Steve Jamieson of Working Social joins the show! We talk about a ton of different concepts, including how artificial intelligence will impact sales efforts. We discuss direct marketing companies, value proposition, pricing model, how companies differentiate. We discuss how local community direct sales people are often NOT the local center of gravity. We talk about how to get in front of and talk to the right people, and many other topics! To learn more about Steve and what he’s up to, go to https://working.social.
Shout out to episode sponsor WindowCraft (https://windowcraft.biz)
Aaron Spatz 00:05
You’re listening to America’s entrepreneur, the podcast designed to educate, entertain, and inspire you in your personal professional journey. I’m your host, Aaron Spatz. And on the podcast, I interview entrepreneurs, industry experts, and other high achievers as they detail their personal and professional journeys in business. My goal is to glean their experiences into actionable insights that you can apply to your own journey. If you’re new to the show, we’ve spoken with successful entrepreneurs, Grammy Award winning artists, best selling authors, chief executives, and other fascinating minds with unique experiences. We’ve covered topics such as how to achieve breakthrough and business, growing startups, effective leadership techniques, and much more. If you strive for continual self improvement, and enjoy fascinating and insightful conversation, if the subscribe button, you’ll love it here at America’s entrepreneur. When I want to jump right into today’s show, I’m just incredibly excited to welcome Steve Jameson to the program. He has had a quite quite a wild ride in, in business, but most, most recently, serving as the chief executive officer for working social. And Steve, I just want to welcome you. Thank you so much for being here
Steve Jamieson 01:18
this morning. Good morning, and thank you for having me. Yes, sir. Yes,
Aaron Spatz 01:23
sir. So first question I loved always ask is are you a DFW native? If not, Where are you originally from?
Steve Jamieson 01:29
Originally in New Yorker don’t hold that against me. Because they didn’t when I first got to Texas for quite a while. And there was a couple of detours in between. But yeah, I got to Dallas in the late 80s, actually early 90s. And then had a very successful 25 year career in Dallas, running large direct sales companies, network marketing companies, for those of you that are familiar with home based business is and now I have a consulting business and the sense I always kind of wink because now I get to console for all the people I competed against.
Aaron Spatz 02:08
Nice. Well, you know, after after after 2025 career doing it, I think I think it’s probably time right. Yeah. So you know, what, and then to, you know, how, how have you fared during this whole? You know, sub zero or not sub zero? Why? I mean, I guess the feels like temperatures have been sub zero. But, you know, this this craziness that we’ve had, so how has that affected you at all? Today, we’re we just
Steve Jamieson 02:33
live in a moment of crisis, it seems right from the pandemic, right to the weather. I think we’re just bulletproof now, right, we just adjust right quickly and learn to respond. So I think that’s the probably the key to success in business learning to be able to pivot learning to be able to respond, we always used to say, in business, it’s not what happens, it’s how you respond to what happens, right? And so in some ways, today is a perfect example of that.
Aaron Spatz 03:01
Not so good. And you know, and I’ve noticed that that attitude and that demeanor, and it’s not simply this flippant, oh, I’m going to say this, because I feel like I have to say it, it really is a way of life in a really as a core belief is taking in addressing every single challenge. It may appear as a setback, and may present itself as a loss or some major problem. But it’s always being crafted as an opportunity to either learn, get better overcome it, so on and so forth. It just seems like that’s always been the approach. It sounds like that’s been you’ve been your approach your entire career.
Steve Jamieson 03:37
Well, what’s interesting for me is when I first entered direct sales, I didn’t like the business. It’s not one of those that I was a fan of, I think I shared the feelings of what I always say is, this is the only business where the government doesn’t like us, right? The public, or the media mocks us, right. And the public 90% of the public have a bad experience after they join us. But yet the industry itself when I entered it, fights to keep things the same. And so I always came from the perspective of that the industry had great potential to actually be one of the best distribution channels possible for goods and services, because you are empowering customers. And I just think people did the business model wrong. So I used to say is I don’t want to make a better version of that business model. I want to change the business model to totally take advantage and leverage and that’s kind of been my fight. In the industry. I’ve always been the the guy on the other side, not the champion of the business, but the challenger to the business. And then along comes industries, which again, if we forget how long ago it didn’t exist, things like Shopify, Uber, Airbnb, et Cie, and all of a sudden there’s these alternative income opportunities that give people like veterans frequently, right a second chance at success, except the only problem With those as those had second chances with with tremendous limitations, right, no one was excited about being an Uber driver, right? It usually got them through a tough position in life, whether it just be buying extra presents for Christmas, whether it be paying an extra $300 for a car payment, but no one thought their life was going to change, right, because of those kinds of choices. And where Shopify, I’m saying gives people gave people an opportunity to do all the work themselves, but it didn’t allow them to leverage of building a network of people beyond their own backyard, to truly be able to stay at home, and work with the kids and, and have that kind of a life. So I still think there’s a tremendous opportunity to do it. Right. And, and where I’ve, it’s interesting, because in the last couple of years, I work just as much with the vendors who support the industry to try to give them the technology to execute the vision than just giving the companies the vision themselves interests. And so I it’s interesting for me, because one of the turning points is one of my clients, interesting enough, was zoom before the pandemic, oh, well, and they came to me about six months before the pandemic, and said that there’s this crazy industry called, you know, home based businesses, and we want to penetrate that with market share. This is before they went public. And they understand that you have the relationships, and you have the contacts. And then so everyone said, Oh, that was a good idea. Of course, the pandemic came, and it became a brilliant idea from that perspective. But so my point is, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a stay at home mom, or whether you’re a corporation like zoom, right, is you’ve got to think out of the box, you got to think innovatively you got to challenge. There’s always a place to go. And I think that’s the hardest thing that I find in working with so many second chance people, in a sense, is it’s hard for them to believe. And that things can really happen. And that’s the one thing I think that direct sales people do well is they give people belief, but they don’t think they had the vehicle necessarily to follow it through things. And so even though like I say, I’m some ways I’m retired from winning companies day to day, I’m actually I have more opportunities to make an impact. Whether it be someone on Shopify, who’s making 25 or $50,000 a month, and they think they’re ready for primetime. That’s probably my number one client who calls me of how do they move from 25 to 100 a month or 200 a month. And with technology, it’s far more easy, easier, cost effective and accessible than it’s ever been before to do. So I guess I’m having the time of my life because people pay me to think as opposed to having to get up and be responsible for one person. i It’s almost like just being responsible for everyone every single day. It’s a different challenge.
