December 01, 2015
Direct Selling’s Strength Is in Its People
by Lauren Lawley Head
As the team at Direct Selling News sat down to take the pulse of the channel as 2015 draws to a close, we saw the power of the people coursing throughout the direct selling community.
It’s impressive to see so many companies adapting—and thriving—in an environment in which consumer tastes, shopping preferences and technology use are changing at an ever-increasing pace, and it speaks to the fundamental strength of the model of one person selling a product or service to another in a very personal interaction. U.S. DSA President Joseph N. Mariano described it beautifully: “Direct selling is increasingly seen as a modern, sustainable professional pursuit, and that means more opportunity for more people over time.” We look forward to covering that continuing transformation in 2016.
I had the privilege of spending some time with one of our feature story subjects at a U.S. Direct Selling Association event this fall. As we spoke, Traci Lynn, Founder and President of her namesake jewelry company, shared with me her firm belief in the power of personal connection between the home office and the field. In fact, during the earliest years of building her direct selling business, her strategy was to limit expansion to only areas that she could reach by car. “If I couldn’t drive to a location, then we couldn’t open up that market for recruiting,” she told writer Beth Douglass Silcox for the story that begins on Page 44. “I used to go to every business opportunity meeting, every training. I wanted to know the field. I needed to build relationships.”
Today, with a company 25,000 sales consultants strong, Lynn has loosened the reins on growth, but she continues to spend as much time with her field as possible. The day we spoke, she was planning to spend the evening with some of her leaders in the area and was gearing up to bring 300 consultants back to Washington for DSA’s Direct Selling Day on the Hill later that month. It is precisely because of her strong connection with her field that when Lynn wants to mobilize them for a common cause, they respond. “When I call for the Force, they come,” she says. “I need them to come out and support, so we can make sure that everyone is very aware of direct selling and what we do.”
Also in this issue, we explore Team National’s celebration of four consecutive years of double-digit growth and the company’s increased focus on rewarding its independent marketing directors. Additionally, we bring you the vision of Executive Director Gary Huggins for the Direct Selling Education Foundation’s (DSEF) coming year.
As you put the wraps on 2015, don’t forget to submit your company’s information for the Direct Selling News Global 100 ranking. This will mark our seventh year producing the premiere list of the world’s largest direct selling companies, and each year it has grown in its influence and recognition. Participation is simple. All you have to do is complete a short survey about your company and submit a signed revenue certification form. You’ll find more information on our website, www.directsellingnews.com, or send me an email and I’ll make sure to connect you with our research team.
We also hope that you will mark your calendars and plan to join us as we unveil the list at a gala event April 7 at the Omni Hotel in the heart of Dallas, Texas. This is a night to celebrate the achievements of the entire channel and a wonderful opportunity to connect with peers.
Enjoy these final weeks of 2015, and we look forward to connecting with you in the new year!
All the best,
Lauren Lawley Head
Publisher and Editor in Chief