Friday, June 24, 2011

The Big Hairy Arm

Let's say you loved to plant and grow beautiful flowers.  You separated a part of your backyard and through many hours of hard work, prepared it for your flower garden. 
You then carefully planted rows of different flowers.  Over the next couple months you spent time every day in your garden, watering, fertilizing, and weeding. 

Finally, one day the first fruits of your labor, a sprout.  Then another and another.  Soon, you have a beautiful flower garden. You love them all, but there is one particular flower that is unique.  You have never seen anything like it.  Your special flower.  So, you pay extra special attention to that flower.  One day, you are gazing out your window, admiring your special flower, when suddenly a big, ugly, hairy arm reaches through the fence and rips your special flower out by the roots.  To your shock, your special flower is gone, leaving only a hole.

So, what does this have to do with network marketing?  It illustrates what happens in people's lives every day.  You see, we all have people in our lives that we are afraid to contact.  We think that they won't be interested - they are too busy, make too much money, or wouldn't be interested in "this type of business."  Those people are represented by the special flower in the story above.  Those people may turn out to be very special distributors, but if you don't make contact with them, the big, ugly, hairy arm will come in a rip them out of your network marketing life.  The big, hairy arm represents a distributor from another company.

Now let me tell you a true story.  About 20 years ago, I was just getting started building a network with a very prominent company.  I had made up my list and was actively contacting them.  Then I arrived at a particular name.  This person owned 7 Domino's franchises and was pretty well to do.  I was consulting for him and we had become casual friends.  We also had a high level of respect for each other.

I kept looking at his name and thinking, he's not going to be interested - he's too busy, makes too much money and wouldn't be interested in "this type of business."  Then one day I saw him at the athletic club.  He told me that we needed to meet to go over something new.  I thought it was a new marketing project, but was shocked to find out that he had sold all 7 of his franchises to do network marketing full-time!!!  He was furious with me that I had not told him about my network marketing business, as he would have joined me instead.  I've kicked myself ever since!

Now, you can learn from the big, hairy arm story, and from my experience.  Don't preclude people.  Contact everyone.  Even if you don't think they will be interested, let them make that choice.  You don't know who will and who won't.  You definitely don't want to find out that your brother or sister are in another network marketing company or worse yet, that they are in your company, but under someone else.  So, tell everyone about your business and then let them decide if they are interested or not.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Why Network Marketing

In April of 1979, I viewed my first network marketing presentation and fell in love with the concept. At that time, I was a corporate manager for a Fortune 100 company. I had graduated from college with a business degree and set out to climb the corporate ladder to success. However, those circles drawn on a white board opened my eyes to the future of business.

Thirty two years later, I am convinced that network marketing is the wave of the future in business. It is a powerful marketing model that is sweeping through the world and will have a greater impact than franchising. Bold statements? The balance of this article will provide the proof.

Fortune magazine called direct selling (of which network marketing is the largest segment) “the best kept secret in the business world.” It has experienced 91% growth in the last 10 years with annual sales in excess of $40 billion in the U.S. and $150 billion worldwide. Financial experts say that it’s a “recession proof” industry. Billionaire Warren Buffet, after purchasing a network marketing company, called it the best investment he’d ever made. Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, calls it the first truly revolutionary shift in marketing in the last 50 years. Rich Dad, Poor Dad author, Robert Kiyosaki was so impressed with the industry, he called it the Business of the 21st Century and wrote a book by that title.

Even billionaires and Fortune 500 companies are jumping on board the network marketing bandwagon. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Records, launched his own network marketing company in the U.K. Warren Buffett has purchased two network marketing companies. Donald Trump has been associated with a couple of network marketing businesses. Time Warner, Lillian Vernon, City Group, Hallmark Cards, Nestle, Jockey, Readers Digest, and Remington have either purchased or launched their own entries into this high growth industry.

Why the interest in network marketing? The main reason is that it fits the current marketing trends. If you haven’t figured it out by now, the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are in control. Seventy six million strong in the U.S. and over a billion worldwide, the boomers have dictated what is hot, from baby food and diapers to fast food to minivans and SUVs. Now the boomers are looking for products that will help them look and feel younger and ways to secure their financial future and enjoy more time freedom. Network marketing offers the answers.

Tired of the corporate rat race, boomers are starting home businesses in record numbers. CNN reported that a new home based business is started in the United States every eleven seconds. The home business boom is the next big trend and network marketing is one of the hottest home businesses available. It offers low start-up investment and monthly overhead. Entrepreneurs can start part-time, while still employed, and build the business to replace their job income. Age, gender, and race aren’t barriers in network marketing. In fact, well over half of the success stories are women.

