Tweamster's Blog

Don’t Trash Network Marketing

August 30, 2010
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I Seldom Get Upset…

But, one of those rare occasions when I do happened the other day. I was reading some blogs and commenting on them like I try to do once in awhile. I started reading a blog post titled “Residual Income,” always a favorite of mine given that that is one of my primary attractions to network marketing. Think of it like real estate. Once your network reaches a certain size, that network becomes an asset that continues to generate income whether you work or not. (For my take on residual income, see here.)

So I start reading this blog post called “Residual Income” and this individual starts trashing network marketing in order to build up his solution to residual income, which, by the way, was and is a valid solution, but did not require bashing network marketing to make his solution look good. It would be kind of like Ford trashing GM to sell more cars rather than pointing out the features and benefits of owning a Ford.

Anyway, it annoyed me enough that I decided to write about it.

What Do Others Say?

“While seeking rewarding methods for my Network Marketing career, I will employ techniques and strategies that reflect positively on the MLM industry, my company and me.”  – from the Code of Ethics of the Multi-Level Marketing International Association (MLMIA)

When considering purchases, I will attempt to purchase at retail from another MLM/Network Marketing company.  – from the same source

Member companies shall not make misleading comparisons of another company’s direct selling opportunity, products or services. Any comparison must be based on facts that can be objectively substantiated. Member companies shall not denigrate any other member company, business, product or service – directly or by implication – in a false or misleading manner and shall not take unfair advantage of the goodwill attached to the trade name and symbol of any company, business, product or service.  – from the Code of Ethics of the Direct Selling Association (DSA)

In his book “Big League Sales Closing Techniques,” ©1971 (out of print, unfortunately) Les Dane says of the technique of running down the competition to promote your own company or product, “The second salesman got the sale for two reasons: he didn’t try to convince the prospect the competition was junk; didn’t spend his time knocking the other dealer.

“And, he did spend the time selling his product, with facts, and with sensible arguments. … The salesman selling tractors did the same thing. Rather than concentrate on pulling his competitor down, he sold his product and his dealership, being fair to the competition in the process.”

A Bad Taste In My Mouth

Even though he had a valid idea, finding or creating a product to market and sell on one’s own website using all the available channels to attract people to one’s website, after he belittled the entire network marketing industry, I had no further interest in what he said. I did read it, to ensure I didn’t incorrectly duplicate his intention, but, alas, he was just bashing network marketing to build up what he was selling. So, I left a comment, in civil terms, explaining that he should not do that, and that he would get better results if he pushed the features and benefits of his system.

Examples

Remember the old Avis car rental commercials back in the 70s? They used their number 2 position in car rental to position themselves as “we try harder.” They didn’t belittle Hertz (# 1) or say their cars sucked or that Hertz has crappy service, just that one memorable little line, “we try harder.”

Miller Lite, “less filling, tastes great.” No mention or knocking of Bud or Coors or any other beer.

Have you seen any Coke or Pepsi commercials lately? Do you ever see them mention the other one in their commercials? Don’t think so. They sell you on why you should drink their beverage.

So What Am I Saying?

If you work with Mellaleuca, don’t knock Shaklee products, don’t knock Shaklee’s compensation plan, don’t call Shaklee distributors ethically shaky.

If you work with HerbaLife, don’t denigrate Amway.

If you work with NuSkin, don’t put down ReLiv.

If you are selling your company, your products, your compensation plan; sell them. Don’t try to make them look better by making someone else look bad, you only end up making yourself look bad.

We’re all in this together, so let’s act like we are and be supportive of each other.

And if you need something that is sold by another MLM, please do so.

More Data

If you’re considering joining the network marketing industry and haven’t made up your mind yet, check out the video by Tim Sales called Brilliant Compensation.

If you don’t have a company yet, or you’re looking for a better one, check out www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the (free) “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter.

If you already have a company, and need tips and how to’s on marketing, check out John Eberhard’s RealWebMarketing Blog

Here’s a couple blogs that I like that are specifically on network marketing:

http://www.marcus-baker.com

http://karyrogney.com

Till next time, make it a great week!


The Key Challenge

August 23, 2010
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When We First Met

When you sign up to start your new business, you are probably very excited. You’ve got this jazzy new product with which you’re going to take the world by storm. You’re going to make a ton of money, because everyone is going to want this. You start making your list of who you want to show your new business to, you can’t wait to go out and show somebody what you’re all excited about.

