Should I Retail or Build a Team (Network) of Associates?

What is the best method for developing your Watkins Business?

This ACHIEVEMENT GUIDE is designed for those Associates who seek to build a substantial and long-term Watkins Business and to create ever-increasing levels of financial security and time freedom.  Following are two very important questions.  When you more fully understand the answers to these questions you will have a better sense of how you may wish to grow your business.  The choice is yours!

* Is Personal Use and Retail Selling the Best Method for Growth?

* Is Personal Use and Teambuilding the Better Approach?

Watkins is really two businesses in one.  It is a Direct Selling Company emphasizing Personal Use and Retail Selling.  Watkins is also a Network Distribution Company that emphasizes Personal Use and Teambuilding.  You need to determine which approach (or combination of approaches) is going to work best for you and the development of your Watkins Business. Which method best fits your personality, style, training, experience and resources?  What method is going to help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals?  Watkins is all about choice so it is your decision but we would like to share some insights that may help you decide what is best for you.

Is Personal Use and Retail Selling the Best Method for Growth?

Much of the material and guidance that you will receive from Watkins Corporate emphasizes methods that are aimed at Direct Selling (retailing) the products. 

The Direct Selling approach to building a Watkins business is deeply rooted in the history and traditions of the company.  It is how the company got its start. There are many Associates who are comfortable with this approach.  And of course, there are many people who do not like to sell.  Our job is to help people discover what business methods may serve them best. 

The most common form of retail selling is people-to-people sales.  You meet a neighbor or friend and tell them you sell Watkins.  Give them a catalog and ask for an order.  Better yet, it is wise to get most of your customers to visit your free Watkins website to place their order.  They call Watkins (or use the Watkins Website) to place their order and use your Watkins ID Number to assure that you are credited with the sale.  Watkins will process the order and ship directly to your customer and then on the tenth day of the next month send you a commission check.  It is a very streamlined process.  You do not have to handle or deliver products when your Customers order directly from Watkins.

There are numerous sales approaches that you may enjoy.  Many Associates sponsor home demonstrations and parties.  Others just rely on catalog distribution to generate sales.  Some are re-visiting the old concept of door-to-door sales (which is an approach that we do not recommend).  Watkins Retailers may even support local organizations in fundraisers to help spread the word that they are a Watkins Associate.  However, we do not recommend fundraising as a primary method for you to build your business.  Early in our Watkins career we devoted six months to promoting fundraisers and had painfully bad results.

Large volume retailers “work” big events.  Some well established Watkins Retailers have an annual calendar of special venues that they participate in such as Community Days, local Fairs, County Fairs, State Fairs, Expos and other popular events that draw large attendance.  Several of these Associates are highly placed Independent Leaders in Watkins and have built exceptional businesses.  On a smaller scale many Associates enjoy working a local farmer’s market. 

Independent business owners can build a Watkins profit center.  Folks who own and operate an independent business like a pharmacy, general store, beauty salon, craft store or antiques shop may enroll as a Watkins Retail Associate and display 20 leading Watkins products in their place of business.  Mostly, these Associates rely on selling to customers who come to their place of business.  When you become a Watkins Associate you may enroll independent business owners into your organization and they will make money for you as well.

Special Internet skills may support Internet sales.  Those Associates that are well versed in Internet applications may sell Watkins products through e-bay stores and other venues.  In order to be successful in this retailing approach requires extensive knowledge of Internet technology and is not advisable for inexperienced Associates.  Before deciding to retail Watkins products through the Internet you need to check all relative polices and guidelines of both Watkins and the Summit Group.

The Typical Mind-set of Those Who Focus Mostly on Personal Use and Retail Selling

Typical Associate Retailers have a perspective about their Watkins Business that is quite local.  They tend to have a limited vision of what their Watkins Business could become.  Aside from those who employ internet marketing strategies many retailers focus the majority of their retail business building efforts within a few miles of their home.  They think locally and rely on local contacts and connections to build a customer base.  And that is perfectly okay for those who desire to operate that type of business.

