Fast tracking to disaster? The MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) time / income curve – IS Network Marketing.

Fast tracking to disaster? The MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) time / income curve – IS Network Marketing.

There are many graphic versions of the Network Marketing, Multi-level Marketing Income / Time curve and I particularly like this one I came across recently by John Counsel (The Profit Clinic), which illustrates the curve very well and highlights some important elements.

Income from Network Marketing comes from results not activity.

So no matter how ‘busy’ you are and how much time you are spending on your business, the results ONLY come about when you actually sell your service / product (to others, or to yourself) or actually recruit more people and grow your network of people who are also selling / recruiting, therefore increasing the productivity – Results – of your organisation. Working harder in itself is not the best way to increase your results and not working hard enough is not the reason for poor results either… (Is the 24/7 work ethic in Network Marketing healthy or even effective

However, spending time learning the ‘how’ IS the way to go. But the HOW can look different for different people and as an Independent Distributor you have a wonderful opportunity to bring all your skills, strengths, experience, knowledge and to a model that will absolutely reward you (financially) for the results when you achieve them. Successful Network Marketing businesses take time to build “What’s a reasonable ‘Time Frame’ for success in Network Marketing?”       

Some of you will be aware of the concept of ‘throwing mud at the wall’ an approach which is inherent in Network Marketing and one that I regularly challenge.

If we are to increase results and we look honestly at the high attrition rate in NM and the vast number of Distributors who ‘struggle’ to achieve tangible results, when the products / services / marketing plan / companies are clearly high quality and do pay well for results, then what if more attention was paid to:

  • The NM time / income model – The NM model – The NM model (see illustration above)
  • The apprenticeship – that period of time where learning the most effective ways of achieving results is the primary commitment – NO results necessary or even encouraged at this stage – the apprenticeship is valued highly and recognition that everyone learns differently, at different speeds and comes into NM with a vastly different spectrum of skills, experience, strengths, knowledge, understanding, personal attributes, circumstances and ‘goals’ is given full attention. All those things that bring huge potential for a strong and stable business when considered and incorporated effectively. By making use of this time effectively with no emphasis on results at all – just learning your craft. A bit like starting a normal business … and it’s normal for NM too.
  • Fast Tracking – The NM model shows it is normal to have little or no results in this stage – let’s stop telling people they can beat the model and the apprenticeship by fast tracking “if you achieve this (…) in the first two months you’ll be win our incentive / extra bonus”; or comparing (“John Jones made ££££ in 6 weeks…”, “If I / he can do it so can you…”). It’s a massive distraction from the real work and learning that needs to be done and undermines the stability and sustainability of Network Marketing. The Apprenticeship is the foundation and platform to achieve AND maintain that Network Marketing upward growth curve. Who is fast tracking really for anyway? The new network marketing business owner? The company? The Upline? …

What if more attention was paid to:

  • Finding, attracting and working with those people who are already looking (for an extra / alternative income / new business / life or career change) – using methods and tools that have been explored and developed during the apprenticeship. People who want an NM business. People who understand the business / products / services and want to commit to the apprenticeship because they chose it. People who are not phased by the good, the bad and the ugly, because they knew about it already, understood it and get all their questions answered and still chose it. People who are not phased by the NM curve, in fact embrace it, because they are here for the long haul. And they will get results.
  • Developing your own skills, building a supportive, collaborative community – where everyone can contribute and learn from each other. With the emphasis on ways to increase results, one self-motivated, committed person at a time.

what if more attention was paid to:

  • A MUCH lower attrition rate and the only mud you throw being handfuls of hot health giving brown stuff found in wonderful venues around the world. And with all the stress and energy of throwing it at the wall and making it stick in your NM business gone out of the window, you may no longer feel the need to hanker after those either
  • RESULTS – Yes, there may be less people ’in’ (signed up within) your organisation, but if the people who ARE there are committed to and actually achieving results – with little or no input from you – they finished their apprenticeship… and they have a community of people (including you) around them who are full of great ideas, support and resources to meet their needs and continue to increase their results – everyone gains from the ‘intelligent growth curve’

Finally, what if more attention was paid to:

  • People… Real people, living real lives… who want a strong, stable and sustainable life as will build strong, stable and sustainable businesses and keep your organisation alive and well. 

 

Michelle Turner-Davidson is a speaker, trainer, mentor and founder of the NMA (Network Marketing Academy), a fresh, down to earth and open approach to Network Marketing based on real people living real lives. 

