Naxum Reviews: How To Attract Sheroes To Your Organization – Direct Selling Executives ForumPosted by naxumadmin / July 27, 2021
We have a treat for you!
Have you heard of the term Shero? Well, you deserve to know.
A Shero is defined as a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities; a heroine.
On Friday, July 23rd at 12noon Central / 10am PST, we hosted 4x Shero’s sharing their insights for our Direct Selling Executives Forum.
On the panel included:
We’ll asked them these questions:
1) What does a Shero mean to you?
2) When you think of the woman who has never done direct sales before, how do you set up your opportunity to be the path that allows her to grow into all she can be?
3) How do you create a culture that attracts veteran Sheroes to your company?
4) What is your favorite way to celebrate victories?
If you could go back to January 1st, 2020 and tell yourself one sentence, what would you say?
Ben Dixon: All right, everybody. I am so excited to invite you to learn from these incredible ladies today. My name is Ben Dixon with the DSEF, will be the host and moderator today for our panel on attracting sheroes, your referral marketing company. Now, if you’re not familiar with the term shero, a shero is defined as a woman admired or idealized for her courage, outstanding achievements, noble qualities, a modern-day heroine. Now, as we jump into these topics that I’ve purposefully invited and so grateful to have four speakers on our panel. This is our first time we’ve done four. We’ve done two to three speakers on our panel before. We have some incredible questions we’ll get to go through today.
But before we get started, I want to go ahead and just take a moment to give you a little bit of the behind the scenes of who’s speaking to you here today. I know that each of you watching are all executives in the space, or watching on replay, and we’re grateful for this conversation. First off, I want to introduce you to Johnna Johnson. Johnna, wave into all calling in from Mexico here. And in addition to serving as an executive at a number of direct sales companies, and you can see more on LinkedIn there, what do we not know about Johnna? I did my bios backwards this year to have fun this month. So she’s actually adjunct faculty at Boise State University, author of two professional development books, certified disk instructor. We all know the personalities. Certified mediator. How important is that in direct sales. And a Tony Robbins fire Walker. Johnna, thanks so much for been here today. Good stuff.
Michelle, I’m so pumped to have you here today. Michelle has over 25 years of leading organizations in this space as both a CPA and CNA and is a very unique shero with the work she does at Ruby Ribbon today. One of my favorite parts of what you don’t know about Michelle is she served as head of strategic planning for Guitar Center for over six years. If you could see the rest of my office, you would know how much I’ve bought from Guitar Center over the years. So I have been a long-term customer. I’ve played drums for churches bands since I was 11 years old. And so people come after service at our church. I serve as elder at Christ Community here in town. We have five campuses. When you play the big campus, people are like, “Oh wow. It was amazing.” And you say, “Well, I’ve played for 20 years and you too can have a great service.” So it’s fun stuff, but thank you for your work, Michelle, and thank you for being here today.
Next up I have Jana Kennedy. Jana is going to wave, joining us today from California. Jana started her career way back at Estee Lauder in our bond. Talk about companies that are doing new stuff addressed off in our space in the beginning, and today serving at Unique and has a really interesting perspective. The thing you don’t know about Jana is she actually runs a group of mentoring sessions for women entrepreneurs all around the world outside of her work. So she’s giving back in unique ways inside of the space. Jana, thank you so much for being here today.
And then lastly I want to intro Danyell. Danyell Browne has served in a whole bunch of roles at different executive teams. If you look at Danyell’s background, it’s mixed. There’s these interesting roles on different sides of the corporate team, which I really enjoy and just truly has an incredible perspective. I was blessed to work with Danyell years ago as a vendor back when she was running sales development at Tastefully Simple and have truly just enjoyed our relationship and any conversation I have with Danyell ever since. What you don’t know about Danyell is not only she’s an awesome mom, and we do have a lot of awesome moms here on the line today, but she also serves on the board of Women Building Women.
All right. Well, team, thank you so much for giving me a chance to just make all those intros as everybody’s joining the line. One, two, go ahead and just kick off our first question and we’ll start with Danyell. When you hear the word shero, Danyell. See, I didn’t even tell Danyell I was going to start with her. Isn’t that awesome? I’m just so kind as a moderator, just throw right on the spot. So Danyell we’ll have you kick it off first. What does the word shero mean to you?
Danyell Browne: Well, I love how you already went over the definition for those that are tuning in that are like, what the heck is a shero? But I’m going to speak from my perspective. Obviously I’ve been 18 years in the direct sales industry and I feel like a shero is any woman. What I mean by that is oftentimes we look at a woman in leadership and we say, gosh, I aspire to be like that. I wish I had the courage that she had. But I feel like in my heart any woman can have that. It just takes the right opportunity, the right people or circle around them to really truly bring that out. So I like to say shero is in all of us. We just need somebody to breathe belief and bring it out of us.
Ben Dixon: That’s a really great thought. Tim Grover in his book Winning talks about how no one’s a winner, that winning is this thing you enjoy for just a moment and then it starts over. Like you hit your sales numbers for the month, “Woo-hoo, we’re all winning.” And then what happens? The first happens. Like on August 1st, now you’re at zero everybody. That’s the same thing with shero. Shero, as much as it is a title is like you’re being a shero. You’re stepping into being courageous. You’re stepping in to do it. I love that. That’s a really good thought, Danyell.
Johnna, what are your thoughts there? And you don’t have to wait for me to interject. You can grab the next person’s thought if you have a combat. It’s totally okay. No one gets offended. It’s just meant to have fun. For those of you that haven’t been a part of DSEF, Direct Selling Executive Forum before and panels for those listening, we wanted this event to truly be casual. It’s for you to get value of real people going through the same stuff together. That’s the whole intention behind these webinars. And so know that it’s totally fine. Go ahead, Johnna.
