Alan Bean: How to Build a Team and Leveraged Income with MLM
Alan Bean and his wife have over 20 years inside network marketing. Alan Bean discusses how to build a big team and leveraged income inside MLM in our exclusive interview about his unique story.
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Alan. I am excited to learn more about you. So, let’s get started!
Where were you born and raised, what was childhood like, and what did you want to be when you ‘grew up?’
I was born, and grew up in a small town, (a population of around 17000) and until my mid twenties, that is where I lived. It is the most inland natural port in England. As such a lot of the work in the area, was to do with shipping.
My father had been brought up in lower class household, having lost his mother at under 4, to polio, he had been adopted by relatives.
My father’s career has been mainly in that, from leaving school at 15 until his late 30’s. He had started in building small wooden rowing boats, and ended up building container ships. He left there and ended up being a postman.
My mother had come from a middle class family. Her father owned a post office, in fact for a long time, the only one and had one of the first telephones in the town, his telephone number was no 3.
I would, as a preschool child, sit on his post office counter, and “help” the customers.
I grew up in what can be best classed as a middle class house, and we were never short of money in the house. I had wanted to be a Policeman as a young boy, but as I grew up I drifted from one thing to another.
As a 13 yr old, I went on a holiday with a friend’s family, to Scarborough which is a seaside resort, about 2 hrs drive from where we lived. I saw a sign for a hypnosis show, and remember sneaking out, and going to watch a late show.
If I wanted something badly enough, I would go for it. At school, at a time where computer games were on audio cassettes, I would sell copies of games to other children, and even some teachers. They weren’t always games for the computer I had.
I would buy a copy from one child, and sell 3 copies to waiting teachers and other school kids. I guess, as it was the eighties and everyone was looking that way, it was success I wanted, not sure where from but success.
What did your parents do for a living and was there any Entrepreneurship in the family?
I have covered a bit of this in the question above. Basically my father had not been entrepreneurial, however my grandpa had been, and his son, my Mother’s brother and my Uncle had gone from this small town, to being one of the top people in a national building society (a type of bank dealing purely with savings and mortgages).
He lived in an area of Leeds (the biggest City in Yorkshire, that we live in) where his neighbours owned some of the big high street names. I guess that it was my mother’s side that affected me.
What type of jobs or career did you have before network marketing and what were the pros and cons of working for someone else?
My career has been varied. I left school while studying for my A levels (the next level up from a normal school level) I guess I got bored of school life, and saw others who had left with no qualifications earning money. May not have been the best decision, for a 17 year old (compulsory school education ends at 16 in the UK).
I went to work in a local car accessories shop, and then after 4 yrs to a Ford car dealership, but in the part department. After a while, probably 5 yrs, I went on to selling new cars in a Vauxhall dealership (UK badge of GM motors).
I was a new car salesman, and at times it was boring. You had to wait for someone to come into the showroom, and hope you had someone who wanted to buy.
Targets were important, but as this was a family owned business, It wasn’t all they wanted. They wanted good representatives who didn’t push someone into something they didn’t need.
I did as good as anyone in sales, but after another 4 or 5 years, the manager left and someone took over I couldn’t get on with.
I decided to look for somewhere else to work, and ended up looking into being an Insurance agent. The stress levels shot up, as targets were now everything, compared to the previous jobs.
Again I worked hard, but now was struggling to hit any targets. I was feeling more and more under pressure. I had good friends, and socially, we would go out clubbing, days out paintballing and allsorts.
But eventually I was missing more targets than hitting. The company headquarters increased the targets by double, so I resigned. I didn’t need this. 2 weeks after I left, they offered people a golden handshake for those deciding to leave. I had missed out by 2 weeks. My confidence was knocked down a few pegs for sure when I found out.
I ended up learning a new skill, Hypnosis. I enjoyed it like I did so many years ago. Hypnotherapy, even though I was qualified to trade in 5 countries, I wasn’t earning much money.
I found that during my careers, the big movements had occurred through choices outside my control. I had moved from my first job, as I was being paid very little, and no chance of it going up. My Ford job had been not much better.
And I wanted to better myself. This was never going to happen with this company. The reason I left the Vauxhall was because of the manager. You cannot stop change but when you can’t work with someone, no matter who they are, life gets hard.
If they are your boss, even worse. If I had still been with the original manager, I would probably never looked at moving, and my life would have stayed there for a long while. It had been a good job, but no longer.
