The September 2016 issue of Direct Selling News is available!

Cover Story

Keys to Success part 1: Customer Acquisition

by Andrea Tortora

Of all the misinformation about direct selling, perhaps the most often repeated—even by those who work most closely in the field—is the description of direct selling as an industry. Read more…


Celebrating success is a hallmark of direct selling, and we have two opportunities for you to recognize the great work being done by your corporate teams. Read more…


Like the pink Cadillacs it awards to top sellers, today’s Mary Kay retains a classic feel while embracing innovative thinking and design. Read more…


When husband and wife team Mark and Tracy Jarvis set out to launch their own company, they had listened to numerous suggestions for the name until “zurvita” was proposed and immediately touched and won them over. Read more…


In the year 1855, Reverend J.R. Graves started a mail order company selling books, religious tracts and Bibles. Read more…


It’s another year and you’re gearing up for your convention. Read more…


Over the past decade, rapid developments in technology have fundamentally changed how direct selling organizations operate. Read more…


The speculation started immediately. As soon as the news—Herbalife Settles with FTC—began popping up on mobile alerts and news outlets early Friday morning, July 15, observers inside and outside the direct selling channel began scrambling to understand the bigger picture. Read more…


The U.S. Direct Selling Association held its Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, June 5 to 7, bringing together direct selling company executives, academics, suppliers and global direct selling leaders for collaboration and conversation about the trends shaping the channel. Read more…


The direct selling industry is at a critical juncture in its long history. Read more…


The role of the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA) has never been more clear: to serve as a “listening post,” a place to collect, analyze and address the aspirations and concerns of the direct selling channel. Read more…


For more great stories, please click on our subscription button and subscribe to DSN

The May 2016 issue of Direct Selling News is available!!

The May 2016 issue of Direct Selling News is available!!

Cover Story

Direct Selling: Our Unique Position in the YouEconomy

by Courtney Roush

A seismic shift is occurring right now in the American workplace. This shift is happening; there is no stopping it, and the impacts are not yet fully imaginable. Read more…


Publisher’s Note

Let’s Celebrate!

by Lauren Lawley Head

We’re wrapping up a month of celebrations at Direct Selling News, first with the April 1 publication recognizing our inaugural class of Best Places to Work in Direct Selling honorees and then just a few days later the seventh annual Global 100 Celebration. Read more…


The 17th annual SUCCESS Partners University, held at the Dallas Omni Hotel April 7-8, once again provided a platform from which C-level executives and guest speakers shared insights and information with the more than 600 registered guests. Read more…


It’s an oft-told sidebar in the retelling of the Scentsy story: How the multimillion-dollar international party plan company began in a 40-foot metal shipping container on a sheep farm in Meridian, Idaho. Read more…


A wonder kid of sorts that exploded onto the direct selling scene in 2009, LifeVantage has seen its fair share of exponential growth and powerhouse performance of its products. Read more…


On Jan. 5, Gary Young stood amidst the extreme devastation in Nepal, brought about by a massive earthquake a little over nine months earlier. Read more…


Every salesforce has its traditions, whether it’s a quick ritual to gear up for the week or a unique way of approaching follow-up calls.Read more…


If you ask 100 people “What is big data?” you would likely get 100 different answers. Read more…


I love the University of Georgia football team. I’m a big Bulldogs’ fan and go to every game I can. Like a lot of sports fans, I have some peculiar habits in relation to my team. Read more…


John Addison, now President and CEO of Addison Leadership Group and Leadership Editor for SUCCESS magazine, engages and inspires audiences with his relatable messages. Most recently, he served as Co-CEO of Primerica Inc., a company he joined more than 35 years ago. DSN Publisher and Editor in Chief Lauren Lawley Head had an opportunity to sit down with him this month to talk about his vision and the future of direct selling. Read more…


The direct selling industry today is at a critical juncture. Read more…


The theme for DSA’s Annual Meeting in Phoenix this year is Reimagine. I’ll provide some context. Read more…

Damsel in Defense: Arming Women with Tools and Confidence for Personal Protection

by Lin Grensing-Pophal

Click here to order the November 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Company Profile

Founded: 2011
Headquarters: Boise, Idaho
Founders: Mindy Lin, Chief Marketing Officer; Bethany Hughes, Chief Services Officer
Products: Self-defense


 Bethany Hughes and Mindy LinBethany Hughes and Mindy Lin

The data is startling. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one in five women report having been raped at some time in their lives, another 5.6 percent have experienced sexual violence other than rape within the past year and 13 percent report experiences of sexual coercion at some time in their lives. For college women the numbers are even higher.

Coercing others to engage in sexual acts against their will has emerged as an international issue, with more than 21,000 human trafficking cases reported since December 2007, according to the National Human Trafficking Resource Center—and 12,490 tips or reports have already come in this year through August.

These are troubling statistics, even more troubling for the women counted in those statistics. So many feel helpless to defend themselves or aid others. But here’s where direct sales comes in: Two women decided to create a business in order to empower women to defend themselves.

Damsel in Defense, launched in 2011, is the first direct sales party plan company to sell self-defense products. It’s a mission-driven company, with products to protect women and proceeds to fund national and international charities, such as the Women’s and Children’s Alliance, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and Wipe Every Tear.


Company founders Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes strive to educate women about how to protect themselves in dangerous situations.

Basic Beginnings

Like many entrepreneurs, Mindy Lin and Bethany Hughes started operating out of their homes, a situation that didn’t last long, however. They quickly outgrew their 120-square-foot office that housed them in 2011 and moved to a 6,000-square-foot space and, most recently, have built a 20,000-square-foot warehouse and office space in Boise, Idaho.

The beginnings of Damsel in Defense were humble and somewhat unplanned. The women met at a “moms group” in 2009, Lin says. “We were both transplants from California and both very safety-minded people.” The mothers in the group, she recalls, “didn’t carry anything to protect themselves besides themselves.”

About that time, she adds: “My household came …”

Click here to read the full story.

Guts Lead to Glory at Usborne Books & More

by Barbara Seale

Click here to order the March 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Company Profile

Founded: 1989
Headquarters: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Executives: Founder and CEO Randall White and Vice President Heather Cobb
Products: Educational children’s books


 Randall White and Heather Cobb

Randall White and Heather Cobb

It was a David and Goliath decision—one that would make any direct seller proud. More importantly, it set the stage for growth for Usborne Books & More, one of the direct selling industry’s few book sellers.