The biggest reasons that the boomers are flocking to network marketing are time leverage, residual income, and tax benefits. Network marketing is one of the few businesses that does not require employees and yet enables the owner to leverage his or her time by building a network of independent business people. This network, which purchases and sells products or services, generates a residual income for the owner. Unlike the income earned at a job, which stops when the work stops, residual income continues on long after the work is completed. As exciting as leverage and residual income are, boomers love the tax benefits of network marketing. Tax expert Sanford Botkin says that a network marketing home business can result in tax savings of $3,000 to $9,000 per year.

The final reason why so many people of all ages are interested in network marketing is the internet. Success requires a business owner to build a large network of people who buy and sell products/services and recruit others who will do the same. The internet now enables network marketers to build national and international businesses from the comfort of their home. No more early morning alarms and high stress commutes. All the work can be done from a bedroom with a computer and telephone.

Network marketing is the first true equal opportunity, as there are success stories from every age and ethnic group, gender, personality type, education level, and walk of life. However, this is not a get rich quick scheme where supposedly everyone will succeed. This is a business that requires financial and time commitment and the willingness to work hard until success arrives. The great part is that network marketing, similar to franchising, is a turn-key business. Others have forged the trail and all a person has to do is use the proven systems and follow the path. Don’t expect to make millions the first year or the second, but do expect to make enough to give you time and financial freedom.

The first key to success is to find a company, out of the over 3,000 available, that operates with high integrity and offers a product/service that brings out passion and excitement. The second key is to find the right compensation plan. There are six basic types – Stairstep, Matrix, Unilevel, Binary, Hybrid, and 2 Up. Each has positives and negatives, so study the plans and find the one that fits best. The third key is to study those who have already been successful and duplicate what they have done. Last, never, never, never, never, quit. The success you seek may be just around the next corner.

Network marketing is over 60 years old, so it’s not a new concept. However, it is a concept whose time has come. In the movie The Graduate, a young Dustin Hoffman was told that the future was in plastics. I’m here to tell you that the future is in network marketing and that future is now.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Direct Selling News: Top 100 Direct Sales Companies

Direct Selling News

When we published the DSN Global 100 ranking last year, it was the first time in the history of the industry that a comprehensive list of the top 100 revenue-generating direct selling companies was researched and presented.

When we committed to the project, we committed to do the research necessary to produce a ranking that would reflect the advantages of the direct selling industry. As the trade journal for the direct selling and network marketing executive, we know you hold us to high standards. So with that in mind, we delved into our research, compiling data from financial sources, professional researchers, personal interviews and corporate websites.

Our research is really not an opt-in/opt-out opportunity. Information on publicly held companies serves to form the backbone of credibility to a list that contains so many private companies. When privately held companies submit their information, we enhance the value of strategic objectives to showcase a much more transparent industry; when they do not, we extrapolate the data to the best of our ability and publish it with the appropriate journalistic qualifiers.

For this year’s ranking, we contacted every company that appeared on our 2009 list. We were excited to learn that last year’s offering had made an impact, and more companies willingly participated this time around. In fact, only a few companies declined to share financial data. We also researched dozens of companies that did not appear on last year’s list—ones that had come onto our radar screen over the past 12 months. That is why we feel confident that the 2010 DSN Global 100 provides a comprehensive and accurate representation of the industry.

However, we do acknowledge that challenges persist in compiling such a list, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to continue expanding our research so that each year provides even greater data and greater insight. For us—and ultimately, for you—there is a far greater reason that we do this than simply ranking one company above another.

To read the rest of the article, go to

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Isn't This One of Those Pyramid Deals?

Here's another of the most common objections you will hear in network marketing. The first step in answering this one is to clarify what they mean by asking: what do you mean by a pyramid deal?

Their answer will dictate the next step:

If the indicate that they think the business is an illegal pyramid scheme, then you can lead them to you state attorney generals site for their definition of an illegal pyramid and then compare that to your business. The main differences are that a legal network marketing business has a product that people would buy if they weren't in the business. Also, all commissions and bonuses should be based on sales of those products.

If they indicate that it's like Amway or some other NM company, then ask them what they know about that company.

If they answer that it's one of those deals where the people at the top make all the money, you could respond by saying, oh you mean our government or corporate America. This will flush out their experiences or what they've heard.

Once you've answered their objection, confirm that they are satisfied and then share with them the benefits of your business - what's in it for them.