What This Blog Was About

I originally wrote this blog to give lots of info about the SplashPlan site.  So feel free to search and find information that you might need to make a choice to become a member of my free site.

That’s right, free.  So what do you have to lose?

I am not sure what I am going to write about or video about, or whatever about.  But it should be interesting to see where we go.

Now, just so you are aware, I believe you can make money with SplashPlan.com as a member.  My plan was, and is, to make a site that could break even with your advertising budget as you seek out prospects to add to your network marketing opportunity.  You shouldn’t expect to profit just from the affiliate programs, just to break even with your advertising budget.  That’s the hope at least.

What breaking even will do is allow you to expand your advertising and filter more prospects, some of which will join.  It could mean going from 0 to 30 new distributors per month added to your program.  And those new distributors will have a way to market your program that is network marketing-centric.  Not a marketing plan based on customer sales, but on network sales.

Give SplashPlan a try but be patient with yourself.  Please go the free route as much as possible.  There are plenty of ways to advertise for free on the internet and many are better in the long run than paying for advertising.

 

What Are The Phases Of Network Marketing?

Chelsey Traveling Europe

Chelsey Traveling Europe

Network Marketing recruiters often take advantage of the phases of network marketing to swipe distributors from other companies.  For instance, if you find it impossible to recruit, you might find an advertisement about no recruiting to be appealing.  The truth is, you have to go through the darkest dark to get to the brightest light.  Things are not easy starting out, and you have to work through the difficult times before you will get to automatic monthly income.

Let us go over the phases so you know what to expect:

1. No downline

During this phase you are trying to recruit your first distributor.  You may find it “impossible”, probably because you are approaching the wrong people, or not enough of the right people.  To overcome this phase, create business processes with activities and concentrate on the activities rather than the results.  When you realize an activity can be improved, improve it.  Contact people interested in starting a business for new leads, and try to get more and more new leads.  Again, don’t worry too much about signing people up, that will come in time.

2. Flows like an ocean, in and out

When you start sponsoring regularly, which you will if you concentrate on activities that lead to signups, you will notice several types of distributors.  The kind that join and do nothing.  The kind that spend a lot and then drop off the map.  The kind that buy for themselves once in a while.  Often this leads to people joining and people quitting, often at the same pace.  This is normal… The thing is, somebody will join and grow, and you will collect these kinds of distributors one by one over time.  The growing distributors are the ones, like you, serious about building a real business and they will lead to large bonuses over time.

3. More new distributors that quitting ones

This is sort of a singular momentum phase where you personally are picking up more new distributors than those that are leaving.  This happens once you become recognized as a leader within your company.

4. Group momentum

Once you hit a certain point, your group will start adding as many new distributors as you do per month.  This is the start of the group momentum phase.  Three and four often come quickly one after the other.

5. Plateau

Often after a period of growth, you will hit a plateau stage where bonuses are about the same for several months.  Breaking plateaus can be challenging, but they usually occur after you hit a point where the business is supporting you.  You have several options here: you can try to bring in more distributors personally, you can try to help your group bring in more distributors, or you can wait for the situation to change on its own.

6. Decline

A major change in the marketplace can bring decline, either for a short or long period.  Perhaps people decide they don’t like the popular product in your product line, maybe regulatory changes bring decline, or perhaps people jump ship for something seemingly better.  The important thing is to determine a cause and see what you can do about remedying it.

I have seen decline mainly in fad product companies that have a swift decline in sales, but I have also heard of other situations where you’ll see decline.  This is fairly unusual for long established companies.

When you know the phases of growth within network marketing, you can better prepare yourself against the negative and against those who would steal you away.  Best to give a good company a chance.

How To Make Network Marketing Work For You

Chris hard at work in our office Elgin, Illinois

Chris hard at work in our office Elgin, Illinois

It is tough to come right out and tell people what they do not know about network marketing.  Many people understand the “money game” or “pyramid” business that other network marketers sell them.  You sponsor three, who sponsor three, and so forth, and then you get rich.  The truth is, if you sponsor only three, you will not be in business long…  because, many people join but are not willing to work at it.  They do not have the time, or are unwilling to free up time, to make the business work for them.  This is an unfortunate truth of the business.

