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.

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.

The Heartbreak of MLM

Golden Gate Bridge

Chris at the Golden Gate Bridge

There are so many great things about MLM, multi-level marketing, or network marketing, whatever you would like to call it. Network marketing is actually a slightly different term as it implies making money by networking with other people. Multi-level marketing usually refers to a compensation plan. A comp plan is how the MLM company determines what to pay you. Like playing in a casino, the house never loses money. They know how much of the revenue is theirs and how much is the distributor’s. So the comp plan never pays out more than the total margin of a product, margin being the retail price over cost.

Let us go over what is good and bad about multi-level marketing compensation plans. Here is a partial list of what is good about them:

1. They allow you to help people without neglecting your business

2. In time, compensation becomes residual income. In other words, the work you do today is paid out over the coming years.

3. With residual income, you can take vacations or time off without fear that your job will be gone when you return, or that your business cannot run without you. If you are just selling the product, any time away is a problem.

How about some bad things? There has to be something wrong with MLM comp plans right? Here are some that are partially true:

1. You may not make as much initially as you would if you earned the entire commission on the product. On the flip side, you would probably have to be selling significant volume to earn the lion’s share of commissions. If you are selling in volume, you would also make the majority of commissions in an MLM plan.

2. Having too much invested in a single company can be problematic. However, some MLM companies are good long-term partners.

3. Some MLM companies require large monthly purchases. True, but most require no purchase. However, to earn your downline commissions there often is a minor purchase required (as little as $100 retail monthly).

4. Many companies require you to do distasteful selling or attend meetings, sometimes in locations you must travel to. I have heard this, but most MLM companies do not require you to attend meetings or sell in weird ways. Most meetings today can be held by telephone. Training usually exists online and upline leaders are a telephone call away.

5. MLM companies require you to sign-up friends and family. We have found that “warm market” sponsoring works in some cases, but for the most part promoting the business and letting people call if interested works just fine. If somebody buys a lot from you, you can also encourage them to become a distributor for the discount.

Multi-level marketing is a good place to go for long-term moderate income. If you are looking for income in the billions, it is not the right place for you. But if you are looking for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per month, it is perfect. Not that all distributors are this successful, but some are.

I have to say that I have seen people spend a lot of money doing unproductive things in MLM. I have also seen people give up way too early. I try to encourage people to do the right things but sometimes it does not work out. That is what breaks my heart.

It does make me feel better to see people become wildly successful.

It Is A Business, Something Must Be Sold

Wicker Park Sushi

Wicker Park Sushi at O’hare airport

How can you ever say that you have a business opportunity with no selling involved?  Try this example: You subscribe to Directv.  You introduce Directv to a friend and he gets $100 for joining and you get $100.  Introduce 10 friends a month to Directv and you will make $1000 per month.  Did you sell anything?

Technically you did.  You sold Directv service to your friends, letting them know that they get $100 for subscribing.  Maybe you also told them you get $100, maybe not.  But it did not feel like selling did it?  You are giving them a great deal, they can take it or leave it, no problem either way.

What you are not doing is cold calling people, continually pushing stuff they do not want, or knocking on doors.  All those bad images you get when you think about selling.  You are also not bugging your friends over and over to join a company that they do not want to join.  You are asking once, and letting them know the benefit if they do.

Sponsoring people can be done in a nice, laid back format similar to asking your friend if he or she would like to subscribe to Directv for $100.  You offer a program to get a discount on high-quality products, or perhaps you are a little more focused and say they get 25% off high quality kitchen items like vanilla, black pepper, and cinnamon for joining.  And it only costs $39.95.  Let them know they will love the products and it is possible that their parents or grandparents also used the products.  Many people, in fact, drive miles to buy them.

So what is being sold so far?  You are making an offer for your friend to join a program or club to receive a discount on great products.  I guess you are selling the membership by being honest and telling them the features and benefits of joining.  It is fine if they say no, just ask for other people who might be interested.  You could ask if they know other people who like to cook, for instance.  Then repeat the process.

At this point nothing has been sold, at least nothing that will make you money.  The products still must be purchased.  Now you want to promote the idea of buying the products with the people you have signed up, but no heavy pressure.  Some will buy, some will not.  It is okay either way.

I do not know if I make this sound easy or not, but while it is work, it is very straight forward.  Can you get rich selling household products?  Let me ask you a question: Can you get rich selling computers?  Can you get rich selling ice cream?  Can you get rich selling beer?  The answer to all: If you sell enough.  And generally, you do not do it alone.  You need a team, people to help.  And for some of the people who just signed up as discount customers, it  might just be them.

