THE WAY IT WAS

Dec 3 22:00 2001 Lon Lindsey Print This Article

Let me, first mention the history of the ... ... was founded on the ... of great products and ... of such. In fact, the oldest direct sales company ... i

Let me,Guest Posting first mention the history of the MLM/networking industry.
Networking was founded on the principles of great products and the
sharing of such. In fact, the oldest direct sales company in
America is now a network marketing company based on the sales of
products and sharing the concept of retailing products to make money,
but through a strategy of networking in order to find others who will
do the same.

The answer to the "Which Comes First" question really rests with the
business opportunity seeker based on how he wants to build his
business. What I am about to share with you may help you determine
the kind of networking company you may want to align yourself with.

Let me start by saying "the face of the network marketing industry
has changed drastically in the past 15 years." With the emergence of
computer technology, network marketing has taken on a new look in
terms of what is on the "front door" as you come knocking. With the
introduction of the Internet as an additional medium for networking,
the whole MLM industry has seen a new emphasis.

PRODUCTS, PRODUCTS, PRODUCTS!

Just to give you an idea what I am talking about, 20 years ago a
prospective sponsor would sit down across the kitchen table with you
. .pull out his catalog of products ... show you some sample
products or may even have a small home meeting demonstrating the
excellence of their product line and then tell you how you can make
money, not only selling the products, but having a distributorship.
In so doing, you could set other people up with a distributorship
which would allow you to retail products AND earn commissions from
the products sold by your distributors you signed up under you. In
other words, they led with the products first. There are companies
that continue to use that approach today and with certain companies,
that is a necessary approach to take and certainly makes sense.

HOW ABOUT A BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY?

In the eighties we started seeing an emergence of "business
opportunity" in the headlines as a way to attract people to MLM.
This emergence led to a new approach in network marketing ...

"Mail Order." No longer was it necessary to have local meetings
or to meet across the kitchen table with people. Simply send out
a mail piece and sign people up. Companies had the ability to manage
databases of people and to run commission checks so "business opportunity"
became the lead-in rather than products. Although these type companies
were backed up by products, the emphasis on products was not the same
for some companies . . . and in fact . . .brought on certain companies
that were "here today and gone tomorrow" because the products were not
good enough to keep people involved. Remember, it’s the sale of products
that generate commissions for the distributors.

LET’S MAKE SOME MONEY!

In the early nineties, the personal computer became so popular that
it was possible for "John Doe" to start up his own program . . .right
from his own kitchen table. With this came on the "Make Money" approach
to MLM. Many times the word "business" was not even mentioned. It was
about making money regardless of the products and in some cases illegal
MLM schemes were developed with the intention of going out of business at
some point . . .even being put out of business due to attorney general
probes or postal regulations. It was this phase of MLM that started giving
MLM a questionable name because the good, the bad, the ugly were all
grouped under MLM . .even if they were illegal pyramid schemes or ponzi
schemes.

At this point, I might add that there were still legitimate product
oriented MLM companies continuing to prod along just as they have
been doing for years, but due to the hype of "make money" people
were being lured toward these "make money" type companies. So what
began to happen was the truly product oriented MLM companies began
having competition from the short lived "make money" type programs.

LET’S MAKE MONEY, AND I'LL DO IT FOR YOU!

Something else happened at this time as well. The "Make Money"
programs hyped the "don’t work hard" image and in some cases . .
"we’ll do it for you." Let’s face it. If people could make money
without working very hard . . either due to their not having time or
their just not wanting to work hard . ..certainly people would jump
on the bandwagon of the "make money" type companies over the slower
to build product oriented companies and that is exactly what happened.
The result was, many people getting a bad impression of MLM due to a
company going out of business or due to lack of focus on what the
company had to offer other than just making money. This is why you
will see ads that say "this is not MLM" because they know many people
have been hurt in the "not so legitimate" companies. Unfortunately it
takes only a few bad experiences and negative publicity to give the
whole industry a black eye.

MAKE MONEY . . . FAST!!

Well, if that wasn't bad enough, the Internet emerged and it was no
longer just "make money." Now it was "Make Money FAST!" It was no
longer good enough to just make money. You had to make it fast . . .
you know . . . like $90,000 in three months or become a millionaire
in six months! In addition to that, the Internet began to attract
another kind of person . . .the person who could barely afford his
monthly ISP service, but accessed the Internet in the hope of
getting his share of the Internet Gold. Along came people who not
only could not afford products to buy, they could not afford the cost
of adequately marketing their business in a way to build a solid
foundation for that business. The result has been a majority of the
business seekers who join one program today to "Make Money FAST" . .
find they didn't make it fast so they jumped to the next company and
so on. These "jumpers" are spending $50 here and $50 there, but they
are not spending what is necessary to build a solid business . . time,
energy, focus and persistence. Now I realize I just made a
generalization and realize not everyone does this, but I have
personally noticed a tremendous number of people who basically can't
afford even the products to build their business. In other words,
there is no such thing as product loyalty because people often times
join a company or program based only on the dream and hype of making
fast money. So . .why do they get involved? Because we tell them
they can make money FAST and it’s easy! In order to compete,
networkers have had to learn how to hype and this hype has led to
disillusionment and disappointment, especially to the new networker
who has no idea what it really takes to build a long-term successful
business.

THE GOOD NEWS!

