Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Marketers Are Selfish

Marketing people like to put their own spin on advertising and promotion. They are creative, but marketing people are also selfish and like to be the “expert” at things. It’s impossible to be an expert in marketing because the world is always changing and things that worked yesterday don’t work today. Not to mention, there are millions of tools for the trade out there – some good, some great, some terrible. As far as being selfish, most marketers don’t like to share their ideas nor do they want you to know HOW they executed something.

It’s easy to say they knew it would be successful AFTER THE FACT. In truth, they had no idea and what started out as an experiment miraculously went viral. It’s not an exact science. It’s a bunch of A/B testing and trying new elements with old ones.

I’m constantly looking for new tools and strategies, yet the information I find out there is nebulous. Case studies are great, but when was the last time you found one that pertained to your specific industry or target market? Many of them are B2C vs. B2B.

Look, I’m not trying to put down my own kind. Yet there’s this frustration that builds in me because it seems that we are all struggling alone or in a sterile think tank team environment when we really should be working collaboratively. We should be open sourcing our ideas and I see it happening more and more.

This excites me.

Tesla Motors released their patents so other companies can leverage their technology to increase production of electric cars. This helps the environment and solves supply/demand issues, making these cars more affordable.

Former employees from Quest Nutrition started their own nutrition bar company that would be considered in direct competition. Do you think Quest is upset? NO! They are happy that bright individuals who contributed to the growth and success of the company has decided to spin off and try something different, but with the same core values. Quest isn’t delusional. They know one company can’t feed the world or fight metabolic disease on their own. What a fantastic story! And they tell it so well via interviews, videos and podcasts.

When you change your perspective to one of personal and professional growth, we are no longer in competition. We are merely challenging one another, perhaps even daring each other, to do it better. Take a great execution plan and see if you can go farther with it. I dare you.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Why the Direct Sales Model Is Not Working For You

This blog post inspired by an article in the latest Success Magazine entitled "Better Together". The actual article, while good, had nothing to do with what I am about to write about here. However, the theme of teamwork got me to thinking about my own business and why the struggle to make it successful continues.

You see, I am a serial entrepreneur in the direct sales industry. I have been an independent consultant for many companies, beginning with Melaleuca and investing in others such as Genewise, Mary Kay, Nerium, WineShop At Home and finally viaONEHOPE. These are all great companies with amazing products. So, why did I continue to hop from one opportunity to another? And why is it that success still eluded me? It's because people in direct sales have to do the work of six people.

The motto for direct sales that attracted me was "Work FOR yourself, but not BY yourself." Hey, who wouldn't want a job that only you can fire yourself from? Job security! Flexible schedule! Scaleable income! Choose the people you want to work with! Sounds really good, right?

What would it be like if you and a team of talented people could work on a direct sales business together? What if you could join a team and leverage the skills that you were gifted with and were able to contribute to a larger cause, all while making scaleable income and still have a flexible schedule? Here's what the revised direct sales model would look like:

  1. One person maintains social media and marketing efforts
  2. One person goes to networking events to collect leads and develop relationships
  3. One person follows up with leads and sets up appointments/parties
  4. One person conducts recruiting appointments and team meetings
  5. One person organizes and executes home parties
  6. One person enters all the orders and follows up with customers

Can it be done? Six people to run one direct sales business - I wonder how successful this team would be.