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Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroads?

by Steve_Fazia » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:12 pm


I've had this topic on my mind this past year, but had not formulated what needed to be said up until now. You see, a NM CEO recently gave a powerful speech which crystallized a lot of what I had wanted to convey about our industry. Network marketing has a lot of problems right now, and a lot needs to be fixed. People are first attracted to the industry by the hope of creating a better life, but end up exiting in droves. The initial hype which entices them is unbelievable. Once they're in, reality sets in. High priced products, complicated comp plans, forced autoships, excessive fees for websites, marketing, advertising, and a laundry list of other 'gotchas'. Then there's the empty promises from companies that can't deliver. And some companies simply throw the towel in and shut their doors, leaving a distributor force with shattered dreams.

I have been with the same company in the health and wellness arena for many years. As much as I love the products and the vision of the company, I recognize that for a new person, it's a tough build. Learning curve for the product, and not the easiest comp plan to implement and foster duplication. But my residual income from this company, all from part time efforts, has been substantial over the years. I will always be with this company, but recognize deep down that it will never attract the masses for the reasons given in this speech. I've been on a quest for the past 2 years to find a Plan B company that would appeal to the masses, make duplication a piece of cake, and drastically improve retention rates, which is a dismal stat in our industry. Thought I had found it. Brilliant business model, poor execution on the company's part. Enough said. I could go on and on. Read what this CEO says about our industry. Now I know what to look for. His company does not offer the solution, but he does note that the first company which recognizes what he alludes to in his eloquent talk, will be the winner!

Veteran Network Marketing Company CEO Asks:
“Are We Really in the Business of DIRECT SALES Anymore?”
“If we ignore these TRENDS, we do so at our own peril. Our old model, of slow-moving
Direct Sales, isn’t going to cut it. New trends will make us or break us” - Darren Jensen
------------ // ------------
In this shockingly candid opinion piece, Darren Jensen (CEO of one of
the 70 largest 'Network Marketing' companies - Life Vantage) - said he
sees ...
“a few TRENDS emerging that will "propel" our industry into the future,
IF we’re prepared. On the other hand, they will "bury" us if we ignore
them.
He then goes on to say, “The landscape is shifting, and the various sales channels are
converging. In the very near future, our main competition will not be that other Direct
Sales company down the road - vying for the better products and distributors.
We are competing against the entire GIG Economy. That is literally everyone out there
who’s looking to run their own business, or run a side hustle, or buy into an experience,
rather than just a product.“
And then he asks, “Are we really in the business of Direct Sales anymore? …
"I believe that we’re evolving into something more akin to ... a mix between social
commerce and social entrepreneurism.“
He describes the gradual evaporation of the dividing lines between the ONline world
and the OFFline world:
“Digital, and brick and mortar, are becoming seamless. Because huge brands can’t hog
the mic anymore, SOCIAL COMMERCE is paving the way for an entirely new way to do
business. Right now it’s a race to see who can provide the best product - with the best
experience. In a world where anyone online can cut through the clutter - with a great
review - or by launching a game-changing product from their garage - our old model of
slow-moving, Direct Sales, isn’t going to cut it.“
Recognizing the power of Uber, Airbnb, and other tech
companies ... that have redirected (“disrupted”) entire
industries, just like Amazon.com has, Darren says - “The
good news is that social commerce is already in our DNA.
... "if anyone knows how to share a product, and create vast networks, it IS us. The
question that remains, however, is ... how do we Uber-ize our business model? In other
words, how do we integrate the technology that simplifies our approach enough to keep
competing in the new Gig Economy? The first company that answers this wins.“
“My Uber driver might not have realized it, but the best part of that ride (for him, at least)
was that he didn’t have to find his customer. Technology pushed me to him, effortlessly.
He didn’t have to cold call, network, schedule a meeting or convince me.“
He chastises 'traditional' Direct Sales commission structure: “… it’s an understatement
to say that our compensation plans are complicated (sometimes you almost have to be
Einstein himself to decipher the things).” He accurately describes the looming storm on
the horizon for almost all Direct Sales companies: “As a channel, we need to embrace
technology as a way to streamline everything we do. If we don’t, we’re in trouble. If we
ignore these trends, we do so at our own peril.“
He concludes by reminding us of the well-known analogy of Blockbuster video rental
business - being quickly trashed by Netflix ... “We all know how Blockbuster’s story
ended. The company failed to see the growing trend of consumer convenience, and
personalization. They ignored technology ... and they got Netflixed. Today, we can’t live
without streaming services, so it’s easy to wonder how Blockbuster could have never
seen its downfall coming. I don’t want people to wonder the same thing about us.“

