Free Enterprise Days 2013

My goodness, what a weekend. Its not every day that you get a chance to witness your longtime friend earn a “life championship” by getting recognized in front of thousands of people for becoming WWDB Founders Diamond in the Amway business.

I was asked a few times this weekend what its like for someone like myself who had known Dean before he became the well known leader that he is today, to witness the success he had created with his wife. My response was simply that it proves that the business can work for anyone if they are willing to change and get out of their comfort zone.

Change is a choice. What causes that choice is based on a “why” or purpose. Be that a dream of future success’ or desires or a nightmare of potential negative outcomes. The new Diamond ceremony definitely showcased how a life championship not only is a victory for just Dean and Marcie – but more importantly for many other individuals and couples who have been impacted positively because of their victory. Their victory came by helping others achieve success’ in their life which was passed on through their organization. You don’t become a Diamond, let alone Founders Diamond by not helping many others create victories in their lives. It was an amazing weekend and an amazing function.

Here’s to future growth.

~ C

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Good Morning Primerica

Instead of waking up on my own this morning I received a phone call at around 10:35am. This was to be my sleep in day as we’re getting ready to hit the road tomorrow morning for Portland Free Enterprise and I won’t get sleep in time while down there.

The lady sounded professional and friendly and advised me that she had gotten access to or found my business card – how I can’t figure. I leave my card in free draws that local business’ put on for a free lunch or similar things but don’t generally leave them places like on bulletin boards telling people to call me to get rich or whatever . I only give them out, normally to those I’ve spoken to directly and even then, I don’t use them often when looking to sit down with someone to start a process with them. So I was kind of surprised when she laid a Bill Hawkins on me. I swear she had just finished listening to Bill Hawkins’ “How to Contact and Invite”.

We’re currently looking to expand our business in your local area and are looking for some great people to head up our new location. Are you open to other opportunities or are you locked in to what you’re doing right now?

In my semi conscious state I had to smile to myself as right away I knew this was a non-traditional business opportunity just by hearing that line. Not that there’s anything wrong with the line as it is a legitimate question – straight to the point and relevant – its just that   what I’ve been taught is that this is similar to beginning training and basics we would have a new IBO listen to just as a very very basic framework so they can start from there and build up their own dialogue with people.

So, even though I had no plans on taking on another side business I told her I was always open to learning more about other opportunities just to learn some details. I like learning about other networking companies and how they roll as I can talk to people about it from my personal experience with them. Personal experience always holds more weight than hearsay (hint: that’s why personal use is as important as it is) and it helps me because I can get details I can share with prospects when I sit down with them and educate them about the industry or talk about during my “pyramid scheme” part of plans when I’m on the board for our team.

She advised me that the opportunity would be managing an office or location for Primerica. I advised her I had heard of Primerica before and knew of it to which she seemed quite pleased. She went over a vague outline of how they are looking for people to help run the new office. Since I had been looking into new job opportunities to see if I could get a new job with better hours (even after 6 years with my current employer I’m still lucky to get 1 or two weeks a year with a decent Monday – Friday schedule) I asked if this was for an hourly or salaried type position – because I was looking for that if the schedule was better than what I had now with a salary close to what I was currently earning.

She confirmed that it was a commission based position which told me I would directly be involved with selling Primerica services or the Primerica opportunity. As soon as I was able to confirm that it was not an hourly or salaried position as an office admin or manager I thanked her for her consideration and the opportunity, however I was already committed to my current job and business until I phased out of my job in a year or so.

The lady, who to her credit remained very friendly, courteous and non-pushy, advised me that many people who were involved with Primerica were able to also replace their full time income to walk away from their regular jobs. I told her I thought that was awesome because trading time for money was the worst way to make an income and the opportunity sounded like it allowed people to do things differently which was great! She got excited that it seemed that I was one of those who “got it”. Who understood that making money by trading my time, while kind of secure, wouldn’t ever allow me to live the way I wanted and had no gaurantees.

I then had to repeat that I already had other commitments that I had made to my team and my coaches who are already in place helping my partner and I create our asset and that currently my extra time is already dedicated to building that asset. I thanked her again for the consideration but at this time would no longer be interested in any further details.

As mentioned – to her credit she represented herself well – polite, professional, friendly with a great phone manner. Nothing shady, pushy or intrusive. So she represented her firm well. I knew she probably got a lot of people hanging up on her or insulting her or yelling at her how she’s in a pyramid scheme or how she is trying to scam people and so on. And while, I don’t ever plan to stop or change what I’m doing, I’ll be happy to listen politely before declining because as long as these other people in legit opportunities aren’t out to scam someone or misrepresent what they are or do, I’m glad that they’re trying to do something different. To have a plan B in place.

Now, if she had been pushy or a bag about it, I would have enjoyed tearing her apart regarding the “opportunity”. Because the main issue that came to me was that the position was commissionable only. Put it any way you want to folks but that’s selling. Anything you have to sell you need to recreate those sales on a monthly basis. As I’ve said before in many posts I’ve made – I’m not a sales guy. Neither is my partner. I will never go door to door “ding donging” people when they’re relaxing at the end of their long day. I will never cold call and interrupt someone who is not expecting me to call them. People are busy with their lives – the last thing they want is to hear about some opportunity from someone they’ve never met who hasn’t had a chance to even get to know them or find out if they have a need or want in their life to do more than what they currently are.

