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The power of network marketing is the people and referrals. That’s the core on which the business is built. In today’s episode, Tony Rubleski, the author of Positive Disruption, shares some of the principles around referral marketing. Tony also added the two core ideas built around the book, Positive Disruption Vol. 2, which provides great value as this resource tool aids everyone to help them develop and self-reflect. What’s the powerful way to market? Tune in and find out more in this episode today!
Tony Rubleski: Author Of Positive Disruption Vol. 2
Welcome to the show. I am with Tony Rubleski. Tony, it’s going to be fun. You are the author of Positive Disruption, and you have the second volume coming out, which is exciting. I know you have a big marketing campaign coming out around that. I’m excited to have you on the show. I love for you to open up and share a little bit of your background, and how you got to the space that you’re in, and we’ll get rolling there.
Patrick, it’s good to be on. I congratulate you. Let’s get this thing rolling. Your team reached out to us. In the last few weeks, we put this together. What I teach is the strategy of mind capture. How do you stand out in a nine-second attention span world? I’ve been doing this for quite a while, but I feel like a student every day. I’m constantly learning. What I’d like to convey to your viewers here is that the things we talk about are real world. They’re very applicable. If you ask me a question out of the left field that I can’t answer, I’m going to tell you I don’t know. How is that?
I like it. Two of the things we talked about are the importance of referral marketing and network marketing. There are too many imposters, Tony. They’re imposters because they’re teaching direct digital marketing concepts. They’re influencers. It’s a one-to-many approach, and they’re pretending to be network marketers. The power of network marketing is the people, and referrals are what the whole business is built on. I’m excited about diving into that a little bit, and some of the principles you teach around referral marketing.
The big thing is that word of mouth is still by far the most powerful way to market. The communication challenges are still the same of nine seconds, but now we have more media than ever. I look at it and say the average person knows about 250 people in their sphere of influence. Your mission is once they become a good client and a fan of the product or service that you are marketing, you tap into their circle of 250. What’s made it even easier in the last twenty years is now you can go onto their Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can see who they network with from more of a social level on Facebook to more of a corporate B2B level on LinkedIn.
Now, you have TikTok, which is all over the place. There’s no excuse not to be able to find direct circles of influence with your best customers and your team or your distributors. When I was in this industry many years ago, what I got really good at was customer acquisition in college. It has been a few decades, so I’m going to date myself here, but I love the sales aspect. I did it door to door back in the ’90s. I was young, dumb, and didn’t know anything different than just going out and making a bunch of knocks on doors. That is probably the worst way to do it. I learned at 19 and 20 years old to knock on doors and didn’t have any fear. I also learned a few years later that there are better ways to market.
I got around great mentors that taught me how to sell, how to work referrals, and how to be in a professional networking group. There are tons of them out there through chambers of commerce and local business associations where you’re going to naturally meet people that are also looking to meet other contacts or referral partners. A lot of what I teach is rolling your sleeves up old school, but it’s the blocking and tackling that is timeless, no matter what one-to-many platforms are out there. How is that for an opening shot?
I like it. One of the challenges is there’s a lot of coaching that says you don’t have to talk to anybody. You’re being very direct about this being a business of relationships and referrals. Let’s just face that out of the gate. There’s power in referral marketing. There’s power in the relationship. Can you speak to that a little bit? Why is it so much more effective than the one-to-many approach or the digital marketing approach, especially now?
Look at your inbox, text, phone, or anything you have for communication going back and forth. You can tell when people are doing a canned approach. You’ve seen thousands of them in the last few years alone. If it’s not customized, it doesn’t connect. The thing I teach a lot is in the age of digital, you must customize to connect with people. The best form of introduction or referral is that what someone else says about you is a thousand times more believable than your brochure, your slick webpage, and your blog post. If their friend, brother, or sister loves that product or service, and they refer you to someone they know, there’s a higher chance that the pre-selling is done for you.
It doesn’t mean they’re going to commit to the product or the opportunity yet, but you don’t have to go through all the cold calling, all the calls the sales resistance, or the BS meter. Everyone knows what that means. Every market has it. Particularly if we’re North America, we’re the most bombarded saturated market in the US with marketing messages. If it looks like a pitch and it smells too good to be true, people know, “Wait for it. Here it comes.”
