Network marketing today is at an era where trying to use old style marketing methods is sure to kill your business.
Are you still chasing after prospects, harassing anyone who happens to cross your path? Do you still believe that your friends, family members or acquaintances are your target market?
Well, if you do, I can almost tell you that you are not making any progress in your network marketing business.
Why? Because the landscape has changed, and so should your marketing methods. Let’s take a brief look at where network marketing comes from.
Back in the 1940’s when network marketing was beginning to take roots, the idea was that product users will double up as sales agents and recommend their products to people nearby. Sharing products using word of mouth was the key. This is where the idea of friends and relatives being your target market probably comes from.
Back then the only way to recommend products was through one-on-one contacts. Your customers were the people you know and their customers were the people they knew. That was word of mouth recommendation at its best. And it worked.
Some companies in network marketing today still emphasise this way of growing a business to their distributors. Their marketing plans still talk about approaching the warm market first, friends and family being top on your warm market prospect list.
If you are like most people I talk to, at one stage or another you have been approached by a friend or relative wanting to sign you up in their network marketing business. What was your reaction?
I don’t know about you. But for someone, especially a friend or relative, to assume that I want to change my current situation is an insult to my intelligence. Because at no stage did I tell that person that I want to start my own home business.
Fair enough, you may be lucky and sign up a few of them this way. But how long do you think they will stay in the business? Isn't this approach the major cause of the high attrition rate in network marketing?
The products may look great and maybe some will buy your products. The opportunity may also look great. But unless a person has the desire or the inclination to start a home based business, any attempt to recruit such into your business is a waste of valuable time.
I believe this is the case for the majority of people.
So why do these old school tactics not work in network marketing today?
Here is why...
Think about it this way, if your friends and relatives feel annoyed by your offering, what do you do? I can think of only one thing. Resort to using hype and high pressure sales tactics.
This only leads to further resentment and creates more enemies along the way. The word of mouth recommendation that’s supposed to be working for you will start working against you because your friends and relatives will feel like victims and are likely to start narrating their ordeal to everyone they know.
Do you want that to happen? Can you afford badmouthing of this nature in your business?
Do you see the problem?
People talk. It’s natural. They will talk good or bad things about you. But because you are trying to convince them to join you against their will, they will talk bad things about you and your network marketing business. You know how fast bad news can spread, don’t you?
In the beginning the delivery of products involved a tedious process. A distributor bought in bulk from the network marketing company and sold at a profit to customers.
In those days you had to keep stock of your products. You were in fact a retailer – buying wholesale from the company and selling at retail. Some distributors were allowed to sell to other distributors and keep the profits.
The major setback of this was stock piling. Many distributors were left with unsold stock in their homes with no way to recover the costs from the company.
Many companies in network marketing today ship products direct to the consumer. The internet has made this possible. It is no longer necessary to keep inventory.
So any company that still insists on using old style product delivery methods will make it difficult for its distributors to market its products. It is likely to be out of business in a short while.
Early network marketing companies focused on selling tangible hard goods such as nutritional, home and personal care products. But this has changed dramatically over time.
Almost any consumable product or service can be sold through network marketing today. The nature of the product and services being sold has led to a change in network marketing strategies. Again the internet plays a key role.
The world has changed so much that today you can speak face to face with someone who is halfway around the world. To think that you can still run after your friends and family members in this era is suicidal to say the least.
We live in the 21st century. To succeed in network marketing today you need to adapt 21st century marketing tactics. These include an extensive use of the internet for marketing purposes.
Trying to apply old school tactics in network marketing today is more like running on a treadmill. With technology changing at a supersonic speed, there is a greater need to adapt to new marketing strategies. The new marketing strategies allow us to reach the people who are already looking for what we have to offer.
Following are just some of the tools you can use in your network marketing today:
Your own website.This is important and I urge you to consider putting yours up sooner rather than later. Your company’s replicated website is not sufficient. You need a website over which you have control. More on this in another article.
The other tools, though important in their own right, will work effectively if you use them to drive traffic to your own website. These include publishing subs at Squidoo, hubs at Hubpages or images at YouTube.
Despite these challenges, network marketing today still remains one of the simplest ways for the average person to start a home based business and build it to a million dollar business.
Are old school network marketing tactics still working for you in today's world? Share your story!