The reasons for failure are quite simple but many have no realisation of why they fail, how they fail, or what they are doing wrong. A failure rate of 95% is a shocking statistic but is equivalent to the failure rate in offline ventures, so there is no differentiation between both. Most would-be MLM'ers fail because they don't have a clue about what they are really selling or how their products and services can help others.
In the past, most MLM'ers were taught that they must emphasize product above all else. That may have been true 30 years ago when people worked programs like Amway, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Avon, and Tupperware in their local areas. Today, door to door selling has been surpassed by Internet communications and advanced media technology.
The compensation plans of those programs were built around retailing product. People sold to family, friends and neighbours (their warm market) and through home based parties in which the product was the focus. People were there to buy things, not to attend a presentation. Recruiting downline members was not a primary activity, in fact some viewed it as competition. Retailing was how most people made money. Recruiting only usually happened when a retail customer decided that it was a good way to earn some extra money for themselves.
Most MLM Pay-Plans today are different. They pay the lion's share of profits to those who build a sales organization of people who consume the products themselves and who may or may not retail a small amount on the side. Yes, it is definitely important to be in a program that supplies good products and services at a fair price. Those that don't, will not be around for very long, usually just 12 to 24 months.
BUT, if you are trying to build a sales organization, emphasizing product as the major selling point is never going to build you an organization of people who understand how to maximize their profit potential ... and make you the most money. The money comes from Leverage and that comes from recruiting new distributors and training them.
If you want to retail product, your sales efforts should emphasize products. But when you are trying to recruit members for your downline, this is the wrong approach. You are not trying to sell product to a potential recruit, so why should that be the major focus of your sales presentation?
When you are recruiting, you are really trying to sell three things: *1-Yourself, as a potential business partner; *2-A business opportunity; and 3*-Their dream of a profitable business.
Product is a very distant fourth. Your prospect will want to be assured that they will be representing a good product that people want. This is a given. You don't want to spend your time with programs that produce inferior products at inflated prices.
But hundreds of MLM programs have great products. You aren't trying to find a retail customer, you are trying to recruit a business partner. You should be very clear about that. If you don't know what you are selling, your prospect won't either and they will not respond to your communications.
I often see glowing ads for nutritional products in MLM publications. What the advertiser really wants is a prospect for his downline. If this is what you are after, advertising your "high-tech, super-duper nutritional supplement just isn't going to do that. People don't read MLM publications to find a new source of nutrition, they read MLM publications to see how they can make money.
If you want to sell nutritionals, place your ads in health publications and target those people in mailings that stress product. The letters and brochures you send to these people should be about how the product will benefit them, not about the business opportunity. Don't try to sell it all in one package. It just doesn't work.
That doesn't mean that you won't mention the product when you are recruiting business partners. It means that the total focus will not be on product but on YOUR partnership in a business opportunity and how successful your prospect will be when they join you.
Let's talk about an exception to this rule. There are a very few cases when the product is an integral part of actually making money in the opportunity. Take lead- generating MLM programs, for instance. Anyone who wants to be successful in MLM has to have good leads. Anyone who joins an MLM program has to buy products or services.
What is unique and worthy of mention about a lead-generating program is that the prospect can use the very product they are required to buy to build their business. This is a good benefit to mention, since it directly ties in with the opportunity itself and with how the prospect will be successful. Five pages of information about nutritionals does not do that ...
People who read ads in MLM publications are looking for a good opportunity and a good partner to guide them. They want to build a successful home business. The people you target should be looking for the same thing. They are probably not looking for information on nutritionals.
The most important thing you must sell in your sales letters, ads, telephone conversations and all your recruiting efforts, is yourself.
Prospects want to know more than how much money they can make in your program. They've seen lots of MLM compensation plans. They also know that the top earners can make piles of money. What they don't know, is that they can be one of them by following your guidance.
They want to know that YOU have a powerful system that will enable them to fulfill their dreams and be successful, that YOU are the business partner of their dreams ... Most newcomers don't have the confidence that they can be successful on their own. They want to know that YOU have confidence and that YOU can guide them down the road to success. They want to know that YOU have a PLAN, not that all they have to do is mail out x number of postcards or sales packets that they have to develop on their own!
This is why an MLM company's literature, no matter how great, will never sponsor people for you all by itself. It doesn't even mention the most important thing you are selling ... YOU! It is only useful when combined with your powerful sales presentation that spells out YOUR unique offer ...
Let's talk about how you can write a powerful sales letter that will sell YOU to your prospects!
The First Key to Successfully Build a Downline is to Know WHAT You're Really Selling.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of actually writing a sales letter or developing a sales presentation, you first must know exactly what you are really trying to sell. Professionals call it your "Unique Selling Proposition", or USP.
The more unique your offer, the better your chances of selling it. If your offer is unique, you won't have any competition. If you don't have any competition and your prospects want what you have to offer, then you are going to make a lot of sales.
