COFFEE TALK: ARE YOU COMING FOR SHOPPING?
Updated: Jan 28
We shifted our strategy from selling health products to selling everyday products like coffee for the Philippines market. This tactic proved to be successful, and people started becoming members of DXN. Initially, our meetings were considerably small; only dozens of members used to gather around for it. Later we decided to galvanize more people into becoming our members. This would also mobilize the market.
At that time, the market in Indonesia was in decline for more than a few reasons. The major reason being the incompetence of the leaders in the market. They were just not efficient enough. They relied heavily on the marketing department and could not take a stand on their own. As many more MLM companies entered the market, DXN started getting rigid competition. We never spend too much money on making our meetings look majestic or our packaging looks lavish. This made us look like we were monotonous in terms of our marketing and products.
When we established ourselves in the Philippines, we insisted that our leaders lead the company concerning marketing and not the marketing team. This gave us a different approach to approaching the market as the leaders could with the marker directly and effectively. Our competitors started to attack everything we were as a brand. They lashed out at everything, right from our packaging to our marketing plan and training methodologies. After all this, I asked the leaders to invite our competitors for a cup of coffee.
The members of both the companies met at a café in Cebu. On one side of the table, DXN members sat looking rugged and wearing a variety of clothes. On the other side, the competitor’s members were looking sharp in their matching suits and ties and with hair neatly combed. Their leader sat opposite to me and was looking with an emotionless facial expression. He asked me if we had come for a meeting or were there to shop by looking at our appearance. He leaned on the table, looked me in my eyes, and told me that they were significant MLM leaders. He said that they projected themselves as professionals in the market when compared to our members. This provoked our members, but I requested them to calm down. Their leader also said that they have the best training system for their members and looked down upon us by describing our company as a small organization from a remote village. He claimed that no one would take us seriously.
He boasted about how effective they were in the market and continued to point out how their company was better than ours. The leader finally stopped his rant after an hour or so. I asked him, “Why did you join an MLM company? Did you join an MLM to wear a suit and put on a nice tie?” I told him that the most important thing about an MLM is the bonus you get at the end of every month. So, I asked him how much money they were making every month. They did not answer me; however, before I had attended the meeting, I researched their company. I found out that their products were from America and that they had been facing few issues of product shortage from the last few months since their local partner had not paid the American company. This had affected their bonus by a mile. Then I asked him if he knew what the most important thing about an MLM was. It is not the suit or ties you wear; it is the network you create and the speed at which you create it. I told him that they take two months to train their members, whereas we take a few days.
It took me close to ten minutes to make my case, and they had no response to it. Eventually, their company collapsed in a few months, and their members joined DXN. From this, we can deduce that sustainability is the most important matter in an MLM company.