I’m flooded with network marketing associates who want me to become a distributor for the companies they represent the majority of these are nutritional. In the following interview with Dr. James DiIenno, I investigate how being involved in MLM has changed this doctor’s income, free time and practice.” Bruce Goldsmith (Federation of Chiropractic Education and Research) completed a report called, “The New Millennium Chiropractor,” to provide strategies for chiropractors to be successful in the years to come. One of the strategies emphasized that chiropractors need to develop a more cash-based practice. No surprise. The report goes on to show that as the baby-boomer generations are getting older, more and more people are looking to prevent disease and slow their aging process. Nutritional products are becoming ever more popular each passing year. The overcrowded supplement shelves at health food stores and drug stores attest to this, but the educated baby-boomers want good advice and direction in choosing their supplements. As the numbers looking for alternatives to traditional medical care swell, chiropractic is perfectly poised for this blossoming trend. Nutritional/vitamin counseling will become a booming industry as we cross into the next century. According to their report, many chiropractors will make this an integral part of their health program.
Let’s face it, nutrition is a wonderful “fit” for chiropractic, but with so many unsolicited audio cassettes arriving weekly and sometimes daily, which marketing plan and products to choose is certainly a challenge. Every one of them claim to be the one you and I have been waiting and looking for.
Because of the nature of my business, I’m flooded with network marketing associates who want me to become a distributor for the companies they represent. The majority of these are nutritional. I decided to speak with DCs who are achieving great success with network-marketed nutritional products. The following is an interview with one such chiropractor, Dr. James DiIenno of St. Petersburg, Florida. I chose him because he is well qualified to analyze the value of nutritional products in a practice. He has been a chiropractic physician for 21 years, is Board Certified with the American Chiropractic Board of Nutrition, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist with the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists and has been President of the Florida Chiropractic Association Council on Nutrition. He chose a network marketing company that is not only delivering on its promises in product and compensation, but has some unique qualities as well. Perhaps his criteria will help you evaluate the offerings before you. Here is how he integrated it into his practice.
Did you try other multi-level marketing companies before this one?
No. I always had a somewhat closed minded opinion of multi-level marketing. My pride probably got in my way. I was also extremely cautious about aligning my credibility with any business that could possibly tarnish my reputation.
How did you hear about this opportunity?
Actually, my accountant suggested that I look at this business. We had recently discussed financial alternatives due to the fact that managed care was affecting me like so many other chiropractors. After all, if you have to work harder to make the same amount of money or work the same amount and make less money, your standard of living is significantly affected. I was looking for a way of providing additional income on a part-time basis with a credible product line and company. Scientific validity and high corporate integrity were essential to my decision.
How did you choose a company?
Because of my years of involvement, study and certification in nutrition, I have been exposed to literally hundreds of products and companies. I have never aligned myself with any one particular company. I would usually play the “Devil’s Advocate” and find problems with their products or their programs. I took the same stance with this company and these products. However, as I started to investigate, I found that I could not pick it apart. In fact, the more I looked, the more impressed I was. The company I chose for my patients has patented nutritional products. This was very unusual. These products, it turns out, have scientific research and double-blind studies and they also have a homeopathic line.
Once I was satisfied that the products worked, I looked at the stability of the company. Well, the company has been around for almost a hundred years and their network marketing division began in 1991, plus it is public (which means that their financial health is an open book).
What were some of your concerns in getting involved?
My two biggest concerns were; could I do this on a part-time basis, and would I have to sell products to my colleagues, friends and relatives? I learned that most of the people in this company are part-time and I discovered that this is a wholesale distribution business. Physicians have the added opportunity of retailing products through their office. This is an extra bonus for health care professionals.
How much time do you spend on it?
I spend about 90 minutes a day doing recruiting now. The income and my organization have grown. I’ve stopped adjusting on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to devote that time towards promoting my network. It’s so enjoyable it hardly feels like working, but it probably takes about ten hours per week. It is my goal to practice chiropractic only part-time. I want to continue to see my maintenance patients, but I don’t want to feel like I have to have a continuous stream of new patients to generate my practice income. Income from these nutritionals is a better kind of income. It is not dependent on my daily activity; it is residual and goes on whether I do it or not. That’s not something we’re used to in the professional field.
