Formula 1. Cars. Mountain Biking. Personal Finance. Wealth. Personal Development.
Online Marketing. Reading. Marathons.
Robert Kiyosaki, Napoleon Hill, Viktor Frankl, Brian Tracy, Mike Dillard, Mark Wieser, Eben Pagan
"You must first give without want, in order to get." - Mike Dillard
Wayne WuFounder and proprietor of The Profitable Networker
Experience: Established Business (1-3 years)
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My first year of network marketing really, really sucked. It was a period of time in my life where I had never been more frustrated, anxious or humiliated.
Like most, I came into network marketing without any experience in the big bad world of business. I was shy, introverted, lacked self confidence and was totally out of my comfort zone. All I had was the dream to be rich and free.
I was 24 years old at the time and had a career as a mechanical engineer. After working for 2 years, I realised it wasn’t a very fulfilling career choice. Even on a decent salary compared to the average, I was living a very modest inner city lifestyle, wondering how long it would take to build ANY significant wealth and if I was EVER going to have the money to do the things I really wanted to do.
It’s kind of hard to realise your dreams when a third of your salary goes to taxes, another third goes to paying the landlord just to keep a roof over your head, then you have utilities, medical bills, insurance, living essentials, etc. It didn’t take me long to figure out as an employee, it’s a long road to accumulate the level of wealth that could support a fulfilling lifestyle.
I could see the pattern of working long hours inside the Dilbert Cube, earning just enough to pay the bills and I wouldn’t be any further ahead in life 10 years down the road. THAT scared the hell out of me.
Shortly after this epiphany, I was introduced to the concept of Multi-Level Marketing. I’d never heard of MLM before other than reading a little bit about it in the Robert Kiyosaki books I was heavily into at the time.
At first, I thought it was a great concept. My enthusiasm for the business model was Level 10+. I saw it as my ticket out of the rat race and into financial independence in no time flat.
Well, it turns out that’s NOT what network marketing is about…
While the business model was very simple, getting over my personal demons, insecurities, mental road blocks and learning the skills to make it work was not.
In my first year, I tried very hard to build my MLM business. I tried every prospecting trick in the book. NONE of them worked for me. I had nothing to show for my efforts. No downline, definitely no residual income.
Actually, I did have a few things to show for my woeful efforts. I had wasted whole bunch of money, I got myself into more credit card debt than I had ever been in before, and I accumulated more products then I could ever personally use.
I did everything my upline told me to do…
- I read the motivational books…
- Listened to emotion pumping tapes that went on about how great the company was, what an opportunity I have in my hands and all the rags to riches stories. Those tapes taught me NOTHING about how to succeed in business…
- I wrote my goals and looked in mirror every day and repeated to myself… “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me!”
- I shared the business to my friends who flatly rejected the concept and sneered at me for being in a “Pyramid Scheme”. I could never have a straight conversation with my friends again. They always brought it up to ask me how my "pyramid thing" was going. How awkward is that?
- I did the home meetings and desperately tried to convince people who had no interest whatsoever to look at my products and join me.
- I went through the Memory Jogger list where half the people had occupations that were obsolete.
- I spent a ton of money going to monthly business rallies, regional conferences, national conventions, line-of-sponsorship meetings just to get more inspired and develop more belief. I learned nothing from these events except that I needed to set more goals, make more life-changing decisions, sacrifice more of my time and money to meet more people and show more plans.
Man, what a drag…
And because this so called “Proven System” didn’t work for me, I then tried every devious technique to get people to see the plan.
Seriously, everything I’ve listed here I really actually did. The embarrassment was VERY REAL, and painful at the time.
- Not knowing it was blatant spam, I sent cheesy emails to people who I didn’t even know (but happened to have their email address) to my team’s website. This got me and my team’s website reported to the Australian consumer watchdog for promoting a scam.
- I dropped “work at home” and “amazing product” flyers around my neighbourhood at midnight. I got no responses. In fact, this got me pulled up by the police because neighbours reported me for suspicious activity.
- I got my ads banned from classified ads websites such as Kijiji.com and Gumtree.com for promoting MLM.
- I called old employers who owned traditional small businesses thinking they would be perfect prospects only to get “Do not contact me ever again!”
- I cold called people in the white pages (not knowing it was against the policy of my company to do so and if they found out, would have terminated my distributorship) and guess what, got nothing but rejection.
After 12 months of going through hell, I had spent thousands of dollars on travel, company training, products and I sponsored 2 people in to my business… And they quit!
I had almost reached the breaking point… if I kept going like this, I would’ve had to survive on ramen soup.
I too, was ready to quit. But I was stubborn enough not to...
In total frustration, I looked for better ways to build this business. I began to “zoom out” to really understand what this industry was about, to understand why it is such a popular business yet success eludes so many. I started looking for “gurus” on the internet who had achieved the results that I wanted.
As I studied the some of the top earners in the MLM industry, I found they were doing something entirely different from the typical peddling distributor. It was actually entirely the opposite of what normal distributors did to build their businesses and totally counter-intuitive.
I discovered that the “Big Dogs” who earn the biggest checks and have the largest organisations don’t do any of the following…They don’t show the plan to anything that moves
- They don’t hand out books, tapes or company literature
- They don’t cold call strangers or buy expensive, worthless leads
- They don’t hold home meetings or product parties
- They don’t drop “work-at-home” fliers in their neighbours’ letterboxes or put them up around traffic light poles
- And they certainly don’t bother their friends and family
(In fact using these out dated, “cheap” sales techniques will literally kill any chance you have of success in MLM)
Instead of playing “The Chasing Game”, here’s what the industry leaders actually do: They have people contact them, eager to join their downline, no objections, no questions asked. Hundreds, even thousands of them. In fact, they have to say “No” to most of their prospects! (Wouldn’t that be a good problem to have?)
They didn’t go out telling and selling people their opportunity because they had a marketing system that did all of the telling and selling for them.
And get this… They never, ever advertised their MLM company, compensation plan or their MLM products. Instead, they “positioned” themselves as experts (…just like your local doctor…), so people consulted them for advice and in the process, they attracted thousands of qualified leads.
Where the typical network marketer is scared of the internet with all its negativity about MLM from ex-distributors, misinformed individuals, anti-MLM protagonists and slander by distributors from other companies, the leaders used them to their advantage.
They virtually eradicated all of their competition because they knew exactly what their prospects wanted and needed.
These were HUGE “paradigm shifts” for me. And they came about because I took the time to understand what this industry was about.
What I ultimately realised was… MLM is an industry of promotion pursued by people who have NO IDEA on how to promote, teaching others to promote.
Whichever way you look at network marketing, and despite the fact that many people want to deny it, you are in sales and marketing. MLM is a form of direct sales, no questions about it. You sell directly to your customer.
And heck, the second word in network marketing is MARKETING. It is your job to promote dreams, freedom, lifestyle, financial independence, health and well being, a business opportunity, your products and all that other fancy stuff associated with MLM.
So why don’t they teach you how to do sales and marketing in network marketing?
Simple. Because it’s not “duplicate-able”.
Well, here’s the cold, hard truth… the top earners in this industry are using sales and marketing strategies that have worked the “real business world” for hundreds of years. And to “duplicate” in the “real business world” means commercial suicide!
Now I want you to understand this game too. As Eben Pagan says so succinctly “YOU CANNOT WIN A GAME YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND”
My Location: Sydney, Australia