VPU News Spring 2010 Session Summary Thrive in 2010! In what other industry can you get more than 200 leaders Building a Brand from over 100 companies to come together for a day and a half of learning, sharing and fellowship? Only in the direct Wayne Moorehead MonaVie selling industry. This has always been the driving factor behind the success of VideoPlus University. Founded in 2005, MonaVie has built one of the most When Stuart Johnson, Founder and CEO of VideoPlus, powerful brands in started talking with his team last fall about what the theme the industry. Wayne should be for this event, “Thrive” became the anthem. So Moorehead, Vice he asked leaders from the likes of ACN, Scentsy, MonaVie, President of Team National, ViSalus and Ambit to come and share Marketing, has been there from how they are thriving despite an economy that says they the beginning, shouldn’t be. and on Day Two he shared some Emceeing the event was Darren Hardy, Publisher and great insight on Editorial Director for SUCCESS magazine. He was the challenges of instrumental in helping the audience take away important building a powerful pieces of information from each speaker that they could take and sustainable brand. back to their offices and apply to their businesses. Moorehead says the way MonaVie competes in this marketplace has changed “We have always set a goal to raise the bar each and dramatically. First, you can’t compete solely on product alone every time we hold this event,” Johnson says. “I think we because quality and innovation are happening so rapidly. accomplished our goal of giving those in attendance some Secondly, having a good product is just the price of entry. What timely information and out-of-the-box ideas that will help in people want are experiences, not just features and benefits. growing their companies. We hope to have them back again What is a brand? Moorehead says it’s not your logo, tagline so that we can continue to make it bigger and better.” or marketing campaign. “Your brand is actually what your distributors and customers think and perceive about your The response from all those who attended was company through your products, marketing materials and tools. overwhelmingly positive: VideoPlus University continues to be If they are memorable and unique, your brand will grow. If they a key educational event and a terrific experience for all. are boring, ‘me too’ and negative, your brand will decrease as a result.” VideoPlus University will be held again April 2011 Be an Unstoppable Force John Addison Primerica April 1, 2010, was a special day for Primerica Co- 1. No Substitute for Persistence—“Great things can happen if you just won’t back down. True leadership is having the courage to CEO John Addison as well as the company’s 100,000 continue when things don’t go your way. I don’t care how smart you independent representative sales force. It was the day are, I don’t care how talented you are, I don’t care how good a speaker Primerica Inc. opened for trading on the New York you are. All of it pales when compared to persistence. Success is about Stock Exchange. Always a VPU audience favorite, consistency, showing up, fighting the good fight and moving forward.” John shared with the audience his insights and lessons learned from the three-year struggle to untie Primerica from their parent company, CitiCorp. His opening 2. You’ve Got to Be the Rock—“Adversity makes you a better person and a leader. Anybody can flourish when everything’s going comments set a theme for his speech, “Sometimes, well. What determines your depth of leadership is how you perform you’ve just got to be too mean to be slowed down,” he when the storms are blowing and the deck is stacked against you. said. “A whole lot of winning in life is just persistence, You’ve got to be a rock even if you feel like a marshmallow.” insistence and being an unstoppable force.” 3. Stand for What You Believe In—“If you’re a leader and you make decisions, people are always going to disagree with you. But if John went on to share they know your heart is focused on what’s right for the team—not just four key traits to being an you—then they’ll follow you.” effective leader in the direct 4. Focus on What You Can Control—“Work your tail off at it selling industry. and make it happen. Don’t spend your time on activities that are not going to change anything in your business.” Addison finished by telling the audience to get people on their side pulling for you, not pulling against you. “Be somebody who people want to be around,” he said in closing. “Committed leadership is what your people deserve. Sell them the dream and then tell them to come follow you.” Secrets to Surviving Hyper-Growth Orville Thompson ® Scentsy Orville and Heidi Thompson started Scentsy in 2003, and the company has been one of the fastest-growing network marketing companies since. In 2009, Scentsy accepted the 2009 Direct Selling Association Rising Star Award. The expansion has been fast, and Orville knows Scentsy is a young company that is still learning and growing. He explained how and why the company has been able to maintain and control such fast growth. Orville compares Scenty’s growth to a hockey stick. “You get to hyper- growth, and you survive hyper-growth,” he says. “If you can do those two things, you win. If you can’t do either one, then you’re not going to be successful as a direct selling company.” Focusing on how the people, products and process all work together has been Scentsy’s key. The company operates on principles of simplicity, authenticity and value. Value means contributing more than you take. Authenticity means being who you are. Simplicity means