NPROS EDITOR'S NOTE:
If you know the whereabouts of Mark Guest or current company association, please contact us.
you plan to make $10,000 before the weekend, this isn't the deal for
you. But if you're looking for a long-term residual income opportunity
with a company that will go the distance, this is it."
-Mark Guest, CEO The Benefits Network
Npros: What are a few of your past experiences
in the marketplace? (Great Successes and Failures that turned into
great learning experiences?)
Mark Guest: Like so many in this industry, I was first
exposed to the Network Marketing business environment by a friend.
He invited me to a meeting being held in a local hotel here in Southern
California. He mentioned that a group of successful, young and ambitious
men and women, like ourselves, were getting together to review a
new business model launching marketing efforts in the area. I went,
liked the message and product and service being offered, and the
rest is history. I've been active either full time or part time
in the networking environment ever since.
That first exposure was an Irvine based firm, named
FundAmerica, Inc. When I joined the organization in November of
1988, it was doing only $250,000 in sales revenue for the entire
year. The next year, it was at approximately
two-point-five million dollars, and
then in 1990 the company was surging at a momentum pace and doing
over two hundred million dollars for the year, and operating in
a limited number of states by design.
My goal was to earn an extra five-hundred or thousand
dollars a month. Being a recent college graduate, that seemed like
an attainable goal. I actually ended up earning in excess of thirty-five
thousand dollars per month as a lead Presidential Director and Field
Trainer. My life was changed forever!
In June of 1990, FundAmerica experienced regulatory
difficulty in Florida and other states. This was primarily due to
the significant growth and misrepresentations made in the field,
outside of the control of the company, of the income opportunity.
With the "Black Eye" of being a labeled potential pyramid
scheme, sales immediately declined and the attraction of the opportunity
now had a blemish. Even though the firm was eventually vindicated,
the damage was already done, and my income dropped from nearly a
half-a-million annually to les then $40,000.00 in six months.
After leaving FAI due to lack of income and future
opportunity. I then began consulting for small number of MLM start-up
firms. As a consultant, I did not have the opportunity to gain real
ownership. I then started a small networking travel firm with a
good friend of mine from high school. Our idea was to create a referral
travel agency, deriving its travel sales from outside independent
TravelMax was created and the independent agent
concept was Red Hot. The firm experienced significant growth, with
gross sales of travel and travel related products and services nearing
one-hundred million dollars in less then three years. Again, the
company experienced growth challenges, this time from the inside
out. The company infrastructure played a role in the firm not being
able to go to the next level. TravelMax was soon after acquired
and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida by a publicly traded firm.
And still today many of the disciplines founded by the TravelMax
initiative are regularly used by many travel related firms.
Now we have created a consumer friendly firm in
The Benefits Network, Inc. I believe TBN is destined to become the
premiere non-insurance Health Care Savings Program in America. By
leading with product first, then the opportunity, we can more accurately
address the firms challenges as it becomes a growing concern within
the networking business space.
do you see the current marketplace for direct marketing opportunities?
I'm not extremely impressed with most of the business models currently
available in Network Marketing. Most are so flawed, that they don't
have much of a chance once the Hype and Deceptiveness is gone. Which
can take just a few weeks or even months in many cases. They tend
to be driven only on the "opportunity", not a true value
proposition for the end user.
How does TBN fit into your vision for that developing market?
TBN has been created with something else in mind. Not only member
acquisition, but member retention. By outsourcing most of the "heavy
lifting" that usually taxes a companies resources, our business
model and firm can maintain a lateral ability to constantly address
the changing market - be it adding additional benefits and value
to our product line creating additional compensation advantages
for our Affiliates. We are a firm taking advantage of online disciplines,
like website replication and back-office technologies, but at the
same time, use good old-fashioned off-line disciplines for those
not looking to be heavily into the Internet.
companies do you most respect in the market right now? What about
their various business models have you incorporated into TBN to
insure your success?
Well there are definitely a number of fine business's operating
with Networking as their chosen distribution channel. But if I was
to single one model out, I like the diligence and patience of Melaleuca.
I remember when they launched so many said "not exciting,
no real money can be made" etc... Yet here they are today,
one of the most sought after opportunities in the world. Solid management,
good consumable products, fair compensation plan. They also seem
to manage as well as take care of their most valuable asset: their
So many business's within the networking environment today have
from the beginning flaws in not only infrastructure, but in the
business model. They may have short term success, but without a
lot of LUCK, and enormous sales volume, they have no chance! It
is those opportunities that give the MLM networking space such a
bad reputation. People join these business's thinking that someone
wouldn't start it if it didn't make sense, would they? But unfortunately
us an overview of the short term and long term goals for TBN.
TBN is strictly a business opportunity, wrapped around a true customer
acquisition and retention business model. Our short term goals are
to establish a national network of Affiliates. We would prefer Affiliates
that can make a spare-time or part-ime commitment. What I have found
in dealing with this type of networker is manageable expectations
surrounding the opportunity. They re not looking for $10,000-$25,000
by next week, or a month from joining the business. They are looking
for a $10,000 to $25,0000 first year spare time or part time income
to add to their current, often fixed incomes.
With this type of foundation, through the development of 10,000
to 20,000 Affiliates in the next few years, TBN's future is secured
through the acquisiton of members. These members are enjoying significant
savings in our benefits, and paying a monthly subscription affording
TBN the ability to continually reward our Affiliates with true residual
income. Re-occurring income from a onetime sale.
I foresee Affiliates
deciding at a later date to go full time in TBN, simply because
they can't afford to go to work, because their TBN income has become
such a significant part of their lives. Imagine building a member
organization of ten thousand or more member in time, and receiving
a monthly residiual income on the benefits package for each member.
Imagine the possibilities for our leading affiliates that join today
and assist us in sharing the most powerful consumer service in the
marketplace today, Health Care savings. I see some with member organizations
in the tens of thousands, maybe more.
Can you describe the company products and benefits?
As a pioneer and innovator in the health care benefits industry,
TBN is filling a necessary gap for millions of Americans. We do
not attempt to serve as a replacement for insurance: rather, we
have designed our benefits to offset the ever-increasing cost of
health care here in the United States.
Here is just a sample of our benefits:
Pharmacy : up to 75% on specific name medications. Up to 50% on
most short term medications
Physician Visit: Discounts on Doctors visits up to 30% at over 240,000
Chiropractic Care: up to 50% on services
Vision Care:up tp 30% on eye exams and surgical procedures
Dental: up to 50% on most routine services
Benefits Network Page at Npros.com
to Mark Guest, CEO of The Benefits Network for responding to our
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The Benefits Network folded. For more information on this and other closed companies, click here.