Jim Yaghi email@example.com
Biography: Jim Yaghi, (BSc/BInfSc, PGDipSci, MSc), published in numerous works is an accomplished computational linguistics and pattern recognition expert. In this article he discusses the issues that novice network marketer face and points out the correct approach to succeed when starting out.
Millions of people around the world are responding to the beckoning call of Network Marketing or Multi-level Marketing (MLM). In the early days of network marketing small companies sold overpriced low quality products through multitudes of aspiring entrepreneurs. These systems were so complex and difficult to understand that it was nearly impossible for any normal person to succeed. They rewarded only the aggressive marketing types and left anyone else to fend for themselves. MLM received a bad reputation because multitudes of people, frustrated with their lack of results, spread the word that these systems do not work and are really there to scam the average Joe.
Gone are those days, because now with the design of new improved compensation plans, modern network marketing offers a way for even average people to succeed. No longer are network marketers required to go door-to-door selling useless products. Quite often they are quality products developed by reputable companies. Most MLM companies now are offering auto-shipment programs that allow the billing and delivery to be handled by the company, anywhere in the world, without bothering the network marketer. The only thing that a network marketer has to do is find people either willing to buy the product for the sake of the product, or willing to buy the product for the sake of entrepreneurship. The latter consists of gaining a signup of a new distributor member into the network.
There is still a stigma associated with network marketing from the older style networks. However, even in modern MLM, many have taken this opportunity to abuse the trust of the few who have not had any past experience in MLM. Several startup companies have gained multitudes of sign-ups, and then disappeared. Worse still, is when a compensation plan is legitimate and the company behind it is a seasoned veteran with a track record of excellence, but its marketing is wrongly performed by inexperienced and often short-sighted new members.
When deciding on a MLM company, you need to make sure that there is actually a product being sold, not just sign ups. A major issue is that even when the company is selling a legitimate product and that product is useful and of a high quality, an inexperienced marketer will promote the business from the angle of signups because that will often give the biggest immediate reward. However, obtaining signups only without concern for an actual product only earns an immediate reward. Good networks should have their highest reward in residual income. Residual income is continuous earnings based on some previous hard work you did. For example, imagine you were a marketer of a national newspaper like The Herald. You could feasibly sell individual papers daily all year, but it would require an enormous amount of leg work, and some skill to convince several different people on 365 days to purchase the paper. However, imagine on the other hand that your goal was to sell subscriptions to The Herald, and along the way if someone was not interested in subscribing you could sell them the day's issue and derive a one-off profit. Subscriptions to the paper are a lot more desirable, because if you convince one person to subscribe, you have a year-long commitment to purchase a copy of the paper every day. It may be hard to find someone willing to commit to purchase the paper all year long, but once you do, you could stop working and you would be guarantee one paper sale to that customer every day for that year. Sell enough of those, and you would significantly reduce the trade off of hours for dollars.
In reality, successful network marketing companies should be selling high quality, consumable products that are in reasonable demand. Your job of selling products would be made significantly easier if it was to convince people to switch from a certain brand of product that they already use to another brand that offers them some advantages. The advantages may include the fact that it is better quality, better priced, or of better value. If it is a novel product, then you need to start by convincing people that they need it to begin with. The difference is in the former case, you are asking them to redirect their spending, and in the latter you are asking them to start spending on something that they had no reason to spend on in the first place. It is reasonably clear which is easier.
Ultimately, the potential success of a network marketing company should be judged by its track record. Some people are gamblers, and are willing to take a chance on a start-up company, but so many of them fail, that if you lack the experience, you should leave such risks to the MLM veterans. I cannot stress how important it is that you find a MLM company that has survived and profited longer than three years. Most companies that will fail do so in their first three years.
Finally, the primary goal of any network marketer should be duplication. Now in most schemes, stress is placed on this concept, but few people really understand the significance. If you have little experience with MLM or have some experience without success, then superior training and support is an absolute must. Very often the problem with a network marketing company is not its products, not the company, and not the compensation plan. The problem is its people. MLM is a legitimate, legal, and real way for regular people to gain financial freedom, but join the wrong team, and they will void the entire legitimacy. Duplication is inevitable in MLM, but if a leader practices bad habits, then everyone in their downline will learn the same and teach them onto their downline. Eventually, the downline deteriorates, people lose interest, and an entire network falls apart.