Aaron Spatz 07:52
Yeah, for sure. Well, wow, that’s a that’s quite, that’s quite to set up here. So I mean, that’s a great, that’s a great, that’s a great entry into into this discussion. I appreciate you sharing those those points, because I think it’s I think it’s really important for people to note that as you know, you’ve got different challenges, you’ve got different opportunities that are that are going to present themselves. And so it as it relates to direct sales, like so take us on a little bit of a tour of what your careers look like and one and I guess real quick to provide everybody context what give us some a few examples of direct sales. That way people under have an understanding just as you’re completing things,
Steve Jamieson 08:29
when most people have heard of Amway, Herbalife or Nu Skin, you know, companies traditionally that look for independent contractors who basically become brand partners, and where those companies supply everything from the products to the shipping to the merchant account to the marketing. And all you have to supply as the people to talk to is the idea. Gotcha. And then of course, some people go far beyond that. But like I say, when I when I was growing up, the last thing I ever thought I would do would be a C level executive, right in a direct sales company. But the transition for me was I was in the entertainment business. I lived in Los Angeles, and I was a talent agent at William Morris Agency, which was the big agency. And so I represented Again, very similar, I think you’ll start to see the transition wasn’t that much is I represented people who were chasing dreams. And so one day I was invited to a party and met the owner of Herbalife, and there was 3000 people at his house 3000 People from all over the world celebrating, right the fact of the impact and change they had on people’s lives. And all those people in the room, I’m saying we’re just as bigger dream chasers as the the famous actors and actresses that I was working with. And the other thing they also shares the same insecurities, the same fear that it was all going to be gone tomorrow, and that they needed that support in order to To constantly give them new new new goals, new objectives to come over to. And so I became friends with Mark who was the owner. And then I, he eventually asked me to represent Herbalife in contract negotiations. And so that’s how I got to kind of exposed it to the business side. And then eventually I worked my way over realizing that the direct sales business I’m saying, had so much more potential than the entertainment business, which already, you know, didn’t need me the entertainment business didn’t need me, in my own mind, the direct sales company, I thought, Oh, my God, this is a this is an interesting perspective of where I can go in my career. And so I basically started to represent mom and dad’s instead of Julia Roberts and, and those people. And the truth is, what was far more rewarding, was far more many people that we were able to affect and change. And so that was the addiction. For me, it wasn’t, it was that everything I did showed up in someone’s life. And that, to me, is the most exciting thing about the business, can you find something? It doesn’t have to be direct sales? But can you find something in your life that shows up in other people’s lives? That’s what gets you up in the morning. get you thinking?
Aaron Spatz 11:21
Yeah, that’s, that’s just it’s a great, it’s a great impact. Because what what you’re describing is you’re, you’re living a life and a career that is fulfilling, and you and you see the rewards of the work you’re doing not show up just for you, but for the people you’re serving. And so it’s a, it’s a tremendous, tremendous feeling of satisfaction to know that man, like, seeing where somebody came from, where they are now. And the journey they were on and, and being and being able to just continue to go for it. And, and and for them to do well. And so what would have been would have been some challenges with what’s essentially I mean, you, you described some of the stats early on. So you know, you mentioned 90% of people have bad experiences with it. It has kind of a bad reputation, but you know, that it’s still I
Steve Jamieson 12:05
would say well deserved and earned. You know, person, you know, that line between perception and reality is Yeah, is always blurred. But I always go the equivalent of when franchising, you know, first started, it was the network marketing of its day, right, there were so many players that came came into the business and there was not the government regulations there. There wasn’t the structure. And so many people lost a fortune of money, believing they were buying franchises. And same thing with direct sales. There were so many players that came into the business, you know, that were unscrupulous that created those, that that feeling of a cold? Do you know what I mean? And it was an all I can say all the mockery of that I’m saying was earned. But I think what’s what’s happened over the past couple of years, is there’s one single thing that I think will be the differentiator and why direct sales has a chance to be the forefront of alternative income opportunities. There’s one marketing scenario and especially if your business people out here, maybe this is the most important takeaway that you’ll have, right? Because this applies to virtually every single business. Many years ago, if you remember, when American Airlines have offered their reward program, it literally changed the way people bought an airline ticket. No longer did they shop price, right? They shopped how many points they were going to get that perspective, this idea that customers right would have loyalty based on rewards has now morphed into what the instant cashback programs where people pick a credit card because of ham ascension, cashback. And if you went last Christmas, or actually the one before Before COVID, right. The one thing that worked online and offline, whether it be William Sonoma, Macy’s, GNC is every single store didn’t advertise the largest discounts. They advertise the largest instant cashback after the major purchase. So if you went into a store and you purchase $100, they gave you 2030 or $40. Back for your next purchase. Right? So that was one of the few things that all of a sudden empowered customers to start sharing, because now customers now this is what has morphed into whether it be online or offline. customers get paid to browse. Because they get when they register, they get money to go shopping, right? They get paid to shop because they get