[ This Special Report is from Randy Gage’s new book, Direct Selling Success ]
It was about three in the afternoon when the call came in. One of my “siblings,” another person cross-line who had the same sponsor as me. He was going through a belief crisis, and needed someone to talk with about a fundamental issue of our profession. After stammering around about decoy issues, he finally asked the question that was troubling him.
“Does duplication really exist?”
He doubted this because he wasn’t experiencing any duplication himself, even though he had been in the business for a few years. And then he confided that our mutual sponsor had recently told him, “Duplication is a mirage.”
Some background: Our mutual sponsor was totally unduplicable. He had made his career “whale hunting,” as he calls it. Pretty much his entire strategy is approaching successful distributors with other companies and convincing them to come over to his team. In fact, he had recruited the guy who was calling me in exactly that fashion. In his mind, duplication didn’t really exist, because he had never been able to create it. Like a lot of people do, he took his own experience and projected it on the rest of the world.
Unfortunately, his experience is all too common in our space. Because too many people are introduced into the business in a way that produces very little duplication. I want to share with you how you and your team can build the business and create strong duplication at the same time. (I actually went on a two-year sabbatical and maintained my income during that time, so I can assure you duplication is real. Really, really real.)
To begin, we need to understand the dynamics that create and govern duplication. Some of them are principles, others are strategies, and others are…I don’t even know. So I’m going to call them “truths.” Once you completely understand these seven truths and how they impact your recruiting, you will experience a dramatic improvement in your duplication. Let’s explore them.
TRUTH 1: It doesn’t matter what works. A lot of stuff works. What really matters is what duplicates.
At some point in your career, those words above will resonate with every fiber of your being. And the sooner that moment comes about, the happier, healthier, and wealthier you will become.
When you understand the power of duplication, you’ll make the breakthrough from being a grinder to a Leveraged Sales superstar. But superstar in the right sense – the duplicable way.
Our profession is filled with grinders. They may prospect on the benefits of residual income and leverage, but they don’t actually get to live it. Because they don’t understand the true meaning of those words above.
If you run a commercial at halftime of the World Cup, you’ll sign up thousands of people. It would work. But how many people could duplicate you
Many people think duplication is about them and their techniques and tactics. They think they can muscle their way to duplication, but that never happens. Duplication cannot be pushed; it has to be pulled.
You don’t rise to the levels of your goals. You fall to the level of how duplicable your system is.
Truth 2: If you “drive” lines, they won’t duplicate. You have to build them with people and process.
We can create hype and rah-rah. We can place people underneath other people in a way that causes them to rank advance sooner and without personal effort. But that kind of driving growth by hype can’t be duplicated.
You have to be willing to perform the building block actions of bringing people in and training them how to get customers and recruit other builders by teaching them effective processes. These “safe space” processes protect them against unnecessary failures and dead ends.
Be willing to let go of the short-term quick fix and build for the long term. For every major decision you make, follow the philosophy of the Iroquois Indian tribe: Don’t evaluate how it will affect your children or your children’s children. Ask yourself how it will affect the seventh generation of children.
Truth 3: The closer you adhere to “the formula,” the stronger your duplication will be.
So what’s the formula? It is a three-part process that actually creates duplication.
Empower a large group of people to perform a few simple actions on an ongoing basis.
Let’s analyze the three parts. The first portion is having a large enough group. If it’s only you and one or two other people, you don’t have enough traction to get duplication going. You need to keep recruiting until you have sufficient critical mass to start the process.
The second part is performing a few simple actions. You have to dial this down to its most basic elements. Every increase in complexity creates a corresponding decrease in duplication. So you want simple actions. And they must also just be a few actions.
Then, of course, these actions must continue on an ongoing basis. You can’t do a blast of energy for three weeks and then go missing in action for a month. Stay consistent and build a culture of consistency in your team. To create a successful business, people must consistently devote 10 or 15 hours a week to building the business, every week.
Truth 4: You can make the best decisions only if you’re working from a valid sample.
Pollsters make informed predictions for a large group of people by surveying a much, much smaller group. The key is to have a “valid sample.” Meaning collecting enough responses to make sure the sample group accurately reflects the larger one. Our business is the same way.
