“Beware the Ides of March…”
The days of Julius Caesar may be long gone, but we must always beware of the danger around us.
Networking marketing or MLM as it’s commonly referred to, is one business that often raises alarm bells for many people.
Unfortunately, MLM, like franchising before it, often gets a bad rap.
The truth is I’ve seen both sides of MLM, the successes and the failures, so I’m not here to pass judgment.
For many MLM offers a way out; not big investment upfront and huge potential if you work the system. But you can only work it if you completely believe what you are doing is right with every fiber of your being.
Truth be told my wife even gave an MLM system a shot, so did I. My wife’s cost her a few hours of her time and she was able to get her initial investment back. Me, I wasn’t as lucky. While the business I chose to invest in wasn’t an MLM per say, it definitely turned out to be one and one that actually morphed into a Ponzi scheme, so you must do your due diligence before getting involved in any MLM, just as you should with any investment.
And that leads me to the first of the six secrets to multi-level marketing:
1. CHOOSE WISELY
There are lots of companies to choose from if you decide to get into MLM. Every month I hear of a new company that promises the best skin products or health products. Unfortunately, not all network marketing businesses are created equal. Here are six elements you should consider.
- Stability. How old is the company?
- Does it have excellent products or services that consumers will use and need more of.
- The pay plan–how even and fair and generous overall is the distribution?
- The integrity of the company and the management. I’ve found that a company is only as good as its people. Find out what you can about the CEO and other executives and see if they are someone you would trust with your money.
- Timing. Look at where the company’s at, and where it is heading. You don’t want to jump onto to a sinking ship.
- Support, training and business systems. Maybe the most important component of them all.
2. BE WILLING TO LEARN
Like any business, you must be willing to learn the ropes. Mentors can show you the way, but it is then up to you to follow what they have taught you. Like the franchise model, any good network marketing company should have a proven business model. All you need to do is learn it, then do it.
3. THE TEAM
As the name implies, network marketing is all about a team. You are only as strong as the people you have around you, especially your leaders and mentors. Support is critical, especially when you’re just starting out.
Once you truly understand the ins and outs of the business now it’s time to BUILD your team. In doing so, remember you must be willing to spend at least 30 days helping newbies get acquainted with the system – especially a lot of hand holding until they feel confident enough to go out on their own. If you’re not willing to do that, then network marketing might not be for you. Networking marketing isn’t about selling products, it’s all about developing relationships.
4. GET ONLINE
There’s a reason everyone’s doing it. It works. Today the Internet is the easiest way to stay in touch with customers. which is a critical component of any business, but maybe more so when it comes to network marketing. And if you’re wondering what to share with your customers just keep things simple; information about products, success stories, events in the area, cute pictures. Doesn’t have to be earth-shattering, but it does have to be consistent.
5. TREAT ANY MLM OR ONLINE BUSINESS LIKE YOU WOULD ANY OTHER BUSINESS
A network marketing business isn’t just about a few people getting together and sharing information about products. It is a business first and foremost. Treat it that way.
6. DON’T QUIT YOUR JOB…YET
Some people might want to jump in head first, but I’d advise dipping your feet in first. Keep your day job while working your network marketing business part-time at night and weekends. Just a few hours here and there and see where it leads you. If you find that you’re able to equal or exceed your full time job, then you might want to make the jump and say, “Sayonara” to the 9 to 5 lifestyle and design a work schedule that works for you.
Like all things in life, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Network marketing isn’t some magic system that allows you to make money without effort.
You must work the system.
But above all, to me, the single most important point is you must believe what you are selling with all your heart.
It’ll come across each time you pitch it to others.