So it has been with a modicum of trepidation, that I have been dragged…kicking and screaming all the way, into an era of phones smarter than I am;
Computers that seemingly have little to do with the FORTRAN – (Formula Translation) and COBAL – (Common Business Oriented Language) computer systems I learned about in college and the vast impact I did not foresee, of the internet, on every aspect of world culture; PARTICULARLY, how we do business. I REALLY should have learned by now, to pay closer attention.
Over the last 42 years, the biggest dilemma, in my opinion, that I’ve observed in the network marketing business model, has always been the “prospecting” piece. How does one engage or find potential customers or distributors outside of their, generally short-lived, “warm market” efforts?
I have maintained for three decades that the actual warm and cold market “paradigm” has been largely responsible for this breakdown but it really doesn’t matter what I think.
You see, the thing about paradigms is that they are a way of thinking that is generally regarded as true. So the “cold market” or “people you don’t know” and access to it, back in the ’90s, birthed the lucrative cottage industry of lead sales and generation, and an entirely new possibility through social media to have contact with people anywhere in the world.
Many years ago…well…not THAT many…(let’s say ten?) I read a statistic that by the year 2020 Facebook’s membership, if they were an actual “country” would make them the FIFTH largest population in the world. So here is a staggering statistic. According to Google, India’s population will eclipse China’s for the first time by mid-year of 2023, weighing in at 1.4286 billion vs. The PRC at 1.4257 billion. That same search engine reports that as of the first quarter of this year, Facebook’s membership surpassed 2.98 billion. That’s right; Facebook’s “population” exceeds that of the two largest countries in the world…COMBINED!
Well, I guess there goes the “three-foot rule!”
Max Steingart, is perhaps one of the World’s leading authorities on lead generation utilizing LinkedIn. According to Max, since the onset of the Pandemic in 2020, LinkedIn has averaged ten to 12 MILLION “new” profiles a month! It should be noted that this is the LEADING social media platform for business!
There is an old cliche that states “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” This has never been more true than with the analogy of “belly to belly” prospecting vs. Social Media Marketing. It is also true that during the California “Gold Rush” in 1849, far more people got rich selling picks, shovels, and Levis than finding gold. Get my drift?
So I get the attraction to an easier way to get in front or in touch with many more people than ever before. After all, it’s a “numbers game” right?
“Some will, some won’t, so what? Next!”
And there’s the “rub” for me. I’ve always thought the beauty and the true gift of network marketing was not only a uniquely cost-effective opportunity to earn a residual income but to build relationships and contribute to others. To grow personally as you enrich other people’s lives with a new paradigm of how business can be done? That a handful of people, a “team,” can grow to an organization of tens or even hundreds of thousands of people…99% of whom YOU DON’T even know!
Nowadays, I hear boasts of a thousand or more “sign-ups” a month. Someone individually soaring to the top position in a company’s compensation plan in just a few short months.
.However, RARELY do I hear someone bragging about how the people “they” signed up are doing…unless “they” are selling a “system?”
I hear of “teams” in the thousands: “I built….my team…. by myself… I built a team of 50,000…etc. etc.
Hey!? “Flash! News at eleven….” When 49,625 of your 50,000 don’t know YOU and don’t know each other, it doesn’t fit my definition of a team! (Insert angry emoji, here!)
Now honestly, I’m not judging. The effectiveness of savvy social media marketing on sales is undeniable….but what about “repeat sales?” I don’t deny for one minute that the right message can have thousands of people “register” or “sign up” on the spot!
My questions then would be: What did they sign up FOR? What did they buy…or was it free? What happened next?
Denis’ Vashon, the owner of a Canadian-based Network building company says statistics show that since the relatively recent onset and growth of Social Media marketing as a choice to build a successful MLM business has occurred, attrition in Network marketing, as a profession, has gone…UP! Hmmmm…?
I know; call me a throwback, out of touch, or even a dinosaur (which oddly I may receive as a compliment, for they actually were the most successful species in the Planet’s zoological record.)
However, I believe that the true power of social media, and its potential impact on MLM has yet to be discovered. That it will be a combination of what we have learned what does and doesn’t work about the old ways as well as the new that will create more and a much higher percentage of success in OUR profession of network marketing.
We’re not there yet…but we’re on our way… and the future looks bright and oh…so EXCITING!! Russ DeVan
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