Finale of the Shaklee story. Part III (end!)

Finale to the Shaklee raves and rants. Part III. END. (Part II is here.)

Yes, perhaps Shaklee was a bit stodgy according to some, and in need of new blood at the top. But doing the big recruiter push a la Excel which had just choked on it, changed the focus of Shaklee’s management to growth for its own sake, i.e. to become #1, the biggest, baddest out there. But not through its founder’s dreams of long term customer programs, but through a fast and furious recruiting binge that some Shaklee recruiters are still trying to maintain through their recruiting websites. The products aren’t even mentioned on these sites. What’s offered is only the promise of becoming rich by watching what Mr. X does.

Fixating on the recruiter types as one’s growth engine has another unexpected side effect for the uninitiated: When recruiters defect, as they often do, like a group that left and raided BodyWise to go to Pharmanex a couple of years ago, they take other recruiters with them. The pack goes from deal to deal with the make-money-fast focus. It gives the newly invaded company some momentum, for sure, but it’s not sustainable, and soon, they can move on to the next company. Leaving the previous company with very short lived, and often, false, momentum. It’s not for nothing that the industry has a 95% drop out rate, led by the recruiter addicts.

However, in the problem lies the opportunity also: When have you ever heard of a large group of customers defecting en mass to go to another company?

Shaklee reps have stayed the course, through many administrations and many years, because they love the products. It seems to me that they’re taken for granted and perhaps it’s time to give them their due.

Why not launch, with as great an amount of fanfare as was given to the recruiting binge, a giant program for the great majority of women who want to be customer base builders?

How about some fast start bonus money for getting new customers?

How about customer retention bonuses?

How about equal stage time for both old time and new time customer queens and kings, with that given successful recruiters?

How about equal stage time and perks for representatives of the 85% part time people earning their mad money each month, who hold the fabric of Shaklee together?

I challenge Mr. B. to demonstrate his smarts, and his obvious caring, to champion customer base building programs and incentives for the large, great and patient Shaklee core – the part time women who love and buy the products and would, if given some incentives and recognition, change the world with them, the way Dr. Shaklee dreamed about.

So that’s my story. And I’m sticking to it.

P.S. My customer training programs always have Shaklee reps in them. Their happy stories of customer-getting success are all over my book, “If My Product’s So Great, How Come I Can’t Sell It?” and their audio stories of how they love learning to talk to customer prospects are all over my website. Some have been waiting for a little support for their quiet ambitions for years.

“I did $1,200 in business [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][customer orders] in one day. In my 31 years in
business I’ve never had a day like that, ever. The
reason I took the class is because I’ve been wanting to
call these people and didn’t know what to say. Now I
just call them” -Mary Anton, Shaklee

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About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Am a traditional busines owner that has been very fortunate.
    Am a “hobby type” MLMer that has been very fortunate.

    (Never been in excell.)
    (Would never consider being involved in more than one MLM company. Just a statistics thing.)

    Last year, was searching for an MLM company that was a fit for me.
    Criteria required:
    (1) Not a start up and had to be one of substance and history. (I am not a short term thinker in business and finance.)
    (2) Had ot have quality products that touched people physically and emotionally.
    (3) Sound compensation plan that had a small start up fee.
    Did not pay high recruiting fees. But rewarded those that built organizations moving product.
    (4) Strong company infrastructure, support features and already rich in talent pool I could drop into.

    These 4 reasons caught my attention. When I researched and studied ROGER BARNETT, I new Shaklee was the smart thing for me to be involved in.

    I am a recruiter, because it is what MLM is about. It is the lifeblood.
    Do not misunderstand. I teach to find those that love the product first through retail. Then only and only then do you consider approaching about the business.
    I teach to NEVER mention the company or the product unless it is mentioned first! (sounds strange?)
    Recruiting is not the problem. It is the people recruiting and the manner they approach that is the problem.
    It is not Recruiters that jump, but rather short term thinkers. The percentage of recruiters that jump ship is no greater than retailers. It is just that it is known when recruiters do.

    Teach to never waste money or time purchasing leads. It is a waste of time and money excpept for the few that have the ability to pursuade others to do that. (Will challenge anyone to a logical debate on that and show you mathematically why it is illogical.)

    Again, the drop out rate is not because of recruiters. It is because of lack of discipline and self responsibility. Proof?
    Go to ask your local health manager what percentage of people with memberships use the facility enough to get the benefits of exercise.
    Need more proof? Go ask your local banker what percentage of clients can go more than a few weeks without a paycheck without having to file bankruptcy? (And we live in the most prosperous country in the history of mankind?)