If you are interested in MLM / Network Marketing or building a business, why not join The NMA (Network Marketing Academy) Facebook Group. You’ll find a like-minded community which focuses on collaboration, resources and where the skills, experience, strengths, personality traits and personal values – and working in a realistic way that works for you – is the platform for success.

Or contact me michelle@laterthanyouthink.co.uk , connect on Twitter @MichTD,  Facebook  or check out more on this website MichelleTurnerDavidson.com 

Why did you join Network Marketing / MLM and what was your situation at the time?

Michelle Turner-Davidson is a speaker, trainer, mentor and founder of the NMA (Network Marketing Academy), a fresh, down to earth and open approach to Network Marketing based on real people living real lives. 

If you are interested in MLM / Network Marketing or building a business, why not join The NMA (Network Marketing Academy) Facebook Group. You’ll find a like-minded community which focuses on collaboration, resources and where the skills, experience, strengths, personality traits and personal values – and working in a realistic way that works for you – is the platform for success.

Or contact me michelle@laterthanyouthink.co.uk , connect on Twitter @MichTD,  Facebook  or check out more on this website MichelleTurnerDavidson.com 

Why your team’s Survival and Security is vital to your success in Network Marketing / MLM

Why your team’s Survival and Security is vital to your success in Network Marketing / MLM

You may well be familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: “A theory of Human Motivation” proposed by Abraham Maslow in 1943 which has helped us to understand how fulfillment (or deprivation) of our basic human needs underpin motivation and our ability to function. The premise being that those human needs at the bottom of the triangle form the foundations of being human and without which those needs being met,  our needs higher up can never truly or sustainably be attained.

Many people who join Network Marketing become disillusioned and often feel very stressed or under pressure when attempting to build their business.

This is understandable because very often the fundamental truth of human needs is often overlooked, underestimated and ignored.

If you think back to the reasons why people join Network Marketing in the first place, especially in the traditional approach to recruitment, the vast majority of those reasons fit into the bottom two sections.

Survival and Security: Additional income to pay bills; pay the rent; mortgage; clothes; support the family; stop working so hard in a dead-end or stressful job and so on.

This is often followed by

Belonging: More time with family and friends; being able to attend your children’s school events as they grow up; holidays with family or friends for example.

Two things then happen

  1. Network Marketing is proposed as the solution to fulfilling those needs.
  2. Time is spent expanding your ‘why’ to include idealistic goals and dreams that, AT THAT POINT IN TIME had been buried or not even thought about before.

Now, the ability to achieve huge success in multi-level marketing is proven. The marketing plans, for the most part, are sound, effective and generous. This is not in question.

However the emphasis on point 2) above becomes the focal point to ‘motivate’ the new business owners. Encouraged by their uplines (those who recruited them) and their upline’s upline and also the company itself in order to fire them up to achieve success.

In some instances it does motivate, and for a few people they quickly find that they have moved themselves up the hierarchy of needs. And when this is built on a strong foundation with the Survival and Security needs being met followed by Belonging, then it is not long before Importance and Self-actualisation can be attained.

When you look under the applause, many of those who reach success quickly in MLM did so because they already had Survival and Security nailed – another income, a partner in a well paid job, wealth from other means, redundancy, substantial loans / financial backing from family, a supportive family to look after childcare.

For the vast majority of people, life is a real struggle  working hard, juggling childcare, balancing family needs with one or multiple jobs, slipping into debt or not quite bringing in enough money to cover bills and have any sort of life, dealing with health issues, redundancy… you get the picture.

And the challenge here is that, whilst Network Marketing could absolutely change all that, Survival and Security MUST be dealt with FIRST.

Yet, the environment people often find themselves in is geared almost wholly towards Importance and Self-Actualisation. The ‘support’ from your upline is based on Importance and Self-Actualisation tied in with a little BELONGING (the team). The company trainings are focused on and designed to get you to Importance and Self-Actualisation as quickly as possible.