The Morning After

So now you’ve made a few presentations and you feel comfortable with giving it and things are really cooking for you and everyone is signing up. Well, okay, some people are signing up. Or maybe… my friend took pity on me and signed up with me after I told him I’d done sixteen presentations and no one had signed up yet. Or worse yet, sixteen presentations and nobody signed up. Could you keep going at that point?

Thomas Edison, according to legend, figured out hundreds of ways to make a light bulb that didn’t work. Ever the optimist, he said he hadn’t failed, he had just eliminated 899 wrong ways of building a light bulb. He carried on and eventually found a way that worked, providing a good source of light and a decent lifespan for the bulb. Where would you have said enough is enough?

Another is an individual who went to work as a salesman for a company, he made presentations every day, but no sales. After a month of no sales, the owner wanted to fire him so he could find a line of work he was more suited to, but he begged the owner to let him continue. To make a long story short, on his 106th presentation, he made a sale. After that he started making occasional sales, then more sales; after two years he was the best salesman for the company. How long would you have kept going with no sales?

The Key Challenge

The key challenge is remaining consistent in the face of failures, disappointments, and let-downs. Do you want it bad enough to follow through and continue doing the promotional and lead-generating activities that will eventually create the income you dream about.

If you believe in the product and the company, have a big why for doing the business, focus on the main thing and can be consistent about it, you will be a winner.

To find a company and a product you can believe in, go to AlansMLMTips.com.

If you already found a company to work with, find a mentor or an upline who can train you, get trained and be consistent in applying what they teach you.

If you’re already trained, be consistent in applying what you learned. Be consistent in learning more: about the industry, about leadership, about training others, about every facet of this wonderful industry.

Quotes

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.   — Aristotle

Success is all about consistency around the fundamentals.  – Robin Sharma

The secret of success is consistency of purpose.  – Benjamin Disraeli


Network Marketing And A Mystery

August 16, 2010
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Business Briefing

I listened to a very interesting business briefing over the weekend. Now, before you roll your eyes and go, oh no, not another business briefing, let me explain what I found so interesting about it.

This briefing had all the usual components, what the product is, what the company is and when they started. You can see the five things that every business briefing or opportunity meeting covers on an earlier blog post of mine called Five Things To Evaluate. This briefing had them all.

What was different about it was the fact that this briefing started with the statement that the upline giving the presentation had done some research into why so many people fail at home businesses. This stuck out like a sore thumb for me, this was something I had never heard in a business briefing. In an industry where statistics say that anywhere from 85% on up of all new recruits quit or fail, if someone said they had found a reason for all that quitting or failure, I wanted to know what it was.

I’ve Seen This Before

Now the funny thing about this was it’s something we’ve probably all heard of, participated in and done with our recruits. What was different was the position it was given and the exact wording of it.

I just went to my bookshelf and of the first eight books I picked up, seven of them mentioned it. (The eighth one was more of a motivational book than a book on network marketing.)

What Some Of My Other Mentors Say

A book that I just finished reading put me in the prospect’s shoes and he put this at number three. Most of the seven books I mentioned above put it near the end of the book.

Most of the companies that I’ve observed or participated in personally at least give lip service to it.

So What Is It Already?

After all that buildup, after I tell you you’re probably going to think “that’s it?”

The top reason found for all that failure was training; effective training. Training that gets you the basics of what you need to do quickly and efficiently and gives you a step by step plan of how to do the business with no wasted effort and makes sure that you understand exactly why you’re doing each step.

With new recruits, it’s essential that you help them get some initial success quickly or they’re going to be gone just as quickly.

Why do you think that almost every book on or about network marketing mentions training and encourages you or even implores you to read books, listen to training videos, listen to training audios? Could it be that no one has come up with a simple, workable system that anyone can use and get started with?  Remember that 85% or higher failure or attrition rate?

There are a remarkably few skills that you need to learn to succeed at network marketing, but very few people come into network marketing already knowing them.

What To Do?

You could go hide in a cave or bury your head in the sand, but that won’t bring you the success you want, desire and long for. If you’re here, you’re either already involved with network marketing, are considering getting involved in network marketing or are looking for a better company to work with. (Or maybe you’re a personal friend who likes my writing, that might be possible too…)

If you’re new to the industry and are considering becoming a network marketer, I highly recommend that you go watch the video Brilliant Compensation. This video gives you a fascinating look at why network marketing is such a brilliant home business.

