... wrote Steve Pickering (an obvious trouble-maker 'Looking forward to the book!') in response to my question...
would be the lack of emphasis on retailing, selling, marketing, sharing or whatever you call it...
The industry has fallen away from its roots of providing an actual product or service to customers or clients who are not enrolled as distributors. As an industry, we've recruited a legion of product users, but very few product sellers. How many times have you heard someone say "Salespeople don't make good network marketers."? Most "organizations" discourage product sales by telling newly enrolled distributors that recruiting is "where the money is..."
Even when it is not directly stated, the emphasis on recruiting is implied. So the industry builds its user base on a lie. Most people think they're getting into a business, while they're actually joining a club of users. And, needless to say, the users spend money, they don't make it.
Wouldn't it be better to recruit people with the knowledge that they'll be selling something? Then we could spend our efforts on helping them to learn ethical selling/marketing/helping techniques. The number of people involved would certainly decrease, but most people would have a fighting chance of making a profit.
Will this ever happen? Probably not. Too many "leaders" are entrenched in the recruiting system and the money they make from selling tools to their downlines. What would MLM be with a smaller but more skilled (and thus, more profitable) body of distributors? Perhaps the growth would return, and the reputation would brighten... I'm not holding my breath, but I feel this is the future of MLM if it is to survive.
My two cents..., "
To answer Steve's questions one at a time:
- How many times have you heard someone say "Salespeople don't make good network marketers."?
4,397 (at last count).
- Wouldn't it be better to recruit people with the knowledge that they'll be selling something?
"Better" means: More useful, suitable, or desirable than another or others. So, yes, it would be better. And how about this: "Required", which means: Needed; essential, obligatory.
- Will this ever happen?
- What would MLM be with a smaller but more skilled (and thus, more profitable) body of distributors?
Authentic... intelligent... sensible Network Marketing. (I.e.; 'the transformation of the business formerly known as MLM.)
This and these, excerpted from an interview I did with It's time... contributor and passionate uber-advocate of the three 'Rs': Retail, Retail, Retail, Kim Klaver:
This is the only industry I know of where customers are given short shrift. I've never heard of a business, an American company, where customers are considered secondary. That's just silly. Everyone on the planet is a customer of something and getting regular long-term customers' needs to be at the front of the conference calls, not just recruiting. There are always way more customers for any good product than there are going to be people who want to sell that product. Only 1 in 100 people want to do sales for a living. Your numbers are right there. It has nothing to do with being a network marketer.
and this, also from Kim...
I'll tell you, I am working with a guy in the biggest networking company in the world, the one with the big 'A', and he has thousands and thousands of people in his downline, especially in other countries. He told me he's been doing this for 20 years and he said, "Today it is so different. If we don't change the way we do the business, and stop leading with recruiting, the whole thing is going to tank."
He shared that in his industry and in his company, in the last four or five years, their sales have gone down by 40-50 percent. That means all the way across the board. He had planned a tour. They take these cruises and every year they take their top people with them and five years ago he had 400 people coming with him. This year he had three couples. He says it's across the company, especially in the United States, because people don't believe any more. There are too many promises that people made that nobody kept. He said if we don't change and start focusing on bringing in regular product users we're doomed. People certainly won't want to stay in a business where nobody makes it and in the States, particularly, it's a big problem. This from a guy who has 20 years in the industry and loves the business.
So, yes Steve, you are right, retail sales is 'better'. And isn't it a comfort for you and all of those who think as you do to know that all 50 State's Attorney Generals is the U.S. agree with you....
And as for your "two cents" Steve... ever hear the one about the penny doubled every day for a month?
...and, Q: Is Steve's point about the critical role of the three Rs worthy of focus and inclusion in the book...? Please, let me know.
I cannot express the full extent of the MP3 (My Pleasure Passion Purpose) to have It's time... In Search & Praise of Network Marketing Excellence be a book written by its readers!
"I cannot express the full extent...." That's a cop out. I'm a writer. That's my job.
Okay, how's this: It's just like what the brand new Dr. of Thinkology was feeling when he burst out:
The sum of the square
roots of any two sides of
an isosceles triangle is
equal to the square root
of the remaining side.
Oh joy, rapture! I've got
ps. Asked "Dr. Pickering" if he'd be up for contributing to the book, a kind of finish what you started deal about putting the 'retailing, selling, marketing...' back into Network Marketing. He said 'Yes.' The A-list grows.
In Search and Praise of Network Marketing Excellence
You really should buy a copy.