By Eric Ludwig
Published at Shakespir
Copyright 2015 Eric Ludwig
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Our Tough Lesson
My wife and I ran this incredible contest for our downline. About 6 months before our company had a national rally, we started a contest that would reward one of our team members with a big shopping spree and lunch so that they could get one or two brand new nice outfits right before our rally. It was a great incentive for our team and we set reasonable qualifying criteria in retail, home show, and sponsoring. The contest seemed so good that some other leaders on our team decided to run the same contest for their teams.
The contest was a complete flop. Within a month or two, only a few people out of hundreds were on pace to win the shopping spree. I asked one of our stronger team members that was on pace to qualify if she was going for the contest and she couldn’t have cared less, in fact she pretty much forgot how to qualify or what the spree included. This was a shopping spree worth several hundreds of dollars! I’m a jeans and t-shirt guy, but even I would have been excited for a shopping spree like this.
At the end of it all, one of our team members qualified, but the excitement that we expected for the contest was sorely lacking. I realized that we made a lot of mistakes when we were planning the contests and our expectations were way off the mark.
It reminded me of a great essay called “On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B” by Steven Kerr. The essay is about how we set up rewards and incentive systems with good intentions, but they become completely ineffective and sometimes counter-productive. We basically lived it and, as much as we have no problem pouring into our downline, our costly incentive had no return for us or our team. We didn’t give any extra training, extra encouragement, or extra leadership and the girl that won would have gotten there by herself because she’s Rock Star. We did get to spoil one of our team members, but that contest should have been so much more fun, exciting, and productive.
The Value of Contests
Have you really thought of why you run contests? Contests are a great way to invest back into your downline and reward people that are working hard, but contests can and should be much more than that. Contests are a great way to help, train, and encourage your team while generating energy and excitement.
The problem with contests is that not many people are really intentional about administering contests in a way that have a clear purpose, appeals to their teams, returns some sort of value in performance or training, makes financial sense, and can be analytically assessed at the end.
Why the Theory of Contests
There is no right or wrong reason or method to running a contest. I called it the Theory of Contests because this e-book will get you to think about why and how you’re running your contest rather than just laying out a one-size-fits-all plan (Which will inherently not fit all). Knowing what makes a good contest is good, but knowing why it’s a good contest is powerful and will change the trajectory of your business.
I love my wife, but our approach to thinking is different which has consequences in our business and life. I’m very reflective when it comes to doing almost anything. By the time I communicate a plan, I’ve probably been thinking about it for a week or more so I have 90% completed plan in my head already. The same goes for most big things that I think about. In this way I spend a lot of time reflecting on things and very little time communicating. My wife is the complete opposite.
My wife is very reflexive. If I say the word contest she thinks “let’s make this fun and get it out now!” She will spend 90% of her time talking about how to make it fun and 10% actually thinking about how to run the contest, what we want to incentivize, how the contest will make financial sense, and the other things a Nerd thinks about.
Simply put; she thinks like the girl who’s the life-of-a-party and I’m the nerd perseverating on the most efficient way to set up the food and drinks. When we balance those two ideals, we have a great party!
A lot of people first come up with the prizes and a general idea how the contest will run. The problem with starting with contest rules and prizes is that you don’t really think about why you need the contest in the first place. If you don’t know why you’re running the contest, you won’t be able to frame the contest correctly or determine if the contest was successful or not. If you can’t measure success, you’re basically flinging things on to the wall hoping something sticks. It’s always better to be intentional about what you’re doing so that in the future you can scrap what doesn’t work and build on the things that do work.
Ask yourself why you’re running this contest. You will probably come up with an answer like “To generate excitement for my downline” or “To spoil people on my team” or “To encourage my downline to sponsor new distributors.” All of these are fair and good answers, but you need to keep digging with more why questions. I have a four year old who’s just starting to do that annoying why, why, why questioning. Eventually I get to a point where I just can’t answer another why question. That’s where you want to be with this.
For example, if you want to encourage your team to sponsor more, ask why your team isn’t sponsoring. This why, why, why questioning will eventually bore down straight to the “Real” reason you need to run the contest. Maybe your team isn’t sponsoring because they’re not doing shows. You may have set up a contest that awards sponsoring, but you’re setting yourself and your team up for failure since they’re not doing the shows that will connect them with prospects that will become distributors.
