There’s always an ounce of truth in every bold faced lie and that’s how myths are born. We’re human and we love a good mystery. We’re nail biters, blamers, hiders and avoiders. We’re just so very juicy human beings even if we are a bit flawed.
I’ve been in the network marketing industry for eleven years and while I love it, there are parts (I confess) that can get under my skin sometimes, but mostly because at it’s core, network marketing is the ‘people’s business’ as such, that’s why it’s so dang unpredictable. It’s our very humanity that makes us awesome champions of our own potential and it’s also precisely what causes us to turn into ‘the crazy sales lady down the street’ when we start one of these businesses.
Have a look. Have you said these things before?
10 Myths About Network Marketing
#1: Only the People at the Top Make Money – Total myth. There are three basic types of pay structures in Network Marketing, and not all company’s compensation plans are built the same. While some are a binary system that does have a top and bottom with two legs that achieve different things, others are shaped more like a staircase, with still others like a centipede with lots of legs helping to earn money.
The myth is that if you aren’t at the top you won’t make good money, and by good money I mean replacing an average full time salary, and that just isn’t true. You know how I know? I’ve been at the top and I’ve been in the middle, and a big, fat, wide middle in this industry earns a very decent paycheque. Here’s where it’s true: If you work consistently while you’re at the top, you’re going to make not just good money, but outrageously awesome money. Yes, it’s possible. I’ve seen it and I’ve earned it too.
#2: Network Marketing is a Pyramid Scheme – Myth, but here’s where it’s true: It looks like one. That’s it. I hate to disappoint all you haters out there, but the truth is just because it looks like one doesn’t mean it is one. Do you know what a pyramid scheme is?
According to Wikipedia: an organization compels individuals to join and make a payment. In exchange, the organization promises its new members a share of the money taken from every additional member that they recruit. Notice that nowhere in the definition does it mention SELLING anything. That’s how you know if the company you are looking at joining is at risk of being a pyramid scheme. If you can get paid without having to sell a product (btw, selling ‘the business’ does not count as selling a product), that company is at risk of being a scheme. Stay away from those companies because what they are offering you truly is a myth.
#3: You Don’t Have to be a Salesperson – Another myth. Of course you are a salesperson. You are handing over products in exchange for money, right? Guess what? That’s selling. I suspect what you are conjuring up in your mind has more to do with the method of selling than the selling itself.
You don’t have to be a slick sales machine to grow a network marketing business. In fact, the closer you are to that, the more customers you are going to turn off and need to be replaced over time. Truth: You don’t have to be a crazy salesperson to be a network marketer. Be sane, honest, calm and yourself.
#4: You Have to Know a Lot of People – Here’s where it’s true: Unless you are selling bread, milk, coffee or toilet paper, you need to have more than 10 regular customers to earn a paycheque. Even your corner grocery store serves more people than that.
This is a relationship and network based business. Your paycheque will reflect how many sales you generated last month and how many sales your fellow team mates made. So do you need to know a lot of people? No, that’s a myth. Do you need to be willing to meet some? Yes, but you only need to know a handful of people to get started. Why? Because THEY know some and so on and so on and so on.
#5: You Have to be an Extrovert – Ughhh! That’s a big fat myth. Let me ask you, do you like being sold to by those loud extroverts who get their energy by being around people? Those who always have something to say? Wear bright colours and their laugh can be heard from across the room? Exactly. Nobody does.
Here’s the truth: You have to be willing to make a connection with people, to see them and to let them see you. The health of your business can be measured by the innate loyalty of your customers and teammates. Loyalty is earned through trust and that only happens when you let people know who you really are.
#6: You Have to be Gullible – Here’s the awkward truth: every company serves a cocktail. Apple serves cool and innovative with clean design, Nike serves empowerment, sweat and prestige. Your company is going to serve something too, and if you can’t bring yourself to drink it, then you won’t make it in network marketing. The two magnets of network marketing that keep people coming back to learn, grow and build a business are: belief and belonging.
Your clients and your team must believe in the product, and it’s crucial that your team feels like you believe in them. Your team and clients must feel like they belong with your product and more importantly, as a team, they belong with you. If that changes, they will leave. Does that make them gullible? No, that’s a myth. However, if you serve a manipulative cocktail and they keep drinking, it might make them gullible for a while, but don’t worry they always catch on, and that is how the truth shows up.
#7: Anybody Can Do Network Marketing – Myth, Myth, Myth, Myth, Myth with a wee bit of truth. Here’s the truth: Anybody CAN do it, just not everybody will, nor should they. Network Marketing is built on a system that duplicates. It’s the perfect turn-key business model designed for the lowest common denominator. I know how harsh that sounds, but Michael Gerber said it first in the E-Myth and he did so as a compliment not as an insult.
A turn-key business is one where anyone can walk in the door, pick up the manual, follow the instructions and do the do in order to achieve the desired end result. Does following a system to the letter fill everyone with joy and fulfillment? Just ask your artist friends. Just ask your neighbourhood entrepreneur and innovator. Heck ask me! While I CAN do it, as a writer, creative, mom, lady of perpetual randomness, I’d rather put forks in my eyes than do the same thing every day, yet I DO make a sustainable, professional income from this industry, and that too is the truth.
#8: You Have to Do Home Parties – Nope. Myth. Not anymore. I don’t have to say too much about this one because you’re reading an online magazine so you know that things don’t happen in real time anymore, they happen when they want to happen.
That being said, the truth here is that you do need to be available to relate to people in person somehow. Sometimes that means a Skype call, or a coffee date, or a martini after work, but it does not have to be done over spinach dip and a coffee table. Thank goodness for that.
#9: You Have to Spend a Lot of Money – Okay here’s the truth about this one, you have to spend something, but it’s not going to be a lot. If it’s a lot (as in over $150), look again because this might be one of those pyramid things we talked about before.
To be a member of the Direct Sales Association, the company CANNOT require you to purchase product. That being said, you’re going to need to have some products to be effective even if it’s only for demo purposes. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get started in network marketing. That’s a myth.
#10: You Have to Like People – Here’s the thing, this one is true. There is no myth here. If you don’t like people, you won’t like this business because its greatest gift is the very thing that probably makes you nuts. We’re human. We’re wildly unreliable, idiosyncratic, impulsive, passionate, irreverent and intensely private. We’re the X factor of this business. We’re also the heartbeat behind every distributor who has launched their business on a dream for a better life.
Please remember that most of us don’t have time to take on another hobby, or waste our time on something we don’t believe in so if you’re talking to someone in the network marketing industry, I urge you to remember that they care, probably quite deeply about you, their product and the company they represent.
It’s just you and me here. I may be a salesperson, but I’m human too. There’s no myth here, just the straight goods.
If you’d like to find out more about TinaO, her core story work or her network marketing business drop her a line here and she’ll reach out to you. If you’re in North America, she’ll even send you a little token of appreciation.