Those Two Little Lessons

By: Dan Kennedy on: February 18th, 2011 1 Comment

Lesson#1: I cut my teeth in the Amway business, and at age 16, had a fairly large retail business, doing about $2,000.00 to $4,000.00 a month, all with customers acquired ‘cold’. What I quickly discovered was that it was more efficient to expand usage of each customer than to get more customers.

We had about 150 home care and personal care products. The average customer, left to her own devices, used and repeatedly purchased 2 to 5.

When I surveyed other distributors upline and, sadly, my downline, I found the typical distributor’s customer was buying 5 or fewer products. My average customer used 15 to 25.


Because I relentlessly pushed what they weren’t yet using. Giving free samples, demo’ing, incentivizing; every delivery of what they used brought with it promotion of what they didn’t.

I constantly reminded the customer of everything we offered.

Over the years, I’ve learned all businesses are the same. Most businesses’ customers use only a small portion of everything the business offers – in some cases, splitting business up only because they are not aware that Business #A does it all. And the business owner NEVER monitors EACH customer for what they do and don’t use, in order to talk to each customer about what they don’t.

Once, consulting with a big printing company, I analyzed their top 200 accounts. One leapt out: with them 7 years, buying large quantities of letterhead, #10 envelopes, and 9×12” envelopes. Nothing else.

I asked: what are they mailing in all those 9×12” envelopes? Dunno.

Hey, let’s ask. Turned out it was catalogs.

And they said “Never asked you to quote on those. Didn’t think you printed catalogs.”

Printer said: “Idiots. The big sign right behind my counter has a list of what we do and Catalogs is right up there.”

In the 5 years, the account had bought 500,000 9×12” envelopes so 500,000 catalogs not printed there, at estimated net of 30 cents per: $150,000.00 missed.

And who’s the idiot? See, you gotta tell ‘em constantly about everything you offer. Over and over again. Take a look at who isn’t buying what and find out why. Acres of diamonds underfoot.

Lesson#2: This hot, popular nightclub I frequented years ago started selling membership cards that let you stand in the shorter line at the back door and get in ahead of the big line of mopes at the front door.

Card cost $300 a year. But once you were in, nobody could tell you were a VIP instead of a schmuck. Until they gave you a nice VIP pin to wear. Which let them charge $600.00. Pin cost $1.

Point: status. People want it. Usually, giving status costs little, or selling it offers highest profit margins imaginable.

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    One Response

    1. Ive never been in away, but some of my friends were. They didn’t get very far, but the training did teach them great discipline and sales training

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