Why network marketing? Because network marketing works (if you’re a business-savvy marketer who knows how to do it right.)
Just look at the numbers – network marketing is growing the global economy.
Here’s why network marketing works, and how to make it work for your company.
What is Network Marketing?
First, let’s cover the basics: what is network marketing?
In many ways, it’s the predecessor to the social media sharing model. Essentially, network marketing is a sales method that relies on sharing and recommending products in the same way you would recommend something to friends or family.
Businesses in this model usually use a distributor network of salespeople. So a salesperson will be given a sample kit which they then use to start making sales.
How Does it Work?
You’re giving friends and family product recommendations. If friends and family included random, potentially interested strangers on the Internet.
You’re in sales. And like most sales positions, you usually get paid a commission based on your sales performance.
Essentially, network marketing is what the name implies. You’re building a network of people – which can be in person, online or through other avenues like social media – in order to make sales of a given product.
You see this business model in companies like Macy Kay cosmetics and Avon, wherein the sales team consists of dozens of independent salespeople who use direct sales as their primary marketing tool.
How Much Time and Money Goes into Network Marketing?
Different numbers than you probably expect.
Back in the day, when people were first wondering why network marketing was worth investing in, network marketing startup costs could run up to $25,000. Keep in mind, though, that this was before free and cheap online training was as much of a thing as it is now.
These days, the startup costs could be as low as $100 – whatever you need to pay to get your product sample package.
Costs after that include marketing expenses, event-planning and hosting expenses, office supplies, Internet, phone, travel expenses, and other necessaries to keep your business afloat.
Why Network Marketing Works
So you’re wondering why network marketing works?
Think of it this way.
You’ve got a product. You like that product, and you believe in the values of the company behind that product. You’re the kind of person who could sell snow to a polar bear, and your life philosophy is strangers are friends you haven’t met yet.
Except, you don’t want a boss breathing down your neck. And you’re all in for financial freedom.
You’re exactly the kind of person network marketing works for, and the kind of person the network marketing system is designed to support.
The approachable, open sales method is why network marketing works. You have the freedom to sell products the way you’d recommend soap to your mom, except you’re getting paid for it.
Why Network Marketing can be a Struggle
That said, network marketing can be a struggle for some people. This mostly happens because of a faulty approach.
There’s a reason why network marketing is also called direct sales. The entire method is based on building personal relationships with the people you’re selling to.
We’re not saying you need to find your new BFF. We’re saying if that sales pitch sounds too awkwardly sales-y to say to a friend, it’s probably too awkwardly sales-y to work on a legitimate customer.
The Basics of Network Marketing Success
You know why network marketing works. Now let’s talk about how to set yourself up for success in network marketing.
It starts before you ever start actually selling your product.
Because network marketing isn’t as structured as a typical sales job, you need to be smarter about how you use your time. Otherwise, you’re going to spend a lot of time spinning your wheels getting frustrated that you don’t seem to make progress.
Having a strategy is key to ensuring network marketing success. You need clear goals, a clear timeline in place to achieve those goals, a willingness to keep learning how to be a better network marketer, and a talent for picking yourself up if a sale doesn’t work.
Let’s break it down.
What are SMART goals?
Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based.
It’s hard to know what you’re trying to achieve if your goal is just, “Make more sales.” You need to know exactly what you’re aiming for in a measurable metric, but it needs to be realistic. Otherwise, you’ll just get discouraged.
It also doesn’t help you if your goal has nothing to do with network marketing. You wouldn’t write down painting your nails as a goal if what you really wanted to do was clean the house.
Abide a Schedule
Another reason why network marketing fails for many would-be marketers: lack of a schedule.
Listen, we get it. It’s easy to get distracted. You have a busy life.
But if you’re not strategic about how you’re using your time, your marketing and earning goals will keep running away from you.
The easiest way to keep things running smoothly is to dedicate a minimum of 15-20 hours to the business every week and plan your itinerary a week in advance wherever possible.
That way, you’ll know exactly how you’re using your time, when you’re focusing on network marketing and how much time you have to knock out your daily goals.
Learn, Learn, Learn
Ask yourself why network marketing succeeds for some people and not others.
Some people approach marketing as an endless journey – they’re always game to learn something they didn’t know before to keep improving their marketing game.
This applies to beginners who need to learn the ins and outs of the industry and experienced marketers who need to shake up their approach to keep seeing success as the industry evolves.
Knowledge is power and time is valuable. Treat both of those statements as mantras, and you’ll do just fine.