Johnna Johnson: I think from my perspective, what I have absolutely love is, one, I feel very humbled that you even put us in that category. I think all us feel that way, which is amazing. But as I look through my career of 25 years in the industry and thinking about the women that I’ve helped, mainly women, I just think of that courage. I think we all feel the fear, but you’re moving into it anyway. You’re stepping into it anyway, and you don’t see the obstacles, you see the outcome. I just love that. And I think that that’s one of the things that we probably all get that high off of, that dopamine, that winning sensation is when you help other people feel that fear but just rush through and create that energy. I think that’s why we’re all passionate on this panel is because we love helping people see that possibility. So I love it. Thank you for allowing me to be here.
Ben Dixon: You got it. It shows up in so many ways. Bravery and taking those steps is something truly special. The real meat of our questions will happen in the next week, but as we all warm up to this idea, it helps us think about how we strategize and how we help people in the world. So Jana, Ms. Kennedy, what are your thoughts?
Jana Kennedy: I obviously agree with everyone. I think we wouldn’t be in this industry if we all didn’t kind of think alike. We’ve got Danyell who’s 18 years, Johnna who I think you’ve said what, 20 some years, I’m 16 years and I can’t wait to hear how long Michelle has been in the industry, but I mean, if you add that up, that’s a lot of many years of experience. And I think we can all say no matter what company we’ve been with, no matter what kind of consultant rep advisor we’ve worked with, they all have one thing in common. As soon as they take and say yes and join, there’s a level of respect that that person, and I always say that. I have the utmost respect. I understand what it takes to say yes and to take the courage and walk in this industry.
But I think to really think of what a shero is working with so many women in so many different countries that it’s that woman that shows up and is authentically who she is and she doesn’t let the title be who she becomes. There’s a great book, Robin Sharma, I’m a nerd when it comes to books. He wrote a book, and he is also Canadian. So hello to the Canadians out there. Me being Canadian, I have to put a flag out there for us. And it is The Leader Who Had No Title. It is a book that I always suggest for many leaders when they start in that leadership because one thing that our industry can do is you can become driven by the status of where you are, your title or looking at the upline that you have that has maybe had 10 years experience over you and you try to mimic what they have done.
I think a shero really is somebody who authentically shows up, who shares authentically like my journey hasn’t been peaches and cream. What you see is the end result of the success, but what I’ve gone through. And I think if we can uplift so many women and men, but women more specifically in our industry, that they don’t have to fake it till they make it. Just be who you are. That’s one of the lines that I just like, I want us to like take that out. Just show up as you are so that when another shero joins, they can relate to you. I think that’s the big thing. So when I look at that is women that are leading without a title.
Ben Dixon: And how refreshing does that feel, everybody? Holy cow. I think of the line fake it till you make it as just, it’s just such a corny old thing that we… It just doesn’t build any culture that any of us want to live in ever because if everything appears to be perfect, well, then you’re not qualified. That’s the thought if you imagine, like I think of our tribes that we manage in direct sales as these communities of people, just like even a church. And you think about no one wants to join the church if everybody’s perfect at the church, because churches wouldn’t exist. If it was perfect people only, no one could come.
And fake it till you make it in your culture, if that’s what it appears on the inside, it’s like, well, I can’t do that. I’m not as good as Julia, Sammy, Deborah. I’m not gifted like them. And how refreshing is it for people to be like, yeah, this is how I manage the 90 minutes I get to contribute to my business each day between my husband, kids, and family obligations. That’s a lot more refreshing of a message on your opportunity webinar than like, oh yeah, she’s killing it. Let’s go, hypey words, hypey word for connecting. Thank you for sharing. Michelle, I’d love your perspective. Walk us through when you think of shero, what does it really mean to you?
Michelle Sanft: Yeah, I think from my, because I’m CFO and my background’s more corporate finance, I have a slightly different perspective, but I think we’re all in the end saying the same thing. And by the way, Ben, I have quite a few instruments in my house as well. I filled my house up when I worked at Guitar Center. So it was a good place. Okay. A shero to me is a woman that has a lot of drive and passion and a mission to impact the world in a very positive way. Someone who is there to build something special, make a mark in the world, even if it’s a small world, and build a community around her passionate and successfully minded women. I love women that have amazing critical thinking skills and can drive their business in a highly collaborative yet very strategic way and just really impact a lot of women out there, and maybe men as well. Just have a very positive mark on the world.
Ben Dixon: One of the big reasons team I invited Michelle to the panel today is because when you talk about attracting sheroes to your organization, it’s not just field reps. Not to list it from a corporate executives to your team. A lot of Michelle’s work, if you’d be so humble, at Ruby Ribbon has been building the team they’ve built over the last few years, corporate executive wise to do what they’ve been able to do with what they’ve been entrusted to steward. I look at Danyell’s roles over the year and you’ve been entrusted to steward a lot of different things and you’ve shown up and stewarded well. Johnna, you’ve been entrusted to steward and stewarded well. And like that’s a big part of this conversation.
Well, let’s jump into some of the meat and potatoes of the discussion team. Should we go in the same order or should we flip it around? So Danyell, just to like make you to answer after someone else’s has gone, so let’s go right back to Michelle actually. We’re going to go like a reverse order. I love this question because there’s a lot of people who will be watching now or on replay who will have this. It’s when you think of the woman who has never done direct sales before, so now we’re talking about the field, but how do you set up your opportunity to be the path that allows her to grow into truly all that she can be from what we just talked about?
