I think I hold a unique perspective. I have run my own businesses, worked for multi-billion dollar MLM’s, sat on industry Council’s and jumped into the field to be hands on. I have even sat with forensic accountants who have been tasked with gathering evidence to use in court to shut the company down I was General Manager of at the time. That wasn’t too much fun!
I have also been involved in start-ups, mature businesses, expanding companies and declining organisations. I think I have seen quite a bit. Why do I share this? Because I have noticed a common theme across each of these businesses. There is a company life-cycle that is experienced in Network Marketing and different messages, approaches and strategies apply at different times and seasons. ‘Well that’s obvious!’ you might say. But actually – it isn’t. How many times have you heard ‘we should take this approach because it worked for me back in 1996!’ I have heard that plenty.
Here’s the deal: In the start up phase, most MLMs will thrive based upon what I call ‘hysteria marketing’. It is the hype that comes with a new opportunity. ‘Get in quick and ride the wave,’ or ‘join the ground floor opportunity,’ are messages many have heard or shared in this industry. But if the opportunity was so awesome – why would there only be one wave? And what about the guys that joined after it passed? Are they buying into a dud? A fallacy? The challenge is, that wave is often created by this hysteria marketing approach. The strategy is pretty simple: Recruit a lot of people and have them purchase high volumes of packs and get others to do the same. With all the excitement – that can work a treat. Regulators hate it though and once the few at the top have scored big time – it starts to wane. Expecting this plan to work forever is like me cracking a joke and expecting you to laugh for the rest of the year. It simply doesn’t work that way.
So how does the mature business move forward? It has to be based upon the principles of balance. It is very difficult to create the hysteria that newness brings when you are in a mature organisation. More practical approaches need to be applied. Those that grow and get to the top in these situations know how they did it. There was no luck, no good timing, just a great plan and some real focused work. Many people will try to create incredible excitement to develop a recruiting frenzy. I heard it said once at a World Federation DSA event that ‘if you want sales to go up – recruit more people!’ But what if everyone in your team got more customers? Customers should be easier to find. What if your business went from the vast majority self consuming to the vast majority sharing product with customers? What would happen to your volume? What would happen to the rank and file (the 80% of every organisation) that do just 5-10 hours a week? If their checks went up, what should happen to yours? If more volume is coming through in a sustained way (through genuine customer activity), then your residual income becomes more stable, more reliable, more consistent and more rewarding.
Can you look at your business and see the direct link with growth and recruitment? Recruitment goes up – so does your business. Recruitment goes down – so does your business. For a mature business, the starting point for getting your business back up is not always found in recruitment. It is often found at a more basic level – get more customers.
I believe that if we get the balance right in our business – get customers and find business partners who get customers – we will change the experience of millions of people in our industry for the better.
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