instant cashback they get paid when they refer a friend to shop. Right? And the only difference in direct sales is will also pay you to build a team if you want to do that all the time. But 85% of viral activity in shopping is now coming from customers. That’s the essence of network marketing. That’s the essence of direct sales. So whether you look at non traditional MLM companies like I say William Sonoma GNC if you look Sephora, look at the amount of money they’re paying back to customers for being loyal customers and shopping and referring people to go shop. It’s remarkable. There’s a company called by Bata, most people haven’t heard of IBO TTA. Online, in less than five years, they’ve paid their customers back $850 million. Not a direct sales company, not an affiliate marketing company, not a credit card company, right. So, if you’re looking in traditional business, to ignite an army of people that are your advocates, don’t I always say, don’t spend all your time focusing on your sales people focus on your customers, because they’re the ones who spread the word, they’re the believers. And what will happen is, is when people start spreading the word often enough, and they really become passionate about your product, then maybe there’s an opportunity to do it more, become an affiliate become a distributor, get paid more money, get bigger cash reward, spend more time doing it, get more business tool to do it. Now you’re into the Shopify model, you know, people will pay $29 a month to have all these tools to do it on a much grander scale than to do it casually. So that’s where I think the future of direct sales is, is is no longer going to be all this pressure of sign up to go buy my soap and my detergent like an Amway scenario, I want you to become a customer advocate. And if that really works for you, then we can talk about it down the road. But why why would a customer choose not to be somewhat with a company that doesn’t pay you to browse doesn’t pay to shop doesn’t pay you when your French shop? And that’s the difference. And that’s where the government I think, would shift in the way they perceive us as a vertical. Right, the public would shift because we everything would be transparent. Everything would be up front, we’re not selling Rolls Royces. You know, we’re not selling the trip to Tahiti, right? We’re selling just normal day to day customer rewards. I mean, it’s interesting that 85% of all bankruptcies in this country, is caused by difference of 300 to $350, differential in income. Wow. So to be a hero in people’s lives really Isn’t that remarkable. But I can tell you that when someone earns $350 a month, now they can believe they can earn 500. Now they can believe they can earn 1000. So again, everything is a perspective and a point of view. And when you can anchor that into real behavior, I mean, the last thing that that I think someone wants to do is join a network marketing company for $50 or $100. And then feel they have to go through this training, to change their life and change who they are, all of a sudden become a successful, no. But if we can leverage what you do every single day, and turn that into something more than just becoming a customer with no rewards, then all of a sudden, it becomes a way of life. And so that’s what I meant is the lesson is that truth, whether you’re a flower shop, whether you’re an E commerce site, and you’ve been trying to figure out how to drive people to your site, you drive people by paying them. And he said, we don’t call it pay, right? We you know, we call it rewards. But it’s not just product, cash, pay them real cash, because that’s what keeps it going. Right? Why shouldn’t they be able to go check out and buy a pizza because they’ve accumulated and purchase so much products? They don’t they’re not ready to buy more products from you? How much can they buy, I mean, how many pots and pans can you get from William Sonoma, right? But you may keep referring people and have those kinds of rewards. So if there’s one, sales and marketing perspective, that that people should take away, is the power of the customer is still an untapped resource that’s available to you as much as it is to Coca Cola. This, there’s many great advertising and marketing things that are just inaccessible, unaffordable to the to the person with a small shop or a small online store. This is again, just the way that you think the way that you think and you can easily execute there’s technologies available that make it very easy to execute these plans.
Aaron Spatz 18:56
Man, it’s, it’s a, it’s a crazy thing to realize that so many companies are rewarding slash paying you to, to continue to use their product. And it’s, it’s a great example of priming the pump. And it’s like, okay, if I give you 20 bucks, cash back, I know that you’re probably gonna end up spending $86 in my store or whatever, they whatever they, whatever the model has to work out to be, you know, and so it’s like, why would I do that? It’s like, it’s like, Hey, Steve, give me $1 Okay, I’m gonna give you $10 back. It’s like,
Steve Jamieson 19:27
and what’s interesting is, even though people have the option to cash out and buy something else, 85% to 90% of people never cash out and only buy more products without without even forcing them to do it by making it more valuable. It’s just people that’s the nature it’s in my account. I’d rather leave it there. I love the store. And I know I’m going to buy something else. Wow. It’s tremendous,
Aaron Spatz 19:48
man. So So like with your experience, have you dealt primarily with with companies that they’re that are going and enacting this program or, or or and are you also Working with folks that are that are running like a little like a little shop out of their own home. And they’re kind of like the little social center of gravity for their for their community like heavy. Which, which side of that have you worked for? Have you worked both sides of that?
Steve Jamieson 20:14
A lot of my, I would say the majority of my business is not so much a single store owner is more of the person who’s the single store owner who maybe want to go online and have more diversity in those kinds of opportunities. So that’s where the the strength is, is, is people who want to go beyond where they are, versus just how to increase some sales of what they’re sure. But I’ve just been, I take all phone calls, I talked to everyone. Again, sometimes I’m not the person necessarily that they could work with every day, but there’s no one that I wouldn’t say hello to, and give them some advice and point them in the right direction.