When I became an Insurance man, work became a chore, to the degree I would try to find excuses to leave. I stayed for longer than I maybe should have, because of friends. But when I did leave, they disappeared.
My life was now a lot easier, but no friends to speak of, after 5 years of every free moment with them. I had divorced while there, and lost my home soon after. This job had slowly destroyed me.
If you are in a job you love, that can change in a matter of a few days, as with the Vauxhall dealer, and sometimes you can end up doing something you hate, and it destroys you, as with what seemed a great opportunity turned into a nightmare.
When did you discover network marketing, what was your first two years like, and can you tell us what you would change if you started over today?
My time in Network marketing started with my now new wife. I had left the Insurance job, started my Hypnosis business but money wasn’t that good. We started with a well known company, known for vitamins. We just didn’t fit in.
The people who were working this local to us, looked down there noses at us, and near enough ignored my wife, Caroline. After a year, we moved to a catalogue based shop which is UK only based.
It involved delivering catalogues through people’s doors, and going back hoping for orders, as well as building a downline. Great for sales near Christmas, as their Christmas catalogue was great for decorations and small toys, however it would mean you would get very wet and cold. But summer was low on sales, but at least you didn’t get as wet.
As a quiet couple, we were always at the back of the room at meetings, and soon were forgotten by our upline. If we could go back, I feel the training in either business was lacking. Sure the second one did have training, but it was the same thing time and time again, make a list and phone your friends. It was great if you had hundreds of friends, but we didn’t.
What is the biggest mistake you see new network marketers make, and how can they fix it?
One of the biggest mistakes new people make is that they see the dream, but not the backup. Its great to join a business full of excitement, but you need a good training system, either by your upline, or company based. Ask them how they would be trained.
Most companies now have some sort of video based training, and if not, they have a set system passed by an upline. I say most, as we have experienced companies that literally say, after joining, here you go, here is a pack of info, go sell and recruit.
In network marketing, you can work alone, but if you don’t want to work with someone, look at what there’s for you.
There are other big mistakes, I would suggest to look out for, but that is the biggest.
The other areas to consider is the Product or service you offer. The product maybe fantastic, but if you weren’t in that company, would you buy it? Worth thinking about.
Also the person inviting you into the company, do you like what they sound like? The company may seem right, but it is best to have someone you can relate to and feel comfortable with, as you could be working with them for the next 20 yrs..
How do you start your new reps and what should they do in the first 30 days of signing up in a MLM?
The first 30 days are very important. The way I introduce someone to our business is firstly talk them through some basics about the company, and then show them their back office within the company.
I then talk them through how to recruit. A lot of this is covered on the company training, but I like to recap, and help them understand it. 3 way calls are the next step. If recruiting, there is then someone there to help them through recruiting their first people.
But this has to be to help them learn, not take over the calls. After a few calls where they have done the majority of it, I let them get on with it, but with a backup of us there for questions, and support.
The main task for the first 30 days, is to guide them, and let them find a route that works for them. Usually this will be the same as I do, but for some, they need a different route to fit their personality.
Knowledge of the products help, so I also spend a little time getting them to understand that. At the end of the 30 days, I am trying to get them confident to do the work themselves, but not expecting them to not need guidance. For some, this maybe a lot longer than 30 days, but most it will be to a point of some self sufficiency.
What are the 3 most important ways how to get a team duplicating?
The first and most important thing is to do it yourself. If you don’t do what you are saying, then your team won’t, strange but I have found it to be true.
The second is to guide, not hold their hand. Have guidance at the end of a phone call, but don’t drag them to success, they will never do it if you try to do all of it for them. Success comes from within, not by your upline.
Introduce the team members to the rest of the team and to meetings. A team is so important, even if only via Facebook, that way people don’t feel alone. But meetings open eyes. Bring someone to a meeting, they see a business, leave them on Facebook they see a hobby.
I love your blog! How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is your daily traffic like?
I restarted my blog, due to a hacker, but currently have about 80 posts, and this blog has been running just over a year. Traffic varies daily, from around 100 page views to about 250 visitors on busy days.
You have quite a lot of videos on YouTube. How has video helped your Brand and do you generate traffic or leads with it?
YouTube is an essential tool, and yes , it brands you. But what it also does is let people see who you are, while helping others. A YouTube video can be recorded years ago, and generate a lead for you today.
