I had the pleasure of talking with Eric Goldstein recently about distributor retention and it’s broad effects on the direct selling industry. You may know Eric from his site CreatWithEric.com, or TimeAndFreedom, a website that he and his business partner Jason Fischer have put together. Both sites are a wonderful resource for personal development, social media and Internet marketing and how it relates to direct selling today.
Eric and Jason believe that one key to success in direct selling comes through approaching distributor retention instead of focusing strictly on business growth. See the conversation Eric and I had about how social media and personal websites play a role in the growth and structure of today’s direct selling distributor.
I’m here today with Eric Goldstein. He runs a site called CreateWithEric.com, which is wonderful resource for tips and advice on network marketing and personal branding. Eric has partnered with Jason Fisher on their site, TimeAndFreedom.com. Eric thank you so much for taking to time to join me, could you introduce yourself and talk a little bit about how you first arrived in the direct selling industry?
Yeah, well first Ian I want to thank you for having me on the call today, I appreciate it. The way I arrived in the industry was a couple years ago I was introduced to a home based business through a buddy of mine. I just went to the Internet, said “you know, let me see if I can find a way to do this online, there is only a certain amount of people I know in the area, so let me see if I could do it online.” I came across some top industry leaders, started to research a lot on what they were doing. I got into a few training programs and courses and I saw that social media at that time was really starting to take off. Everybody was talking about that being the new way to build your network marketing business.
So I immediately immersed myself, dove right in, head first and started to put together my blog and my social media platforms and everything like that, and really just started to create a personal brand for myself, which I think is important online for people to do.
And then from there, as I started to just work with social media, with my Facebook and my blog and everything like that, I wanted to build a brand that was really geared toward helping network marketers. And that is really were I came around with TimeAndFreedom.com with my business partner Jason Fischer. So that pretty much brings me up to where we are today.
If I could name one thing you seem to be passionate about, it would be distributor retention, which I think is what lead you and Jason arrive at the 80/20 theory. Can you talk about what this is or how it could be effecting direct selling companies and direct selling distributors?
That’s a powerful point Ian, and that’s something that was brought to my attention not too long ago. I was sort of a little burnt on the industry, because I was using social media to drive traffic and bring in new business partners, but what I found was that people just weren’t sticking around. And, somebody said “you know you got to meet somebody”, and introduced me to Jason.
Jason has been in the industry for 17 years, he was in a company 11 and a half years before it basically fell apart. We basically just wanted to figure out why it fell apart, why more people were leaving than were coming in. It really boils down to the 80/20 rule, you know you have the 80 percenters which make up the mass of any organization, and the 80/20 rule you know is 80% of the people never really do much. So you have got 20% of the people doing 80% of the work and making 80% of the money. The 80% are the non-action takers, they are not big go-getter’s, they don’t have sales experience.
And the problem that I see with the industry is that network marketing companies have great products, excellent products, some of the most phenomenal products on the planet, but the problem is we are asking the 80 percenters to introduce a new product into peoples budget and they have to create a sale there. They have to create a new need in the market place, they don’t have sale experience and they are not that type of person.
Their whole DNA is different than a 20 percenter and they are going to make up the mass of an organization, and when they don’t duplicate it and they don’t make any money, they quit.
And this usually happens 30, 60, 90 days in, and most of them never do anything. So when they don’t do anything and they quit, they stop buying the product or service because the product or the service never really made sense to them because it was a luxury item with a high price. So that’s a little bit of the information that we are sharing over at TimeAndFreedom.com, It’s really just our mission and our passion to get this information out because we see so many network marketers struggling and not knowing why, and I really think we found the answer and the solution there.
So I know that you have dedicated a lot of that site to the 80/20 theory and how to approach it. How could you advise other direct selling companies or distributors in just 1 or 2 quick tips about using those theories as far as distributor retention goes within their company?
What I would recommend Ian, for people who are watching this interview today or when ever they get around to watching this interview is on our main featured content post at TimeAndFreedom.com, click on the featured post, “why 95% of network marketers are failing”. There are two videos there, I recommend people watch those videos.
But there is also a download, something we call the 12 success factors, and I would download that and watch the second video that discusses in depth each of those 12 success factors. Have that piece of paper printed out in front of them, and when my business partner Jason is going over those 12 success factors, look at the company they are in and align the company up to those 12 success factors.