Aaron Spatz 20:50
Sure, sure. Well, I mean, when we come back from break, what I’d like to do is I’d like to jump in to go back a little bit in your career and like to understand some of the biggest challenges and obstacles that you’ve had to overcome in, in this industry, and some work that you’ve done, because I’m, I’m sure there are plenty, plenty of stories, but I’d love I’d love to learn how, how you address some really big issues and how you overcame them and through all that, so, but you know, I’m just incredibly grateful and thankful for our amazing sponsorship. So just a quick shout out to Window craft window craft does a ton of window indoor work all across the metroplex, if you’re looking for architectural aluminum, iron, steel, bronze, windows and doors, and they can do slight, not just sliding, but folding, stacking, pivoting all sorts of different different ways to manipulate windows and doors. They’re the folks to call they do a lot of they also do a lot of historical replications, colleges, municipalities and of course, residential and other commercial work. And so I definitely give them a call. What’s really neat though, is they have in house installation crews, so you’re not just going to buy the window from them and then they’re not going to farm it out to some random group of folks across town to do the install all their folks work for them. And so you’re getting the same level of expertise and care and and professionalism that you would expect. And so I would certainly give them a call they work like a 200 mile radius from DFW, but I think moved in Georgia, their work is Dallas Plano, Southlake Fort Worth Westlake Colleyville that whole area. So we go to Window craft dot biz to learn more information about them. So grateful to them. So, Steve, again, this, this is all this already been a blast. I’m already I’m just sitting here taking notes, but the you know, going back in your career, and some of the challenges and things that you’ve seen, like what’s been one of the biggest defining moments for you in terms of your career, one of the biggest obstacles or challenges that that you had to overcome?
Steve Jamieson 22:44
I think from a from a day to day perspective, right? I always say it’s, this is a good example, if I tell you something is harmful, but I tell you something could cause you cancer, right? Everyone believes you. They don’t ask to see the white paper. They don’t ask to see the research. They don’t go work. You know, where do I google that? Right? They just assume it’s true, right? But when you ask that when you tell somebody that something is good for them. The skepticism, right? runs to the forefront. So if I tell you something is going to prevent cancer, it’s like, wow, you know, how is that true? How do I know that that’s true. So that psychology, right? Whether it be in business, giving them an idea they haven’t done before? Right? Having having them do something they haven’t seen before, is the hardest thing in business to do. By far. So it’s an obstacle you battle every day when you’re in the innovation business. Right? So you know, it’s the old Henry Ford deal. It was the example right? But the person who owns a horse, right, he only wants a faster horse, tell him there’s something to replace his horse? And he’s like, Well, you know, I’ll see how that goes. Right. And so I find that extremely hard. And it’s the same thing with, especially when you’re a small business owner with financing getting banks to believe in you getting your employees to believe in you. It’s it’s very, very difficult. And so many times for the larger companies actually teach innovation classes. Big you know, because the first thing I always say to people is do you have a chief innovation officer. And if you don’t, that means that you do it on Thursdays at two o’clock in the afternoon is as a part. Yet the most important thing in your business is what the next new idea is, and it’s a suggestion box. It’s a part time deal from every single person’s department. It doesn’t get the same level of importance is your accounting is your legal is your it makes no sense. So there’s there’s a whole approach and there’s also a very important how to create environments among employees, where they’re not afraid, you know, to have ideas. And so one of the great exercises I do is I always have the first board meeting I have with everyone. I say here’s the rule of the day. No one can say any ideas a bad idea? You have to say? What’s the best version of the idea that you just heard? So do your job to take what you think is a bad idea and say, what would be the best version of that idea? No one’s allowed just to say, oh, that won’t work. Tell me how it will work. Tell me the best version of how even if you don’t believe in it, if you don’t believe we should do it. Your job is to give me the best version is just like if if you work for the president knighted states and he wants to go take that hill, but you don’t think you should take the hill Your job is to tell him how to take the hill. Right? Right. It’s the same thing in business if you have to train people not to say no to people, because it just stifles innovation, stifles creativity, stops collaboration. And that’s where you get the resentments and the pettiness and hard to build a team. First thing you have to do is take take the word know, away from people’s vocabulary.
Aaron Spatz 25:54
Now, it’s great because you’re, you’re figuring out ways of how it could work. And you’re fostering teamwork, or fostering a culture, an environment where people care, and they feel like they can contribute and they can collaborate, and there is something there is something here, and it’s not this, you know, rule rule from on high. situation here, so, no, so I’m just I’m just going back and looking at some of the things that you’ve done. So I mean, you’ve had, you’ve had quite a, quite a few different things. So you’ve been a strategic advisor, it looks like for for a couple different companies. Tell me, tell me how that differs from some of your previous roles as CEO or as executive VP?
Steve Jamieson 26:32
Yeah, I mean, would, again, a strategic advisor is really a consultant, you know, in right sense. Yeah. And so at one point, you know, I was aligning myself with companies that had multiple clients, right. So, so that way, I mean, literally, from 10 to 11, I was consulting or being giving strategic advice to one company at 12 to one another. So because the truth is, I rather spend more of my time giving the advice and finding the client to give the advice to, right. So to me, that’s the the mundane part, I always feel like if I have to sell myself, I’m taking myself away out of the time of actually being effective for somebody else. So as a strategy for myself, I try to align myself with companies that have clients, but yet don’t have my point of view. And so I what I always say to somebody is I guarantee you that if you invite me in your office, two hours later, I’ll make a difference. Well, you know that that’s the challenge I want, I don’t need three hours of prep. You don’t hire me like McKenzie, and say, well, I need three months to study your business, and then I’m going to give you a business plan, and then we can go structure it No, I will do it at Hello, that that’s the how much I have a passion for it and have an intuitive now, after those two hours, it may take three months to you know, to execute. Sure, right. But the idea that that you will leave there feeling there’s a choice. Yeah, there’s a new choice. If you have a new strategy you didn’t think of with a new possibilities. That’s that’s the thrill that I have that I That’s the gift I think that I have is, it’s always you say, amaze me about lawyers, when you’re a CEO of a company. You know, unfortunately, you get, you know, lawyers too well, right. And I was amazed about how they could learn your business to defend your business better than you knew your business. Right? Like that they would cross examine an expert witness on a business, they didn’t have even heard of two months before. Right? In that perspective, right, that that’s a gift about how they’re able to do that. And I think it’s the same thing with consultants. His or good strategic adviser is again, I go back to that line, don’t hire somebody just to do a better version of a business model that’s not working for you. Right? It’s like, if they come with that, it’s why they probably don’t have a job, and it’s why they’re a consultant.
