In a conversation I had the other day with the chairman of one of the top network marketing companies, he said (about his reps):
Why shouldn’t they be able share the product and the opportunity?
Indeed. A totally understandable and necessary worldview from the owner of a network marketing company (and the sales reps in the company as well).
However, it runs smack into an opposing worldview of most consumers he’s trying to reach, who have a different world view about that very thing:
“I don’t want to sell to my friends.”
When the marketers and the ‘targets’ (us, consumers) have conflicting worldviews about the thing being marketed (product and opportunity) and the way the marketer wants to market (to everyone the same), guess who loses?
When the people pass, the marketers lose. And if the marketers don’t change their methods, it gets so predictably annoying that people pause and ask before they buy, “Is it one of those things? Because I don’t buy from those companies.”
Marketers: Go ahead and “share” the product and the opportunity – only not to the same people.
Offer the product to customers without pressing or even bringing up the business, like every other company does and like consumers expect. Yes, of course there are ways for the rep to tell why they’re marketing this themselves, a la Victor Kiam’s famous line, “I liked this razor so much I bought the company,” all without badgering the customer prospect to DO the business.
One in a hundred people out there (maybe) want to sell anything. Everyone is a customer. When will the leaders of the NM companies step into the prospective customer shoes long enough to see and accept that? And then, instruct ALL their reps to dispense with the pushy seller talk with every single customer prospect (and lose the sale in the process)?
Offer the business to those who LIKE to sell and build up a business of their own. And who really LIKE your product line and philosophy. And who see the market for it like you do, and who can’t wait to evangelize it.
That’s what I did, each of the five companies I worked.
Yes, it will be one in a hundred or perhaps 500 who want to do that. But those few can and do make things happen. Stop dragging the rest and ruining our reputation among consumers (and customers) by saying silly things like “Oh, you don’t have to sell.” You DO sell, if you get paid for your efforts.
The business person is NOT your typical customer prospect. Leave them be. Be grateful they are your customer.
P.S. There are people who have built up customer bases in our industry, who earn steady income. If the average customer order is $85, and someone earns $15 on each order, 100 customers gives the rep $1500/mo. One woman has gotten nearly 5,000 customers over the last three years, and her business is more stable than any consisting of just recruits. Today distributor prospects are coming to HER. They want that steady income from customers, too. She’s built up a customer empire, a la AOL and cable TV.
To find those needed recruits, go where they are, ask for people with a worldview that says something like:
“I like being responsible for my own income. I love a challenge, I love to sell, and I’m willing to put time and effort into something that could be big.”
One thing they are NOT: Your average customer who loves your product. And the sooner leaders and practitioners of Network Marketing GET that idea, and act on it, the fewer people will continue to see network marketers as those “low rent types who abuse their friends and family and try to get them to sell so they make a percent on them.”