If you live in Iowa, you may think the best time for a meeting is 5 pm, because the people you know are farmers and they rise at 4 am. In Buenos Aires you might think the best time for a meeting is 10 pm, because most of your friends don’t eat dinner until 8 or 9 pm. Don’t draw conclusions based only on your situation or worldview.
Just because the first two people you approached about your product line are allergic to soy doesn’t mean that products with soy in them are not viable. And your four best buds from high school might think your products are too expensive. But if they’re from the extremely low end of the socioeconomic group, that doesn’t translate to the big picture.
Don’t make any assumptions on anything until you have at least 1,000 people on your team. Even then, be mindful. And use the following question to set the guiding principle...
What is the most duplicable to the most people?
Truth 5: Your system should be based on the premise that all team members practice three actions simultaneously. Those actions are study, do, and teach.
This is a first principle that I mentioned in the original edition of How to Build a Multi-Level Money Machine. And it’s just as important today. (Maybe more so.) Move away from this at your own peril.
People naturally want to study everything for two months first. Then they think they’ll take action. And then they figure that after they are rich and famous, they’ll go back and train everyone how they did it. Of course, this works only in fantasy. Because even if it works to a degree (learn everything first) – then the people you bring in duplicate that process and growth takes too long. The time before people are earning anything of substance is so drawn out that your dropout rate increases dramatically.
You make or break your people in the first two weeks. And the first 48 hours are critical.
Truth 6: Make all recruiting interactions dependent on a third-party tool.
Here’s one of the most important things you will ever teach your team:
If you are in front of a candidate and your lips are moving – you need to be pointing to a third-party tool.
Let’s take this down to the most basic and simple example possible: Your customer candidate says, “I’m allergic to soy. Is there any soy in the protein shake?” Of course, you know the answer to that. But you don’t answer. Instead you reach for a tool, in this case your catalog. You point to the ingredient list and say, “As you can see there is no soy in the shake.”
If they are thinking about doing the business, you’ve just modeled the perfect, duplicable behavior.
Because, subconsciously, they have just learned that to do the business doesn’t require becoming a product expert who has memorized all of the ingredients. You just have to be savvy enough to know where to find the answers.
Truth 7: Open people; don’t close them.
One of the worst things you can do in our business is try and master closing and manipulative Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) techniques. I believe that Leveraged Sales is governed by the ultimate universal law, which is…
The harder you close someone, the less they will duplicate.
People you have to manipulate or arm twist to join will buy a kit, but they’re the first ones to drop out. So stop closing people and start opening them.
Meaning simply present your case in the most honest but compelling way. Educate your candidate on all of the benefits they will receive from your product line and business opportunity, then let them make what they feel is the best decision for them.
If that means being a customer, great.
If that means joining the business, great.
If that means not joining in any capacity, great.
Thank them for their time and consideration and move on. If something in their life changes in the future, you may come back and revisit the offer with them. And if you treated them with class and respect the first time, they’ll be all right with you coming back the second time.
Delineate the System…
Back in the 1970s, franchising revolutionized the business world. The concept – which was quite controversial at the time – was that the parent company (franchiser) would provide a complete business system, including site selection, operating procedures, purchasing requirements, and employee training. They offered this expertise and a complete business model for an upfront investment and ongoing royalties on sales.
The person who licensed the business (franchisee) gave up a percentage of their profits but dramatically increased their chance of business success. These were dubbed “turnkey” businesses, because you could simply turn the key to unlock the door and be open for business. There were step-by-step procedures to follow for each facet of the business, from the simplest detail (what brand of straws to use) to the most complex (how to lay out the kitchen equipment for maximum productivity).
McDonald’s, of course, was then, and still is, the consummate example of that. Go to any of their stores at 7 o’clock in the evening and you’re likely to find it being run by a 19- or 20-year-old who just recently graduated from teenage acne. It’s possible this kid has a mother who won’t let him borrow her Volvo because she doesn’t trust him with it. Yet this same kid is successfully running an operation that probably does in excess of $10 million a year in sales. What’s the secret?
The secret is the system...
One of the most complete, specific, and tested systems ever developed. A system that can turn any 15-year-old into an effective, efficient, productive employee. One to three items go in this size bag; four to six items go in the next larger size. Here are the napkins you use; here’s where you get them from. This is the day of the week you order supplies; this is when they’ll be delivered.