Aaron Spatz 28:55
Wow. No, well, I mean, so you’re kind of cracking up, but a different subject here, which I think would say, which I think is awesome. Because there’s, there’s a lot of folks that are consultants out there. And so you, you’ve made it a point, through your career of you’ve, obviously, you’ve built a tremendous network, you’ve been in a specific industry for a number of years, and no doubt you’ve done you’ve done quite well. And so I mean, you’ve got you got a lot of connections, but for folks that are in the consulting world, how do you see people because there’s so many of them, like so, like how do you set yourself apart as a consultant where people are seeking you out? Or like you, you really are making an impact? You’re not just another like another face?
Steve Jamieson 29:40
It’s very hard in the beginning, right? I mean, I had the luxury right of opening up a consulting after being a CEO. So as you say, just relationships, people, you know, thought they had access to me now where before before they didn’t so as a place to start, but I quickly knew that that I didn’t want to have have that business, that’s a part time business with an umbrella drink mentality, right? Just, you know, leveraging your relationships and your experiences and so, so the type of jobs that I would take, were the ones that were the most challenging and out of my comfort zone from that perspective, and that’s where I go to the great example of something like zoom. Right? Which, which I just think is, is interesting, because you go, here’s a company, that’s one of the most successful companies right in the past year, how could you have an impact on them? How could you teach them? Anything new? Right? I mean, what kind of nerve? What do you think you are that you get back on them? Right? It’s
Aaron Spatz 30:36
like, come on, Steve, what do you think?
Steve Jamieson 30:40
And so when they came to me for market share, right? It was really easy to say zoom for cheap. Right? You give me a whole bunch more features that that people can’t get unless they buy it through a direct sales company, right? Was the lay down that any consultant right would have cashed their check for right. And I approached it where how can I create a new zoom experience for people, as opposed to just being zoom for cheap? What if I could do both? What if I could really analyze them and going, where does it not work? And how could I make it a bad experience? What third party innovative technologies can I bolt on to zoom to make it where people talk about the experience, as opposed to just that they got it for less money? Right? So the first thing was a pricing strategy and a value proposition that value proposition today is we we created a if you went to zoom your and then went to their website and try to buy all the components that we put together our card from zoom direct, it would be $200 a month, we sold that for $12.95. For anybody, no minimums, no requirements, no contract, you can go to working live.us Working live.us and buy that product today, right. But once you get past the zoom for cheap, right, what you would see is, is that we added artificial intelligence to your zoom. So after you have a zoom, you get an instantaneous report that tells you how well you did as opposed to asking your friend. And we’ll say so literally guest number one, Robert wasn’t really responding to you, because he’s really informational based and you were doing an emotional appeal, where with Susan, she loved you, you should follow up with her right, using AI, right, we created a completely different zoom experience. The other thing we did is we create through our I found a software company that can create zoom ready presentations, with speaker notes, and audio and video so that everyone in your company can create the perfect presentation every single time, which is really important in direct sales, right? Or insurance in real estate, where you’re trying to as a company, you you want to know right from that perspective of are people making unified presentation. So that’s what I meant is is the approach, right? It’s not the details, right? But it’s the way you think. And then as soon as you put it out there, that you’re looking to create a better zoom experience. The job on you is not to think of it, people find you because then they want to be part of that train, they want to be part of that bandwagon. And so that’s how in the middle of a pandemic, when everyone was just signing up for zoom. They were seeking zoom with us because it was a different experience. And so that’s what I meant is less the fun part of the business. Right? Not just to have a success, but have a success that like to get that reaction from you were a Wow, isn’t that interesting? I used to call it can I create the watercooler let me show you what I’m dating myself, right? Because who knows even at the office anymore? Connect create a water cooler conversation the next morning and go hey, you won’t believe it. I saw this article yesterday, right? I you know, the idea that you come home for dinner and just think that it was worth talking about. Right? That’s the home run. Right? So like you say, if I say I joined this direct sales company, I say the craziest thing. I didn’t even I just looked at their site, and they put money in my account to go shopping, right? I’m gonna try to recruit you. And I’m trying to create a conversation where people go really? Is that how that works? Or I did this zoom. Right, and you won’t believe it. I saw this artificial intelligence report. And I did really well. I had no idea. You know, I didn’t realize I was so close. Those three people had said no, I didn’t realize I have a real chance with them. And I should follow up with them. We the other guy was really off face. I mean, I don’t even know if I want to go back to him. But I almost have to apologize, because of the way that they’re telling me that they react. Right. Wow. The other the other big thing that I’m working on in my business and again, I’m really focusing on AI not to replace what humans do, but sometimes to replace what human instinct tells us. Okay, right. And the biggest application that I see his customer acquisition interest so salespeople are far more effective when they’re talking to the right person. And what AI can do gives you the right people to talk to. And so if you take a company, let’s just say like Target or Best Buy, or Mary Kay, right. And we can take six months of all the customers who purchase their product, and six months of the customers who didn’t, and put that in, let’s say, the equivalent of an IBM Watson, right, we can develop a customer profile that is remarkably accurate. And then I can take names of people and tell you that Mary Smith, who lives in Plano, Texas, with mother of two has a 75% likelihood of being interested in buying skincare this month. And then I can buy names, emails and phone numbers of people that are just like married for people to talk to. So just think about how much more effective you would be when the person is three times more likely to say yes, before you said hello. So it still needs you, right? It’s not about your Click Funnels scenario, and they’re gonna click a button and you don’t have to talk to people, right? That, to me is the perfect marriage of technology. Technology doesn’t replace people, it makes people more effective. And that’s, you know, an exciting new area that, again, is going to be available to the person with one store. One, one website, you know, not just what I say the Coca Cola is of the world will afford that that’s the only ones who are able to afford that kind of technology.