If you want to make your network marketing business work, you need to have sales and marketing skills.  Not to worry, if you do not have them you can get them.  But you must be willing to invest in yourself in order to make your business successful.  If you think I am talking about spending gobs of money on training, think again.  The public library has many great books and you only need a library card.  But you do have to be willing to invest the time.

Many people who want to be successful in network marketing approach everyone, bug tons of people, and generally beat their head against a brick wall hoping for it to crumble.  Instead, you need to have business processes to accumulate and follow up with leads, things you do month in and month out, to get new people into your group.  You will target people you believe will make good distributors, advertise appropriately, follow up, and ultimately sign people up as distributors.  Instead of just flailing about doing this willy nilly, you follow your business processes and do things in a straight forward way.

To be successful, you must also understand that marketing is about numbers… For instance, you might see something like this in your network marketing business:

1. For every 100 people that notice your advertisement, 1 will respond and become a lead.
2. For every 100 leads, perhaps 8 will (ultimately) sign up and become distributors
3. For every 10 distributors signed up, perhaps one will purchase (or sell) on occasion.
4. For every 10 that purchase consistently, perhaps 1 will sponsor

Understanding these numbers means that you have to sponsor a lot of distributors before you will see real growth.  And you have not sponsored any right?  Well, if you really want to be successful you will improve with practice, meaning that it is tougher to sponsor at the very beginning than it is after you have honed your craft.  This does not mean that you are going to become a person who misleads prospects, it simply means that more people will be attracted to you as you become more successful.  It is the changes you make with yourself that cause changes in your business.  But you have to start with some simple skills in sales and marketing.

So to summarize what you need to do to become successful with network marketing:

1. Learn the skills (sales and marketing) you need to become successful – the library is a good place for free material
2. Treat your business as a business – make processes for acquiring and following up with leads
3. Understand the numbers involved and adjust accordingly
4. Improve your skills by learning and practicing and your business will improve
5. Never stop looking for ways to improve your processes (I added this one)

Why Marketing and Sales Are Important in Nework Marketing

Peanut Vendor at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ. Cubs versus Diamond Backs game

Peanut Vendor at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ. Cubs versus Diamond Backs game

I have said before that selling will keep you broke. What I really meant to say was that trying to sell huge amounts of product to customers will keep you broke. Instead, you need help. You need other distributors below you to help you reach more customers, rather than doing it all yourself. That way you do not spend all your time looking for the next customer and instead spend more time building your business. A distributor under you selling product means more to you because you do not have to handle product, talk to the customer, ship or deliver, etc. You just help the distributor figure out ways to reach a couple more customers and grow their group.

So why are marketing and sales important then? Building your business with independent distributors is all about marketing and sales. Start with sales. What are you selling to the prospect? You are selling a lifestyle. You are selling freedom from worry because of a residual income. Whose lifestyle are you selling? Your own. And if you look worried, if you are constantly having problems, if you are pushing for that next customer, it is a lifestyle nobody wants. Instead, you have to be the person your prospect wants to be, or at least that seems to have it all. No, it is not about lying to the prospect. It is about being professional, calm, not pushy, consultative, and perhaps most of all, happy. All of these elements can be seen personally and heard over the phone. You also have to act as if you are okay if the prospect joins or does not join.  It is not the end of the world if they do not join. If you seem needy it is not attractive.

Alright, so what about marketing? First of all, marketing and sales are not the same thing. Think about marketing as the software that runs the company based on the needs of the customer. Who is the customer? It could be a retail customer or could be one of your distributors. So sales is like hardware, a technical skill, and marketing is like software, a management-type skill. With marketing, you start by finding a target market for your product, which will likely be a demographic or a subset of the general population. Not everyone will or should be interested in your opportunity. Who is? That is the group we should be directing our advertising and networking towards… our target demographic. We can also change our business practices based on the needs of our target market. Perhaps they expect a money-back guarantee. Perhaps they expect exceptional customer service. Maybe they expect tons of support. Whatever it is, you should consider incorporating these elements into your company.

You can see that marketing directs all parts of the business to support a target market or demographic. Marketing also influences sales. For instance, we may know what a prospect needs to hear based on what demographic they belong to. So we make sure our sales presentation says this. Again, this is not about lying. If we are lying to the prospect we will ultimately lose them as a partner, so we want to build a relationship of trust. So whatever we are saying must be the truth.