A nerd’s why will be something like “I’m running this contest because average retail per a show has dropped 20% in the last 6 months” or “My team is averaging fewer home shows then they were last year,” or “Several people in my downline have no bookings going into the fall season.”
Once you have your why figured out, it’s easier to figure out who you want included in the contest. When you arrive at your final why, you will probably naturally think of people who are struggling with this very problem. You might think of the person who was a Rock Star last year, but now they’re struggling or the people that just joined your team and started off good, but now their business has stalled.
You want to think of the 3-10 people you want to help the most and design the contest around them. Your contest should include more people in your team since you never know who will get fired up, but focus on those 3-10 specific people initially since they will be the ones you’re most likely to influence.
What is going to drive those people you identified as “Who” to work a little harder and be more intentional in their business? People are driven by all kinds of things. Money is always the go-to incentive and obviously it works to a degree, but it probably isn’t nearly as effective as you think it is.
$20 is really nice, but would you really be driven to make five phone calls a day for a month for $20. Would you be willing to get shot down 50 times to get an extra booking for $20? Someone who is highly motivated might say yes, but that same person would probably be even more motivated to be told ‘No’ 50 times because someone told them they could(or couldn’t) do it. Just think of our shopping spree! We overestimated how driven people would be by money. There’s a place for financial awards, but think about some other incentives first.
Gifts are good motivators. As a guy, I just can’t fathom why women are so motivated by bracelets that cost a few dollars. If you want to test this, run a mini-contest for $10 cash where the first person to get three bookings gets $10. Some people might go for it, but more than likely your people will do everything they can not to win the $10 since they don’t want to look greedy or desperate. Do the same contest with some kind of nice bracelet or fun decoration and you’ll have a battle royale on your hand even if the gift costs less than $10.
You might not have thought about it, but your time might very well be the best motivator especially if you were the sponsor. How many people do you think became a distributor despite not liking their sponsor on some level? Time is a precious commodity and people will know how valuable sacrificing your time for them is. A nice conversation over a cup of coffee or a mani-pedi with you will be a great motivator for your team. The mani-pedi, by the way, is a favorite of my “life-of-the-party” wife since she can easily justify it as smart business!
Here’s our new favorite one, but it works best if your team is pretty local. We love running contests where “qualifiers” have a shot to play in a gameshow we make up. We did a “Deal or No Deal” gameshow where some people either earned a guaranteed chance to play or an invite to attend the event where we gave away random drawings to play. We had a distributor that got to play three times! People love playing game shows and it makes for a fun reason to get together.
Praise is something that is all to lacking in our society. It probably wouldn’t be a great incentive to say “I’ll write a letter to whoever wins,” but if you send out a newsletter, make a little space to write a blurb about contest winners and what they did. This is especially useful when you have big organizations. We send out a monthly newsletter with recognition for our top distributors, but that recognition is based solely on cold-hard numbers and statistics. We recognize those achievements because they’re easy to quantify. I think going from zero bookings to three for a struggling distributor is as much, if not more difficult than having huge retail at a show, but you would probably never know someone worked that hard for bookings unless you ran a contest that tracked bookings.
Whatever incentive you choose, you want to create an enviable vision for your team. I would love it if someone just handed me money, but the thrill wares off fast. On the other hand, I would work pretty hard to win a date night package so that my wife and I had an excuse to go out. She is the life of the party after all!
Ask How Long
You need to create a contest that lasts long enough to give people a chance to work towards a goal, but short enough to keep people interested and motivated. If you’ve ever been to a large rally thrown by your company, you’ll see this really weird thing happen. People will leave there ready to run through walls and conquer the world to get recognized on stage or win a cruise, but when they get home and reality strikes, they quickly lose that energy. A month after the rally, only a few people are still working towards the goals they created at the rally or doing all the little things they need to do to go on that cruise. If your company, with all of its resources, can’t motivated people long-term with cruises, giveaways, cash prizes, and national recognition, then you probably can’t motivate them with a long contest either (another flaw in our shopping spree contest).
Keep your contests long enough that you can see a change in results, but short enough that you can keep excitement up. Larger contests should run between 1 and 3 months with 6 weeks being ideal. You can also mix in some short, high-energy contests that last only a few days or even a few minutes to fight for a bracelet!
