"Leaders" in Amway established themselves to produce and sell "Tape of the Week" to their organizations. As a matter of income, this proved to be very profitable for the leaders, often surpassing their traditional income with Amway.
This experience, as a sales representative with Amway, led to joining several more companies and finding them lacking in the ability to retain members, deliver measured success to members, and in many cases, the ability to stay in business at all! My 20+ year journey soon became a Seeking Alpha Journey in the MLM/Network Marketing Industry, becoming a Consultant and Software Provider, in an attempt to provide companies with the tools they need to start, maintain their business, and actually deliver to the members. I was skewed in the early years, drawing from training and sales methods I had learned early. Finding the magic pixy dust for success seemed elusive. The formula that would keep business in business and independent representatives earning income.
Today, there are many that were trained in the "Recruit and Train" methodology, continuing it's methods today. There are also many that believe and have continued the methodology of "Get Hundreds in the Room, I will show the Plan." While you may not convince those individuals to change their methods, the numbers don't lie. In fact, in every company, "Recruit and Train" has always proven to be an exercise or mechanism, which costs the company enormous time and money, yet has little true sales derived from it.
Over the last 15 years, companies which focused on a different method excelled beyond belief. Some estimate that 90% of companies in the Direct Selling Industry, which are over 10 years old, exist on an average of 3000 active (selling) distributors a month. That notion flies in the face of those that go after 50,000 people to join their sales team. You see, a large number of companies found a different formula. One which delivered adequate sales to support a company and the compensation plan to it's sales representatives. This model began to define the Direct Selling Industry, apart from the MLM Industry. It's still MLM (Multi Level Marketing), some are SLM (Single Level Marketing), it is all Network Marketing. Place any name on it you want, it amounts to the same type of business. Except for those that defined their formula and focus and began to use the designation, Direct Selling.
Those that focused on Product Sales to Customers, Product and Inventory Management, Quality Control, and "oh.. yes, since you asked, we have a benefits program available, but let me tell you about this product again. It is absolutely incredible and everyone that buys it is completely in love with it!" You see, the emphasis on the compensation plan is minimal, if at all. These companies have found the magic pixy dust for success. Not a focus on recruiting and circle drawing. These are the companies which we speak of, when referring to the Direct Selling Industry.
Getting back to Amway, the company saw sales increase 4% from last year to $12.3 Billion for 2012. Some point to the 17% rise of 2011, calling this a slowdown, however $12.3 Billion in sales is far from a slowdown! What happened? How did Amway reach such new heights? Yes, Amway, the company that was drawing circles and telling you to transfer $x of your current purchasing through their company, and representatives selling training and making money to see your dreams come true. Yes, the large meetings with people almost standing in the chairs and chanting together about success. How is this company still around with all the people that claim to been a distributor a long time ago, not interested in it again.
Well, Candace Matthews, CMO at Amway, has been credited with the awesome growth and success of the company. As CMO, she focused on advancing Nutrilite supplements, Artistry beauty products and the Amway Corporate Brand. Ms. Matthews dialed in on the magic pixy dust, the same secret I have shared with so many other existing or start up companies. "Dial in the focus on your company's products and brand/image. Find your passion and share it with buyers. Your efforts and budget should be spent on the product, marketing materials of the product and sales events of the product. Let recruiters play their games in other companies, but you stay focused on this key area."
How did Ms. Matthews know? How did she identify and dial in the secret when Amway representatives have been training, teaching and white boarding "Share The Plan"... "Get Them to a Meeting" for so, so long? Well, as it happens, Ms. Matthews' resume is very impressive, including Coca-Cola and L'Oreal, each of which are Product and Brand focused. Hmm, a coincidence?
As with Artistry beauty products, Ms. Matthews identified the key cues to be a Prestige-Beauty Brand, then worked to build the global face and image, tapping into the star-power of Teresa Palmer. Today, Amway is a global brand with the United States making up only about 10% of it's sales.
Amway has proven to the Direct Selling Industry that proper focus and direction delivers real success AND that $12.3 Billion is achievable.
I want to see YOU in the Winner's Circle!
Scott H Leonard
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