by Darren Jensen, CEO LifeVantage
I recently attended a small leadership event. After the training was over, I went to lunch with a few of the participants. The food was great. The conversation was even better. Over the course of an hour, we went around the table and every leader told me their story—how they ended up in this business.
One leader had survived a life-threatening illness. Another had survived two lay-offs. Another was a single mother of three. I was amazed.
It takes an amazing amount of mettle to overcome difficulties and succeed in this business. Conversely it can be so easy to fall away. What makes the difference between someone who reaches the leadership ranks and someone who doesn’t? Is it sheer determination? An iron will? Or is it something simpler? I started wondering whether there are any key behaviors that indicate long-term success.
The Magic Number
In our industry, so many distributors fall off the radar during the early stages of building. I’ve long suspected that what distributors do early in their journey largely determines their outcome down the road. But I wanted to find out if there was a common behavior that linked the growth. It turns out there is.
We discovered what we’re calling “the golden window.” The idea is simple. As our distributors climb the ranks, the number of them who actually made a sale within their first two weeks of joining our company increases by about 10% each rank. About 40% of distributors who reach PRO1 made a sale within the first two weeks. Roughly 50% who reach PRO3 made a sale during those first two weeks. When our distributors reach the crucial leadership rank of PRO7 (this is a big deal for us), 100% of them had made a sale during the golden window.
I want to clarify a couple things here: it didn’t matter if these distributors sold to a customer or enrolled another distributor during the golden window. The numbers played out roughly the same across both categories. The only important data point was that they made a sale. I believe this is important as we often place far greater importance on enrolling distributors—often to our detriment.
Secondly, I don’t know if this is causative or correlative. The leadership trajectory can’t be ignored. Did selling during the golden window place them on the trajectory, or did the sales simply reflect a certain degree of mettle and determination that propels them through the ranks? I don’t know the answer, but I tend to think it might be a mixture of both with an emphasis on the former. Here’s why.
The First Dollar Principle
The reason might be as simple as the first dollar principle. For our distributors, this is much more than a job. It represents a dream. As such, it’s emotional and often intimidating. When distributors earn a check between $1.00 and $25.00 during their first six months with the company, retention rates skyrocket. In terms of monetary value, it’s not a lot. But when it comes to emotional impact, it means everything. That dollar may sit in their pocket, or some might frame it and hang it on their wall. But it’s never far from their hearts.
Distributors who make a sale within the golden window can see their dreams becoming a reality faster. They now have skin in the game. They’re a fully-fledged business owner bringing money in. The impact is huge and something we can’t ignore. And I believe the reason that our leadership ranks are so full of people who capitalized on the golden window is that their first sale gave them the emotional and fiscal boost they needed to continue on a leadership trajectory.
Always Engage Early
Whether or not success is determined by early results or intangible personality qualities, the first thing we should do when new distributors enter the organization is to make sure they have the tools, support, and opportunity they need to make a sale within their first two weeks.
This means helping them engage early and often. It also means reinforcing the idea that whether it’s enrolling a distributor or simply selling a product, it doesn’t matter because they are both equally as valuable. This takes time, training, and patience. But imagine the cumulative impact it would have on organizations if we saw the golden window effect play out on a mass scale.
However, this isn’t just about increasing profits or building bigger organizations. Those are just byproducts. It’s about doing what’s right for new distributors. If we help each individual capitalize on the golden window, we’re helping place them on a trajectory that can change their lives.
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