The Key to Network Marketing Success Understanding and Connecting with Hidden Networks by Dr. John Hackett

The Key to Network Marketing Success Understanding and Connecting with Hidden Networks

This month’s Network Marketing Magazine’s edition poses a fascinating question. “Why do more Women participate and succeed in Network Marketing?  Women make up an overwhelming majority of Network Marketers. How come?

Judy Goppert in a HerLife Magazine article “Women and Connections With Network Marketing The Sky is the Limit “reports that “according to the Direct Selling Association, 82 percent of network marketers are women. Goeppert further notes that  “Experts in this field attribute that statistic to the fact that women are natural networkers and nurturers; they can make real personal connections that contribute to the success of their network marketing businesses.”

Networking is about making connections, and the key to network marketing success is making connections and maintaining connections.

Recent research  by the Korn Ferry and Rockefeller foundation found  that Female CEOs of Fortune companies reported Less Confidence and more Humility meaning  “This combination suggests a leader who values the contributions of others and concedes that she can’t single-handedly bend the future to her will.” Margret Heffernan in a TED talk “It is time to forget the pecking order “ Notes an MIT study of teams which found that there were three elements of successful teams in any business., empathy, equal time to share and a higher proportion of Women women. The MIT researchers concluded that these successful teams were socially connected.

I see this often as the husband of a Senior Sales Director in Mary Kay; I am amazed at how my wife and other Mary Kay leaders connect. The company-wide meetings are every six months. I am surprised at how these ladies reconnect face to face even though they are from different parts of North America. I also observe my wife connecting or networking throughout our community, or anywhere we travel to.

The women I observe in network marketing and direct sales seem to connect naturally. I think to say that this is just “natural “  doesn’t give credit to a skill that Women have developed that can be learned.  

I observe that my wife and other network marketers have the ability to recognize and connect with hidden networks to establish connections first before handing out business cards and trying to sell something.Dr.David Burkus in his book Friend of a Friend notes that there are hidden networks all around us. He further states that the way to develop these networks is to discover them and cultivate connections based on the people in the network. This thought points to a skill I see in Women especially, understanding hidden networks and connecting with them.

Here is a real-life example. When our three girls were younger, my Wife cultivated networks and connections with their friend’s parents. Those networks are still active today. When we moved from that area, and the children grew up, my wife became involved in business referral groups, chambers of commerce and civic groups expanding her networks All these networks eventually or continually are sources of sales and new team members.

You might ask how did she develop these networks? Here are some thoughts and questions to start looking at these hidden networks

  1. Do you firmly believe in your company? Wouldn’t you want to share it with Others?

  2. Look around You for hidden networks. What people or groups interest you and have a common ground you can reach out to. Who is a friend of a friend?

  3. Reach out to people, Not with your business card, but with a learners

  4. Ask questions, listen and learn about people and groups. Talk less and listen more.

  5. Give back, build relationships and maintain those relationships

  6. Remember it isn’t about you and your needs (or sales Quota). Zig Ziglar was right when he said: “People don’t care about how much you know (or do) until they know how much you care.”

I  see these skills demonstrated every day and firmly believe they are skills we can all learn. Women have set a high standard for us men to observe and learn from and work on being successful in network marketing.

  • John Hackett

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David Barkus,(2018) Friend of a Friend Haughton Mifflin New York, NY

Judy Goppert  “Women and Connections With Network Marketing The Sky is the LimitHerLife Magazine, Nov.23,2014

Margret Heffernan,” It is Time to Forget The Pecking Order “ TED Talk  June 2015

Korn Ferry Institute/Rockefeller Foundation (2018) Women CEOs Speak, Full Study available at

John Hackett, Ed. D is an accomplished and experienced coach, trainer, writer, and leader in a variety of educational and other nonprofit and direct sales settings. He has 46 years of professional experience. He has trained, coached, and consulted with school districts, universities, social service agencies, and churches and direct sales organizations. He is a growing, learning entrepreneur in coaching and training who is passionate about equipping leaders to develop other leaders to serve.

He has been married for 41 years to Becki, a 40-year entrepreneur and had three daughters and two grandsons

John is a certified trainer and coach with the Direct Selling World Alliance. He can be contacted to provide training coaching or consulting at either

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