One of the persons featured in the book called The Millionaire Training by Larry Thompson, Jay Bennett is the greatest salesman in the world. Jay is the top field executive for Isagenix, a multi-level marketing company. Jay joins Dan McCormick on the show today to share his entrepreneurial journey to the pinnacle of the direct sales world. Having done millions of dollars in sales and revenue for his teams, Jay points out what helped keep him in the game and get his breakthrough – knowing what he wanted and the burning desire to get it.
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Reaching The Pinnacle Of The Direct Sales World With Jay Bennett
Jay Bennett, the greatest salesman in the world. He’s my guest. We’re going to have a great show. If you’re new to the show, we hope you will go and like us on Facebook and YouTube. You can ask questions, you can make comments and we have such a fantastic show lined up. If you’re new to the podcast world, you can go on TheGreatestSalesman.com web page. You can download the podcast. We’ve got Sharon in the house already from Scotland, and we’ve got people from all over the world.
If you’re new to the concept of the show, I encourage you to get a book and make sure you take the time to read The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. Og is an individual that had a philosophy for living. It was a remarkable way of writing about that philosophy, about how to be a very principle-centered person and we are thrilled. We look forward to your comments and reviews on the show, and your comments and feedback will be noticed for sure. Without further ado, Jay Bennett, how are you?
I’m awesome, Dan. It’s great to be on with you.
It is good to be with you. We’ve been on a few stages over the years. We’ve known each other since the early ‘80s. You have had a remarkable journey and an amazing career. Before we get to that, for the value proposition to our readers, share three things that have shaped you. What got you in the chair of the greatest salesman? What three things do you think about daily that have shaped your life?
Number one is, I have to say, knowing what you want and wanting it so badly that you’re going to do what it takes to get there. Being clear on what you want, whatever that is, there’s no right or wrong to that. Knowing what you want so you’re driven to it and you don’t have to have goal-setting program. It’s just, “This is what I want. I’ve got a burning desire to get it.” That’s important. The second thing is for me and one thing that’s value is getting into the word of God, reading the word. The fear of the word is the beginning of wisdom. If you want to have wisdom, you’ve got to get into the word and that’s been now a big priority on a daily basis because I’m in the health business. I do believe in nutrition and in fitness. That combination is a very big priority for me as well. Nutrition and fitness on a daily basis. Those three things would be my top three.When you get hit hard and you get knocked down, you get back up. Click To Tweet
I love the clarity part when I read your story, and we’re going to be featuring people that are featured in this book The Millionaire Training by Larry Thompson. You and I, we meet early on in life. We’re both in our twenties. We both happened to meet our wives at a meeting. We have a lot of similarities and you happen to love football. I love the beginning of your story in the book on page 231. You look back on your life. You loved football. There was athletic competitiveness in you to want to succeed.
Anybody that’s got a sports background can relate to this no matter what the sport is. There’s a discipline involved. There’s commitment involved. It’s working with a team. Especially football, it’s learning to execute the play. Eleven guys have to be all doing their job for the play to come off. Football is a team sport and it’s about winning the game. When you get hit hard and you get knocked down, you get back up. All those kinds of principles on the field or in sports are so applicable to direct sales and the network marketing model. It was a big part of my success.
You had a hunger though. You had a drive. You tell the story in the book that you went to a meeting. They said, “Who would like to get started?” Nine out of ten people ran out the door and you’re the guy going, “Let’s do this.”
Going back in time, I thought it was a one-on-one job interview because it was often that. There were fifteen people packed in this little office. The guy went through the presentation with a flipbook. No technology here, just a little flipbook, “Here’s the company, the product, the comp plan. Here are the options to get started. Who wants to get going?” I’m not kidding. It was a fire drill. Everybody ran out as fast as they could. I was standing there going, “I want to do this deal. Let’s do it.” That was the beginning.
I know you mentioned sports, but how did you find the business rhythm. For me, it’s the mind over mattress every day. We had a rhythm back then. It was Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday when we had live business presentations. How did you find that rhythm to your business? I remember reading that you did $38,000 in sales in your first month. You’d made over $10,000 in your first full calendar month.
First of all, I had a very good sponsor who is with that company. He had been there for probably over 35 years. That’s one key. I wasn’t like, “What do I do? How do I do this?” I had a guy who directed me extremely well. That’s very important. Anytime you get started in something, you need a mentor. You need someone that will hold you accountable and can teach you the business. I had that and then he put it in front of me. He said, “These are the bonuses that people are earning.” I’m looking at them going, “How do I get near that? What were the volumes that were necessary?” I had to have at least an idea of something to shoot for.