Aaron Spatz 36:26
No, I mean, it’s a so I mean, you’re, again, you’re opening up a whole nother can of worms as it relates to AI, because that’s a, that’s a whole nother that’s a whole nother whole nother topic. And it’s really cool hearing you talk about that, and how companies and individuals can leverage that. And so just just like the Zoom example, so the Zoom Zoom example that you’re getting like, so that’s not a product that’s available, through like zoom.us, you, you would have to go through another supplier, you go
Steve Jamieson 36:53
to working live.us, personally, but when you use the product, you’ll actually you can log right, you’ll still be using the zoom, it’s not a white label, you know, version of zoom, it’s working Live platform, featuring zoom, as the as the tool. That’s
Aaron Spatz 37:08
pretty cool. That’s pretty cool off that, I’ll make a note of that. But with but as far as relates to AI, though, so you make a great point, I think so many people are afraid of technology. And I mean, who knows, maybe there is good reason to be a little a little bit apprehensive to some of it, but I think there’s so much more opportunity to be gained from it. And so like you’re, you’re you’re really hitting home a really important point, which is you can use and utilize and leverage AI to help give you a better quantifiable, but quality a qualified, you know, customer list or prospects list or something to start with. Because you know that you know, the quality is already going to be there versus you having to go through the the individual steps to try to filter people out or try to try to try to find your people, AI can help you find your people. But I think also kind of, to your point with with the whole zoom experiences, they can also give you feedback, like AI can give you feedback on how you’re doing with the people you have. And so, you know, how do companies then? And I’m thinking big or small, but you know, where do you see AI? Now going? Like, do you think this is just going to become more and more prominent in the way that it’s that’s being used?
Steve Jamieson 38:26
I think it’s going to be everywhere, you’ll see it in things like salesforce.com, where it’ll score all the people, you know, you’ll be able to upload the contacts from your phone, you know, or CSV file, and it’ll tell you who you should call and who you shouldn’t. It’ll tell you what content that you should send somebody, you know, be amazed, based on their demographics and likelihood. See, the thing about AI, what most people don’t realize is, is in a typical scenario, there’s about 1200 data points that are available in the public for, let’s say, an IBM Watson to evaluate. Now, a lot of people have privacy, so everyone doesn’t have access to it. So that’s why you can’t score everybody. But I say if there’s four or 500 people on your phone, maybe we can score 50 of them really effectively and with tremendous accuracy. So we’re only going to tell you, these are the 50 that you know, that you should focus on and will tell you how successful you should be. So can you imagine a baseball player not knowing that three out of 10 is a million dollar a year contract? Right? If you make 300? You know, well, most salesmen don’t know. So what if a salesman went over 10? But the truth is, based on those 10 people they talked to they should have gone over 10. Right. Right. And what if the AI keeps telling them they should be going, you know, five out of 10 and they’re failing? Or maybe is it the data? Or maybe it’s them, maybe we need to train them? Maybe AI tells them you need to study these kinds of tapes. Do you see what I mean? It really goes it can go very, very far. But like I say You know, five years ago, this was only available to Fortune 500 companies, right? Today it’s available, you know, to people who have a website that are paying Shopify 29. Five, that that’s the difference is technology for the first time is available to the masses. That’s the exciting part.
Aaron Spatz 40:19
My My concern with that, though, is, again, feel free to disagree, because I love the banter also. But like, so if there’s, if there’s a monopoly though, on the way that the way this is performed, like I’m thinking social media is a great example of this. I mean, you do, if you’re doing any number, any amount of advertising on social media, you’ll quickly realize the power of look alike audiences. And so how you can target target people, but then there’s a whole nother population of people that are very similar to this group of people, but you don’t know them yet. So let’s go find those people. And so but yeah, how do you make that information easily accessible to the masses? People that are maybe not the I mean, is this something I’m like doing a horrible job of trying to frame my question, but is this something where you feel is going to be more accessible to companies that have, say, 5 million in sales? Because they’re going to be able to afford the 3000 or $5,000 a month of the subscription for the service? Or is it going to get down to a point where the individual consumer, could could subscribe to this for $60 a month or something?
Steve Jamieson 41:25
It’s at that level now? Okay, I’m saying so that’s my point is one of the projects that I’ve been working on, that we’re just starting to introduce, is making those kinds of names, emails and phone numbers available for for argument’s sake, let’s say it’s $1, a person or $2, a person that and without having to buy 1000 or 100,000, that that was my job of how can I take AI and make it available to an independent contractor? Because remember, my point of view is not? How do I make Mary Kay corporate right? Use the tool? But how do I make the Mary Kay person sitting at their kitchen table, you know, do it right, as opposed to charging Mary Kay corporate, some ridiculous amount of money to go give to their people. I knew if I structured it, where the average homemaker, you know, could afford it. Now all of a sudden, it can scale beyond direct sales and scale virtually in any business, the key to make it work, is having enough data to form a really accurate customer profile. Right? So if I’m, if I’m a single, you know, flower shop owner, I may not have that data, so you can buy less effective data, still more effective data than you have, right? That’ll be the the biggest advantage between the large company and the small company is is how much data can you give me so I could give you a better profile? So even if let’s say that, because you don’t have I can generically give you a profile based maybe on on the type of product you’re selling, right? And so maybe you’ll be 40% effective, where the Mary Kay might be 75% effective? Because their data is so rich. Sure, yeah. But I can still move your needle, right? Is is the goal
Aaron Spatz 43:01
or toy? So what is that? What is that software? What does that company what is it? What is that opportunity there?