Associate Retailers often perceive themselves almost exclusively as sellers of the products.  They see themselves as Direct Sellers under agreement with Watkins as independent representatives with the primary purpose of selling products.  Many retailers perceive themselves as extensions of the original “Watkins Man” who travelled among the small towns of the great mid-western prairie to bring comfort and healing to hearty pioneers. They have a great respect for the history and traditions of Watkins.  The Company reminds them of the great American pioneer spirit with a strong sense of independence and self reliance. 

They celebrate Watkins because the products and the business remind them of a time when life was less complex.  They speak nostalgically about the “good old” days and their personal experiences with the Watkins Man and his comforting products.  They point out that the Watkins values of quality, honesty, integrity and exemplary customer service are very desirable in contrast to some of the less-than-honest, hype-filled business practices of today.

 Committed Associate retailers have a great love for Watkins products and experience joy from selling them.  They enjoy the hands-on opportunity to sell to long- term Watkins users as well as introducing Watkins products to new generations of customers.   One of our Associates, who focuses on retailing, says, “I sell Watkins products because when I read a Watkins Catalog it is like getting a warm, soft hug from Mamma.  I remember the Watkins Vanilla and Cinnamon aromas wafting from apple pies baking – the comfort of Menthol Camphor on a cold winter night – and the brightest laundry in the neighborhood hanging on Mamma’s clothes-line in our back yard.  I remember anticipating visits from the Watkins Man who seemed to carry magic in his bag.  To be a part of that heritage is very special to me.”

Benefits of Focusing on Personal Use and Retail Sales

Personal use is very important for anyone who wishes to grow a business.  To be a leader in Watkins and develop a significant business suggests that you consistently buy and use as many of the products as practical.  Personal use is critically important because product knowledge will help you represent the products with honesty and integrity.  Personal endorsements are very important and you can only offer such endorsements if you have first-hand knowledge of the products.

Transfer buying is plain common sense and good business.  It simply means transferring your purchases from the local supermarket or pharmacy to your Watkins Business at a 25% discount.  Why give profits to the supermarket chain that you can give to yourself?  Transfer buying does not mean you are spending additional money.  It just means that you are buying high quality, fairly priced products from a different supplier – your own Watkins Business!

In Retailing you can make “Now Money” from day one.  You can start taking orders as soon as you become a Watkins Associate.  We often witness Associates who make money their first week in the business. 

Personal Use and Retailing may provide excellent short term income.  For those who need to make a few hundred dollars a month – retailing the products may be the answer.  One of the best ways of achieving that is to participate in the “Living Naturally” home party plan.  Many Associates who use this method can earn significant income.

Personal Satisfaction in helping others is a great benefit.  Many Associates who focus on retailing get great satisfaction from sharing and delivering quality, life-enhancing products.  They like the “social” aspects of the business and they enjoy helping people to look better and feel better.

Watkins builds friendships.  Building long-term relationships with Customers is a significant part of the Watkins experience.  People who are attracted to Watkins are “salt-of-the-earth” folks who enjoy meeting people and fostering new friendships.  Watkins people demonstrate a warm and a caring spirit that is refreshing in today’s world.

 Limitations Related to a “Retailing Only” Business Plan

Success is often focused only on the efforts of a single Associate or Small Business.  If you are focused primarily on retailing, you will quickly determine that you can only sell so much in the course of a month.  When business growth is dependent on the efforts and energy of just one person or small business it is very hard to sustain high performance productivity month after month.

Income potential may be limited.  Since the business is driven by the efforts of one person the income potential tends to be limited. 

Retailing is labor intensive and time consuming.  Simply stated – selling enough products month after month to meet personal goals requires a lot of hard work and a heavy time investment. 

Selling requires considerable energy and continuous personal attention.  You can only make money when you are working the business.  That sounds more like a job than a business.  If you become ill or must set your Watkins business aside to attend to other life issues you have essentially closed your business down until you are available again.  During that time there is no Watkins income.

 A single operator retail business may be difficult to sustain over the long-term.  When a single person has to devote a sustained effort working alone for a long period of time it is easy to become frustrated and fatigued.  Business continuance is very difficult to maintain.  This one factor is a major contributor to individuals leaving the business prematurely.

This scenario may lead to “burnout” and early “retirement” from the business.  Looking at a combination of the limitations discussed here shows why careful consideration must be given before you commit to a “retail only” business model.  When all things are considered, it may be advisable to think seriously about adding sponsoring and team building to your Watkins Business Building efforts.

