Transition from a JOB to Network Marketing Can Be Challenging
If you ask a large number of people to create their ultimate business or career in detail, listing the specific things they would like to have and things they would like to avoid, they would most likely have lists that look similar to the ones below:
Positive atmosphere – Great product/service – Unlimited income – Residual income – Enjoy the people with whom you work – Time freedom – Work is something meaningful – Room for personal growth – Lots of perks – International opportunities – Contribution to worthy causes – Low risk – Low start-up costs – Economy-proof – Tax benefits – Fun!
Boss – Commuting – Alarm clocks – Work schedules – Other employees – Politics, cliques, & compromises – Discrimination – Educational requirements – Lack of benefits – Lack of training – Lack of advancement – Lack of appreciation/respect – Lack of challenge – Lack of support – Not enough pay – Don’t enjoy work duties – No fun!
Since most of us already know what a JOB is, I would also like to explain what Network Marketing is (and isn’t), so we are absolutely clear about our subject. We will begin this overview with a definition of some of the basic marketing terms:
Simply means the moving of a product/service from the manufacturer or provider to the consumer.
This is what most people think of as ‘selling’. This is includes product sales from retail stores, groceries, department stores, drug stores, etc.
This usually includes product or service demonstrations or door-to-door sales for items such as insurance, cookware, encyclopedias, Fuller Brush, Avon products, as well as home parties for things such as Tupperware, jewelry, scrapbooking, etc. Direct sales may also be done by mail order. With direct selling companies, you work for that company. If you decide to quit and move to another area, you have to start all over.
This type of marketing is sometimes referred to as ‘Multi-level Marketing’ (MLM). It is all about moving products and services by building relationships with others (networking). The main difference in Network Marketing and the other types of sales above is that in Network Marketing, you are in business for yourself… not by yourself… providing products and/or services to others.
If you choose to build this type of business with the company who sponsored you, in most cases if you move to another area you can resume building your network without losing the volume of the group that you left behind. In most Network Marketing companies, you are either buying products and/or services from the company you represent at wholesale prices and then providing them to your customers at a retail price (the difference being your profit), OR you are personally trying the products/services yourself and then sharing their benefits with others. Then they can purchase them through your company… usually at a lower price than they are currently paying. You are then paid a percentage on your use as well as on their continued use of those products/services.
When you build your own business by sponsoring and training other motivated persons like yourself, you build a ‘network’ through which to channel the movement of your products and/or services. The money made in this type of opportunity can be life-changing and is primarily made through the network-building activities. But large bonuses and outstanding residual income also comes from the product and service offerings. You get paid over and over for products/services you only had to provide once! Note: if you are operating out of your home, there can also be substantial tax breaks.
Multi-level Marketing (MLM):
This is the older term previously used for what is now referred to as Network Marketing above. It refers to a system of compensation provided to persons on more than one level who are causing the product to move or the service to be provided. (Some of the illegal ‘pyramid schemes’ discussed below and chain distribution schemes/letters have tried to pass themselves off as MLM companies, which has created a great amount of confusion and incorrect assumptions.)
Most Network Marketing opportunities are NOT ‘pyramid schemes’. Pyramid schemes are illegal and do not include the movement of either products or services. If a product doesn’t move, you can’t call it ‘marketing’.
View of Pyramid vs. Network Marketing:
Most companies who manufacture a product or provide a service are built and organized in the pyramid shape. The manufacturer/provider is at the top of the pyramid, the sales force is in the middle, and customers are at the bottom. The difference in Pyramid Marketing is not so much that it is built from the top down, as the fact that there is no manufacturing or service at the top and no customer base at the bottom. There is only the person who started the company at the top, and those who are under that person are hired and paid only to recruit other recruiters. Since there are no products and/or services, there are no customers and no value received (other than recruiting bonuses).
Network Marketing (or MLM):
Network Marketing/MLM companies have the same shape and functions as most of those companies above, but in Network Marketing, there is always the movement of either products, services (or both) to the customer, who receives the value of those products/services. Network Marketing is all about moving products and services by building relationships with other people (networking). Network Marketing is a huge business opportunity and has been in our midst for about 35 years. They wouldn’t have been around at all if they were illegal! Some companies that have been around for twenty years or so earned $2 million to $15 million in their first year or two and are planning to do a billion dollars per year in the future. You can begin to see how the right opportunity with the right company could be the road to financial independence!
