Ideas For Success In A Network Marketing Business

ideas for success - Big Texan

The Big Texan

I was thinking of making the title “How To Succeed In Business” because perhaps these tips could be applied to any business and not just in network marketing (or MLM).  Business is business right?  The following are my ideas for success in a network marketing business, that probably could be applied to any business.

Have Your Own Brand

The first step to succeeding in business is to have your own brand.  If you are Joe, the XYZ distributor, you are promoting the XYZ company.  Create your own brand… perhaps Joe Smith, Network Marketing Coach, or Joe Smith Company; something to differentiate yourself from all the other distributors in your company.

Add Value

If you are just “You can buy from me too”, you are adding no value.  You must add some sort of value.  For instance, a while back we made great looking baskets and sold them as a product.  By reorganizing the product the way we did, we added value to the product.

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We Ended Our Retail Operation, Should You?

We used to be a big huge sellers on Amazon.  Big.  We had a basement warehouse and bought by the pallet fulls.  We used FBA on Amazon… sending in shipment after shipment of product.  In fact, at one time we had more product in the Amazon warehouse than in our own stock.

We also sold direct to consumer, which was a bit of business.  We sold locally by delivery and nationally by mail.

It sounds like we should have been rolling in cash but we were not.  Amazon was tricky because we sold a commodity product that others could also be selling.  Lowest price wins, and many sellers would sell for a loss.  So we took a different tactic, we started selling items that were soon to be discontinued or were already discontinued, buying up a large portion so we could outlast the other sellers.  Sometimes we won, sometimes we lost.  We gave away a lot of product that our buyers did not want.

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Why Network Marketing (MLM) Doesn’t Work For You

It is seriously irritating.  You see all of these successful people who do really well, often on a weekly basis, and you just cannot seem to sponsor consistently or build any kind of business.  In this article, I am going to give you some suggestions on what you might do differently in order to attract people into your business.  Perhaps some things you have not even considered.

Get a life

At one point, all I was doing is working hard at my business.  And as they say, all work and no play makes Johnny very dull.  Nobody wants to be around you if all you do is talk work.  All you know is work.  All you are is work.

Often the way to break this habit is to play golf, be in the moment at your children’s activities, travel, do something that adds to your subject matter rather than just work.  If you can talk to people about normal, common things, they will relate to you more.

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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?

Frustrated? Change Your Mindset, Improve Your Business

Chelsey with guitar through camera

Chelsey Satterlee courtesy Deanna Roberts

I have to tell you something: You cannot get anybody to join as a distributor in your company.  You cannot, so why try?  Why make yourself crazy trying to get Bob to join.  Bob is not going to.  Bob is tired of hearing it.  So how do you fill up your downline with good distributors?  Follow these rules to improve your business results:

(Note: These are not facts, just a way to think)

Rule #1: Nobody you know will join your company

Rule #2: Although nobody you now know will join your company, you have an obligation to promote your business to your “warm market”.  You have an obligation to be brave, let your family and friends know what you are doing, and to give them an update from time to time.  Family and friends can talk to each other, and can be excited about what you are doing.

Rule #3: Your friends know people.  So does your family.  If you are excited and talk about your business, they in turn will talk about it to others.

Rule #4: Anybody who asks about starting a business with your company deserves information they can hold.  Get them information, then follow up for questions.  Do not try to explain the whole business to your prospects, it is just too difficult.

Rule #5: Be prepared with features and benefits, and to answer objections.  Objections may be pleasant or hostile.  Either way, they deserve an answer.

Rule #6: Join or not, it is okay.  No need to force.

Rule #7: It will take time to sponsor your first distributor.  Let it.  It will get easier and easier as time passes.

Rule #8: No frustration should be involved.  It has been a month, okay.  It has been a year, okay.  No problem, just let it take time.

Rule #9: You should be focused on results in lead gathering, not signups.  If you are not getting enough leads, you should somehow be promoting more.  This may mean networking.  It may mean advertising.  Lead gathering is key.

Rule #10: No particular lead will sign up.  Some leads take years.  Some take days.  Some will never sign up.  No matter what, it is okay.

Your prospect will sign up when they are ready, not when you are.  No amount of persuasion will change that.  The only way you can get more sign ups is by increasing the number of leads you get.  Even then, it might take a while.

Are You Charlie Or Alan Harper?

If you watch “Two and a half men”, give me an honest answer: Who would you rather be, Charlie or Alan?  Who would you rather be with?  Ok, so Charlie drinks too much and sleeps around a lot, but he has a house on the beach and rarely works.  Alan, on the other hand, mooches off of Charlie and works like crazy to support his ex-wives.  Personally, I’d rather have Charlie’s lifestyle and or much rather have him as a friend.  And if he could tell me how to be successful by barely working, cool, I’d love it.  I have to admit, I wouldn’t want to sleep around and drink so much, but everything else is great.

