NaXum Reviews “2022 Strategies To Thrive” With The Direct Selling Executives ForumPosted by naxumadmin / February 11, 2022
Ben Dixon, NaXum CEO, hosted a panel with two incredible direct sales executives, digging into trends and strategies for 2022 in the referral marketing and direct selling space.
On the panel we had:
We discussed the following:
1) As we enter 2022, how has “Doing Good” (sharing causes & charitable pursuits your company participates in) shaped your story in the marketplace?
2) With our world continuing to change rapidly, what are the trends you’re seeing in the ‘ways’ your distributors actually operate daily in the business?
3) What are the KEY educational opportunities you see for corporate teams to bring to the field today?
4) As retail customers are faced with more options than ever, what are your favorite ways to create loyalty?
5) If you could go back in time to December 2019 and share ‘one-thing’ with yourself, what would that advice be?
To view more sessions from the DSEF, join our executives-only group on Linkedin.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our very first DSEF open forum of 2022. My name is Ben Dixon. I’ll be hosting and moderating the panel this month. And I’m really grateful for the speakers we have for you here today. If you’re brand new to checking out that DSEF concepts and the different forums that we host monthly, make sure you go to LinkedIn or Facebook and join the actual group. We’re more active on LinkedIn and Facebook, but you’re welcome to do definitely.
Join the group so you get access to replays and the recordings and are able to plug into all things DSEF as we’re moving through this New Year. The folks I have here on the panel today, this is just such a fun session because we’re going to be unpacking today strategies to thrive in 2022. And, man, with the year 2021 was for most of your businesses and 2020, this is going to be a fun conversation.
You’ll notice we have two of our three speakers on. We had an emergency reschedule last minute from Melissa getting sick. So, Ms. Shoop will not be joining us, or Mrs. Shoop will not be joining us today. But we have Liz Forkin Bohannon on the line. Liz, give a wave. And I’ll give a proper introduction here in a moment. And then, Rachel, the very Rachel Kellogg on the line as well. So, I’m going to open up with some introductions, and I’m going to share the why for the DSEF then we’re going to jump into our panel questions.
And so, the whole why, gang, is this is meant to be an honest space for active executives who are running direct selling companies to talk about topics we all face every day. With some of the other industry organizations over the last four years since I started the DSEF, I was realizing there wasn’t much space, everything was vendor-driven.
It was people selling you something or people being a testimonial for a vendor selling something and it wasn’t just people who run companies talking and setting aside just this one hour each month and inviting the different panel speakers. Man, we were blessed. Last year we’ve had folks from unique Norwex Shaklee, Amway, the president of Costco, incredible folks, online, Young Living sharing, and it was Ruby Ribbon. It was just really fun to have all these different people come around last year and share.
And we did almost 10 forums last year, which was just a wonderful start to this new normal. So, without any further ado, let me make some introductions. So, Liz Forkin Bohannon is the founder of Sseko Designs and Sseko is an ethical fashion brand that works to educate and empower women by providing employment and educational opportunities.
Using her unlikely story of a journalist-gone-shoemaker, Liz shares her passion for social enterprise, conscious consumerism, social justice, creative leadership, gender equality, risk-taking, and empowering women. There is so much more to Liz’s story that I’m not going to share as we jump in because you’re going to hear some of the stuff as we talk to these questions today. But how cool was it that you can tell people like when you buy this product, like women in Uganda get to go to school for free? Come on. She’s tied that cause-based marketing together in a cool way.
If you watch our previous session with Cindy Monroe from Thirty-One Gifts and Sam Caster who ran Mannatech for years, very similar story and that idea of when you buy part of our product, there’s really good thing happens in the world. And it’s a cool way to tie causes. Liz, thank you so much for being here today.
Thanks for having me.
And then, Rachel, so much fun because Rachel turned into a good friend as we connect over the last few months on all topics. Rachel had absolutely crushed it for years and an organization we all love, Mary Kay Cosmetics, and has taken on the mammoth task of bringing Faberlic, which is one of the largest direct-selling companies in our entire industry, Faberlic, the Russian powerhouse into the United States. So, talk about an experience.
And so, here’s Rachel whether she’s incredibly busy. So grateful to just have a moment of her time today. But if you are not friends yet with Rachel on LinkedIn, add her on LinkedIn because she’ll pump you up. She posts really great positive stuff all the time, makes you have a good day. Right?
And to read her background with over a decade of experience at Mary Kay Cosmetics, Rachel’s leading the charge for the Russian powerhouse Faberlic. It expand through the US. A remarkable professional, loves making people feel important and know their worth, has great strength in creating duplicatable systems to grow confidence in the Salesforce in driving results through empowerment. So, Rachel, thank you so much for being here with us today.
All right, well, gang, let’s jump right into our topics as we move forward. So, the first question is for all of us. As we enter 2022, how has doing good, meaning sharing causes and charitable pursuits in your company, shaped your story in the marketplace? And I want to hand this first one to Liz. And we’ll all answer. And so, I’ll be the note-taker. And I’ll ask some secondary questions. But let’s go ahead to first. How do you see doing good tie into just your story as we introduced here?
