Who would know more about what women are looking for from their network marketing life and work than the globe trotting co-founder of the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance? Nicki spends 397 days a year traveling and talking to women. She knows what women want. Surely you’ve noticed. Go to any company recruiting or training event or attend any national convention and without a doubt, you will see… women are the driving force behind the direct selling profession. Now, before anyone gets uncomfortable or moves on to the next article, let us recognize that men, without question, have and will continue to play a significant role in the growth of the industry. Men bring a much-needed perspective to both the corporate and field level. But the truth is that if your organization mirrors the national statistics published by the DSA, approximately 79 percent of your distributors are women. Why is that? NULL
First and foremost, women are natural networkers, nurturers, and jugglers.
Women are driven by an “inclusive vision” that represents a better life for themselves, their families, their companies and the people within their organizations. Studies conducted by the Direct Selling Women’s Alliance found that above all, women are drawn to direct selling, because it enables them to wear the many hats of individual, mother, wife, leader, friend and successful business person without giving up their most prized possession— their freedom! Notice that it is not the promise of “big money” or the hype of long-term residual income that brings them “in mass,” rather it is because a direct selling career meets their very real needs, right now, in a personally significant way.
In short, direct selling offers a viable and lucrative alternative that enables women to fulfill their roles, grow as individuals and create financial stability for themselves and their families.
Now, more than any time in history, women are putting their high-powered careers on the back burner and choosing to stay at home with their children. Sadly, this loss of a second income creates a heavy financial burden on most households. In fact, it has been said that 80 percent of all home foreclosures could have been avoided with just $100 per month in additional income— a benefit easily enjoyed by even a part-time direct seller. Why is this important to you as a leader? Because, according to the US Census Bureau 2000 statistics, there are over 144 million women in the United States, of which only 10 million are in direct selling. We have not yet begun to scratch the surface of possibility! We need to pose a “collective question” and ask ourselves how we can engage more women in the magic of this profession! The DSWA is so intrigued by this vision that they have set as a primary objective to see that more women join the direct selling wave this year than in any year in its history! How can you play a part in bringing more women to the industry and better yet, your organization? The answer is quite simple… you absolutely mustunderstand what women want. What do women want? It’s a question that has puzzled men for years and is now being asked by every company offering a product or service since Faith Popcorn, author and trend expert, shared that women control 80 percent of household spending today. This question has been such a hot topic that it even inspired a Hollywood movie script, headed by none other than Mel Gibson, who despite the antics and his challenge with pantyhose, never truly discovered the answer to the question. Ok, Let’s begin by looking at what we do know about women. According to Faith Popcorn…
- A woman opens a new business every 60 seconds.
- Women are leaving corporate America at twice the rate of men.
- Female consumers control 80 percent of household spending.
- Women are juggling more now than in any other time in history and they are looking for a way to simplify their lives.
- Women are masters at multi-tasking, able to switch roles and responsibilities as quickly as they change their shoes.
- Women are looking for work alternatives that allow them to be home and maintain a connection to the world outside.
- Women are moving up in leadership positions and becoming top producers in companies around the world.
And the list goes on and on!
Whether you are a distributor building a large organization or a corporate CEO steering your company into the future, you need to become a student of the wants, needs and challenges of women today.
Here are some places you can start. 1. Ask more questions It may be a mystery to you, but it is not a mystery to them. Women know what they want and they will tell you if they believe your interests are genuine and well intentioned. 2. Talk less, listen more Ask for the thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the women on your team. You may be surprised that they already have the answer you’ve been looking for. 3. Walk a day in their shoes High heels and stockings are optional! Recognize and appreciate the multiple roles and responsibilities they juggle every day and let this help you see them for the strong, capable women they truly are. 4. Read Build it Big – 101 Insider Secrets from Top Direct Selling Experts. This book will share some real insights into how women build their direct selling businesses. It addresses challenges around integrating family and business as well as many areas of concern for women in the direct selling world. 5. Build relationships, not hierarchies Women want and expect their business relationships to be rewarding, enjoyable and enriching. Take the time necessary to know them for the dynamic individuals they are. What do women want? For those of you who took a moment to jot down these words of wisdom – congratulations, you are on your way to finding the answer to this important question! For those of you who did not, that’s OK, we’ll catch you next month. Because the truth of the matter is… patience happens to be one of our strong suits as well.