Will you permit anyone to place an order on your direct selling company’s website or must customers order only from the replicated websites of your representatives? Before you answer, understand that this question is actually on a controversial topic, as not all companies answer this one identically. Do you know all of your options?
Here They Are
Don’t Take The Order
An “orphan order” is a term used to describe an order placed by a customer who does not have a relationship with one of your sales representatives.
Traditionally, direct selling companies respected the role of its sales representatives to be the only channel through which orders for the company’s products could be placed. Perception was everything. Sales reps perceived that if the company easily accepted orders on its website from customers, the customers of a sales rep could and would place orders directly with the company, bypassing the sales rep who would not be compensated upon the orders placed by his or her customers.
Your company can choose to honor the promise not to compete with your sales reps by not accepting orders on your company’s website or you can make a different choice.
Ask For The Identity Of The Sales Rep
Another option is to ask during the order entry process for the identity of the sales rep, requiring the customer to choose the rep who will get the commissions and volume credit on the order. You can prompt for the ID number, name, zip code, etc. of the sales rep to help the customer to find him or her easily.
With this option, you would still need to choose whether to accept the order if the customer does not identify a sales rep.
Accept The Order, Share The Commissions
A third option is a novel one and that is to (a) accept the order without prompting for the identity of a sales rep, (b) place the commissions that would have been earned into a revenue pool, and (c) share the revenue pool with the qualified participants. You would decide who is worthy of sharing in this revenue pool. For help making this decision, contact Sylvina Consulting.
Let’s assume you’ve permitted that orphan customer to place an order with your direct selling company.
Will you ask the customer if he or she would like to talk with a sales representative about the company’s products or the company’s income opportunity? If you do this, be sure not to give the customer’s information to anyone without his or her permission.