I really like selling to customers. But more and more retail selling without help will keep you broke. Better to market and sell to distributor prospects.

What do you think?

The Zen Of Network Marketing

Chris, Chelsey, and Owen in a Nashville Forest Preserve

Chris, Chelsey, and Owen in a Nashville Forest Preserve

Have you ever wondered why some people, perhaps a select few, do so well sponsoring while most of us just suck at it?  You have come to the right place, my friend, because I am going to tell you why.  Plain and simple, you try too hard.  You are too dedicated.  You call your list regularly.  You make follow up calls to interested parties.  You do nothing but sell your business opportunity.  No golf, no parties, no fun.  Just… work.  And you know what all work does to Johnny?

Let us instead tune into the Zen of Network Marketing.  First, stop selling your opportunity.  Take a break.  Find a fun thing to do, perhaps for a couple of days.  You need to disconnect before you take the next step.  Let your mind unwind,  stop… thinking… about… it.  What do you enjoy doing?  Do you have a hobby?  Do you spend time with your kids?  You need to relate to people so you need to develop some social skills.  You cannot be selling your opportunity all the time, you need to talk about other things.

Now back to business building.  Here is what you do: Never talk about business unless you are asked.  When are you asked?  When somebody asks you what you do.  What do you do for a living?  Have a 3 sentence answer to this question and that is it.  You will get asked this question when you interact socially with other people.  Give them a short answer such as: “I own a distribution business and my company sells through a network of small business people. Our products help our customers lose weight”  Then let the subject drop and move on.  If they insist on asking you more, just hand them your business card and ask them to give you a call sometime or visit your web site.

What about opportunity meetings, business presentations, or good old fashioned hard sales?  You do not need them.  You are doing very well and you are enjoying time with your family.  You do not need to spend all that time working, unless, you just want to help out others out of the goodness of your heart.  Your experiences allow you to help by writing how to articles, publishing a blog, or distributing free information in other ways.  You may also get to the point where you sell information.  This is actually a more productive use of your time that will establish you as an expert.

Still, do not kill yourself.  Have a life.  Talk to people.  Make friends.  Do all of this without a hidden agenda and you will do great.

What To Do If Network Marketing Sucks

Jeff Satterlee 2013

Jeff Satterlee who only sucks from a straw

Here is my question: You join a network marketing company and you are excited about the opportunity to be financially independent.  But you go out and approach people and they are nothing but negative.  Potential customers, potential associates, all negative.  Here are some things to keep in mind so you do not give up too soon and how to give up if you must:

1. People will be negative

When you are just establishing yourself into this kind of business, anybody you talk to is likely to be negative.  They do not want to hear another get rich quick scheme from somebody new to the business.  This is part of getting started.  That is not to say that you cannot learn a few things to put the negative behind you (although not completely).  For the most part, if you keep things light and stay positive, you will be okay in the long run.

2. Success is not easy

If success came on a silver platter, everyone would be successful.  Nothing worth having comes easy.  You must fail to succeed.  You get 100 nos before your first yes.  All sayings that pertain to sales and recruiting.

3. Learn features and benefits, know how to answer objections

Regardless of whether you are selling the product or the business opportunity, it is important to know the features and benefits of what you are offering, and be able to answer common objections.  There is also a time to turn and walk away.  A good salesman/recruiter will know how to stick with the prospect longer without creating hard feelings.

4. Find easy ways to do business

Sometimes we try different things until we find something that works.  Other times, we stick with our plan until we feel there is no hope for it.  It is important to evaluate how things are going every once in a while and decide when it is time for a change.  Perhaps there is an easy way to do business that nobody has invented or discovered yet.

5. Remember that you are in business to make a profit

Starting a business can lose you money.  Sometimes for a year or more.  You have to make good decisions about where your money for starting your business is coming from and when your business will show a profit.  Sometimes profit will come later than expected, sometimes you can make business decisions that make profit come faster.  You cannot lose money forever, though, nobody can afford that.  It is also better to start small and test ideas out before putting in bigger money.

You may not have money to start a business… but you have some time.  Make sure you can afford the time you will be putting into your business, make a time budget, and stick to it.