Yet, you need to Survive and you need Security before you can benefit from those higher needs. When you talk to your upline,  the answers comes back:

“…work harder” (you are already juggling 2 jobs, around family commitments)

“…work on yourself” (no matter how much personal development you do Importance and self-actualisation is not helping, in fact it is making you feel a failure, guilty, unhappy, frustrated and stressed)    

“…follow the system” (you are doing everything you can but you are spending so much time on developing your mindset to overcome your self-limiting beliefs, attending trainings to help you stay motivated to take action, spending more and more money you don’t have on developing yourself and trying to make it all work, and not earning anything)

“…give it time” (your landlord doesn’t have any more time)

“…stop finding excuses” (More guilt and feeling like a failure)

The stress is building, you aren’t getting the support from your family because they are wondering when you are ever going to make enough money, and who’s going to look after little Gemma tonight when you are both out working and can’t afford a babysitter. You’re also spending money on all this training and personal development when the Council Tax bill is still outstanding.

Not only are you not becoming the success you understood you would be in the time you understood it would take and both your security and survival are becoming more tenuous, your Upline is starting to say they won’t work with you because you aren’t fulfilling the minimum criteria, and your family and friends are not supporting you in your venture and even becoming a little hostile when you mention your product or service, even your children don’t seem to remember who you – so there goes ‘Belonging’ too…

How about if we really appreciate people’s needs and where they are RIGHT NOW.  If, rather than brushing them aside and keeping our heads facing upwards, we looked straight into the eyes of that person who is floundering, and we worked out how to help them meet their current needs. We identify ways that help them to move forward at a pace that reflects their circumstances and finances and need to survive and build security.

What if we acknowledge and accept that many many people who join network marketing are in this position.

If we do that and work with it rather than ignore it, may be more people would stick with Network Marketing.  Maybe more people would achieve all those lifestyle promises they were given. Maybe, with strong solid foundations more people would see their lives not only turn around but thrive.

Michelle Turner-Davidson is a speaker, trainer, mentor and founder of the NMA (Network Marketing Academy), a fresh, down to earth and open approach to Network Marketing based on real people living real lives. 

If you are interested in MLM / Network Marketing or building a business, why not join The NMA (Network Marketing Academy) Facebook Group. You’ll find a like-minded community which focuses on collaboration, resources and where your skills, experience, strengths, personality traits and personal values – and working in a realistic way that works for you – is the platform for success.

Or contact me michelle@laterthanyouthink.co.uk , connect on Twitter @MichTD,  Facebook  or check out more on this website MichelleTurnerDavidson.com 

5 ways for network marketers to be more successful at networking events – Guest Blogger Stefan Thomas

5 ways for network marketers to be more successful at networking events – Guest Blogger Stefan Thomas

I recently asked Stefan Thomas, author of Instant Networking and Business Networking for Dummies, if he would write a guest blog talking about his perspective on Network Marketers in business networking and how to help them achieve greater success. This is a brilliant article which reflects so much of what we talk about and more, thank you Stefan! You can find much more about Business Networking at http://stefanthomas.biz/

5 ways for network marketers to be more successful at networking events

After having attended around 1000 networking events around the UK, and spoken to many thousands of people along the way, it’s no surprise that I have met more than a few network marketers.

Some of them get networking absolutely right, and build thriving teams as a result, and yet many seem to struggle to get any traction.

This article is not intended to be exhaustive, but I’ve put together five pointers which I hope will help you in your journey to networking success.

  1. Don’t try to hide what you do. The most successful network marketers I know are proud of the company they partner with and never try to hide that behind clever words. One of the most successful Utility Warehouse distributors I ever met started his 40 second introduction with “My name is XXX and I am an Authorised Distributor for The Utility Warehouse Discount Club”. He said it confidently, he said it proudly and he meant it. When people try to hide what they do it sticks out a mile and, I’m afraid, diminishes the trust you should be trying to build at that stage. Be proud of who you are working with. If you’re not, other people will spot that immediately.
  2. Remember that people at networking events have probably heard of your company already. Organisations such as Herbalife, Forever Living, Arbonne, Juice Plus and Utility Warehouse have been around a while and most likely there has been a distributor or business owner at the very networking meeting you are attending. That is an opportunity rather than a thread and you should treat it as such. In fact, there might even be a distributor from the same company at the same meeting as you. Your opportunity is to be you. People buy people and, if you approach your networking correctly the right people will be attracted to you for the right reasons.
  3. A networking contact isn’t a prospect, yet. Just because you’ve met someone at a networking meeting this morning, doesn’t mean that you should immediately bombard them with sales messages. Your follow up needs to be more subtle than that. Sometimes it takes several meetings and one to ones before someone is even remotely interested. The huge opportunity for you, is that most people, in any business, give up after the first conversation.
  4. Be aware that this might be a long game. You know that your opportunity is fantastic. It might be that is isn’t the right fit for the person you are speaking to right now. But by keeping in touch, over time, you are more likely to be there if the time does become right for them. People at networking events are very used to the people who only attend once and then are never seen again. Being there, regularly, demonstrating your success and lifestyle, will win the right people over when the time is right for them. You can’t force it, and if you try, you are more likely to push people away.
  5. Feedback is vital, even if it is silent. The biggest value I get from networking is the opportunity to listen to the feedback from within the room. Networking people are overwhelmingly supportive and often people have given me direct feedback, if I’ve invited it. Sometimes that feedback will be silent though, and that is just as important. For example, if you’re presenting your 40 seconds and nobody is asking you for a 121, that is extremely valuable feedback. You simply need to rework your 40 seconds until you hit on the one which works. If you are having 121s and they aren’t leading anywhere, you need to look at how you are approaching them and maybe think of a different approach. The really brilliant thing about networking is that you always get a second chance, you can come back next week and try something different. I accelerated my success by not being precious, by getting over myself and by listening to, and responding to the feedback. If it isn’t working, make it work.

