When I joined the network marketing industry in 1979, we approached everyone face to face with a flip book presentation. We didn't have the internet, web pages, autoresponders, Facebook, Twitter, cell phones, voice mail, or any of the rest of the technology that is now available. However, there were also only a handful of companies, so not much competition.
Today there are well over 3,000 network marketing companies and more joining the scene weekly. It's easy to start a network marketing company. I could launch one of out of house with the right computer system, software, and a drop shipped product. That's exactly what is happening. Now, the problem with that is that the quality of companies has slipped. It's now very difficult to determine whether a company is the real thing and will last or if it's a fly-by-night out of business within the first two years opportunity. So, in this article I'm hoping to cut through the hype and give you some straight forward tips on finding the real deal in this crazy world of network marketing.
In order the find the real deal you first must cut through the crap and the hype and the big names and the "this is the best company ever" claims and get to the facts. There are two many Wizard of Oz companies out there. You remember in the movie when Dorothy, Toto and crew arrived at the Emerald Palace to see the wizard and were greeted with fire, smoke, a big image, and a booming voice. Sounds like a lot of the network marketing companies I see out there today. Then little Toto pulls the curtain on the wizard and he says, "don't mind that man behind the curtain" and that's exactly what's happening out there in network marketing today. A few are saying 'don't look behind the curtain because we really don't have any substance." So, stop focusing on the real estate tycoons who are jumping into network marketing and the companies that are going to be operated by Facebook and find the real deals. Here's how.
Next you've got to decide what's important to you? What kind of product or service is going to get you seriously motivated to get out of your comfort zones and talk with lots of people? What compensation plan best suites you? What upline team is going to best fit your personality? Which marketing method will fit you and your budget? What would you like to see in a management team?
With all that in mind it's time to do your due diligence. Don't just join the first company that comes along. Check out the industry. Here are some keys to finding the right company for you:
1. Management Team - the founders and initial management should have a mix of successful experience in network marketing as a distributor, as the owner of a successful traditional business, and a track record of fiscally sound decisions. Also, you want the CEO/President to be a high energy, attractive, and enthusiastic person. Someone who is going to attract leaders and is a leader him or herself. Also, make sure there's a strong detail person and an experienced money person. Finally, check the egos. If they are too big, run away as fast as you can. Confidence is one thing, but arrogance and pride is another. The Bible tells us that pride goes before the fall and I've seen this proved out thousands of times in network marketing.
2. Product/Service - is this a product you can get passionate about? Is it easy to explain or demonstrate? Is there something exclusive about the product? Also, you will want to have a consumable product or something they use every month, as this will create on-going volume for you and your team. Make sure that there is a large and growing market for the product or service. You don't want to be with a network marketing company that sells buggy whips in a world full of automobiles.
3. Compensation Plan - does the plan have 2 to 3 commissions and/or bonuses that will help the average person earn enough money within the first month or two to cover their initial investment and monthly autoship. Is the plan relatively easy to understand and explain? Does it have back end bonuses that make it lucrative enough to attract the big hitters. Does the company offer non-cash incentives like travel and car bonuses?
4. Timing - is the company placed in front of solid and growing market trends like the entrepreneurial and wellness booms? Are you getting in at an advantageous time for you? If you are a bit of a risk taker, get in with a company during it's first 2 years. If you want more of a sure thing, join after 5 years. If you want that company that has very little chance of failure, look for the company that is 15 years or older (this is a select crowd). The start-up is riskier, but offers tremendous potential for those who get in early and build using the momentum created by the excitement of the ground floor opportunity. For best chance of quick (2 to 3 years) financial success, look for the company that is either just launching or is in a high growth phase.
5. Marketing - if you want to build on the internet, it's important to find a company with great internet tools (i.e. capture pages, contact management system, autoresponders, webinars, etc.). If you would rather market your business face-to-face, find a company that has a product that can be easily and excitedly demonstrated and the tools to present directly to a person. If you want to build your business through direct mail, look for an excellent DVD and brochures. Some of these tools can be supplied by the upline team.
6. Upline Team - find people who have similar values and personalities, so that you will fit in. Check to see if they are truly interested in your success or are the self-focused. What tools do they offer the distributors in their network? Are they free or are they just trying to make money off the sales of tools, systems, and trainings? Are there experienced and successful network marketers who are willing to do 3-way calls with you and your business candidates?
There you go; six ways you can evaluate every network marketing opportunity. Take the time to do your own research. Gather the facts and don't just work off the emotion of the moment. Emotions lie and you'll pay the price later. One last thought. If a person is pressuring you to join now, run away, as they will pressure you all the rest of your time with that company. If you like the company, but not the person who would sponsor you; find another sponsor.
If you do your due diligence and make a good decision, then put the blinders on and build fast and furious, and don't quit until you reach your goals, you'll enjoy a fantastic career in network marketing. I've done it and so can you!
NOTE: If you would like some help evaluating companies or would be interested in what I think are the best companies in each category, click HERE and e-mail me.