This is where the life-of-the-party types normally start. You need to think about how you’re actually going to run this contest like what you’re going to track, how you’re going to track it, how you’re going to announce the contest, how you’re going to keep up the excitement, how you’re going to help your contestants, and how you’re going to present the winner(s) their prize.
You may have actually experienced this. Have you ever found out about a contest where you’re already well behind the curve? Imagine finding out there was an amazing prize for distributors who do 6 or more shows every month between July and September, but you find out about the contest on July 15th and you have only had 2 shows so far with no more bookings in the month. You just decide to chalk that contest up as a loss. Bummer. Don’t do that to your team!
There’s nothing wrong with giving your team a heads up that you’re going to run a contest. Aside from a contest that’s designed to create bookings, most contests require that distributors have pre-existing bookings on their calendar. Would it make sense to announce and start a contest that runs for the next 6 weeks and requires distributors to have 6 shows in that time? You will have some distributors who are glad they already have 6 bookings in that time, some distributors that give up because they don’t have any bookings for the next couple weeks, and some distributors who have zero bookings so they take themselves out of the contest right away. You might have a few distributors that realize they only need to get one or two more shows in that time, but they’re the only ones you’re really encouraging and they may not even get there without more training or encouragement. You’re basically setting most of the people in your team up for failure.
You should announce the contest at least a couple weeks before the contest starts. If you’re gearing the contest towards sponsoring, you should hold a sponsoring workshop or training a week before the contest starts and maybe you should announce a couple dates where you’re going to have a big sponsoring activity like an event or host(ess) appreciation night. If you’re trying to bump up retail, maybe you can do a product information session for your team members or role play the home show with team members to see where they could improve their presentation.
Piggyback on Large Events
Look to time your contests with rallies or large conferences. Our company has a regional rally in January and a national rally in July. We like to start contests about 2 weeks after the rallies (When the energy from the rally starts to dies down) and run contests leading up to the rallies. This means we run four larger contests throughout the year. We also run smaller contests as needed throughout the year, but four big ones.
If your company normally announces a promotion at those rallies, gear your contests towards those promotions. If you have a rally in January, you can announce your contests start date (maybe two weeks after the rally) and announce a training a little before the rally. Your company’s promotion almost certainly requires home shows so a week or so before the rally, do a training geared towards getting bookings. (Hint: Don’t worry about announcing the exact contest details. It’s enough to announce your training and that your contest will require bookings. Once you find out what your company’s promotion is, you should gear your contest to those same requirements.)
Here’s what this process looks like ideally. You announce a contest that will start two weeks after the rally and give a date in December to help distributors get bookings for January and February. You and your team hear about your company’s promotion at the January rally and now team members are already on pace to win the promotion so they’re fired up. You announce the prizes and details of your contest about a week after the rally to keep that excitement and momentum up from the rally. You start your contest two weeks after the rally and identify the people that need a little extra encouragement or training to win the company’s contest and yours.
Look at what happened. You gave your team plenty of notice about your contest and put them on pace for your company’s contest. You provided training before the rally so that team members were excited to be on pace for your company’s promotion while at the rally. When energy from the rally starts to die down, you inject energy by announcing your contest details and prizes. Two weeks after the rally when the memory of your company’s promotion starts to die out for 90% of people, you inject another boost of energy. You and your team dominate!
You can do something similar before rallies. Offer prizes like free registration, an exclusive dinner for rally attendees, maybe even a shopping spree. Set up the contest so that winners of your contest will also get to walk across stage or be recognized at the rally. Do whatever you need to do to get butts to the rally. You just don’t have the resources to mimic the energy and excitement that’s created at a rally even if your influence factor is 25%.
Communicating the Contest
Don’t forget that announcing the contest and/or training is only part of the process. You need to be individually zeroing on the people that probably wouldn’t normally win the contest, but are close. E-mail, Facebook, and trainings are a great way to talk about the contest, but you need to focus on your target group by talking to them individually to see how they’re doing with the contest. Offer those special people extra training and encouragement. Remember your greatest impact will be with the marginal distributors; the ones who consistently perform, but haven’t cracked into the Rock Star group yet. If your Target group is 50 distributors, set to talk to 12-15 of them every week to see how things are going. If a few people stop calling you back or clearly don’t care about the contest, find other people in your target group to replace them.
