Keeping in touch with your direct sales team can be a challenge. There’s so much going in your life and theirs that weekly meetings are next to impossible. Even weekly chats, while easier than physical meetings, are hard to manage. But you can still “meet” with your team every week using an email newsletter, or ezine.
Weekly newsletters can provide training tips, sales meeting information, contest updates, new product reviews, discontinued product details, and much more. Here are some ideas for making use of this tremendous team building strategy to encourage and strengthen your direct sales team.
• Create an email list using Aweber, Constant Contact, or even Yahoo Groups. This will allow your team members to change their own email address as needed and update their preferences without your time and assistance.
• Encourage all team members sign up for the list so they can stay up to date on team news. You might let them know there will be topics covered in the weekly newsletter that aren’t covered anywhere else so they understand the importance of subscribing.
• Use trivia contests and virtual door prize drawings to keep interest. If you have a weekly winner, you can be sure your team members will be more likely to read the newsletter to see if it’s them!
• Highlight sales achievements by including a congratulatory note to the consultant with the highest amount in sales each week. Recognition is a strong motivator for a lot of people. It could encourage other team members to work harder to win that coveted spot in the next issue.
• Encourage consultant questions each week, and publish any you receive, along with the consultant’s name. Again, the recognition factor is a good thing. And it will help new team members know it’s okay to ask questions, while offering answers that others may have wanted to ask but didn’t.
• Clarify the purpose of your newsletter. Let your team members know what you hope to achieve through each issue. Perhaps you want to increase team sales, add new recruits, move the team to a higher level of community, host more parties. Whatever the goal, share it with your team so they know what you want them to aim toward.
• Provide interesting articles on topics that will help your team. Sales training tips, booking how-tos, getting past “no,” balancing work and family, party demonstration ideas, and anything else that your team needs to hear.
• Highlight new members and introduce veterans. People like to know who else is on the team, so use members’ names often. Let your team members encourage each other by asking for and sharing their tips and ideas with the rest of the team as well.
• Getting team members involved will go a long way toward motivating them, and your weekly ezine can do that in many ways. As mentioned, ask for tips and questions, and publish the responses you receive. You can also highlight the best party of the week, the one with the most guests, or any team member who brings on a new recruit. Ask for volunteers to write articles, submit photos or anything else you can think of to get them involved and give them a sense of ownership in the newsletter–and the team!
• Don’t assume that money is the only motivation for team members. While cash rewards or added income are sometimes motivational factors, many other things also work to bring out the best in people. Being a part of something (like the team), the fulfillment of a job well done, a sense of responsibility and more are strong motivating factors. Use each and every one in some way, along with prizes or cash incentives, to motivate your team to reach higher goals.
• It’s said about geese that the reason they fly in a “V” formation is that when each bird flaps its wings it creates uplift for the next bird, thereby giving the entire flock greater flying range. In the same way, team members who work together and share common goals and a sense of community can achieve greater results because of their shared strength.
Keep this thought in mind as you work to build your team through a weekly newsletter–and through all your other team-building efforts. It will serve you all well and help you reach your goals of more sales, bookings and recruits.