September 1999



Team Synergy the "Millionaires Club" Way - Interview with Hilton Johnson

Upline has featured articles about effective team effort a number of times over the years, and occasionally articles that focus on specific teams and what they're doing to succeed. This article falls into the second category, and takes a look at Hilton Johnson's Millionaires Club. As part of his generic training company, MLM University, the Millionaires Club brings together from different companies people who share roughly the same level of success, and provides them with a no-prospecting forum within which they can work together to advance in their respective businesses.

Why would you be interested in the Millionaires Club? Well, you might want to get involved in it, but that's not the reason we're devoting precious Upline pages to the subject. What's particularly interesting about the Club is 1) how productive cross-company relationships are supporting the participants' individual business efforts, and 2) the example it provides of a way to create accountability and synergy within a team, even if it happens to be one you form within your own Networking group.

In this interview, Hilton shares what makes the Millionaires Club tick, plus a few examples of practical insights participants have gained. Read it with the following questions in mind: What aspects of the Millionaires Club could I integrate into my business to accelerate my success? Could a different way of organizing teams in my group help people be more effective? Is there an untapped mastermind gold mine in my Networking acquaintances from other companies? -- UO

Hilton and Lisa Johnson

What was on your mind when you first thought of starting the Millionaires Club?

Well, there's a lot of talk in this business about making a million dollars-- for many it seems to be the mark of ultimate success. Our concept is that you have to learn how to earn a million dollars from people who've done it but with people at your own level. We get people together into groups of 15-25 depending on the income level they've reached so far. We don't want someone who's making $15,000 a month in the same group as someone making $100 a month because the questions and issues would be largely different for them. We meet twice a month by teleconference to mastermind on topics important to the participants and interview people who are making a million dollars a year to find out what systems they're using and make them workable for the people in the groups. I function as a coach and a facilitator-- challenging people and keeping us on track. People sign on for a minimum of six months so they can form genuine relationships and have real accountability.

How do you come up with the topics?

When we first started, we sent out surveys to find out what people wanted to learn. That resulted in a list of over 100 topics, which we sent back out to them asking that they pick the top six of interest to them, so the topics are really selected by the groups themselves. The topics tend to fall into one of four basic categories: recruiting, leadership development, the administration of running a business, and advanced sales and marketing.

Share with us how an average session goes with, say, a group of people who are currently earning about $2,500 a month?

Here's an example: In one group we spent a couple of sessions on the issue of posturing-- should we consider being more selective about who we bring into our business? I started by asking about the problems associated with bringing people into the business who never do anything with it. People answered, it's bad time management. What else? It gives the industry a bad name. Right, what else? Interaction is the key. It's a discussion, it's a mastermind-- you put two minds or more together in a spirit of harmony with a common purpose and you get ideas you would not have without that association.

Next I ask what the benefits are, and if anyone is doing it successfully. If someone speaks up, I'll do a mini-interview to find out what they do and how, before opening the discussion up to thoughts and comments. We end with trying to formalize a system they can take away and apply.

``Most Networkers already have a sense of community within their companies, but not with other Networkers at large, and there's a value in that.''

We try to focus on one topic per session so we don't get hung up. What has happened is that some topics are so interesting to people that they form subcommittees, hold separate mastermind sessions to continue with the topic, and report their findings back to the rest of the group.  

After a discussion arose about hiring assistants to generate leads, as many of the top real estate agents do these days, a group broke off to explore if it could possibly work for Network Marketing. They spent two weeks researching it-- as a test, they made straight cold calls to find out what would happen. Out of 842 calls, they made contact with 289 people-- a 34% ratio. Out of that, they got 19 leads which was about seven percent, which amounted to one lead for every 44.32. How long did it take to make those calls? At about 20 calls per hour, it took about two and a half hours to get a qualified lead. If you paid somebody, say, $10 an hour, that lead costs you $25. Before they started, I asked, "What would you folks pay for a qualified lead?" People said $100 and all sorts of astronomical numbers-- that's what triggered the subcommittee.

So these are all people in the Millionaires Club who aren't part of the same company getting together outside of the regular forum?

Yes. In fact, I've done coaching for people all from one company in the past and found it to be less dynamic. In my experience, getting perspectives from all different people and companies can sometimes create brand new results. It can be a great supplement to what people are doing with their upline and downline.

People seem to like the idea of having a safe environment without pressure from their company or their upline where they can openly discuss with other people what each is doing to be successful. Our attitude is that there's enough out there for all of us, and with a strict no-recruiting, no-criticizing rule, they can openly share. Most Networkers already have a sense of community within their companies, but not with other Networkers at large, and there's a value in that-- particularly in relation to industry belief, I think. We hear that the program makes them more confident, and I suspect that getting a support system with a simple Network Marketing common denominator contributes to that.

HILTON AND LISA JOHNSON are the founders of MLM University, a virtual sales training and coaching organization for "Network Marketers who hate selling." Hilton has been a featured speaker at Upline Masters Seminars and conducted over 500 sales workshops across North America. He is also the co-creator, with Steve Spaulding, of the new audio training system, Start Right Now. MLM University offers the eight-week "Selling By Attraction" program and the "Millionaires Club," among many other services. Subscribe to their free MLM Sales Coach email newsletter and learn more about MLM University at or by calling (954) 491-8996.


"How To Sponsor Long-Distance"

After masterminding with other Millionaires Club members about this topic, brothers Jeff and Jay Baker of FreeLife International developed the following long-distance sponsoring system that has made them their company's top recruiters. After a lead has been generated from a combination of warm calls, cold calls, referrals and ads, they now implement this three-step system:

Step 1. WIN (warm introduction) call

This is a three-way call where they have a five-minute interview with the prospect to see if they "qualify" for step two of their system. They ask questions around the prospect's financial freedom and present employment dissatisfactions.

Step 2. TAB (telephone audio brochure)

If the prospect meets the WIN requirements, they are then instructed to call (at their own expense) an "information hotline" that gives them a five-minute overview of the company, products, business, etc. Sometimes they will send the prospects to the company's website as another way of sorting and qualifying. A specific time is set to call them again.

If the prospect meets the TAB requirements, they are invited to a telephone opportunity meeting with 30 or 40 other people on the call. (Some of the prospects on this call may be from other distributors' leads.) Here, the prospect is encouraged to purchase a company "business kit" for $40. If they do, this usually works out to be a successful enrollment for them and the company.

Heather Juma of Big Planet, took a different approach and developed a completely email-based system for long distance sponsoring that has helped her (and two of her distributors) get to the company's Executive Level. Here is how it works:

1. She locates prospects by going to websites like and and e-mailing to the hundreds of thousands of people that have posted their resumes online. What she is looking for are people in transition. She mentions how she got their name and suggests that they look at her business opportunity. 35-38 percent respond to this message.

2. Those who respond get an e-mail business summary. About 10 percent of that group responds to the business summary and become good candidates for enrollment.

3. The new recruits get their basic training online.

4. Heather makes three-way calls with her new recruits to their warm markets and teaches the system to them. They meet in person at company events. The result is that she now has a virtual recruiting system to supplement her local business-building.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Johnson Feature - September 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,


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