You have ideas. Ideas about what can be done to improve Network Marketing.
For example, what do you think can be done to:
1. Improve its image.
2. Improve the results you are (not) getting.
3. Improve how they pay you.
4. Make it so it’s more fun to do it.
5. Attract better people.
These are starter ideas.
Please submit your ideas on what you think can be done as if someone who can make the changes you request, is actually listening and willing to try out whatever you suggest.
Write this from YOUR point of view. And tell us what that is. E.g.,
“I am doing the business part time, I’m a woman, and here’s what I think needs improving.”
Reply below in the “Comments” section, I’ll gather them up this week and post them. We’ll have a live discussion on one of my next big conference calls, and I’ll invite one of your company CEOs to respond and give his/her take. We’ll respectfully put them on the hot seat. 🙂 If they’ll come, of course.
If those who love and are IN the business don’t speak up, how will you ever be heard?
And if you don’t speak up, how will we ever get those changes we want, made?
Remember, it doesn’t do the companies any good to have massive dropouts either. They tank too, just like the individuals do. And they don’t like it any better than you do.
So let’s help them, and get the ideas out there and in front of them, shall we?
Let’s say a distributor has 10 customers, and they stay in “auto-ship” for a year.
A great way to keep them as customers would be to give them free shipping as a reward for being loyal customers.
re love or money/ getting back in the box/improving: You are amazing, Kim – obviously a driven woman, and while driven, I am behind in posting to this board!
Interesting timing as I received this quote today:
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs – ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Harold Thurman Whitman
Philosopher and Theologian
The starting point is always within, as you teach so well in If My Product’s so great. Without passion and values that permeate everything in our life, the outer manifestations will never match what we say we want. As T. Harv Eker says, “how you do anything is how you do everything.”
All of that is to make it clear that I believe in personal reponsibility. Yet I also believe that when we introduce people to a business, we must do that responsibly.
There are good companies who have long term, committed founders with sound visions and integrity, still at the helm. Sometimes they appear to be slightly “masked” as SOME “leaders” in the field can seem to dictate the direction and message being communicated (ie, putting other companies down, being number one – all the seller talk and stuff we would classify as hype). Companies, in turn, can have a tendency to adapt policies based on this “leadership”, ie, bonuses and recognition given to those sponsoring people who can shell out a grand or more. In the process, the “little guy or gal”, the part timers, or someone who is more comfortable or desirous of building a stable customer base, can be forgotten and neglected. “Duplication” seems to leave no room for accessing an individual’s passion and rarely addresses basic communication/people skills.
In those cases, as you say, Kim, a distributor has a choice – find another product and company they love, or find a way to make what you’ve got work for you. With people like you to coach with, perhaps enough little voices will be heard so that some companies will commit to creating comp plans that support the “leaders” as well as the 80% of the part-timers who have learned the value of a solid customer base and servicing that base for the long term. My company used to have that – now the comp plan massively favors the “business builders”, as if someone who has built a customer base is not a business builder. My suggestion is focus on reducing attrition by addressing the part timer’s needs and supporting and recognizing all effort, not just sponsoring.
For me, your book is a basic building block for anyone in or getting in to any type of sales. Your calls and courses are providing hope and practical alternatives to many. This recent “call to action” excites me – thanks for the forum for little voices to step up.
Do you remember the old commercial “Promise her anything, but give her Arpege?” It seems to me that today, the MLMs and NW companies have perverted that saying to read: “Promise them anything, but get their money first.” I have been in network marketing since 1981, beginning with Amway, and I have heard all the promises, all the inflated hype, all the “plan of the week” schemes, all the car and house bonus plans, all the “explode your business with a product/pay plan/marketing plan that everyone will want,” and all the other odious and patently false promises that are rife within our industry. What I haven’t heard, except from you and Peter Mingils, is the truth. The truth is that building a home-based business is tough, requires patience, stick-to-itiveness, integrity, willingness to fail and try over and over and over and to spend far more than you had been told you’d have to spend. A home-based business isn’t much different than a Main Street brick-and-mortar business, except that you do it from your back bedroom instead of an office or shop. What’s wrong is that the P.T. Barnums of this world have got MLM and NM by the throat and they’re suckering people all the time. My own company, Extreme Research, is doing this now. If it weren’t for the product, I’d be somewhere else. Everything they’re doing is amatuerish, ethically wrong and headed for hopless failure. My only hope is that the product goes to another company that will put emphasis on getting customers and not recruiting people who haven’t been told the truth about what it takes to build a home-based business.
So in answer to your question, “how do we improve it?” first throw out all the scammers, crooks and amatuers. Require companies to disclose identities of owners, number of members, average income, failure rates, percentage of resignations vs. number of members recruited, exact dollar amounts of bonuses, overrides, commissions and pay plans based on the lowest number of customers or members, i.e. ONE, and how many members (not by name) have actually succeeded in reaching the top payout levels of the pay plan. Further, disclose what total real costs are to build a business based upon actual case histories, and not some hyper-inflated mathematical formula dreamed up by the zip-headed marketing directors. These are the same requirements that any sensible businessman would look for if the business was a grocery store, flower shop or insurance agency. Just because it’s a home-based business doesn’t mean that we should take leave of our common sense and just take all of this on faith. If they’re going to make a promise or state a potential, make them prove it with numbers verified by an independent accounting firm. When that becomes a requirement to operate as an MLM or NM company, the industry will get better and the image will improve. Until then, well, you pay your money and you take your chances.