Yeah, absolutely. For us it Sseko, our purpose I would say is really our foundation. I started Sseko, as you mentioned a little bit in my bio, I moved to Uganda originally to… I have my master’s degree in journalism and wanted to write and report about issues facing women and girls, living in extreme poverty and living in conflict and post-conflict zones. So, I had no interest in business, no interest in fashion. What I did have an interest in was global extreme poverty and how women and girls really shoulder the burden of that across the globe. And I wanted to learn more about that.
And when I showed up in Uganda, I think with the idea that I would use journalism, I would write and report about these issues. Or maybe I would go work for a nonprofit or a humanitarian organization that was addressing these issues. One of the things that became incredibly clear to me was, oh, my gosh, so many of these issues that are being solved with amazing charities and philanthropies around the world.
Actually, a lot of these problems could be solved if women had access to jobs and access to education. And that actually sounds more like a market opportunity to me than an opportunity to start yet another charity or sponsorship program. And that really turned my whole world upside down, which was just like, oh, my gosh, maybe business is actually a really, really powerful answer to this incredibly challenging problem.
And so, I started Sseko out of that heart of, frankly, and I say this to the folks on the call, I could have cared less what the product was at the time of just like, let’s start a business. I started a chicken farm, and the chicken farm failed. And next, I designed a pair of these strappy funky sandals, and I was like, “This is fine and this is good enough. These are interesting.” You can tie and style them in different ways.
And then, spent months traveling around East Africa on a motorcycle looking for raw materials. And trying to figure out how to make sandals at all, let alone how to make sandals in East Africa. And then, I went to this school that worked with really academically gifted young women who come from all over the country but come from backgrounds of extreme poverty, who test into college but can’t afford to go. And I hired three young women, Mary, Mercy, and Rebecca.
And I taught them how to make these sandals and was like, “All right, if you promise to make these sandals for the next nine months, because there’s a nine-month gap in Uganda between high school and college, I promise that you’ll go to college next year.” And they were like, “Okay, that sounds great.” And I was like, “Okay.” And then, I came back home to the United States and started selling these strappy funky sandals out of the back of my car.
And that is the foundation and purpose and mission that our entire brand is built on is, Hey, consumers are going to buy fashion no matter what. However, over 90% of people in the global fashion supply chain do not earn a living. And over 75% of those people are women and girls between the ages of 17 and 25. So, our fast fashion habits are literally oppressing, I mean, frankly, I’m not over exaggerating to say it’s killing women and girls across the globe.
And we deeply believe that we can do better and that we in a way that is positive and whimsical and really focusing more on hope and progress than leading with these frankly, really depressing statistics about where our world is get to invite consumers into a quarter turn of their habits. Because we’re not asking them to do something that they wouldn’t already do. Everybody’s going to buy fashion every single year.
We’re saying, “Hey, if you think a little bit more intentionally about where you’re spending your money, every dollar that you spend is actually a vote for the way that you want the world to work.” And so, we have all different ways of inviting our customers, our hosts, and of course, our sellers, which we call fellows into really meaningful connection, impact, and relationships.
One of the things that we do is we have a community connection program where when you sign up to be a seller, you have the opportunity to take what we call a Sseko Sister Quiz. And that Sseko Sister Quiz, you fill out just things about your personality type, your life, what you love, your family, and we actually match you with one of our global artists in team members and she becomes your Sseko sister and you get a quarterly update from a woman in Uganda or now India with really the idea we can authentically connect consumers to producers.
Those shifts are how now all of a sudden when I open up my closet in the morning, I’m not just thinking about my clothes. I’m actually thinking about the people behind it. One of the slogans that we have at Seiko is this idea of how it’s made matters. And so, how it’s made matters, one of the ways that we get consumers and our customers and our hosts to really connect with that is that we actually create in real-life authentic meaningful back and forth relationships. So, our fellows actually also have the opportunity to essentially become pen pals. They can literally send us letters or emails.
We print those out at our production facilities now all over the globe. Those get distributed to those production team members. They have an opportunity to write back and to connect. And then, that actually really culminates the number one and I know that this makes us pretty unique in the direct sales industry. Our number one driving incentive in the entire company is an all-expenses paid trip to Uganda where we go to Uganda and hang out in our factory. And you get to be on the production line and learn how the products are being made.
And we eat dinner and share a meal with our production colleagues and go to that school. So, that original school where I hired those three women, Mary, Mercy, and Rebecca, and started Sseko under the mango tree. We make a little pilgrimage out to the school and we meet the newest crop of female scholars that will be going through our program.
And so, we really do, we embed it from onboarding into our incentive structure purpose really is a really key and core driver in our community.
I love about this, like I was just looking at some of the executives who are on the line watching as well as who’s here. This idea of tying your cause, your story, did you just hear how it changed the tone of the story of just the way Liz was sharing this to gang? It’s like, yeah, this is just about doing good. And we have to remember that, team, one of the… I have a picture here. This is a group called Opportunity International that does micro-finance overseas. I have a friend here. He took his company public and donated $6 million to start a bank in Mexico, giving loans to women in poverty. And this is me going on a trip to his bank.
And this was, gosh, 15 years ago, not that old. But what I realized on this trip is what Liz is talking about, and that we forget so often is that business is the answer to many of our world problems like good business, doing good business matters. And just this Opportunity International gives loans to women in poverty and access to capital and helps them start their own businesses to give a leg up. And people like Liz are doing the distribution of the products that people are manufacturing overseas to have an opportunity to access capital and jobs.