Michelle Sanft: Yeah. My perspective, again, is based on just the perfect world example, and it’s very difficult to execute all of this obviously, but what I would say is you have to share what’s possible with your business model and your comp plan. You have to provide her with content to support that direct selling is not only about earning commissions, but it’s also about community, building strong relationships in teams, and becoming an entrepreneur with a flexible schedule. We want to explain to our newbies that the gig economy is poised for really strong growth because more and more people want control over their schedules and more balance in their lives to do the things that they want. And we need to show her the way through training and goal setting and provide her with a really great user experience.
Her join process should be simple and holding trunk shows should increase her confidence levels to build up a business on her own. Provide her with a winning formula based on how your comp plan is structured and how that is translated to earning success in the field through best practices. Again, very difficult to… It’s easy to talk about, but to get a whole group of people to actually execute on that is very difficult and it’s very challenging. And then give her tips from the top performers, including what the strategy is for team replication, products and a simple system for managing your teams and shows. And this could be offered through content or one-on-one training. Go ahead.
Ben Dixon: I just got to ask because we all say like, well, you win in onboarding. But what’s the one thing you didn’t know that you now know, Michelle, where you’re like, wish someone would’ve told me that is how it would have made sense to win away.
Michelle Sanft: Yeah. You can put a bunch of stuff on paper but to get behaviors and get people to feel comfortable with executing on each of those deliverables is very difficult. So you have some people that want to sell from their closet, or you have some people that are super social but yet they don’t want to build teams. To try to get everyone to do all those different things that drive success for one person may be difficult for the next person. And so it’s really about balance, how do you balance all those different behaviors and drive success to the entire group? And that’s definitely challenging.
Ben Dixon: And it’s not one size fits all.
Michelle Sanft: Right.
Ben Dixon: If it was, we would all have the super formula and we wouldn’t need to have meetings like this. It’s not one size fits all. You’re touching on an interesting thought and I’ll hold it for now because I don’t want to seal it if someone else says it because there’s two that I’ve thought of for sure here in this space. So that’s really awesome. And I keep saying Kennedy for Jana so I don’t say Jaana. My Chicago accent is horrible. Neither of you probably know who I’m asking when I say, so I’m going to say Jana Kennedy. And let’s go to you next, Jana. What are some of the things that you see for-
Jana Kennedy: You can call me Kennedy, I’m fine with that. That’s okay, yes.
Ben Dixon: All right, Kennedy. Thinking of that woman who’s never done direct sales before, how do you lay out the path?
Jana Kennedy: Right. I love exactly what Michelle had shared. It is a big gap in all of our, when we look at onboarding, we look at bringing that new person on, how can it be an experience that they understand? I’m going to give you kind of two perspectives working mostly with the field and then having to create the corporate strategy around it as well is that teaching the leaders in the field the language of not just putting it out there and hoping, especially a seasoned rep or leader, they’ve been doing it for 10 years. And it’s them understanding literally that they have to learn how to think again as that brand new person because it’s like information. They’re just putting information out there.
One of the things that I work really closely with leaders in onboarding their teams is literally it’s not just about showing them the program but explaining why. Why is this so important, especially as a brand new person saying yes. Most companies have a type of fast start program that you are hoping in the first 60 or 90 days that they’re going… It’s really their onboarding to learn and earn at the same time, but more so it is like that as we also know is retention. For us, we are hoping that in that 90 day we will have a much larger retention and that it will carry on to possible advancements and promotions and to really take the lifeline of that new person joining.
What company doesn’t want a stronger retention, right? And for the reps business as well. So I think there are so many parts to it. How do you take that new person that has never been in direct sales and teach them how to be an entrepreneur, try to teach them balance, what are the hours that they’re going to be working so that if they have a significant other and children, that they are not going to be upset with the choice because now they’ve got another focus. Let’s just call it what it is. That’s a reality.
And the other thing too is how do we show them the value of the hours that they’re putting in is a return of their investment? I think that’s the greatest thing and it’s a question I always ask. What would be worth your time? And then I’m going to show you and break that down for you because not everybody wants to go to the tippy top. Some women are just really happy and many years ago, and it’s still out there. If we can have a person in our industry reach a $500 paycheck, they’re with us for life. But how many, especially with the competition that’s out there, how many are actually achieving that? This is like a whole training in itself, Ben. We need to come together.
Ben Dixon: Totally is, but you hit a topic that people watching need to get Simon Sinek’s YouTube video that went crazy viral of this start with why concept years ago. It’s real, it’s true the start with why piece that Ms. Kennedy spoke about. We have to all take that to heart. If you haven’t read Simon’s book, Start With Why, go read it. I use it across my entire organization with all my staff, with all my new hires. Literally internally, like in Michelle’s position building up the corporate team, your new hire conversation needs to be why Ruby Ribbon in her case. Your work at Unique with Jana Kennedy is, why Unique? That it’s a critical part because there are different whys. Why your company exist is going to show if they’re aligned with your core values, if you’re not. If it’s actually going to be a fit long term to be a part of your organization, and it’s going to help you know what their goals are.
So you’ve touched on a really good one. The second one you said, I hope everyone heard, is the dollar per hour ratio. You have to remember where they’re coming from. A lot of people miss this. What are most of these reps joining your company used to? They’re used to dollar per hour thinking. And many of us on this line haven’t thought about dollar per hour thinking in decades. And yet most of the members we serve and the tribe are thinking about dollar per hour, thinking you got to speak to them in your language. Here’s Johnna as a disc trainer, holy cow. Speak in their language. Dollar per hour, guys. It’s a big one that people miss. All right. Let’s go to Johnna Johnson. Just for your case, what would you add to the conversation, Johnna?