The good news is, there have been some legitimate networking
companies that have come on the scene that have taken network
marketing a step further. It is the new age of networking and leaves
behind the days of stocking products, going door to door and
emphasizing the retailing of products. This new approach is called
"Referral Marketing." It is now possible for a distributor to simply
refer customers and other "distributors to be" directly to the
company with the sponsor getting credit for any products sold from
that direct referral. The question is still about do we lead with
products first or the opportunity first, but with referral marketing,
one can very easily lead with either one.

Because of what has taken place over the past few years, leading with
the business opportunity is a necessity, BUT only if it can be backed
up with excellent products.

Let me provide you with three examples.

1. Suppose I approach you with this: "I've got the best nutritional
supplement product available on the market and because of that, you
can make money" Feel free to substitute another product . . like ISP,
web hosting, telephone service, etc. As a business seeker, does that
excite you?

2. Now, suppose I approach you with this: "I've got this product
that no one else has and I have the sole rights to it so we will be
the only ones able to market it. Because of that, you have a
tremendous opportunity to make money." Understanding that it is hard
to respond to such unless you know what the product is, the intrigue
and power is in the fact that this company has exclusive rights to a
unique product that no one else has.

3. Now suppose I approach you with this statement: "I have a business
opportunity that has a compensation plan that is so powerful that you
will make an excellent income in a very short period of time." Often
times the first question is "what is the product" but the real
interest of the network marketer is regarding the compensation plan.

For me, the second example would be most powerful because the thought
of a product that people would want with my being associated with the
only company in which they could get it from would seem to be a
tremendous opportunity. The problem is, it seems such products either
do not exist or they get copied so they are no longer a unique product
or service. In fact, I've even heard the statement that "if we had
a product no one else has or can produce, why would we need MLM to
distribute it?" So although this second example may be the most
powerful of the three examples, in reality it really doesn't exist in
the MLM arena.

The third example is where the action is in today’s MLM arena. It all
boils down to making money. If the product is good enough to promote
notice . . I didn't say the best . . .just good enough) and if people
can make money promoting the compensation plan knowing they have good
enough products to back them up, then that is what is attracting
people to MLM.

IS THERE REALLY TRUE PRODUCT LOYALTY?

The truth is there is no real loyalty in products. Loyalty is based
on making money. When I say no real loyalty in products, I'm talking
about if a person would use those products even if they didn't
participate in the business opportunity. It is easy to be a loyal
product user when starting a company and certainly when making money
with that company, but the true test is whether a person will use the
products even when they are not making money. If people showed their
loyalty to products even if they were not making money, more people
would make money because people are consuming the product which is
the basis of commission generation.

CHANGING PEOPLE’S HABITS

Another factor is changing habits of people. For the most part,
people go to stores and purchase products. That is a habit based on
years of doing such. Changing ones habits require motivation to do
so. If the motivation is based on making money rather than being
really sold and loyal to the products, then once a person decides he
cannot make money based on that company/product and moves on to
another, will he continue to use those products? I maintain the
answer to that is "no" with the result being people going back to
their old habits or moving on to another company and trying a
different set of products. You see, the name of the game is making
money . . .not promoting the best products. I've seen it time and
time again . .. We have the best products money can buy, but only as
long as I'm successfully building my business. All of a sudden, the
products seem not to be the best products money can buy.

IT’S THE NEEDS AND DREAMS THAT DICTATE

It’s the needs and dreams that dictate our actions. You see, we ]
don't "need" to have the best products. We don't "need" to purchase
products from a MLM company. We don't dream of being able to buy or
sell products. Instead we have a need to make money. We have a
dream to become financially independent. It’s our needs and dreams
that motivate us to take action so what interests us the most is
making money.

SO WHICH IS IT . . . PRODUCTS OR THE OPPORTUNITY?

Based on that, it would seem the answer to the question . . which
comes first . . .Products or the opportunity . . the answer is
clearly the opportunity . . .but more clearly, the compensation plan.
In other words, can I show you a compensation plan that will allow
you to make money rather quickly, yet am backed up by good enough
products to promote AND a company that is legitimate and stable?

The old companies, of the past, that are trying to continue and grow
based on their heritage and products, are not growing at the same
rate as those companies that have developed state-of-the-art
compensation plans. By state-of-the-art compensation plans, I'm
talking about compensation plans that adequately reward the beginner
as well as lucratively rewarding the seasoned MLMer who builds a huge
business organization. In other words, the ideal compensation plan
is one that will keep the beginner involved long enough to make money
quickly so he will stick with the business and at the same time
lucratively compensate the leaders for reaching leader levels in the
compensation plan.

I've seen newer companies with state-of-the-art compensation plans
generate more volume in one month than some of the older companies
with outdated compensation plans do in a full year. The rebuttal is
usually "but our company won't go out of business while those new
companies will probably be out of business within two to five years."
There is some truth to that, but there are now companies that are 3 -
20 years old that have become stable growth companies with
state-of- the art compensation plans. It is now possible to align
yourself to a company with a compensation plan that is stable enough
to feel confident that they will be around for the long haul.

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About Article Author

Lon Lindsey
Lon Lindsey

Lon Lindsey is publisher and editor of his own ezine called "The Master
Networker . . The Art of Building A Business." For past informative
articles on the network marketing industry and for future insights on
network marketing, you can FREELY subscribe to The Master Networker by
going to http://www.Masternetworker.com

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