by Lauren Poel, Director of Client Success, Momentum Factor
The heart of any direct selling company is its field. Your associates are doing boots-on-the-ground work to sell your product, meeting with their friends and family, hosting parties, promoting on social media and much more. There can be many thousands of them selling for a single company. What could go wrong?
It turns out, a lot. When you have so many people acting as representatives of your brand, it can make what they say publicly about your opportunity and product unmanageable, and more importantly, can bring risk to your company.
For direct sellers, there are causes for concern in areas of compliance and brand best practices. Are associates representing your company in the most effective and positive way? Are they marketing your products within the policies you’ve set? And how can you be sure that all members of your field are up to date on the latest regulatory guidelines when it comes to social media promotion? You simply cannot have eyes on every distributor, so when violations do crop up, it can feel like playing Whack-A-Mole – putting fires out here and there to avoid risk and prevent costly infractions.
The initial answer to this problem is implementing an automated compliance monitoring solution, which allows compliance teams to catch infractions when they do happen and handle issues as they arise. While this is an important first step, monitoring alone doesn’t prevent future offenses. Our firm’s data, gathered among hundreds of direct selling companies over more than a decade, shows that nearly 40% of field members are repeat offenders. Companies really need a way to reduce future violations, in addition to identifying claims that have already been made.
To complicate matters further, monitoring on its own can usher in feelings of being under constant scrutiny, which can be a drag on field morale. It can be demoralizing to have compliance constantly reaching out to correct claims that a seller assumed were just fine. Yes, monitoring is essential as you do not want your field to be easy target for regulators to put your company at risk.
So how do you monitor, keep the field happy and prevent future infractions at the same time?
The answer is education through compliance training. Think of it this way: If you were traveling to a foreign country, you would likely want to make sure you knew the customs and rules of that country before you got on the plane, in order to avoid problems. Compliance training is your opportunity to be a liaison between your field and the compliance department before you cut them loose to start selling, as well as during their entire tenure with your company. Otherwise, costly mistakes might occur and the risks to your brand can multiply. Without specific and repeated education, your associates may become frustrated when their posts are constantly flagged as violations.
While training, in general, is not a new idea, compliance education based using technology has grown in popularity among direct sellers due to its proven success rates in changing behaviors and its overall cost savings.
With advances in technology, compliance training can now be offered as easily digestible, friendly and interactive lessons, videos, and games that are delivered instantly to mobile devices, tablets, and computers in order to resonate with field representatives. Combining easy-to-learn options with full schedule and access flexibility provides an effective way to educate the field and reduce risk. With enterprise-level training in place, companies can now engage with their field in a way that ensures representatives are armed with the brand and compliance best practices that set them up for success while avoiding infractions.
Companies can also now establish training programs where their compliance teams can customize training to reach certain parts of their field. Since an organization’s field is made up of hundreds, even thousands of members, it only makes sense to have an individualized training program that can be sent to groups of representatives by rank, join date, a history of previous infractions. Such videos can even be customized by language and even ethnicity and gender to ensure the highest level of relatability.
With technology, training has become the viable and effective answer to assist in future-proofing any compliance program. Although not a guarantee, a combination of monitoring and education through training can provide the risk protection direct sellers need for a healthy bottom line and a happy field.
To learn how Momentum Factor can help with compliance training for your field, contact our team today!
And to expand your knowledge regarding compliance training, check out the following links:
- What Is Lifecycle Compliance? | Momentum Factor (momofactor.com)
- Watch Naxum’s Direct Selling Executive Forum Featuring Travis Wilson | Momentum Factor (momofactor.com)
- Recording Of Verb Technology’s Managing Compliance Webinar Featuring Jonathan Gilliam Now Available! | Momentum Factor (momofactor.com)
- Full Recording Of Factor Forum Webinar On Field Messaging Now Available | Momentum Factor (momofactor.com)
- Future Of Compliance In Direct Selling Webinar Recording Now Available | Momentum Factor (momofactor.com)
- A Chat With Momentum Factor’s Jonathan Gilliam: “The Industry Can Change From Within.” | Momentum Factor (momofactor.com)