Usborne Books & More (UBAM) is the direct selling division of Educational Development Corp. (EDC), which has been in business in the United States since 1978. It sells children’s educational books primarily at parties, and some of the consultants also sell at book fairs, as well as to libraries and schools. UBAM has always been a bit of a rebel-with-a-cause, gaining its first steady market of home schoolers and being led by outspoken EDC CEO and Usborne Books & More Founder Randall White. The thorn in its side: Amazon.com.

Amazon was buying EDC’s books primarily from a wholesaler and slashing the retail price to the bone, including large orders sold to libraries and schools. If you’ve ever thumbed through a book at a retail store but then purchased it online at Amazon to save a couple of bucks, you have done what some Usborne Books & More customers have also done—much to the chagrin of UBAM consultants.

When the Usborne Books & More consultants who sold to schools and libraries—about 20 percent of the company’s business—encountered the practice, it didn’t just frustrate them. It threatened their business. The consultant might have gone through layers and layers of administration, making repeated presentations on book collections, getting enthusiastic, positive feedback, only to have the library make its final purchase through Amazon. It’s not a situation that leads to consultant retention. By 2012 the practice hit the company hard. Consultants started quitting, and sales dropped 20 percent.

By early 2012 White had had enough. He asked the wholesaler, which at the time accounted for 20 percent of EDC’s sales, to stop selling the company’s books through the online retailer. The wholesaler refused, but White was determined. He cancelled its account, all but eliminating the sale of EDC’s books directly from Amazon.com.


Usborne Books & More has now recorded 19 consecutive months of growth, with the past six months each posting monthly gains in excess of 40 percent over the same months in 2013.


Growth Genesis

The action was bold, and it spoke loudly to UBAM’s consultants. They loved it. It told them that White had their backs. Even though slinging a stone at giant Amazon was a risky move, as White told The New York Times in his characteristic style, “You never have the chance to make 7,000 women happy in one day.”

White calls it the most important action he, as the company’s founder, has ever taken. Consultants were energized to hold more parties and approach more schools and libraries, knowing that consumers would purchase from them, rather than online. That confidence led to recruiting, as well. Fueled by additional incentives from Usborne Books & More, selling and recruiting have increased, creating a snowball effect. Growth has hit an all-time high. Since its low point in 2012, the company more than doubled its number of active consultants by the end of 2014 and now has 8,000 active consultants. More importantly, growth has continued.

From February to June 2014 revenue grew more than … Click here to read the full story at Direct Selling News.

Beautycounter: Safer Products Changing Lives

by Andrea Tortora

Click here to order the February 2015 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Photo above: Beautycounter Founder Gregg Renfrew is committed to changing the beauty products industry for the better and getting safe products into the hands of customers.


Company Profile

  • Founded: 2013
  • Headquarters: Santa Monica, California
  • Founder: Gregg Renfrew
  • Products: Beauty and skin care

Beautycounter


Beautycounter is a content first, product second kind of company. The California-based upstart maker of safe, nontoxic beauty and skincare products is focused on advocating for public health as it defines its own way of doing business in a crowded market.

“We are not all-natural or organic,” says Founder Gregg Renfrew. “We are focused on safety. We make sure we don’t ever say we are perfect. It is about progress.”

Beautycounter defines itself as a “direct retail brand.” It sells to consumers through consultants, at beautycounter.com, and via strategic partnerships with companies such as J. Crew and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop.com.

Renfrew is on a mission to change the regulation of the beauty products industry, and she thinks telling the Beautycounter story through person-to-person interactions is the best way to do it. “We want to be an information first, disruptive beauty brand,” she says. Beautycounter’s mission: to get safe products into the hands of everyone.


“We are not all-natural or organic. We are focused on safety. We make sure we don’t ever say we are perfect. It is about progress.” —Gregg Renfrew, Founder


Explosive Growth

At just under 2 years old, Beautycounter is already making an impact on the $59 billion U.S. cosmetics and personal-care industry. In 2013, natural and organic personal-care products accounted for $12.6 billion in sales, according to data from Sundale Research.

Since January 2014, Beautycounter has grown over 550 percent. From its initial launch in March 2013, the company’s multi-channel strategy now claims more than 5,000 independent consultants.

Renfrew started her company with a few SKUs for essential skin and body care. Today Beautycounter offers more than 75 products for men, women and children, including face and body collections, sunscreen, and a color collection.

The company’s e-commerce channel is also booming. The Band of Beauty membership program lets direct customers earn rewards and free shipping for online orders, all while supporting Beautycounter’s push to promote safe products. Loyal clients pay a $25 annual fee in order to receive extra online discounts; $10 is donated to one of three nonprofit groups that Beautycounter supports: Environmental Working Group, Breast Cancer Fund (which coordinates the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics,) or Healthy Child Healthy World.

In addition to the consultant base and their customers, there are now more than 6,000 consumers in the e-commerce Member Program who support Beautycounter’s social mission, Renfrew says, a fact of which she is very proud. “The only way we can bring about change is to be a large movement of lots of people.”

An Eye-Opening Start

Beautycounter is well on its way, says Janet Nudelman. She runs the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and is Director of Program and Policy at the San Francisco-based Breast Cancer Fund.

“Beautycounter is one of the first companies to ever emerge in a …

Click here to read the entire article at Direct Selling News.

 

 

Strategic Synergy: Creating Qivana’s Sustainable Future

by Beth Douglass Silcox

Company Profile

  • Founded: 2009
  • Headquarters: Provo, Utah
  • Founders: Derek Hall, Founder and CEO; Devin Glazier, Founder and Chief Financial Officer; Justin Banner, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer; Craig Johanson, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer
  • Products: Skincare and health and wellness

Qivana

In the decade after the millennium, the exploding market for an ever-healthier beverage sent network marketing companies clamoring for exotic, antioxidant rich fruits, most often found in remote island paradises. The most successful companies—marketing a large variety of antioxidant packed juices, health and wellness, and beauty products—invested millions in researchers trudging through remote jungles, in controlled labs, and in scientists who became jacks-of-all-trades and in-house product formulation teams.

It was within this space that a group of men, those who would eventually form Qivana, decided that they would not be in the product development business at all.

It seemed unlikely to this group of network marketing professionals that breakthrough products would emerge from an in-house team focused on a variety of formulations. So they opted for different path—one that has led Qivana to market four cutting-edge product lines, currently consisting of 21 products within the direct selling spaces of health and nutrition, as well as beauty and anti-aging.


