brad-hager-chapter-bookBrad Hager

Recognition: The Driving Force

“They come for the money, but they stay for the big neon sign that says love and recognition.

It was years ago when Brad Hager first heard a mentor make that statement.

Brad Hager instantly reached for a pen, for he knew it was one of those rare pearls of wisdom occasionally given out by those who have gone before us.  However, it would be years before he would come to realize how vital these words are to building a large, successful organization with true staying power.

According to the Direct Selling Association, the number one reason people get into network marketing is for financial gain.  The second factor is to obtain time freedom and more control over their own lives (which incidentally is very rarely obtained without first getting more of number one).  These being the facts, we can clearly see what approach we should take with prospects when attempting to enroll them into our business.  By focusing on their hot buttons, anyone can go out and build a large, successful organization, get rich, and live happily ever after, right?Wrong.

While sharing your opportunity with new prospects, the preceding motivators should definitely be revealed.  But, contrary to what some people teach, there is more.  To build it big, it goes beyond getting involved and sponsoring a few people.

Brad Hager will never forget his first few years in this business when he would ask the large money earners what he needed to do to get my business going and to start making those big checks.  Brad Hager received the same two answers that many of you have gotten in the past.  The first was simply “sponsor more people”; the second answer was “do more of what you’re already doing.” Duh!! immediately Brad Hager thought to myself, “What he was doing is not working, so why would I want to do more of it?  So that he could fail faster, I guess.”

Brad Hager would think that you’d agree it doesn’t do a lot of good to continue putting people into your business if the old ones are quitting faster than you can sponsor new ones.  Brad is reminded of a lady who approached him not long ago to inform him that she had sponsored 42 distributors who had all quit.  Needless to say, she looked Brad Hager kinda funny when he told her to please stop sponsoring people.  Brad then went on to explain to her that something was obviously not working.  “Don’t you think you should figure out how you messed up the last 42 before you sponsor any more?”

Brad Hager learned a long time ago if you’re going to make residual income in this industry, especially large amounts of it, the name of the game is get them in, keep them in, and move them along.  The sad thing is that many people work very hard learning how to put them in but very few figure out how to keep them in and move them along.  Therefore, after a few hard months of sponsoring, many get discouraged and quit or move on to another company, thus creating the revolving door effect so many organizations are plagued with today.  These people falling by the wayside give our industry a bad name.  They’re like that TV show called Where Are They Now?  You know-the one where they do a segment on a movie star or singer who had the one big hit and fell off the face of the earth.  The same thing happens here.  Some people sponsor a lot of others and get a few big checks the first few months, but they never figure out how to keep them in and move them along.  When the checks go away so do they.

Recently, a gentleman approached Brad Hager and proceeded to ask him how he could have prevented his last 10 personally sponsored distributors from quitting.  What could he do differently to keep them in? Brad Hager's answer was simple: “Get them a check” The money is the number one reason people get involved, so help them get what they came for.  People who are making money are less likely to quit than those who are not.  A philosophy that has served Brad well is “what gets rewarded gets repeated” It is also true that rewards and recognition should be swift and abundant.  A check is a reward.  Help your people get that reward as soon as possible.  In today’s fast-paced environment, people are not delayed gratification.  If they go too long without getting rewards (i.e., checks) they either quit or move on.  It has been said, “Volume never goes down in network marketing.  It just moves on to another company.”  Too many people join our industry and go into a recruiting or retailing frenzy, creating a check for themselves.  What they fail to realize is getting them in is not the same as keeping them in.  Remember, they come for the money.  Getting them a check is the first step in keeping them in.

It would serve all of us well to understand that people are recognition driven.  If you doubt Brad Hager on this, go down to your local bar on karaoke night.  While some are very talented, just watch and listen (if you can bear the pain) to those who can not carry a tune.  They step up to the microphone and embarrass themselves for three or four minutes, all so they can be recognized by the crowd’s applause.  Heaven forbid if someone tells them they were good… they go back for round two!  This leads to more applause and more recognition.  Yourself and others get more misery.  Remember, what gets rewarded gets repeated.

Still not convinced people are recognition driven?  Perhaps you should view one of the many reality shows so abundant on television today.  You’ll see people eat bugs, swim in shark-infested waters, and do a host of other grotesque and hazardous acts.  Many get disqualified or beaten out by their opponents and get nothing.  Do you think they do these most humiliating acts for the money?  No.  For most, their job pays more than they will earn from winnings.  Most are merely seeking recognition, the opportunity to be seen, to be appreciated.  When it comes to recognition, the old adage is that “men die for it and babies cry for it” If you’ve ever been in the military or had children, you know both are true.  Brad Hager personally knows this all too well.  Brad's two-year-old wants nothing more than mommy and daddy’s approval and attention, and he’ll cry as long as it takes to get it.