I really hope this helps. The opportunity for network marketing professionals to really win at networking is huge. And by finding an approach which works for you, you will.

I help people to prepare for networking events, either by writing their 40 or 60 seconds for them, or by making a complete plan, either of which will make their events much more successful. If you want to book some time with me, and get your networking working, have a look at my services here – http://www.meetme.so/stefanthomas.

Why your previous experience, skills and knowledge ARE vital for your Network Marketing / MLM (Multi-level Marketing) business.

Why your previous experience, skills and knowledge ARE vital for your Network Marketing / MLM (Multi-level Marketing) business.

How many of you joined Network Marketing fresh out of school? I would suggest, very few. The vast majority of us started our Network Marketing businesses having had many years of experience, employment, business building (non MLM), study, and don’t forget the University of life in general.

If you think about it, when you were first introduced to MLM the chances are the person who spoke to you asked you information about your life, your work, your experiences. They may have been particularly interested if your experience, skills and knowledge would be a ‘great fit’ for building a successful business. But what happens as soon as you are on the inside (joined up)… all your skills, expertise and knowledge get ignored or passed over in favour of the ‘system’. The more you try to bring your skills and expertise into your business and try to apply them your ‘Upline’ becomes more and more adamant that all you need to do is follow the system. In many cases your Upline will become quite defensive and it may start to cause friction and in some cases, if you are independent enough and not prepared to ‘toe the line’ as they see it, the relationship can break down completely and you are no longer ‘supported’ by them or welcome within ‘team activities’ or there is simply an overwhelming sense of confusion.

I come across this every time I meet other Network Marketers.

This is what puzzles me about this approach, several facts that are overlooked:

  1. NM is sales and marketing and team building.
  2. Everyone has the same contractual relationship with their NM company no matter how successful they become.
  3. NM was designed to be an equal, system where everyone who joins has the same opportunity to grow their business and be successful and to take responsibility for that –  it wasn’t designed to be hierarchical where the person who introduced you had control or power over you. (That’s employment)
  4. Your Network Marketing Business is your Business (feel free to read that statement in several ways) – yes you are under the umbrella of a parent company but you are Self-Employed and your Parent Company is your Supplier and Client (I’m not an accountant so may not have the terminology quite right… but you understand what I mean)

Let’s return to all those skills and all that knowledge expertise and experience you already have, and let’s face it, invested years of your life developing and acquiring in many cases, not forgetting blood sweat and tears!  

What if you applied all that directly or indirectly to your business.?

What if, instead of coming up against “The Hand” every time you suggested a different way, or something that you knew had a very good chance of working, and you already had the skills and expertise to apply it (or would happily develop those skills if it meant enhancing your business), you went ahead anyway?

What if you were surrounded by like-minded people who brought their own skills to the table and through sharing, collaborating, filling the expertise and experience gaps easily and openly, with a common aim – to make everyone’s business successful and to learn and grow? And as you grow, your community grows and your organisation grows the pot of skills, knowledge and experience available to you grows with it.

What difference would that make to how you felt about building your business. If you took back the autonomy you needed. Built on who you already are rather than feeling like a square peg in a round hole or frustrated and unheard.