This is where you create your influence factor. If you announce the contest and do nothing else, your influence factor is pretty much a 0%. If you can get those 12-15 people out of your target group over the line, your influence factor is 25%. Did you think I made up that 25% number…OK well sort of, but there’s a logic there. When it comes to contests, some will, some won’t, but you need to focus on the people that might.
Length of the Contest
This really depends on your ability to keep it exciting for your team. After a few weeks, people start ignoring Facebook posts and e-mails about the contest. Unless you can figure out some way to keep people charged, I would stick to contests that run no more than 6 weeks. Think about it this way. If you get bored of tracking the contest and your excitement to help your team starts to die down, then how excited do you think your team is?
I was able to attend a men’s only conference for husbands whose wives were distributors in a predominately feminine distribution company. It was an extraordinary opportunity to interact closely with the husbands that worked with their wives to build extraordinarily successful businesses. I happened to be sitting next to the guy who worked with his wife to become the very top distributors in the company. They had been in the company for well over 20 years so if there was a single person at the conference that has probably heard and seen it all, it was this gentlemen. Imagine how impressed I was when he took notes from everyone who spoke at that conference. What a nerd…what a leader! After over 20 years in the business, he was still hungry to learn and build on what was already a highly successful business and pass that on to his downline.
How many times have you heard that the key to growing a direct sales business is to develop leaders? I think two of the most important characteristics of a leader is trainability and intrinsic motivation. These are the people who say they are going to do something and get it done. No excuses, no bull, just performance.
Good leaders and performers are exceedingly difficult to find. Identifying a leader or performer is difficult since leaders and performers don’t exactly have ‘Leader’ or ‘Rock Star’ tattooed on their forehead. We’re actually terrible at really assessing potential for leadership or performance because we are conditioned to look at appearances instead of what’s going on inside. How many times have you, or someone you know, been excited about someone who’s going to be a Rock Star and three months later they’ve gone the way of Ferris Buehler?
Nerds make the best Rock Stars and Leaders! Nerds listen to advice, find a way to succeed, develop a passion for learning, and pass that wisdom to their team. Sort of sounds like a leader to me! Don’t get wrapped up by the cutie-ba-tooty women with a PhD in Rocketsurgery that has the best personality. They may have the potential to become a great leader, but you may get so caught up with Dr. Rocketsurgery that you overlook the hardworking go getter that’s just hungry to create a better life for their family.
Contests are a Test
You only have so much time to work with people. You need to figure out who to work with because you may waste a lot of time with Dr. Rocketsurgery while your real leader or performer just needed some encouragement and guidance.
How do you find a leader or performer? Find the nerd. How to you find a nerd? Nerds read! Why not include a homework assignments in your contests? Just look for who does the assignment. I’ve been around a lot of leaders and great performers in the navy, school, community, and in business and I’ve never come across someone exceptional who doesn’t read.
Good leaders and performers are also good followers. If someone isn’t willing to read something you recommend them, how much will you be able to influence or motivate them when times are tough in their business? How will they be able to create an organization as successful as yours if they don’t listen to your advice, learn from your mistakes, or build on your successes?
Numbers Don’t Lie
You’ll come across a lot of people that talk a big game or just give off an aura of success. Do they really achieve? Contests are helpful in identifying the people that are most consistent in your team and willing to put forth effort to build their business. These are literally your money makers. Use contests to find out who is hungry for greater success. These are the people you should be helping, molding, and mentoring. Forget cutie-ba-tooty Dr. Rocketsurgery who does 8 shows one month, disappears for a couple months, doesn’t return your phone calls, and suddenly calls you out of the blue to complain about returns & exchanges, cancellations, and whatever else.
Let numbers identify the stars in your organization, not biased opinions.
You really should reinvest roughly 10% of your commissions back into your downline. That’s not scientific and you can choose to do less or more, but 10% is a good starting point and some of that 10% should be used for contests.
Wherever possible, you want the contest to pay for itself or come pretty close. Some people think “Well OK, I want to run a contest where everyone who does 4 shows for a month gets some kind of prize worth $100. If I make an average of $25 from every home show, I can pay each winner $100 and the contest pays for itself.” Nerds say “Not so fast!” and here’s how a nerd thinks a contest should pay for itself.