So just what is the USP of your MLM offer? YOU are the unique part of your offer. YOU are the major "product" that you are selling in any MLM prospecting letter or sales presentation. Never forget that ... Your call is about the prospect but it's YOU that makes the call.
There are hundreds of MLM programs and thousands of distributors competing with you. Your prospect has many thousands of options in choosing a business opportunity in Network Marketing. He does not have to choose yours, nor does he have to join your downline even if he joins your program.
What you are really selling is not nutritionals or a weight- loss product or a skin care system. What you are REALLY selling is YOUR partnership in a business opportunity. The more you really understand that on a gut level and start writing all your ads and sales letters focused on that fact, the more successful you will be.
To sell yourself as someone's business partner, you must know exactly what you have to offer (your USP) and make sure that your prospect knows also. What this should also mean to you is that you must have something to offer and that it should be what the prospect needs and is looking for ... It is up to you to find that out and align your products and services to their needs.
You see, people don't join MLM programs so they can run a business all by themselves. They don't plan to take courses at the local community college to teach them all the skills they'll need to succeed.
Your prospects want an effective and successful partner, not someone who sits on a level above them and contributes nothing to their business. Your prospect wants someone who will assist them in getting started, in understanding how the program works and how to maximize its profit potential. Someone who has some effective and tested marketing tools and experience in what works. Your prospect quite simply wants someone who can teach him how to make money in this business!
If you don't already have these qualifications, then your first step is to make sure that you get them before you start trying to recruit prospects. Before you ever start to prospect, you should have a thorough understanding of the MLM program you are trying to promote. Know the compensation plan backwards and forwards. Use the products and services. You can't answer questions about something you don't understand. Neither can you fill your sales letter with benefits, if you don't know what they are.
Write and test your sales letter and any other available marketing materials. Know what works and what kind of response your prospect can expect when he or she begins using these tools. Let your prospect know that you will be there, every step of the way.
Something you should think about from the first day you join an MLM program is what kind of support services you will eventually offer to your downline. Support services are one of the prime benefits that will attract new members to your group. Many new members join my downlines because they know that they will receive exceptional support services, including co-op advertising, postcard recruiting systems, live leads, mailing system, a regular company newsletter, full team support and camera-ready marketing materials.
You should plan right now to expand your list of services at every available opportunity. You should always market these services as part of the total package of benefits that you offer your business partners. As you progress in your program, you will have more and more benefits to offer your prospects. The more benefits you have to offer, the more you will sell. Your downline should see that you have an ongoing commitment to their training and production. That they can count on you to support their individual businesses.
The services you offer should display a single-minded purpose and involvement in the business. Your sales letter should make these things obvious to the prospect.
If you don't already have a list of these kinds of services, you should explore what is available from your upline. If they already have a dynamic recruiting system put together with excellent sales materials available, then this is a benefit that you have to offer your prospect. You should tell them about it. Spell out exactly what services are available to them and mention your upline by name. With a dynamic upline, you won't have to reinvent the wheel yourself. You can instead concentrate on offering services that your upline doesn't offer. The total package of "you plus your upline" can be a compelling reason for your prospect to sign up under your sponsorship.
Incidentally, whenever you are thinking about joining a new MLM program, you should always make sure that the upline you choose for sponsorship has a good package of support services. It will save you a lot of time and get you profitable far more quickly. Plus, you will immediately have services to offer to your prospects. MLM is a "team sport." If you join a good team to start with, you won't have to do so much building on your own. That has been apparent within our own support group and membership has flourished based upon results.
By far the most important, and most unique benefit you have to offer, is your own commitment and support. No matter how little money you may have to invest in your program, you can easily offer this to your prospects. This should be stressed over and over again in your sales letter. You should constantly be demonstrating your leadership and support to every person you sponsor. How do you do this? By calling them and welcoming them into the program as soon as they sign up. By making yourself available to them by phone. By offering to answer their questions, send them materials, help them put out their first mailing, and train them - whatever that prospect needs to get started and get productive!
I've often heard it said that the most important thing you can offer any member of your downline is simply your caring and concern. This may seem very trite but it's really true. Your partner wants to know that you care about her dreams and aspirations, that his/her success is very important to you. That building his/her business is a priority. Make very sure that your sales presentations gets this message across, especially as it's true ...
One of the oldest clich?s in Network Marketing is that to be successful, you must help a lot of other people become successful. Like most clich?s, there is a lot of truth in this. The most important product you have to sell is yourself. To "sell a lot of it," your first priority is to develop yourself into the sponsor of your prospect's dreams ... Then help turn their dreams into reality.
Michael A Fowler, M.B.A.
Helping people online since 1999.
Group Trainer and Coach for FFSI.
Author and Creator of 'The MBA Way' system.