Wonderful reminder from Walter Lippmann.
That said, here’s my question:
Why don’t we promote cross-company customers?
That is, why couldn’t a rep from say, PrePaid Legal, and one from Shaklee, Isagenix or LifeWave, be each other’s customers, without the paranoia of someone stealing them? I mean be customers of more than one company’s products, like we are in the real world?
Some years ago, Paul Zane Pilzner asked me why it was that people recommended representing only one network marketing company, when say, pharmaceutical reps represented more than one.
I told him then (and still believe it today) that this would be like trying to recruit for more than one religion. If someone gets into a business and promotes it as a real income opportunity to someone else, because THEY love it, see its potential and want to find others to join them, then, it’s kind of like religion, isn’t it? How many can one person be passionate about and promote? Oh – you don’t like Christianity? No problem, here – let me show you Judaism.
I refer to people who do the networking business because they love the business model and have found a company/product they use themselves and want to evangelize. Not the junkies who jump from deal to deal looking for the quick score.
Now the products – that’s a different story. What if NM companies let customers be customers? That is, they distinguish between reps and customers, and do NOT require that a regular, autoship ‘just customer’ part with their social security number, or make the rep push them to sign the distributor (sales rep) agreement.
Reps have told me countles times how often they’ve lost the customer sale when they have to get that SS# and/or try to sign them up in the business, like their company or upline push them to do.
Did you know that in most NM companies, you can’t just be a regular customer?! Here these companies say they have products to help the world, only no one can use them unless they sign up as a distributor. Fewer than 3 percent of those who sign on to sell do so regularly anyway, so most are just customers by default.
Where else but with a NM company do you have to give your SS before you’re allowed to buy products? (They could be creative and figure out other ways to track customers, couldn’t they?)
So here’s my idea:
Since most people in the business end up as just customers anyway, why don’t we encourage each other to buy each others’ products as just customers?
I mean instead of buying them at the GNC or health food store, we buy them from each other. Many companies have good products, and many are different and work for different people in different ways. Why not keep it in the family and collaborate instead of compete – for just customers I mean?
Yes, a company might lose a rep or two who moves to another company. But I think that the additional customer business from the 13 million already involved in the NM business (per the DSA) would be far greater than a few reps moving from one company to another.
We’d need two rules, at least:
1. All agree to honor the business choices of others. NO STEALING or attempted stealing of reps. It’s about the CUSTOMERS, REPEAT CUSTOMERS, only.
2. Companies who want to play in this much more friendly market (members of the profession) must set up customer programs where customers do NOT have to be distributors also. JUST CUSTOMERS. Something which, in my opinion, is long overdue and will do much to lift the stigma associated with our products – people tell me they won’t buy from NM reps because they don’t want to be nagged and badgered to sell the products, too. We could finally let go of that loser baggage.
I know of just a handful of companies that treat their customers as customers, and actively encourage their reps to seek out customers who are NOT also Reps for the company.
If your company is one of those, let me know and we’ll start a list.
And I’ll post it, assuming your facts are correct.
I’ve promoted cross company customer gathering for years, and do it in all my classes where we have different companies represented. FUN. And why not? NO company has products that are best for everyone, so why not share the customers? Amongst ourselves?