To me, word of mouth still trumps everything. If someone says, “I trust this person, you should get ahold of them, or they’re going to reach out to you,” you have a better chance of getting more presentations, you don’t feel as nervous, and they’re pre-sold in the fact that I’ll give you an audience at least, or I’ll give you a few minutes of my time, or we can do a Zoom call now as we’ve done in the last few years. It is much smarter to work that way.
Cold calling is also very uncomfortable. No one likes to do it. If there’s a smarter way to get in front of people that might be the best prospects for your company, product, or service, go the smartest path. The other thing you mentioned is that everyone is selling the fact that it’s all easy to get leads, but converting them and then making them stick for the long haul, that’s a challenge. Jim Rohn, the late great trainer of the personal development and network marketing space, used to say, “No one can do your push-ups for you.” I turned 50 this summer. I look back and go, “Everyone is selling the super path of least resistance. It takes hard work.”
What frustrates me is a lot of direct sales companies are still selling all this hype. Get down to basic blocking and tackling. Teach your distributor force how to sell and how to ask for introductions or referrals. Let them know why people are so resistant, not to scare them away from the opportunity. We’re all adults. If we don’t provide the proper training, you send them out there, and they sound scripted. They try a lead generation email, they pop the email, and it’s scripted. There’s nothing wrong with scripting. If it’s all being duplicated over and over in the same prospect and it gets hit with the same seven scripts, everyone loses credibility.
As we head into 2023, more of the blocking and tackling, for a lot of my corporate clients that aren’t in the direct sales space, they’re going to get in here even now. Get in here faster because it’s tightened up. We need to know the basics so our sales force doesn’t burn out. They’re motivated. They pick up the phone or email or do the Zoom appointments when they don’t maybe feel like it, but they push through knowing that these things statistically work. They’re not built on hype. Again, no one is going to do your push-ups for you as Jim Rohn taught me in my twenties.
The blocking and tackling are so critical. When I started 25 years ago, I had a VHS tape, a fax, a phone, and a meeting. That was it. That was the whole business. It was easy for my sponsor to teach blocking and tackling because I wasn’t confused about what the tools were. It’s all you could do. This is it. You have these four, let’s talk about blocking and tackling. Now, the average person has so many distractions, with so many people promising a get-rich-quick model. How do you then teach the how-tos? I know mindset is more important, and we’ll get to that.
You do have to grab that brand new person and say, “This is what I want you to do. Be authentic. Be somewhat creative.” At the same time, if they have to invent their own marketing process, network marketing becomes incredibly difficult. There’s got to be some processor system. Are you teaching anything in particular there now to those top leaders or enterprises?
The answer is yes. My whole thing is you manage expectations. You don’t build a business within a month usually. It’s usually a 3 to 5-year process. The same if someone is selling life insurance through a legacy company or someone is selling it through a direct sales model. You manage expectations. You see the top producers. They’re your true north, beacon, and aspiration to get there. They don’t often tell you that it maybe took them 5 or 10 years, or they moved from one company. As an outsider looking in, this happens all the time. They pull their downlines over and they jump from company to company.
Manage expectations. You don’t build a business within a month usually. It’s usually a three to five-year process.
People are catching on because they can do reviews on people. They can check out different stuff through Google. The digital trail now is making the appearance of overnight success really start to fade away because people can jump from that company. A year later, they’re making $100,000 a month because Multistar Group found them. That’s not directly teachable to someone brand new. I don’t have any problems saying this. That’s what makes me off about the direct sales industry as an outsider. There’s a lot of cross-recruiting.
That’s gone on since the beginning of time, but then there’s not a real honest explanation of how some of those distributors got there. I’m not trying to pick apart success. What I’m saying is if you manage expectations and you tell that brand new recruit, typically if they’re new to the industry, it’s going to take a few years to build it to this income level, then they’re not being sold a false bill of goods.
Maybe a reason that I don’t get welcomed into some of these groups is that I get the mindset, but there have to be some logical ways to market and be able to sell what you do. That’s true of any type of organization. Let me get this out of the way. Everyone that joins a direct sales company, they’re in sales. They think, “It’s all point and click. It’s really easy. I don’t have to sell anything.” I go, “Get me out of here.”
