Who’s ever heard of a Consultant of the Month (COTM) program, or Party of the Month (POTM) club? In Direct Sales lingo, this is typically setup with consultants from twelve different direct sales brands. Each month, one of the consultants opens up a party, and the other eleven place a minimum-value order on that party. In theory, over the course of the year, you are guaranteed one good party, while supporting other direct sales sisters. Similar programs are called party trains and party ladders, and have the same basic premise. When you buy from others, they in theory reciprocate and buy from you.
Consultant of the Month Programs
Now – does it work, and is it financially worth it? Hmmm, I’m not so sure.
- It’s a great social experience to build relationships with consultants in other brands.
- You may try and love products from other brands that you wouldn’t have otherwise tried.
- In your month, you get to share your brand with others, in hopes of sales and prospects.
- You will hopefully have one good party every year.
- A year is a long time. If you are one of the first consultant months (typically based on random drawing), it will likely be better than one of the later months.
- Someone is going to have to administer and control the program, which also means being the police to make sure it’s fair and people are placing their required orders every month. There is bound to be someone that falls off the wagon over the course of the year, terminates her business, goes inactive, or just otherwise flakes out and doesn’t place her required order.
- There will likely be inequity in the price points of products across the various brands. You may have to spend more than $25 just to get a minimum order in for one (or more) of your months.
- Financially, is it worth it to buy from others, versus investing in your own brand? Let’s do the math.
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Let’s assume that that the “average” commission (or consultant discount) for your direct sales brand is 25%. Yours may be higher or lower, but for this example, let’s assume 25%. Let’s assume that the required party order for the COTM program is $25.00, which means that each party is guaranteed a minimum party value of $275 (eleven orders at $25 each).
Program Party Math:
You will spend $275 retail (minimum, plus tax and shipping), to participate in a monthly program by buying from other consultants over the course of eleven months. This could vary depending on the price point of products from the various brands.
Your Own Party Math:
In the month of your own party during the Consultant of the Month program, you will make $275 retail (minimum), from the eleven other consultants. Assuming our 25% commission rate, you will earn commission of $68.75 on your party month. So, you’ve spent $275 over the course of your year, to earn a non-guaranteed $68.75 on your own party.
NOW… the question is, would you be better served to invest that $25 retail you were going to spend with other brands back into your own business every month at wholesale? $25 in wholesale purchase every month for 12 months, would be $300 in wholesale investment into your own business over the course of one year. This is enough to likely stay active with your own brand, and will yield $75 annually in commission when you resell those products through your own parties and events at retail price. (This presumes a business where you can invest in sellable inventory or display.) Or, that could be $25 per month spent on marketing your own business, with catalogs, cards, vendor events, paid advertising, business coaching, or other collateral.
There is no question that there is intangible and non-financial value to participating in Consultant of the Month programs – relationship building with other consultants, trying other brands you otherwise wouldn’t have tried, and sharing your own brand with others.
But the question you need to ask yourself, is whether it is financially worth it to spend $206.26 (that is the $275 you'll spend, minus the $68.75 you'll earn on your own party), versus investing back into your own business for longer term gain. Or, if the only reason you are doing a Consultant of the Month program is to guarantee your own month of sales, you may need to look at other methods to build your own business, get leads and sales, source events, get online with social media, and sponsor new team members.
I kind of love consultant math. And honestly, you should too. This type of analysis will help you make the best decisions for your business.
I am currently in a COTM group. This is my month and my last month- it is a 6 month group. I have made my purchases faithfully each month, but there has been a few months that the other people in the group do not purchase and some actually will leave after everyone else has made a purchase from them. So far 2 out of 4 people have made their purchase from me for December, and it’s the 23rd lol so we will have to see.
I do not use the COTM for sales. I have loved almost everything that the other people sell and have made great connections.
Hope this helps someone!
This is definitely something I know to stay away from now. There are some groups who play games like raffles using PayPal and the prizes are shopping sprees with the consultants companies. It might be fun but you’ll find yourself buying lots of stuff you don’t want or need.
You would be much better off investing in training programs and learning how to build your business instead. Or invest in a new business that you know you can actually sell. Most people join COTM groups because they are desperate for sales due to lack of training and mentoring.
This is the BEST article EVER! Women in direct sales need to read this and be aware of what a COTM group really is! Instead of spending money and buying things, invest it in your business in other ways.
Party Plan Magazine
I just wrote a post on this very topic! I believe that those who are in these groups are cheating themselves and their DS business! Good to see that others are slowly learning that these type of groups really aren’t all they are cracked up to be!
I have a group that is not a COTM and it is working fine. We’ve cut out all the headaches of the COTM. I am currently in a few COTM groups and I’ve gotten screwed left and right because of it. I am currently waiting on $200 from the admins. And they are getting upset because I am aggravating them for it.
So what are you doing for your group?
I like them, because you are planting a seed for your DS company for someone to join or be a customer. They get to learn about your DS company and all the things it has to offer. I do think that it should be fair and I believe that sometimes admins do take it to the extreme and always have winners purchasing from them I don’t think this is fair. I believe they think it is their right as they are the ones working and controlling and putting the time and effort into making sure the group works. I am creating one where it will be stated in the rules that 1 out of 3 games will include purchasing from me ( the admin) so that I am upfront and honest.