Yes, we know that being too technical turns off most customers.
At the other extreme are folks who have learned to say something like,
“Oh I don’t really know much about what’s IN the product. But it’s all natural, and people are getting results, so we don’t worry about it.”
This attitude came back to bite one NM lady and her upline this week.
My friend, Lady Lu, related how she listened to a presentation by a friend and her upline, representing a nutritional NM company. Lady Lu waited, then asked about the ingredients she saw on the bottle – some synthetic stuff like ascorbic acid (synthetic vitamin C) and artificial colors, among others.
“Well,” said the upline, “they’re ALL natural! We don’t get into those details. They’re having results! So that’s what matters to us.”
So my friend got out her little Food Additive guide (there are many available), made the list of what was listed on the bottle and emailed the company.
“Your reps say your product is all natural, but I see these synthetic ingredients on the bottle, the food coloring, etc. What’s the story?”
Honorably, the company, a pretty big and established nutritional MLM, emailed back and said yes, we include a mix of ingredients, including those.
Lady Lu forwarded the email to her representative friends, and never heard a word back.
So what should you know about your product?
Read the list of ingredients YOURSELF. Know just a few basics:
1. What’s synthetic, what’s NOT. You can use any high quality food additive guide to find out. Synthetic vitamins are considered by many experts not to be very effective, and perhaps even harmful. Or use the Are Your Vitamins Safe white paper here.
2. Are there additives like food coloring in the product?
While you should not lead with techno babble, know enough that you don’t embarrass yourself with people for whom these things matter.
Know AT LEAST those two basic things about the ingredients in your product.
Your beliefs about them might be different than mine – maybe you think synthetic ingredients are ok, or that food additives are fine. But don’t gloss over or deny this kind of thing because it matters to people who care about that.
This is exactly why you should NOT become a product expert. Those people who are that concerned with ingredients should be directed to the COMPANY site which should have nutritional facts and ingredients listed. This way, no one has to be a product expert. Those looking can see actual ingredients themselves and make their own decisions.
What if your company doesn’t provide these nutritional facts? Lobby to have them put up and/or scan in the nutritional facts yourself to have on hand for people who want them.
Very simple AND duplicatable. No one should EVER feel they need to be an expert on product. When you try to have your organization learn about products, you’re playing a dangerous game. Have you ever played “telephone” as a kid where one person whispers a sentence/phrase to the next and then that person whispers the sentence/phrase to the next and so on? These things NEVER turn out well. Don’t play “telephone” with your organization. Be a professional pointer instead.
My wife and I looked for a looong time to find a nutritional product that we could give our 17 month old son, who is a picky eater.
We even went into health food stores, read the labels and did our homework. Even then, we would always find “natural” products that had synthetic ingredients. We did not want to knowingly give our little man stuff that is not good for him.
So if someone from a traditional NM had approached us about becoming a customer, we would have questions about the product and scrutinized it quite a bit.
So in our case, saying, “Oh I don’t really know much about what’s IN the product. But it’s all natural, and people are getting results, so we don’t worry about it” would not have worked with us.
Thank you Kim for this post.
I don’t know everything that’s in the supplement I take and market. I know what is NOT in it and that matters a lot to me.
I can easily find all the ingredients for anyone who wants the full ingredient list.
Today I received vitamins for a trade program, they were from a well known NM company. I looked to see if it did have synthetic ingredients (like they all have had) and found it was a mix of food ingredients and synthetic. This lady decided maybe these ingredients were not a fit for her after all. She used the Are Your Vitamins Safe? report so I didn’t need to know everything in ours.
Again, thank you for this post.
Thank you for the vitamin safe report. Definitely something to be aware of when marketing vitamins.
It doesn’t pay to fake product knowledge especially when it is something that people consume your product.
Thanks for the post. My company encourages us to know our product line(s) and provides us what they can. Since my customers need to be educated and don’t know where to go for reliable information, I also go to independent and reliable sources for back up.
When customers ask about ingredients, sometimes it is just their way of saying ‘No’. If you have the bottle handy, you can always just read the label right on the spot.
But today more than before, people are becoming educated about nutritional products, they read the press. So if you sense it’s a genuine question, you can always ask, “What’s most important to you about the ingredients?”
Then you’ll know…whether it’s additives, or synthetic ingredients, etc., or whether they just wanted to say ‘No’.
Marketing health supplements and acting as if you know nothing about what is in it however, is risky. What value do you add then?
They might as well go to a store where the clerks don’t know anymore than you do.
Kim, great point.
I ALMOST joined a well-established herbal/nutritional company. (the one I have been doing, and still love, stopped working in Canada)
One of the factors that stopped me was the small print on the sample bottle of one of their flagship products. I quite liked the product too, but I just cannot sell stuff with parabens in it anymore.
Ien in the Kootenays