presenting the company and the products at a level that everyone can understand and see themselves doing. Orville identifies three elements necessary for Scentsy to thrive: 1. The law of the few. Identify the few people who make the biggest difference in your life. 2. Stickiness. “It has to get in somebody’s mind quickly, rattle around in there and cause a sleepless night,” he says. “If you can’t do that, your idea’s not going to go very fast or very far.” 3. Power of context. Scentsy launched at a time when wicked-candle business was going through tough times because of safety concerns. The context changed, and Scentsy capitalized. These three things together, Orville believes, make Scentsy special. The core that runs through all of them is the spirit of the company. Orville calls it the ethos. It’s what keeps everyone aligned, and everyone is a steward of it. Panel with Trey White (Evolv Health), Ryan Blair (ViSalus) and Chris Chambless (Ambit Energy) Taking the Right Steps If you look at what’s been going on for the past several years in Ryan Blair of ViSalus has had great success in concentrating the industry, there have been companies that have enjoyed a on a less-is-more mentality. The company cut the number lot of success. Paul Adams, Senior Vice President of Sales and of initiatives down and focused on just teaching distributors Marketing for VideoPlus, moderated a panel with some of the to do more with less. “In this day and age, the consumer is leaders of these companies to get an inside look at what has so confused. It’s important to do a few things well and cut led to their rapid growth. The panel included Ryan Blair, CEO the rest.” of ViSalus; Trey White, Founder and Chairman of Evolv Health; and Chris Chambless of Ambit Energy. Trey White, who comes from the Web 1.0 space, is capitalizing on the expanding social media platforms and Chris Chambless learned from a previous company the online video to help grow Evolv Health. Today, the company importance of being properly capitalized and making sure your has an ever-expanding list of Facebook fans (6,500 and infrastructure and technology are ramped up to handle massive growing) and a blog that helps their members in promotion growth. When he and his partner started, his company made and communication efforts. “We’ve taken a very aggressive an upfront investment in a technology platform that could grow approach to using social media as part of our marketing in scale. “The one thing we all know about this industry is once approach, and it’s worked well for us.” you turn on your sales channel there’s no Off switch.” Is Your Company in Need of Relaunching? Joseph P. Urso Vollara Joseph Urso has made a living out of fixing and re-launching businesses. He says his résumé fits in quite nicely with an industry that is in the business of re-launching lives. One of those businesses he re-launched was Electrolux. At the time of purchase the company had 5 million active customers, 500 locations and 5,000 employees. The bad? $100 million in fixed overhead, 20 years of sales declines and 10 years of unprofitability. “We were able to cut costs, increase margins, leverage the assets and overhauled the entire business system,” Urso said of the reconstruction project. Today, Urso and his team have reduced overhead by 85 percent, paid off their debt and returned $20 million to shareholders, and invested most of that money into their new company Vollara. Urso says his plan for re- launching starts and ends with following the “The Four Corners of Every Successful Business.” The Four Corners of Every Successful Business “Everything you do should fall within one of the following four corners,” Urso said. “If they don’t, you shouldn’t be doing it. Any business will succeed or fail depending on how solid a foundation you have with these four corners.” 1. Competitive Business Strategy. Your business strategy centers on products that people want and need—products that make a difference in people’s lives. The great companies tend to be in great categories. 2. Financial Strength. Money is like oxygen to a business, and margins need to make sense. There are a lot of great companies out there that don’t make money. Make incremental changes to help start building financial strength. 3. Processes, System and Controls. How do you do what you do? How do you make decisions, how do you manage your team? Are you planning for the unforeseeable? These are questions you need to ask yourself to make sure you have the right processes in place to run a successful business. Make sure your goals are based on the SMART system: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. 4. Great People with Great Values. Great companies have great people who make right choices. Create a value statement that incorporates the company DNA of what you stand for and share with your team. Don’t be afraid to cut the cord on people who don’t belong on your team because they are not aligned with the goals of the company. The first three corners don’t mean anything if you don have the fourth—great people with great values. If you have the fourth, you can build on the other three. If you are trying to figure out where your business is, take it through the four corners and see where you fit. This will show you if you need to work on some things, or if you need to re-launch your company. Step 1: Teach Representatives How to Drive—A new rep’s enthusiasm can quickly dissipate if they don’t have a game plan. From Day One, ACN reps tap into the company’s vast training resources and personal development to hear firsthand from leaders on what they should be doing. These include leadership calls, one-on-one