Qivana owners (L to R): Justin Banner, Founder & CSO; Craig Johanson, Founder & CMO; Derek Hall, Founder & CEO; Devin Glazier, Founder & CFO

Qivana owners (L to R): Justin Banner, Founder & CSO; Craig Johanson, Founder & CMO; Derek Hall, Founder & CEO; Devin Glazier, Founder & CFO

 


Everyone Doing What They Do Best

Qivana’s product strategy focused on partnerships with published scientists and university researchers with 10, 20, maybe 30 years invested in health and wellness solutions. They reckoned that true breakthrough products were born in these labs and saw no need to put their own scientific “fingerprints” on any product. “Let the scientists and the universities and the researchers do what they do best, which is develop, formulate and research. Then allow us to do what we do best,” says Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Craig Johanson.Qivana products

Qivana would bring products into the direct selling channel, giving these scientists, researchers and formulators an effective avenue to reach consumers with their breakthrough products. Then, Johanson says, the company would “turn that product over to our field. Then we let them do what they do so well, which is put that product in front of people and share that message.”

Derek Hall, Devin Glazier, Justin Banner and Johanson sat around that planning table in 2008. Hall, once president and CEO for another nutritional company, found synergy with a former director of finance, Glazier, as well as other industry alums Banner and Johanson. Strategy and development was Banner’s forte, while marketing was Johanson’s focus.

By 2009 they had launched a new company they called Qivana.

Built to Last

“We have a really strong corporate team, made up of great leaders in the industry and some of the best athletes in the world,” says Banner, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “We brought on a top-notch scientist as our Chief Science Officer [Dr. Donald Layman] and brought product lines that we believe are some of the best in the world in their categories. We are confident in our products and our team, and we believe it’s a winning combination that plays out perfectly.”

But, perhaps, Qivana’s founders drafted their own success story when they methodically planned for long-term sustainability. Qivana’s focus is not on next month or next year, but rather decision-making to build a … Click here to read the full story at Direct Selling News.

IDLife: Success and Wellness through Innovation

by Brenda Matamoros

Click here to order the December 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.


Photo above: IDLife’s entryway to its current headquarters in Frisco, Texas.


Company Profile

Founded: 2014
Headquarters: Frisco, TX
Founder: CEO Logan Stout
Products: Nutritional and weight management


Logan Stout Logan Stout, Founder & CEO
Scott Unclebach Scott Unclebach, Director of Field Leadership
Mark Bennett Mark Bennett, COO & General Counsel
Joe O’Conner Joe O’Conner, Chief Financial Officer
Darryl Smith Darryl Smith, President of Field Development

Logan Stout’s desire is to help people from all ages, backgrounds and educational levels reach true success. His passion for health and wellness is evident in his new business venture. When you combine his experience, passions and drive to improve the lives of others, the result is a very young but booming business.

For over 17 years, a group of doctors, scientists and nutritionists have been developing what is today known as IDNutrition, a customized nutritional supplement program based on an individual’s medical history, health conditions, prescription medications, heredity, disposition, eating and drinking habits, sun exposure and other factors. Based on the information collected, an assessment is made by the company that is then backed by over 7,500 third-party, peer-reviewed clinical studies. The result is a program designed for the specific needs of each client.

At present, with the endorsement of some very notable figures—including Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Troy Aikman and celebrity fitness expert Larry North—as well as the help of an executive team under the leadership of a very experienced businessman/former professional baseball player, IDLife launched into the channel of direct sales in May 2014. Despite the fact that the company isn’t officially a year old, it has 58 employees and 10,000 associates have already taken the helm of their own direct selling businesses with IDLife.

“It’s incredible what the IDLife team has created. It is evidence-based. I think that’s the reason the company is doing so well because the program takes the guesswork out of what you need,” says IDLife CEO Logan Stout. “Everyone wants to look and feel better. I’ve never in my life asked a human being, ‘Hey do you want to look and feel better’ and they said no. Everybody wants to, and so they go buy stuff but they don’t know what to buy. IDLife takes the guesswork out of it.”


For over 17 years, a group of doctors, scientists and nutritionists have been developing what is today known as IDNutrition, a customized nutritional supplement program based on an individual’s specific needs.


Wellness for Everyone

Stout’s interest in nutritional supplements began when he played professional baseball with the Fort Worth Cats. To keep the team in peak health, nutritional supplements were introduced into the players’ diets. One thing Logan noticed: Every single ball player was basically given the same nutritional supplement, with just a few options. He asked himself, how can everyone take the same dietary nutritional supplement if everyone is different? It was his personal history that engaged his thinking about health and wellness.

Through their struggle to have children, Logan and his wife, Haley, began to eat a very organic-based diet. “When you look back to the links, there are all kinds of reasons for infertility and other health-related issues. But I think a big reason is the fake foods, synthetic foods that we’re putting in our bodies every day over an extended period of time,” Stout says. “My wife became very passionate about all-natural, all-organic foods and products. By the grace of God, we had two boys and we became very excited about that whole premise—all-natural, all-organic, gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, etc.”

While all IDLife products are not all-organic, the company is currently pursuing Certified Organic accreditation for products that qualify.

An Approach to Healthy Living

In March 2013, Stout was approached by a group of formulators, doctors, scientists and nutritionists who were ready to take their product live, but not sure how to launch the product.

These investors knew Stout’s reputation as an accomplished business leader, success coach, speaker, and best-selling author of Stout Advice: The Secrets to Building Yourself, People, and Teams, as well as a leader of one of the largest direct selling companies in the world and founder of one of the largest youth baseball organizations in the world, The Dallas Patriots and Premier Baseball Academies. All this experience made him a key factor to their new business.

Stout agreed to do some research, and after completing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant assessment he was very impressed with what he found. Through the integration of thousands of medical and scientific studies and answers individuals provide to the free HIPAA compliant IDAssessment, the program takes the answers and relates them to the science in the studies to deliver a report with recommendations for each person.

“After you complete your IDLife assessment, it shows you why it is saying you need whatever supplements it suggests, and it has the journal article from the third-party, peer-reviewed medical study,” Stout says. “It was insane what they had created. I’m sitting there asking these guys, what do you want from me?”

They wanted Stout to take the products and form a company. Stout agreed, but under one condition: He would be given control of how to run the company because he felt he knew of one particular way to reach the market they desired.

“I’ll never forget the light bulb that turned on in my head. I thought, This is the perfect network-marketing product because you take the advantages of both service-based and product-based companies. But you also take out the downsides to product-based companies and the downsides of service-based companies,” Stout says. “And that’s what you have with IDNutrition. It’s the best of both worlds!”

