A few years ago I began reading a great book by Malcolm Gladwell entitled the “Tipping Point”. The content was a little strange at the time and I struggled to find an appropriate application of the principles, so I shelved the book, only to have the LIFE company choose this title as a LLR book of the month. The new copy sat on my desk as I finished another book, and I recently decided to crack open this classic again. This time the concepts of the tipping point jumped off of the page and grabbed my attention. I am sure that the words in the book did not magically realign themselves into more concise points, so it must have been my brain that was better prepared to receive what the book offered. (So I encourage you to read and re-read books in order to allow time for internal growth…but that is for another blog)
Gladwell expertly analyzes the factors that cause ideas to spread exponentially. He uses the concept of viruses spreading and the factors that cause them to shift into an epidemic. In applying this to business, I began to understand how Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady, and the founders of LIFE have assemble so many moving parts that separate our company from the thousands of network marketing companies in the world. Gladwell surmised that there are three key factors that cause ideas to “tip” and become mainstream. The Law of the Few, the stickiness factor, and the power of context. In part 1 of this series I will discuss the Law of the Few as it relates to our community.
The law of the Few mainly deals with people. According to the book there are three types of people who help to spread an idea. First in the list are the Connectors, these are the social butterflies or life of the party types. They do not know any strangers, and they are connected to just about everyone is some sense. Often networking companies build their model with these people in mind. The leaders teach the new distributor to seek the “big fish” that are well-connected, and ignore everyone else. This sign up a lot…to find a few mentality works intermittently, while leaving many jaded and hurt people in the wake.
The second group of people are called the Mavens. Mavens are information specialist, they become advocates in promoting an idea’s features and benefits. Mavens lend the needed clarifying information and credibility to your product. By design, most networking companies focus solely on equipping their distributors with infinite and often valid product information. Mavens conduct training, perform demonstrations, attend conventions and invest thousands of dollars in samples. The company thrives on the notion that the product is so good that it will sell itself. Many mavens register and spend vast amounts of time educating the public on the benefits of the often non-salable high-priced product. Only to find it hard, if not impossible to build a large lasting community. The product must be at a competitive price point in order to avoid being a typical pyramid scheme. Every company’s product is important to growth and sustainability, but often network marketing company owners in their thirst for profit, drastically over inflate the price of their products and the mavens are encouraged to tirelessly promote the benefits of the product in order to justify the price.
The third group and final group of people are called the Salesmen. The Salesmen are the charismatic and persuasive individuals that we all tend to associate with “these” businesses. Salesmen are often perceived as pushy and very often they treat everyone like a prospect. To the extreme the salesmen have no interest in a person that does not want to “sign up”. In truth, all companies need these go-getter to take their idea to the masses and to maintain high energy in the face of rejection. Networking companies have long promoted that everyone develop the killer instinct and learn to close the deal. While growth is paramount, growth at all costs, leads to public relation nightmares. The salesmen, the connectors and the mavens all provide individual vital factors in the spreading of the idea, but the key to LIFE is how can we somehow build these roles into on balanced team?
Team approach, relationship building and servant leadership serve as the canvas upon which our success is painted. Team approach tempers the distributors constant need to seek new “connectors.” Our product selection and pricing model allow the maven to be proud to promote our life-changing information in the areas of Faith, Family, Finance, Friends, Following, Freedom, Fitness and Fun. The LIFE founders through their sacrifice have allowed our products to be the most competitive in the marketplace. Finally, the salesman no longer has to be pushy or overly aggressive. We can now connect with others, share our affordable content, and build communities without anyone having to be obnoxious. In short the LIFE and LIFE Training companies have put in place the critical human factors that assure that 2013 will be the year that our now proven idea “tips.”
Stay tuned for part 2…