Everyone right now on this planet, if they’re trying to advance an idea of product, service, invention, and crowdfunding, we’re selling. Everyone is selling. There’s nothing wrong with it. If I have lawyers sit in an audience that watches me, or CPAs that’ll have me come in and train their accountants on how to do referral marketing, the first half an hour, they’re terrified. They’re like, “I’m not a salesperson.” I’m like, “It’s okay to admit that you’re in sales. It’s a very noble profession.”
The minister on Saturday, Sunday, or Friday at the synagogue is trying to sell you the message. The political fundraisers are about selling. There is nothing wrong with it. We’re now at a point in the age of the internet and Zoom calls that people need to know you have to get good at selling. It’s going to help you even in the opportunity that you’re joining.
If you love the company that you’re with right now, the better salesperson you become, the more you can positively disrupt or influence people. It’s gotten that connotation in Hollywood, “I don’t want to be a salesperson.” I don’t want to be a pushy salesperson, that’s why I love referral marketing. I’d rather be introduced to people than cold call like I used to do years ago. There’s a better way. That’s why I’m so adamant about referrals.
If you love the company you’re with today, the better salesperson you become, the more you can positively disrupt or influence people.
You said two components. The referral marketing side is critical, and knowing the fundamentals there, and then the mindset component. Talk to us about that a little bit. How do you execute teaching and driving proper mindset as a leader of an organization?
The big thing is it’s a lot of habit replacement. When I first started out in the direct sales industry many years ago, it was a shift to go from working to get a paycheck from 9:00 to 5:00 or 8:00 to 6:00 to having residual income. Also, the mindset is critical because those around you are going to think maybe you’re a little bit too high, crazy, nuts, or you’re in that new opportunity because they’ve seen other people around them get into a direct sales company, and drive them nuts. There’s a subtlety that also has to be trained that if you’re calling people randomly out of the blue, “Let’s meet,” they’re going to go,” What’s going on here?” It’s under a false pretense.
This happened to me recently. A guy I went to high school with texted me and was like, “Can we meet? I’m going through a divorce. I know you’ve been through one. Can you help me?” I got to Panera Bread with him Friday. After about five minutes, he went, “You’re into health and fitness and working out, Tony.” I said, “Yeah.” He goes, “I’m a part of a nutritional company.” I’ll call him Mike for safety. I said, “Mike, I need to help you with a very deep personal matter. I have a book launch. I’m really busy. I’ve always felt to give back to other friends of mine that are hurting. I left the meeting. That was a setup meeting. I’m not dumb, Patrick.
I’ve prayed and meditated out in the last few days. I haven’t heard from him. I’m wondering if that was a sneak-up meeting to present his opportunity, to which he texted me a link, and I told him no twice. I said, “I’m busy for the next few weeks. Send me a sample or get back to me in January.” I don’t know who trained him or what was going on, but that to me was a setup. It occurs millions of times a day. Please, if you’re a CEO, don’t teach that. People are onto it. It hurts the whole industry.
I live 30 miles away from Amway Corporation, the granddaddy of them all. The joke is somebody is going to meet you that you haven’t seen in years. They start going in circles, and you’re going to get a pitch meeting. No disrespect to Amway or whatever their name is now or their divisions, but people has seen it all. I was surprised that he tried to prospect me under a false pretense.
It makes a distributor even more comfortable. Now, they’re coached to do this. They sit there for 45 minutes, and they’ve done it under a false pretense. That’s even worse than calling. I don’t mind the direct approach, “This is what I’m doing. Would you do me a favor? Check out this survey. Let me know what you think. It’ll take you one minute.” It’s clear. “This is what I’m doing. Would you take my one-minute survey?” I get some insights. I follow up. “Here’s the reason I called.” When you do that whole other thing, now they’re sitting there and they don’t even know how to transition. They’re so uncomfortable because they know they’ve done it.
He said, “There’s a meeting next week that I’m going to be in.” I said, “I have a book launch coming up. I can’t.” I’ll call him again, “Mike, the answer is no.” He was like, “Come on. You can get there.” I said, “I can’t. We are going to be swamped. Me getting right here now to Panera Bread, and I know you’re meeting with your daughter for lunch, I cleared some stuff to get here to help you.” I thought, wait a minute. All of a sudden, we shifted to him wanting me to get into a meeting. It was probably a presentation, which is great. I just thought, no.
