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?

Marketing 101 For Small Businesses

Marketing is not simply the act of selling the product to a customer but is the definition and backbone of the total effort of the company.  Marketing defines the attributes of the customer and how the customer will be reached so that time and money are not wasted.  Marketing looks for the value added of the company that can be sold to the customer.  Marketing outlines the business flow of customers through various areas of the business.  Marketing can help determine the vision and direction of the company.

Good marketing is the difference between being miserable and disheartened, and being energized with a lot of activity.  You are selling to the right people who want to hear your message.  People are making their way through the marketing process, hearing the sales presentation, buying product or signing up as distributors.  Poor marketing practice is like cold-calling the phone book.  It’s beating your head against a brick wall and never getting anywhere.  If you are a new multi-level marketer, you have probably felt this way many times.

So how do you market well?  You need to find the right types of people for your product or opportunity.  Are you selling widgets?  Who uses widgets?  Do men or women usually buy widgets?  Are widgets purchased by everyone or just certain income levels?  Are people more likely to buy widgets in a certain part of the country or world?  Are office workers more likely to buy widgets than blue collar workers?  These are the kinds of questions you need to ask about your product in order to build a profile of your customer.

For a business opportunity that sells widgets, you probably want your customer for widgets plus a few other elements.  For instance, are store owners likely to want to sell widgets?  Are widgets best sold by personal sales people?  Does being a distributor for widgets offer a discount for purchases?  These questions can define which of your customers you may want to offer the opportunity to, or the kind of people you want to find for your opportunity.

The attributes of your potential customer or distributor is their demographic profile.  Demographics are subsets of the general population.  A given person usually fits within a group or several groups.  Perhaps your demographic profile describes only 10% of the population so 90% of the population typically would not be interested in what you are offering.  If you make your offer to the correct 10% of the population, not all will buy but they are considerably more likely to be interested.  This makes business fun, to be presenting to people who want to be presented to.

Marketing also defines your advertising methods, sales messages, and what values your business offers to your customers.  Marketing as a whole may be a process of trial and error, but once you find what works for you, you just do it over and over and bigger and bigger.  Larger companies try to get more precise with their marketing activities by doing a ton of research before ever delivering a product to market, but since we don’t have a major amount of resources or time, doing things small in a trial and error fashion works fine.

About Demographics

Demographics is a description of a subset of the population. For instance: Men, older than 60, that own their own home. If this is the demographic of your market, then this is who you want to seek in order to sell your product. Not that you will sell your product to all men older than 60 who own their own home, but that you will have an advantage with this group of people to where you will sell more to them as a percentage than the general population.

This is how you change the odds more in your favor. You define the kind of person who would want to buy your product and then you find people like that to sell your product to. Rather than selling 1 in 100 people, you may sell 1 in 10 (as an example). Plus your product will captivate the interest of your target market more than the general population so your feedback will not be so negative.

How do you define the demographic for your product? Let’s take an easier example, say you sell toys. Who is your target market? It could be children that are the right age to want the toy. Probably either a boy or girl. Let’s think about this a bit more though – do children this age have the money to buy toys? If not, perhaps you are looking for their parents. So you demographic may be parents of boys between 8 and 12. You can do the same with virtually any product.

So then how do you find your target market? There are many ways that are only limited by your imagination. Remember that starting out we want to try to avoid spending money as much as possible. So perhaps we can make a list of everyone we know and call them one by one (cold calling your warm market), which sucks but stay with me a second. Rather than asking them if you can make a sales presentation to them or talking about business, maybe you just ask them if they know anybody who has children around 10. Make a list of these people then contact them. Again, rather than specifically selling these people, let them know who you were referred by and ask them if they know anybody else who has children around 10 that are shopping for toys for Christmas (or something similar). Often they will refer more people or talk to you about your product. The idea is not to hard sell but to make contacts, get them information, and get referrals. Sales come from warm leads (people who show a strong interest in your product) not from pressuring people to buy stuff they don’t want or need.

The important thing in finding your market is to ask for what you want.

How do you sponsor then using these techniques? You must first define the marketing for your business opportunity. Perhaps they will be women in their 30’s that want to make a little extra money. Or they may be your best product customers who want to save a little by buying from themselves. Or they could be people who have expressed an interest in being a business person. Use your imagination, there are many possibilities. You may also be able to refine your market once you begin working your business.

From there we find members of our market, get them information if they are interested, and get referrals.

Please note that calling people and getting referrals is only one method of finding members of your market. You can use your imagination and find other free ways to make contact with people within your market demographic. For instance, I used to post coupons on the bulletin board at the grocery store. You can also advertise for free on line using classifieds. Make sure to ask for what you want.

I will write more about how to advertise effectively with and without spending money in future posts.