He gave me a rough idea of volume that you would get XYZ bonus. I came in in May and was qualified in the month of May, so that June was the first full month. Every minute of the day, it was doing the business. It was from 8:00 to faint, until you passed out. It was all day, all night doing the deal to the very last minute of the month. It was the beginning of the month to the end of the month, and everything in between was the business. We did $38,000 volume in 30 days from scratch.
That was the feeder, that early momentum. Not everybody hits the momentum stride. As you and I know, it can be a little bit wanting at times throughout our career. We’ve been doing this for many years now, but you hit the momentum. You were on it. You mentioned a great sponsor. I thought you said something nice that you felt like it was in front of you. You saw it and you said, “How do I get there? What do I do to get there?” The activities in that day was used a product where the button talked to people was your mantra.
That was it. I did not have any contacts to speak of. We did a lot of ads. Can you imagine doing business of ads? I had family members that felt sorry for me so they bought products, but it was full-on. It was a business. I treated it like a business, worked it as a business. Having a burning desire, a goal, something I got to have is what drove the business. Without that, without knowing what you want, without this burning desire or goal, why would you do the work? I knew what I could do. I knew the volumes that I needed to hit, and that was the clarity that I needed, and then we got it done. How we got it done? I’d be honest, it shocks me that we got that done.
We look back on those stories and now we don’t run an ad in the newspaper, but we see people that connect on social. We see people that do these Lives. They do stories in Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn. There are a million different ways to connect with people. For those who are reading, we’re talking to Jay Bennett. He’s the greatest salesman in the world. He’s featured in a brand-new book that came out called The Millionaire Training. It is a real unbelievable history of the industry. They did an amazing job. The original cassette tapes from Larry Thompson, the original Millionaire Training that all of us went through the principles and the habits. Larry tells the goldmine story, and we know what the gold mine was for us. We felt like it was our time. That burning desire never left us.Knowing what you want and having a burning desire to get it is key to success. Click To Tweet
I love Think and Grow Rich. It has to be at the top of the list, but for Larry’s book, I do have to put a plug in here because I was mentored by Larry for an extended period of time with different companies. I got to learn about this incredible program. It’s specifically for the network marketing industry. That separates itself from the generic marketplace, but it would help anybody, specifically for the network marketing model. In Think and Grow Rich, out of the 22 attributes, the number one attribute after twenty years of studying successful people was a burning desire. If you don’t have a burning desire, it becomes very difficult. Knowing what you want, having a burning desire, whatever that is, is a key to success.
That ties in beautifully to what you said at the outset about having that clarity and knowing what you want. For a lot of us, when we were that young and we were getting started, it was the chance to grow. It’s a chance to be a part of something. We had a big dream. We were a part of something that we thought was changing the world and you reached the pinnacle of success. Frustration and disappointment set in and we lost 100,000 distributors in 30, 60, 90 days. It was painful.
It was because of negative publicity, FDA, FTC, a legal battle, they wanted to kill that company and they did a good job. It went from $100 million a month down to $3 million a month in 90 days, which means in that 90 days was probably the 100,000 people that were lost. I do want to remind everybody, with burning desire, Mark Hughes and Larry Thompson brought that company back. Seven years later, they were back into momentum in the US. Now that company does $5 billion in sales per year. That’s a sign of burning desire bringing that back because there were a couple of guys that had a burning desire.
It’s an amazing story. It was well-documented and chronicled in The Millionaire Training. Go to Amazon, pick up 1, 2, 5, 10 copies. I bought a bunch and you’re going to be not just reading that book, but studying that book for a lifetime. You mentioned Think and Grow Rich. I wonder if you remember the first time you read The Greatest Salesman. Do you remember how far back it was?
I got the high-end quality book. I read it a long time ago and I’ll have to be honest, I don’t remember what it was, except that it was the scrolls. When I read this, before I even hit the scrolls, I have to say this is very helpful because there are some very good people on this line. I’m going to share this because you said share something out of this. This hit me between the eyes because this is what I would say that I did, not realizing that this is what you need to do. This is what I did and I’ve done it numerous times. Anybody who’s going to be successful is going to have to deal with obstacles. You can call it adversity, obstacles or whatever you want to call it. I’m reading this on page seventeen in my book, “Obstacles are necessary for success,” because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats.
