Q&A with Nu Skin President of Asia-Pacific Melisa Quijano on Direct Selling

Q1: Prior to your promotion as the Asia Pacific President of Nu Skin, you were their regional marketing director for Southeast Asia, general manager for Thailand and Malaysia, and vice president for global market services based in Nu Skin’s headquarters in Utah, USA. What achievements are you most proud of?

A: Over the course of the 18 years I have been with the company, Nu Skin has consistently given me a platform to do what I love, and it’s been quite a journey filled with exciting challenges and numerous accomplishments. More than any number though, our company places high value in measuring success by the number of lives that we are able to transform through this business. One instance this number rose significantly would be Nu Skin Southeast Asia going double on our sales goals back in 2008 and recording year on year growth since, amidst an economy struggling to bounce back from record lows the years prior. The “Go Double” campaign was quite an aggressive move but through the unceasing commitment of our Nu Skin corporate staff and business partners, we managed to thrive in such a time that others were trying to stay afloat. That period wherein Southeast Asia became the fastest-growing region is of great achievement, because of the number of lives improved through Nu Skin, as greater sales meant greater commissions for our distributors.

Staying in Malaysia and Thailand, I have also been witness to the opening of majority of the Nu Skin markets in Southeast Asia, a commendable feat as it translates to even greater opportunities for those in need of a vehicle that would lead them to financial growth.

Another success measure unique to Nu Skin would be the number of smiles we bring to children, and in this light I would say that our work in the Southeast Asia Children’s Heart Fund (SEACHF) – the children we have been able to provide surgeries to the local non-profit organizations we have been able to support and partner with – are achievements also worthy of mention. From its humble beginnings in 2004, with a young mother seeking financial support for the corrective heart surgery of her daughter, the SEACHF has since then been able to sponsor over 7,000 operations for underprivileged children in the region, and donated millions of dollars’ worth of hospital equipment, through the collaborative effort of Nu Skin SEA management, corporate staff, and our distributors. In 2012, SEACHF won Gold at the International Business Awards in the Corporate Social Responsibility Programs category, solidifying our status as a Force for Good in the world, as the region consistently aims to create more opportunities to support those in need. In terms of achievements I would say these and many other instances wherein we have seen a peak in number of improved lives, are those that I am most proud of.

Q2: What have you observed of successful independent direct sellers vs. those who have tried but didn’t make it? Are there any cultural differences among the countries you have handled?

A: I would say that though in terms of simplicity and accessibility anyone can do the business, not everyone puts in the same commitment to do the work—and that is where the difference between success and failure lies. At Nu Skin, we encourage our sales leaders to figure out their “WHY”, their greatest motivation in wanting to succeed, because they will need to remind themselves of this especially when the going gets tough and they are surrounded by so many reasons to quit. It is that level of commitment to fight for their “WHY”, and the values they uphold to be able to fight for it and see their goal at the end instead of the issues they currently face, that ultimately leads them to accomplish great things.

Although the Nu Skin markets I have worked with have various cultures and beliefs unique to their country, the similarities far outweigh these differences in terms of becoming aligned in our company goal. Around the world there is the consistent dream to improve one’s life and the lives of others, and the beauty of the Nu Skin business is that anywhere in the world you achieve success when you achieve this dream.

Q3: You can’t be in different places at the same time. How do you know that plans are being executed well in absentia?

A: One of the leadership principles I value and that has been of great help in overseeing 13 markets, is to identify local leaders, help them develop to be the best that they can be, build great working relationships with them and place your trust in the people that you build with. Having complete faith in the capacity of our local management teams, those who have been given the responsibility to run their markets, has time and again proven to be the answer to successfully implementing the programs that we run.

This trust and belief that our Nu Skin’s local management are well-equipped to handle their roles and execute plans, stem from the knowledge of the skill set they possess, and more so, that they have a strong foundation on our core values, that we are aligned with our mission and vision. When you are surrounded with good, passionate people who have the same goals as that of the company’s and of yours, it is easier to place your trust in them. And needless to say, the more we believe and support people, the more they deliver—and deliver they do.

Q4: Food supplements and beauty products are readily available in retail stores. Why should one buy from Nu Skin?

A: In terms of quality, what sets Nu Skin products apart from the competition is that they are borne from our continuous commitment and investment to innovation — ensuring that the products we churn out are the best that can be developed from the available technology and resources existing today. This is evident in our acquisition of LifeGen Technologies, a company with over 30 years of anti-aging research, to develop our breakthrough “ageLOC” technology, which targets not just the signs but the source of aging, in its genetic level. Our supplements category brand, Pharmanex, also employs the 6S process in product creation, which involves a set of rigorous, highly integrated activities and includes multiple layers of scientific testing and attention to detail, all to provide only the safest and most effective products we can offer. Where other companies are competing to stay in front of the pack, we are creating a new race all our own with Nu Skin’s unique and highly advanced anti-aging products and processes, and forward-thinking partnerships.

Through our direct-selling business model, Nu Skin provides an avenue for our distributors to demonstrate all these and share their personal testimonials to the consumer before the purchase is made, rather than competing in the cluttered retail space.

When a well trained distributor is placed in a highly charged environment with a consumer who has a need, good things happen.

Q5: What is your vision for Nu Skin in Asia Pacific?

A: It has always been Nu Skin’s vision to become the world’s direct-selling company, by generating more income for sales leaders than any other company.

Two exciting product launches are up ahead and we are looking forward to the buzz these will generate, especially with Asia Pacific consumers very much attuned to anti-aging trends. With a doubled effort in rallying our distributor force to create more opportunities for the Nu Skin product and opportunity to be known, we intend to have our number of new distributor leaders increase, focusing on attracting our next generation of sales leaders. We will also raise the bar in creating and sustaining our Asia Pacific distributor leaders’ organizations through well-executed and highly-rewarding incentive programs.

Simply put, the vision is to enhance quality of life for Nu Skin partners and consumers in Asia Pacific through our products and business opportunities as Nu Skin has been and will continue to be in the business of improving people’s lives.

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