When you join a MLM, you should first receive excellent training material in the form of video, DVDs, and audio CDs. You should be provided with prospecting materials that are tried and true. These things include texts of letters, emails, newspaper classified advertisement texts, audio tapes, and other presentations. Most importantly, your sponsors or uplines need to provide you with one-on-one, hands-on training by example through leadership. As a new member of a MLM network, you do not have the required skills and experience to prospect, and you can consider this like not having a license to practice. I believe if it were possible to place laws on who can prospect, it should be illegal for anyone without a license to talk to anyone about the business. This is the duty of the veteran mentor, not yours. Your job should be to merely assist by handing over your list of warm, cool, and cold market prospects to your mentor. You should never have to explain any aspect of the business to anyone yourself, not by talking to them, not with advertisements, not with flyers, not with tapes, nothing at all. As a novice network marketer, you lack the necessary knowledge about the system.
Now I know what you must be thinking. I bet you thought that the whole point of network marketing was for you to talk to people about the business. Yes and no. Remember I said the objective was duplication? Your mentor has all the secrets; he or she knows what works and what does not. Your mentor has spoken to so many people about the business that he or she knows it inside out and can talk about it with confidence. Your mentor has been successful for years and has a proven track record. Leave the work to the expert!
So what is your job as a novice network marketer? Your job is merely to hand your list of contacts to your mentor, and your mentor will do the rest by building your business for you while you watch and learn. After all, building your business is automatically building your mentor's business.
Another point I need to highlight here, is that no body likes being sold to. A problem with novice network marketers is that they believe network marketing is for everyone, and they prospect everything that walks. When was the last time someone tried to sell you something unsolicited and you were genuinely interested? It is rather rare, and I am sure you have often wanted to hang up the phone on a telemarketer, or walked the other way to dodge a mall salesperson. Of course we do, it is only natural. However, at a shopping centre, you will often walk into an open store that is selling something you are interested in, without any invitation. The same principles apply in network marketing. The right approach is to be casual, you are still interested in a sale, but you hold up an open for business sign, and wait for interested parties to approach.
Holding up an open for business sign means that you want to spark interest in what you do, brand yourself, let people know you work for company X and let them inquire what company X is. One of the techniques used often is called branding. You can wear a t-shirt or uniform with your company's name on it, or loan a pen with your company's name on it, or carry a bag or briefcase with the name on it. Put the name of your company out there, associate it with you and let people's curiosity do the rest.
With friends, family, and anyone else you come in contact with, listen and ask questions more than you say. If you are smart, you can steer most conversations in a natural way toward your interest.
Now once you have conversation at your area of focus, you should never act in need. If you find that your prospect is showing interest in what you do, you use the power of duplication by passing on a tape, a pamphlet, a sample, or some other promotional piece of information that your mentor devised to attract the right type of prospects. After this point, you should push your idea no more. There is nothing that you can possibly do to force your prospect to become any more interested. Instead of alienating people who are not interested, you wait for the ones who are to come back to you and express a need for more information. When this happens, you are not the person to give that information either. You offer to put them in touch with your mentor, who you can refer to as your associate. A good mentor should take charge of this situation entirely, and if your prospect is open to the idea, your mentor will make sure that they put them into your network. If not, then discard any further attempt on this person because this is not for them at this time.
However, just because someone did not immediately pay attention, hold an interest, or take the opportunity your mentor offered them, does not mean they are a waste of work. This person has now become aware of the opportunity and what it is you do. If ever a situation in their life changes their mind, or they encounter a friend who they think may be interested or need the opportunity, they will know to refer back to you. If this never happens, then it was just not meant to be.
If you are led by the right type of mentor, then he or she will have the facility of duplicating their experience through you. He or she should also have as a primary goal that they build your business on your behalf, holding your hand in every step of the journey, until you are seeing a regular flow of income. Depending on your choice of network and mentor, this time may be approximately two to three months. After this point, the good habits of your mentor need to be practiced by you on your own downline. Remember, if you build up the businesses of everyone in your direct downline and they in turn are taught the same, then you will automatically be building your own business.
So to summarise, the secret of successful network marketing is in duplication. Mentors are duplicated, usually through automated means down their downline, so that each member under your network is either a duplicate of you and your mentor, or a duplicate in training. Good prospecting habits foster an aggressive but casual-seeming approach. Do not push people or act in need of them, and do not approach a person who is not taking any interest. If you can follow these guidelines correctly, then you too can succeed in network marketing.
There are a lot of lucrative network marketing opportunities out there, and many excellent teams to join, but if you are driven by success and want to see huge rewards from your network marketing experience, I suggest that you find an excellent teacher and then be as teachable as you possibly can. If you think that you would make a good MLM student, and have the aspiration to become an excellent MLM teacher and high calibre leader, send me an email with your telephone number and name, and I will contact you for an interview to find you a suitable teacher: firstname.lastname@example.org