired and my friends say I am like the energizer bunny with my life and business because the information I learn helps in all aspects of my life.
• I stepped up to leadership in less than 1 year and in less than 2 I have almost reached the director level (which is where you can start earning a company car).
• It motivated me to promote to leader, and it gave me the tools to do so.
Those of you who are with a direct selling company at the corporate or top leader level, how can you use this information? If you are an independent direct selling consultant, do you agree? I would like to continue collecting answers so please feel free to add your thoughts here.