And now consider the real cruncher.  The “retail only” business model does not usually build substantial residual income.  Building financial security and time freedom are two of the most often quoted goals of people who join Watkins.  They want a six-figure income and the time to enjoy it.  It is our position that the “retail only” business model will not usually help you achieve financial security and time freedom.  A “one-man-band” simply does not have the strength, energy, endurance and time to build a substantial business that is sustainable and profitable over the long term.

But remember – Watkins is all about choice.  If you love selling then sell.  However, it is our obligation to help you to see a broader view of your business.  With just a little tweaking of your approaches and with the addition of some serious teambuilding you will dramatically enhance your chances for long-term success.  Read on!

 Is Personal Use and Teambuilding the Better Approach?

Now let’s talk about the Network Distribution (Teambuilding) side of the Watkins Business.  Personally using the products and sponsoring new Associates and continuously building your team are the driving energies behind a successful and sustainable Watkins Network Distribution Business.  Most Associates who achieve Manager and Executive Titles consistently and aggressively enroll new Associates.  The more Associates you bring into your business the more you leverage yourself and build significant residual income!  Teambuilding (sponsoring and coaching) are the pathways to a six-figure annual residual income and time freedom!

You will find that the training programs and guidance published by the Summit Group emphasize the following formula: Personal Use and Teambuilding (Sponsoring and Coaching)! When we enrolled in Watkins we fortunately became members of the Summit Group, one the largest and most productive of all of the independent marketing organizations in the history of Watkins.  Currently, there are about 6000 Watkins Associates in the Summit Group.  Under the guidance, direction and support of the Summit Group our Watkins Business has flourished.  We have committed to following the guidance and direction of the Summit Group because Steve and Ginny Bretzke (Summit Group founders) supported by Jerry Fochtmann and other Summit Group Executives are highly successful and proven performers.  They are pace-setters in the network distribution industry.  They are very successful.  We have decided to hitch our wagon to their star.  We encourage you to embrace the Summit Group Formula for Business Success – Personal Use and Teambuilding!

Fran and I are ardent users of Watkins Products.  We purchase more than $200 dollars in products each month for personal use. Personal use is very important for anyone who wishes to grow a business.  To be a leader in Watkins and develop a significant business suggests that you consistently buy and use as many of the products as practical.  Personal use is critically important.  You want to encourage everyone on your team to become consistent consumers of the products  Also, we always suggest that Associates employ “transfer buying” as a common practice in their business.

Transfer buying is plain good business and common sense.  It simply means transferring your purchases from the local supermarket or pharmacy to your Watkins Business at a 25% discount.  Why give profits to the supermarket chain that you can give to yourself?  Transfer buying does not mean you are spending additional money.  It just means that you are buying high quality, fairly priced products from a different supplier – your own Watkins Business!

We casually retail Watkins Products to family and friends.  Obviously when you are in a business that features world-class products, fairly priced with a money-back guarantee you want to share with as many family members, friends and neighbors as possible.  We host several parties each year and invite our local customers. We offer special incentives and pass on savings from sale items to our family, friends and neighbors.  Of course, we earn modest income from our personal retailing efforts.

But our greatest earnings come from the dynamic growth of our ever-expanding network of Watkins Associates.  We faithfully employ the Summit Group Formula for Business Success – Personal Use and Teambuilding!  Associates in our network (our Watkins Success Team) personal use and sell thousands of dollars in Watkins Products each month.  We earn 5% to 10% income on the gross bonus volume of our Watkins Team.  Through building our Success Team (network) we are continuously leveraging ourselves to ever-greater RESIDUAL Income.  Essentially, Watkins pays us based on the volume that our team produces each month.  The more volume our team generates the greater our income.  Another way of expressing it is to say that the system pays us to identify, sponsor, train, encourage and support an ever-growing network of high performance people to use the products sell the products and sponsor others to do the same.  We call this “team power.”  The greater you build your network of Associates the more stable and productive your business will become.  Your fortune is in your network!

Most of our energy is devoted to network creation through teambuilding.  We recommend Teambuilding (network creation) as your business model. If you want to be highly successful and make significant profits you want a business that is streamlined and easy to operate.  The simple formula: Personal Use and Teambuilding – is the key to your success!  This simple business model has the potential to build a vast network and yield remarkable income

The Typical Mind-set of those who focus mostly on Personal Use and Teambuilding (network creation).