With his experience in tow, Stout began what is now IDLife. He owns 60 percent of the company, which manufactures its 50 products in the U.S. At present the products are offered nationwide, but Stout’s plans include taking them into the global market in the future.

Direct Selling Strategy

Stout also has history with network marketing as an associate and independent rep, and has a fondness for the business model. He says this history is why he chose to use network marketing when he bought this asset.

Stout brought on some friends who became his partners and, like him, believed in IDLife 100 percent. Those partners included former Dallas Cowboys and Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman; ACS Founder and billionaire Darwin Deason; Patrick McGee, Co-Founder of Brazos Private Equity Partners; Chris Camillo, one of the world’s top-performing, self-directed investors and author of Laughing at Wall Street; Len Critcher, early innovator in online car buying; Daryl “Razor” Reaugh, commentator of the Dallas Stars; Josh Bell of the Pittsburgh Pirates; and others.

“I put together a good group of strategic investors and partners because I know what I know, but I know there are things I don’t know. I wanted to have …” Click here to read the entire story.

Zurvita: Successful Simplicity

by Courtney Roush


Company Profile

Founded: 2008
Headquarters: Houston, Texas
Executives: Mark and Tracy Jarvis
Products: Health and wellness


Mark and Tracy Jarvis

Mark and Tracy Jarvis

After a rocky start, Zurvita chose the road less traveled—and built a salesforce determined to make the world a healthier place.

Though Houston-based direct seller Zurvita originally launched in 2008 as a service business with everything from cell and video phones to tech support, electricity and gas, the company arrived on the wellness scene in 2011. It was then that Zurvita introduced a suite of powerhouse products that, above all, were designed to simplify the pursuit of wellness. The company’s growth since then has been nothing short of spectacular. Annual revenue grew from $3.6 million in 2011 to $15 million in 2012 and $63 million in 2013. Revenue for 2014 is expected to fall between $80 million and $90 million. The company of 55 employees, with manufacturing operations in Dallas and Phoenix, has spent the last year greatly enhancing its information technology infrastructure to be able to support that incredible growth, and better serve the 30,000-plus independent consultants who represent the Zurvita brand.

Currently, the Zurvita independent salesforce is concentrated in the United States and Canada, primarily in small towns. According to Zurvita leadership, that surprising phenomenon is likely due to the fact that word-of-mouth travels faster in places like McAllister, Oklahoma, one of the most successful Zurvita towns, where you’ll hear the stories of farmers-turned-ambassadors (currently the highest level of the independent salesforce). And while Zurvita is working to spread the word of those powerful testimonials into larger North American cities, the company also just celebrated its expansion into five new international markets on July 1, 2014. For a direct seller that’s still a relatively new kid on the block, these milestones are impressive, indeed.


“When you give people something that changes their lives in a tangible way, they’re going to stick with you.”
—Mark Jarvis, Co-Founder, Co-CEO and President


During the early years, however, the company’s own journey to wellness was challenged with more than a few hurdles and a major detour, all of which make its present success perhaps that much more remarkable. This company is unrecognizable from where it was just six years ago.

When Zurvita launched in 2008, the company’s co-founders, Mark and Tracy Jarvis, were already power players in direct selling, having achieved seven-figure success as distributors with another direct seller. They’d taken an enormous leap of faith to walk away and attempt to build a company from the ground up, but they considered it a calling to start a direct selling business based on philosophical principles they shared: faith, humble leadership and plenty of opportunities for “wins” at every level.

But the maiden voyage wasn’t smooth sailing. Serving as an online shopping mall of sorts, “we were an unfocused, struggling company,” says Mark Jarvis, who also serves as Co-CEO and President. After losing an average of $300,000 a month during its first 42 months, it was time for the fledgling direct seller to make a radical change; the “all things to all people” approach simply wasn’t working. “By 2011, we were looking for an identity,” Mark says. “We made the decision to regroup and start over again with a single focus.”

Why wellness? Mark’s wife, Tracy, had always had a passion for the subject, but the choice was based more on the profound and tangible impact the couple knew that good health could have on people’s lives—and the power that such transformations have to influence others. “When you give people something that changes their lives in a tangible way, they’re going to stick with you,” Mark says.

Make no mistake: The transition from 11 products to one was anything but easy. “It was a courageous move on our part,” says Co-CEO Jay Shafer. Inspired by the book Good to Great by Jim Collins—who stated that behind every successful company was the pivotal decision to take a bold risk—the company reinvented itself. Quite telling was the fact that “our consultants in the field respected our decision to streamline and stayed with us,” Jay says.


One of the most interesting aspects of this company’s story is that its fastest-growing demographic comes from small-town America.


With that in mind, after extensive collaboration with scientists, physicians and researchers, the company launched Zeal Wellness, its flagship product, in 2011. Designed as an all-in-one formula of whole-food concentrates in a powder to be mixed with water or juice, Zeal is intended to deliver the body’s daily nutritional needs, promoting optimal health, a strong immune system and enhanced energy stores. Calling those days back in 2011 “a combination of faith and chaos,” though it wasn’t developed as a weight-loss product per se, Zeal Wellness was providing just that result for some, along with increased energy and, quite simply, a zest for life. Corporate leadership believed not just in the integrity of the product but also in the bang for the buck. “Above all, we wanted value for the customer,” Jay adds. “I don’t believe you can find a product that delivers what we do for less than twice the price.”

Zurvita’s leadership team, co-founders Tracy and Mark Jarvis and co-CEO Jay Shafer, shifted the company’s focus from services to wellness products because of the tangible impact good health could have on people’s lives.

Zurvita later added three additional products: Zeal Advanced Formula Protein Shakes; the herbal and probiotic Zeal Cleanse for digestion; and a thermogenic fat burner, Zeal Burn. Consumers may purchase all four products bundled as the Zeal Weight Management Program. Those who want an extra shot of motivation during the program have the option to participate in the Zeal for Life Challenge. This support group of sorts includes regular conference calls on a variety of topics that, collectively, promote a holistic approach to wellness—one that extends far beyond mere numbers on the scale.

Product convenience is of paramount importance to the company. Every Zurvita product was designed to offer no-hassle, easy-to-take-and-share nutrition. Having witnessed the company’s exponential growth after streamlining its product line from 11 to just one, the Jarvises and Jay Shafer were committed to promoting a simple message everyone could understand: simple, convenient, economical.

One of the most interesting aspects of this company’s story is that its fastest-growing demographic comes from small-town America. “Zeal Wellness has had almost an immediate impact in these smaller towns,” Jay says. “I would love to say that was our strategy, but it wasn’t—it just happened.”