6. Talk with your sponsor or upline

The biggest mistake you can make is to be a lone wolf.  Your sponsor or upline manager/executive may not call, but that does not mean you cannot call them.  Successful distributors call their upline and ask what else they can try, why things are not working, or just chat.  That is why your upline gets paid, make use of them.

7. Use your products

Yes, you must use the products yourself in order to be successful.  Our upline says this.  Zig Ziglar says this.  I know from experience that you will miss opportunities if you are not intimately familiar with your products.

8. Be all in with your company

We call people “MLM junkies” who work on more than one opportunity at once.  Avoid being an MLM junky, be all in with one company.  Keep promoting your one company to whomever will listen.  Put real effort into being successful with one company.

9. Do not explode or implode, be smart

Be a good businessman and watch your income and expenses.  Do not fail because you spent too much.  Make sure you can somehow afford anything you are doing.

10. Life taking over?  Put business on hold

Yes, you can put your business on hold.  You are not quitting, you will come back to it.  It is okay.  Sometimes we can do this, other times we cannot, you will have to decide if putting your business on hold works for you.

11. Not working?  You can get your money back

Many network marketing companies have a money-back guarantee on products.  If you have a bit of inventory left, get your money back.  You may also be able to get the cost of your starter kit back.  Check with your network marketing company.

So what do you think?

Network Marketing: Is It Impossible To Sell The Dream?

Cars Land at Disneyland

Cars Land at Disneyland

Here’s the dream: You join and buy $100 in product, then sponsor 3 and they do the same. Eventually you have a network of distributors buying the product under you and you make big dollars. I do not believe this works without customer demand.  In other words, if I do not really want the product, I will not buy it. If the product is not worth buying, nobody buys… there is no reason to unless your downline volume is enough to make buying worth it, and it will not be. You must be willing to buy the product even if you will not make any money doing it, in order for this to work.

Say you join a company and do not know the product. You do not know if it is good or bad, you do not know if it is overpriced, you do not know if it is a good value. You may buy once but decide not to buy again because of whatever reason. Again, here is where strict networking lets you down… it does not even matter if you have a good product, nobody will use it unless they: #1 know for sure it is a good product and really want to buy it, or #2 they buy to get their downline commission, and just the minimum.

Instead, say that we offer the opportunity to sell the product to customers to make money. Not only have we increased our market of people who will be willing to do this (people willing to sell outnumber people willing to recruit), but we reinforce the idea that the product is worth buying by having the person sell to customers. Of course if no customer is willing to buy, even after a good presentation, this idea falls apart. But if the product really is worth buying, selling to customers may be difficult but doable. Then customers returning to buy more reinforce the idea that the product is worth buying, motivating the distributor to buy for themselves and find more customers.

Ok, but now you have a group of sales people who will not sponsor, right? You can always train good sales people to look out for prospects, who in turn will join to sell to others.

So like a good and legal distributor, we sponsor people looking to sell the product then train them to sponsor others when possible. Some may just want to buy and sponsor, no problem. Some may just want to sell and that is okay too. Although you seek sales people, you are always open to the ways others want to run their business. Listen, give advice, but ultimately they are independent from you and they will do their own thing.

Selling the dream can be a way into problems, such as legal problems if you are loudly selling the dream. Finding new sales people is a perfectly legitimate way to do business. See the difference?

You can make a lot of money selling the product by networking with other sales people, and how much you depend on retail sales is really up to you. Want to build a big business? It can be done by converting sales people into recruiting professionals.

Do you sell the dream and how does that work for you?

7 Reasons Why I Hold On To Network Marketing

Dierks Bentley, Chicago Soldier Field, August 31, 2014

Dierks Bentley, Chicago Soldier Field, August 31, 2014

Please note that this is the first original post I am writing for the Wealth Creation blog.  I had been using older posts from other blogs, that I wrote, to start this blog.  I have also been making improvements to the posts to keep this blog at a higher quality.  I will probably continue to do this.  But I had an idea for a new post and thought I would put up something original this time.

Just like Dierks Bentley says “I Hold On” in his song, so I hold on to network marketing.  It has not always been so easy.  Changes.  Slow growth.  Hard questions.  So why do I continue to hold on?

