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Cliches are tiresome, especially when their long term effect is negative. In traditional direct sales and retail marketing we focus on the product value statements to convince people to buy a product or service. For many network marketers brief lip service is given to the superior nature of the product before attention is then laser focused on the dough, the benjamins, the opportunity. I believe that is why so many opportunity based products have been hit so hard by the down economy.  Where the product based opportunities are flailing, other superior product value based companies are thriving. Summed up, if you are basing your product value on the opportunity instead of better price, quality or efficacy; you are probably using cliches and white lies to sell your opportunity.

I hear it all the time, “These products sell themselves.” Nothing sells itself.  That is why I love reading Jeffrey Gitomer’s sales advice.  I buy his books.  I read his newsletters. I quote him all the time. He is the bee’s knees, he has it going on because he is honest about what sales requires. But I can say that one of the world’s best salespeople ignored his own advice on how to succeed in network marketing when he recently responded to an inquiry from one of his readers:

Jeffrey, Last year I joined a multi-level marketing business and I love the products this company is selling. How does one make it in this business and how best can one motivate people to join under him? My life depends on how I make it in this business. People have a belief that they are enriching the people who they join under. Appreciate all the help. Mthamzeli

Mthamzeli, Network marketing, direct selling, and MLM has been under a cloud since 1972. There are a lot of skeptics. There are also a lot of millionaires. Direct selling is not for everyone. And you’re going to have to kiss a lot of toads before you can find the prince. That’s part of what MLM or direct selling is all about. If you love the product, and you use the product, and you believe in the product, then you have a chance of winning. All you need are three or four good people to find three or four other good people and you will be on the road to success. Best regards, Jeffrey

In network marketing we perpetuate the silly myth that you only need “three or four other good people and you will be on the road to success.” Hogwash. Silliness. Untrue and tired.  In his book The Little Red Book of Selling, Gitomer says, “Instead of thinking end of month, begin thinking end of time.” Why then would this titan of sales philosophy use the same silly cliche that disingenuous network marketers use? I hope it was because he has no real experience with MLM or network marketing and just got a little lazy.

Gitomer’s advice he gives to salespeople holds true in MLM and network marketing.  Do not think about end of month (or three good people), begin thinking end of time or three good people a quarter, every quarter, until you have racked up enough money that you don’t care if you make any more ever again.

Network marketing pays really well when you know how to be consistent and persistent with your efforts.  The bigger your group gets, the more time you spend training and motivating. As you start out, you spend almost all of your time prospecting.  The rewards are huge when done properly.  Nothing in life is ever free, do we really think that people will stay with us after they realized that it is not just about “finding three good people”?

Gitomer starts his advice off correctly when he says, “…you’re going to have to kiss a lot of toads before you can find the prince.” Where he gets lazy, and he rarely gets lazy in his sales advice, is when he says just find your three.  To become a millionaire in network marketing or any profession involving sales, you must constantly be improving your network, finding and developing your team, institute regular training and battling attrition of your sales team and client base.

Network marketing has a high failure rate. Most new businesses do. However, when you loose your shirt in traditional business, you typically don’t have anywhere to look but yourself. Not so in network marketing, we blame the company, our upline and the industry as a whole. People may not loose a million dollars but they get embarrassed and waste a lot of time.  The real difference is that most businesses do not recruit based on the silly saying that you just have to find your three and you have made it.

Network marketing, MLM or whatever you want to call it rocks.  Let’s just admit that we need to get better at selling it properly. Let’s make our millions without tired and untrue cliches and white lies.