We as direct sellers and network marketers and for all marketers, Party Plan company, executives, we are providing those same opportunities for men and women in developed countries. And something to remember about what you do in the world that’s so powerful is that it’s not just the hype you see online of people who lavish lifestyles.
Gang, the wins are the people that are making 500,000 bucks a month that never thought they could and are doing it with your company.
I love that, Ben. One of the most powerful moments probably of my career was in one of our first trips that we took our top sellers to Uganda really framing that even for our production team, how powerful that was. It’s like you expect, I guess that we have all of our production team members and they stand up and they’re sharing these incredibly transformational stories about this is what access to a fair and dignified job enabled me to do, really powerful. Oftentimes, heartbreaking stories about situations.
Women were able to escape how they are rebuilding their lives, their dreams for their futures, for their families and their communities. And really sharing with our fellows like because of you, because you are booking, posting, recruiting, showing those core business activities, look at the impact that this is making in our lives. But then, our sellers had the opportunity to stand up and to say, “Hey, because of you, I found real community for the first time in my life.
Hey, because of you, I feel like my job actually has a deep and meaningful purpose. Hey, because of you, I have economic freedom that I never had before. And I was actually able to leave an abusive marriage because I had the confidence that financially I would be okay.”
And for our sellers to share that with our producers to say, “Hey, because of you, because you show up every day to this workshop and make beautiful product and deliver it to high-quality product on time, this is the life that I’ve been able to build for myself and my family.” And that mutual exchange of purpose and impact is so special.
One thing I want you guys to hear who are listening, imagine the loyalty that happens when that’s what your sellers have in their heart. I want you to think of… We’re going to get the loyalty a little bit later in the conversation today. But deep why’s bring loyalty. Rachel, you’ve been around this question in both big capacities at Mary Kay and then now at Faberlic.
What are some of the pieces you’ve seen just even within your own organization of how doing good and bringing that to the forefront, change the culture in your company, the conversation?
Absolutely. First of all, Liz, I want to say thank you. Thank you, because you really are one of those people that are stepping out there and taking ownership of making a difference. I read a book years ago. It was one of my first self-development books, The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun.
Oh, yeah, yeah.
It really puts into words that we can take ownership of change. Oftentimes we look at, oh, I send $10 to the SPCA when I see the sad dog commercials, right? I made a difference when the truth is, and what you said, every dollar you spend to shaping the world. And that is powerful. And that is a message that I think we’re seeing more of a movement than ever. People grasping on and saying, “What can I do?”
Because when we look at a lot of these big charities and we feel like we’re doing good, we’re not actually taking the time to peel away the layers and see how much of this dollar is actually going to where I want it to go. And if I’m going to give 10 bucks and I know that 25 cents is going there, what else could I do? And that’s what you did. You took complete ownership and said I want to make a legitimate difference that people can tangibly feel and tangibly see.
And that’s amazing. And I think the direct selling industry as a whole is jumping more into that movement. Because when you have an industry that, like you said, Ben, is shaping and changing what people thought they could be and do, it’s taking those barriers down. It’s breaking those belief barriers and letting people throw their hearts over the bar and reach levels that they never thought they could because of their background or their education or who they know.
It really creates a space, a platform for that, but also a platform to, Okay, let’s go deeper, and let’s go more. Faberlic, one of the things that really attracted me to them is the global impact that they’re involved in making. And one of the things that I found very interesting is I had to peel the layers away to find that. They weren’t wearing it on their sleeve. They weren’t shouting it from the rooftop. It was just who they were.
One of the things is Faberlic has planted over 10 million trees. And that’s huge. But that wasn’t forefront in your face. And because it was just like, well, that’s just what we do, we just give back. And as we’re stepping here into the US, it’s really important because of this movement to let people know, you guys, your dollar matters. And we’re going to make that global difference.
What we’re doing here in the US is to be seen because it’s just beginning. But our philosophy is boots on the ground. Just like you said, Liz, let’s take ownership of this and see what an impact and a difference we can make. When you have your leaders involved in that, it matters. It makes the connection so much deeper. So, there’s huge charities out there, like I said, that we could get involved in. But the route that we’re taking to start is we know that we need to get our name out there.
Most of the world doesn’t even know who Faberlic is, I mean, most United States. The world does. But the United States was learning. And so, we could take a million dollars and throw an advertising. But our plan is to take that million dollars and partner with the right boots on the ground charity so that it’s doing business and giving back. The first one that we got involved in before we even got into prelaunch was P.S. I Love You. And it was a day on the beach for underprivileged children. And we were the main sponsor of that.
And it was such a unique experience to see our leaders and see our people boots on the ground rather than just that, well, I know that my dollar matters, or I know that this is going somewhere. And that’s something that we want to continue to do and do more of. And for us, it’s not going to be all in in one thing. Anything could change. But as of right now, it’s like okay, we are a huge product line. Faberlic has 1000s of products.
So, the way that we can make a difference and impact can be in so many different areas, but really allowing our leaders to drive that, what matters to you, how can we create a promotion? How can we create a product line? How can we give back to something that matters for you? Because when you have top leader all in, it’s going to trickle down. And that is marketing that is worth millions of dollars because it comes from the right place.
