We’ve all got ’em – Here are FIVE Misconceptions about Network Marketing
If you’ve read my About page or if you know me personally, you know that I consider myself an unlikely candidate for a Network Marketing business. Heck, several friends and family members thought I’d been hacked when they saw me post about starting up my new business back in 2011. Why, you might ask? Many people (including myself!) often have a bad taste in their mouths about this profession, and it’s unfortunate. I’d even go so far to say that people consider themselves “above” network marketing. I cheer on the work of Network Marketers like Richard Bliss Brooke and Eric Worre who have made it a goal to bring respect and understanding to the profession by helping Network Marketers get it right, without backing down to the criticisms that come our way. I’d like to throw my hat in the ring on this discussion and offer up the top 5 misconceptions about Network Marketing I’ve seen dispelled in my journey.
Misconception #1: You have to be good at sales to have success in Network Marketing
Ummm… no. I’ll be honest. After five years in this profession, I still don’t like the word sales. Let’s remember, I was in the accounting profession prior to this business, so sales wasn’t something I’d ever done or was comfortable pursuing. And look! Here I am, having success in this profession! I’m not an outlier.
I personally know dozens of people throughout my company who are earning career income in Network Marketing without a bit of sales experience.
How? By following the proven system our company lays out for training. Any good system in this profession emphasizes building quality personal relationships. We connect with others to see if they have a need we can fill. Yes, money is exchanged if someone decides to start their own business or buy our products. This is never a pressure situation on either end and as representatives of our company, we are in a position to offer goods our customers can’t access in a retail environment with a money-back guarantee. Being sales-y is never a good way to build relationships, but listening well, asking good questions, and being willing to make suggestions if appropriate are great ways to be supportive and helpful to people. That’s what we do in Network Marketing.
Misconception #2: Only the desperate are trying Network Marketing
Actually quite the opposite is true. Many high earners in Network Marketing were achieving financial and career success in a chosen field when they began pursuing their Network Marketing opportunity. Success leaves clues and some of the same traits that bring success in other endeavors like work ethic, ability to get along well with others, and perseverance, also help develop eventual leaders in our profession.
My company is filled with doctors, attorneys, teachers, and corporate professionals who experienced high level success but wanted some other outstanding benefits Network Marketing can give. I’ve never worked with such a high caliber of people overall. People who have transformed their mindset is a unifying theme in the profession. We learn to avoid getting hung up on what other people think and we believe there is more to be experienced from life than staying stuck in the status quo.
Misconception #3: You have to bug your friends and family to buy your products or join you in business
First off, let’s talk about the word “bug”. If you feel you are bugging the people you know by talking to them about your business, you have a belief problem. You may lack belief that your product or business has value for them. If you want to succeed, you must work on your own belief about what you are doing. Belief in your business is crucial. If you cannot build that belief, you may need to find another business. I’m so grateful someone shared my business and products with me. I take that attitude with me when I reach out to family and friends about what I’m doing. I never expect them to want it, but that decision is theirs, not mine. My job is to share.
I believe that sharing with your friends and family is an important step in getting started in your business. You want the people you know and love to hear about what you’ve found in case they too can benefit. Additionally, talking to people who know you first can offer a comfortable place to practice talking and answering questions without worrying you’ve got it all right. Is it a MUST to start there in order to have success? I don’t think so.
Your business, your way, I say
If you choose not to go this route, you can build your business with people you haven’t yet met, but expect it to take you longer. Even when you start building a business by sharing with family and friends, all successful Network Marketers must be willing to meet new people in order to build a sustainable long term business. Of course traditionally this can happen person-to-person or through referrals. This crazy little thing called the internet sure gives us new and exciting ways to make those connections.
Misconception #4: This is easy money!
In our industry there is a saying that goes, “Network Marketing is simple, but it isn’t easy.” No matter your background, if you can share information with someone, you can potentially build a network marketing business. And the easiest part? Pulling out your credit card to get started! But the easy ends there. This business requires personal development.
If you aren’t willing to work on yourself, you won’t last in this industry.
Being a Network Marketer requires thick skin because of the varied responses you will receive as you talk about your business. Just about everyone has a story about their friend who “tried one of those things.” It didn’t work for them. Ah, yes, well that’s because this profession requires commitment. This is not a get rich quick endeavor for most people, and giving up is super easy to do. Hordes of Network Marketers quit before they find success, giving off the impression that success is elusive in the industry. Quitting is the easy conclusion for many who don’t have the motivation and will to persevere when things get tough.
Misconception #5: Only the people at the top make any money
In any solid network marketing company, members can make whatever level of income they desire. Position of entry in the organization doesn’t matter. People build income based on their effort and the value they provide to people, not position within the organization. Network Marketing actually creates an even playing field. Come in, do the work it takes, and you have unlimited opportunity to build an income that is in no way minimized by the people who came in before you.
I’ve watched individuals come into my company and out-earn me in their first year (wow!), so time involved does not always equal higher pay. Traditional jobs and organizations tend to have a much more tiered and limited income opportunity than network marketing. Rare are the cases where you hear of a minimum wage employee becoming the CEO of a company, right? Yet in Network Marketing, the income possibilities are available to every participant who dares to dream and DO.
Going Beyond Five
I’ve shared 5 misconceptions about Network Marketing, but I can already think of several more. I’ll leave it here for today and return to this topic in another post down the road. What about you? Do you have your own set of ideas about Network Marketing that give it a bad taste for you? If you’re involved in a Network Marketing company, what are some of the misconceptions you’ve seen corrected during your tenure? I’d love to hear!