Network builders have shifted from the traditional mindset of Retail Sales to the idea of Teambuilding.  Network building Associates have shifted focus from personally selling the products to building an ever-expanding network of Associates who use the products and sponsor others to do the same.  They tend to think more strategically.  Whereas the typical retailer is thinking locally those who sponsor and build teams are focused on building a business throughout all of theUSA andCanada.  They tend to have an expanded view of what a Watkins Business can be. 

Personal Use and Teambuilding are the keys to their success.  These leaders Use the Products themselves and then sponsor others to do the same.  Their business development is a continuous cycle of Personal Use and Teambuilding (Sponsoring and Coaching). 

Network builders are “dream builders.”  They look upon their Watkins Business as a magnificent mission to help other people.  They empower others to create a new vision of what can be.  True leaders have the capacity to help build dreams and they get great joy from helping people to achieve their dreams.

Benefits of Teambuilding and Network Creation

The opportunity for sponsoring large numbers of Associates is unlimited.  The Watkins Home-Based Business can involve people from all walks of life, all ages, all socio-economic groups, education levels and across diverse cultures.  Literally millions of people are seeking the very kind of system that you can offer through Watkins.  The opportunity is vast!

No selling required.  That statement may sound strange but it is absolutely correct.  Many people do not like to sell and want nothing to do with a business that requires selling.  Now you can assure them that “No selling is required.” You can have a very successful and extremely profitable Watkins business without ever approaching retail customers!  Your Summit Group training and our coaching will show you how through the Summit Group formula – Personal Use and Teambuilding.

Develop your Watkins Business part-time and achieve abundance. Investing just a few hours per week can help alleviate nagging anxiety and stress about the scarcity of money in your life.  Save to purchase your dream home. Develop a savings and investment plan that can put you on track to significant wealth.  Live debt-free with no dependence on credit cards.  Share your abundance and give back to life! 

Build toward a prosperous full-time career with WATKINS.  You can free yourself from demeaning, overly demanding jobs with unappreciative bosses who never recognize your full value and hardly ever pay you enough.  Grow your Watkins Business to the point that you can become your own boss.  Spend quality time with your family and friends doing things that most people only dream about.  Experience your lifetime in a whole new way.  Enhance your life and enjoy much more leisure time and travel. 

Give yourself a raise whenever you want and protect yourself against the tough times.  There is a simple rule in Network Marketing.  You can give yourself a raise anytime you wish.  All you have to do is expand your network and you will produce higher volumes that result in increased earnings for you.  No boss sets your wages.  What you earn is purely up to you and the team that you have created.  The Watkins network distribution business model rewards high performance in many ways.  Give yourself a raise.

Build a hedge against potential tough times!  When life is going well – that is the time to prepare for the possibility that at some future point life may not go so well. 

It is prudent to plan for the possibilities of tough times.  At Watkins we say, “Build your business before you need it!”

Realize significant savings on Federal Taxes (USA) by owning a home-based business.  This is an amazing benefit of a Watkins Business.  If you are like most people you probably do your share of grumbling at tax time.  You ask yourself, “Why should I be paying all of this money to the government?”  With the simple act of starting your own Home Based Business with Watkins you may save yourself thousands of dollars at tax time.  In recent years the IRS (In the USA) has written the tax code in ways that are favorable to owners of Home Based Businesses.  The current tax code is really a government incentive to encourage you to develop your own business.  You should check with your Tax Professional for details about how you can save on taxes and participate in this significant benefit.


Live like you have a million dollars in the bank! Treat Your Watkins Business as an ever-growing income source. Suppose you want extra earnings of $75,000 annually.  This is above whatever you currently earn.  To get that $75,000 from investments you must have at least $1,000.000.00 (one million dollars) in the bank paying you .075 percent interest annually.  Most people do not have $1,000,000.00 in the bank.  However, with a Watkins Business you can develop a network in three to five years that will pay you RESIDUAL INCOME in the amount of $75,000 (or much more annually) for the rest of your life.  Actually, you may even grow your business to a substantial six-figure residual income.  Remember, there are no limits. Now there is something to think about!  You can live like you have a million dollars in the bank even without the million dollars. 