I would love to hear what others think of his speech, especially some of you veterans of the forum. (where have you been?):)

Steve Fazia
INTEGRATIVE HEALTH RESOURCE
"Good Health Is NOT Expensive, It's Priceless!"
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Re: Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroa

by robf1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:39 am


Hey Steve,

I think in order to capture todays "audience" , companies are going to have to come up with more high tech ways of prospecting, appealing, reaching people. The methods like two old fogeys like me and you used are fading. :lol: IMO. I'm not sure what exactly what it would be..... some companies are already using apps to some degree, and online webinars are taking the place of the old home/hotel meetings. But it needs to be something. Maybe we can think of something Steve......we'll make millions. :D

Rob
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Re: Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroa

by Steve_Fazia » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:08 pm


robf1 wrote:Hey Steve,

I think in order to capture todays "audience" , companies are going to have to come up with more high tech ways of prospecting, appealing, reaching people. The methods like two old fogeys like me and you used are fading. :lol: IMO. I'm not sure what exactly what it would be..... some companies are already using apps to some degree, and online webinars are taking the place of the old home/hotel meetings. But it needs to be something. Maybe we can think of something Steve......we'll make millions. :D

Rob


Yes indeed! Actually, I didn't think of it, but there is what I believe may very well be the solution Mr. Jensen alludes to. I've been doing some due diligence for the past couple of weeks, and will be testing the platform in the next few days. Will keep everyone posted, but early signs indicate it's a winner that solves all these problems in the industry! :idea:

Steve
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Re: Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroa

by robf1 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:12 pm


Steve_Fazia wrote:
robf1 wrote:Hey Steve,

I think in order to capture todays "audience" , companies are going to have to come up with more high tech ways of prospecting, appealing, reaching people. The methods like two old fogeys like me and you used are fading. :lol: IMO. I'm not sure what exactly what it would be..... some companies are already using apps to some degree, and online webinars are taking the place of the old home/hotel meetings. But it needs to be something. Maybe we can think of something Steve......we'll make millions. :D

Rob


Yes indeed! Actually, I didn't think of it, but there is what I believe may very well be the solution Mr. Jensen alludes to. I've been doing some due diligence for the past couple of weeks, and will be testing the platform in the next few days. Will keep everyone posted, but early signs indicate it's a winner that solves all these problems in the industry! :idea:

Steve



Be sure to let me know what you come up with.

Rob
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Re: Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroa

by PeterArnold » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:42 pm


Hey Steve:

Many thanks for sharing this exceptional article from a well known industry CEO.

I have not been in here for a while -- since back when VEMMA and HERBALIFE were both going through their ugly battles with the FTC (which in themselves, gave us a [shocking!] WAKE UP CALL for "significant change" in the Direct Sales / Network Marketing industry too.

Now, Mr. Jensen (the CEO) has expanded on this, with his very timely address to the Direct Sales Association - wow!

If I may, here's my own call on this - - -

As a Business & Financial Consultant -- and also, a [part time] 30+ year participant in the Direct Sales / Network Marketing industry (having been associated with a few companies) -- as well as having had the privilege of serving on the Board Of Directors of its professional association for (4) years, representing Canada (ANMP.com) -- I feel I have had a pretty good chance to see -- the good -- and the not so good -- of this industry.

The BEST - First, I continue to believe there is NO finer opportunity, for both TIME and FINANCIAL Freedom, than the "business model" of Network Marketing. None -- not personal real estate - not the stock market - not gold / silver / rare art / coins / stamps / vintage autos / family heirlooms / bit-coins / forex -- nothing - nada. WHY?