If you’ve decided to become a network marketer and aren’t sure what company  to work with, or are overwhelmed with the choices, or don’t know how to evaluate the differences between different business opportunities, go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter. This will give you some great free tips on how to choose a company to work with.

If you’re already with a company and looking for training, there are so many sources of training that it becomes tedious to sort out the good from the bad. In a future post, I’m going to cover some of what I think are the best.

For now, I’m going to sign off. Till next time, make it a great week!

Humor

Sometimes I notice funny email subject lines, I thought this one was great! I received it from Toshiba yesterday.

“Weekend Special: Free Memory and Hard Drive Upgrades – Starting at $399”

How much would it be if they weren’t free?


If It’s Network Marketing,

August 9, 2010
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Why Aren’t We Taught How To Market?

If you’ve read some books on network marketing, you will probably have noticed that very few, if any, of the books out there mention what marketing is. Does anyone else find this strange?

We work in an industry called network marketing, or multi-level marketing and nowhere within the industry does anyone explain what marketing really is. I have read a couple blogs where other people have noticed this lack, but it’s actually pretty humorous that this seems to have gone undetected for so long.

Kind of like a dog groomer not knowing what grooming is (caring for an animal’s cleanliness and appearance). Or an airplane pilot not knowing what pilot means.

Seems sort of silly when you apply it to other industries, doesn’t it?

What Is Marketing

Let’s start with the easy, my Encarta Dictionary says marketing is “the business activity of presenting products or services in such a way as to make them desirable.”

The Oxford Dictionary says “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services , including market research and advertising.”

From BusinessDictionary.com we get “As a practice, it consists in coordination of four elements called 4P’s: (1) identification, selection, and development of a product, (2) determination of its price, (3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and (4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.”

Now, if you look over those four elements, in network marketing we are left with number four as the only area we normally have any control over.

The purpose of marketing is to create a want or a desire and to sell something to the people in whom you’ve created that want or desire.

So What Is Sales

This is another oddity that I’ve noticed in network marketing, we’re selling a product or service, but we’re not supposed to say that’s what we’re doing, we call it sharing or telling a story.

So let’s define sales and selling. Sales is the exchange of goods or services for an agreed-upon amount of money. That seems safe enough, I have a car, you want the car, offer me $2000 for it and I agree. You get the car, I get the $2000.

Okay, selling; the process where the salesperson ascertains, activates, and satisfies the needs or wants of the buyer to the mutual, continuous benefit of both buyer and seller.

Or, as I like to put it, selling is a conversation designed to help the buyer acquire what he needs or wants.

I think the problem arises, and where most people’s dislike of sales as an occupation comes from, is most of us have experienced the salesperson who did not have the intention to help, but only wanted your money, and would do pretty much anything to get it.

I used to hate sales, with a passion, but since I found and understood these definitions, I actually like selling. It’s enjoyable helping people acquire what they need.

What Does This Mean?

Once you’ve joined your company, what do you do? You have to market yourself and your company/product/service/opportunity.

The almost universal method that we are all taught in network marketing is to make a list of friends, family and acquaintances, the longer the better. Then learn how to approach these people and present your company/product/service/ opportunity. I don’t know that this is the best method of marketing, it certainly is easy enough to learn and practice will improve your skill at it.

You can apply the three-foot rule and talk to anyone within three feet of you. This requires developing a speedy method of communicating what you’re all about to a stranger or good skills at developing conversations with strangers.

You can hand out business cards or flyers to people in shopping malls or grocery stores. You can post flyers, you can put ads on Craig’s List, start a blog, there are probably hundreds of methods of getting your name in front of other people.

A whole new world has opened up in the form of social media, Facebook, Twitter, Linked.com, MySpace, etc. These are valuable ways to market yourself and your company very cheaply.

The whole point is to get your information in front of someone who’s interested so that they can act on it.

The best way, in my humble opinion, is to find or pick a certain type of people, or a certain occupation, or people in a certain location, find out by asking people what they think is good, bad or indifferent about green apples (or whatever product/service/opportunity you’re asking about). Ask enough people and a pattern will emerge. Use that pattern to your benefit and grow your business.

Marketing Is Valuable

People spend years learning marketing and business colleges teach it for one reason, it’s good business. Network marketing companies depend on you for the majority of their marketing and they pay very nicely if you figure it out. Are you interested enough to figure it out?

One of my favorite blogs for marketing is the RealWebMarketing Blog, written by John Eberhard. He writes about once a week on topics of great relevance to what we are doing as network marketers. I urge you to check it out and add more knowledge about marketing to your arsenal along with the motivational and inspirational to keep you going and growing.

