Barbara Beaty was teaching high school health in Palm Springs, California when she joined her network marketing company. With a Ph.D. in nutrition, she had been a nutritional counselor prior to being a teacher. One day, a former client who happened to substitute at the same high school handed Barbara a catalog and asked her to evaluate some health and wellness products.
“I was intrigued because health and wellness was my passion,” says Barbara. “I tried the products and loved them, and naturally started telling others about them.”
Barbara was immediately comfortable with sharing the product, but she felt almost embarrassed to mention the opportunity. In order to overcome her initial resistance to network marketing, she chose to educate herself about the business. What she learned completely changed her mindset, and she eventually went on to create a large organization.
Inspired by Barbara’s new lifestyle, her daughter and daughter-in-law joined in her success and the business became a family affair.
According to Barbara, network marketing is a never-ending learning experience, and anyone who is willing to grow will succeed.
“Another key to success,” she says, “is that you have to love it—the product as well as the opportunity. If you genuinely love what you do, people will want to join you, because everybody wants to have a good time.”
Falling in Love with the Product
Barbara was a forty-seven-year-old grandmother when she was first introduced to her company’s products.
“That was almost five years ago,” she says. “I was an anti-aging junkie, regularly experimenting with different skin care products. After using this new product line for just two weeks, my friends saw a noticeable difference in my skin. ‘Every time we see you, you look younger!’ someone mentioned. That excited me, and I saw how easily this could develop into a business.”
The skin care products were the initial attractor, and the nutritional products followed.
“I saw some of the best results I’d ever seen in my years of nutritional counseling,” says Barbara. “I knew I was going to talk about this product line, whether I got paid for it or not.”
Barbara had some prior exposure to network marketing with another company but it hadn’t been a very good experience. While she was excited about becoming a consultant for this new company, she wasn’t thrilled that this was network marketing. In fact, she secretly wished there could be another way to market the products.
With one upline in Washington and another in Utah, Barbara didn’t have any local role models, so she decided to give a group presentation in her home. She invited everyone she knew… and seven people showed up. She shared her passion for the products, and a one-hour presentation turned into an eight-hour evening.
“I don’t recommend what I did that first night,” says Barbara. “I had no idea what I was doing.”
But people could feel that she loved the products, and four of the seven booked a presentation in their homes. Everyone bought product, for a total of $3,000, and Barbara realized there was a demand for what she had to offer. Today she still reminds her associates that her organization of thousands of people started with seven friends in her living room.
“These seven people turned my life around,” she says. “That first night, believe it or not, I never even brought up the business opportunity. One of my guests actually asked, ‘Is there a business involved in this?’ I said, ‘Yeah, there is. We’ll talk about that later.’ It wasn’t until much later that I presented the opportunity to her, and she ended up becoming a regional vice president in my organization.”
Barbara with her daughter Angela (right)
and daughter-in-law Kristy (left).
Team garden party at Barbara’s home.
Making Friends with the Profession
About six months after this first home party, a radical shift took place in Barbara’s mind. She attended a training in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and met two professionals—a medical doctor and an attorney—who had retired from their practices after doubling their incomes as consultants with her company.
Barbara suddenly realized, “Wait a second! If professionals are retiring from careers for which they went to school for twelve years, then there’s something to this. What am I ashamed of? This is an extraordinary opportunity and I need to get out there and share it.”
Another eye-opening moment for Barbara was when she heard generic trainer Michael Clouse. Today she highly recommends his book Future Choice:
“Showcasing several network marketing leaders,” she says, “this book really legitimizes our profession. I didn’t understand network
marketing when I first got started. I needed to be educated. Today I teach this as one of the first keys to success: educate yourself about network marketing. Once you understand that it’s a smart model of distribution with a brilliant form of compensation, it becomes much easier to introduce this to others.”
Barbara says a good way to find out if someone is resistant to network marketing is to ask them to tell you the first word that comes to mind when they think network marketing. If they say things like “pyramid” or “stalking,” then you know you have a little bit of work to do in helping them understand that this industry is made up of millions of professionals who have learned to think outside the box.
“If you learn to handle this business professionally,” she says, “people will come to respect it.”
Six months into the business, Barbara clearly recognized she was sitting on a gold mine, and she was now able to freely bring up the business opportunity.
