Every so often in your career, you’re going to get “the call.” It’s from someone above you in the sponsorship line, or perhaps a high-ranking leader who is cross line. And they have some pretty earth-shattering news…
They’re jumping to another company. And they want you to join them. You’re probably in shock and awe at this point, because this person may be a top rank, a top income earner, or someone who has been on the platform for a lot of company or team major events.
The call is typically going to come in the evening, or on a weekend, as what they are doing is secret and they’re trying to contact as many potential people to take with them as possible, before news leaks out and the company takes defensive action. So you’ll probably be put on the spot and asked to make an almost immediate decision if you want to follow them and lock in a good position in whatever company they are migrating to.
They might allude to all kinds of secret info that you’re not aware of, suggesting that the current program you’re in is in dire financial straits, likely to close, face regulatory issues, or other possible sky-is-falling scenarios.
So what do you do?
Well every situation is different, and there is no template answer for how you should respond. But I can go through some typical situations, share some personal experience with you, and provide my best insights for how to deal with “the call” if you get one.
The most frequent scenario is the person has reached a plateau in your current business and their growth has stalled out. They’ve decided the fault lies with the company and think a new hot deal offers a better chance for growth. Some new company is looking for a shortcut and has offered them a deal to come over, perhaps covering all their marketing expenses and guaranteeing them a certain income for an extended period of time.
Forty-eight hours earlier they were on a stage or webcast, telling the world that your company was the preeminent opportunity in the known galaxy. Now on the phone they’re suggesting the company is going down the drain and if you don’t jump to the hot new deal you’re going to drown.
I got this “call” about five years ago. The founding distributor of my company called me and said the company wasn’t paying their bills, the investors were pulling out all of the money, and my company would collapse. (Of course by fortunate coincidence, he has just received a deal worth millions to him to jump to another company.)
It just didn’t add up…
First of all, I knew this guy was a dealmaker, and this was at least his fifth or sixth deal he had migrated through. I had superseded him as the top income earner and felt the company had a strong foundation to last. So I wished him good luck.
So what happened?
I would estimate he took less than two percent of his existing team with him, and about five percent of mine, because he convinced one of my top Diamonds to jump with him. It’s five years later, my company is still here, and I’ve earned another six or seven million dollars in commission. The company they jumped to tanked, and was taken over recently for pennies on the dollar. The guy who called me had already jumped to another deal, and my Diamond (who had been earning 50K a month with me) is long gone and in another business.
Most people who jump companies are simply shocked to discover how few of their team jumps with them…
Probably a year or two after the former number one at my company left, my own sponsor quit and went to another company. I didn’t even get the courtesy of “the call,’ hearing about it instead from a couple team members he had approached. (Of course he wouldn’t have needed to call me, since we were both together at that time at a leadership retreat in Hawaii, provided by the company!)
I estimate he took less than five percent of his team with him, and stayed at that company less than a year. He quit the business and now earns his income doing seminars and training on how to do the business.
The truth is, even when someone leaves a company for cause, it’s very hard to move a team. People are invested in the product line. They’re invested in their position and the position of all their team members. They’re invested in the corporate leadership team. They’re invested in the team or company culture. So even if you honestly believe there is a good reason to make a switch, it’s worth doing some critical thinking about what it will mean to start over somewhere else.
Probably the next most frequent scenario is that you get the call from a leader who was (or knows they are about to be) terminated from your company. They have no bridges left to burn, and usually will try to go after everyone they have a means to contact.
If someone in this kind of situation contacts you, what should you do?
They might have a deal somewhere new and maybe are offering one to you. But what’s really relevant is, why were they terminated? Is it because the company is trying to eliminate paying top income earners and this is part of a pattern? Sadly, I’ve certainly seen this before. Not often, and it’s a big mistake, but companies make big mistakes all the time. If you’re ever in a situation like this, you should have already been looking for a landing spot where the owners have some ethics.
But cases like this usually only happen about once in a decade. Here’s what is much more likely…
The leader was terminated for cause. Meaning illegal, or unethical behavior, which threatens team members or the company itself. This includes actions such as:
- Making exaggerated or inflammatory income claims;
- Making dangerous product testimonial or cure claims;
- Using their relationship with team members to exploit them via outside investment or business opportunities;
- Posting defamatory or slanderous statements and comments on social media sites;
- Manipulating people’s back office accounts, by placing unwanted orders, moving distributors or other action to increase their own bonus checks; or,
- Enticing cross line team members to leave their existing spot and join them under surreptitious corporate structures, or identities or their spouse or other relatives.
So what do you do in a situation like this?
Do the critical thinking: If someone was terminated for trying to steal cross line recruits, what makes you think they won’t try and repeat that with you? If they took selfish actions that threatened the last company, it’s a pretty good bet they’ll do the same thing in their next company.
In situations like these, it’s never about following the leader, it’s about following the integrity. Stay with the course of doing the business with integrity, and you’ll always wind up on the winning team.