Founder | PM International
Rolf Sorg’s Millionaire Training Story
Over the last 25 years, Larry’s business methods have had an enormous impact on my success in network marketing which has culminated in PM International hitting over $1 Billion a year in sales. This didn’t happen by accident, and I am extremely grateful I met Larry in the early stages of starting my company.
Five years before meeting Larry, I began working part-time for a direct-sales cosmetic company. I had recently finished a car mechanic’s apprenticeship and was studying economics and engineering at university. I was in debt and living off my parent’s support. A mechanic I knew was driving my dream car, and when I asked him about it, he said direct sales was the only reason he was able to afford it. I didn’t know anything about direct sales, but I thought, if he can do it, then maybe I can do it, too. Three years later, I was the company’s #1 distributor with over a million a month in sales.
Unfortunately, that business went under, and I found myself having to start over again at age 30. Thankfully, I was conservative with the money I earned and had savings to fall back on. In August of 1993, I took a risk and reinvested all the money I had made, took out a loan for $500,000, and started what would become PM International.
Within a year, I faced my first business crisis – a competitor copied my products and opened a subsidiary within 15 miles of me. This person also gained access to my database and contacted my leaders and distributors with promises of them making more money and extra bonuses.
Fate stepped in when I received a phone call from a woman in America named Carolyn Tarr, who was working for Larry Thompson. (Having grown up in Germany, I didn’t have a frame of reference for who Larry Thompson was. My only thought was I had nothing to lose, so I made an appointment with her.) The first thing she did when she came into my office was play a recording of Larry speaking before a group of 10,000 people. It was at that moment, I realized that Larry was an absolute giant in the network marketing industry and my company was the baby. I quickly understood I was going to get to learn from the best.
Carolyn invited my leaders and me to attend Larry’s Wealth Training seminar just three days later. This event couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. Our sales were down 50%, and I was going to attend with an open mind and a willingness to learn. I gathered up the 20 most influential leaders in my group to attend with me.
What Larry shared that day, blew me away. I believed every word that came out of his mouth, and I knew instinctively I needed to implement this training with my team. I knew that Larry was looking for a company to train, one that would become as legendary as Herbalife. I wanted PM International to be that company.
My anxiety was at an all-time high waiting for that meeting, but what happened at midnight talking with Larry changed my life. He challenged me. He asked me how deep my passion for success was and what kind of effort I was willing to put into this endeavor. I was going to prove to him just how serious I was about pursuing this and how much of a burning desire I had to work. This kind of partnership doesn’t come around every day. I knew right then I was going to put all my efforts into mastering his modules and learning whatever lessons Larry Thompson had to teach me.
If I wanted my business to succeed, I was going to have to outperform all my previous results. At the time, we were a very tiny company that only did $2.5 million in sales during our first full year of business. I knew this would not be an easy endeavor, and I also knew that with Larry’s training and guidance, it would be possible. Larry agreed to partner with me.
Larry made sure his assistant called me every day to check that my team and I were doing the training modules. It was during these trainings that I learned some of my most valuable skills, like how to set the pace of your team by being a role model and demonstrating that to them. He made sure I was doing the best I could and working hard to show my team what was possible. Through the training modules, I also learned an effective Daily Method of Operation. It can be painful to face your numbers every day, but when you see your day-to-day activity, it puts a pulse on what is and what isn’t working, and that’s what ultimately builds success.
I could quickly see the effect Larry’s training was having on my business. My team and I picked up the pace and worked like hell. In August, we were selling $250,000 a month. In September, we were up to $277,000. By October things had really kicked in and we were selling $400,000 per month. Because we were such a small company to begin with, the impact we were seeing from implementing Larry’s training was fast.
Come November, we doubled our sales to $800,000 and in December we had over $1.7 million in sales. That was 1994. This number would have been even higher except for the fact we were not prepared for this kind of rapid expansion, and we ended up running out of product towards the end of December and early January. But it didn’t even matter that we started a little lower in the new year because we had built momentum. PM International was now on solid ground.
Over the next two years, I continued to work very closely with Larry, and it was an invaluable experience. From him, I learned that you could have the best product in the world; however, if you don’t tell the story in a way that gets them to see and feel what you see and feel about the product, you will experience fewer positive results. You have to promote the product and paint a picture that gets people excited about what you are offering them. When people see your excitement, it becomes contagious and gets them excited as well. It becomes a shared experience and that can only happen with real stories. Fake stories don’t work.
Besides Larry being an incredible role model to me, he also demonstrated how important it is to never give up and that there are methods that build consistency which trigger long-lasting success. PM International is a perfect example of that. Taking over 27 years to reach $1 Billion a year in sales is not the fastest story in the history of network marketing, but it is one of the most consistent stories.
With this younger generation of network marketers coming up in the digital age, I think back on my younger self and remember that stage of my life and the unlimited potential I felt. I see that same passion and desire to go hard after something in many of the younger people in my company today.
Regardless of social media and the internet, you still have to have a burning desire to succeed and a teachable attitude if you want to accomplish your goals. Larry’s teachings are as relevant and practical today as they were when I started in this industry over 30 years ago, perhaps even more so.
Most people are looking to stay in their comfort zone. They think that technology can replace hard work, but that isn’t the case. If you are willing to step up and do the job and implement Larry’s techniques and strategies, you will see success. And, like an athlete training for the Olympics, you have to work your butt off. Success isn’t handed to you, only you can put in the effort.
In today’s world of network marketing, social media can be an excellent tool for communication. It’s a platform that allows you to concentrate on your contacts and gives you significant reach, but it’s no replacement for the basic fundamentals that build loyalty and deep relationships. That sense of meeting with someone and knowing them creates team spirit that you can’t imitate the same way in the online community.
Nothing in the social media realm can replace the strategies and tactics you get from Larry’s training. You have to stay focused and based around that model. You need to be setting the pace for your team and be in constant contact with your people. They need to know that you are excited about what you’re doing with your business. Larry lays everything out for you super clear and simple in his training.
Another formative aspect of Larry’s training is the ripple effect of success it has had on my life both in and out of the network marketing space. My wife, Vicki, and I believe strongly in giving help to others by creating a margin in our company to give back to charity. We decided to partner with World Vision and have had the opportunity to sponsor over 2,300 children to help provide them with education and resources for their future. Again, because of Larry’s emphasis on consistency, we’ve been able to keep this partnership with World Vision going for over 20 years with no plans of stopping.
Through the years, Larry has been a great advisor and a constant inspiration. He helped give me the confidence I needed to build myself up and make my business what it is today. His ability to see the big picture and evaluate things from the outside helped open me up to new possibilities and the chance to see growth I didn’t dream possible. He truly is the best promoter I have ever met in my life and a true master at sales strategies. When I signed my contract with him back in 2011, he told me we were going to hit a billion in sales by 2018. He always was a little faster than me (it took until 2019), but he wasn’t far off. And now, he’s telling me we’re going to hit $3 billion in the next two years. I believe him.