Yet each struggle, each defeat sharpens your skills, strengths, courage, endurance, ability and your confidence. Thus, each obstacle is a comrade in arms. In other words, it’s your friend, buddy, associate who’s forcing you to become better or quit. What do you want to do? Do you want to be better or do you want to be a quitter? That’s the option you have. Each rebuff is an opportunity to move forward. Turn away from them, avoid them and you throw away your future. You can’t avoid obstacles. You’ve got to learn to get through them to be successful. It’s a great concept.
I love that because you had a few obstacles in your journey. When you and I have talked on the phone, you’ve been to the top of the mountain. I remember getting a call from you a few years ago and you were at the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. You were so fired up. You reached the pinnacle of the direct sales world. You’ve done hundreds and hundreds of millions, maybe billions of dollars in sales and revenue for your teams. You’re the greatest salesman in the world. When you’re climbing that mountain, there’s never a straight line. There are obstacles and cliff hangers all the way up the mountain.
I can tell you numerous occasions where I wanted to throw in the towel. I need people to realize that we all deal with these issues. It’s easier to quit than to keep moving forward. I want to make sure everyone knows that. That’s why most people do that. There were a couple of times where I wanted to quit, but when I did a reset and I kept going, there was always a breakthrough. That’s an important point. The moment that you feel like quitting, if you can reset yourself, keep going and keep moving, you’re going to get a breakthrough.
Our sponsor for the show is HabitFinder.com/jay. That’s simply the Og Mandino company, not just selling a book. It’s measuring your thoughts with a quick online assessment. How long did it take you to take this assessment, Jay?
You get immediate feedback. One of the coaches from the Og Mandino company may give you a call and offer a free session to see if your thoughts are aligned with what you are reading and studying. Jay, I asked you earlier, what scrolls stuck out in your mind?
Scroll number two. It was, “Greet the day with love in my heart.” When I saw that scroll and we went through it, I go, “That’s the most valuable one because after everything’s said and done, without love in your heart, why are we doing this? What’s the point?” There’s enough craziness out there. Let’s be the individuals that bring love to the table.Anybody who's going to be successful is going to have to deal with obstacles. Click To Tweet
Give me an example of how you think. When your rhythm is in sync, how might you embody that?
Being in the industry for a long time and being mentored by Larry Thompson, which both you and I have, I have always embraced his simplicity model. I do believe that that is a critical key. It’s got to be simple so that the average person feels like they can do it. The minute things start getting complicated, you start to lose people. It has to be a belief system that, “I can do this.” I always did stick to the basics. I always did stick to the fundamentals. I always did my best to keep it simple and to communicate that simplicity. If you think about managing an organization, think about the simplicity of everybody that you’re dealing with. Whatever that is for you, what is your next step? If you have everybody in your organization taking one next step, then things were moving forward. It’s not something complicated. It’s not twenty steps. What’s your next step? We call it simple, fun, magical. There’s a reason. Keep it simple, which makes it fun, which makes it magical.
The one great thing about being the start that we got is we were always riveted on two things, recruiting and selling, get customers, get distributors. The action that you took or I took or others took fed into then a live presentation at a hotel or an office on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. We had that constant activity and momentum of customers all day long, distributor recruiting all day long. To me, you are always available. That’s how you would greet this day with love in your heart. If you found somebody that was like-minded, you had love in your heart to want to help them accomplish their burning desires.
That is such a key. We help enough other people get what they want in life. You’re going to get what you want in life. That is the philosophy. How do I pour into someone? How do I help somebody get what they want and get their results that they want? That’s where the focus needs to be, especially in our business model.
You meet your wife in the business as I did. You’ve got kids. Now you’ve got a dream of serving your community, serving your fellow man. You and I were talking about Romans 12:2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” You’ve found something very important for you in studying the wisdom literature that’s been there for us for thousands of years.
Going back in time, it is beautiful to see for both you and I that when we found our passion and our business, we found our wives. That’s amazing when you are pointed in the direction of where you’re going and then you start to attract this stuff in your life. I’m very proud of the fact and I know you are too. We’ve been married for many years and we have two older children now. We adopted one. The freedom now and the ability to adopt. We adopted a baby years ago when two are out of the house. That has been a life-changer. I was a little bit skeptical about doing it. I said, “Honey, if you want to do this, let’s do it.” She needed the buy-in from me. It’s been the biggest blessing. Something that is out of the box becomes the biggest blessing because the kids are blessed. Both the kids were like, “What are you guys doing here?” I have a boy and a girl that are in their twenties and they’re blessed by it. We’re blessed by it. It’s because of this industry that we’ve been able to do that.
