New series: Profile of a leader who’s building long term, not short term:
#1 – Donna Johnson, Arbonne’s top banana.
Last month ago, I did an interview with Donna Larson Johnson, the top earner at Arbonne International. Many people know that Arbonne has been growing by leaps and bounds for the past couple of years. So what’s to worry about?
Donna (and corporate) were worried about a few loud and visible recruiter types who had invaded the distributor ranks to ride the company’s growth wave. These traditional front loaders are encouraging women to buy several thousand dollars worth of product by telling them they are on the “fast growing” team.
Translation: Women were suddenly stuck with thousands of dollars worth of product…thinking that was the way to go fast.
Others who want smaller packages are told that they’re the ‘slow’ ones (by the front loading recruiters).
Since most of the company is in Donna’s group, she stands to benefit from all this volume. And most upline would be happy. But Donna knows that front loading is the kiss of death, like it was for Excel Communications.
Donna called me to help her explain the dangers of front loading to her key leaders – some 200 of them. Which I was delighted to do.
Front loading syndrome: Encourage people to buy the big start up packages of $2,800 instead of a smaller $500 package. The big initial order gets the sponsor that bigger one-time (fast start) bonus from the company.
Next, encourage the just front loaded one to find 3-4 others to buy in too – as the “fast” way to earn their money back (they’d get those one-time bonuses on those big orders, too). Pump out those initial big orders, and earn the bonuses on each one.
Problem: The front loaders don’t show anyone how to sell what they bought. That’s too slow.
Front loading mostly gets most people garage-qualified. And causes their embarassed friends to stop inviting them over for Christmas dinner.
The front loading method is a cancer to any customer-based business like Arbonne’s has been. Who wants stuff in their garage? And hundreds of requests for refunds?
So what does someone earming $400,000/mo have to worry about?
How to keep the money hype and the front loaders away – both ingredients for the ruin of any company and its wonderful people who joined hoping to make a difference.
The time to plan is BEFORE big trouble starts. Thanks and plaudits to you, Donna.
UPDATE SUNDAY 9.24.06
Donna said today that her largest check was over $400,000, but that it is not her average. She said it’s fair to say that she receives “six figure monthly” checks. (Six figures means anything from $100,000 to $900,000 -KK)
She added: “Arbonne and its leaders are careful to follow compliance, and the company discloses the average incomes of each position on the Arbonne website.”
And last, she wrote, “Even though there were only 200 people on the live call you did (which was a fantastic call, and really turned things around in our company and you can hop over to this website to know more about it), I recorded the call, and it spread throughout our company, and literally thousands of people heard that call, which was very powerful.” 🙂
P.S. I will be doing posts about individuals who are making a difference in our business, especially leaders who impact so many thousands of others with what they say and do. I welcome your suggestions. I’ve known Donna and have worked with her people for 10 years. Email me. (See the right side of this blog.)