Dispelling the notion that Pre-Paid Legal Service has turned the
law profession into a Tupperware party, Harland Stonecipher is
convinced that the multilevel company's purchase of a satellite
channel is the right move.
Pre-Paid's acquisition of The People's Network and its Success
Channel on Primestar earlier this month sent stock values roller-
coastering to a year low of 14 compared to a year high of 44 3/16.
The deal had some questioning the direction of the company, which
closed Friday up 5/8 to 19 1/2 on the American Stock Exchange.
But Stonecipher, chief executive of Pre-Paid, remains
philosophical about the market and is a staunch supporter of the Ada
company's network marketing strategy.
"We can worry ourselves sick about the market, and we're just
going to be sick," Stonecipher says. "We've just got to do what
we've been doing. We're going to grow very rapidly, and people will
understand why I bought the channel."
The TPN purchase now enables Pre-Paid to pipe motivational
training into the homes of Pre-Paid's sales force, which currently
equals about 132,616.
Sales associates formerly from TPN, who sell Primestar
subscriptions, will now market Pre-Paid memberships -- or policies -
adding 30,000 associates to the Pre-Paid sales force. All sales
associates will be "strongly encouraged" to purchase a Primestar
package for Pre-Paid training, the CEO says.
Eventually, Pre-Paid sales training will air part of the day, with
other motivational programming planned for the remainder. Shows
include top-earning sales associates providing testimonials about
their success and Pre-Paid product marketing.
The company's purchase of its own channel was inspired by
Primerica, a multilevel travel service company that trains its
associates on Direct TV, Stonecipher says. He had experimented with
video conferencing and other group training technology but was not
"This gives us the ability to communicate directly with our sales
force and do it daily, do it every evening," he says.
Consistent training is key to multilevel marketing, Stonecipher
says. He's learned a lesson from Tupperware, which recently
pinpointed an unwieldy, undertrained sales force as the culprit in
its recent stock backslide.
As with any multilevel marketing company, product sales must be
coupled with an increased sales force. Not only do associates sell
the product or service, but they also want customers to become
associates, which allows the first associate to gain an underwrite
from all that's sold down the line. …