So are you Charlie or Alan to your prospects?  Are you the fun person people want to be friends with or the complainer with endless problems?  Do you seem to do well while hardly working or do you do poorly even when you work all the time?  I am not asking you to be dishonest about who you are, I am asking you to believe more in yourself, your mojo, and or your magic.  You are truly magical if you believe it!  Having that positive attitude that people love will make a big difference in your life and in your recruiting efforts, assuming you belong to a MLM company.

If you are banking on a particular person joining your group, you are probably giving off the wrong vibe to them.  Without actually saying this, you must believe that your group is growing and that you don’t need a particular person to join.  They need to join you.  You are the special one, the one that makes magic happen, and they can only benefit by joining you.  But, if they don’t join, it’s ok with you.  You are doing very well, thank you very much.  This is really about an attitude, a confidence that you are a success no matter what happens.

Playing to the person’s strengths is a really good idea.  Seek out people you believe would be really good in the business, don’t just seek out anybody.  Why should Bob join?  Because Bob is the kind of person that people will want to follow.  He is very personable, makes friends quickly, can sell well, is ethical… So if somebody asks why they should join your group, you tell them: “Because I think you could add a lot to our team.” not “Because it will make you a lot of money.”  What’s the difference?  Because people will think you’re a great person when you compliment them.

Make sure to listen.  Listening is very important, much more important than selling, when it comes to recruiting.  Don’t offer a response each time your prospect says something.  Instead, repeat back to them what you think they said to make sure you got it right.  Try to understand where they are coming from.  Is your opportunity right for them?  No?  Tell them that they don’t seem like a match for your opportunity.  Be a friend to people first and foremost.  Find matches, don’t just sell everyone on the opportunity.

Believe in yourself and your opportunity.  Remember that you are magic and that your opportunity will work for you in the long run, with very little effort.  Make sure to talk with people, make friends, be a friend… your business is part of who you are and it’s ok to talk about it, just not ok to recruit anyone and everyone.  Be ready when people ask for more information and get it to them promptly.  Remember that you are in business and you need to execute your business processes well.

One more thing that may help: Recruit some well outside of your warm market.  I like to advertise to get new prospects.  I probably sponsor more by advertising than any other way, but I recruit my best people personally.  Advertising gives me a way to say “This is how I do business”, in spite of the fact that I also do a lot of personal recruiting.

Good luck to you… Remember to be the person your prospects want to be or be with.  Keep a positive attitude!  And, btw, expect nothing from your recruiting efforts and you will surprise yourself.

Introduction To Business Ethics

In business ethics our goal is to do the right thing.  Period.  However, this isn’t always easy because sometimes we are faced with some extremely tough choices.  And we don’t just serve ourselves and our customers, we also serve our shareholders, employees, communities, and country.  Often different choices favor one group over another group.  Choosing the best choice for the situation is often labeled moral relativism because morals are typically absolute do this or do that with no exceptions.  Sometimes we do get stuck between morals and we cannot just walk away, we have to make a decision that we are going to have to live with.

As an example, we had heard that our dietary supplement may have caused serious health consequences and or death long before we stopped selling it.  Who did we hear this from?  Mainly we heard it from the media.  Based on the information we had at the time, we believed the news stories were directed at other dietary supplements that contained similar ingredients, and they were just referencing our product because it was the most popular dietary supplement at the time that contained the ingredients.  We had also questioned the MLM company president about it and we were assured that nobody was reporting health consequences from taking the product.  In addition, only one of our customers had reported health side-effects from taking the product and we sold a ton.  The one customer in question believe that the health problem was related to taking the product, but we knew based on the particular problem that it could not have been the product.  In fact, the product probably saved their life by bringing the problem front and center.

So we were pretty sure that our product was causing virtually zero health problems and it was helping tons of people lose weight.  Several people reported that it was helping them control their diabetes and lower their blood pressure.  One customer asked their doctor if it was ok to take and the doctor told them that it couldn’t hurt.  Overall, the information that we had is that the product was benefiting the public and not harming anybody.  We stayed on the safe side and advised our customers to take the product only as directed.

Many companies face ethical choices, especially in a tough economy.  Should we risk bankruptcy or lay people off?  Should we accept money from the government (or give people bad mortgages) or lose competitive advantage?  Should we sell this product when we know that some people will die from using it?  For the last question, consider automobiles.  Auto manufacturers know that some people will die because of automobile accidents, yet they still manufacture them.  Does it make sense to shut down the company because of automobile accidents?  Perhaps a better choice is to make the car safer and eliminate any safety defects.

It is very important to follow the law even when it is hard.  Still, management at large companies have found themselves in hard situations.  Should I report the correct numbers or save my shareholders from a huge loss?  Remember that some company shareholders are retirees and pension plans, not just rich people trying to get richer.  Still, in this case we are preventing future shareholders from a serious loss because we are disclosing correct numbers.