Johnna Johnson: I think there are three quick nuggets that I wanted to add. One is something that Michelle said. She said get the system in place. Jana also kind of alluded to this as well. One of the things, my background has been helping startups. And so you’ve got these new startup companies that are excited and they want to get sales going right now. So they want to launch into things and they don’t do what’s needed in order to get everything set up. So you’re almost, especially in our roles, you’re behind the eight ball because you’re trying to get people fired but you don’t have the system in place. And I think that’s really important for all of those listeners that are thinking about or getting ready to launch their own company is get this system in place just like Jana and Michelle mentioned.
And then also when you do get that system in place, make sure that it’s simple. A lot of times, your field leaders that have done this forever in a day or even I’ll include myself, and you’re like, “Well, it’s easy. You just do this, this, this, and this.” But you’ve got to make sure it’s your first step. Don’t think about anything else. Don’t think about that car. Don’t think about that diamond ring that you’re going to win. Think about your quick start in your first 30 days. Just super, super simple, which I think is really important.
And then the other thing that I have found is crazy is about people wanting scripts. They want to know what to say and how to say it. And I think especially as leaders coming on board, whether you’re in the field or you’re on the corporate side, you take that for granted. Just like you said, Ben, when’s the last time we thought about dollar per hour? When’s the last time we thought about how hard is it to reach out to somebody brand new and what do you say, because we can say that quick. And so really getting those tools to people.
Ben Dixon: And it’s changed so much. Like when I was 18 years old and enrolled in my first direct sales company, it was decades ago. You guys look at me like I’m still 18, but hey, it was a long time ago. My Filipino wife feeds me well and I stay young. Kay’s awesome. But when I started, I had a sponsor with me physically in an office coaching me on making calls. Is that the natural thing that’s happening in our organizations today? No, it’s not. We’re alone by ourself most of the time when building this business. Julia is sitting in her Nissan Rogue while her daughter finishes piano lessons trying to build this business from her phone. And so you say, how do we help Julia win? And that’s exactly where you’re at. Do you have to do the work of making your systems feel like a leader sitting next to the newest person suggesting what they do next? If you can get to that level, that’s when you start to see really cool things.
Johnna Johnson: One other thing I was going to say, sorry, I’ve got another nugget. This is free, I’m not going to charge you for this one. Michelle mentioned not everyone is going to want everything. This person isn’t going to build the team, this person isn’t going to want the $5,000 a month. And I think for all of those individuals that are watching this, I think that is absolutely crucial for owners to understand that the field is its own beast. A lot of times people get really discouraged when they start these companies because they think these brand partners or these consultants should be out working 40 hours a week just like they’re working, and they’re not. And so they get really discouraged and the numbers aren’t where they want them to be. But I think what Michelle said was brilliant in that they’re all different and they all want different things and they’re all going to work at their different paces and life happens and a lot of times this isn’t their number one priority. And that’s hard because it’s all of our priorities.
Michelle Sanft: Yeah, exactly. And 70% of our basis probably, I mean, roughly 70% is probably part-time and that’s all they want. So how do you move to 70%? And then you have the 30%, they’re probably driving 70% of the revenue. So there’s a different… You have to understand who do you spend time on? Who’s there for the opportunity? Who’s there for really just getting discounted product, and you have those situations. So you have to carve out your stylist and bucket them so you put the right amount of time to the people that are going to grow your business in the way that you want to, and then figure out how to manage the rest of the teams that are there for the smaller, hey, I just need shopping money or I just need enough money to pay for my car or my house, and then that’s it. As long as I have that I’m good, so they stop. But you definitely need to understand that part of your business. It’s super important.
Ben Dixon: And what’s so interesting about your company, Michelle, is you probably have a higher percentage of full-time than most that we talk to.
Michelle Sanft: I don’t know. Just looking at your numbers, I think we have some really heavy hitters out there with large champs, but I do think we have a lot of people that are generating smaller amounts of money.
Ben Dixon: And that key is that you do speak to both audiences because you win in both the short tail and the long tail of any graph. So you support them both. And the question is, well, how do you design that?
Michelle Sanft: Yeah, exactly. And different cohorts within the groups. We need to spend more time on our part-timers and really understand what motivates them, what gets them to the next level. And we don’t have the formula for that, but to get there and crack that code is key.
Johnna Johnson: I know Danyell has to speak, but-
Danyell Browne: No, you’re fine, Jana.
Johnna Johnson: Coming up, I swear, but I just want to also add something here with what everyone is saying is I think the other challenge too is if you take, because we’re all seasoned in the industry. If you take even five years ago or 10 years ago, the new person joining this industry, or even the ones that are existing, it was unheard of 10 years ago that they would be doing another company. I think that’s also key too is that we’re seeing not the top level leaders, but we’re seeing a lot of people joining that are doing other companies on that. It’s just strange to me, and I think it is a reality that as a new owner if you’re here listening or you’re looking, it is. It is how do you also adjust your policies and procedures and at what level of leadership do they have to let that go? Because at the end of the day, if they’re an entrepreneur and they need income, it’s not fair for us to say that they can’t earn income elsewhere, but it does become a distraction and it is a lot of noise in our industry right now.
