Francesca Manca – Forever Living
Fran tells us all about her direct selling business with health and wellness company, Forever Living.
If you could first of all introduce yourself…
Francesca Giuditta Eleonora Manca. I am 38, and for the last 16 years I have been doing marketing and events. I am also a jazz singer, I collect hats, and I love vintage.
What is the Direct Selling Company you represent? Please could you tell us a little bit about their history.
Founded in 1978 in Scottsdale, Arizona, Forever Living Products is the largest grower, manufacturer and distributor of Aloe Vera products in the world. For over three decades, Forever have dedicated themselves to seeking out nature’s best sources for health and beauty and sharing them with the world. With a commitment to quality and purity, Forever are passionate about helping everyone around the world look and feel better.
How did you come to join your company?
I started using the products, especially the weight management ones, and the aloe gel drink, a year ago. They work so well and I was using them so much that I initially I decided to become a distributor to get the 35% discount!
Why did you feel that Direct Selling was the best option for you?
I have a son, almost 7yo, who has a newly diagnosed form of autism called PDA, pathological demand avoidance. He was struggling in school, so we had to take him out and find the few UK experts that know of this condition and the strategies which work with it. Having him at home, homeschooled through a tutor, and having to go up and down the country to find experts and get help, was burning a lot of working time. Also, because his condition is not known in Italy (where I come from), I started a blog and a facebook group to raise awareness about PDA and try and help families who, like us, had a child with a “non specific autism diagnosis”, and were going through difficult times trying to help these children, for whom the techniques normally used for autism really don’t work.
In the meantime, through my upline in Forever I could see which advantages and perks you can get once you get up to the manager level, and I really started thinking this could be the opportunity I needed to be able to keep working (I am a very career-driven person), earning the amount of money I am used to, but managing my time around my son’s needs and timetables.
Did you have any previous experience of direct selling or running a business?
I am still working in my day job as Head of Marketing, I need to reach the level of Manager in Forever (not far now!) in order to be able to leave. And Marketing is strictly connected with sales, so I’d say yes. Plus, I am a people person.
Tell me a bit more about the products you offer
Forever offers a super wide range of products: from weight management, to wellbeing, makeup, beauty, products for the home and for animals. All the products are aloe vera-based, kosher, vegan, carry the Islamic seal of approval, non-tested on animals, and they have no nasty stuff in them. And, they really work.
How many people do you have in your downline and how do you manage your team?
At the moment I have 5 direct people under me who all have at least 1 or 2 people under them. The team is super new, only 4 months old, but we have plans to conquer the world!
How do you find new people to join your team?
Both through social media, especially facebook, and in person. I do beauty nights either in my home or at hairdressers, in church halls, etc, where people can try the products and see for themselves how they work. And if they are interested, I explain the business opportunity, possibly in 121 meetings, so that people are freer to express their doubts and ask the questions they normally wouldn’t ask in front of a crowd.
Do you have a preferred way to retail? What is most profitable for you?
The beauty nights really work. Also, showing what the products do for me on social media really works.
What about support for you? Such as company training and upline support.
This is fantastic. Training is always provided, my team is based in Italy but made of international people, we speak English, Italian, French, Arabic, Spanish, Romanian. We are based all over Europe and in Iraq, and each one of us can access training and attend Success Days wherever they are, as Forever is basically everywhere! We support each other through social, whatsapp, email and skype, and obviously in person!
What would you say has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
I think the biggest challenge in this sector is that some people see the value and the opportunity but are not willing to let the 9-5 job go, and they claim they have no time for it.
But if I can make it work with no family around (they are all in Italy!), a full time job, an autistic child who doesn’t go to school, and whilst going through a divorce and taking the Local Authority to court in order for them to provide what my child is entitled to, everyone can!
What have been the best and worst things that have happened since you’ve been in business?
No bad things, just more money coming in, a lot of weight coming off me (over a stone now!), I am fitter, healthier, and I can see a sparkling career ahead of me, in a solid company who grows every year.
What 3 words would you use to describe your ‘business self’?
Determined, enthusiastic, knowledgeable.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into direct selling?
Don’t give up after the first month. Use the first 40 days to plant as many seeds as you can and start farming, you WILL see the results. Ask your upline for support, this is why they are there! If not, it means you are in the wrong line, and you can jump onto mine.
Who do you look up to business wise? Do you have a business idol/mentor?
So many I can’t possibly name them all. Sir Richard Branson, Renzo Rosso- the owner of DIESEL, Angelike Norrie, Anna Wintour, and many many others!
If you could go back in time, would you change anything?
Yes. I would try and follow my dream of being of a singer aged 16.
How much is it to join your company and what do people have to do if they want to find out more?
There is an initial investment of about £150. They can email me on email@example.com, or have a look at my Facebook page.
And finally where can we find you?
Website: I don’t have one yet but stay with me!
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