The goal of ethics in business is to do the right thing.  We must do the legal thing.  We are obligated to do the best thing we can for all of our stakeholders such as owners or shareholders, management, bond holders or lenders, our employees, the community, and our country.  It is not always easy but we gather all of the information we can and make the best decision possible.

Step By Step Startup Plan

So you have just joined a new multi-level marketing program? What should you do now to help you be successful?

1. Become a business. Being in business has a better image than being an MLM representative. You don’t work for the MLM company do you? You work for your own business so you should have a business name.

2. Get business cards. Exchange them with other people that you meet for their business card so you can stay in touch.

3. Announce your business to your family and friends. Let them know that you are going to sell your products at cost to the people you know and ask if they would like samples. Along with the samples make sure to get them a product brochure or catalog. Note that your family will give you free publicity to their friends, who you also can give samples to, but sell at full cost or at a minor discount.

4. Begin networking your business. Ask people you know for referrals of others who would like the products or might be interested in a business opportunity.

5. Get a web presence and a twitter account. Facebook, twitter, and other social networking sites are nice places to promote your business. You may or may not get orders but you can give it a try. You may also be able to use an affiliate web site set up by your MLM company or an upline distributor to promote your MLM business.

6. Set up a web site, if you can afford it. Having a web site name will improve the image of your business, especially a .com site. Having a web site name can cost you as little as $10 a year, you can either forward it to an affiliate web site for about $10 additional per year, or you can buy web space for about $120 or so per year.

7. Learn by reading books. Marketing, Sales, and Business Management are areas you want to concentrate in. You may also want to read MLM or Network Marketing specific books. Use the library because most books you can buy will also be found there.

8. Remember that you want to market and sell, but don’t forget about the management of your business. You will need to be able to fulfill orders, take telephone calls, and various other support functions for your business. Your business policies will assist in the success or failure of your business.

Make sure to have fun with your business and avoid spending money when you don’t absolutely need to. Good luck to you!

Multi-Level Marketing Shortcuts

Multi-level marketing companies usually provide training and materials needed for the new distributor to begin making sales. Often the material is not well tested but it is usually professionally created so that it does help to create a professional image for the distributor. Materials provided can be used to sell the product and or recruit new distributors, and is compliant with company policies. It would cost quite a bit to produce your own materials and you would still have to make sure the company would approve of them, so using the company’s printed material is preferable.

When you make the move to the internet, you won’t have an option to take web pages directly from the company so you will be designing your own. The nice thing is that you can use the copy from the company’s printed material, you just have to include the trademark and copyright symbols. You probably also have to identify yourself as an independent business person. You can check with the company or your upline for requirements of doing business on the internet. But using the copy, or the words, makes it a little simpler than trying to write your website from scratch.

It is possible that the company has a distributor marketing plan already created that can be put to use in your business. Be careful taking a pre-packaged marketing plan though, because if everyone is doing the same thing it may not be a good way to go. It is always best to market in a way nobody else is doing to get the best response.

This brings up a good point about selling a multi-level marketing product: When you are the only one selling an item there is no worry about competition, but selling amongst a group of other distributors might make it difficult to market the product. Always remember to sell yourself and find benefits of doing business with you. Avoid competing head-to-head with other distributors when possible.

Similarities and Differences Between Small Business and MLM

A multi-level marketing distributorship typically is a small business run by a person, a couple, or a family. It can also be a larger distributorship run by a company with several employees. I have known distributorships to have revenues of several million dollars per year.

In a typical small business, a product is invented, manufactured, and or purchased, and can be sold to a customer or to another business. Similarly, a multi-level marketing distributorship purchases product or the product is purchased on behalf of a distributor from the company, then is sold to a customer. A distributor will recruit other distributors to sell the product, which is similar to finding other businesses to sell the product.

In a small business, you could have the product drop-shipped to your customer (which could be another business). Similarly, the typical multi-level marketing company allows the product to be sold from the MLM company directly to the consumer with the distributor getting the credit. Drop shipping typically allows a company of whichever kind to keep their inventories low or non-existent.

So we see that the typical small business and the typical MLM distributorship function in exactly the same way. They buy and sell products for a profit. They can sell to customers or other businesses. They can both keep their inventories low or they can stock to meet customer demand.

The main way MLM is different is that it earns commission on several levels of business to business sales, i.e. your downline or network. This gives you a great incentive to help out those you sponsor, those they sponsor, and sometimes those 10 levels below you. MLM is a helping business. Multi-level marketing is also the kind of business where you can build up income over time for a less than superhuman effort today. You leverage your efforts with independent business people rather than employees. The income you generate can take you through retirement and you can potentially leave it to your heirs.

Now a multi-level marketing distributorship is a business and it can get busy. Busyness is a good problem to have though.

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