I do feel that it’s only fair to tell you that opportunities such as these are NOT ‘get rich quick’ schemes. These opportunities require that you have the following traits, at a minimum:
- Motivation – You must have a very large motivator or goal
What is your ‘Why’? Why do you want to succeed? What do you want out of life?… and out of this opportunity?
Are your reasons strong enough to keep those spirits up when you get discouraged… as we all do from time to time?
- A desire to make a difference by helping others make a difference
- You must be ‘coachable’ with a desire and willingness to learn. Your sponsors will always be there to help you whenever you need help, but you must also help yourself by listening and learning daily
- You must have confidence and believe in yourself, your company, your sponsor, and your services and products. (Everybody knows that ‘if you think you can’t do it, you can’t')
- You must maintain a positive helpful attitude… that shows from the inside out… in order to be truly helpful to your customers and those you are teaching (‘Negative Nellies’ don’t do very well in this business… especially since your business is built on a foundation of relationships!
Doctors, lawyers, and attorneys (to name a few) spend years & years after graduating from college to learn their professions. Though the profession of Network Marketing does not take as much time and effort to learn, you must realize that it cannot be learned overnight. You can’t get discouraged after only a few weeks! You will have sponsors helping you every step of the way, but you must study both the network marketing concept and study your company’s products/services to be able to succeed in this business. To be truly successful, you must also be able to teach someone else the same things that you learned in order to help them be more successful. Previous teachers and educators have, in some cases, been more successful in Network Marketing than previous sales professionals.
Most of the people in typical jobs can relate to the amount of freedom that being in Network Marketing could provide on a full-time basis (see the ‘Likes’ list at the beginning of this article), but most are only able to start part-time. The quicker you make the move, the faster you eliminate the ‘Dislikes’ items and begin to achieve the freedoms you deserve. The best way to not just survive, but to thrive in this economy, is through Network Marketing. Companies still must move their products and services. They either have to hire a large, expensive sales force and pay for massive, costly advertising, or utilize Network Marketing to tell their story by word-of-mouth. They can provide support and pay distributors/representatives on a purely performance basis to promote their products. In this economy, word-of-mouth advertising continues to work better than any other form of promotion.
The ‘Catch’ to Network Marketing is learning to accept a temporary loss of social esteem from uninformed people who don’t fully understand the relatively new concept of relationship marketing. People will think less of you not only because they are ‘stuck’ in the old way of doing business, but because of what they have heard from their friends/acquaintances to be true about ‘Network Marketing’ or ‘MLM opportunities’. These pre-conceived beliefs have taught them to think of Network Marketing as a sort of glorified lottery ticket with scratch off numbers representing the friends & family that they think ‘might be good at this sort of thing’. When their numbers don’t win, they give up, and end with nothing… just like a lottery ticket.
Those who didn’t take this opportunity seriously usually have told their friends: ‘Look, I’ve been there. I’ve done it. I talked to every person I know, and Network Marketing just doesn’t work. Save your money!” This becomes another lost opportunity probably because they didn’t look at it as though they were learning a new profession or starting a new business. They were just hoping to ‘get lucky’.
The other objection you will likely hear is: ‘Don’t get involved with that. It’s a ‘Pyramid Scheme’.” They may or may not know that pyramid schemes are illegal. They probably are not aware that Network Marketing would not have been flourishing for the last 35 years if it were illegal. They also probably don’t realize that the pyramid’s shape and framework can describe most all businesses. Only the companies with no products, services, or customers, where the distributors/representatives of that company receive income only for recruiting other recruiters are typically in the category of ‘Pyramid Schemes’.
If you can deal with (and learn to welcome the challenge of) the rejection from the people who have these misconception of Network Marketing, then companies will pay you an unlimited amount of money if you can learn to help the blind people see. If you decide to embrace Network Marketing, along with its inherent problems, then you need to learn to be a professional in the field. Below are some of the phases of Network Marketing.
Posers – those who treat this profession as a lottery ticket… hoping to ‘hit it big’ with as little effort as possible. You may start in this position, but if you are still there after 90 days, you had better ‘make a new plan, Stan!’