Each Associate you sponsor strengthens your personal business.  Every new Associate moves your business closer to a “tipping point” where it may take on a life of its own and enjoy exponential growth.  Sponsoring is the core energy of your business development.  As you invite others to the WATKINS business expression you will become a high performance leader and ensure your financial destiny.

Gain Time Freedom.  One of the goals we hear often is related to having more time freedom to enjoy life.  If you are building a successful network marketing business you will eventually have significant income while at the time you will be able to find the time to enjoy life.  We find that even while we are building our business we have great time flexibility.  We work when and where we want to work.  No boss sets our schedule.  As our business grows we are also working fewer hours than we did in the beginning.  We can miss a whole month of work and still receive a handsome commission check.  Residual income and time freedom can only come from the network marketing side of the Watkins Business.

Leave a great financial legacy to your children or deserving others.  If you grow your business to the “dream level” you will have the possibility of earning tens-of-thousands-of-dollars in monthly income.  Your best bet for achieving that level is by applying the Summit Group formula for business growth.  The formula – Personal Use and Teambuilding duplicated over and over will essentially create a “money machine.”  You can build an ever-growing, stable, high-income business that will yield significant residual income for the rest of your life.  Your Watkins business is assignable and may be passed onto your children.  What a great legacy!

Limitations Related to Networking and Teambuilding

Your perceptions of Watkins and your own capacities may limit your future.  If you perceive that Watkins is basically a direct selling company it may limit your willingness to adopt the more productive sponsoring and teambuilding business model.  If you conclude that you do not have the attitudes, skill-sets and knowledge to operate a high-performance business you may significantly limit your future.

If you have any such feelings you need to speak with us.  We will lovingly give you a kick in your booster seat and affirm that you have everything you need in order to excel in our business expression.

Most people do not like change.  Sometimes it is very difficult for people to change their view of things.  If they are long-term Retailers of Watkins Products it may be difficult for them to embrace a new business formula.  

Lack of belief may get in the way of a golden future. We have people tell us that Retailing Watkins products is an easy task and that sponsoring and teambuilding would be too difficult for them to master.  They do not want the responsibility of “managing” people.  They do not believe that have the skills and attitudes to become effective sponsors and coaches of Watkins Associates.  They just can’t seem to get comfortable with the concept.  That is a shame because their lack of belief in their own abilities may deny him or her great financial rewards and the opportunity to help countless others. 

Granted, Teambuilding (sponsoring and coaching) may not come easily to everyone.  But through the Summit Group Training and the coaching of your Upline Leaders you will learn quickly the attitudes, skills and approaches that are required for you to become productive at teambuilding.  Do not allow your belief that sponsoring is too difficult to deny you a great career in network marketing.

Conclusions and Recommendations for Career Minded Associates

When you became a Watkins Associate you became the owner of a business vehicle that has great potential.  If you take our counsel and develop your business opportunity wisely you can transform your business into a powerful Network Distribution Organization that can positively impact on the lives of thousands of people.  Working in Association with Watkins and supported by The Summit Group you can become the owner of a high performing and profitable business venture.  All of this translates into a significant advantage and great value for your future!  Talk about opportunity – it does not get any better!

To grow your business to the “dream level” we encourage you to employ the business building formula that is recommended by the Summit Group. The formula – Personal Use and Teambuilding duplicated over and over will create an ever-growing, stable, high-income business that will yield significant residual income for the rest of your life.

 SPECIAL NOTE: All Executive Level Associates and Upper level Managers of the Summit Group consistently use the Summit Group formula for business development: Personal Use and Teambuilding

Please check with your Sponsor and Upline Leaders when you are deciding on your business development approaches.  Discuss the content of this ACHIEVEMENT GUIDE with your Sponsor and Upline Leaders.  Seek the guidance and direction of those who are experienced.  Then commit to a plan that best serves you and your goals for your business.  Remember, how you decide to operate your Watkins/Summit Group business is up to you.  It is your choice. 



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One Response to Should I Retail or Build a Team (Network) of Associates?

  1. Muriel Buchanan says:

    Very helpful, and a good followup of the conversation I had with Dave yesterday. Thanks –

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