Learning Strategies that Support Independent Distributors Through 4Life University
How 4Life uses optional learning to support the bottom line.
“If you’ve had a negative experience with a network marketing company… I’m sorry. That’s why we’re using Bridge, to train our distributors on how to better share our products and how to engage in proper relationships,” remarked Matt Lisonbee, Director, Marketing & Sales Initiatives at 4Life. As a network marketing company with offices and distributors in over 25 countries, this worldwide enterprise has been around since 1998, and with good reason: They aim to provide access to amazing products through a network of great relationships.
“We had hundreds of thousands of distributors following the same system,” commented Lisonbee. “People were doing things in print, in person, and even using DVDs. To help our distributor base, I knew we needed a learning system that was much more streamlined, online, and something that anyone could access at any time. It had to be something that didn’t create barriers around the world.”
Lisonbee did a lot of research into different systems to solve his global challenge; in fact, he even mocked up his ideal version of what a learning experience would look like for the vast network of 4Life distributors. But after endless online searches, lots of reading up on best practices, and going through a lot of software demos, Lisonbee felt that every other system was “old school and outdated” compared to Bridge. According to Lisonbee, “At the end of the day, it was the experience of the distributor that mattered. We needed a system that was extra easy to use.”
“Bridge felt very clean, user friendly, simple, and easy to use,” continued Lisonbee. But much of that easy experience can be attributed to Lisonbee’s strategic approach to setup and rollout of the learning strategy. Lisonbee keenly understood that he had to provide a seamless, helpful experience for his learners: “You can get training in a lot of systems, but what matters is if people are able to use the system. If they don’t use it, then they don’t get the training.” Lisonbee’s strategy focused on a few core principles:
- Enable an amazing front-end experience: Because trainings are optional learning, it was imperative for Lisonbee to create an amazing user experience. This started with developing the right back-end framework. As a global company, where learners needed to access content in many languages, Lisonbee leveraged sub accounts and Smart Groups to ensure learners received just what they needed, in the right language. “We weren’t sure how to set up initially, given our international markets. But it’s a no-brainer to create separate sub accounts. That way you can see data specifically related to them. For us, every market is its own sub account. But we also have multiple languages per sub account,” explained Lisonbee. “We love Smart Groups. They let us segment the learning specifically to the user we want to target.”
- Get leaders involved—and creating their own content: “Leadership endorsement has proven really valuable for us,” Lisonbee noted. “We created a lot of content at the home office and passed it out internationally. I found out that we at the home office created content in a vacuum and then asked offices to implement. Luckily, we’ve still been very successful, but I learned quite quickly that each general manager had goals they wanted to accomplish. So everything except what directly affected sales got put on the back burner. But if you can get them involved and make them feel a part of it, then it can make a huge difference.” To this end, Lisonbee quickly iterated to ensure that offices around the world could leverage resources the home office created, while also encouraging them to create and distribute their own, regional trainings: “We give them the autonomy to create trainings for their market, and we encourage and train them to get involved.”
- Make a big splash to launch, and follow up: “We made huge noise when we launched. We gathered all our leaders together in one location and launched on stage, and we did a Facebook Live event as well. We launched in front of our most prominent people who needed to know.” Lisonbee continued to remark how important it was to get people excited about the training resources and to communicate and follow up: “The fortune is in the follow-up. You’ve spent so much time getting your leadership engaged. Follow up, follow up, and follow up with key people. Review the data with your people, and make them responsible for what’s happening.”
How 4Life Measures Success
Though Lisonbee is not done innovating, he has already created an extremely adoptable program with 4Life University.
98% Active Users:
As Lisonbee puts it, “These are regular people like you and me who love our products and want to share them with other people. We’re using Bridge to answer the question ‘What do I do next?’ after they sign up.” Of the 18,412 users Lisonbee and team have enrolled in less than a year in 4Life University, 18,020 are active users, which includes users in over 18 countries around the world. This astonishing 98% adoption rate is testament to how well Lisonbee and team have executed on their strategy and communication and represents a huge population of distributors who now better understand how to succeed in selling 4Life products.