Identify a Performance Gap
What you really did when you bored down and thought about your contest’s “Why” was identify a “Performance Gap.” A performance gap occurs anytime there is a gap between what is happening and what should or could be happening. If last year, your top 10 performers average 4 shows a month and now they average 3 shows a month, you have a performance gap of one show. If, on average your team should sponsor 1 person out of every 10 home shows, but now they’re sponsoring 1 person out of every 25, you have a performance gap. If you’re new distributors aren’t doing anything, you have a huge performance gap!
When you run a contest, your goal should be to close some sort of gap among a specific group. Whatever financial reward you stand to gain from closing that gap should get poured right into the contest.
No matter what you do, your contest is probably not going to improve the performance of your best performers or your worst. If you decide that you want to give an incentive to people who do 4 shows in a month, the people who always do 4 shows will probably continue to do 4 shows and the people who do 0-2 shows will probably continue to do 0-2 shows. No matter how you set up your contest you are not going to see much of a difference with these people. That means that while the contest appears “to pay for itself” when someone does 4 shows, it actually doesn’t since those people doing 4 shows would have done 4 shows anyways. All you’re doing is giving money right back to your best performers. There’s nothing wrong with spoiling your best performers(you should anyways), but you should think about using the contest to help the distributors who are right there capable of becoming a top performers and give them the training, resources, incentives, and encouragement a contest offers to get them there.
Word of Warning!!!
I’m about to go from Nerd to Nuclear Geek with some math. It’s a little bit difficult to follow, but there are some major advantages to trying these types of calculations before you start a contest. Here are a good reasons so don’t skimp:
You keep yourself honest-You can run a contest and some people in your team will win something, but the contest may completely fail to encourage, motivate, or train anyone. If you set a benchmark for success, you are more likely to work towards improving your team’s performance.
You can determine whether the contest was a success-Don’t wing it! Do a calculation so that you can look back and see whether the contest closed any performance gaps. If performance increased more than you expected or less, figure out why.
You get peace of mind about how much you’re spending on contests-It’s a lot easier to set aside hundreds of dollars for a contest when you know the contest won’t break your bank. At some point, wouldn’t it be really nice to know definitively that you can set up a contest that pays for itself when you’re giving away a huge prize like a cruise?
Formula for Funding a Contest:
Target Group (TG)-The number of people or shows that have the potential for better performance
Influence Factor (IF)-How much influence you have on your teams results
Performance Increase (PI)-How much of a gap can be filled
Gain-How much you stand to earn incrementally for increased performance
Example 1-Home Shows
We’ll continue with the 4 shows a month example and assume you make $25 from each show on average. For planning purposes, ignore the top performers and ignore the bottom performers. You want to nudge the ones in the middle.
To identify your Target Group (TG), look at who:
-Had two or more months with 4 shows
-Averaged above 2 shows a month
-Have done 2 or more shows every month for the last 6 months
(Hint: Don’t worry about the ones you have a “gut” feeling about. These numbers don’t have to be exact down to the decimal to work and I would error on the conservative side anyways)
This is where art meets science. Let’s assume you identify 50 people that are in your TG. You will never be able to get all of these people to do 4 or more shows so you need to make another assumption. If you think you can really spin these people up, get them excited, train them, and keep them motivated enough to go for the contest, make your Influence Factor (IF) 25%. Your guestimating that your encouragement and influence can get 25% of your TG to do one more show than they would have normally done. The extra show is your Performance Increase. The $25/show is your Gain. Here’s how you “pay” for the contest:
[* 50 people x 25% x 1 extra show/person x $25/show=$312.5 to put into the contest *]
(Hint: For the Life-of-the-party people out there, the math is basically telling you that you can spend a little over $300 as long as you can get 12 people to do one more show during the contest than they normally would have. Don’t overestimate your influence though. It’s a lot easier to think you can influence 12 people to do an extra show than it is.)
If you’re not as sure you can fire up your team or your team has a lot of people you don’t regularly see face-to-face, you might want to use 10% as your influence factor. Here’s what you should put into the contest:
[* 50 people x 10% x 1 extra show/person x $25/show=$125 to put into the contest *]
Now that you know how much you have to pour into the contest, you can start thinking of the fun stuff like what you get for your downline. Maybe you can do a drawing or a gameshow with that money.
