One of the most fulfilling or heart-warming aspects of the business, if done right, is how it uplifts people, helps people to feel better about themselves, and eventually become more and better than they were. [Excerpt from It’s Time… for Network Marketing. See Reviews & Recommend March 2007] In a world where people struggle every day in a rat race just to make ends meet, network marketing professionals offer a way out of the drudgery. In a world where people are too busy to listen to each other, and yet yearn to be listened to, network marketing professionals provide just what people need-listening ears and under-standing hearts. In a world where people can’t help but complain of having no time, no money, no fun and no health, network marketing professionals offer a happier balance in life, where there is balance between work and play, between financial wellness and physical wellness and between present-day needs and future provisions. In a world where people walk with low self-esteem and frail or badly-dented egos, long conditioned to think and feel they are never good enough for the critical tasks at hand, network marketing professionals offer a guiding hand, a caring heart and a reliable companion in a happier walk to a better life. NULL In a world where people are routinely told to “get real” and forget their childhood dreams for a life of plenty, network marketing professionals can help people rediscover their heart’s core desires and show them a way to fulfill them.
And yes, I do mean network marketing professionals, as opposed to the hordes of others who are just trying their luck, and usually for a short period only, and won’t learn nor do whatever it takes to get good at the game.
For all the good that we can contribute to people’s lives, we, of all professions, should not have to keep justifying and defending ourselves-what we do, what we stand for and why we deserve the financial riches and other rewards that come our way. But we do. I remember a conversation with a business partner, where I advised her to simply stop feeling embarrassed, defensive, or apologetic about her network marketing business and encouraged her to be proud, very proud. She has been building her network marketing business alongside a five-year-old conventional business where she acts as an agent for a European supplier of certain industrial goods. In the conventional business, she works largely alone, trading her time for money, scouring the region for business. The reason she became involved with network marketing is that she saw a source of leveraged, residual income in the future – an income stream that would keep flowing long after she stopped working, something she does not expect from her conventional business. Yet when she encounters someone who scoffs at the MLM way of doing business, she gets tongue-tied, feels awkward, and quickly changes the subject. As our conversation progressed, we established that the root cause of the awkwardness was not having sorted out her own feelings about the business yet. She conceded that she continues to feel embarrassed about building a network marketing business alongside her conventional business. She fears that it will invite speculation about how she is faring in her conventional business. All that was needed, I suggested, was a realignment of her mindset to one which she is all too familiar with. To illustrate what I meant, I asked her these questions: 1. Do conventional business people go around justifying to prospective customers why their business model works? 2. Do conventional business people, on the slightest prodding, open up and bare all about how they make their money and why they deserve the huge markups (if any) that they enjoy? 3. What would conventional business people do or say, if anything, when prospective customers ask how much money they really make from their business? Will they wave their equivalent of the latest bonus check to prove a point? 4. Do conventional business people try to convert every good customer into a business partner or stakeholder in their business, or do they wait for the right customers to show an interest in the business before they let them in on selected nuggets of information? 5. What would you think of a businessman who tries too hard to sell you a stake in his business, even when you have expressed a lack of interest in his way of making extra money? The general point of these questions is simply this:
Network marketers tend to explain, defend, justify, and expose themselves too much, too readily.
It is time we change tactics, get professional, and learn to walk and talk with an unshakeable belief and a quiet confidence that draws the right people out and makes them want to find out more. We need to begin to carry ourselves with at least the same self-respect, dignity, or verbal restraint that conventional business people do. And why not? We have many reasons to hold our heads up high and be proud of what we do to make a good living. My favorite reason is that…
Network marketing is simply a good business, one that pays us fairly and according to the good that we do in other people’s lives, directly and indirectly.
The good that we do includes how the products or services we sell make life better for people, but it is by no means restricted to that. One of the most fulfilling or heartwarming aspects of the business, if done right, is how it uplifts people, helps them to feel better about themselves, and eventually become more and better than they were. Here is how that happens: Empathize with listening ears and understanding hearts We uplift people first by offering listening ears and understanding hearts. Only by listening well can we determine if there is a good fit between what people are looking for and what we can offer. In the process, even if we do not find a customer or a new recruit for the business, we satisfy people’s yearning to be listened to with care and sincerity and to be understood.
Where a good fit does not (yet) exist, good listeners will know how to let go. Where a possible fit is identified, good listeners will know how best to take the conversation forward.
Engage them to uncover core desires Not everyone who signs up to venture into a network marketing business hits the ground running or flies from the word “go”. As the enterprise attracts all and sundry, including many not yet equipped with the required business mindset, few are resourceful or hardy enough to figure it all out quickly and do well on their own. Often people stumble over their doubts and fears, dragged down by the lack and limitations they have long been conditioned to believe in and have allowed to govern their lives. To succeed in this business, we have to first help people uncover their heart’s core desires – the dreams and ambitions that once moved them, but which they had long abandoned as they strove to meet urgent present-day needs – and the one or two biggest reasons why they would never, ever give up. Encourage them to believe in themselves We will also need to make time to help people uncover their underappreciated strengths and talents and overcome or side-step over accentuated weaknesses and limitations. Having done that, we can then show them a way to pursue their dreams, desires, and ambitions that is customized and personalized to suit their unique abilities and strengths and accommodate their frailties.
In the process, we simply encourage people to believe in themselves once again and help them realize that they can do much more than they thought possible.
The whole process is liable to be time-consuming, and it certainly does not fit the misconception of network marketing as a get-rich-quick, mass-recruiting scheme. However, this time-consuming process, which honors
people and what matters most to them, is one that is necessary and worthwhile – as necessary and worthwhile as it is for a property developer to take time and resources to ensure a solid and sound foundation before he erects a skyscraper, building upwards floor by floor. This is the essential, people-oriented ingredient that tends to be missing when network marketing leaders promote and emphasize duplicable systems that are supposed to work for all.
Taking time to empathize with, engage, empower, encourage, and enrich people is what makes our business special.
To me, it is the one reason why we deserve the exceptional income and lifestyle that comes with the business and it is also the reason we can walk with quiet confidence and do our business with self-respect, dignity, and verbal restraint.