Quote

If you’re attacking your market from multiple positions and your competition isn’t, you have all the advantage and it will show up in your increased success and income.  – Jay Abraham


Focus On This

August 2, 2010
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What Is Focus?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, focus means “to direct toward a particular point or purpose.”

Now, in order to direct something, in this case, your network marketing business, toward a particular point or purpose, do you think it might be a good idea to know what that point or purpose is?

I thought you might. So, what is the point or purpose you’re shooting for?

What’s The Point?

The point, or purpose, in the beginning is to achieve some initial success, if you don’t have that, you probably won’t stick around long enough for anything else to matter.

After that, your purpose becomes learning the business of network marketing so that you can build towards your goals and help others build towards their goals.

In their book, Your First Year In Network Marketing, Mark Yarnell & Rene Reid Yarnell say “The key to building a successful business is to stick with one system long enough to allow it to work.”

So Why Is Focus So Important?

Without focus, anything can knock you off the path. Another company, another recruiting system, another leader that you think has a better idea, or even the latest email you got saying that with the XYZ method, John Q. Public made $42,000 in the last 15 minutes. The possibilities are so huge in network marketing you might be tempted to swallow this and go off on a tangent only to discover a month later that you’ve wasted the last month.

You want to stay on a consistent path, otherwise those people you sponsor to work with you get confused and lose their focus (why, because you’re their leader and you lost your focus). Stick with one plan, follow it religiously and others will follow it too.

Put Your Blinders On

Mark & Rene call all the possible distractions and divergences that you might possibly encounter in your first year “the scatter bomb.” They warn you to put your blinders on so that you can stay focused and not get distracted. When you’re working in a traditional business, your boss ensures that you don’t get distracted or he fires you.

In a network marketing business, you are your own boss, so learn a system, put your blinders on and do that system consistently.

Otherwise, you’re going to get distracted, lose your focus and give up on your dreams; and I want you to have your dreams come true.

Consistency

Once you’ve got a system that is working for you, you have to follow that system. Whether you have 3 hours per week to devote to your new business, or 30 hours per week, when that time slot that you’ve allotted for working your business arrives, you had better be out there doing whatever your system requires.

Busy-work

Network marketing requires a flow of people to talk to or promote to in order to find people who want your product or your business opportunity. That means that when your “business” time arrives, you should be doing what you do that gets you that flow of people.

Reorganizing your email address book doesn’t do that. Reading a book on leadership skills doesn’t do that. Putting together and printing a full color one page flyer to hand out doesn’t do that. (Handing that flyer out to 40 or 50 or 100 people does.)

In other words, whatever time you have allotted for your business, make sure to keep the main thing the main thing, whatever you’re doing to attract people to your business or your product; that’s what you should be doing. Whether it’s handing out flyers, or handing out business cards, talking to people one on one, blogging, doing surveys, whatever you do to approach people, make sure you actually do that and not the easier to confront things that don’t put you in front of people.

Fit the other things in wherever you can.

The Slight Edge

I would be remiss not to mention at this point one of the key success strategies. Jeff Olson devoted a whole book to this called “The Slight Edge – Secret to a Successful Life.”

In his book, he outlines his philosophy as the difference between simple disciplines done every day vs. simple errors in judgment. The simple disciplines are easy to do and easy not to do. But done consistently over time, the simple disciplines add up exponentially just like compound interest.

A couple of examples, let’s say you decide to go on a diet, you’re going to cut out snacks and junk food and eat only three nutritious meals per day.  Are you going to notice any difference the first week? Not likely, but I promise you if you do that every day for a year you will notice a difference. If you get inconsistent on doing this, will you notice that you’re getting worse right away? No, but keep it up for a year and see where you’re at.

Let’s say you decide to talk to one person every day about your business. Are you going to sponsor anyone the first week? Probably not. But I guarantee you if you keep doing that every day without fail, you will start succeeding. What’s going to happen if you skip a few days or a week, are you going to notice any huge change in your sponsoring? No, but over time are you going to have less happening in your group? Absolutely.

I encourage you to read this book to understand the importance of simple disciplines done consistently.

How Do I Find A Company To Work With?

One of my purposes in starting this blog was to give my readers information on what to look for and why.

For more information, go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter. It’s a free newsletter that will give you more ideas on what to look for in a network marketing company.

Quote

Every day do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow.  – Doug Firebaugh