1. There really is big money to be made as a network marketer

Whether a fast growing company or an older reliable company, big money can be made over time by putting in continuous effort.  Perhaps sometimes you want to put in 1000%, other times you may not be putting in so much; but if you continue to put in some effort, your group will grow over time and you will find bigger success.

I found this to be true with a past success.  We were able to grow to a 5 digit income per month over three years.  It was hard work but it happened and I am proud of it.  Unfortunately the company is now out of business so we had to move on.

2. We love the products we sell

I personally love the products we sell and we have been selling these products for a long time.  22 years this year.  We had our other network marketing success during the time we were selling these products.  We never stopped selling them.  What we did not do until recently is build a network of sales people.

While our growth has been slow, we have not been enticed to move to another company because we do not believe any other company offers what ours does.  Good or bad, for better or worst, we are not moving.

3. We like our upline

We like our sponsor and our sponsor’s sponsor.  In fact, our sponsor’s sponsor is the largest distributor in the company.  We share information and it is really useful.  I do not think we always see eye to eye, but it is good to have different opinions.

4. We are pot committed

We have spent enough money on our business that we would have to start over by changing network marketing opportunities or business types.  We do have a consulting business that does something completely different, and we pay the majority of our bills with it.  Perhaps we might grow this business but the opportunity to do so just does not seem to be there at the moment.

While we have a lot of money invested in our network marketing business, we would make a change if we felt that there was no further opportunity with our current company.  Money is sunk and we cannot get it back, but we would move on.  We do not feel that way.

Pot committed refers to having too much money in the pot to fold, when you are playing poker.

5. We continue to build our group

Our business is growing not just from our direct sales, but also from the sales of our team.  We continue to build by adding team members and training them to sell a little and also find new team members.  Not everyone is successful but the successful ones stick around and give us continual growth.

6. We do not have to put in 1000% all the time

There are times when we are exhausted and give the business a break.  There are also times when we are putting in a ton of work.  Either way the business will grow.  So when we are worn out we take a break… just let the business grow itself.

7. We can handle change because of experience

When something changes within the business, say the rules of the company change, we take a step back to see what will happen.  Sometimes change is bad, temporarily.  But often change is really good.  We try not to let our emotions get the best of us and just see how it goes.

So why do you still hold on to your network marketing company?

Network Marketing: What You Don’t Know That You Don’t Know

Owen Satterlee at Disneyland

Owen Satterlee at Disneyland

I always wondered what secrets Network Marketing experts hold back.  What they do differently that makes them so successful.  Here is a partial list:

1. There is nothing you do not know except for how hard and or smart you need to work

It is all a numbers game and it looks something like this:

a. For every 1,000 people you contact, 10 may show an interest
b. For every 1,000 interested people, 10 may sign up
c. For every 1,000 signups, 100 – 200 will stay active
d. For every 1,000 active, 30 or so will be superstars

So it takes a lot of talking to people to get to a superstar.  You can improve your numbers by advertising or educating prospects online.

2. Your best distributors will be close to you.  If you know what you are doing, having a friend learn from you tends to produce a very good distributor.

3. Great remote distributors will call a lot and have good questions.

4. People will sign up, spend a lot, then quit.  Unfortunately these people are looking for a get rich quick scheme.

5. People sign up when they are ready, not when you are.  Keep things light and positive and you will get good results in time.

6. You may have a great distributor already in your downline.  He just might wake up in 20 years.

7. Quitting is the only way to fail.

8. You have to be successful in order to become successful.  How does this work?  Depending on how you find prospects, you will have to be professional, dress well, be well groomed, speak well, understand your products and business, and have confidence.  This is not about lying to the prospect.

9. You cannot tell a prospect what you make, good or bad.  Your results are not typical.  I would also make sure to set reasonable expectations.  For instance, telling people it is easy is probably not a good idea.  Telling people it is hard work but very straight forward might be better.

10. Be different.  If doing the same thing as others works for you, feel free.  If it does not, it might be a good idea to try something different, often.  Keep trying different things until you find something that works.  This is especially true in sales.  Selling the same way as others probably does not work.  In recruiting, we just try to reach a different audience from everyone else.

All you really have to do to be successful in Network Marketing is to create a process for recruiting and training distributors.  Keep working your plan and you will do great.

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