This thought won't resonate with everyone, but it will resonate with some. I just held a team call, and this topic came up – and it sparked a whole flurry of thought.
Direct sales and sororities are VERY similar – let me tell you how. (I was in a sorority – Go ChiO!)
• Are actively focused on growing their membership.
• Hold opportunity events, similar to “rush” or “recruitment.”
• Focus heavily on empowering women’s personal development and independence.
• Pay a fee to join and stay active.
• Use a common word or phase to connote membership such as “Sister” or “Designer” or “Consultant.”
• Help fulfill a personal mission that aligns with the brand’s mission (or chapter mission) – to serve others in the community (motivate, inspire, bless, pay it forward, etc.)
• Use their brand as a platform to hold fundraisers and raise both money and awareness for various local, regional, and national philanthropies.
• Promote a strong brand identity, and compete against others (other direct sales companies, other sororities) for members.
• Promote a strong sense of sisterhood among its members, and compete against other teams (chapters, brands, lineages) for the best performance (sales vs. GPA, active participation) and greatest team spirit.
• Have colors, symbols, insignia, and mascots that its members proudly collect and proudly display.
• Wear apparel (t-shirts, sweatshirts, pretty much anything you can put a logo on) that connects to the sisterhood or brand.
• Have regional and national conventions to introduce new products and strategies, reinforce culture, and reignite the excitement.
• Leverage deep network connections to build relationships, and now through social media, engage and expand those networks more easily.
• Foster sponsor-recruit/upline-downline/big-little relationships.
• Participate in events and recruitment fairs.
• Offer opportunity for personal growth and leadership at local, regional and national levels.
• Offer the opportunity to develop lasting friendships with like-minded women.
• Create a culture of inclusiveness and acceptance, and being part of something bigger than yourself.
• And my favorite, live by the phrase “you get out of it, what you put into it.”
If you weren't in a sorority in college, hopefully this gives a little glimpse into why direct sales has a very sorority-like appeal, and the underlying psychology that will appeal to many.
For those who were in a sorority in college, look back at your rush/recruitment, membership, and chapter culture. Think about how you can apply those same ideas to both your sponsoring and to your team culture.