coaching and founders tours. To stay motivated, reps are encouraged to sign up for 3 Steps to the ACN’s Message of the Month, which VideoPlus helps them with. Each month, they get to hear from one of the founders, Road to Success as well as other training segments. This one-two punch helps get the rep on board with the ACN culture of doing business. Step 2: Provide a Road Map—Provide other opportunity tools Sheila Marcello ACN that have a simple, consistent and compelling message. ACN’s opportunity DVD for years has been a tool their field has used with much success. They have also used Success from Home As the largest direct selling telecommunications and to help them tell their clear and concise message. home services company in the world, ACN operates in 20 countries around the globe. When it comes to training Step 3: Make the Destination Worthwhile for their representatives, they have an impressive résumé Your Reps—ACN centers everything around their events, and track record on how to be successful. But, as Sheila because they know if they can get reps to their events, their Marcello, ACN’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, stated, belief level will skyrocket, because they’re around like-minded they still deal with the same issues that many direct selling people who share their same goals and dreams. “We spend companies deal with: teaching new reps how to be reps. a lot of time planning and promoting our events because it’s the central place from where our reps get their training and Marcello shared with the get seasoned advice,” Marcello says. “And, as a result, our attendance continues to increase.” audience a three-step process ACN used to accomplish Marcello says the key to ACN’s success comes down to keeping things simple and always reinventing their message. this task. “Instead of coming out with a new tool every month, take your DVD and make it look different; refresh the look and feel so it looks new.” What’s Your Personal Development Plan? Kody Bateman SendOutCards SendOutCards has firmly positioned itself as a concept and as a service that is changing people’s lives by helping them act on their promptings to reach out to others in kindness via greeting cards. The heartbeat of the company is Founder Kody Bateman, who shared some great insights on how each company in the industry offers more than an opportunity to people; they offer the greatest source for supplying personal development to people in the world. “What is your personal-development plan?” he asked. “What are you doing with your company to take personal development to your people and help them become better?” Bateman says every personal-development plan starts with a compelling “why.” “Why did you start your business? Why do we want a prospect to go to an opportunity meeting on Tuesday night instead of watching American Idol?” Bateman says your “why” is what attracts people to your business. “My ‘why’ is the foundation of our company,” he says. “And we have thousands of reps who are joining in that crusade to help millions of people to act on their promptings every day. Your company’s ‘why’ is the vision your representatives need to propel your business forward.” Keep It Simple time when they were launching so many tools at the same time the field was getting confused as to which tool to use. “VideoPlus helped us in coming up with a few tools and gave us a road map and a system to implement to make it Angela Loehr Chrysler duplicable throughout our field.” Team National The last two years for Chrysler and Team National have As President and CEO of Team National, Angela Loehr been tough. Her father Dick passed away after a 10-year Chrysler is taking the company her father started to a new battle with cancer. All in all, Chrysler stayed positive and level. And she’s doing it by taking a less-is-more approach. has been instrumental in guiding the company through a “We need to keep it simple,” she says. “And we need to tough economy. “We stayed positive, were grateful to our teach our sales field to keep it simple… simplicity is the field, and we made a decision that we were going to thrive, secret to our success.” Chrysler went on to talk about a regardless of where the economy was heading.” High Tech, Yet High Touch Jeff Olson Pre-Paid Legal Services Jeff Olson is a longtime marketing consultant for Pre-Paid Legal Services and the author of The Slight Edge. While Olson embraces the power modern tools, such as the Internet and social media, he says that direct selling is still a people-to-people industry. He spoke about the Internet and social media platforms being tools to help business grow faster. They are ways to help move people to the face-to-face interaction that is the foundation of direct selling. “At the end of the day we are people who engage with people,” Olson said. It comes down to being high tech (using the tools to reach people) and high touch (maintaining that important personal interaction and relationship). “The successful people move people from high tech to high touch,” he said. Olson pointed out that the biggest amount of sales often come from the newest people in an organization who are enthusiastic about building their business. The newest people shouldn’t be asked to sell products or services, but rather to share the products or services. “I’ve always said we should not be the Direct Sales Association, we should be the Direct Sharing Association, because I can teach the masses how to share,” he said. “That’s one thing I learned on a long time ago: what I can do to get people sharing versus selling.” He implemented this philosophy into Pre-Paid Legal Services’ marketing