Annual revenue grew from $3.6 million in 2011 to $15 million in 2012 and $63 million in 2013. Revenue for 2014 is expected to fall between $80 million and $90 million.


Even while Zurvita embraces its small-town growth, however, company leadership is thinking beyond borders. Effective July 1, Zurvita entered the Dominican Republic, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. Corporate team members have partnered with Zurvita ambassadors (independent distributors who have achieved the highest level of success in the salesforce) to gain traction in each of these markets.

A new representative can start her Zurvita business as a sales consultant for a minimal amount, then move up to the managing consultant level after adding her first three new team members. From there, a managing consultant can progress to the senior, regional and executive consultant levels, then national and presidential director levels, followed by ambassador. The pinnacle of success is the level of crown ambassador, which takes five ambassador organizations to reach. Although nobody’s reached it yet, Mark estimates it to be just a matter of time.

Zurvita has embraced a grassroots approach to its growth strategy, entering each market slowly, deliberately, and with one product—Zeal Wellness. Then the company introduces additional products after it has established a loyal following in that market. “There’s no fanfare at the beginning,” Mark says. “We just get people on the product. It’s a conservative approach.”


Based on the philosophy “The higher you climb, the more you serve,” the company maintains an eye on succession within the independent salesforce, teaching Zurvita ambassadors to raise up their replacements.


‘Now’ Money

The company’s training and educational initiatives are based on helping new consultants to hit the ground running, before the dust can settle, so to speak.

The Zurvita Success System is designed to teach consultants how to achieve a quick win—earning a bonus during their first 30 days in business. During their second month in business, they’re shown how to repeat those earnings—and establish a success story as early as possible that they can share confidently and enthusiastically with others. Monthly promotions and contests are designed to encourage the maintenance of that early momentum. One such promotion is “Destination Success,” in which all consultants who move up in rank qualify for a cruise.

Zurvita’s high performers also may qualify to earn the use of cars; the company’s options include Mercedes, Cadillac and BMW, giving prospective and new team members a glimpse of the potential of this business opportunity.

Zurvita ranked No. 100 on the 2014 DSN Global 100 list.

Technology Boost

To better serve its consultants and support the company’s growth, Zurvita began developing a new IT infrastructure last year. Now equipped with more data and flexibility, plans are underway for the company to introduce additional technological tools that will help develop consultants’ business acumen and product knowledge and, ultimately, drive additional recruitment. In the meantime, consultants take advantage of company-provided, personalized websites, where their customers can shop around the clock. Some 50,000 people have liked the company’s Facebook page, where the news feed contains pointers for health and wellness and consultants relay their personal success stories.

Zurvita utilizes SMS technology to send a quick and easy offer that consultants can share with potential team members. After texting “Do you have a minute?” to their prospects, consultants text an informational video link to those who agree. The video includes the opportunity for prospects to try a Zurvita product sample pack. The intent is to blend the convenience of technology and the personal, grassroots approach for which Zurvita has become known. No matter how many technological offerings it rolls out, the company remains mindful of the fact that in many of its most successful markets, parties, personal testimonials and individualized service will never go out of style.


Celebrating Wins at Every Level

The spotlight is big enough for everyone at Zurvita events. “You don’t see the same people on stage at all of our events. We showcase the next man up, so to speak,” Mark says. When you consider that Zurvita’s typical consultant has had no prior experience in direct selling before starting a Zurvita business, each win is justifiably reason to celebrate. The company strives to help new consultants realize their first win right out of the starting gate—and that tangible success can empower them toward a succession of more wins.

“Our job is really to build relationships with up-and-comers,” says Tracy. “We pull them in and make them feel totally connected to the company. We just love on these people and make them feel appreciated. It keeps people engaged and moving forward.” In fact, corporate leadership is so committed to empowering “the next man up,” they join Zurvita sales support staff to work the phones until midnight during every month-end close, reaching out to representatives who are on the cusp of promotion and offering that extra shot of encouragement.

Based on the philosophy “The higher you climb, the more you serve,” the company maintains an eye on succession within the independent salesforce, teaching Zurvita ambassadors to raise up their replacements. “We’re replacing our army, so to speak,” Jay says.


Zurvita employees and consultants volunteer to build water wells in Nicaragua.

 


Giving to Others


Zurvita’s corporate social responsibility initiatives are relatively recent, having spent its first few years as a struggling company in search of an identity. Now beginning to reap the rewards of its hard-fought success, Zurvita is in a place to share with others. In January 2014, employees and independent salesforce members ventured on a mission trip to Nicaragua to build two water wells—an experience they’ll repeat in Nicaragua in January 2015 under the name of “Zeal for Life.” On Aug. 23, 2014, Zurvita kicked off its “Feed 500” program, which challenges employees and independent salesforce members to feed at least 500 hungry people in 24 hours. During the inaugural event in Houston, volunteers packed lunches and delivered them everywhere they identified need, whether it was a homeless man on the street or an inner-city homeless shelter. It’s an experience Zurvita plans to replicate each month in various locations throughout the United States.

Three years after relaunching on a platform of wellness, the company is reaping the rewards of its deliberate, strategic approach to market expansion and brand marketing. Whether the results are seen in Zurvita’s revenue—potentially reaching $90 million for 2014—growth of its 30,000-plus independent consultants through a small-town network, or expansion already into five new international markets, the company plans to stay around for the long term, bringing wealth and wellness to an eager audience.

Le-Vel: Making ‘Free’ a Very Profitable Concept

by Angela E. Soper

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Watch here for the print version to become available.

Le-Vel

Company Profile

Founded: June 2012
Headquarters: Irving, Texas
Executives: Co-Founders/Co-Owners Paul Gravette and Jason Camper
Product Categories: Weight management, mental clarity, cognitive performance and inflammation support


Le-Vel Co-Founder/Co-Owner Paul Gravette has been in the direct selling industry since he was 23. He’s achieved seven-figure incomes and created large organizations as a distributor, and he’s founded and built successful direct selling companies of his own. His partner, Jason Camper, has over 17 years of experience in the industry as well, again, both as a highly successful distributor and as a company owner. They know what works and, perhaps more important, what doesn’t.

Like many people who create direct selling companies, Gravette and Camper wanted to build a company that improved people’s lives on multiple levels. From the moment they mapped out the company on “the napkin drawings” 36 months ago (it launched in June 2012) they were determined to create a business model with a revolutionary spin. They wanted Le-Vel to be product-driven and to enable the “everyday” person with zero or little experience or previous success in direct selling to actually benefit from the products at virtually no monthly cost—and have a real chance to earn money, make a monthly luxury car payment and take fun getaway trips.