The Blog is the key to marketing, as it is the only thing you own, as YouTube can take your channel down at anytime, however as a marketing tool, it is one of the best. A blog is like the hub of a wheel, and the different marketing tools, including YouTube, are the spokes.
The spokes are driving people to you, but without them the wheel could never turn. YouTube is one of my main spokes, it is adverts for my business that take effort once, and are there for as long as YouTube decides. Google and Facebook ads cost money, and last a few days only.
What is the hottest way to generate leads for you these days, and can you share a technique?
Facebook Live is probably the hottest at the moment. It is not the easiest, but it does allow you to come across to many strangers
The key to using Facebook Live is to be you. Explain a product, give a review just like you would on YouTube, to build a following. Facebook wants to promote Live. They will help share your video for free. Simply sit yourself in front of your phone or computer, and do a live.
The first ones will be rubbish, but give it time. YouTube videos you can record and edit, these you can’t so it is practice that makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to do a few lives set for only you, and then watch them back.
For our first few, give time for people to join. Don’t go straight into a script. Don’t have music on, Facebook will quickly shut you down.
Keep your subjects flexible, as people will interact. So keep half an eye on the comments. Don’t be afraid to block people. There are people who “troll” these lives. Block them as soon as you see them.
They will be putting up angry or grumpy faces. Don’t interact as that is when they love it most. Use them like you would a webinar if you want some structure. Apart from that, have fun.
Why should people never give up on their dreams?
Dreams are what helps a person succeed in life. Without them people never change, never move forward. Without dreams we wouldn’t have the wheel….
In Network Marketing it is often the case someone starts in their business full of dreams, but as reality sets in, they lose their drive, their ambition to build a life changing income.
When we first started in network marketing, one of the things our upline’s said was this is a 5 yr business. Some will do it quicker, but many will get there with time and effort. If you don’t allow yourself time to build a business, you may not get there.
Holding on to your dreams is what gets you there. That early business (not our first) also used dream boards. Some use dream books.
Simply put, somewhere that you put pictures of your dreams, and something you can change as you change. It reminds you everyday what you’re aiming for, and keeps you motivated.
Who do you want to help and inspire and why?
I would love to inspire anyone to success, but what I really like is when you see someone, who is literally on the bare bones, no cash, no prospects. Then you see them explode into a success.
I am a family man, with all the costs that go with that, and have lived where you decide which bill gets paid, and which bill gets left for another month. Sometimes I hide when the doorbell goes off, as debt collectors keep calling round. I am an ordinary person, working a fantastic business, and supporting my family to a new way of living, but I’m not unusual.
In my business, and others in the company I work for, I have seen this happen time and time again. A man who washed for an interview by using a drain pipe, as he slept rough.
Another who was addicted to drugs, was over a million in debt after being in real estate, then housing market crashed, and was being supported by his girlfriend who was working on a makeup counter, paying his bills and her own home bills.
Just 5 yrs later has retired from his business with a multimillion pound business. In fact, he earned over a million in 1 weekend once.
A woman who had slept in her car for several weeks, another who pawned all her jewellery to start the business, and a few weeks later was driving a BMW.
Network marketing can be life changing, but it is still a business, and cannot be run as a hobby. Hobbies cost money, business make it. All these people were so low, anything they did they put their whole effort into.
What is your favorite book right now, and why?
There are a number of authors I like to read, some I have met, some I will never meet. Among them are a number of good books, but I would say a good one to read, one I have read before but reading again, is TOP EARNER MLM RECRUITING SECRETS by Ray and Jessica Higdon, a lovely couple who I have personally met on a few occasions.
They stand out because they are real, and come across real. They have had good times and bad, but this book puts things into simple ways to build a business.
What are your goals for 2024?
My goals for 2024 are very simple, from a business point of view, to move up to the next level in my company, which I may achieve by mid year.
In my home life, is to build an area on to our house, to have a separate place to work from. The dining room is basically set aside for business, but it would be nice to get it back again…
What is your favorite quote and why?
I am going to replace a quote with a song (I know, I’m awkward), But when you listen to the words, they are fantastic when you are down with your business.
It is a song by Yazz -” the only way is up” it is a UK 1980’s song, look it up on YouTube etc. It is a song full of energy for network marketing motivation.
But if I must give you a quote, it is by Winston Churchill
Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm
Thank you so much for this interview Alan!