Ben Dixon: It is a huge point to what Jana is saying. You could see it in policy team all the way across our industry. If you want to look one up, you can look up Beachbody’s policy change. Was that two years ago, of nope, you can’t be in any other MLM except for Beachbody if you’re going to be in Beachbody. Caused a big shake over there. And then you have other companies in the space, I can name a couple, who are openly saying, no, you can be in as many deals as you want in their culture. And neither one is the right answer is what you’re hearing from Jana again on policy. If you heard the part about leadership from Johnna, I do think that’s very important because you can let people come taste and see that you are who you say you are at the beginning, at the lowest level. And then, okay, at what level does it make sense that, hey, you really shouldn’t have a conflict here is a really good conversation for you to have with your internal team. But before adding in any other thoughts, Danyell, what would you like to say?
Danyell Browne: This is easy for me because I’m like, check, check, that too, by the time you get to the end. But I think one piece, obviously yes, system, and it’s not a one size all fit system. I think the first 30 days of somebody being a shero being in the business is critical. And it’s critical for companies to understand that one size fits all approach, because a lot of fast start programs are that one size fits all approach, like you really have to crack that secret sauce for your company and what that is and how you really structure that so it’s easy, simplistic, and people can actually see themselves achieving it and they have the tools to achieve it.
But one thing that wasn’t hit on that I feel very strongly about, and it’s probably because I’m in marketing, is a strong connection to product. I personally feel that an experience starts with the product. So giving them the tools, not that they have to be experts in product because I don’t believe in that, but they need to know what the say, they need to have an experience with the product so then it’s easier for them to share what they love. I’m in the mode of finding a need and filling it. Because I’m in the wellness spectrum, it’s just as simple as finding a need and helping somebody fill it. And when you can do that with products, it becomes a lot more simplistic and a lot easier for somebody to go out and share their heart with somebody rather than it is to share a comp plan.
And yes, I do believe in bringing people in with the opportunity as well. But I do believe that the experience that we can give from that day one when somebody says, yes, sign me up to that first 30 days, to that 90 day where we kind of see that fall off, that critical kind of point in their journey, I think it’s super important that we give them the education, that we make it inclusive because I think oftentimes even in our marketing, people will look at what we put out as a company and not be able to see themselves in it. So I think we have to find ways for people to feel like they can be a part of this larger community, that they have the tools to run and they to have the proper onboarding. They really have this community of support for the long-term.
And I also think it comes down to celebrating small wins. I’ve heard all these ladies say, gosh, not everyone wants to be at the top. And I think that’s probably the masses if you would ask, if you would pull your field. So I think you have to find small wins as a company and it can come back to those income producing activities that we all know help people get to those big buckets of activities to see success, but just figure out that way that you can create those small wins that then lead into those bigger wins for people.
Ben Dixon: Yeah. I love what you just shared there. Danyell’s touching on a point that’s really important. One quick note is that, a segue, last month, just 30 days ago, we had a panel just like this on winning with a product first strategy. We had the CEO of Cutco Vector, Albert DiLeonardo on, and the CEO of Sanki out of Mexico, Alejandro on, and we had Tony, used to be head of marketing for Pampered Chef. So all three of those, it was a guys, we had a dudes webinar. Now we have the ladies webinar, right? So we had all guys on last, but it was pretty rare. Normally it’s a mix of folks. So to touch on Danyell’s piece on product a little further, watch last month’s replay just for anyone who’s on tons of unpacking of people who 30, 40 years have been literally leading that way with like put all the chips in on product first strategy to who those people are.
And with celebrating small wins, this leads right to what Michelle said earlier. Hope everyone’s hearing this, it’s your commitment to daily habits. Now, unpack this for a second when you think about your systems team is that everyone has a different goal. Dollar per hour is what Jana Kennedy was talking about. Michelle was talking about her piece. If you let them set their daily commitment in your system, whatever your system is, what are you going to do every day?
Now you can separate the people who want to be here to the people who want to be here to the people who want to be here and you can hold them accountable to that. So whatever level they want to play at, I want to be a $500 a month person, I want to be a $5,000 a month person. Okay, what does it take to do that daily? Okay, here it is. Are you willing to commit to it daily? And then if you can use technology or a paper system, whatever you could do to track streaks of that so you can recognize them for doing that. Oh, you did it three days in a row, or you did it seven days in a row. You did it 15 days in a row. You’re getting after it. Love it. That’s power team. So hear that. That’s a just real life application I’ve seen from those words.
Danyell Browne: Ben, can I add one more thing to that?
Ben Dixon: Yeah, absolutely.
Danyell Browne: Also, you touched on the word visibility. I think that is crucial. Giving them visibility into those small wins or even the big wins. I think the systems have to be set up in the background so they can see what they’re doing and know like, okay, I’m making progress. I think the moment you don’t give them visibility or it’s delayed, it just loses the momentum.
Ben Dixon: It does. And the way to get through those lost momentum times is actually a piece that Michelle spoke to a little bit earlier when she was talking about the culture. One thing we didn’t mention that’s come out in a bunch of reports, in a bunch of stats right now for onboarding is the tie to doing good, to like how your company does good in the world. People will get through bumps when they’re like, but this cause is bigger than me. We’re doing good for children in China or for these moms here in America. Whatever that cause is, think about how you tastefully tie that in.
And just as one more note, we have something special, we’re actually talking about how to do good in your direct selling company. In September, we have Sam Caster of Mannatech coming on and speaking with Peter Hirsch of increase. So just some good end, we have another top executive coming to that topic. So one thing to be thinking about as you unpack that. Here we get to the hard question of the day, the one that everyone wants to know, and we’re going to go right back to you, Danyell, so it’s going to be fun. How do you create a culture that attracts the veteran sheroes, the people that already are doing this stuff to your company. How do we attract those people?