    The percentages of success do not change. It is the willingness of what is inside that makes the difference.

    Yeah SHAKLEE!

    and most of all, YEAH KIM, for making us “THINK”!

  • Hi Kim,

    Thanks for your thorough overview. Although I know most of it, and many of the names you mentioned, it’s a good review for those who aren’t familiar with the story.

    Please don’t misunderstand my earlier post. I don’t disagree with your premise and you could very well be right that Roger may be getting pushed down the recruiting path a bit; influenced by some high profile, hard core Excel reps. My only point was that I have met Roger and my sense is that at his core he believes in Dr. Shaklee’s vision and the products as the vehicle to enrich peoples lives with better health.

    What is missing from your overview is that while Roger comes from a privileged background, one of his most important role models was his mother, who spend her life providing pro bono legal services for those who couldn’t afford them.

    He seems truly sincere and passionate when he states that after $20 million and years of research he feels Shaklee will be his family’s greatest investment because the only way for the company to succeed and for reps to become financially successful is by helping others improve the quality of their lives through better health. All things aside, I think this indicates a clear vision of the value of the products and gathering customers.

    When I spoke to Roger last summer at a large meeting of the Shaklee faithful, what he wanted to hear from me was how our program Giving Profits, where we donate 100% of our retail profits to non-profits, was progressing. We make our money on the back-end bonuses which, as you know, requires development of a consistent customer base.

    Of course my wife and I do recruit as well but we don’t push the fast start promotions. We look for people who can become believers in the quality of the products first. Unlike Excel, we know that what we provide to people makes a real, positive difference in their lives.

    At the time Roger and I spoke Giving Profits was only a couple of months young, in the early growing pains stage (we still are) and I don’t think as group we had generated more than a couple hundred dollars of donations. And yet Roger, surrounded by scores of people jockeying to meet him, took the time to ask me to explain how the program was coming, offered his support if we needed anything and added that he thought the concept was one of the best ideas he had heard on how Shaklee could and should fulfill Dr. Shaklee’s original vision.

  • Kim,
    As Stan said, thanks for making us think. Also, thanks for articulating the reason why I’ve been uncomfortable with the recruiting emphasis in Shaklee.

    Thanks for championing my cause, a part-time mom who wants to build an amazing customer base, earn my monthly “mad money”, and have fun while I’m doing it.

    After reading your comments, I am more comfortable with my place in the business, and I don’t feel the need to justify my position to myself.

    I think Shaklee is an amazing company, an amazing opportunity, and I’m glad I’m here. I’m also glad to be able to offer their products and great customer service to people around me.

  • Wow-

    I have been with Shaklee for 10 years. I came in when the former owners (Yamonouchi) had a paltry recruiting focus, and Shaklee was living off of its hyper growth momentum of the ’70’s.

    In the 2-3 preceding Rogers (after the awesome but short lived ABC recruiting program), Shaklee had NO emphasis on recruiting, not even a current brochure or video. AMAZING! There was no clear way to get a new distributor started, trained or whatever. Everyone had their own “system” and their own way to get started. It was clumsy, awkward and awful. Many folks then turned their entire focus to customer gathering. As that was the ONLY thing Shaklee really supported at that time. So the business became unbalanced in that respect. And growth came to a screeching halt.

    When Roger came, he understood how desparately we needed a clear way to get folks who wanted a Shak Biz to get started. We had been asking for starter kits for years. I’m not sure how much the former Excel reps influenced that particular decision, although I’m sure their coming on board influenced its timing.

    So, having spent 8 years “pre-Roger” and 2 years w/ RB at the helm, I am glad for all of the changes. Our businesses are much more balanced between customers and rep seeking.

    And BTW- Dr. Shaklee wanted us to get reps FIRST, cusotmers second. Some credit Dr. Shaklee for creating/refining the NM model.

    I am one of those using the “Mr. X” website. It’s seeking to appeal to the tens of thousands who would want to work with Donald Trump,. It’s a play off of The Apprentice. Yeah, it’s a bit hypey. But as someone posted earlier Shaklee is perceived as stodgy. And it was!

    And if Shaklee is the focus of a 3 part blog? Well Hallelujah! IT’s about time Shaklee got out of the shadows of the NM industry.

    Karen Hurd
    Shaklee Coordinator

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