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Fast Start Bonus

Fast Start Bonus
Over the past 20 years, we have analysed our client’s data and discovered a disturbing fact. The attrition rate among network members who have not made significant headway within the first 6 weeks is exceptionally high. It is, therefore, necessary to develop retention strategies that ensure some degree of fast success. This is done in several different ways and I will discuss these strategies in a future post. One of the key strategies revolves around the compensation plan and, in particular, the fast start bonus. 

By creating highly achievable goals and placing a deadline on achieving them, you generate a sense of urgency, create highly defined goals and can reward your network quickly. 

The first step to creating a fast start bonus is to decide on what activities you think are most important. This will be different for every company but let’s create an example to demonstrate the thinking process.

For argument's sake let’s assume we are selling widgets. We can establish the priorities as follows:

1. Week 1 - Complete and pass sales training
2. Week 2 - Register one customer on the system with a $50 paid order
3. Week 3 - Register a second customer on the system with a $50 paid order
4. Week 4 - Complete and pass recruiting training
5. Week 5 - Recruit 1 new network member
6. Week 6 - Recruit 1 new network member

In the next few paragraphs, I will be referring to a reward.  This could be a once-off financial reward paid on the next commission; a company-sponsored incentive; an upline incentive; or some form of public recognition. Whatever you decide, the reward needs to be meaningful.

Complete and pass sales training – Week 1
In my experience, training is the biggest challenge. Since the network is generally geographically spread out, companies adopt a combination of manual, email and team leader training. If you are fortunate enough to have a system with an e-learning platform you will be able to create a course and establish competence through an online test. The training needs to revolve around achieving Points 2 and 3 above and you will need a mechanism to establish that your member has completed the training and is able to apply the knowledge. 

For passing the training in the first week, you provide a suitable reward. 

Make sales – Weeks 2 and 3
Weeks 2 and 3 are all about applying the knowledge they have gained in Week 1. This should be done with the help of their sponsor but if the sponsor is not involved, your training should be good enough to ensure the member's success. At the end of each week, you reward members who have achieved the customer sales goals. 

Complete and pass recruiting training – Week 4
As with the sales training above, your member should complete the recruiting training. The training needs to revolve around achieving Points 5 and 6 above and you will need a mechanism to establish that your member has completed the training and is able to apply the knowledge. For passing the training in the first week, you provide a suitable reward.

Recruiting – Weeks 5 and 6
In Weeks 5 and 6, the focus switches to recruiting. I will deal with the pitch and the pledge in a future blog but for the moment, let’s assume that the training gives them all the skills they need to recruit new members. If they achieve the goals for Weeks 5 and 6, you again provide a suitable reward.

Your leadership and the sponsor need to be heavily involved with the new member. If the member fails it must be despite everyone’s best efforts and not due to a lack of effort. I will do a deep dive into training in a future post but suffice to say, the training needs to be comprehensive and the concepts need to be articulated clearly.

Any member who achieves the above goals within the allotted time is highly likely to become a successful and productive member of your team.

Let me leave you with a warning - signing up people without a solid fast start strategy will result in a churn rate that is high enough to prevent exponential growth.