Do you go to meetings every week?
There are one-hour meetings every week in my area. I go occasionally, but you don’t need them to do the business. They are available for people who want to sharpen their skills as a way of getting information and prospects. They’re helpful for sending prospects to attend because there are meetings all over the country, all following the same basic format. We also have weekly conference calls for those who want to have prospects get the information fast.
How did you get set up?
Two years ago, my sponsor worked very closely with me, answering all my questions, providing me with literature and coaching me on the steps required to succeed. This helped me understand the business quickly. At my sponsor’s request, I contacted a group of colleagues, business professionals and other successful people to determine if they had an interest in working together with me on expanding this business venture. This is the sorting process. I send out very professional tapes and invite people to listen to weekly conference calls. I then follow up with a short phone call according to the techniques I’ve been taught. It’s important to follow proven approaches because you want to demonstrate to your new members that this process is professional, easy and very duplicable. I found that this business attracts some of the best and brightest people that I know.
What do you look for in a prospect?
I’ve learned not to waste my time on trying to motivate somebody who isn’t interested. Find people who are ready. They should be people you would want to work with. They have to have the right mentality, be at the right time in their lives, and have the right skills. Those who are successful in business or who have been in the past, who are open to looking at a new business, who are interested in diversifying, or are looking for additional income are all good choices. The rules for success are always the same. Those are the people you want to have join your team.
In addition to business-minded professionals, I have some chiropractors, medical doctors, psychologists, dentists, and osteopaths in my downline. The time is right for medical professionals to look at this business because managed care has impacted a lot of their practices. The time has come for definitive health care. This company is leading the way with products that are patented, safe alternatives for combatting serious health problems.
How do you respond to doctors who say they don’t have time to recruit?
Often times, sponsors and others will help you work people you wish to sponsor or prospect even to the point of sending out tapes for you and following up. They can help you using your list and contacts with a letter from you signed by you. This is a mentor program and helps a lot of medical professionals who don’t have the time to recruit. Doctors don’t have to pay for this service beyond the cost of tapes, postage, and paper. The mentor staff does the work because the way to make money is by growing the network and moving product.
Do you have a product display in your office?
No, but I do use pamphlets as literature in discussions. No pamphlets are displayed in the reception area either, although there is nothing wrong with doing that.
Do your patients expect you to discuss nutritionals?
Yes. My patients deserve safe, non-toxic and non-habit forming solutions. To make integration into a physician’s office simple, there is an implementation procedure that exposes patients to the value of non-prescription, patented, FDA regulated supplements. The products are designed for specific conditions, so it’s really very easy for anybody to recommend them to others. Chiropractors have the additional advantage of health and nutritional training.
If you don’t offer what you know, your patients get advice from their mom, dad, sibling, friend, a sales clerk or next door neighbor. These folks know nothing except what they read in a magazine or hear on television. So what would you rather have your patients taking? Something that’s patented and proven to work or something they buy off a shelf that may not even be right for them?
People are looking for alternatives to drugs, surgery or just “learning to live with it.” This is precisely why they come to my office. This program created thousands of dollars of additional revenue in my office the very first month and because of the incentive for staff, this was accomplished with little effort from me. Staff who are familiar with the products and work with our patients properly share 10% in all sales at the office. They get 5% of the autoshipment sales. Most importantly, my patients are reaping the real benefits.
Do you get repeat business?
I’ve never actually tracked stats but, our leading product, the cholesterol reduction/cardiovascular line has repeat business of about 50-80%. Once someone sees a dramatic reduction in cholesterol, leveling of blood sugar, or improved cardiovascular function, they’re not going to stop using that product, especially since the price is right. Other products, especially the homeopathics, which are very safe and effective for symptomatic relief, have high repeat sales.
There is also an “auto shipment” program which allows my patients to get the product directly from the company once a month. They appreciate this immensely, and I don’t have to inventory the product. I do like to have some available for patients who want to start right away though.