Amateurs – they focus on different things, though still a lot of focus is on ‘luck’ – looking for that one sign-up that will make you rich. The other focus is on timing, positioning, training, and shortcuts. Basically, all quick marketing tactics are learned and utilized.
Professionals – Wikipedia definition: A person who is paid to undertake a specialized set of tasks and to complete them for a fee. The possible definition of a Network Marketing Professional is: A person who is an expert at the skills required to build a large and successful Network Marketing organization.
Excitement & passion are wonderful and very necessary, but so is professional knowledge and skill. You must know all aspects of not only the products/services you represent, the industry of your products/services, but how to best operate in the Network Marketing profession as well.
It has been said that there are 3 elements to a Network Marketing business:
1. Company’s products and/or services
2. Company’s compensation plan, training, & support
The first two elements remain the same for everyone, so the only variable that can cause either success or failure is the third element – YOU! Becoming a professional means deciding to never blame anyone or anything else for your failures. Accept responsibility for what only YOU create. Use your company as a resource… never as an excuse.
When starting in Network Marketing, according to Eric Worre’s “Go Pro’, there are seven skills necessary to build a huge business:
1. Finding prospects
2. Inviting prospects to understand your opportunity and/or product
3. Presenting your opportunity/product to your prospects
4. Following up with your prospects
5. Helping your prospects become individual business owners/representatives (or to become customers, if they are not interested in the opportunity)
6. Helping your new IBO/Rep get started right by mentoring them
7. Promoting events
Everyone has heard the saying: ‘Anything worthwhile takes time’. This is true in Network Marketing just as it is in any other business. This is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme. If a person starts a traditional business, they expect to break even in their first few years and possibly pay back their initial investment over the first 5 years. When a person starts a Network Marketing business, they expect to get their money back in the first month, make a profit in the second month, and get rich by the third month. When that doesn’t happen, which is quite often the case, they blame Network Marketing. We DO have a better way to build a business, but it does not have a ‘magic formula’. Anything of value takes time to develop. You have to personally grow to the level you want to achieve. Watch those who have succeeded, learn from them whenever possible, and model their behavior. To earn more, you need to become more. Work on your skills and quit depending on luck, timing, or positioning. Don’t try to re-invent the wheel. The training and systems that your company has in place & uses daily are there for a reason: they have been proven to work. Find people in your company who have mastered the skills that you are lacking and watch them or ask for help directly. Study the many audio and video programs dealing with being successful in Network Marketing (try some Jim Rohn tapes).
With all of the information available on this subject, it is very difficult not to get distracted and forget your main mission of finding prospects, inviting, presenting, following up, closing, getting people started right, and promoting events. Find a balance between the learning and doing… if you spend all of your time learning, no prospects get added, no product/services are moved, and you make no money! If you want to learn how to talk to people on the phone, then talk to more people on the phone. Don’t wait until you have complete knowledge of something before you attempt it. Action should be the center of your focus. Focus on how MANY learning experiences you can have, rather than focusing on whether they were ‘good’ or ‘bad’ experiences. The more experiences you have, the more you learn.
Choose a skill you want to develop, make a plan, do your plan, then review your results for future improvement. As luck would have it, teaching a subject is the best way to learn it, so start by teaching all you have learned to your new individual business owners/representatives, and see how fast you can help bring them get up to speed in this new profession. It will help them while it helps you!
Watch the type of people with whom you associate – especially in the beginning phases of learning the business. Jim Rohn teaches the ‘Law of Association’, which basically says that you will become the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time. You think, act, talk, dress, and even earn as they do. This can be scary… but it is true! Get away from toxic people around you or they will permanently try to keep you down. Spend more time with positive people who have similar dreams and goals and those who have the skills and knowledge that you feel are necessary for you to learn.
In summary, we all ultimately have the choice of staying in a JOB and fulfilling someone else’s dreams, or accepting the challenges of learning a new way to achieve our dreams (and some of us have put that off for far too long!). Don’t let anyone kid you… this is not a decision to be taken lightly! The emotional experiences of Network Marketing can be challenging. It requires HARD work, consistency, focus, and patience to achieve and maintain long-term success, rather than luck, timing, positioning, or signing that ‘magic’ person. Though this may be hard work, it is good work that helps people achieve their dreams, and is the best way that I know for the average person to enjoy financial freedom.