June 17, 2018

The Trick to Independent Sales…is Sales

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sales

As part of my business and career coaching, I work with many wonderful men and women who have undertaken to build a brand around selling products through independant or network marketing. These are men and women with ambition, who believe in the products their selling, and who understand the value of leveraging interpersonal networks to build their own brand. However, with all the hype surrounding this model, some believe that success comes without effort. Truthfully, there is no product on the market that sells itself, and there has never been. The people that reach colossal levels of success distributing for these organizations are expert recruiters and sales reps. If you want to succeed in this industry, you need to identify the skills and strategies from their example that can be replicated. Here are a few case studies:

 

Jackie Ritz

Jackie started distributing doTERRA oils in 2009. She credits initial sales success to her enthusiasm for the product. “After feeling such a difference using dōTERRA, I couldn’t stop talking about them.” But the secret to Jackie’s success was moving into recruiting and success coaching. Whereas many multi-level organizations’ compensation plans produce diminishing returns the farther down your downline you recruit, Jackie leveraged this organization’s “unilevel compensation” method to drastically increase earnings with a depth-of-roster strategy.

Takeaways: Pay attention to your organization’s compensation methodology when determining the best sales strategy. A cookie-cutter approach might not work for every commission structure or product category.

 

Rolf Kipp

Rolf calls Forever Living “The Most Beautiful Business on Earth.” While perhaps overly poetic, his book is retailing for over $40 on Amazon. It’s unclear what percentage of his millions has come from product sales and referrals versus the book and speaking engagements, but it’s clear from his current marketing push that the latter is not insignificant.

Takeaways: Your level of sales success in sales pays off twice; once directly, and again when it can be leveraged to sell training materials to up-and-comers in the industry. While this is a strategy that may not pay off until later in your career, it is a lucrative one.

 

Brian McClure

Brian receives a staggering monthly income from a company that is (technically) a multi-level, Ambit Energy. Whereas most utility companies have contracts with municipal, county, or state governments that provide them with a de facto monopoly, Ambit operates in deregulated energy markets where this disruptive model can potentially drive down the cost of energy and gas bills significantly. Because these markets are new and few, Brian’s outstanding referral bonus can be attributed to his being an early arrival to a new and lucrative opportunity.

Takeaways: Truly successful, disruptive companies operate in “blue ocean” spaces where there is minimal competition. Try to identify new ways of solving old problems, and stake out that territory before someone else does.

 

No matter which brand or product you’re selling, the essential skills related to success are a willingness to learn and innovate, an emotional intelligence that can fuel your recruitment efforts, and above all, a willingness to get out there and drum up leads. The independent model might be an innovation of the last thirty years, but the keys to success are as old as markets themselves. Don’t let that discourage you; these skills are replicable. But it’s never going to happen without effort, no matter how convincing the hype.

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How to Make Your Team Feel Like an “Office Family”

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How to Make Your Team Feel Like an "Office Family"

You spend at least 8 hours every day at the office. You work with them, chat with them, eat lunch with them, and more — they’re basically your family away from home. But just like any family, creating an environment where these people actually feel like family takes effort. You need to have a shared sense of purpose that everyone is striving to achieve. If you’re feeling stumped, here are some ways to get started:

Foster Productive Open Dialogue

Part of building a team is being able to communicate effectively with one another. This means that all members of the team need to contribute to achieve success. Evaluating employees’ communication skills first can help you determine areas of weakness that may need training. There is a difference between talking to fill the silence and engaging in meaningful conversation. Productive dialogue involves the give and take of ideas. When dealing with hurt feelings, modifiers need to be added to the conversation. This means that one person states how the other person made them feel without laying blame for the situation.

Establish Rules for Interactions

Just as in a family, there must be rules that lay out ways to have positive interactions with each other. There also needs to be clear avenues for how to address grievances. You want your team to feel as though they’re valued. Everyone has something different that they can contribute to the team. Having ground rules can make these interactions more productive for the entire workplace.

Participate in Team Building Workshops

Team building workshops are a good way to get everyone on board. It’s most effective if you do this by signing up for structured courses. These programs are designed to engage everyone that attends, often involving group activities. The point of the activity is so that your team can learn how to work together to achieve a goal. The instructor can observe the interactions and make suggestions to correct behavioral problems. After the workshop, teams often experience “improved productivity, greater bottom-line results, and more quickly attain organizational goals” (CMOE Corporate Team Building Workshops).

Encourage Active Listening

Active listening is a skill that doesn’t always come naturally, but it can be learned. Those that practice active listening are more likely to be successful at work. This means listening to what the other person is saying before formulating your response. Repeat back what you think you heard. This way there won’t be any misunderstandings. This can lead to a more harmonious workplace and can also foster an environment of respect and trust.


Even the best technology and business models can’t succeed with successful relationships (Forbes). Having good workplace dynamics improves productivity, employee morale, and the quality of work produced. A large part of this involves communication. In order for your team to be successful, pretend you’re a family and work together.

We offer business and marketing consulting to increase revenues, develop a high performance team, and avoid costly mistakes. Book a complimentary 30-minute strategy session with Shannon today!

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