Danyell Browne: That is a good question and I really don’t think there’s a secret formula for this, because people are going to choose a company based on what fits their mission, their vision, their own values. And of course product. I think product is a huge piece of that. But I like to say it starts from the inside. I know oftentimes what everyone sees is the outside, but if you don’t have the right players in the building to really set this culture that then radiates outside, you’re not going to attract those veterans. You need the talent, you need the professionals, you need the people that have been doing it so they feel confident in the future momentum of the company.
I also feel like attracting kind of those veterans, if you will, is going to come down to what you’ve been able to do, what you’ve been able to accomplish. Showcasing stories of sheroes that have made it from all walks of life. So again, I’m big on I want to see myself in that. I want to put myself in those shoes and see that I can be a part of this company. But the biggie is going to be that comp plan. I think you have to have a lucrative, simple, duplicatable system within that comp plan that is really going to help people achieve success and feel like, gosh, if I’m going to make a jump or a leap, one, I know I can get behind the company’s mission, vision, values, but also it’s going to be lucrative for me. And it’s going to be a company that I can build with for the long-term and I can see this legacy that I’m going to be able to leave to my children because the comp plan is supported. The company has systems in place. The company has amazing products.
And I would say my last tidbit is a company that’s going to make sheroes a priority. I think oftentimes, and this goes internal or external, especially for women, you see this kind of lack of pay or recognition that they deserve. It doesn’t matter how you showcase it at your company, but you need to make sheroes feel like they are a priority. So I will leave it with that. I know these ladies have some awesome nuggets to add to that, but just make them a priority.
Ben Dixon: And we’re going to come back to how we make sheroes a priority when we talk about what’s your favorite way to celebrate victories on our next question. So let’s dig into that one in just a moment because it’s really strong. One thing that comes up a lot that I hear right off of what Danyell shared from the veteran people, because people ask this all the time when I’m at a convention. They’re not so concerned about themselves hitting success. Like they have confidence like I can do this, I know this. What they’re concerned about is like, can I invite Joanna from my community group at church who’s never done this before, and does she have a fair shake independent of my contribution to her as a sponsor?
Those words were chosen very carefully, so hear those for a moment because that’s actually a huge mental shift I’m seeing just even as a moderator team to the space is that even five years ago, people would say, oh, that’s asinine, because they’d say it’s all about the sponsor pouring in, following the system and teaching and training the right things. And today you’re hearing a lot of the people saying, but does the person have a fair shake at success because of what the company’s put in place even if I’m absent as a sponsor? It’s a real question they’re asking and your answer means a lot to them. That’s behind Danyell’s question. You’re hearing that today in this space, and we’ve never asked that before as executives in this space, but you are now. So think about that one. All right, Johnna go ahead. Johnna Johnson.
Johnna Johnson: I think real quickly what I would do to create that culture is, one, set the parameters of what you want. Two, I think attracting people to that culture is about having competence at the core level, the corporate level, knowing that the people know what they’re doing. And if they don’t, that they’ve hired experts. Just like Danyell mentioned, you’ve got a nice core team that can help you create that. The other thing that I have found in helping startups really launch with their beginning brand partners, consultants, recently is they are asking the question, what makes you different? So there’s lots of jewelry companies, there’s lots of makeup companies, there’s lots of skin care companies, what makes you different? And I think if you don’t have that cause piece, then you’re going to lose out.
And it makes it even more fun as customers too because if I want to buy skincare here or skincare here, I’d much rather do this if you’re raising awareness about human trafficking. Or if you are raising awareness about domestic violence, I’m more willing to buy your product because of that. So I think it is you warm up in the sales arena as well, but those are some of the key things that I think are important is the competence, the cause and the culture in terms of in my experience with the startups, what I found is sometimes when things aren’t moving as fast as the owners want, they start getting involved and kind of messing with the systems or the strategies and it just derails everything. And so if you are a new company, new owners getting ready to launch, that’s one of the things that I would do is trust the intelligence of your well-educated and experienced team to make that happen and give it the time to go through the process and the cycle to watch it work and things will absolutely flourish.
Ben Dixon: And when to tweak and when to let it ride. Couldn’t we all talk about that for hours? That’s a big one, team, because you also got to look at your timing of your feedback loop too. This is something a lot of you will miss off, which Johnna just said. How does your company collect feedback and what is the interval for that? Some of you do not have advanced predictive systems in place where you’re tracking all that where you can look at it daily. I mean, a few companies do these days, but most don’t. Most get their timing interval off of super Saturday trainings once a month at lunch with the top leaders after the event’s over. Those conversations become the feedback intervals that then wind their way back to the corporate teams. And so if you’re on a monthly interval for timing feedback and you’re changing stuff every week, on what basis are you changing stuff every week, really?
Johnna Johnson: Fear and panic.
Ben Dixon: Fear and panic and your assumptions from whatever industry you came from before. And so be honest about your interval so you can be candid with when to make right decisions and when to let it ride. That’s a really powerful thought. All right, let’s go to Jana Kennedy.
Jana Kennedy: All right. I’m probably going to ruffle some feathers on this one.
Ben Dixon: Do it.
Jana Kennedy: Yes. Everything that Johnna and Danyell had said, yes, I agree 100%. I guess the question-
Ben Dixon: That’s not ruffling. I’m just teasing.
Jana Kennedy: No, I’m going to ruffle them right now, I promise you. I’m not ruffling them-
Ben Dixon: I love that they are 100%.