Those same desires for attention and recognition have followed us into our adult lives.  Just as children want their parents to acknowledge them when they learn and accomplish new things, our downlines want their accomplishments recognized as well.  This is why most companies have pins and awards to signify different levels of achievement.  While some will never realize the significance of recognition and the pin system, if they stick around they eventually will.  Brad Hager is reminded and will never forget the guy who told him he wasn’t into this “recognition thing”  “Just send me my checks and I’ll be happy,” he said.  The first time he got a $30,000 bonus check and no one recognized him for it, he wrote the company a letter and complained about it.

In the largest study ever conducted on job satisfaction, money and benefits were not even ranked in the top 10 items that make the most profitable and productive work environments.  You must realize even though it is the number one reason people join your business, it's not the money that drives them away.  History has proven that people will work for less money as long as they feel appreciated.  The same is true with your downline.  If you don't respect them, they will leave you.  Brad Hager himself can personally attest to this.  Brad Hager once walked away from a company where he had a large check and more than 65,000 people in his downline because lack of respect.  If you don't acknowledge them, you are, by default, disrespecting them.  One of the worst things you can do is ignore your downline.

In the corporate world, companies that do recognition have a less than 4 percent turnover rate.  Wouldn't you like to have a retention rate like that in your downline?  It has been said that the greatest motivational force in the world is when someone else believes in you.  You would have to search long and hard to find more effective motivational tool than recognition.  The good news is that most network marketing companies have recognition programs, and majority do an adequate job at it.  The challenge is that very few do a great job at it.  The reason is that most employees and owners alike don't understand the value of recognition and how to do it effectively.  It makes matters worse that very few distributors understand it well, either.  Most believe recognition is the company's responsibility.  I learned a long time ago not to rely on the company to motivate my organization.  Brad Hager takes recognition into his own hands, and he suggest you do the same.  Understand that performing recognition effectively does not come naturally to most people, even the top income earners.  But the great news is it can be learned.  Brad Hager highly encourages you to learn the incredible art of motivation thru recognition.

Brad Hager's best advice for people in this business is to develop a "catch them doing something right" mentality with regard to their downline.  Better put, praise them to profit.  The best leaders learn to celebrate virtually everything, from advancing through the various compensation plan levels to achieving record-breaking months, from adding new enrollees to making new retail sales.  They also use many forms or recognition, from a congratulatory voice mail or e-mail to a steak dinner, from a bottle of champagne to a trip to Paris.  Brad believes that we should recognize our people with plaques as big as doors, and trophies as big as people who earn them.

The bigger the accomplishment, the bigger the reward should be.  For example, one of his personally sponsored distributorships recently achieved a top pin.  Brad and his wife surprised them by picking them up in a limo and taking them to a private jetport where a leased private Learjet awaited our arrival.  Once airborne, they enjoyed the finest of champagne during their short flight to Martha’s Vineyard, where they had lunch at the top restaurant on the island.  After a little shopping, they hoped back on the Lear to return to Manhattan.  The limo took Brad Hager and his party to the Plaza Hotel to relax then the limo picked them up again in time for dinner at the number one restaurant in New York City.  The distributorship achieved something big so Brad made them feel appreciated, respected, and valued by giving them an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Brad always recognizes right in his organization.  Brad Hager has taken his leaders everywhere from a dream week in Cabo San Lucas to first-class weekends in Beverly Hills and Las Vegas, from New York to Paris to French Polynesia.  Brad Hager recognizes the big accomplishments and he also recognizes the small stepping-stones.  Brad Hager is always looking for any reason to call someone's name, to stand and be applauded.  His people understand recognition so well, the other day a sound guy walked onstage to check the microphone and the crowd gave him a standing ovation!  Brad Hager has designed a championship ring for his leaders who achieve top pin levels.  Now, Brad is not talking small potatoes.  His championship ring makes a World Series ring look insignificant.  Anyone would be more than proud to wear this on their finger.  The ring and its diamonds are massive, and deservingly so.  Brad believes that if he can stand and cheer the sports figures and the rock stars who color their hair purple and tattoo their bodies and we hold these people up to our children as role models, then we should also give championship rings to the real heroes of this world.  People like you who are reading this book, people who are teaching entrepreneurship, people who are helping parents put kids through college and showing how to bring spouses home from work so they can be with their children are the real heroes.  You deserve the recognition.  This business is about stuff of which dreams are made, so Brad Hger encourages you to become a dream maker.