I would call it a sales business, yes.  But no selling ice to Eskimos or distasteful selling.  Just promoting your business, your products, and your opportunity.  And of course the discount.

Recruiting Is Impossible, Or Is It?

Jeff Satterlee at IHOP in Scottsdale, AZ

Jeff Satterlee at IHOP in Scottsdale, AZ

Let us start with an example.  You want to hire somebody for minimum wage to perform a simple job.  Are you going to ask your next door neighbor, who happens to be an electrician, to become your employee and be paid minimum wage?  No, you are probably going to look for a teenager or somebody seeking an easy part-time job.  Still, you are going to be choosy.  You are going to have them fill out an application, interview them, and check out their references.  How do you find your candidates?  You might keep your ears open for somebody looking for a job.  You might ask your friends if they know of anybody looking for an entry-level job.  You might also place an ad in the local newspaper.  You collect your applications, do your interviews, check references, and hire one employee.  A lot to go through right?

For recruiting network marketing distributors, which we hope will ultimately be people that recruit more distributors, we need to do some of the same things.  We identify what our candidate looks like: their interests, needs, demographics, and other identifying characteristics.  We might ask our friends if they know anybody that fits the bill.  We might place an ad in the newspaper.  We talk to people and see if they are a good fit, then ask them to join.  The person will join or not based on what they felt about the opportunity,  so it is definitely going to be a two-way interview.

In network marketing, you are recruiting commissioned sales people or the like, and they are an interesting bunch.  Some will produce and some will not.  Most will not in fact.  You are just hoping for a small handful that do very well.  So you continue to look for candidates, put them through the process, and hope that some will join.  Most will not, some will.  Most who join will not produce, but some will.  So as a network marketing recruiter, you just keep recruiting.

This article is going to take you through the elements of recruiting step by step, starting with joining your company.  By the end, you will understand what it takes to build a network of distributors for a network marketing company, and can decide whether it sounds like your cup of tea.

The first step to being a successful recruiter it to join a company.  With our company, for example, you purchase a starter kit for $39.95 and fill out an International Agreement.  Most companies have similar procedures.  How do you know which company to join?

You can evaluate their pay plans, interview several distributors, or just hope for the best.  My advice is to make sure at least one distributor in the company is successful before joining.  Not everyone will be successful, some will be new, some will do nothing. You just want to know that the pay plan is good enough to produce a full-time income for somebody.

One other consideration is whether you will join a new company or an older established company.  There are advantages and disadvantages with both.  The newer company may be growing quickly and be very exciting, but has much more risk involved.  There are many different events that can put a quickly growing company out of business in a flash and you need it to last for years.

The older established company is less exciting but also much less risky.  The opportunity is still there no matter how old the company is, as distributors will come and go, and the organization will never get too big.  You need to do your job better than most so that your own organization will grow, but excellence is achievable.  Expect that you will not see a full-time income in a year with an established company, it will probably be 5 years down the road.  Good luck with your choice.

The next step in our journey to recruiting superstardom is go get business cards.  The idea is to build an image and you do this by being professional: Keeping yourself well groomed, dressing nicely, having professional looking stationary, a company name, a web site if possible, and or professional business cards.  None of this will recruit a single distributor by itself, but it gives you credibility. Perhaps not among your warm market of family and friends, but at least among people who do not already know you.

Most of the time the network marketing company will have vendors that will create your business cards and stationary for you, so make use of them.  If you are provided a free web site, make sure your business cards have your web site name on them.

Part of what you want to do at this point is to be social, make friends.  Find new friends through your network of current friends.  Don’t hard sell everyone, just make friends at this point.  You can always hand them your business card as contact information… maybe they will ask you more about your business.  Tell them the truth: that you have just started your business and you are looking for other distributors to partner with.

A note about your company name: Make sure to learn how to create a business entity before you start using Jack Jones LLC or My Company, Inc.  There are legal and not so legal ways to name a company.

In this article, we have been talking about being professional, having business cards, meeting new people, etc., all of which are important but when do we sign up a new distributor?  When they are ready to sign up.  You see, you cannot sign up a distributor.  You can help them through the process when they are ready, but you cannot control when this happens.  There are a few things you can control though, and that is where you should be concentrating.  By the way, it does not matter how badly you screw up the process, given enough people somebody will sign up.