(3) Giant ADVANTAGES - Because WE have "three (3) powerful forces" -- LEVERAGE + COMPOUNDING + RESIDUAL INCOME -- all "working together, in harmony" for us, in a 'Network Marketing' Home Business -- forces that NO other job / business / profession can provide, to my knowledge.

Add to that, the TAX advantages we enjoy (with a "Home-Based" business - and especially so now, with the new USA Tax Act!) -- and all the advances in technology / social media, etc - as Rob mentions -- and WE go to the front of the class -- every time.

BROKEN - Left in its "pure state" - our business model IS untouchable -- but what has happened is -- the 'HUMANOID' FACTOR got in the way! Too many (so called) experts have "messed it up" over the years -- with "greed" often being the centerpiece -- giving it - and this (otherwise) great industry - the kind of "baggage" - and "stigma" it has never, ever deserved -- and as a result, it's become BROKEN (as we used to know it).

P&Ps - Steve, you certainly touch on "many" of the serious problems facing the Direct Sales / Network Marketing field today -- and Jensen does as well, in his bold address -- but I would like to add another one (a "blockbuster", in my view!) -- and that is, the POLICIES & PROCEDURES that companies force Reps / Associates / Affiliates to sign, when they join . Sadly, these "archaic" Legal Documents usually have SO many "gotchas" in them, that can come back to "hurt" field people (Reps) - often causing financial (and emotional) devastation -- I've seen it -- so have you. And what is troubling is - many (most) new Reps never even "read" the fine print - let alone, "study" it - BEFORE signing it. Of course, the companies must have language in there that helps to protect "them" (and thus, the field) - that's a given -- but it's time these (UNI-level) Agreements were re-designed, and in such a way that a more respectful "Business Partnership" environment is forged.

But even worse than ALL of the above -- many (perhaps most) companies / CEOs / uplines / industry leaders -- they are simply "sticking their heads in the sand" about these issues -- they refuse to "face" the REALITIES that Jensen, and you, are warning us of -- and that is a tragedy.

---------------

SOLUTION? - What we need is someone -- likely from "outside" the industry -- with the "vision" - and the "courage" - to DISRUPT it.

Jensen keeps referring to the realities of -- the DIGITAL Age + SOCIAL COMMERCE -- and the urgency of STREAMLINING everything we do.

As I see it, what we need is another STEVE JOBS -- someone to come forward with a company that embraces POSITIVE (but "radical!") CHANGE.

Such a company will not only provide a "paradigm shift" in its entire BUSINESS MODEL -- it will exude TRANSPARENCY + INTEGRITY + OPPORTUNITY (for ALL - not just HEAVY HITTERS).

---------------

That's my own $5-cents worth (Canadian :>)

Again, THANKS for posting, and starting this important thread.

Sincerely / Peter A. / Canada
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Re: Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroa

by Mike_Michelozzi » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:43 pm


Great topic and thoughts here.

USANA reps can still do well w/Dr. Oz if they work at it.

It's still about trying lots of things never knowing what will catch the public fancy and last . . . . for a while.

Small may still be best meaning finding the smallest denominator that want what we offer.

Online a must and off line still a good place to work.

It's never been easy.

TKDHikingMike
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Re: Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroa

by robf1 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:25 pm


Mike_Michelozzi wrote:Great topic and thoughts here

It's never been easy.

TKDHikingMike


Amen brother........
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Re: Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroa

by Mike_Michelozzi » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:39 pm


Hi Rob great to see ya here.

I hope all is well with you and your family.

We be getting to be the mlm dot com old timers :D : especially me - well, you too :lol:
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Re: Network Marketing/Direct Sales: Industries At A Crossroa

by robf1 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:58 pm


Mike_Michelozzi wrote:Hi Rob great to see ya here.


I hope all is well with you and your family.

We be getting to be the mlm dot com old timers :D : especially me - well, you too :lol:



Good to see you hikin Mike. Hope you and Shirley are doing well. Yep, it looks like me you and ole Steve are the only "originals" left.
Ahhhhh how I long for the good old days.... ;)
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