One thing which I think does not work for many women is the Fast Start programme.
Kim, you make the point that most women who come into this business have lots of things already going on in their lives – families, community, often a job, friends, hobbies.
The argument for Fast Start programmes is that they encourage action, discourage procrastination.
But women like to ease themselves in gently, absorb the atmosphere, fit it into what time they have at this moment.
As they get more into things, they seem to get “the bit between their teeth” and are ready to set aside some of the things they are already doing, and replace them with activities to build their business.
In my own company, some of us have been arguing for the Fast Start bonuses to be available at a point in time when someone is ready to start seriously – not just in their first 60 days of becoming a member customer.
Fast Starts, and the recognition they receive, are macho, not feminine.
And the flip side, that anyone who does not “go for the Fast Start” is inferior and unsuccessful, is yet another factor which undervalues women and their way of operating.
Kim, I couldn’t agree more with Judy Greeno. I’ve been with my company for 30+ years. I am a woman and raised 4 children while working my business part-time. I have been able to help with the family finances, but always feel that I’m coming up short as I’ve not been able to be a “leader” in building a downline organization. I do a modest volume, by no means a “big producer,” but take good care of my customers and love doing what I do. It IS my passion – even if it’s on a small scale. My concern is that we have wonderful products that we promote, but someone who really loves their customers and provides that service may be overlooked because they haven’t been part of the ‘big picture.’
I think that at national events where only the top leaders have been invited to attend special recognition affairs, high volume achievers should be invited to attend those special events, too. (I would not be in that catagory. So, I am not addressing my own recognition or lack thereof.) I just think it would be worthy of consideration by our top executive. I do believe he would give it some thought. Kim, I love our company and everything for which it stands. We do so many things with the highest integrity. This is just something that has been on my mind for quite some time and you’ve given me the opportunity to voice my concern. Thank you.
I do not spend time worrying about changing the image of network marketing.
My focus is on taking self responsibility to be what I need to personally be to help those I work with to strive to reach their goals in a realistic, ethical and credible manner.
It is my goal to teach realistic expectations of potential results and always recommend that a person not participate on a full time basis unless they are in the financial position to do so.
Networking is a business and as any business endeaver takes time to build and develop. The expectation of there being a high probability to make an immediate income is not wise.
I do not rely on or expect the company to make it more fun to do.
What I expect from the company is a quality product at a fair competitive price with the compensation plan being reasonable.
These are things that I evaluated and researched before entering the company I am involved with.
As within any industry, the company leadership that provides fundamentally sound and ethical leadership will attract the same.
Unfortunately, many of the so called leaders in the networking arena are the same ones that go from new company to new company swaying the same followers over and over.
My opinion is that this is slowly changing as more astute business leaders are emerging. This too like all things takes time.
I’m a man that has been with the same company for 25 years. My mother started our business…by talking ONLY about how the product helped save her life. At the time, she was chastised by her upline for not doing the business “correctly,” i.e. with the $ opp. only. The upline is looooong gone, we’re still here.
A few years ago, our company decided to FORCE our good, loyal, dependable customers to jump through some stupid, expensive, time-consuming, relationship-busting, (did I say stupid?) hoops…JUST SO THESE WONDERFUL PEOPLE COULD STILL BUY THE PRODUCTS THEY ALREADY LOVE(ED)TO BUY. Why? No one at the home office apparently knows why, but my guess and the guess of many of our customers who flew the coop, is they did it for money only. It ruined over half of our business and gained the company NOTHING BUT TROUBLE. I still am holding back because this stupidity is still policy (or is it?—again we’re not told) and I am afraid of sponsoring anyone and having them hurt (again). Integrity matters….der!
Everything the company does should be for the small distributor…everything! The small dist is responsible for every value our company possesses. The small dist brings in the Members, creates the volume for the big guys to brag about, etc. The biggest rewards should go to the small distributor…the rest will take care of itself.
So my advice to CEOs is to stay out of the relationships between the distributor and their friends/customers. These relationships are too precious to be messed with by a bunch of suits who have no clue of the value of the relationships in the field.
Help us distributors to KEEP Members, NOT DESTROY THEM…Please!
I fully agree with Robert Finklea…
Having been in the industry for over 10 years with some moderate success (a few 5 figure months).
And after having seen many, many good people get hurt by some of the less than honorable activities that are so commonplace in this industry…
I would also add that before any MLM/NW company could be started the ownership should have to go through a licensing/certification process much like plumbers, contractors, real estate and insurance salespeople, etc.
They should also have to post a bond that would cover any financial shortcomings the company might encounter (Such as: Not being able to pay distributors in a timely manner… Not shipping product… etc.)
If a company wants to change their pay plan, they should be required to go through industry regulators who would in some way include the
sentiments of and the impact on the distributors…
They should be required to have liability insurance on their products and operations…
All the above should be openly verifiable by any distributor or prospective distributor at any time, and should apply to any state or country in which the company sells it’s products/services…
This is just a quick off the top of my head list… I know there are other areas that will have to be addressed before the industry can/will ever gain the respect it so badly needs to reach the promise it could offer it’s participants.