Recently, I was reminded of a story I heard about the great Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi. Every year at the beginning of training camp, he would hold up a football and say, “men, this is a football.” Now, these players were the elite of the elite. They had played football for many years and certainly knew what a football looked like. So, why did he do that each and every year that he coached? Lombardi never wanted his players to forget the importance of the basics.
As we coach or mentor our downline members, it is critical that we remember the lesson of Vince Lombardi. Too often we get caught up in the hottest new internet marketing program or the great new CD or DVD, or the awesome new direct marketing program and we forget what forged this industry. As an industry best selling author, I often get asked to speak at network marketing events and at most of them I ask how people were introduced to their network marketing company. Overwhelmingly it is still through someone they knew – a friend, family member, co-worker, or neighbor. With all the attention on the internet and technology, it’s still good old face-to-face marketing that is working best.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think everyone should use the internet and the available technology to build a business, but let’s not forget the basics. How many people do you know who are experiencing financial struggles? Are working too many hours at work, away from their family? Never take a vacation, because they either can’t get away from work or don’t have the available funds? Are deeply in debt, just trying to stay afloat? Well, if you are with a legitimate network marketing company, you have the solution! However, if you go and vomit information all over them, the results will be ugly.
The key is to coach your people on how to approach their friends, family members, co-workers, and neighbors. Teach them to ask instead of tell. Asking people questions about their job or business, what they are doing for fun, how things are going with the family and financially, will uncover the areas of struggle that are causing pain. Then, you can ride in on your white stallion and deliver the solution. The results will be amazing.
Back in the early 90’s I asked a millionaire network marketer how to become a millionaire and he gave me a gem of wisdom. He told me to seek to make a million friends and the million dollars would follow. We should be coaching our downline members to go out and seek to make friends, rather then find prospects. A friend is more trusting and loyal than a stranger. How do we make friends? We invest time in them – getting to know them, helping them succeed, encouraging them along the way, being there with them when the times get tough. Network marketing is a simple, but difficult business. Everyone will have their struggles and as a good coach and friend, if you are there for your downline members, they will remember. That’s a basic to remember and teach.
When I joined the network marketing industry in 1979, my coach told me to become a master of the industry. He encouraged me to read and study the history of the industry, the successful companies, trends that would drive the industry, and so on. I invested time each week to reading books and talking with successful network marketers. In the early 90’s the internet made this even easier. At this point, I’ve read most of the books on network marketing, have many network marketing links in my favorites, am a subscriber to The Network Marketing Magazine, have listened to most of the tapes and CD’s, watched most of the videos and DVD’s, enjoyed many teleconferences and webinars, and spoken to many of the top income earners in the industry.
I believe that as coaches and mentors, we need to encourage our downline members to invest in themselves by becoming a master of the industry. Provide them with a recommended reading list of the best network marketing books (make sure you include my books The Ideal Business, The Twelve Power Secrets for Network Marketing Success, and Would You Like to Dig in My Goldmine? - You will find all of these on my site a www.rodnichols.com), a recommended CD/DVD list, and those web sites that you would consider important to their education. As they gain mastery of network marketing, fear goes away and they are more likely to approach people about their business, resulting in greater success.
People, this is a football. It’s important for us to go back to basics in our own businesses and then coach our people in the basics. Vince Lombardi coached one of the great football dynasties of all time and by going back to basics with your downline, you could enjoy watching many people in your downline succeed and create one of the great network marketing dynasties.