And the spin of this business model is kept in perpetual motion, thanks to one powerful concept: Free.

Barrier-Free Entry

Paul Gravette

Paul Gravette

Jason Camper

Jason Camper

Thanks to Le-Vel’s cloud-based design, the company can give customers and promoters free tools to sell products or build a business. “Anybody can join our company for free, which is really one of the big reasons we’re growing like we are,” Camper says. “We don’t have any barriers of entry to the company.”

Gravette adds, “We don’t charge anybody a dime to be part of our company. We want to build a free affiliate-type program where the customer is our main focus.” If a customer eventually wants to become a promoter, he or she simply clicks on a button that says ‘I want to be a free promoter,’ and at that point the company turns on an incentive clock.

“If within your first two weeks of upgrading and ordering a promoter package—which is loaded with samples of all three of our products—you bring in qualified orders, we’ll reward you in personal bonuses,” Gravette says. And while promoters must purchase a package of products, there is no charge for the replicated website or back office, nor are they required to maintain a personal monthly auto-ship—the required dollar amount in orders every month can come from customers.

Impressive Growth Driven by Product Sales

This free program and the products themselves are helping Le-Vel set a blistering pace in overall growth. Camper says the company has grown 4,300 percent in the last 12 months, which equates to consecutive double- to triple-digit compounded growth each month. “We do a very large seven figures a month [in revenue], and we pay out seven figures a week in commissions,” Camper says.

Thanks to the product formulations and single-serve packaging, the products lend themselves to easy sharing—a design Gravette and Camper implemented from the beginning to make it easier for customers and promoters to let others sample the products. Plus, the product regimen adds icing to the cake for the products’ popularity.

“Our formulator has been integral since Day One,” Camper says. “The secret to everything we do lies in our formulas.” Camper and Gravette wanted to create a system that includes capsules, a daily lifestyle shake mix and a patent-pending wearable adhesive they call Derma Fusion Technology™—all designed to work together to offer people an eight-week, premium lifestyle experience. “The Thrive product line was [created] to help in all areas of someone’s lifestyle—weight management, mental clarity, cognitive performance, inflammation support—it’s really an all-in-one philosophy,” Camper says.

Product Results = Business Results

The key, Camper emphasizes, lies in how the regimen is taken: two Premium Lifestyle Capsules “before your feet hit the floor in the morning,” followed by the ultra-micronized Premium Lifestyle Shake Mix, and then the Derma Fusion Technology (DFT™) adhesive applied to clean, dry skin to boost metabolism. He adds, “Within 40 minutes from someone getting up in the morning, they’ve got three formulas circulating in their bloodstream and they’re done for the day.”

“We are where we are because of the product results,” Gravette says. “We don’t have to talk about our comp plan because our product works—that’s what is making our business explode. All of these people who are joining our company are naturally getting out there and talking about it, and so the [business] starts to grow.”



Le-Vel has grown 4,300 percent in the last 12 months, which equates to consecutive double- to triple-digit compounded growth each month.


It’s All about Trust

Along with a free program designed for everyday people, trust is another of Gravette’s passions. “I want to build a company people can trust,” he says. “It doesn’t matter if they order. We don’t want to twist their arm [and tell them] they have to pay to play. That’s not us.”

Gravette believes Le-Vel’s free enrollment helps build both trust and revenue. “We believe the No. 1 way to build trust is through building a free network,” he says. “We’re building a free social network, so over a period of time our conversion rates, we think, are going to be huge because people watch us for a day, a week, a month and then they decide to order, and they may never have ordered if they had not been able to be part of our network for free.”


“We believe the No. 1 way to build trust is through building a free network.”
—Paul Gravette, Co-Founder/Co-Owner


One part of building this network is through the use of social media, and Gravette believes you need to zero in on one social platform. “You’ve got to narrow it down, so when we started I wanted to keep the focus on Facebook, mainly because I want people to have a focal point.” And to him, the numbers don’t lie; in fact, they tell very defining truths about the company’s growth and stability. He is proud to point out that Le-Vel currently has about 44,000 Likes on its page—“all organic”—with about 6,000 who are active, and the number is growing by more than 200 people a day.

Camper and Gravette buck the common practice of encouraging business builders to attend meetings and events frequently. “You can build this business completely from a smartphone or a laptop,” Gravette says. In fact, they tell people not to spend gas money traveling. “We encourage people to stay at home and work with the people who are having success—work with them on the phone on private team calls and let them help you.”

Operating in the Cloud

A few things stand out when you take a closer look at Le-Vel, and they tie in to its “free” concept as well as the ability of promoters to work from home. First, there is no corporate headquarters housing highly paid executives and a large staff—the company uses what the partners call a vertically integrated system that is cloud-based. This does two things: One, it keeps Le-Vel’s operating expenses low so more of the profits can be allocated to the company’s promoters. And two, it enables Le-Vel to easily and instantly keep up with changes the company needs to make and communicate to the field.

“I think [our cloud-based platform] is one of the pieces that makes us exciting and powerful for our promoters,” Gravette says. “Anything that we need on the fly—when we want to run reports or if we want to add particular promotions or make any changes at any time—we’re not held by a timeline of vendors.”

This cloud-based infrastructure also enables Le-Vel to employ one-third fewer staff and to source some of the most talented people from all over the country. Its customer service is also handled completely online. “As long as you get back to people within 24 to 48 hours, they’re happy,” Gravette points out.

Gravette and Camper own all of their internal code and own and operate their own software infrastructure. They also personally oversee all aspects of the company’s operations, from raw ingredient purchases and product formulations to packaging and vendors. In other words, the founders have a very hands-on involvement with their company and are committed to ensuring that the products, the business model and the customer support meet very high standards.

A Matter of Honor

Another difference: If you check the company’s website, you will not see information about Gravette and Camper. This is intentional and goes back to the partners’ determination to keep Le-Vel focused on serving those everyday people and helping them create the success they want.

“I didn’t want my phone ringing and people saying, ‘Hey, I know you’re starting a company, and I want to talk to you,’ ” Gravette explains. “That’s not fair, because somehow they found out about the business through someone else.” He and Camper have insisted from Day One that people interested in the business enroll under the person who first shared the company with them. If you call them today, they will tell you exactly that—no one gets preferential treatment when it comes to the enrollment process. “They have to honor who talked to them about the business,” Gravette adds. “This is so important to me.”

