Ugandan women sell health, using the Avon ladies’ approach. Yes, door-to-door outreach looks different in villages than in American suburbs.
But a template leverages profits faster for them, and for you. The same woman-to-woman franchise that sold creams and make-up in the U.S. is selling preventive know-how to stop malaria, diarrhea and TB in over 100 countries. Using a micro-finance template to franchising, LivingGoods, based here in my town of Sausalito, has built “an $8 billion business with over five million agents.” These “mobile health entrepreneurs” get uniforms, training, promotional support and quality monitoring. Like Delancey Street, LivingGoods provides all the tools to actually change behavior as described in Influencer.
The licensed agents are not taught to shame people out of dangerous health habits.
Telling clients what they should do doesn’t work. Instead, Albert Bandura advises, link people’s actions to their values. Influence expert, William Miller told the authors of Influencer:
• “The more you try to control others, the less control you gain.
• The instant you stop trying to impose your agenda on others, you eliminate the fight for control.
• You sidestep irrelevant battles over whose view of the world is correct.”
– Ask what better outcome someone wants, listening closely
– Then offer suggestions that help her reach those outcomes, offering steady support over time.
Living Goods agents gain confidence and make more money over time as they get frequent, consistent feedback on their skill-building progress.
You, too, can adopt the Leveraging Effect
The LivingGoods template is scalable. It can be replicated elsewhere – and honed over time because those who use it experience direct benefit from improving it. Similarly, Nido Qubein’s Great Harvest Bread franchisees enjoy profits and camaraderie by sharing ways to grow their local bakeries faster. To thrive in a down economy, use your skills to craft a template – a business model that you can franchise or license to others – or coach them to implement on their own as Susan Page and Jake have done.