I enjoy the Amway business because selling is about 5% of what I actually do. I have to get a measly 50PV worth of customer volume every month. That’s about $150.00 of client sales/month. You ask any sales guy or girl what would happen if they only made $150.00 for their company how long they would be employed. Most of those only get 5% commission on eligible sales IF THEY’RE LUCKY. My commission is anywhere from 10% – 35% on product sales. Now, to be honest, I barely sell. I don’t like it, I’m not good at it and it can be intimidating.

However, the small amount of customers we do have are regular customers because we treat them awesome, give them small incentives and they regularly need our products. I don’t have to recreate my sales every month because one of our customers needs her vitamin D and Vegetarian Omega 3 supplements on a monthly basis. Every month I have guaranteed volume. I don’t need to go out to recreate new sales to hit my target 50PV target. No cold calling, no ding donging.

How did we get that customer? I was helping a family friend around her home and I had a bottle of perfect water and during a lunch break took my Double X vitamins. She asked what I was taking and right off the bat I’m in a natural conversation about my products without being a greasy, dirty sales guy looking to scam people out of their money. I was able to find out, through normal conversation, what her needs were and recommended a free sample (which is a write off) which she enjoyed and boom – we have a regular customer. We have about 6 – 7 customers that we do business with and because of the multiple product lines that Amway has, our customers use these products and need them regularly on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. We have one or two customers who are 2 – 3 times a year purchasers on random stuff but we treat them awesome which is why they’re happy to do business with us.

To be completely honest, I don’t know the Primerica plan at all. Their website talks about financial coaching and how to help people pay off debt and let their money help them earn more to increase their savings or whatnot. But once I sell an insurance policy or financial advise or whatever, I’m pretty sure I’ll have to do it again and again. Its a one trick pony. There’s nothing residual to it, from what I can see. If I do business with someone, they shouldn’t have to use my services again one month later. I would hope not in this scenario.

Any business that has one or a very limited product line is going to be very challenging to continue to run a high level of volume or, if not for you, any downline you bring on. By having a tiny selection of products or services you significantly reduce the need and demand for your services because you have only one or two things. Most people’s needs or tastes vary greatly from person to person. So by having a limited selection of products and services, you eliminate a lot of your market.

My customers need laundry soap every two – three months / vitamins monthly, one water filter per year / glass and multipurpose cleaner every few months / and some skin care every month. That’s our few customers. I haven’t even tapped XS, perfect water or Ribbon gift cards for goodness sake. That’s why I’ve created my customer base once, and now I just focus on serving them well. We can now provide a real focus on building our team and helping them do what we’ve done, help them get their finances on track, help them afford a solid first circle into their existing budget and be there to help them as they learn and grow. I dont need to re-create new customer volume every month and go after leads. I don’t want to take time to do that every day or month. I would rather set that up once and focus on everything else.

Its taken us two and a half years to get this customer base, true. We’re not the fastest IBO’s in the pan. As Dave Severn said when he started his business, “I don’t think our upline is opening up new bank accounts to hold all of the huge income our leg is producing” – but we have a great foundation from which to teach our team correctly – which is why they’re not only killing us with retail volume, but in personal width as well(and we’re super excited for them too!)! All we did what our upline told us. Personal use in front of people, gain interest, share the value of what you use if it can provide value to them (don’t push them into buying something they have no need for) and it got us customers. I didn’t have to do any crazy selling things at all. No annoying people or bugging them like this friendly Primerica woman had to do.

My partner posed a very relevant statement to me after I told her about it – “For all of us who are already doing their own thing and decline these other offers or those who just say no, how many do you think actually go for it?” While I don’t know, I’m sure its a great point. I’m just glad that through World Wide and my coaches I’ve been able to learn about this opportunity and see it in a way of how it can be built not only in a successful way but also in a way that doesn’t bother people who aren’t looking and with a moral standard. With integrity. When I read about and hear about all of those horror stories its easy to see how this industry gets the bad rap that it does. I’m glad that my friend found the right people to be in business with.

Once again, that’s why I will always say that if you get presented this opportunity and you aren’t taken through an education and qualification process – walk away. This business is built at the speed of trust between you and your potential upline, coach and mentor. If they want to sign you up to make millions in the next few months, get away. If you’re being offered an opportunity with a small product line like a super juice of the gods but nothing else or just one service – you’ll be pigeon holed to that one product or service.

Best of luck to you Primerica lady. I wish you good fortune, but I’m excited about where we are, what we have our hands on and the foundation we have laid.

Free Enterprise Day is coming up this weekend. My best friend Dean and his wife Marcie are being celebrated as New Diamonds. We are so fortunate to have them as our direct upline and coaches. This weekend is going to be absolutely nuts! We have two cars going down and can’t wait to share details of the trip and some pictures as well.

Have a great weekend!

~ C