That’s crazy, isn’t it?
I look at it and go back to the mindset question. Habit replacement. When you start into direct sales, it’s beautiful. I love it. It got me into the personal development industry. I was in college learning more of the academic, and ivory tower way of looking at business. Direct sales open this whole world of, how do you prospect? How do you build a residual income? Entrepreneurship was gifted to me at nineteen years old. I have huge respect for the industry. Getting a residual income check in college seemed like the eighth wonder of the world.
I know that times have changed, but had that door not opened to get into direct sales, I probably don’t evolve to where I’m at now. I am grateful for that opportunity. The company that recruited me is still booming all these years later. The habit that stuck with me was to continue to work on myself. You got to be around positive people. You have to replace your spare time with more positive habits. You have to be aware that people around you are going to maybe freak out because you’ve changed.
Society still likes the fact that you’re keeping up with the challenges you stay about to someone’s level. I will warn you, a lot of the CEOs know this, many times your friends and family will turn on you because they think you’ve lost your mind, “You’re going to build a business? Aren’t you busy enough?” Here’s the good news. In the last five years, what’s become a common term in our vernacular in business is a side hustle. All the folks that are under 30, the Gen Z are like, “I don’t have loyalty to a company anymore. I have 2 or 3 side hustles.”
If I’m an executive at a network marketing company watching or hearing this interview, I’m like, “The next age group is open for multiple streams of income.” Maybe they don’t want to go work for a corporation for hopefully 20 or 30 years. They’re already entrepreneurial focus. If the right opportunity, the right person, and the product or service suit them, they’re looking for a side hustle, aka a direct sales opportunity. If you come full circle, the younger generations are very open to entrepreneurship if it’s done right. I’m telling the war stories here, but there are lessons that we call wisdom for those of us that are a little bit older chronologically.
They look at it as another big economy affiliate partnership relationship. Talk to us about the book. Would it be good for an individual distributor or rep, or is it good for a leader? Positive Disruption Vol. 2. What’s that about? As we come to a close here, Tony, what’s a good audience for the book?
What I’m finding is a lot of leaders will get it and go, “I want 500.” They’ll order for all their employees. For example, my health club ordered 300 of them for all the members of the club. The book is a daily quote and a question. In there, people write down and journal self-reflective questions. It’s a great personal resource tool to develop someone daily to get them in the habit of getting a little selfish to invest in going inward and saying, “A great question and a great quote to help me self-reflect. It helps us to have great ideas. A lot of gratitude is flowing through the pages of the book.” I am shocked, that’s why we put in Vol. 2 out. I love quotes and questions, the Socratic method. I know you’re big into a lot of that as me into science work.
What I’m finding is I have therapists, yoga instructors, and CEOs going, “We want everyone to have this book right now.” I didn’t know the first volume a couple of years ago would take off the way it did. It’s been fun. What happened is when we came out of the lockdowns in COVID, people said, “I have to stop and look at my life a little bit differently.” When the world was put into a timeout and things slowed down for many people, they started to question, “What is my purpose? What is my why?” Do I want to do things differently? Do I value the people that maybe I can’t physically see now?
The book to me is a great way to go inward, go upward, and commit a lot of acts of kindness throughout the given day. It’s fun. I’ve done the book myself, Vol. 1. I go back and look at my notes and go, “That was interesting. I’m glad I connected with that person.” It’s pretty much a self-reflective journal. It’s about the reader more so than me.
It’s hard to change anything in our lives that we’re not even aware of as a problem. It’s all about change and growth. Awareness is such a huge step. We had our big monthly AHOD, our all hands on deck company-wide call with people in nine countries around the world. We have everybody working on this activity tracker to have a little more awareness, more for their own personal use saying, “What am I doing every day? Where am I spending my time and energy? Where are the highest energy levels? It’s amazing how much awareness can come from little exercises. You’re talking about daily journaling. How much journaling are you suggesting they’re doing in the book?