strategy. A “share model” allows members to use effective tools to deliver the message for them. The tools do the selling. What the members share is a meeting or a training; others see that they don’t have to be a salesperson. Olson encouraged companies to come out with new tools at least annually, but not to have so many tools that they confuse people. He’s had great success with launching tools around a conference with a common theme. This allows time to build anticipation for the conference and the events and marketing materials around it. When everything has a common theme, it creates excitement and a tie-in that members can embrace. As a well-known name in the personal development field, Olson believes companies should have, from the top down, a core foundation of personal development. While the tools are the message, personal development is critical in creating effective messengers. Embracing the Power of Social Media BK Boreyko Vemma BK Boreyko knows the importance of brand building. When undeniable. “Social media should not be used as a pitching he realized how important social media is today in building tool,” he says. “It’s not a platform for a hard sell. Rather, it’s a brand, he sought the advice of social media guru Gary about building relationships and caring about people.” That’s Vaynerchuk to help shape Vemma’s image and develop usable why he insists on nurturing those relationships offline as well. tools for its members. After meeting with Vaynerchuk, Boreyko took his advice and Social media is becoming more integrated with the hired a social media manager. Boreyko also now monitors his business world today, and its foundation for networking and Facebook account and Twitter feed the same way he does his providing instant communication is tailor-made for network e-mail. If anyone on these social media sites is talking about marketing. Boreyko says that social media is about three Vemma, he can read it. Vemma has also started streaming things: reconnecting with old friends, strengthening existing live video from company events using Ustream—a popular relationships and developing new relationships. interactive, live video streaming website that anyone can sign up and use. Vaynerchuk helped Vemma revamp its websites, which are now fully integrated with social media. Video blogs and written What Boreyko says he has learned above all during his social blogs are available that are updated on members’ Twitter and media crash courses is to be transparent. Be real. Social media Facebook accounts. is reshaping the future of business. It provides real-time, direct communication that allows you to build powerful relationships. Boreyko admits that many social media tools are new to him Boreyko insists these tools have taken his business to a new and he’s still learning how to use them, but their impact is level, and he encourages everyone to embrace them. Become a Fan of Social Media Todd Smith LittleThingsMatter.com Todd Smith is the founder of LittleThingsMatter.com, a website. “Think of Facebook as a giant party with 450 million business that teaches people the importance of mastering the people,” Smith said. “Facebook, in my opinion, is one of little things in life that can help us achieve greater personal and the greatest opportunities that exist today for you to reduce professional success. attrition and build relationships, while instilling belief in your representatives, prospects and with your customers. You can His topic for VideoPlus University centered on the little things ignore the fact that this party exists or you can participate in it that matter in social media and what industry leaders can do to and influence the conversations that take place at this party.” better utilize this fast-growing medium in building relationships It starts with creating a Facebook fan page where company with their field, while helping them be more successful. executives can post information about the company and its opportunity. Representatives and customers can Smith says that everyone should start with Facebook, given become “fans” of the page and every time that content or that more than 450 million use the website to connect with other information is posted to the page, each fan gets the others. In fact, it surpassed Google as the most popular information in their news feed. 10 Benefits of Having a Facebook Fan Page Smith outlined 10 benefits for using a Facebook fan page: 7. Great way to communicate information such as events, 1. It’s a social environment. It’s not a loner environment. It’s contests and other forms of recognition, if done creatively. all about interaction, engagement and conversation. 8. Reduces attrition by building fan loyalty. 2. Great way for you to build relationships with your reps. 9. It can be your most powerful belief-building tool for your 3. Great way to build relationships with your customers. prospects. 4. Facebook might be the most effective of all methods 10. It’s interactive. People can go and watch videos and available to you to build your brand. comment on them; you respond to those comments. 