If I were starting a network marketing company, continued

Back to the question in the previous post:

“If I were starting a Network Marketing company, I would say, what’s a different group of people that want to hear a story about how to succeed with network selling? What words, phrases and images do I use to help them understand what it is I have to offer?” (posed by Seth Godin)

People in the new group I’m proposing – amateurs and hobbyists doing network selling – have a different worldview about other practices too.

For years we’ve been admonished to “Treat it like a business.” That’s how members of the existing group explain the 95% drop out rate: “People don’t treat it like a business, (i.e. take it seriously), and that’s why they don’t make money.”

Maybe too many people don’t like what they have to do so they don’t do it seriously. Not a problem for our amateurs.

And, if you listen to people talk today about why they want a business of their own, and it’s a lot of them, the money’s not what they seek first, anyway.

“Two-thirds of Americans have entrepreneurial aspirations…” according to a recent Yahoo poll. Here are three things they learned about these folks:

1. Money is not the primary motivation for aspiring entrepreneurs — only 3 percent (half of the 6 percent in 2005) said getting rich was the main reason they wanted to start a business.

2. Doing work that they really love was the main reason for launching a business.

3. Second most popular reason: “To be my own boss.”

Sounds like the worldview of our new group of amateurs and hobbyists to me. Think?

The pitches from the existing NM group are about the money and what that can do for you. And that’s ok because money first is their worldview, their thing. And there’s room and people for both groups.

Oh – did you notice the second most popular reason people aspire to be an entrepreneur – “to be my own boss”?

This means that the widespread NM practice of teaching duplication, i.e. imposing someone else’s painting by the numbers methods and systems onto the new member – well that isn’t part of what the new group will do, either. (No loss here, given the results it seems to have gotten.)

A new story for a new group about how to succeed with network selling.

1. Our new imaginary network marketing company will seek out enthusiasts for the things the founders are also most devoted to. Say that’s doing everything they can to maintain and max out their own health, longevity, energy and appearance. (Think Ray Kurzweil.) And within that, mini groups will form, a la the longtail concept. They’ve created a state of the art little supplement.

2. The product sales to aficionados who know and prize the ingredients and love talking about how it helps them will always outweigh any need to subscribe newcomers (i.e. new recruits).

3. No trying to change anyone’s worldview. Mission is to find those with a similar one already.

My imaginary network selling company

A small group starts a network selling company because they’re health and longevity buffs (think Ray Kurzweil’s Fantastic Voyage).

These folks especially love knowing that they’re eating the right stuff, organic of course, and they stand ready to make up for any possible shortcomings in the food they eat, because of deficiencies in the soil, toxins from water runoff from neighboring non-organic farms that spray chemicals, etc.

So being health (mental and body) aficionados, they spend any free time learning about which nutrients do most to maintain health, energy and looks, even as the years go by. They are the envy of most people 20 years their junior in energy and appearance.

The kinds of network sellers in our new group have conversations like these about the product they love madly – they’ve bought the story and love it because it’s who they are:

“I really like being on regular dosage. It is perfect for my body. I’ll take an extra one if I fly on a plane to keep a high dose of antioxidants floating around in my body while I am breathing airplane air. I love the friendly bacteria and all the goodies like lutein and indole-3-carbinol…I market them because I love them.”

“Oh yes, me too. Greens are my favorite because I’m getting so many veggies I wouldn’t normally prepare, but know are good for me. And I couldn’t live without the acidophilus, bifidus and inulin which have eliminated [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][blah blah blah] which has plagued me all my life…but no more!”

“Yes., and even if I do find myself slowing down I’ve found that it’s a real message from my body to take a break. They make me aware of how my body feels and what it needs.”

These are the things that matter to the members of the new group, so that’s what they talk about. For them, the commitment to their own health is just like talking about the stuff geeks talk about all hours of the day and night – like lutein and indole-3-carbinol.

Who’d know or care about such stuff and get in a good mood talking about it, except devotees of the thing?

That’s the new group so far, and the members that I’d want if I were starting a network marketing company for people with this worldview. What about you?

(“New group” refers back to the original question at the beginning of this and the previous post.)[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • >That’s… the members that I’d want… What about you?

    It’s friday, getting late and everyone’s probably switched off for the weekend so let’s see if I can sneak this in…

    Another in my ‘This is the long distance call to the NM of the future’… it firmly answers (albeit in a roundabout read-tween-the-lines and join-own-dots manner) just who’d be in my crosswires.

    What if we considered the recruit as a peer rather than an acquisition?
    Can this help spawn a new breed of evangelists?
    Is there a role for true peer-to-peer marketing?

    What’s the upside to stuff like the WD40 Fan Club or the Maker’s Mark Ambassador? Does it reach places that the corporate spin don’t and can’t? And can an appropriate remuneration package be bolted-on?

    I’ve already gotten ‘into trouble’ for suggesting:
    Network Marketing is changing. Within a few years it’ll be largely unrecognisable compared to the current format. In an increasingly interconnected society, the distinctions bewteen it, micro-franchising and affiliate marketing blur and vaporize.

    With this, most (perhaps 90%) distributors utilising current methodology will not survive – replaced by a new breed of marketers positioning themselves intelligently to receive enquiries rather than go searching.

    This is where the real transformation is already happening as progressive companies are changing and evolving to meet the challenges of today’s marketplace.

    In the ‘new world’ things will be very different the distinctions bewteen NM, micro-franchising and affiliate marketing blur and vaporize.

    Practically, there’ll be less people. And they’ll operate more professionally.
    Gone will be the ‘fantastic earnings’ enjoyed by a few.
    Another casualty will be the horrendous drop-out rate – and with it those people who earn no money.
    The recruiting explosions will be no more.
    And multi-level bonuses will be flattened to represent as better work:reward balance.
    Product prices will fall – to compare favorably with store-bought alternatives.
    Hype? that’ll be hugely reduced – likely no better/worse than other industries.
    There’ll be less gurus. And fewer pundits (damn – I’ll need to find a real job).

    With a core of sensible people making a good living – with room for full and part-time activity – the Network Marketing of tomorrow will perhaps be a genuine micro-franchise in which good products & services are respectfully marketed through a developed network… and not the multi-tier stacks currently favored – and in which ‘product’ is almost an afterthought.

    So yeah, ‘them that fits with the above profile’ that’d be my ‘right stuff’ prospects.


  • Amen to all of this.

    I blue-skyed exactly the same notion back in 2001 in Network Marketing PRO. newsletter, and came up with a very similar outcome. You can read the back issue from here, free of charge:

    The really interesting thing is that all of the things Kim is saying here, and all that I said in 2001, are actually available right now, if you know where to look for them. And all in one place.

    John Counsel
    Author, “What You Should Know About MLM BEFORE You Join!”

  • This approach is exactly what we had in mind when we started our company four and a half years ago. Having been a 20+ year veteran of NM, I felt there were some changes that could be made, and we set out to do that. The promise that NM brings with the right direction is, I feel, still great. There are many products that really could use someone acutally educating the consumer about use, benefits, etc., beyond what just a label or brochure can do. Sitting on a shelf somewhere is not a good way to introduce new products, but NM people can go so much farther, and benefit in the process.

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