Steve Jamieson 43:08
That’s, that’ll be something that will be that will we putting on the working life platform, and I’m saying in about 90 days nice. And perspective, and the way that we’re gonna have people you know, access, it is kind of interesting, we’re going to use Amazon Alexa, as their distribution channel to get the idea that things are available to everyone, and that everyone is using those kind of tools is to do so you’ll log in and ask people you know, who won the cowboy game last night? And can you give me a prospect to talk to, you know, you know, who won? You know, what’s the weather? And how much did I do in retail sales yesterday? Yeah, so that’s the idea. Try to blend what I do every day in personal life and make my business as part of my personal life as well.
Aaron Spatz 43:56
I love that. And you know, you’re you’re causing me now to think of something else as you’re talking. I’m looking looking something up right now. So yeah, I was gonna is a really bad joke. Because when you said you know who won the Cowboys game last night? I was gonna say the other team cowboys. God bless, man, I hope they can get it figured out in the offseason and come back and come back this year. A little bit
Steve Jamieson 44:23
late, a little bit better. We’re always believers. Right. You know, by the time August September rolls around, they’re, you know, they’re super bowl favorites in our minds,
Aaron Spatz 44:30
right? Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. I’ve uh, you know, I’ve been I’ve been in DFW now for just a few years but you know, I kind of have to semi cheer for Dallas. You know, I’m a I’m a Jon Gruden, aka Raiders fan. So I’m hoping those guys hoping those guys can figure it out. But, you know, you brought up so you brought up a great point here and I think this has just been appointed. This is a totally selfish curious question here is what makes somebody successful in the direct sales role because I’m telling you, I, you know, you could take any cross section of society and let’s just, we can pick on the moms, right? If they’re selling fashion or beauty products, whatever. And I know, I know that’s not all there is there’s, there’s 1000s of different models of business that where this works for but it like I’ve seen, it’s definitely not successful for everybody like you’ll like there’s, there’s, there’s that one kind of person that just it just always just kind of works out for they are like the social magnet of their little community. And it seems like those are the people that you really want in these types of companies to kind of help sell products for them to do well. How does that work?
Steve Jamieson 45:41
What’s interesting, it’s kind of the opposite. In reality. I used to say to people right now, and I think you’ll have an aha moment. Right? Okay. All right, is I used to say that when I was in the entertainment business, right, there’s two types of performers. And I’ll date myself with the two people use it example because that’s what I used to use, right? I said, one was Richard Gere. Right? And one was Michael J. Fox. Okay. And if you’re a guy or even a woman, right, you looked at Richard Gere as a guy, anyone I want to be him. Right? And if a woman you know, I want to marry him, right, and it was almost like, I know, I’ll never be that guy. Right? And with Michael J. Fox, you go, I am him. Right? He’s me. in network marketing, the Richard Gere has never make it. Right? Just gets the Michael J. Fox has to do. It’s the people who are the mattress salesman, the carpet cleaners that just say, you know, look, I don’t know about all the ingredients in the product. All I know is I lost 27 pounds, three inches in my waist, and I feel great. That’s the person who makes it. The person who is simple and duplicatable, and scalable. And the really smart suit real estate superstar sales guys and the insurance guys who come in and go, Oh, God, I’ll kill it in this business. But the ones that are gone is quicker than any anyone else. Right? Those guys who learn, right that the key is finding 10,000 ordinary people doing ordinary things, versus a few 100 people doing extraordinary things. That’s that’s really the misnomer in our business that we need to find the person who’s the star of the room? No, we need just the other people in the room who show up every day to buy the product, who can literally only thing they do is just tell their own testimonial on how that product had an impact on them. That’s the magic when direct sales, you know, really works because no one can argue with your own result on your product. Sure, yeah. Right. So that’s why like when you’re selling Telecom, you know, like, remember ACN, of course, great Excel doubt, you know, those Dallas companies, right? People weren’t emotionally attached to their phone bill. Right. So they weren’t excited to go to their friend’s house and talk about that they say two cents a minute, right on their long distance bill. But they were excited right? When they were selling a health and nutrition product or skincare product that made them look great, feel great. All of a sudden got compliments from anyone else in the office, it’s almost like they didn’t have to talk about the product, people ask them about it. That’s the magic you need. I mean, the truth is about network marketing is actually the products are really good, because it’s not that expensive to make a great product. It’s not the difference between a cheap car and an expensive car. That cheap, ineffective nutritional product. And an expensive product is probably only a couple of bucks, right in a bottle at the manufacturing level. And that’s why traditionally, most network marketing companies forget the hype that goes around it, but actually a very effective and when you have an effective product, and a simple way of talking about it, and a simple message, and the kind of training and teaching that doesn’t allow people to you know, have to take out a notebook and take notes. But literally go hey, that’s who I am. That’s what I do. I can do that. And that’s what that’s when it when it works. Where if you join a Shopify Ecommerce site, and you’re alone, well now you got to buy like audiences on Facebook and now you got to figure out landing pages and and it becomes hard you don’t have the support of a big company behind you giving all those materials giving you those ideas. That’s our competitive advantage. In the in the industry, people really I found over time, people in the beginning used to like to be called independent contractors. I have my own business. No, the truth is they really wanted to be brand partners. People you know, if you can associate yourself with Apple, you can go no, I want to call it Steve’s shop. I want to Apple’s letting me represent them today. It’s pretty cool, right? That’s the difference. And and you know what Apple does for me, they give me my own website. They give me a merchant account. They give me marketing materials. They give me technology. They gave me a mobile app because they believe in me they believe I’m going to do that’s the difference. When you’re an extension of somebody else’s brand that you’re proud of. Exactly. And trying to do everything on your own.