So that leads me back to the thing you can control: making sure your pipeline is always full.  Networking and meeting new people is a great and inexpensive way to do this, but it is not always effective.  Sometimes you will reach dead ends everywhere you turn.  So now you have to meet new people without having a connection to them.  There are all sorts of ways to do this inexpensively: you can meet people in your coffee shop, you can do shows, you can post business cards on bulletin boards, you can hang information on doors… most of which are extremely discouraging… but they are cheap.  You can do basically the same thing on the internet: post classified ads to try to find new people.  Problem is, everybody and his dog is doing this where it is free, so there is a lot of noise.  Still, these are cheap ways to find new people.

On the other hand, you can also find new people by paying for advertising.  Be warned though, this can get very expensive.  So before you go big, go small.  Test out some classifieds and see how people respond.  The idea is to be honest and ask for what you want.  It may seem that spinning your opportunity to look great is the way to go, but it is not.  If you get one person to answer your honest ad and ten to answer your “spinned” ad, the most likely outcome is that your one good lead will be much better than your ten bad ones combined.  And we are looking at the long term here, not the short term.  One good distributor can make you rich where 100 not so good ones will make you miserable.

So keep your pipeline full with good leads.  Get them for free when you can.  Pay for them when you must.  But the more people in your pipeline, the more you will ultimately sign up… I mean, the more that will sign themselves up… again, you cannot reliably control the sign ups.

I have to say I have been discouraged at times by lack of sign ups.  Then somebody will join and blow me away.  Just work at keeping the pipeline full and you should do ok.

Above we talked about keeping the pipeline full with good prospects. How about just selling the dream?  You sponsor two, help those two sponsor two, your first level helps sponsor the third level, and you have a large team fairly quickly.  This is what I like to call selling the dream, or pyramid marketing, and it does not work.  Why?

1. If your organization has no purchase requirement, nobody will purchase

Why purchase if you are not required to?  If you are purchasing only to get your downline bonus, why purchase until you have downline volume?

2. If you have a purchase requirement, any delay causes fallout

In other words, if I am not making money until 6 months from now, I am not going to purchase products for the next 6 months!  Then I am going to quit.  Turbo MLM building can work but it is only temporary.

So you can see that selling the dream is not the best approach.  So what is?  Working the business like a business is what works.  You sponsor people based on the merits of the program; they purchase products to learn about the products, sell the products, or because they want to buy; and they work their business similar to how you work yours.  Consistently and constantly.

Not everyone will want to join, only people who want to start a business and work at it will join.  And some of those people will not be successful, but some will.  So you sponsor 10 of which two are good; each of the two sponsor 10 of which two are good, and so forth.  Then you have a good team in three to five years that will generate income for you the rest of your life.   Could it get more exciting than this?

By the way – you never really stop sponsoring.  If you like, you can help your downline sponsor… that is up to you.  Helping your group out as much as you can is always a good idea, for their benefit as well as yours.

Do you have a different method of building your network marketing business?

Get Rich By Creating Value

"Goldeagle". Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org

“Goldeagle”. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Wow, I just gave you the secret to riches.  Create value.  But what does this mean?

I was thinking about how to provide people with the tools they need to be successful at making money on the internet.  Sure you can build a website, you can sell products for profit, you can create an online tool, but if you are not creating value… you will not find any real success.  And by success, I mean money, riches, or wealth.

So what is value and how do you create it?  Value is something that means more to somebody else then it takes to produce the something.  For instance, if I have a way to save a company $50,000 on their energy bill, I can charge for the information right?  Yes, the value is the way, or information, to save $50,000 on energy.  Probably worth less than $50,000 and more than $1, but there is a value that can be placed on it.  The only problem is that everybody knows these ideas and many people have written about them, so the value of the information is much lower.

That is the typical problem in network marketing.  You want the easy sell or easy sponsor, so you think it is enough just to tell people you do XYZ network marketing company.   Perhaps if you were the only XYZ network marketing distributor this would work, but you are not.  What value do you provide that nobody else does?

There are ways to provide value in network marketing.  Probably the best one today is your unique perspective on finding leads, staying organized, or creating a group to depth.  People are hungry for information on doing the business so if you have something that works for you, you can let other people know.  Can you sell your information product?  Only if it is truly unique, complete, and entertaining.

Could you just give away your starter kit or offer a money-back guarantee to provide value?  Giving away the kit is a bad idea, because it encourages people to join and do nothing.  A money-back guarantee is good, but easy to emulate.  Tools to be successful in your business are going to be your best avenue for value.

Your value to your multi-level marketing company can be producing sales, no doubt.  How do you produce sales?  Many online avenues for selling are strongly discouraged by MLM companies, and many others do not produce results large enough to support a person.