To Gravette and Camper, individuals inexperienced in direct selling are most valuable. “I wanted to make sure we started our business with people who had no background in making $5,000 or $20,000 a month in a previous company,” Gravette says. “I wanted to build the nucleus of this network around good people who never had a history with another company. I wanted this to be their first.”

Taking the Time to Do It Right

When it came to launching their company, the partners went slowly so they could do it right. “We really took our time before we ever told anybody about this,” Gravette says. “We developed what we feel is perfection to us, but we were never pressured by any board members or any staff on how or when to launch the company. I think that’s been a huge blessing to us.”

Since direct selling has been their profession in one way or another since they were young adults, Gravette and Camper view Le-Vel as a company “built for promoters by promoters.” But they have designed Le-Vel to be unique.

“When I look at our business, I feel like we’re a hybrid of what the direct selling industry is and where the online customer acquisition world is going,” Gravette says. And to illustrate the point, he emphasizes the company’s dramatic growth in customer acquisitions. “In the month of April we had almost double the amount of customers sign up as we did promoters, which is not common in direct selling.”
Gravette says this growth is because, first, the products work; second, customers (and promoters) can get their products for free; and third, it doesn’t cost anything to sign up as a customer or promoter. And while getting products for free is not new to the industry, Le-Vel’s program is especially attractive because it requires a person to enroll only two customers.

“Our business says to your girlfriend, ‘You’re a customer. If you bring us two girlfriends who order online, we’ll give you the product free every month,’ ” he explains.

Their Focus Is Clear

Le-Vel does not, and will never, Gravette insists, highlight wildly successful top earners. They want the focus to stay on those who’ve never had success before. However, they do believe in rewarding promoters who put effort into building their businesses. The company’s car incentive program rewards those who reach a certain monthly team volume with a monthly payment for a luxury car, and those who maintain that volume for two consecutive months are invited to attend an all-expenses-paid Le-Vel VIP Getaway. The first Getaway for 100 was in Las Vegas in January. The company whisked 400 qualifiers to Cabo San Lucas in May, and a third trip is in the planning stages.

“When you get the big picture of our model, it’s exciting because it allows us to spend more money on our product from the ingredient perspective, and we’re growing at the rate we’re growing because we’re putting [profits] into the people, into the products and into the rewards plan,” Gravette says.

SEACRET: Built on Community

by Jennifer Workman Pitcock

Click here to order the April 2014 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

The Dead Sea, which lies on the border of Jordan and Israel, provides some of the most concentrated, natural mineral salts and mineral-rich mud in the world.

SEACRET

Company Profile

  • Founded: 2011
  • Headquarters: Phoenix
  • Founders: Izhak Ben Shabat, President and CEO; Moty Ben Shabat, Managing Partner; and Betty Perez, Co-Founder and Vice President of Sales and Training.
  • Products: Dead Sea mineral skincare

Izhak Ben Shabat says coming to the United States and building a multimillion-dollar company began as an accident. That accident has turned out to be fortuitous for thousands of people around the globe. With his brother Moty, his family, and a close-knit community of friends and partners, he founded SEACRET in 2005. The company manufactures and sells high-end skincare products that combine Dead Sea minerals and other nutrients with new technologies and scientific breakthroughs.

The Sudden Entrepreneur

Izhak Ben Shabat

Moty Ben Shabat

Betty Perez

The Ben Shabat brothers’ story begins before SEACRET, in 2000. Moty had come from Israel to the United States to save money for medical school. But he caught the entrepreneurial bug and ended up staying. He bought his own ice cream truck and dreamed of having his own company. When Izhak came to visit, Moty mistakenly thought he had come to join the business. “The first night when I landed, my brother called my parents and told them we were going to do the business together,” Izhak says. “He didn’t have enough money, so he told them we needed some support from them.”

By the time the two brothers cleared up the confusion, their parents had sold all their possessions and put the entire family on a plane to the U.S. Izhak was in a bind. He had recommitted to the Israeli military, but now his whole family was here with less than $60,000 in assets. His brother’s ice cream truck wasn’t going to support them all. His goal was to make enough money to get his family back to Israel. So he called his friends, begging them to come and help—even though he couldn’t buy their plane tickets or pay them.

They struck upon the idea of selling toys in kiosks during the Christmas season—and over the next four months they made $4 million in revenue. They then split the profits evenly among the group. But by that time, none of them wanted to return to Israel. “We were able to create a culture of people and friends coming together, standing behind one mission, and achieving success,” Izhak says. So they pooled their resources again. “By that time, 120 more people had heard of our success and showed up to be part of it,” Izhak says. “That’s how we got started.”


Seacret products
Spotlight on Recover
One of SEACRET’s most exciting products is Recover. Using nanotechnology, it actually unfolds the skin in the wrinkled areas and keeps it that way for several hours each day. Over a period of several months it triggers skin restoration. But it doesn’t take that long to see results—Recover has an amazing wow factor. In clinical studies, both fine lines and wrinkles were visibly reduced by as much as 66 percent after one 15-minute treatment.


A Unique Product

The Dead Sea, which lies on the border of Jordan and Israel, provides some of the most concentrated, natural mineral salts and mineral-rich mud in the world, according to SEACRET’s website. Dead Sea cosmetics have gained an international reputation for their many beneficial qualities for maintenance of the skin’s youthful appearance and protection of the cell nucleus against early aging.

So when Izhak and Moty realized that there were no Dead Sea products for sale in the United States, they began selling a variety of Israeli brands out of kiosks in malls. By 2005 they had saved enough money to formulate their own products. They wanted to create something that would deliver immediate results. They had Israel’s best formulators create products so effective that people could see results on the spot. That was the beginning of SEACRET.

Manufactured in Israel, SEACRET products offer mineral combinations found only in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea boasts 26 minerals, and the unique combination of 12 of these is exclusive to these waters. SEACRET products also include other natural elements, such as essential oils and plant extracts. These elements are combined with some of the latest technologies in skincare, such as peptide technology, nanotechnology and biomagnetism.

A New Distribution Model

Over the next five years, SEACRET continued to grow. Izhak took on the role of company President and CEO. Moty became Managing Partner. The company had retailers in 30 countries. By 2010 SEACRET was a $100 million business. The year before, SEACRET had struck a deal with the world’s largest manufacturer of cosmetics to make their products. SEACRET’s partners were making plans to move out of kiosks and open 500 stores worldwide. “We wanted to be the Apple of skincare,” Izhak says.

