Today I was semi-recruited to become an Arbonne Consultant. I’m flattered, I guess.
A little background on Arbonne:
In fact, I find it fascinating. I mean, it’s a brilliant money-making strategy...for the company. Having people leverage their own networks and influence to perpetuate your brand and peddle your product.
Heck, why not?
I found my hour and a half recruitment presentation so interesting I had to blog about. So much learning in so little time. ;)
Now, I had two of the friendliest British lads ever to take me through the presentation. The one that originally reached out to me was so adorable in his youth and vigour that I simply could not say no to his request to chat. But really, that was the only reason I agreed in the first place.
But I HAD TO KNOW at that point what this mysterious presentation was about.
Was I recruited to some high level spy initiative? Was it Google soliciting me for project work?
My heart sank when I saw it was...Arbonne. But I stuck in there.
They began the conversation with the “everyone uses beauty products” hook. It’s true, I guess. So it's easy to sell (uh, sure) AND it's already something I pay for (so essentially I can just fund my own business by buying my own product). Sound logic I suppose.
But they lost me at, “Do you shower daily”?
I looked down and saw that I was still in my workout clothes from 6am (it was now 2pm) and embarrassingly enough I hadn’t showered yet that day. Actually, if I can get away without showering for a day I am super happy. Should I be admitting that? Well, I sure as heck didn’t to them.
“Oh my gosh, of COURSE I shower every day.”
Silence. They knew I was lying.
We carried on.
They tag teamed the presentation, professionally articulating the slides and showing a great deal of knowledge. They were personable and had a sense of humor.
But they completely missed the mark in selling to me. Meg.
Listen, I am a woman. Yes. But I may be cut from a different cloth.
I buy my shampoo from Winner’s or Superstore -- and it’s usually a different brand each time. I simply can’t remember which brand I had used previously. The container was purple and smelled like lavender. That’s all I got.
Then the numbers and figures started to be discussed. All of a sudden my Ego started to take hold.
“Meg, you know, you could sell the shit out of this. With what you know about online marketing - your entrepreneurial nature - coupled with this proven system...you could be running Arbonne in under 6 months!!! Seriously!!! This is a cray cray opportunity!!!”
Wow. Really? I felt myself get caught up in the slides, the perks, the sheer awesome formula of me signing up 8 people, and then they sign up another 8, and then THOSE people sign up another 8...INFINITE POSSIBILITY!
And then they mentioned the White Mercedes. And my bubble burst. (It's equivalent is the Mary Kay Pink Cadillac).
White Mercedes? Yuck. I would take pretty much any other car out there. Though, if it had been a VW Wagon I probably would have signed up right then and there.
That’s when I smiled. They did not understand me very well.
That's what happens with static, outdated sales processes. Pre-templated presentations and NO conversation.
This was “push” selling. There was no pull.
Okay, at this point you might be asking,
"Meg, is this some long sales pitch for Arbonne?".
"You signed up, didn't you? I knew it!"
No, I didn't sign up. Yet. But I wanted to share some observations about the call and that might help us with our own businesses.
Here's what I got:
You “already use” the product so you should sell it is NOT solid logic to start a business. It makes NO sense. I buy coconut milk every month but you don’t see me trying to peddle it. Though if they had an MLM program set up....
Arbonne is selling to ANYONE. They talked about Gen X, Y, Z (is there a Z?) and how they have all genders, ages, incomes, etc. covered. I was always taught to “niche” and that you can’t be everything to everyone. So this marketing model had me thinking.
I started to wonder, are you still an “entrepreneur” if you are restricted to an organization’s process and system? This might cause a stir, but what do you think??
In this day and age it's ridiculous to require people to buy your physical products in order to become a consultant. If I have a virtual store (aka Arbonne website) why on earth should I have to buy products?? This is like me printing out every email I get and physically filing it. Simply unnecessary. But I recognize this is a huge income generator for Arbonne.
This presentation made me revisit a mantra I adopted early in my business: “Opportunity vs. Distraction”. Yes, my Ego was that best friend who encourages your every whim -- “You could seriously rock this out, Meg!” My Higher Self sat back and let the conversation with my Ego unfold. Arms crossed. Laughing.
Always be upfront about who you are, what you do, and what you need and expect from people. Yes, if I was told this presentation was for Arbonne, I never would have opted in. But they both wasted 1.5 hours of their time on me.
Do your RESEARCH on your leads. They didn’t know I had heard about Arbonne, have used some of their products (their mascara is not a win in my books) and even attended a home party. Flash to: Meg’s self done makeover - Audrey Hepburn style. It was so brutal that even the Arbonne rep suggested I looked better without makeup. Yikes. Hey, Audrey Hepburn eyebrows ain’t for everyone!
After your research, QUALIFY your leads. Better yet. Have them qualify themselves.
Arbonne has created a workable system that can help people create real abundance and skill sets. Kudos. But this system is not for everyone.
When network marketing meets online marketing and there is a fundamental understanding by organizations that employ MLM on the internet marketing world, I’ll be all over it. But right now there are too many “rules”, outdated practices, and systems to be bound by. Just living in society has enough social norms I have to follow. Don't make me a subscriber to any more!
I asked this earlier and NEED to know your two cents. Comment below!
Are you still an “entrepreneur” if you are restricted to an organization’s process and system?
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