You brought up something. My wife and I, we adopted our first child. There’s another thing we have in common. We have the whole idea of having this incredible 30-plus years that we’ve both put in now have these global businesses that create this massive amount of volume every month. You and I can fly to a lot of countries. You and I were talking a couple of years ago, I was going to Scotland. You said, “I’m going to be in Scotland.” We didn’t get together but we were both there at the same time. It’s amazing how the business can build all over the globe right from your home in Reno, Nevada.
I will say COVID has been a big challenge for a lot of people. I do feel like our industry is buffered from it because we do so much stuff online. We have the ability to build our businesses like what we’re doing with Zooms and things like that. One of the benefits of the industry is I have a business in Korea. We flew out to Korea multiple times. I was out there 6, 7 times and got into that culture and met some most amazing, beautiful people. I have one of the bigger Korean groups in the company. We lived in the UK for three months straight. We got a flat and lived there for three months straight because we wanted to kick it into gear. We were able to travel to Spain and Italy and go to Portugal and travel around Stonehenge in UK, and do the business as well. I want to throw that out that when you’re going for your dream, all these other benefits are occurring with that. We did all this traveling with the business and met all these incredible beautiful people. That is a side benefit of going for your goals, going for your dreams.
It is a unique way to live for sure. Here we sit 35-plus years later and I’m looking at the closing of your article in the book here that you contribute to The Millionaire Training book. You say, “As a disciple of Larry since 1983, I’ve been listening to his audio training for over 37 years.” This isn’t something that goes away.
It doesn’t. I was looking at Sharon and what she was saying, “Now that’s the dream. Travel and meet new friends.” Is she the one from Scotland?
Sharon is here every week from Scotland. She’s great. My point is that you say at the end of the article and the book here that 37 years later, those principles are still a part of you. You listen to the audio. You’re fed by it. It made you who you are.Each rebuff is an opportunity to move forward. Turn away from them, avoid them, and you throw away your future. Click To Tweet
I do want to say in my build, and I shared this when we did it on live with Larry’s launching of his book, that in my build, every single day, I was listening to The Millionaire Training tapes. Part of my ritual was a 45-minute walk around the neighborhood. I have a way of walking around the neighborhood. That was enough to listen to a good portion of The Millionaire Training tapes. It was a daily thing. It kept me in the game. It was fixing and refining the things that were going on and it kept me laser-focused. I’m not doing that now. I want everyone to know, it’s not like you do that but in my build, it was every day. It was amazing because if I was off track, it brought me back on track.
That’s part of being in the chair of the greatest salesman in the world. You were the greatest salesman in the world. The scroll that you mentioned was in my brain the minute my eyes woke up in the morning, “I will greet this day with love in my heart. Muscle can split a shield and even destroy life, but only the unseen power of love can open the hearts of men and women.” I’m going to go out there and try to recruit men and women from around the globe. I’ve got to be ready for that. I love the fact that you talked about that. You say it’s in your build. It became part of your DNA. For the greatest aspiring salesperson in the world, that’s a habit that has to be locked in.
You’ve got to feed your brain. I want to throw something in here and this may be practical. I want everyone to know that what I’m going to share right now make it as user-friendly as possible, but as encouragement to be discriminating and to be discerning. When you throw in COVID, life has changed. There’s a place for what we’re doing now. This is productive, quality and good. I google a lot of things that are on a spiritual level or success level, and I’m on a screen doing that. I want everyone to hear what I’m trying to say here without stepping on too many toes. The bottom line is the average person before COVID was on a screen for eleven hours a day.
If you throw in COVID, I don’t know what the statistics are right now, but I’m going to tell you that I know that it’s over twelve. This is average. That’s TV, phone, computer, video games, whatever a screen is. Here’s the question that we need to ask ourselves. How much of that is productive? This is what we’ve got to ask ourselves. This is productive if I’m on a Zoom talking to people about my opportunity. There is a place, but we have got to be very discerning and discriminating on how we do our screen time. I mean that wholeheartedly. There is so much waste of time going on that we’re maybe going to things on the screen that aren’t productive.
How do you feed your brain if you’re listening to trash all the time, you’re watching trash all the time, and you’re listening to the news all the time, and you’re putting it into a place of fear? You’re going to create that in your life. We’ve got to be careful. When we talk about reading the books, I’d rather be turning a page than going to a screen. I encourage you to be thinking about that. Invest into your brain and your heart with good stuff all the time. That’s why reading the books, listening to audios, being in an event like this are critically important. How you feed your brain is going to show up.