And there’s a couple of really great pieces you pulled out, Rachel, I think we all need to hear. I think all of us saw that short clip of Jeff Bezos coming down from his rocket ship with his cowboy hat saying, thank you all my customers for letting him a rocket ship. It was disgusting, right? I don’t think anyone was like, oh, yeah, happy I made Jeff [crosstalk 00:20:38] so happy I made… But it’s like the mindless thing to do is to just flip yourself on… We all do. Right?
We have Amazon there. I don’t have time to get to the store. It’ll be at my house from the drone in a minute. Here, it’s just you press this and that stuff shows up on your porch. Right? So, this guy, he hacked all of us, right? And so, we vote with our dollars. And yes, many of us Americans watching this call, many of us internationally watching this meeting. We vote with Amazon so many times.
And I want you to hear how powerful these stories that Rachel is sharing gang could make buying from you an easy decision for someone versus Uncle Jeff with his cowboy hat and the rocket ship. Okay. Common enemy is a great strategy in negotiation in our world, and it’s really easy for you in your marketing to be like, Well, what makes us different than Amazon? Let me tell you. Instead of just corporate profits for this guy, look at what goes on here for real people in your community.
And then, the second piece I want you to pick out was that they weren’t just sending money to these programs. But you heard from Liz and you heard from Rachel, is reps are going there, employees are going there that’s creating loyalty and content opportunities, gang. These are opportunities for you to be able to tell the story by turning on a video camera, taking some pictures, writing it down.
And these are things that when you start filling up your marketing tools with content, like how much fun is it for the reps to be sharing, like, oh, yeah, check out what our leaders did at this event and check out what happened here. And it’s all doing good stuff that’s attractive. So, hear that. All right. For a time, gang, we want to grab our next one because there’s a number of trends in this big… And if you’re not telling the story about cause that you care about, you need to. Okay. I hope that’s what you heard for anyone who’s watching.
And if you want to go even deeper, we spent an entire hour on the same topic last August, or actually last September, and it’s in the DSEF LinkedIn group. And we dug into causes deep. But I want to step into just this next part because I know for both of you, this has changed a lot. With our world-changing rapidly and we’re talking about post-pandemic, all this stuff, what are the trends you’re seeing in the ways distributors actually operate daily in their business?
Because both of you came in the home doing a party. It’s a bit different. So, we’re going to hand this one to Rachel first, then we’ll come to you, Liz. We’ll give you a little bit more time. Yes, I go, ziggy zaggy on these questions. So, Rachel, walk us through. So, what are you seeing? How are people building in 2022 from what you’re seeing?
It’s online. It’s social media. It’s social selling. One word, Reels. That is the answer to everything. I feel like before the pandemic, that movement was already happening. But after the pandemic, it’s solidified. People aren’t leaning away from as we’re coming back more to normalcy. They’re not leaning away from that at all. They’re still leaning into it. They’re still leaning into social selling, social buying.
I challenge anybody to look at your phone on how much time you’ve spent. It’s addicting. You’re like, “Oh, I have five minutes.” Twenty minutes later, you’re laughing and watching these Reels. And it’s what’s really grabbing people. And so, I think that when we talk about social selling and knowing that that is the movement, right now, the movement is funny. It’s fun. It’s entertaining. It’s bringing life. It’s bringing laughter.
But if we can take that social selling movement and marry it with what we just discussed about making it matter more like let’s go deeper, I think that’s the trend that is going to set companies, social sellers, and NACHA. Funny and light-hearted is great. But once somebody knows that they’re connected through something that matters, it changes the game. And so, it’s all about figuring out how to be authentic, how to be real, and draw people into you.
Because what we’re also seeing is people are getting tired of the image of perfection. They’re getting tired of these filters that are just insane. I have a seven-year-old son and he was watching meme when we’re sitting in the car, look at Reels, and he saw this girl and he’s like, “Wow, she’s really pretty.”
And it broke my heart in a way because it was a girl that was so filtered. No nose is ever that small. No eyes are ever that big. And I was like, “You’re seven. And this is the image of beauty that you’re seeing. How is this happening? I monitor you. How is this happening?”
She was a Pixar princess. And that’s-
Your Pixar princess.
Yeah. It’s not real. It’s Anna and Elsa, and it’s not real.
And people are feeling it. I think as women as a whole, we’re feeling it and men are feeling it. And so, right now the trend that we need to capitalize on is, let’s be real. Let’s be authentic. Let’s utilize this platform. But let’s, again, peel back those layers and speak from the heart and show yourself and get rid of this unrealistic image of perfection in every way in doing business and how we look in… We all make mistakes. We’re all real people. There is no such thing as perfection.
And I always say it’s not about perfection. It’s about progress. So, are you getting better every day? Are you getting stronger? Are you feeling happier? Are you feeling healthier? That’s what matters. So yeah, I say we got to go with social selling, but it’s time to lead the change of what social selling means and what we’re spending our time watching.
