Reaffirming DSA’s Mission

I’ve mentioned several times that my goals on include correcting misinformation about direct selling while also providing a forum for discussing topics relevant to direct selling.


One thing I didn’t fully anticipate was that people would have questions about DSA’s mission. Several people have asked, “How can DSA represent the direct selling industry and work to protect the sales consultants and consumers involved?”


It’s a legitimate question, one that DSA President Neil Offen addressed during his Annual Meeting Speech last week in Phoenix. He explained that these twin goals are really two sides of the same coin, but I’ll let Neil speak for himself:


“Of course we have a duty to our dues-paying members to protect and promote their interests, but one of the most important ways we fulfill that part of our mission is through a commitment to consumer protection. By holding ourselves to a higher standard, by policing our own actions through a system of self-regulation that goes above and beyond the requirements of the law, we do more to promote and protect ourselves than is possible through any other method.”


In other words, we achieve one goal by achieving the other. Happy, satisfied customers who understand and exercise their rights as consumers represent the best kind of success for DSA and every member company. We never rest on our laurels, and Neil shared his thoughts on where we plan to focus our efforts in the coming year and beyond:


“We must continue to do more to enforce our own rules and always act in the best interests of our sellers and their customers. Throughout the course of this meeting, we have heard about Corporate Social Responsibility. But it means more than “doing well by doing good.” It means operating using only the highest standards in business ethics by every measure of the term. The tenets of the (DSA) Code (of Ethics) outline this behavior, but consumers and distributors will ultimately define acceptable marketplace standards. Today’s consumers and distributors are empowered and they speak loud and clear – we must listen and act accordingly. Companies and industries that do not meet consumer expectations will be left by the roadside.”


Neil, who reinforced the Association’s ongoing review and enhancement of the Code of Ethics, closed his remarks by reminding attendees that when it comes to DSA’s mission they must think about the long term:


“We have made great strides this past year, but the road before us is long and winding. We are in it for the long-haul and we shall not retreat from [our members’] mandate to always do what is right, to choose the high road when faced with a fork and to always have DSA act in the public interest…for that is in the interest of our companies and its millions of salespersons who rely on us.”


Neil’s remarks accurately reflect the importance of representing member companies, independent sellers and consumers – the concepts really are inseparable and I look forward to continuing to comment on this site about our efforts.

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