Then Betty Perez arrived on the scene. She had been brought on by a SEACRET Vice President to help spearhead the development of a local salesforce. To understand the products and the business, she went to work in a kiosk. At 19, she had already been successful in two direct sales companies. Her first day, she could see the quality of the products. “SEACRET is known for its wow factor,” she says. “With virtually every one of our products, you’ll see and feel a difference on the spot. We call it turbo cosmetics.”

She soon realized that SEACRET could find the right fit within direct sales. It had all the elements: a high-quality product, the story of the Dead Sea, an already-established customer base, and credibility as a company.


SEACRET grew from $12 million in direct sales in 2012 to $71 million in 2013. This year, SEACRET has continued to prosper and has grown to more than 40,000 Agents and customers worldwide.


She set up a meeting with the company’s partners. They were eager to meet her because, unbeknownst to Betty, she was breaking all of SEACRET’s sales records. They were going to offer her the position of Global Sales Manager. But instead, she told them, “You need to change your business model.” At first, Izhak wasn’t convinced, but Betty’s passion inspired him to look into it further. After a series of meetings, the partners gave her the green light to run a small pilot program in Phoenix, where the company was based. That was at the end of 2010. In a few short months they had developed nearly 1,000 distributors, or SEACRET Agents. SEACRET officially launched in 2011. In 2012 SEACRET did $12 million in direct sales. By 2013 that figure had grown to $71 million. This year, SEACRET has continued to prosper, and has grown to more than 40,000 Agents and customers worldwide.

“I believe Betty saved us by showing us network marketing,” Izhak says. Betty is now a partner in the business and SEACRET’s Vice President of Sales and Training.

Culture of Community

SEACRET’s transition from kiosks to direct sales has been gradual. When considering changing business models, the Ben Shabat brothers’ first concern was the impact of the change on the SEACRET community. “This company doesn’t belong to me,” Izhak says. More than 600 families had invested in the company, and the final decision rested with the community, not just Izhak.

“The entire drive of our business is our community activity,” Izhak says. That’s perhaps best illustrated through the weekly meal that Izhak and Moty’s parents host each Friday night at their home, spending several days each week preparing the food themselves. It’s been a tradition since the first group of friends came over to help the Ben Shabats 15 years ago. “No fewer than 60 people are there each week,” Betty says. “It’s not a time that we talk about business, but it’s a time of getting to know each other.” SEACRET Agents fly in to be part of the dinners. Even people who pack the products at the warehouse show up. These dinners help create strong bonds among all members of the SEACRET community.

The Agency and the Cabinet

SEACRET employs all the training tools typical of a direct sales company. Along with printed materials and webinars and simulcasts, they have weekly vision calls open to the entire company. Additionally, Betty and Izhak spend much of their time on the road, doing everything from WOW! parties to regional events. They feel it’s important to be in the field as much as possible. “That’s essential for us to truly understand how well everything is working, and it allows us to make better decisions,” Betty says.

To make sure the field has a voice in every decision, SEACRET has created two leadership groups. At the highest level are the Cabinet Ambassadors. Selected annually, this group is made up of five members. Membership is not based solely on production, but requires development in many different sponsorship legs. “If you develop leaders you have influence, so the five cabinet members have the deepest level of influence in the company,” Betty says. Cabinet members meet with the executives in a weekly conference call and twice annually in person. They are part of every important decision that the company makes.

At the next tier is the Agency, which currently has over 20 members and is open to all Agents who reach a certain level of production. They participate in monthly conference calls with the executives.

Additionally, both leadership groups are highly involved in companywide training. “Our videos are not only done by me or the other executives,” Betty says. “We do all types of training with the Cabinet and the Agency. They are just as much the face of SEACRET as our founders.”

Direct Sales in the Digital Age

SEACRET believes in utilizing all tools at the company’s disposal to help people grow their organizations. When they join, Agents receive a website that serves as their storefront where they can send family and friends to see the products or become Agents. Agents can track their sales and watch helpful videos using the back office.

SEACRET uses social media channels to communicate with Agents as well as to help them market using Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms. The company recently developed a calendar that allows Agents to easily search events by location or person. When they sign up for an event, Agents can have the event automatically post to their social media sites if they choose.

At the same time, Izhak is careful to emphasize that social media cannot replace face-to-face contact. He believes that to build a community, physical interaction is critical. “Our business is built on home parties,” he says. “In an era where people are detached from one another because of technology, they want to connect more, to touch more.”


“We’re looking to expand our product offerings, but skincare will always be the pillar.”
—Betty Perez, Vice President of Sales and Training


Black Friday

Before becoming a direct selling company, Black Friday was SEACRET’s biggest sales weekend of the year. So the partners decided to continue the tradition as a direct seller. “In order to build your customer loyalty, you have to treat your customers and give them incentives to buy your products,” Izhak says. On Black Friday, SEACRET offers its biggest sales of the year, slashing prices on products by as much as 60 percent. The results have been phenomenal. In 2011 the company made $160,000 in sales on Black Friday. By this year, Black Friday sales reached a whopping $3.1 million.

Not only does the Black Friday sale bring in new customers and make existing customers happy, but it also raises morale among the Agents, who often make thousands of dollars in a single day. “It comes right before Christmas. We hear stories of Agents who didn’t know how they were going to have a holiday season, and all of a sudden it’s taken care of because of our one day of huge sales,” Betty says.

The Future of SEACRET


“Our business is built on home parties. In an era when people are detached from one another because of technology, they want to connect more, to touch more.”
—Izhak Ben Shabat, President and CEO


Because SEACRET products were already being sold in so many countries before the company adopted the direct selling business model, the company is in prime position for international expansion. Moty leads this effort, traveling extensively to do so. SEACRET is open for direct sales in Canada and the Dominican Republic. Already this year, SEACRET has opened in Australia and South Korea, with plans to open in Mexico and two to three more countries over the next few months.

With over 40 products and 26 more in the product development pipeline, SEACRET has every intention of continuing to grow. “We’re always enhancing our products and looking for new technologies,” Betty says. The partners envision new lines, such as hair products. “We’re looking to expand our product offerings,” she says, “but skin care will always be the pillar.”

First and foremost, SEACRET is about building a wealthy community. “By that, we don’t just mean monetary success,” Izhak says. “I’ve fallen in love with what the industry has to offer: personal development, positive attitude, and the ability to change people’s lives,” he says. “To me, making an impact is the best part of it. I want to do this for the rest of my life.”