Because if the company is missing one of those success factors we truly believe it can not create the life long residual income, and that’s really the main reason people got into the industry.
I would just tell a lot of network marketers out there, take the emotion out of the game and just print out those 12 success factors, watch that video and really line their company up to it, and if it hits all 12 great, keep investing you time energy and credibility behind it. But I would have to say if it doesn’t, you have got to ask yourself if you are willing to invest your time, energy and credibility behind something that might not be able to create that life long residual for you.
What’s a major mistake you see either direct selling companies or distributors make when it comes to retention?
When it comes to retention, I think the 80/20 is the biggest factor. But I see a lot of what is going on online today, and I was caught up with it Ian, is everybody is positioning themselves as social media gurus or Internet marketing gurus and we’ve got this whole wave of people that are social media gurus.
And I think that’s probably one of the biggest mistakes because you also have to factor in the 80/20 there, and social media with auto-responders and hosting and blogging and all that stuff is not an 80 percenters game. When you try telling the 80 percenters that’s what they need to do to be successful in the business, you are going to see them drop even quicker, like flies.
And so I was guilty of it, I was telling people “join my team, I will teach you social media and Internet marketing”. I thought that was the game, I thought that was what I needed to do, and I would duplicate that and I would have them teach there people to do the same thing. I found its just not an 80 percenters game, the 80 percenters get very frustrated quickly and they fall off, they don’t duplicate it. And when they don’t duplicate it they don’t make any money and they quit.
So I would say social media is great, it’s a great way to meet people but let’s get back to some of the basics. Meet people on Facebook, meet people on Twitter, meet people that are coming to your blog, but get on the phone with them, have a conversation with them.
There is no plug-and-play, people aren’t going to jump into your auto responder and the next thing you know you are going to see a full down line over night. It’s about really getting back to the basics and teaching your down line about the basics. That’s what we are doing, we have a lot of people who are creating outrageous success with what we are doing. They don’t have a blog, they don’t have a Facebook, they don’t even have any of that stuff because it just getting back to the basics of networking.
So that makes a nice segue with talking about your 80 percenters and them wanting to use social media. Is there any advice you would give those people who want to have a Facebook, they want to be on Twitter, they want to grow their business online, what’s a piece of advice you would give those folks?
Yeah I think it’s great because there is a whole world of network marketers out there, and a whole world of people out there you can connect with. But keep it simple, I watched the video that you created, the interview with Randy Gage, and one of the things that I really caught from that interview was personal branding is great, but it’s not duplicatable. So don’t expect your people to have to create a blog and all that stuff, it’s great if you want to do it give you the credibility, but people need to keep it very basic.
You know create a nice Facebook page that makes you look presentable and have credibility, but just to connect with people and get on the phone with people. You know there is a lot of people that are saying, “we are online and we are just building relationships”, but they are building relationships with people for six months/a year, and when you ask them if they have ever spoken to those people on the phone they never have. So what I like to do is go to Facebook.com/phonebook and just look at all the phone numbers of all the people that I am connected with, and I just start going through the list and getting on the phone and just say, “how you doing Ian, this is Eric Goldstein we are friends on Facebook” and just start the conversation and see what they are up to you know.
Looking at having other tools online, like having a good personal website, you have obviously found success with CreateWithEric.com, TimeAndFreedom.com is obviously a valuable tool. How can that also be applied to distributors or direct selling companies?
Yeah I mean I think personal branding is great, again it’s not something that is needed, and I wouldn’t say people need to duplicate that. But one of the things when you get on the phone with somebody or you set up a call through maybe Facebook messaging, a lot of the time they are going to go check out your profile and see if you have any websites and they are probably going to click on your site. So having something set up is good to give you that credibility, and I like to use WordPress for that, I have been successful setting up WordPress blogs for my CreateWithEric and TimeAndFreedom.
But keep it simple, graphically and aesthetically it’s got to look, very pleasing to the eye, but really keeping it simple I think is the most important thing. But have something in place, because you know I think a lot of people are going to click to see your website and you have to have something where when they land on a page, they say you know “this is somebody I really want to talk to?”, because it’s almost our storefront, it’s our online storefront I would say.