Jana Kennedy: Yeah, no, no. I’m ruffling a little bit of a different thought process because I know every single one of us have been in this position before. I’m going to talk about a top level leader from another company into yours. They are bringing in a culture. And I always ask the question as to why are they looking for a different company, especially if they are making a substantial amount. I do believe that if you can buy and bridge somebody from a company, then someone else will be able to buy and bridge that leader as well. So I just think it’s really important for the company to be very clear and to create those guard rails around what it looks like when you’re bringing a shero or a top level.
Do you even know if they’re a shero yet? We could unpack this in a thousand different ways. Is it worth bringing that type of culture into your company? I think that’s the key thing because people come and go all the time. It is just what we embrace and I actually love change. But more so, will that shero coming in, hopefully it’s a true shero. Danyell had hit it that they’re going to be here for the long term, but if you’re bringing somebody in because you’re in a panic situation or you’ve just launched and you’re not there yet, and to Ben’s point, 90 days. Look at feedback and look at programs in a 90 day increment and then sit down and make decisions as far as is it working, is it not?
Data cannot be collected in a 30 day timeframe. It just isn’t a long enough cycle. But I think that’s the bigger question is if you are looking at bringing experienced veterans in from another company, yes, they can grow your company very quickly, but they can also leave your company very quickly and leave with a team. We have to protect, all of us. We’re all striving and looking for the same thing. But more so what is the reason as to why they’re looking at your company and how did you have that at the starter conversation?
And I think the other thing that I want to bring up too is they want to be seen and heard. For some reason they have not been seen and heard with the past company or maybe just… So is there a lot of loud noise around that particular shero or not? I know I told you I was going to ruffle feathers here, right? I’m upsetting the apple cart, but I think it’s something that it’s the elephant in the room that we don’t want to talk about. We are focused on that instant number of what it can do for our business in six months. And I’m so interested to hear what Michelle has to say on this because I’m sure this conversation has come up many times.
Michelle Sanft: Oh yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Jana Kennedy: It’s a slippery slope when you’re looking for a fast, instant gratification and I do think it has a lot to do, do you have the correct internal team, like Danyell said, to support that leader coming in, because they’re going to want to be sitting at the table and making decisions and it’s so easy with… And they don’t have the same perspective or 10,000 foot view or they’re not in the perennial decision making that we have sitting on the corporate side. I’m going to leave it at that then.
Danyell Browne: I love that Jana. I was going to say, do you have the right team that’s willing to push back and say no if they’re not a right fit for your company, because I feel personally, if they’re willing, like anybody, whether your enrollment fee is 3995, whatever it is, they need to be treated the same way that anybody else coming into this company would be. And if they’re not willing to do that, then maybe they’re not right for your company.
Ben Dixon: Yeah. Great question. Real quick, it’s a simple poll, think about your answer before you say it out loud, how many of you believe that you should do BDAs because they’re business deals, they’re bridges. Who are you? And just to be clear for the executives that are new that are watching this is is when you pay a leader to join your company. So if you believe you should never do a BDA to say no, or if you believe that, yeah, there are some scenarios where it makes sense, it would be yes. So we’ve got yes for Michelle. Yes is what you’re saying, Jana?
Danyell Browne: I’m on the no fence.
Ben Dixon: We don’t have time for that one today, but do you see how it’s half and half just for everyone who’s here, because I said for certain scenarios, because you heard they’re there for a reason and you just heard Michelle and Jana Kennedy say yes for certain scenarios, and then you heard no, never on the others. So we could do a whole panel in why to, why not to do BDAs. I’ll tell you even on the backend on my side, I have a whole bunch of guys that don’t do BDAs but do ranks where they let someone be grandfathered in at a higher rank for X number of months to move them over instead of guaranteeing money. So there’s other ways to skin that cat, but do know that there was truth in what was just shared, that if someone will come to you only because you’re giving them some special bridge throwing up money or guaranteed income, someone else can offer them the same thing and they may look forward if their grass is greener.
We are going to wrap up a little bit quicker here today because we are having so much fun in our time. I want to respect everyone’s time. We will be done before the end of the hour. But before we move into our favorite way to celebrate victories, which will just be one sentence from everybody, let’s see if Michelle has anything she’d like to add on a culture to attract sheroes to your company.
Michelle Sanft: Yeah. I think just seeing this from the outside and the challenges with bringing on new people, the first thing that comes up is do they feel comfortable with the culture? They look at the base and say, is that who I want to be working with every single day? Does the comp plan work? How does it compare to my current comp plan? Are there amazing product? Do I believe in the company, their vision, mission, core values, and do their products sell themselves? Do they have a great point of difference? And do we have the marketing and content to back it? Do we have a great brand? Every company is constantly working on their brand. And so I think it’s getting them to feel comfortable with the business, the model and their ability to succeed. I think those are the key things that always come up when we talk about these issues.
Ben Dixon: Amen in the ability for that new person to succeed. All right. We’re going to move into our two rapid fire questions to wrap up today. The first, just a simple one sentence, and then we can comment on it if we’d like to. Johnna Johnson, JJ, what is your favorite way to celebrate victories?
Johnna Johnson: A snail mail confetti celebration card.
Ben Dixon: Yes. Our family’s fallen in love with confetti cannons for every event. My children and my nephews and nieces. Oh my Lord. Anyone’s birthday, any event. Who went to the $5 store and got the confetti cannons? They want to blow those things off all the time. They’re awesome. Yeah. Ship them out to people. It’s fun. That is awesome. Danyell, favorite way to celebrate?
