The channel surges to record growth during difficult year
The halfway point to 2021 has arrived. I suppose it is appropriate that I find myself both reflecting on the year to date and looking forward toward what’s to come. When thinking about my interactions with many of you during the past six months, the words that come to mind are—energy, adaptability and humility.
Energy. This channel demands it in the best of times. And during a time when social interactions were limited, negative media was peaking and the economy was still in recovery mode, the energy and positivity coming from direct selling C-suites across the country seemed to grow with every challenge. Executives I had the pleasure of speaking with could hardly contain their enthusiasm about their products, their field and their customers. As Warren Buffett says, “Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.”
Adaptability. What better word describes a business channel that relies on social selling to not only survive during a year of shutdowns and social distancing, but to report record-breaking sales? The recent release of the DSA’s Growth and Outlook Survey for 2020 absolutely confirms the results of direct selling executives’ willingness to pivot, rethink and adapt in the face of the unprecedented challenges of the past year.
Humility. “How can we do better?” “I was going about this the wrong way.” “I’m open to listening to new ways of doing business.” These are comments made to me during my chats with CEOs in the channel over the past 6 months. These attitudes speak for themselves, don’t they? I believe the most important part of being adaptable is being humble. Whether it’s starting from scratch on a marketing strategy, really listening to the field or addressing compliance issues head-on, the most effective executives in this channel are also the most humble.
The second half of 2021 will undoubtedly bring more challenges, obstacles and surprises for direct sellers to face. As we report in this issue, regulators are actively working on new ways to target your business models. The critics of network marketing continue to push negative stories to the media. And scientists warn that new COVID-19 variants might cause falling case numbers to rise again.
However, after adapting to the most difficult times of the past year with energy and positivity grounded in humility, I have no doubt that direct sellers will finish 2021 even more strongly than they started it.
I thank all of you for reading, and I look forward to reporting on your successes and lessons learned in the second half of the year.