5. Education. Great place to provide short, educational videos that provide timely information and tips to building “Facebook can help you by providing value to your customers one’s business. and representatives by interacting and engaging with them, 6. Builds belief for your reps. As reps receive tips or hear and shows that you care about them,” said Smith in closing. “It about something unique your company is doing, it builds also shows transparency in that everyone can see what you’re their belief and confidence in your company. doing and that builds trust and loyalty that can last a lifetime.” Fostering a he says, is to provide members with positive alternatives to the Culture of Personal negative external messages they are bombarded with on a daily basis. This is the importance of personal development. Development “For things to improve, you have to improve,” Darren said. “For things to get better, you have to get better. For things to grow, you have to grow.” He says that developing a culture of personal Darren Hardy development is the ultimate competitive advantage in business. Publisher, SUCCESS Magazine Strategy No. 2 is keeping the people you get—to minimize As publisher of SUCCESS magazine, Darren Hardy has attrition. People are the most excited when they first join a interviewed the biggest names in the personal development business, but, as Darren said, “Most people are not mentally or industry along with some of the most respected and successful emotionally prepared to be successful in this industry.” Why? CEOs and business leaders of today. Through his various There are several reasons. interactions he has learned invaluable strategies and skills for what it takes to be truly successful. He presented some of Darren pointed out that the success factors in the direct selling these strategies at VideoPlus University to help the direct selling industry are opposite of those in traditional business. Many industry leaders who attended grow their business significantly. people have to unlearn the traditional path of climbing the corporate ladder or working for bonuses. Another reason is Darren pointed out that no matter what products or services a the drastically different structure of a direct selling business. In company sells—whether wellness or legal services or energy or traditional business, the work is brought to you. In direct selling, telephone service—what it’s really selling is its people. “You’re in you have to go out and get the business. People are also not the business of attraction; you’re in the business of recruiting,” he prepared for rejection from friends and family. Darren says this is said. “When your people are out talking about wellness or they’re why creating an effective personal development program is so talking about opportunity or they’re talking about freedom, the important for growing business—first in attracting new members other person on the other end of that discussion, they’re thinking and then keeping them. one thing: Do I want to be like you?” Finding relevant resources is the first step in implementing So, Darren’s first strategy is to make your people better. When personal development as a core focus of building business. that happens, Darren says they become more attractive and Darren discussed the lineup of various SUCCESS Media therefore will recruit more. Through a quick exercise with the products, such as SUCCESS magazine, SUCCESS Book audience, he demonstrated that the most desired traits in Summaries and the SUCCESS Audio Series, and how they work the leadership of any company are overwhelmingly attitude together to create a personal development program. Several traits. Effectively shifting and improving our attitude starts with direct selling companies, such as telecommunications and home understanding how we think. As Darren described, what we put services company ACN, are seeing success using these tools to in our minds will reflect in our attitudes and actions. The answer, grow their people, thereby growing their business. Stick to the Fundamentals Stuart Johnson CEO and Founder of VideoPlus VideoPlus Founder and CEO Stuart Johnson shared some of his observations from his sitdowns over the past year with many industry CEOs to find out what’s making a difference in their business. In this time and place, it’s all about the fundamentals. 1. A Clear and Focused Message— 4. Product Must Have Value— You have a better chance of growing if you know who you are If people won’t buy your product or service without your and can clearly communicate your message. If you don’t know opportunity, you need to look at your product or service, how who you are, or have trouble explaining who you are, how it’s priced, and the value proposition. Several companies in this are your leaders going to explain to prospects who you are? industry have reduced their prices 20 percent and are twice as You’ve got to understand what your message is, and it has to big today. be simple to communicate. 5. Balance Opportunity and Product in 2. Focus on One Simple System and Stick with It— Your Message— These companies are not trying to do 10 things at a time. It’s important that you have a balanced message because They are focused on one system that’s simple to implement that’s what people want to hear. They want transparency, not in the field and they are sticking with it. You need to give your claims. They want to have an experience with a product, and if field time for the system to work. If you can’t explain what it is, they don’t, they can get their money back. They want to trust you need to get rid of it. And it starts with the first exposure, you and know you’re authentic. through their training and finally to their recognition. Johnson finished by talking about social media. Not doing 3. Invest in Your Leadership— anything in social media is not a strategy. Saying you’re going Not so much throw your leaders more bonuses, but invest to see what happens and figure it out is not a strategy. No in their personal development. Not only in helping them with matter how you contact prospects, this is a people business. their residual income, but help them get through their residual outcome. Have them become more while they are with you.