Danyell Browne: I was going to say like handwritten, those personalized ways to celebrate, but I would also say one thing and this kind of goes a little off topic. Celebrate retention, celebrate those teams that are doing retention well. It’s really, really big.
Ben Dixon: I see you just like that. Yeah. Well, that’s good. Jana Kennedy?
Jana Kennedy: Two things. I may pick up the phone. I go ahead and do a surprise phone call because they are like, never did I think that would happen. And obviously recognizing them on some type of social media platform and tagging them because that also helps build their brand and it creates curiosity for people that are watching them.
Ben Dixon: Listeners, you have no idea the weight of what Jana just said. As a rep for four years, and I was a multiple six-figure earner as a young kid in a company, the owner called me once for five minutes to say good job on year three. Meant the world to me as a young person. So there’s a lot of truth in that. The simplicity of making a grateful Friday is where your support team gives you 10 people to give a phone call to. Just every Friday, just give 10 quick phone calls out. It means the world to people. That’s awesome. Michelle, favorite way to celebrate victories?
Michelle Sanft: Yeah, I mean, just again, from the outside, there’s ways I can celebrate victories internally with the corporate team, but just thinking about it from a direct selling perspective, there’s a lot of… I think the teams really enjoy the social media side of it, posting names and leader boards and listing who the top performers are. And also personal phone calls. When some of the leaders or some of the stratas get personal phone calls from our CEO, Clint, they really appreciate that because they feel like they’re being listened to, they’re being appreciated. I think that personal touch makes a huge difference.
Ben Dixon: What’s for your internal team?
Michelle Sanft: Internal team, we have cross-functionals every day in the morning we like to talk about, little victories on our cross-functional team. We have town halls every quarter and we recognize top performers in some cases. We just started that a couple of quarters ago, but it seems to be working pretty well.
Ben Dixon: Well, with my staff it’s food. It’s just always food. We just eat lots of food that we don’t normally, exactly. Awesome gang. Last rapid fire question, we’ll go back to Johnna. If you could go back to January 1st, 2020, well, it feels like a lifetime ago, tell yourself one sentence, what would you say?
Johnna Johnson: I would say do not wait, innovate. I just came up with that’s. That’s good, huh?
Ben Dixon: That’s pretty good. It’s pretty good. I thought you were going to say buy Bitcoin. There you go. That’s good.
Johnna Johnson: No wait, just go for it.
Ben Dixon: Fantastic. Love it. Let’s go, Danyell, one sentence, 2020 January 1st.
Danyell Browne: Knowing what I know now, I would say take a deep breath and together we can overcome, like seriously, together we can get through this.
Ben Dixon: The winter is coming. The storm is coming. Let’s go to Jana Kennedy.
Jana Kennedy: I think it would all be based around my health and mental illness in the sense of I think we all experienced a level of questioning and whether your mental mind was strong or not, I think I would tell myself that remain active and do something every day that is going to feed me to get me through this next year.
Ben Dixon: Yeah, what a season. Yeah, amen. Michelle, what would be yours?
Michelle Sanft: So going back to January 1st, 2020, what would I say? Wow, every year I see the same thing. I’m going to get back in shape. I’m going to improve my health. I’m going to focus on my critical relationships and I’m going to go after what I want in life. Every year’s a little bit different, but each year I try a little bit harder at improving different parts of my life. It was just a growing experience. Every year it’s better and better, especially as you get older. You learn more about life. I don’t think there’s any one thing that I really wanted to get out of it other than just improve my life. And of course, friendships and the people around me.
Ben Dixon: Well, knowing what you know today, it’s such an interesting thought to go back in and how our world’s changed. It creates a great opportunity for everybody here on the line and everybody listening of what’s next. I want to just take a moment and thank everybody for being here. Your time is all incredibly valuable and we’re so grateful for you. I had multiple phone calls from C-level executives saying, “Oh my gosh, I want to be a part of this conversation. I can’t make it. Please get me the recording.” And I said, “Go register for the recording.” Looking here, we have over eight folks that are CEO level that are part of this exact session listening and we had over 10 that are CMO plus level. So that’s going to be fun today.
Thank you for those of you that did attend live and wishing you all the absolute best. If you haven’t yet joined the Direct Selling Executive Forum, it’s free. You can look it up on Facebook or LinkedIn, or just simply go to directsellingexecutiveforum.com. Next month, our two guests, actually we have a third one that just got announced today, so I can share that too. We have three guests on the panel. We have Dave Fleming, Chief Sales Officer of Norwex. We have Kevin Crandall, Head of Sales of Shaklee. And we have Hutch, the CEO of inCruises, Mr. Famous Michael Hutchison. He goes by Hutch. So Hutch, who’s run that company over 20 some countries, are all going to come on and talk about maintaining relationships with your senior field leadership.
How interesting will that be from those guys. And funny story for those that are coming, Crandall used to work for Fleming I just found out at Shaklee years ago. So how funny is that to get… Yeah, I guess he has his old job, I just found that out. So there you go. So how cool is that that some of them have worked together, some of them don’t know each other, but it’ll be a good discussion. So that is coming up right here in August. Check the forum out for registration information. Thank you everybody for being here today. And remember that those hard season in life are just that, seasons and that you choose how you make a difference each day. Thank you for being sheroes. You have no idea who it means the world to for each of you ladies you’re on the team. God bless, have a wonderful day. We’ll talk real soon.
Johnna Johnson: Bye everyone.
Michelle Sanft: Thank you, Ben.
Ben Dixon: Bye for now.
Jana Kennedy: Thanks Ben.