The principles of Network Marketing remain: A product or service needs to be sold on to customers / clients and the volume and income is built through developing successful teams of people all working to those same principles and you are paid in several different ways. This is a business model with benefits. So treat it like a business, understand the principles and learn to apply what YOU need to make it work for YOU.

Finally, if you aren’t getting the support you need from your Upline, it is not their fault. They are caught up in the system. That’s not your responsibility. Your responsibility is to build your own business and to use all the resources available, starting with YOU and providing the environment for a network of equally autonomous businesses in your organisation.

Michelle Turner-Davidson is a speaker, trainer and mentor specialising in developing people and teams and taking the fear, hype and struggle out of network marketing.

To find out how Michelle can help you, or if anything in this article resonates with you, do get in touch. You can fill out the comments below, email her at michelle@laterthanyouthink.co.uk or connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter @MichTD,  Facebook  or check out the rest of this website MichelleTurnerDavidson.com

Is it time to stop throwing mud at the wall in MLM ( Multilevel Marketing ) and Network Marketing ?

Is it time to stop throwing mud at the wall in MLM ( Multilevel Marketing ) and Network Marketing ?

In Network Marketing there is a thinking that the way to build your business is to keep throwing mud at the wall and to see what sticks. Unfortunately this means that so much of the effort and energy in network marketing is spent keeping the mud sticky.

Imagine people as grains of free flowing sand. The job of the Network Marketer / multi-level marketer in the traditional approach is to be the sticky substance that makes the sand stick together. By it’s nature the sand isn’t sticky unless something is added to make it so – the techniques used to recruit people into Network Marketing are usually designed to make people sticky. Most of those people had not thought about Network Marketing before they were approached (my recent article “Did you wake up that morning and think: Today I’m going to join a Network Marketing company talks about this in more depth) and when we are ‘convinced’ of something rather than working it out for ourselves the choices and decisions made in that environment are never wholly or intrinsically ‘owned’. So the job of the network marketer is to add the glue to turn the sand into sticky mud.

Glue

The challenge with this approach is of course that the glue constantly dries out so more and more effort is needed to keep it sticky so that it stays on the wall. And this is a huge effort because as one handful of mud lands on the wall and sticks a previous one is already falling off so there is a perpetual, and somewhat exhausting cycle of finding more sand, making it sticky and then keeping it sticky.

GLUE

Network Marketing companies focus the vast majority of their resources on manufacturing the glue and using it.

GLUE!

Network Marketing business owners focus the vast majority of their time using this glue on themselves, on their team members and prospects as well as developing their own glue to add to the mix and enhance its stickiness.

What if…

all that time, effort and energy was spent on exploring, learning about and using the many techniques and tools there are available to find those grains of sand that are freely gathering on beaches and interested in Network Marketing or a solution that Network Marketing can provide. This sand doesn’t need any glue. It knows which beach it wants to rest on, it knows the water and it’s not afraid to get wet. Because the water always brings more sand in its direction and up on the the beach

Online for example, using tools such as google analytics, Twitter and FB tools, Klout we can work out who is already interested in what we do and say.  We can use Facebook pixel to develop a deeper knowledge of where people are spending their time.

What if…

  • you spent more time understanding how to use these tools and how to market to people who are already interested or looking?
  • you spent more time helping those people to get the information they need and answer their questions fully.
  • they chose then to get involved not because of anything you’d said but because they’d done their own research and knew exactly what they wanted – without any clever questioning or input from you. They didn’t need any glue.
  • they then got happily involved and spent their time doing the same thing. Working collaboratively with others doing the same thing, putting their energy into learning and understanding how to reach those people who are looking and interested in the business, product or service you offer.

So, is it time to stop throwing mud at the wall?…

Michelle Turner-Davidson is a speaker, trainer, mentor and founder of the NMA (Network Marketing Academy), a fresh, down to earth and open approach to Network Marketing based on real people living real lives. 

If you are interested in MLM / Network Marketing or building a business, why not join The NMA (Network Marketing Academy) Facebook Group. You’ll find a like-minded community which focuses on collaboration, resources and where the skills, experience, strengths, personality traits and personal values – and working in a realistic way that works for you – is the platform for success.

Or contact me michelle@laterthanyouthink.co.uk , connect on Twitter @MichTD,  Facebook  or check out more on this website MichelleTurnerDavidson.com