In the 15+ years I've been involved with network marketing, the number of people who come and go never cease to amaze me! Sometimes it seems like a revolving door.
On the positive side, thousands of new people discover network marketing all the time. They have always wanted to start their own business and are attracted by the huge income potential of MLM. Or they need a part-time source of income. Or, perhaps they've been caught up in the huge, never-ending layoffs and corporate downsizing that seem to be a permanent part of the new information-driven economy. They see network marketing as a way to escape the Rat Race forever!
Whatever the reason, they are entering this industry in droves. And that is good news for you and I!
On the negative side, however, most of these people flounder around for months, or even years, like a fish out of water, and never really discover how to make network marketing work for themselves. They buy into too much of the hype and half-truths that seem to proliferate in MLM advertising, expecting a large income in just a few months without much work or investment.
Unfortunately, some of us continue to promote this image of network marketing, even though we know it is completely untrue!
Perhaps that explains why so many newcomers believe that all they have to do to be successful is just send out a bunch of spammy emails and the money will come rolling in!
I've spent a lot of time and effort showing the newcomers in my downline the kind of work that is necessary for success. But all too often, these newcomers pay little attention to it. They've seen all the ads telling them that they don't have to do any work, that a certain program practically builds itself, or their upline will be giving them massive amounts of spillover.
They don't seem to understand that this is a business, not a chain letter game. And all too often, this is partly our fault. Some of us are so eager to sign up new distributors that we'll tell them anything.
So our MLM newcomer may run out and send out a few over-hyped, anonymous emails to a cheap list and then wait for the money to roll in.
When nothing happens, our unhappy newcomer then decides "the program doesn't work." (How many times have you received an MLM mailing with the words "This one really works" in the subject line? I get them all the time).
That starts our newcomer on a frustrating journey from one MLM program to another. They may join 5 or 6 all at once on the theory that at least one must work! They may sign up under a sponsor that promotes the "program of the month," and jump into everything new that comes out. Never does it enter their mind that "programs" neither work nor don't work!
What does or does not work is their personal success system. A good network marketer can earn a huge income in even the worst of programs, with the poorest compensation plans. But the best program in the world is not going to work for someone who doesn't understand how to be a successful network marketer and businessperson!
Some of these people finally do learn how to be successful. Usually it is only after wasting a lot of time and money. Unfortunately, most people finally quit in disgust and go out and give network marketing a bad name to their friends and family! And that makes it all the harder for the rest of us.
How many prospects have you talked to who tell you that their best friend "lost his shirt" in one of those "MLM pyramid scams?"
Contrary to popular belief, it takes training and education and investment to become a successful network marketer. No doctor was born with the knowledge of how to practice medicine. Nor was any successful network marketer born with the knowledge of successful recruiting and downline support.
Network marketing requires knowledge of effective marketing techniques, salesmanship, and basic business skills. If you are doing it online, it also requires computer and Internet skills, too.
On top of that, it requires the ability to work with people, the ability to follow a plan, discipline, and ongoing investment.
Fortunately, with the proper training, none of this is very difficult to learn. We hear a lot about "duplication" in this industry. And that is really all duplication is: learning effective techniques, using them, and teaching your downline to do exactly the same thing.
As professionals, it is essential that we pass that along to the downline we are building. I am tired of seeing so many newcomers pass through the revolving door. And I'm tired of hearing people refer to our business as a "pyramid scam."
Network marketing is a wonderful business. Almost anyone can learn to do it effectively and profitably if they are taught and if they have the desire.
It offers average people the means to a large income without a large initial investment. (But that doesn't mean it doesn't require investment). And it offers us the personal freedom and time to pursue other goals in life, unlike most corporate jobs.
This is the real message we should be sharing with prospects, not the hype that abounds online. We may sponsor a few less people. But I suspect that we won't be sponsoring so many people that are in and out of the revolving door giving our business a bad name.
(c) 2004 by Linda J Bruton
Linda Bruton has been a full-time network marketer for over 15 years. Be sure to visit her Network Marketing Tips weblog for weekly tips, tricks, secrets and resources for building a full-time MLM business online.