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Larry King and Tim Sales On The Big Networking Stage

September 11, 2009

Larry King and Tim Sales spoke at the Usana convention last month. It’s a networking interest story with no tie to DubLi other than the networking side of things.

Eager to answer questions, Usana brings in interviewer Larry King

Convention » CNN host explores multilevel marketing for sales force

The Salt Lake Tribune

Updated: 08/29/2009 02:40:25 PM MDT

Emphasizing that Usana Health Sciences is not afraid to answer questions about what distinguishes its multilevel marketing approach from a Ponzi scheme, the company brought in master questioner Larry King to probe the issue.

King’s appearance was a surprise for the 8,000 Usana sales associates who filled most of EnergySolutions Arena’s lower bowl for the final day of the nutritional supplement company’s annual international convention. He walked on stage to rousing applause, as the morning session emcees put on a skit in which one pretended to be the CNN talk show host.

After cracking a joke about his Utah connections — “I married a Mormon girl and have paid for it ever since” — King did what he does best: Asks questions.

His answer man was no pushover, especially with this crowd. Tim Sales, whose “Brilliant Compensation” video has informed more than 1 million people about network marketing, received an ovation even louder than King’s.

Before their on-stage connection, King and Sales had met with members of the news media to talk about Usana’s objectives in creating the interview scenario, an idea that arose after the two men talked a few months back and King said he became fascinated with the difference between legitimate multilevel marketing and Ponzi schemes.

It was a subject he knew all too well, having been a victim of convicted scam artist Bernard Madoff. “That was the Ponzi scheme of all Ponzi schemes,” King said.

Sales gave King a list of questions he has addressed frequently in two decades of responding to queries about network marketing. King said he’d probably use a few, this being Usana’s show and its forum for getting its message across to its audience.

But true to his nature, King added, he would have plenty of his own questions, things he might not even have thought of beforehand. His questions are never scripted, he emphasized, noting that he didn’t even know what his first question would be.

When the time to ask that initial question, King went basic: “Multilevel marketing is what?”

The banter went back and forth a couple of times before Sales made the first big hit with the crowd, responding to a King probe with, “And there’s a question in there?”

With a comic’s timing, King paused briefly, then countered “You’ll never be back.”

This repartee exemplified how King set out to combine his professional skill as an interviewer (upwards of 40,000 people now) and his penchant for humor to ensure the audience was “informed, entertained and knows more at the end than at the beginning.

“Asking questions is what I do,” he said. But being funny is also who he is. “Timing is innate. I was born with that.”

To Usana founder Myron Wentz, having King play such a featured role at the convention illustrates that the West Valley City-based company is proud of its marketing approach, which he said has extended healthy benefits to customers around the globe.

“I don’t know if Usana needs legitimization,” he said. “When we made the decision 17 years ago to make our products available through multilevel marketing, I said only if we legitimize this industry and have it be the most creditable marketing program with the highest integrity — and the world has told us we have done that.”

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