I love this comment. Feed on the screen but be discerning how much is productive, time management and mindset. You and I were taught activity versus accomplishment. We heard that many times. What activity are you in or what are you accomplishing? That’s great wisdom right there to get the job done. I have such great takeaways from this. Number one is clarity. Personal relationship with the wisdom literature and God, and you love nutrition and fitness. There was a real congruence here. There was a harmony for you in this business. It’s serving other people.
You chose the path with health, nutrition, fitness, weight loss, etc., and serving people. It was a beautiful journey. Congratulations to you. In closing, it is a thrill to welcome the greatest salesman in the world. When this guy was on the build, there was energy coming through the phone like you could not believe. If you walk into a meeting room with this guy, the humor, but the seriousness, the stage presence that you developed, how long do you think it took you standing on that stage before you felt like that personality came out where it was natural and raw, Jay?
It’s funny, but even all the way back to our Herbalife days in the very beginning, I was pushed out there to share product or business or whatever. I gravitated towards it. I absolutely do enjoy that. It’s enjoyable. It’s something I love. To speak in public and all that stuff, I do enjoy it. Some people don’t, but I love it. I want to share that one of the things that I’ve learned with Larry is keeping things simple. I have an ABC and 1, 2, 3 that I do. When I do my training, I stick to the same thing every single time, but different stories, different perspectives or different things we could throw in around it. I want to share that because it’s so simple.
Most people that are going to be on this are in probably direct sales. The ABC would be A is Attitude, anything that has to do with our attitude. There are many things we can talk about in regard to attitude. A would be always zeroing in on attitude. Think about this. Are you going to work with someone that’s got a good attitude or are you going to work with someone that’s got a bad attitude? It makes life simple. You work with the guys or gals that have a good attitude. You have to find the people that have those good attitudes. You zero in on the people that have that good attitude. Attitude is a big deal. If you’re not feeding your brain all the good stuff, you’re not going to have that incredible attitude. You need to know that attitude is a big deal to being successful.
B is Belief. I can tell you right now that if you don’t have an incredible belief in what you’re doing, and I mean high-level belief, no one is going to be attracted to you unless you have a high level of belief. Why are a lot of people not successful? They don’t have a high-level belief. Nobody believes them. They don’t have any leadership ability because they don’t believe in what they’re doing. There’s a state of doubt and people can feel that. You have to have a high-level belief. Whatever that takes for you to get a high-level belief, that’s what you need. That’s why you read the books and listen to the audios and you have to do some serious thinking, “Do I believe in what I’m doing?” When you believe it, you’re going to attract people to you.
C is Commitment. This is the big part, because you could have maybe that attitude when things are going easy. You can have that belief when things are going easy. When things are tough, when there is adversity, when there is struggle, when there are those obstacles that are mind-blowing, do you still commit to get it done? Do you fight through that and commit to the process? You and I have committed to our marriages. We stuck it out. You can’t tell me it was an easy street all the time. I know there were a couple of times it was not always an easy street, but we stuck it out. We committed. Now we have the fruits of that. We have this beautiful long-term marriage with all the benefits that are associated with it. That’s what commitment is to yourself, to your spouse, to your business, to your life. Commit to your Lord is a commitment and you stick it out. That’s your ABC. We won’t go into 1, 2, 3 because it will get too long-winded.
It’s never too long-winded when you’ve got the greatest salesperson in the world sitting in that chair. It has been a thrill to have you. I hope all of our folks get a chance to read. We enjoy Jay Bennett. You can find him. You can read more about him in the book, The Millionaire Training by Larry Thompson. You can find it on Amazon. We encourage you to go out, make this the greatest day of your life. We’ll be back for our next episode. Jay, I can’t thank you enough. It’s a thrill to walk down memory lane. I saw enough of the comments along the way that people valued your contribution. I’m honored that you’d make time to be with us.
Dan, thank you. It’s always a pleasure. When I get back down to Southern Cal, we’ll get together. I can’t wait to get together again and break the bread.
- Jay Bennett
- Facebook – The Greatest Salesman
- YouTube – The Greatest Salesman
- The Greatest Salesman in The World
- The Millionaire Training
- Think and Grow Rich
About Jay Bennett
Jay is an extraordinary coach, mentor and millionaire. He has been a top leader in the Health & Wellness and Network Marketing industry for 30 years and is among the top 3 income earners in Isagenix.
He firmly believes in building strong teams and empowering individuals to physical, financial and personal freedom. His success is a reflection of his deep commitment to the success of his team
and has resulted in Jay achieving an outstanding 7 figure annual income.
Jay lives in San Clemente, California and is married with 3 children: Keane, Holden James and Shanelle, who are HIS MOTIVATION to build his business.