So good. Ooh. Can I just say ditto? No, Rachel, I completely agree. Yeah, I think your point both about authenticity and depth. I think education really is, I think it’s one of the things that I love about our industry. Sseko for the first six years of our brands, seven years of our brand, we were a wholesale retail company. So, we sold our products through stores and sold who went on to sell them. And one of the things that we realized and one of the core motivations that we had in shifting to a direct sales model was we realized that retailers are not equipped to educate people.
Customers walk into a store. They’re scanning, scanning, scanning. I’ll never forget the moment. This was probably seven years ago. I was on the Oregon Coast. And I was walking down the beach and I saw a woman wearing a pair of Sseko sandals. And so, I approached her and I asked her about them. I didn’t introduce myself or anything. I was just like, “Oh my gosh, those are really cute sandals. Tell me about them.”
And she was like, “Oh, well, I got them at So and So’s store.” And she could tell me about the store where she bought them. But she literally didn’t know the brand name, didn’t know anything about our story.
And this was such a crystallizing moment for me where I was like, “I do not own that customer, I do not own that relationship.” She does not have that story. Because I have built a model that doesn’t enable me to connect ultimately with my customers and for there to be that sticky exchange. And that was one of the key moments where I was like, “No, this is one of our secret sauces that we have,” is it’s so juicy if you only knew. It’s so juicy and it’s so sticky. And I am building a model where you can walk away with my product without ever having interacted with that purpose or that story or that mission.
And so, when we made the decision to switch to social selling direct sales model, one of the things that I was so excited about was, Rachel, what you were talking about, is our industry and our people can educate. We can sell, obviously, and we have to because no margin no mission, right? But also through relationships and through that engagement, we really do have the opportunity to have people’s ears and to communicate about important meaningful issues.
And what we really try to do is position our sellers that that’s one of their value propositions, for us sustainable fashion is the key part of our mission. And so, in our community, we want Sseko fellows to be the people in their community. It’s confusing, and there’s a lot of information and there’s a lot of options.
And if our people can be the people that our customer base says like, I want to go to her to understand more about how I can do better, about how I can learn more about this issue and really represent them not just as folks who have access to a product but actually who have access to a lifestyle that does require a degree of education, but also invitation to come join us because people can get so… There’s so many causes in the world and there’s so many problems and there truly is. There’s cause fatigue, where it’s another email, another post, another thing about something that’s hard in the world.
And when you put that in the context of actual relationship and conversation, that’s where I feel like we actually start to see the needle change. So, I will say I am 100% obviously, like you’d be a ding dong to say that we’re not moving more and more fully online. I do feel like we are seeing in our community. I believe that there’s going to be an in-person rebound. I don’t think it’s going to look the same as it did before the pandemic.
But I think what we saw, our basic trend line that we saw was that in 2020, people were like, “Whoa, let’s get online. And let’s hang out on Zooms, and let’s do Facebook parties.” And we saw tremendous growth in that side of our business in 2020 that I feel like we are really starting to see as work went online, and as school went online. It’s like I spent my whole day on Zoom. I don’t have as much motivation to hop on a Facebook Live once I get my kids in bed because I have some of that fatigue.
And so, I do believe that retail in general and the trends are showing that there is a little bit of a rebound effect that is happening if people are hungry to be back in person and to have experiences and relationships. I think it’s going to look different.
But we are really planning for that of what are the reasons that we can give our people to gather again and in-person to really foster that and to make sure we are well-positioned when people are back and ready and comfortable to be gathering again that Sseko is one of the reasons that they want to get back together.
And one of the things we’re seeing too, Liz, that you can hear this as other ones watching is that it’s not that getting back together will be the selling experience to always feature brands and maybe for some, but actually maybe celebrations, trainings. There’s other reasons for the physical get back together that ignite the passion, the why, the drive, the training.
There’s other things in your culture. So, don’t just think in your culture, like, “Oh, I heard there’s a rebound, let’s get people back during the home party for presentation.” That actually might not be the thing, that getting together for, that might not be the event. The event may be that it’s a training workshop.
Training workshop and opening conferences, that’s what people are training.
There’s so much more. Or rewards trip. How many of you are seeing the leader who rented the place on Airbnb, and the top 10 of you who do this in the contest are going to pop out and get to come to this massive house and hang out for the weekend while we grill together and just celebrate your success. The world’s changing, gang. And I want to jump right into the next question because I think it’s the answer to all the discussion we’re about to have from what Rachel just shared and Liz just said.
I was asking next, like, Hey, what are the key educational opportunities you want to bring to the field today? And I just want to shout out real quick to what Rachel said, gang, she talked about Reels. How many of you who are maybe on the MLM side of business is not on party plan even know what a Reel is, gang? Some of you don’t. And some of the things that are educational opportunities. It’s not just how to create a Reel. It’s very intuitive and simple. But some of these Reels are more complex.
And I just want to share this with you as a high level then we’ll jump in, is there’s Review Reels. If you haven’t seen these, you need to learn about these where someone is creating a video of themselves reviewing another video. And so, one of the easiest things you can do as corporate is not just providing education for your people, but it’s modeling certain behaviors you want them to do.
And so, when you hear what Rachel and Liz are saying, you got to be asking your mind like, “How do I model proper behavior for my members? What systems and technology and training and tools I put in place to do that?” And think of these review Reels, gang, because if you would provide the content like in Liz’s world video of some woman being grateful in Uganda, a good dinner life, or in Rachel’s world, these folks on the beach with the underprivileged kids and you told your folks, Hey, go create a review of that video in your Reels.
