We’ve all been to that networking lunch or social event when some idiot shoves his business card in your hand and proudly states “You need to call me, I’m gonna save your life” or words to that effect.
You’ve also made the mistake of giving him your business card and so for the next six months, he calls you every second week to invite you to coffee.
Of course, he can’t tell you about this amazing business system that is going to change the world as it’s too complex to share over the phone but apparently it’s simple enough to share over a coffee.
Network marketing or Multi Level Marketing (MLM) is an incredibly valid method of getting goods and services into the market place in an era where more and more people are disgruntled with the old corporate model and are looking to get out on their own without the overheads of traditional business.
Unfortunately, the low barriers to entry that make direct selling models, such as network marketing, so attractive to many is also the reason why you get all kinds of people participating, from truck drivers to farmers and school teachers, to all manner of white collar professionals. There are very few careers that aren’t represented at the upper echelons of success in this industry.
So, clearly it works, we’d just prefer that you dropped the cloak and dagger stuff. If you’re still using the curiosity approach to build your business in this day and age, you’re either:
a) naive about how easy it is to find information about you,
b) you think i’m an idiot,
c) you have no faith in your self, product or up line, or
d) you have no idea about social media, despite the fact that you keep telling everyone it’s going to change the world.
Here are the 3 main types of network marketing experiences that we, your prospects, come into contact with and therefore judge you by.
The Good – Network Marketing’s Business People
One of my favourite all time MLM experiences I’ve ever had was a Thai lady I met at a networking lunch. She simply walked up to me, smiled, stuck out her hand and said Hi, my name’s Oi, I’m an Amway distributor, who are you?
I loved it. It was simple. It was honest. There was no hiding behind a business opportunity, there was no sneaky invitation to coffee. She was proud of her business and the opportunity it afforded her family.
I knew who she was. I knew what she did and even more importantly, when she asked about me, she was genuinely interested in me. She wasn’t looking for a chance to get a plug in. She wanted to know about me and I felt it.
More networkers should be like Oi, who just happens to have a very strong business by the way.
The Bad – The Enormous Boobs
We’ve all met these guys and to be honest we’ve all been these people in our careers, irrespective of what you do. They’re the newbies. It’s the beginning of your career and you’re learning everything you can to make you better but you still do some really dumb stuff.
The unfortunate thing for network marketers is, their experience comes from facing the public in a way they may not be familiar with and with names backing them that everyone knows. We’ve all got an Amway story and new distributors know it, compounding their fear and therefore their ham-fisted approach to you.
Whether you grow into a business person or parasite is up to you. Only one of these has a future.
The Ugly – Unlovable Social Parasites
For anyone actively building a network marketing business, these are the people we most compare you to. No, it’s not fair, because only a very small percentage of people in any career are like this, but they tarnish the reputation of everyone else. I should know; I’m a Financial Planner.
You might think that “parasite” is too harsh a word to be thrown around in this context, but seriously, I know people who’ve not attended social gatherings because they know ‘a certain someone’ is going to be there and they’re not in the mood to deal with someone that won’t take “No” for an answer.
That’s not persistence, that’s making an ass of yourself and tells everyone that you’re not as successful as you want us to think you are. For if you truly had an endless list of new prospects signing up, you would be too busy helping them to even consider hounding me.
And on the social media front, stop spamming your opportunity all over every group you’re in and start participating in the online discussion in an intelligent manner. You’ll actually build respect rather than tearing it down and we’ll actually welcome your approach.
What about you? Have you had an experience with a Network Marketer worth writing about. Share it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear all about it.
Editor’s Note: A big, warm welcome to new guest blogger Rodney Bukuya. I hope you enjoy Rodney’s no BS style of blogging. It’s great to have a Work at Home Dad on our team. This post was originally published on Rodney’s blog here: http://rodneybukuya.com/2012/08/17/network-marketers-business-people-enormous-boobs-or-social-parasites/.