I focus on exposing patients to the impact and benefits to their health from utilizing these products versus, doing nothing, utilizing some other less researched product, or in some cases, living with the side effects of prescription drugs.
Does the company provide support, and how did you become knowledgeable about the products?
We have a significant number of physicians and other health professionals who have provided a wide variety of information for the lay person as well as for other health care professionals. As mentioned, these products are patented so there is a significant amount of literature substantiating them. Of course, there are video tapes, audio tapes, printed materials, weekly conference calls, and team leaders to make my job easier.
How do these products work in your office and how do customers pay?
As I mentioned, a featured supplement I offer is a patented product for reducing cholesterol. This effect can be seen in as little as 30 days. I have seen reductions in cholesterol of 60 points personally and over 100 points in 30 days in many patients with no reductions in HDL cholesterol. I have also seen significant reductions in triglycerides as well over the same time period. A great “side effect” of this product is weight loss. A number of insurance companies are already approving claims for these supplements, and as companies begin to understand that they save money by utilizing these products, more and more insurance companies will be paying for them.
Since these products address large and growing markets in preventive health care and anti-aging, many patients purchase them directly in my office, or use the company’s 800 number. The person calling in does not need to be a distributor but simply needs the personal identification number of the distributor to order products directly. This makes it very convenient for those people and patients who want to use products only and not resell them.
Beyond my patients, I have also built a distributor organization. By getting just a small number of people to join my team, I have created a leveraged income that doesn’t depend on me. The system is easily duplicable.
I started with just five or six good people and helped them find and recruit their five or six. I then taught them to do the same thing. If everyone is using a little bit of product, you’ve got this huge organization each bringing in a bit of residual income. It’s the typical MLM geometry. In our structure, someone with six strong director legs will get 10% on all sales made at the sixth level. It doesn’t happen all by itself, but it can and does happen.
Do people really make a million dollars at this?
Yes. I know many people who make $500,000 to a million each year, but that only happens with a lot of focused effort. You don’t have to make a million to be successful. Keep in mind, 90% of the people in this business are part-time. Four people directly above me made over a million last year.
What is the time investment versus the return?
In the beginning you work and make less than what you’re worth. After say, six to eighteen months, you’re getting paid about what you’re worth. After a few years, if you see the larger picture of leverage and continue building your organization, you get paid more than you’re worth. And it just keeps growing.
How has it affected your life?
Network marketing has significantly impacted my life. I have been able to reduce the number of hours that I practice and increase my income. I feel less stressed and less intimidated by the changes that have occurred in health care over the past few years. I don’t have to become a member of the HMO’s that create slave medical labor. I can still practice chiropractic the way that I want, while giving my patients a better quality of care with my hands and these products. And the icing is that I get to increase my income.
More importantly, the people who are exposed to these products regain or improve their health. I’ve seen this in my practice and I can show research to prove that it is true. In this system, the people who join the right team learn to be healthy while developing residual income. The time is right. Here’s a unique opportunity for all health care professionals who must face the managed care dilemma. Keep an open mind, be objective, look at the facts, but consider this: is your company going to make a serious impact on the health care of this country? Do you want to be part of a wellness program that will have a significant influence on the health and incomes of many other health care professionals? Ride the future wave and decide to become a part of it.
Dr. James DiIenno graduated from Palmer College Summa Cum Laude in 1976. In addition to the certifications mentioned above, he is certified in Physical Therapy, Nutrition (BCBN), Chiropractic Sports Physician, Clinical Nutritionist, Manipulation Under Anesthesia, has 100 hours of AK, and Master’s Whiplash Program. He is a member of numerous foundations and associations, is on staff at three local hospitals. He has taught at management seminars and for Texas Chiropractic College and has published articles in trade magazines. For ten years he has written a weekly health column in a local newspaper. For more information, contact Dr. James DiIenno at 800-541-4449.
Bruce and Leslie Goldsmith of Temple, Georgia own Visual Odyssey, Inc., and have been providing exciting visual teaching aids for chiropractic patient education since 1976. Bruce has written numerous articles in chiropractic trade journals and taught nationwide on patient education, communication and practice success. Please contact them at 770-646-8031.