If they don’t have to create the whole piece of content, now it’s just them nodding along with the impact of video that’s already going. You’ve seen the Review Reels and it’s a reaction video. In the person’s face, this is, “Oh, wow, that’s amazing. Wow, who would have thought?” And so, each of us can do that. You don’t have to make it where you need to be a social media superstar to be successful.
Yeah, they could get there. But you could make it easy for them to be cool around their friends by giving them great count content to be a reaction Reel too that they can nod along with a video and their friends are going to watch it because it’s their face. So, that’s the one educational opportunities. I just pointed out what Rachel said. I got to share that.
But we’ll go to Liz first, then coming out, what other educational opportunities is…. let’s take ownerships on corporate side to the field. What is corporate really need to own and not just leave up to the field figure out in 2022 in your mind?
Yeah, it’s a great question. It’s a segue honestly from our last question about this conversation about in-person but different like what do people want. We just hosted our first in-person event last weekend and we haven’t had an in-person training event in over two years since COVID. Seventy-five percent of our leaders who qualified for the event came to the event, which was just wild just like if I qualified and it was in San Diego, we had people flying across the country. The hunger and the desire to say we want to be together, we want to share space.
And again, so in person, but may not necessarily be sales isn’t the main event, right? So, I think to that note, one of the things that we actually did last year, so I say this was our first in-person event. I guess that was not entirely accurate. Because last fall, we hosted another much smaller event. But the point of the event was literally to model to our field how to do these events again. So, our thought was like, “Let’s bring out 10 directors to Portland”, which is where we’re based.
And the purpose of the event was like, Hey, events are going to be really important and in-person gatherings are going to be really important. HQ is not, we’re not going to start hosting 100 events a year and doing these things. But you can. This is how our model works. And so, our vision is like, Hey, if we could bring 10 leaders and basically teach them how do you create these in person, small group training, experience, community-based events, then you go, and then you replicate that in the field.
And then, with your event, you’re going to teach your rising leaders how they can be doing this in their own regions. But we have to model that exactly to your point, Ben, of just like, I think we have been struck by how much of our memory and comfortability with events and in person has been, like our muscle for that has atrophied over the last few years, right? In the beginning of 2020, everyone was terrified to go live on a Zoom.
And it was like, “Whoa, I don’t know what to do. I’ve never done this before.” And so, you create all the training material, and you model by example, and you walk people through it, and then now it’s old hat. And now we’re actually realizing that people are feeling that way about in person. And so, going back to the basics of like, Hey, this is how you do an in-person gathering, and really modeling that by letting them first experience it so that they can then go out and create those experiences for others.
And I think that that’s the way of the future. And we’re much more excited about the scalable model of many, many smaller events happening than these big mega-events of the past, right? They’re like 50,000 people in an auditorium gathered. My experience is that people will walk away from an event where they know and had an actual unique and meaningful human interaction with a higher percentage of people that were there that actually builds those.
I wasn’t just a consumer of that event. I didn’t just come and sit in a seat and wait for someone to entertain me and wait for somebody to give me information. And then, I sat there and decided if I liked it or how excited I was, but instead, I was a part of this meaningful event or space and actually, my presence really mattered. And I, co-created that. And maybe I contributed to some of the curriculum. So, we’re really working through even just these hybrid models for events, right?
What is the information and what is the content that we at corporate are going to pipe in virtually? Because this is really important, and you got to hear it from us. But then, how are we going to train leaders to actually do part of that themselves, but then also invite some of their rising leaders into that process. It’s also much more accessible for the people that are there, right? I think when you’re constantly hearing from corporate and from those top leaders, there’s a level of accessibility that gets lost.
This event that we had down in San Diego, it was so cool. We had a whole panel with some of our much newer lower-level leaders. And the impact of that panel was phenomenal because it was like the people in the room are like I see myself in her like is she making millions of dollars? No, but she replaced her income as a teacher and she’s home with her kids.
And she’s doing that in about 10 hours a week during nap times. I can do that. If she can do that, I can do that. So, creating more of-
Those are the hard moments right there.
Yes. Yeah, exactly.
Yeah. That is cool. That is very, very cool. Rachel, what are you seeing, your sight?
Yeah. I completely agree. I think collaboration, duplication, those are key factors and they’ve always been key factors. But when the world is going along, we get into a routine. What COVID did is it shook up our routine. It changed and required us to look deeper at what are we doing, how are we doing it? And wow, probably, were not prepared for this because we were so routine-oriented. One of the things that I really think is a movement for this industry-specific is to take ownership of coaching in your field.
And what I mean by that as coaching is, I mean, everybody’s a coach. My social media feed is filled with MLM leaders offering coaching classes, offering coaching workshops, and they are charging anywhere from 500… lower end, let’s say 50 to 5000. There’s even some that are higher than that. And it’s like, “Wait a minute, why are we corporate HQ not doing that? Why do our people feel like they need to go spend $5,000, to learn from that MLM leader, which she learned from us?” Because it’s the delivery. It’s the way it’s delivered.