In fact, she noticed that when she talked about product, people were excited and listened; but when she talked about the opportunity, you could hear a pin drop. Everyone wanted to hear what she had to offer and how her company could provide them with more time and additional income.
At the time, Barbara didn’t have financial success, but she was able to refer to her upline’s financial success, and that was good enough.
Building Confidence through Education
As Barbara continued building her business, she had to overcome a lot of fears. Today she still believes fear is the number one enemy to success in network marketing.
“The only way I could overcome my fears was by educating myself,” says Barbara. “I listened to countless CD’s, read books and got myself to meetings that would keep my energy high.”
She connected with her upline, who started teaching her and showed her a system. Barbara followed the system, and the system worked.
“I wish I could say, ‘Follow your leader, and everything else will fall into place.’ But there’s more to it. You have to believe in yourself and build confidence in the profession. If you’re not confident in who you are and what you represent, people are not going to be attracted to you. Again, confidence grows with knowing what you’re doing, and that only happens through education.”
Barbara also learned over time the importance of cultivating the right mindset.
“This business is a roller coaster,” she says. “There are times when you’ll be high as a kite and other times when you’ll want to throw in the towel. It was in one of these moments that I came to understand the power of positive affirmations. I had used affirmations prior to being involved in my company, but this time I learned that I could not afford to think or say anything negative.”
Barbara believes we create our destiny with our words.
“The best way to control your destiny is to correct the way you speak,” she says. “You’ll believe what comes out of your mouth and you’ll act on what you’re hearing. Hence my motto: Mind your mind and watch your words.”
Barbara’s favorite affirmation is: Multiplied favor, blessing and prosperity rests upon me and my business builders. She says this several times a day as if it’s happening in the moment.
“You’d be surprised at how I attract and experience precisely that. The more I say positive things about my life and my business, the more I find that success finds me, instead of me having to chase it.
“Michael Clouse taught me to imagine when I enter a room that I am a shining light and all heads are turning. It might sound egotistical, but for me, that’s how I had to redirect my thinking so I could put my shoulders back and hold my head high, and feel good about who I was and what I represented. When you exude that kind of confidence, people can’t help but listen and be attracted.”
Prospecting and Sustainability
Once Barbara’s confidence in herself and her business grew solid, it became easy for her to prospect. Now she sees prospecting simply as the art of being friendly.
“It might be meeting a person in the supermarket, and I’ll compliment her on her shoes. If she says ‘Thank you,’ then I might ask her where she bought them. If she is friendly and engages in the conversation, I might think, ‘Gosh, this could be a good candidate for my business.’ If she is not responsive, I just move on.
Barbara distinguishes another important part of prospecting as listening.
“Most people, especially when they get started, just want to tell everybody everything about their product and opportunity. They are oblivious to people’s needs and don’t care whether the person wants to hear what they have to say. I have learned that if I can spend a significant amount of time listening to somebody, I can gain their trust, and the rest falls into place.
“This whole business is about building trust, and that takes time. It doesn’t typically happen over one conversation. You can’t expect someone to buy your product or join your business until you’ve developed a relationship with that person. The best way to do that is to listen and ask questions. When you do, your prospect will eventually ask, ‘So, what do you do?’ It’s easy, then, to bring up your business.”
Over the last four years, Barbara learned a lot from observing others.
“Many people in this business are competitive,” she says. “They compete with themselves and others; they watch others grow fast and see others pass them by, and they wonder what’s wrong with them.
“I teach my team to create sustained momentum, not accelerated growth. I’ve seen people climb to the top of the company very quickly, only to crash and burn. I say, if what you’re doing now cannot be sustained over the long haul, then you probably shouldn’t be doing it. For example, many networkers are tempted to buy in so they can make it to the next level. When I hear this, huge caution signs go up in my mind.
“I create sustainability in my business by educating consumers about the products. Nearly every product in our catalog is a consumable and replaces a product people are already using. Once I educate a person about the unique benefits of our products, they don’t want to use anything else.
“Being an educator is part of this business. If you don’t take the time to teach your customers and distributors about the products, then you can move more quickly in the beginning, but you can’t build sustainable growth because people won’t stick around. You’ll have a lot of attrition.”
Barbara never refers to herself as a salesperson, and most of her organization is made up of non-salespeople. Instead, all her business builders are excellent communicators and teachers.