You can use the same formula for sponsoring, but we have to think a little differently about all the factors. Now your TG is the total number of home shows you expect your team to do during the contest. Let’s say you expect your team to do 250 shows. Your IF is still a guestimate but 10-25% should be about right. Your PI will be whatever your average sponsoring ratio should be minus what it is. If your team should sponsor 1 person out of every 10 shows, but they are sponsoring 1 out of every 25, your PI is:
Your Gain will be how much your average commission is from each distributor. If your commission is $1000/month and you have 100 distributors, your monthly Gain=$1,000/100=$10. The one thing about sponsoring is that you’re not going to make very much from each additional distributor per month, but you will get a commission from them every month. I would multiply Gain for the next 6 months, maybe even a little extra since some of those new distributors will also sponsor. Now you can make your gain at least $60 (6 months x $10/month)
[* 250 shows x 25% x 1.5people/25shows x $60=$225 *]
If you left Gain at $10, your contest budget would only have been:
[* 250 shows x 25% x 1.5people/25shows x $10=$37.5 *]
The contest would have paid for itself in a month, but you’re not giving away much more than a coffee date!
Example 3-Low Retail
This is basically the same process as the home show. To get your TG, take all of distributors and figure out who is pretty close to a good average in retail. If your team’s average home show retail is $500, I would look at all the people who average between $400-499 per a show and do two or more shows a month. Your TG will be the number of shows those people are expected to do. If you identified 50 people and those 50 people did an average of 3 shows, your TG would 150. Make your (IF) 25% if you’re feeling confident. Let’s set your performance increase at $100($100 comes from subtracting what the average is currently from what it should be which is $500-$400). Your Gain will be whatever your commission is from $100 in retail from your downline, but we’ll assume you would earn 5% from your downlines retail.
[* 150 x 25% x $100 x 5% commission=$30 to put into the contest *]
Even a bad contest or a contest that failed to achieve the goals you set out for it has value since you should have learned something from it. Did you overestimate your influence? Could you have provided better training? Did your team not care about the contest? There’s always room for improvement so don’t beat yourself up when things don’t turn out as you expected. Eventually as you get better at designing contests and your team learns how to respond to contests, you’re going to help a lot of team members and your business will grow. Here’s how to assess the contest.
Look at the Numbers
I know the math was pretty crazy to come up with a contest budget, but now you can simply compare the budget with performance. Look at your TG and see if the numbers match up to reality. Were you able to get 25% of those team members to do one more show than they would have? Don’t worry about those strong performers or your weak performers.
How much training were you able to do during the contest? Did you do one or two special training events as part of the contest? Were you good about contacting team members to help and encourage them during the contest? Even if you didn’t see a marked improvement in performance, all that training will pay off later.
Did your team get fired up for the contest? Were they excited throughout the whole contest? How many people legitimately tried to win the contest? If people missed, will they be gunning for the next one?
Leaders and Performers
Did anyone stand out as a go-getter? Was anyone’s excitement and motivation less than you thought it would have been? Do you know the two or three people you want to work more closely with? Did you reveal a closet nerd? Did someone come out of the woodwork to crush it?
Were people excited about the prizes? Did the winners have fun when they won? Did some people who wouldn’t have normally attended a rally go because they won the contest or would be recognized during rally?
Actually write down the answers to these questions and list what, if any, changes you would make the next time.
Contests can be an incredible tool if you’re intentional about figuring out why you’re running them and how this contest will help your team. Take a little bit of extra time to plan out your contest so that you can assess the results at the end and provide great training and encouragement to your team. Try to drive your influence factor up with each contest.
Turn that potential in your marginal performers into success. Have fun with contests and make sure your team does too!
I hope you enjoyed this free e-book. To receive free e-books in the future and check out articles with tips and tricks to help your business, please check out to join our community and follow the blog. Nerds rule the world!
Contests are a great way to invest back into a direct sales downline and reward people that are working hard, but contests should be a powerful tool to build businesses. Contests should help, train, and encourage direct sales teams while generating energy and excitement. The problem with many contests in direct sales is that many people fail to conduct contests in a way that narrows a performance gap, appeal to team members, and include training opportunities. The Theory of Contests will get people in direct sales to think about why and how contests are run rather than just laying out a one-size-fits-all plan. Knowing what makes a good contest is good, but knowing why it is a good contest is powerful and can change the trajectory direct sales businesses when performed frequently and smartly.