Typically, folks will recommend it. They’ll get back to me and say, “We do it for a few minutes throughout the day.” There are a few action steps. I’ll go to today’s quote here real quick. We’re recording this on December 5th. Rodney Winter says, “Scars are not signs of weakness. They’re signs of survival and endurance. Question up. Shift your day. What’s one setback in your life that taught you a valuable lesson?” We go from both the positive and the negative side of life, the two wheels or the duality, and guide them. They will send a gratitude note or a thank you to three people right now. Who are those three people? It’s fun to see the ripple effect of each day, there’s a new quote in question to challenge you, but also have you reflect deeply.
I think it’s interesting. When I plug in my cell phone, I’m reaching down for my charger. Every day, we charge our cell phones. What are we doing to charge our spirit each night? You’re sexy to be going 80 hours a week and burn yourself out to go. There are people that are looking for equanimity and more harmony. Balance is tricky. If you’re a leader like I am, I know you’re a leader, you can get way out of control with your life balance. My balance is so messed up right now. I’m going to the gym afterward to stay in physical shape after this interview. I have been trying my best to not get out of balance with the book launch.
I had an interview last night with a podcaster in Australia on a Sunday night, time changes, and who we’re with. That’s trying to be very present in the specific compartment of the day. Knowing that things are lined down the line, but the same stop, recharge each day, Tony, with your habits, goals, physicality, meditations, and writing each day. Those things will produce consistent results versus me going. I’m burned out. Now, I’m sick, grumpy, and can’t be a better service to my top clients because I ran too fast and was too curious.
Too many people are living in the reactive versus the proactive. I was with some friends and they were all talking about the Netflix episodes they were binge-watching. My wife for twenty-some years and I were there. We’ve been listening to this marriage podcast. It’s 5 or 10 minutes a day. It’s really good. They all looked at us like deer in the headlights almost like, “Are you guys okay?”
There’s no problem that I want to improve this area of my life. Unfortunately, there’s too much of that reactive versus proactive. That’s an exercise. That sounds like it would be great for everybody. I’m excited to check it out myself. Tony, where can people reach you that might want more information on the book, on getting you to come in and speak at an engagement, or at least looking at what the options are? How do they reach out to you?
The simplest way to research the hood is to go to MindCaptureGroup.com. It’s my main URL. To get the books, probably Amazon or Barnes & Noble is your best way. If someone has an interest in bulk, they could email our team operations at Mind Capture Group. We get a lot of those orders. For sure, Patrick, I will send you a few books in your direction. Are you guys in Colorado?
I’ll get you a few copies as well. Thank you for this, and for having the guts to bring me on because this is definitely an industry I’d like to get more into. It’s a matter of them feeling safe that I’m not going to make everyone mad in the organization. I’m not a threat, but I’m here to help because I love people. I love watching people succeed. There are different avenues to get there. There are direct sales models, indirect, corporate, and affiliates. You name it, I’ve trained in it. It’s an industry in 2023 that we want to get out there and say, “Here we are. We’ve been doing this a lot of time.”
I got to tell you. I think the timing is good too. With COVID and the pandemic, there were so many people that were looking for solutions. They weren’t able to connect one-on-one, and they were desperate. They started to look at these internet marketers and these social media gurus as the solution, and it’s not. It’s a very different business. If that works, you don’t need people.
Now, people are getting back to the gritty nature of, “I’m going to go out there. I’ll get a little out of my comfort zone. I’ll learn to build relationships. I’ll build rapport. I’ll build a real team.” The truth and the hard facts of life are it’s not a walk in the park, it’s not easy, but it’s rewarding, and it can be incredibly beneficial. I think people are ready for that message. It’s been awesome having you on, and I think the timing is good.
I appreciate it. Thank you very much. Keep up the good work you’re doing. Thank you for sharing that tip about your wife because I’m always learning constantly too, Patrick. It’s a great way to keep that connection strong.
About Tony Rubleski
Tony is the president of Mind Capture Group, where his message is designed to help people “capture” more minds and profits. He is an in-demand speaker who’s given hundreds of presentations as well as an executive business coach, bestselling author, and creator of the Mind Capture Bootcamp, now in its 12th year. He has over 25 years of experience in the personal development industry.