“I see myself as a people person,” says Barbara. “I built a very strong organization just by fitting my business in the nooks and crannies of my day. Wherever I am, at the post office or at the supermarket, it’s easy for me to talk to people. The most important thing for me is to get out there in the real world and meet people.”
Barbara spends most of her time developing one-on-one relationships with people she bumps into.
“This may not be for everyone, but it works for me. Others might be better off using leads or getting involved in networking groups or nonprofit organizations. New people in the business may have to evaluate several options in order to find out what comes most naturally.”
After building rapport with a prospect, Barbara likes to use before-and-after pictures and sample packs.
“As I’m complimenting someone on their clothing or their hair, all the while listening for clues about their needs, I look for ways to bring skin care into the conversation; I then show the before-and-after photos and let the pictures speak for themselves. I always offer a sample pack of the skin care.
“What I do from that point on will differentiate between success and failure: while giving the sample, I say, ‘Would it be okay if I call you in a couple of days to see how you like it?’
“If they say, ‘Sure,’ I say, ‘Great! Today is Thursday; what’s a good time for me to call you on Saturday?’
“If they say, ‘5 p.m.,’ I say, ‘Perfect.’ I have a little sticker right on my sample pack and write, ’Saturday, March whatever the date is, 5 p.m.,’ so they can expect my phone call.
“On Saturday, I call and they say, ‘I love it!’ And I say, ‘Great! When would be a good time for us to get together?’ This is usually a very brief phone call to schedule a meeting, at a coffee shop or at home. I feel it out and see what works best for them.”
Training New Associates
Apart from prospecting and follow-up, Barbara holds weekly conference calls with her team.
“Naturally, we’ve got training and success stories on our calls. But to train new people and get them off to a great start, I feel I need some one-on-one time with them. If it’s a long-distance relationship, I can do this over the telephone. We both sit at our computers and I walk them through our website and how to place an order, and show the educational tools that are available. If the new consultant is local, then I‘ll invite her to my home so I can show her how to get started. Then, it’s question-and-answer time.
“The most important thing in starting new business builders is to make the process as simple as possible. New people can easily feel overwhelmed and they need to know that you are there for them. As a leader, you want to help them without enabling them or making them dependent upon you.”
Barbara typically advises new people to launch their business by hosting a home party. When they wonder what to do, she says, “The only thing I want you to do is bring people into your home, and I’ll take care of everything else. I’ll even bring the snacks.”
“It’s hard enough to get started in this business,” says Barbara. “You don’t want new associates to worry about getting catalogs and products. All you want is to get yourself into their sphere of influence. By doing it this way, they slowly get their feet wet.
“People who come to my organization with prior network marketing experience often tell me, ‘I like working with you because you spend time with me. Before, I didn’t understand what I was doing and I felt frustrated.’ We have to alleviate those frustrations if we want to set people up for success.”
Looking Back—and Forward
Looking back on her journey, Barbara says network marketing has completely revolutionized her life.
“I can’t imagine what my life would have been without it,” she says. “If people knew what I know about this business, nothing would stop them from joining.
“My husband and I moved a year and a half ago from an 1,800-square-foot home we lived in for over twenty years. It was a tract home and we lived a very simple life. Thanks to my business, we built a nearly 6,000-square-foot home in the most beautiful part of Palm Springs. When we moved in, February 2007, the house was completely paid for.
“But the multimillion-dollar house is not what excites me the most. Thanks to my business, I am now able to give wherever I see a need. Last year I was able to give more to charity than most people make in a year. Moreover, I can help others create financial security for themselves and their families.”
When Barbara started her business, her daughter Angela was a single mom living with her parents. Her husband had left her with only $15 in her bank account and her options were limited: she could go back to work and put her son in day care, or start a network marketing business of her own. Today, as an Executive Regional Vice President in her mother’s organization, Angela has her own home, a company-paid white Mercedes and a new husband—whom she was able to retire with her network marketing income.
Barbara’s new daughter-in-law Kristy didn’t want to be the only woman in the family without a white Mercedes, so she began building a business too. Today, as an Area Manager, she sees the business as an opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom some day.
“Network marketing is all about freedom,” says Barbara. “In today’s uncertain economic climate people are looking for a stable investment. I tell them, look no further. While others are losing their jobs and watching their retirement assets diminish to almost nothing, I have watched my organization blossom. Network marketing has given me control over my destiny, and I can’t imagine anyone not wanting that.”