Another reason why network marketing doesn’t work for everyone? Optimism.
The sad truth of the matter is that in direct sales, there are going to be customers that turn you down no matter how good a salesperson you are. Don’t sweat it. It happens to everyone.
The key is to get that spring back in your step afterward. If you go into the next meeting still dragging from your last defeat, you’re going to turn yourself into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Get used to the word no. Turn it into your superpower.
Leave Your Comfort Zone in the Dust
You never accomplish anything from your cozy place.
Seriously, if you’re new to the industry, there are going to be plenty of times where you’re just not comfortable. You don’t know what you’re doing, or you’re not sure if you’re doing it right.
Fact is, it’s uncomfortable. But it’s a necessary process if you want to find new ways to express yourself and thrive in an unfamiliar industry.
Great things happen when you get out of your comfort zone. Don’t be too afraid to let yourself try – sure, there will be times that are embarrassing, but with enough practice, you can surprise yourself.
How to Rock Network Marketing
We’ve covered why network marketing works and the starter tools you need to set yourself up for network marketing success.
Now, it’s time for the down and dirty. Time to dive in and start network marketing.
No, don’t start pestering your family. Approach network marketing with the same careful strategy you’ve been using from the start and you’re setting yourself up for success.
Every meeting is an opportunity when it comes to network marketing. It’s like an interview. If you’re smart about it, you’re more likely to thrive.
Let’s break it down one step at a time.
It all starts with first impressions.
It’s true of job interviews. It’s true of first dates. And it’s definitely true of network marketing.
If you get off on the right foot, you have a better chance of staying top of mind.
The easiest way to kick off any great conversation? Start by being polite. Be engaging and interested in the person you’re talking to, almost as if you’re talking to a friend.
Don’t start with a sales pitch right off the bat. Let the conversation be about the customer – what are their interests? How is their day going? People naturally warm up to you if they feel like you have a genuine interest.
Lasting, Mutually Beneficial Relationships
This is a big one on why network marketing works better for some people than others. The ones that thrive in network marketing are the marketers who know how to find and use mutually beneficial relationships.
While you’re in a genuine conversation with a potential customer, ask yourself and them: what pain points do they have that you could solve? How would you benefit from working together?
And, on the flip side, what problem could they solve for you?
If everyone benefits from a relationship, it’s a more valuable relationship for both sides to pursue and maintain.
Don’t be Sales-y
If you were to point to any one reason why network marketing fails, sales-y pitches are pretty high on the list.
How do you have product sales without being sales-y? We’re glad you asked.
For starters, remember that it’s not about you. It’s about the customer – what they want, what they’re interested in, what problem you can solve for them (without being obnoxious about it).
You should also take a personalized approach to all of your customers. They’re not carbon copies, after all, so the same approach won’t work for everyone.
This leads to our next point: being genuine.
People know when you’re trying to sell them something. They also know when you’re repeating the same sales pitch that you gave thirty other people this morning.
They’ll stop listening in about ten seconds.
Start by getting to know the person you’re talking to. They have wants and interests as a person, and they’ll express them if they feel like you actually are curious.
From there, you focus on what their needs are. It’s always about the need, not the product. If you show a genuine interest in them that leads naturally to a problem you can solve for them, the customer is more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Hard to stay top of mind if your customer forgets who you are once they’re done talking to you.
This can happen even if you’re the best network marketer out there. People are busy, and they have a lot to remember.
Don’t gamble on them remembering you. This is why takeaways, like business cards, or a sample, are so important – it’s a real thing that helps them remember the great conversation they had with you.
Don’t Forget to Follow Up
Just like you shouldn’t be gambling on whether a customer remembers you, you shouldn’t be gambling on them reaching out on their own either.
Follow-ups are vital to successful network marketing. Even if a customer is reasonably convinced they’d like to do business with you, they may have questions which you can answer and convince them to move forward.
Or, maybe they enjoyed your conversation and promptly forgot. Following up is critical to remind them that they’d like to do business.
This can be a phone call, email, or whatever works for your campaign and your customer. Just make sure that you’re still top of mind, and use all of our previous guidelines when following up.
Be genuine. Be interested. Don’t be sales-y. And close that deal like a boss.
Stay on Top of Your Network Marketing
Network marketing can work for you. We want to help you make it happen.
Check out our blog for all kinds of helpful network marketing advice, like our post on 5 tips for a fun network marketing event.
Or, check out our products to see how we can help your business grow the way you’ve been dreaming.
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