Our 4th AMSOIL Dealer Story features Joann (Jo) and Robert Smythe.
Many times new dealers ask, how fast can I build this business? While many dealers work part-time at their dealership some dealers take off and go for the top right away. This AMSOIL dealer story is about getting to a high level of success in a short amount of time. Learn how Jo Smythe and her husband Robert are doing it. This dealership is primarily run by Jo, which there are few female dealers. We have always contended that women make great AMSOIL Dealers and this proves the point.
This article was featured in the October 2017 AMSOIL Magazine.
AMSOIL Dealer Aiming for the Top
It’s said that successful AMSOIL Dealers are fiercely independent. The same is said of Texans. Dealers Joann and Robert Smythe of Rosharon, Texas easily fit that description. They launched their Dealership about 18 months ago and are already Premier Direct Jobbers.
“My husband and I have been selfemployed for most of our lives,” Joann said. “Even as children we would always find ways to work and make money for ourselves.”
About 11 years ago, the couple started a successful estate liquidations company. But, life has a way of changing things and a little more than two years ago Joann was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases. “I found that the Texas heat, along with packing and moving customers’ property out of homes, was just too exhausting for me, and I came to the realization I would have to change my occupation to one that would allow me to work around my illness.”
She started looking for something that required less physical labor. “Even though we had used AMSOIL products, I never knew of the Dealer opportunity,” Smythe said.
“I was nervous being a woman and not knowing much about oil, but I started trying to study everything and did the T1 certification, along with T2, T3 and T4.”
A conversation with a neighbor who was an AMSOIL Dealer at the time convinced her to consider becoming a Dealer. “I knew how great the product was as we used many different product lines already,” Smythe said. “Roughly a month later I signed as a Dealer. I was nervous being a woman and not knowing much about oil, but I started trying to study everything and did the T1 certification, along with T2, T3 and T4.”
She took the certification courses over a two-week period. Although it was a significant amount of information to take in, Smythe determined she knew enough to get started. “I just decided, ‘What the heck, I’m jumping in head first and let’s see what happens.’”
Jumping Into the Business, Using Company Resources She made a plan. Counting on her knowledge of a few AMSOIL products, she started booking small local shows and pushing the products she knew. “When customers asked me about other products I would show them product data info or call tech support for help,” Smythe said. “Every day I learned more and got more confident until I really realized I could do this and do it well.
“I then booked everything I could to grow my business. I did more shows, went after retail and commercial accounts and called catalog customers to sign them as Preferred Customers. My business took off and I made Direct Jobber in eight months. I would say thanks for my group ‘Synthetics USA’ – for encouraging me and putting up with my craziness.”
Friendly Competition Drives Success
Along the way, Smythe met Direct Jobber David Huff, a self-described tornado of ambition to succeed in his AMSOIL business. (See September AMSOIL Magazine.) “I especially would say thanks to my dear friend David Huff for his encouragement and leadership,” Smythe said. “He and I are two peas in a pod; we get along very well.” She said they encourage each other and their group to believe they can do anything they set their minds to.
Huff has been in the AMSOIL business longer than Smythe. But their near daily interactions and challenges to one another to grow their businesses have spurred Smythe to gain the same Premier Direct Jobber level as Huff. (Huff gained that level within 18 months of starting his business.)
“He (Huff) is a mentor and friend to me and we have this friendly competition going on constantly,” Smythe said. “We talk almost daily sharing our experiences, and we always say ‘GAME ON,’ which motivates us to keep signing customers, setting goals and doing what
we need to accomplish them.
“Huff is my biggest motivation. He has big shoes to chase, and I am on his heels in half the time that he has been in the business. We have many plans to grow together to the top and bring in the six-figure salaries that come with being at the top. I actually had rubber wristbands made that say WWHD (What Would Huff Do). I have worn it since the day I got it. It is a constant reminder he is out there signing customers and it keeps me motivated to do the same. I love the freedom of being my own boss. I believe in the product, and I know I can continue to grow.”
“I love the freedom of being my own boss. I believe in the product, and I know I can continue to grow.”
Jo Smythe, Premier Direct Jobber”
Building a thriving business doesn’t happen by accident. Smythe is deliberate in her efforts – working smarter, not harder. She recognizes the benefit of diversifying her account types and makes plans for them.
“I go after anyone I come across – Dealers, Preferred Customers, catalog customers, retail and commercial accounts,” Smythe said. “I have specific plans depending on which type of account I am
going after. For instance, if I’m at a show or event I’m prepared for all of them by having literature, catalogs, testimonials and my knowledge. I don’t just sit at a booth and wait for someone to come to
me; I go out and talk to everyone who gives me a chance and ask the questions to see what type of account would suit them best.”
Getting, Keeping Different Accounts
Landing an account and keeping one is not the same. Smythe tailors her approach to each type of account. When it comes to landing an account, Smythe is persistent, yet not overbearing.
“As for visits, I don’t have an average time frame,” she said. “Sometimes it is an instant sign-up, where others I visit every few months and they have not yet signed. They have not told me ‘no,’ so I still continue to pop in and just say ‘hi’ and remind them how AMSOIL will benefit them by bringing new customers to their location.”
Keeping Accounts With Tailored Customer Service
Smythe said she has local accounts, as well as accounts across the country. She connects with her far-flung accounts a few times a year.
“Most of my local accounts see me quite frequently,” she said. Some accounts see her a couple times a week. She believes it’s important for Dealers to check in with their accounts according to what works
for the customer. “Some don’t want [visits] very often, as they are really busy,” she said. “I do have some that love to brag to me weekly on what they have sold.”
Reaching Potential Accounts, Customers
Smythe is involved on social media. “I have a lot of plans with finding groups both online and in person to connect with in the future,” she said. “I help a lot with non-profit groups, including God’s Garage in Conroe, Texas,” Smythe said. The group provides help with car repairs to spouses of deployed military personnel, and sometimes donates vehicles to them. “(Pastor Chris) is a blessing to many, and I’m proud to be a part of his group,” Smythe said.
Looking to the Future
The estate sales liquidation business the Smythes founded is being phased out. “My next goal is to do AMSOIL full time,” Smythe said. “I just made David Huff’s ‘sandbox’ as he calls it (Premier DJ).” She plans to continue growing her business – partly with the goal of staying close to Huff’s level, and possibly adding a little heat for him. “I do plan to go full time AMSOIL in the next year,” she said. “I also set goals to move one level per year at minimum. I have a lot of things planned once I’m working AMSOIL full time – to grow fast and I’m reaching for the stars. My plan for the next couple years is 5-Star Regency Platinum level or higher.”
Her advice to fellow Dealers? “Get T1 certified, never give up and set goals – write them down and look at them often – and do the tasks needed to accomplish the goals.”
It’s not all work for the Smythes. “I do enjoy taking a day or two to spend with my family and friends,” Smythe said. “Sometimes my husband and I will just get the UTVs and ride the trails near our home, or go fishing, just to clear our minds and enjoy the nature. The majority of our days off revolve around my two year-old grandson who we support, along with my children and my mom. My grandson, Stephan, is my world. I plan to have him well-trained by the age of 18 so he can sign up as a Dealer and rock the business as his grandma does.”
The best time to become an AMSOIL Dealer is right now. Learn how a new dealer took her business by the horns and rose to the top. Becoming an AMSOIL dealer is easy, but success requires effort. Learn what it takes to become successful. This article was published on our AMSOIL Dealer training website. Michael and Alecia Sparks are full time dealers and are committed to helping others get started right and have all the successes they desire.
To become an AMSOIL dealer visit joinamsoil.com/