And when you feel like you’re being coached, things shift differently. And it’s also an annoying problem out there because half the time people don’t know the difference between training and coaching, and they’re calling themselves a coach, where training is telling somebody what to do. Coaching is drawing it out of them so they know what to do. And the number of results that you get from coaching versus training is huge.
Now, the truth is, you can’t train or coach somebody that’s not trained. So, they do have to work together. But if corporate can take ownership of the training process, a singular focus of this is how we onboard, this is how we rank up, this is what we do, this is our machine, and be something that makes sense to the field. And that is key. Because oftentimes, corporate is on, like I said, a one mind track and, “Wait a minute, we haven’t revisited this machine in 10 years.” Well, hey, guys, we’re not on that track.
And so, then we have all of these leaders over there reinventing the wheel because corporate’s one vision on this track. If corporate can be in tune, if headquarters can be in tune to what’s going on in the field and be willing to pivot their track with collaboration from the leaders, you can get everybody. You can get everybody onto this track. Great. Now, they’re trained. Now, what they need is they need to be coached to greatness.
And we need to offer that for them, not having them feel like they have to spend one, two, 10, $15,000 from an MLM leader from a different company. It just doesn’t make sense to me, but it is all over the place. And our leaders are just shelling out money.
Let’s bring that in. Let’s empower our leaders to do that and offer it to the field. I get that it’s another source of income. But, my gosh, why don’t we take ownership of that business and deliver it to the field?
I love that. Oh, go ahead, Ben.
So, what’s really important for people to pick up from what Rachel just shared is that, we get this when people say, “How do you keep your people compliant?” We get these questions all the time in our space. And Rachel gave everyone the answer. I hope you heard that. If you do the work at corporate of creating the technology and the content and the duplicatable system, that actually converts in the marketplace that when people use it, it works and they get paid. They will use it.
So, notice when someone felt like they needed to go hire the guru, when they felt like they needed to recreate the wheel. It’s because the thing you gave them wasn’t giving them the expected result. That’s the naked truth real quick for everybody, is hear that in between the lines real quick because that’s the part, gang, is if you have leaders who went and spent 20 grand on boot camp from you know who, think about it for a second.
You’re doing something wrong.
Yeah. You didn’t give them a path. You’re missing it.
You’re missing it.
You’re missing it completely. And some of you aren’t even listening. I’ve seen that on the tech side and my journey in this space, is that many times we’re living in five years ago data just looking at transactions and sales. You’re not even measuring what people are doing to get new business and you have to.
And that’s a big difference between something that I’m experienced with, an established company that’s been around for a million years versus a startup. Faberlic is been around in other countries for 25 years but it’s still a different country has a different culture. We are a startup in the United States. And so, we have to listen. We’re forced to listen to build this machine how it works. I’ll never forget at one conference when I was a leader in the field and there was this huge… it was a big conference. Huge, exciting announcement.
Everybody was just waiting to see what this new plan, a new track they’re running was. And they came out and it was put product on new faces. And it was like, “Huh, okay, I’ve been doing that for 10 years. What do you mean this is a new idea?” They were so off-tune as far as was where we were. It was like, “All right, let’s go figure it out ourselves thing.”
Yeah. I also think it’s so important for our people to know the thing about the third-party coaching industry that I just think our people need to know is that person has no vested interest and this is actually working long-term for you. Their number one thing is to get your $500, your $15,000, your $20,000. And then, they’ve won, whether or not what they learned made you successful, literally. We hope that there are people that genuinely have good intentions for people.
But they don’t make more money if you go out and you’re successful. What is so amazing about internal coaching and those resources, is that it’s like, “I’m not making my money off of a $500 training course.” We’re all only successful together. And in our community, we refer to it as collective ambition.” If this actually works and if you go out, and this enables you to book and to sell and to recruit, and you have access to those resources, internally coaching and private coaching and one on one mentorship is definitely a big incentive driver in our community.
We already provided that from HQ. You have to show us that you want it and that you’re in it, and that you’re going to take it seriously. But we have that internally. And by the way, you would pay $300 for a 50-minute session with a coach of this caliber. And we are building that into your experience here at Sseko.
Yeah, totally agree.
This panel is just phenomenal. And we only have three minutes left. And so, what I want to do here, question number four was how to create customer loyalty. I think we talked about that today. I think you heard a couple of things. Just briefly, one minute, Rachel, anything to add to stories and mentoring, anything else on customer loyalty we want to add that you already shared today?
You need to have a customer loyalty program, a great customer loyalty program, look what other people are doing it up your gang. The competition out there, you got to have a reason for them to stick with you. In addition to being a great company, in addition to great products, in addition to giving back. Customer loyalty program is really important.
I just second that. And I will say that for our customer loyalty program, we actually call them impact insiders. And so, in addition to the free shipping and the discounts, and exclusive products for our customer loyalty has been a really big hit. We just actually really introduced that in Q4 that it’s like, “Hey, we just got a shipment of this bag that sold out last time and only our customer loyalty… we’re giving them first dibs for 24 hours [crosstalk 00:47:33].
There you go.
… out of all of those products. So, that’s a big driver.