You can produce network marketing results by either creating a new market or competing with your fellow distributors.  Competing tends to be a bad way of doing business.  We always want competitive advantage where we can get it, but creating a new market will produce much better results than snatching market share away from others.  How do you create a new market?  Reach people that are not being reached, and produce value within that market.  People already need and want what you are selling, but nobody has presented it in a way they understand.  Be the person that does.

How do you create value?

What Is Network Marketing?

Network marketing is generally a way to spread information about a product.  For instance, you tell your friends, they tell their friends, and so forth.  Network marketing allows you to get paid for all of these referrals.

Multi-level marketing is an offshoot of network marketing.  Generally, multi-level marketing is a compensation structure where you get paid for product sales you make, and product sales that people you refer make, and product sales people they refer make… and so forth.  The compensation structure of a multi-level marketing program lays out exactly what you get paid for each sale.

Unlike affiliate marketing, network marketing compensation will start out very small but grow to an indefinite size over time.  Affiliate marketing depends on the efforts of only one person: you.  Network marketing depends on the efforts of many people.

We use both affiliate marketing and network marketing as part of SplashPlan.com.  Affiliate marketing allows you to make quick income from services and training sales.  Network marketing allows you to earn long-term residual income.

Reasons Not To Post Your Network Marketing Program Publicly

In this post I will detail the reasons not to post your program publicly.  For instance, if you are an Avon representative, there’s nothing wrong with that… so why not tell the world?  Here are the reasons that SplashPlan.com does not have you post your program publicly:

1. Some network marketing companies forbid you posting their name publicly, or have special rules for online promotion

Our network marketing company requires a disclaimer to be posted on all of our public pages, but some companies outright forbid online marketing.  We make it easy to promote yourself online without publicly announcing your program by only showing your program to people who sign up first.  We believe this should prevent compliance problems with your network marketing company… However, if we run into problems, we may need to change.  We shall see.

2. You are trying to attract existing network marketing distributors

It is much easier to sell joining a particular network marketing program rather than selling the idea of network marketing.  Existing distributors already believe in the dream so you no longer need to sell it to them.  If you put your program out there publicly, existing network marketers will have a preconceived notion of what SpashPlan.com is all about and will probably avoid signing up.

While we are trying to attract existing network marketers, we do not actively try to make them change… That would repel them.  Instead, we offer our help with the SplashPlan.com site or with whatever the new member might need help with.  Sell your usefulness to them without pitching your program and you’re more likely to bring them into your group in the future.

3. It’s not important that new members join your network marketing program

Network marketing programs are generally slow to build but generate residual income.  While it’s great when somebody joins, your effort is for the long term, not short term.  For the short term, you must either generate product sales or affiliate sales… and SplashPlan.com helps out with that by offering training to members who join directly with you.  You earn affiliate income, which is more immediate, whenever anybody buys the paid training or other products.

While this is not residual income, it is income that will help to pay for advertising or other expenses while you are building the residual income of your network marketing program.

Note also that you may earn affiliate income on more than one level of members if a member under you chooses not to join the affiliate programs, or all the affiliate programs.  You earn on everybody under you until somebody under you overrides the affiliate links.

Make sure to let me know if you have any questions… or post if you have any other reasons not to post your network marketing program publicly.

Note that our network marketing program is out there publicly on the internet but we don’t publicly show it on SplashPlan.com.  We are moving to SplashPlan.com as a platform but we are winding down our other efforts.

How Not To Get Bogged Down In The Products

In my network marketing company, our products are great.  I know you’ve heard this before… but our products are so good that they sell to consumers at a good price.  Trouble is, to sell, you must carry inventory and that is a risk.  Why must you carry inventory?  If you offer an item for sale, such as on Amazon or eBay, you must have the item in your possession or the company may go out of stock and you can’t get it.  For months.

Because our products are so good, the opportunity is great.  But that is no reason to sell the products to the end customer… it is a reason to bring in more good distributors.  Who will bring in more distributors.  And all will buy the products for themselves.  Why can’t we just live the dream?

Unfortunately too many distributors think they can’t sell the opportunity until they first sell the product.  But I’m telling you that you’ll blow your opportunity to sell the opportunity if you get bogged down in selling the product.  It takes your focus away from where it should be.

So follow these steps to avoid getting sidetracked by product sales:

  • Always lead with the opportunity to build a good business with your company
  • Avoid recruiting “sales people”.  Recruit business builders instead
  • Never carry more stock than you personally need for the next month
  • Build any promotional campaign to target new distributors

Let me know if this helps… Do you have any other suggestions?

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