If you're missing a great recognition program, then Brad suggest you start one.  Here are a few recommendations that brad hager suggest on how to get going.  First, start a recognition journal.  Make a list of different contests and promotions you can run to increase sales, recruiting, new pin levels, and so on.  What is worthy of recognition?  What is it you want to focus on- retail contest, a recruitment contest? Brad's philosophy is: If it can move, measure it, promote it, and reward it.  Simply put, if you measure it and reward it, people will do it.  Select a promotion that is easy for the participants to understand.  It should be something they can measure with ease.  If you make it too complicated, people won’t perform.

Second, determine when you will start the promotion, how long will it run, and how often you will recognize accomplishments.  Starting dates are important to maximize your objectives.  Consider what else is going on at this time in the company.  Are there any promotions that would conflict with this one?  Is this a good time of year, or are there holidays that would detract from (or add on) the promotion?  Many companies go through slumps during June, July, August, and December, yet these are always some of our biggest volume and recruitment months because we line up specific promotions under 90 days while having weekly recognition benchmarks.  Brad suggest the more often you recognize, the better the performance you’ll receive.  Long promotions lead to greater chances of burnout.

Next, determine what awards will be given for the promotion.  Brad highly suggests you set up a promotion to your income.  Doing this will ensure you have allotted a certain percentage of your check every month to grow your business.  As your income grows, so does your promotion budget, which in turn causes your check to grow even more.  Awards should be of value and motivate your team.  Make sure the awards will give you a return on your investment.  In other words, the promotion should pay for itself.  If not, either choose another award or reconsider the promotion.  Brad highly suggests that cash not be recommended as an award.  Studies show that people who receive other types of awards outperform those receiving cash by 50 percent.  People will spend the cash to pay bills and never have a memory reminder of what their achievement or award was.  People collect mementos, not cash.  Memories of a great trip will last forever.  Awards with your company’s logo or symbol are great for keeping the accomplishment and vision alive.

The next step is to create awareness and excitement about the promotion.  Brad goes on to suggest to get your leaders and team members on board with you prior to launching the promotion.  The more people who buy into the promotion before it starts, the better chance for success.  You will also want to spend time training your leaders on how to present the promotion right away.  There are numerous ways to get the word out and the excitement up.  A great promoter will use as many methods as possible to ensure success.  Use everything from e-mail and voicemail blasts to hanging posters at every meeting to putting flyers and brochures on every chair.  Special conference calls are great to announce and explain the promotion and awards, if you already know Brad Hager then you kno whe is a big fan of this.  To be successful, a promotion must be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Most promotions fail because they are announced once or twice and then forgotten.  To be successful, remember to keep it simple, say it often, make it burn.  The promotion should be simple enough for a child to understand.  Talk it up daily, several times a day.  Make it a promotion that everyone wants to win.

Now Brad mentions it’s time for the grand finale, time to reward the winner(s).  This should be a big deal and always in front of as many people as possible.  Make the fanfare as big as possible in proportion to the size of the promotion.  Take pictures and put them on your website.  Videotape the award being presented and send to all the winners’ relatives.  To be most effective, present the award within a few days of the conclusion of the promotion.  Remember recognition should be swift and abundant.  Make it a big deal and do it with class.  If you go over and above in any part of your business, recognition is important.  Done right, the returns are enormous.

Brad finishes this chapter by saying "When we believe people, we motivate them to reach their highest potential.  It’s been written, “Look at a man as he is and he becomes worse, but look at him as he should be and he’ll become what he could be.”  People always grow toward a leader’s expectation, not toward criticism and examinations.  Expectations promote progress.  Promotions and recognition programs create expectations.  Commit to becoming a master of recognition and you’ll master many of the challenges you’ll face in this journey we call network marketing.     

Engage the Imagination, then take it where you will. Where the mind has repeatedly journeyed, the body will surely follow.

People go only to places they have already been in their minds.


brad hager
Brad Hager and his wife Marcia have 37 years combined experience and have earned over $20 million in the network marketing industry.

They have trained and helped 10 people become millionaires and/or multi millionaires, and collectively built downline organizations of over 350,000 people with sales over a billion dollars.

Brad’s forte is mentoring and equipping leaders to not only build large organizations but to also amass teams that perform at high levels and create vast incomes.