But also, impact as well. So, we call them impact insiders. And it’s like you get invited to be a part of a community connection call that we’re doing. We built this computer lab in Uganda, and we’re going to have an early morning Zoom, where we’re going to celebrate and you actually get to be a part of more of those inside impact with the recognition that it’s like, “Hey, our fellows don’t get to make an impact without their incredibly loyal customers, who are supporting them. And you were a part of this initiative.”
And so, everything from obviously the discounts, exclusive products, but also thinking about how we are weaving purpose and impact and mission into our customer loyalty programs as well.
One note on the trends report we published too as well when they’re talking about pricing with loyalty. We’ve seen huge pricing trends to actually make pricing equal between reps and customers that there’s zero incentive to become a rep to get a better price in most of the newer companies we’re building and running we see in this space, where the best price is actually the loyal customer price. We’re seeing more and more and more where this idea of once you’re on subscription for three months, then you get this top tier pricing.
And so, you could achieve that price as a retail customer or as a promoter in that space, that same deep price. And that’s not to say that your distributors shouldn’t pay a different price of retail customers. But there’s a lot of trends right now of saying that price alone of access to product shouldn’t be the reason you become a distributor. And we’re seeing that a lot.
Absolutely. Because then you have a dead field. You have people that are signing up and skewing your numbers. And that’s one thing that Faberlic, that’s their model. As a customer, you’re getting 20% off. So, you don’t have to be a consultant. You can take advantage of… and the loyalty program, our VIP program is what we call it, is for consultants and customers.
Now, there’s a couple of different things that consultants get that make sense but the idea is drive customer loyalty. Once a customer loves the loyalty and the product, then they flip to a consultant to build a business.
And one thing we have all here is, who’s your customer. The reps are your customer too, gang. You got to remember that we have our retail customers and then we have our promoters, but we’re still rolling out the red carpet for everybody. Everybody’s our customer and our tribe, right? You’re running a volunteer army. It’s like running a church. They’re showing up and doing the work. You got to be there to support them.
Ask questions as we go. This is the one-sentence answer. And it’s just always that point to ponder. We’ve been through a lot since 2020. So, if we all zoom back in our minds to 2019 and we can give ourselves just one line of advice, what is it? Liz, what would you tell yourself?
I think mine would be to over-communicate. Going into 2020, I think just knowing that your people, your promoters, your customers, your corporate members, all of us, especially in challenging times, will create a story about what is happening and what is going to happen. And if I as a leader and not filling that empty space with here’s the story, here is what’s happening, and here’s what we’re doing together, just knowing that people will create their own stories.
And so, I think one of the really sweet things that came out of 2020 for us is in March of 2020. I frankly was like, “I don’t know what’s happening. And I don’t know what’s going to happen.” I’m sure we all experiences fear and disruption in the field. And so, I started going live and calling, I just call them family meetings, and I would just go live on our Facebook page. And it had nothing to do with training, nothing to do with selling. It was everything to do with just community building, and where are we at, and offering some hope and some solidarity and just honesty.
And that actually ended up becoming a really, really sweet tradition, which is now core to what we do are just these family meetings, these spaces that go beyond those core parts of the business of how do you get people to book, sell, and recruit, because our field needed it so bad during that time. They needed a voice, too, because we were all just like, “No one knows what’s happening.”
And so, I think that’s the advice that I would give myself of just like your people are going to tell themselves stories. So, come in and as a leader. Even when you’re unsure of what tomorrow is going to look like, it’s up to you to piece out and pick those, what are those truths and pieces of encouragement and motivation and solidarity that we can bring to our field.
I love the family meeting. I’ve had some other friends, clients, owners do fireside chat and call it that. Family meeting is pretty fun. That’s pretty hype, Liz. That’s cool. Rachel, on your side. You can zoom back to 2019, what would you say?
Oh, gosh. Okay. I’d say it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay. Don’t fight it, don’t fear it. Figure out how to work with it and go with it. It makes me think of riding a horse. If you ride a horse, it can be very painful and scary if you’re fighting with the horse. If you’re riding with the horse and going with it, all of a sudden you become one.
And when our world changed so much, we had two sides. One was complete fear and shutdown, I don’t want to change, and one was, wait, this isn’t happening, let’s not change. But both of them were fighting the inevitable and a lot of it was fear-based. So, I look back. It’s going to be okay. Don’t fear it. Don’t fight it. Go with the flow. Learn how to work with it and adapt.
Awesome. Gang, thank you so much for being here on the panel today. Whether you’re on the stream or watching on replay or here with us live, thank you for participating in the DSEF this week. Do something this information, gang. Share about if you have questions for either of these ladies. Comment in the LinkedIn or the Facebook group, answer there, and we’ll get you synched up. This is a discussion game that we can all take to our people.
And I’m sure we each had people we wish could watch this recording. It’ll be in the LinkedIn group and the Facebook group. So, there’s a lot to take away from here. I just want to thank you, Rachel. Thank you, Liz. Thank you for being here today.
Thank you, Ben, for having us. It was an honor. Thank you, Rachel. I learned so much from you. And it was a great honor and privilege to be here with both of you today.
Ditto. Thanks, guys.
And team, keep your eyes open for February’s event. We have some incredible speakers coming out for February’s event and we have a piece of bonus content coming out next week as well. So, be checking the group. There’s another good speaker coming through. Have a blessed day, gang.
Bye for now.