Aaron Spatz 49:57
While you’re raising so many great points there because What you’re doing is you’re leveraging the brand equity of that already established company. And so in the one thing you said, and this would this would be like one of the soundbite audible moments of I mean, there’s several, don’t get me wrong. But one of the things that you said there, though, was the difference between a cheap and a high end product is often just a few dollars. And so, which I think blows people’s minds I can like, You mean to tell me this, like, the $65 bottle of shampoo is no different than the $14 bottle of shampoo. I mean, I’m not saying it’s the same, but it’s, it’s pretty dang close man.
Steve Jamieson 50:33
It really is, you know, and it’s what nutrition or skincare is one of the few things that whether you’re poor or rich, you it’s accessible. Not everything is true across the board, you know, people who are rich have better health insurance, they get better doctors, they get in the front of the line, you know, when it comes to nutrition, everyone can be in front of the line, if you believe, you know, in the efficacy of the products.
Aaron Spatz 51:00
You know, that’s the difference. And the products have to be good. I mean, and that’s really how that’s really how the brands are built. Right? It’s, you know, it’s product satisfaction, you know, what’s what, what is the execution? How, how are customers responding to that, and then, to your point, so I mean, the one of the big differentiators then becomes being able to tell the story behind the effectiveness of the product. And so the point I think you’re making earlier, when you and I were talking about the difference between, you know, the one lady that everybody knows, because she’s just miss popular versus the one the maybe somebody else who doesn’t quite have that social sway, may actually end up being more more.
Steve Jamieson 51:40
I don’t I don’t want my I don’t want my plumber to be my nutritional expert. Right. I only want my plumber to tell me that he lost weight. Yeah, it feels great. Yeah, that’s when network marketing gets a crazy deal. All of a sudden, the plumber thinks, you know, he’s he’s a pseudo scientist, right? on nutrition. It’s kind of like, okay, you must be in a network marketing company. Right? Yeah. Do this. If you’re a GNC, right, right.
Aaron Spatz 52:02
Right. Right. Great. Yeah, no, for sure. So that I mean, that’s it, that’s a very fair point. And then but the but the other difference being is the way that the stories are presented. So I mean, you may have, you may have some more products, you may have a, a premium product, that’s, you know, 3x what this other product is valued at, but the difference being in this could actually apply to either side of this conversation would just be the way that the information is presented, the way that is branded, the way that’s marketed, it’s supported, is going to drive like where, where that brand, or where that where those sales go.
Steve Jamieson 52:38
Absolutely, right. You know, the network marketing companies that charge more money for the product, so they can give more cash awards back are also the ones that don’t make it interesting. It needs to be priced, just as if it was in a retail store, have the same value proposition and depend on more sales for people to make more money than trying to make people rich, you know, off of selling a small amount of product. That’s an old school mistake that the industry made.
Aaron Spatz 53:05
Well, but you and you keep coming back to value proposition. And I think that’s incredible. And and this is probably the last thing we talked about before we wrap up, but like you, you mentioned value proposition many a number of times, as opposed to there be it again, we could probably have 10 conversations with 10 different people and get five answers on each side of the of, of this point here. But yeah, so you’re saying focus on the value proposition and putting it at a price point that is attainable. That is recognizable, as you know, maybe market standard, as opposed to charging a premium product there, therefore, I’m playing on the psychology that well, it must be a better and superior product, when that may or may not actually be
Steve Jamieson 53:47
the trial, I think it’s great to look at the difference between let’s say, you know, Apple phones and Android phones, try apple got all the cachet. Right? And were the most successful version of selling the brand. Right? But who sold more phones? Right? You know, so it’s just depending on which way you’re more comfortable, right? So if you have the resources to create a brand or you have the ability to create a culture, you’re then it’s not a value proposition, right? It’s a cultural proposition. I mean, people didn’t wait around the block for every new iPhone to open up, right? Because it was cheap, right? Actually, the more expensive it was actually more helped the brand, right? That’s you have to be a pretty sophisticated market or have some organic, natural cultural phenomenon happened to create that kind of a brand. Right? As opposed to Samsung, right? And Android phones that went strictly for value proposition and captured a much larger percentage of the market share both successful right I don’t you know, that works. But that’s how you got to know who you are and what your resources are.
Aaron Spatz 54:54
Mentally, we could probably go off in a whole nother hour talking about cultural proposition and brand plan, you know, that value Prop there. So that’s terrific. Steve, I just don’t you know, out of out of respect your time, I just want I just want to thank you so much for being here. But how can people get in touch with you? What’s what’s what’s the best way that
Steve Jamieson 55:11
they can just go to my website working dot social and they can book an appointment to talk or my phone number is on there. And you’d be surprised how how few people actually call. They’re too intimidated or shy. So that’s why I always encourage people. But I will turn everyone who at some point, I’ll return everyone’s phone call.
Aaron Spatz 55:31
That’s, that’s fantastic. Well, I think it’s I think it’s brilliant, but stupid. No, I mean, really, I just really, I’ve really appreciated our conversation. It’s been it’s been a lot of fun. Thank you so much for making time to be with me.
Steve Jamieson 55:46
Well, thank you very much. It was great. And thank you for your audience. Hopefully, we’re probably a bigger audience than usual because everyone’s home. And that’s right. That’s right, their their powers off maybe all the role we have today. Right?
Aaron Spatz 55:59
That’s right. That’s right. Hopefully, hopefully the cell towers are up and and hopefully Wi Fi is is going to come back if it’s not back already. But no, Steve, thanks again, so much. Appreciate you. Okay,
Steve Jamieson 56:09
stay safe everybody.
Aaron Spatz 56:15
Thanks for listening to America’s entrepreneur. If you enjoyed the show, please leave a review or comment on your preferred social media platform. share it out with friends, family, coworkers, others in your network. And of course, you can write me directly at Erin at Bold media.us That’s a Ron at Old media.us Till next time