You see the same thing in the military. Nineteen-year-old kids are flying a fighter jet that cost more than the gross national product of developing countries. But there’s a pre-flight checklist, an in-flight checklist, a post-flight checklist, probably a checklist just for the checklists.
Having this kind of system to follow created a quantum leap in the success ratios of start-up businesses. Today, as then, franchises have a dramatically higher level of success than independent businesses. And the same thing is true in Leveraged Sales. The organizations with the best systems produce the best results for their members.
A duplicable system is the roadmap for how success is created in your company. It should completely delineate and spell out the entire process that a distributor will follow: where to find candidates, how to approach them, how to sponsor them, and how to train them to reach the higher pin ranks. Each stage in this process should be clearly defined and taught to the distributor at the appropriate time.
If you’re fortunate, a system will already be provided for you. Some of you reading this will be involved in the process of creating the system for your team. If you are a top leader in charge of setting up the duplicable system, these are the four important aspects to analyze and consider:
1) What is the process?
How many steps are there and what are those steps? How does the process diverge in the customer candidate and business candidate paths?
2) What are the tools?
Every stage in the process should have a corresponding tool (video, audio, brochure, catalog, product samples, etc.) linked to it.
3) Have you set up a ladder of escalation?
Think of this as your prospecting pipeline. Meaning the process (presentations and corresponding marketing tools) that you pull candidates through as they evaluate your business.
I use the term “ladder of escalation” because I believe you want the process to escalate at each step – that is, each step is always a bigger deal for the candidate than the preceding one. So this needs to be spelled out for each step, – which action to take and the marketing materials that accompany each action.
So as an example, this progression might be:
- One-on-one presentation or watching a video
- Home meeting or ZOOM presentation
- Hotel meeting
- Worldwide live-streaming presentation
4) How do I make this scale?
That’s the ultimate objective of a system: To facilitate growth in a scalable way. For all of you guys who adore corny acronyms, think of SYSTEM as standing for Save Yourself Stress, Time, Effort, and Money!
So always be looking for ways you can automate activities. Do you really need to meet with each new team member one-on-one for two hours to begin, or could they watch an orientation video or follow along in a workbook? Do you have to meet with five different candidates at five different coffee shops, or could they all watch an online presentation at once?
Components of a Duplicable System…
Here are what I consider to be the most important components of a duplicable system:
- Standardized Presentation Outline. Every presentation, whether online or offline, large or small, should still follow the same basic flow.
- Physical Presentation Tool. This might be a flash drive, flip chart, or another other tool that someone can hold in their hands and use to present to a candidate in a coffee shop, home, or conference room.
- Online Presentation Tool. There needs to be an option for the digital world. This could be a permanent video hosted on a website or scheduled live-streaming presentations.
- Mass-market prospecting tool. Everyone today is enamored with saving money by doing everything digitally. But ideally you should have some kind of a lead generation tool that a team member can leave behind – in places like the table in the dentist’s office or the seatback pocket on an airplane.
- Quantified Ladder of Escalation. Already mentioned above. You need this process in place, so every time a candidate moves up a step, there is more validation and psychological proof that this is a great decision to make.
- Standardized New Member Orientation. It’s vital that every new team member goes through a customary orientation to learn the basic need-to-know stuff like how to order, use the back office, enroll people, contact customer service, and other essential actions like that. And, of course, you want to get new members into action right away and build the culture of study, do and teach simultaneously.
Some final thoughts…
You might be competing against someone who has more contacts, better influence, and superior skills than you do. However, if they rely on those advantages but don’t follow a duplicable system – and you do follow a duplicable system – you can eventually out-earn them.
I’ve given you seven truths above about duplication and creating a system to foster that. Now let me reveal to you the ultimate truth about this topic.
You haven’t created the perfect duplicable system when there is nothing else to add to it. You will have created the perfect duplicable system when there is nothing left to chisel out of it.
Now, if you are one of the leaders or company executives responsible for creating the system for your team, what you’ve just read is deep. On a lot of different levels. So please come back to this chapter frequently. Ponder the questions I raised to ensure you are really breaking down the steps, keeping them as simple and duplicable as possible. The corresponding results will be magnified exponentially for you, for many, many years to come.
— Randy Gage
Mastermind Event Presenter
Randy Gage's new book Direct Selling Success is available now. For links to your local bookstore, Amazon, B&N or quantity discounts, here is a special information page with all the details: https://KillTheMLMZombies.com/