Exigo, the leader in global incentive management and also a member of WFDSA, gained some valuable insights about how to “Reimagine. Reinvent. (and) Redefine” our industry as a go-forward. Here, we present our top three takeaways from the show’s amazing speakers and leaders:
1. Direct Sales Adds a Human-centric Component to the Work-centric Gig Economy
One of the prominent themes that emerged is the clear human value direct sales adds to the gig economy. In an era chock full of digital platforms and app-based work, the gig economy often emphasizes the transactional aspect of work. In contrast, direct sales is deeply rooted in building lasting, personal relationships with the strength of direct sales rooted in the power of human connection. As Roger Barnett, Chairperson WFDSA (CEO, Shaklee) so eloquently put it: “Community is the most valuable thing we have…doing things together, moving forward together, growing and challenging ourselves together.”
Direct sales thrives on genuine interactions between people, emphasizing trust, rapport, communication…connection. This human-centric approach is not just about selling products but also about creating opportunities for individuals to grow, both personally and professionally. It's a model that benefits from authenticity and the human touch, a much needed component to the project and task-focused gig economy. For businesses in the direct sales industry, the key takeaway is to maintain and strengthen these human connections as the cornerstone of their success, along with the ever growing flexibility available in today’s gig economy.
2. Direct Sales Benefits the World through Innovation and Jobs
Direct sales is not just a business model; it's a force for positive change in the world. WFDSA showcased how direct sales contributes to global well-being through innovation and job creation. It was evident that direct selling companies are at the forefront of pioneering products, services, and business practices that drive innovation in various industries. From wellness products to sustainable consumer goods, direct sales companies are catalysts for positive change: the world’s first multivitamin in the US, the first plant-based protein supplement in the world, non toxic cleaning products, food storage w/airtight seals and the list goes on.
Furthermore, direct sales has a significant impact on the global job market. With its focus on empowerment and entrepreneurship, this industry provides opportunities to a diverse workforce, empowering individuals to run their businesses and achieve financial independence. The industry offers an alternative path to employment that is often more flexible and adaptable to people's needs, enhancing job satisfaction and work-life balance. This impact extends beyond profit margins, reflecting the industry's commitment to social responsibility and global betterment.
3. Take Risks Using Generative AI to Support Humans, Not Replace Them
As the world continues to evolve, the direct sales industry cannot afford to remain static. Embracing generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) was a hot topic at WFDSA Dubai 2023. The consensus was clear: AI should be viewed as a tool to empower human efforts, not as a replacement for them. This transformative technology offers the potential to enhance various aspects of the direct sales experience. In fact, 75% of direct sales companies believe competitive advantage will depend on who has the most advanced interactive AI, 50% are now integrating generative AI into products and services and 43% are using generative AI to inform their strategic decisions.
Generative AI can assist with personalized product recommendations, streamline communication, and optimize the sales process. Moreover, it has the power to provide invaluable insights into customer behavior and preferences. However, it's crucial to strike a balance and ensure that AI supports the industry's human-centric approach rather than overshadowing it. Exigo recognizes the importance of taking calculated risks by integrating AI into the direct sales ecosystem while preserving the essence of personal relationships that underpin this industry.
So, the WFDSA event in Dubai shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of direct sales. According to Rodger Smith, “Exigo's top three takeaways highlight the industry's commitment to human connections, innovation, and responsible AI integration. Direct sales isn't just a way to earn a living; it's a dynamic force that can drive positive change, create opportunities, and shape the future.” The direct sales industry remains at the forefront of evolving business practices, where human relationships continue to reign supreme, innovation is a driving force, and AI serves as a supportive tool for human success.
To speak with Rodger, learn more or to book a demo with the Exigo team, click here.