A Network Marketing business is just Networking and Marketing
Posted May 15, 2009on:
A nice, simple and elegant definition. Yes, that is what Network Marketing or the older named Multi-Level Marketing is all about. Just these two principal activities. The pillars of the business. Networking and Marketing.
In between, of course, you have the standard ingredients of any business, i.e. a product or service that meets some compelling need, a healthy dose of hard work, a compensation plan that rewards those in the business, commitment, knowledge, persistence and determination.
The Internet has quite a number of definitions and explanations of what Networking and Network Marketing is all about. For example, this is what WiseGeek says, whilst Wikipedia has this to say about MLM.
Let’s look at the first pillar, Networking. I am quite sure all of us are pretty familiar with this term. Still it is good to look up some definitions of the term Networking. Yale University has a web page called the Beginner’s Guide to Networking where it talks about the definition, why we should network etc., etc., etc.
Yes, I agree with Yale University that Networking is all about building relationships with people. There are some finer points where I have some differences.
Like, we should build our Network with people from all walks of life, not just people with similar interests and goals.
And most importantly the first step in building our Network is providing value. I strongly believe it is not about taking value first, but rather, we take the first step in providing value.
Say for example, we visit a bank. This is something all of us must have done umpteen times. We must have met or dealt with many bank personnel in our lives. How many do we remember? I bet the ones you (and certainly I) remember would be the ones who went out of their way to help you. And mind you, bank staff are trained to be of assistance to the customers. Yet, even here, many just slip through our minds. Others remain etched permanently in our memory. Those who did good are remembered favourably and those whom we considered rude will be remembered not so favourably.
This is life and what Networking is all about.
Those bank staff who went out of their way to help, these are people you would help without hesitation. They have demonstrated the art of building a Network.
Networking is and should never be about us. It is not a me, me game. It should be a you, you game. Only when, as Dr. Steven Covey says, we have built up a strong relationship bank account, we can count on that person as part of our Network.
Initially your Network may be like this.
Networks are not built overnight. They take time to be nurtured and cultivated. However they have a characteristic of being able to grow in leaps and bounds.
All of us, knowingly or unknowingly are cultivating our Networks. Our family and extended families, the friends we had in school and University, our colleagues, both current and past, the people we have interacted with in daily life, like the grocer, the local Hypermarket cashier, the newspaper vendor etc. All are people who have the potential of being a strong link in our Network.
And come to think of it, this would already be a sizeable number.
Then comes the issue of nurturing our Network.
The biggest and strongest trees all grew from some tiny seed at one point of time. If we have ever planted one, we would have watered it and looked after it when it was small and vulnerable. Otherwise we would have planted it in a place that provided the natural support.
How strong our Network is determined by how much value and nurturing you have provided.
I am sure you’ll rather run into a friend who has always some funny joke to cheer you up, or the name of some wonderful restaurant or the location of some fabulous sale. And not one who whines and whines to you about the state of the economy, the weather and God knows what else.
Over time, your original Network comprising of the given family, school mates, varsity mates, colleagues both current and ex, grows from strength to strength.
And then the exponential growth happens!
This happens when you get connected into their Networks and the size of your Network almost doubles or triples. If you continue following the rule of providing value or even just good cheer, your Network is bound, in fact, guaranteed to grow stronger and stronger.
This is how the Network can grow exponentially!
Both the above pictures have been sourced from Google.
This is when you can now be counted upon as a person to be relied upon. Someone who is liked and trusted. Someone whose opinion should be given some weight. Someone whose opinion should be sought. Someone who is an excellent resource for others.
And, congratulations, you have become a master Networker.
I am not an old hand at MLM. I am relatively new in this line of business. I do have some strengths in that I am passionate about the product because of the superlative value it has given me and my family. I am also a very strong believer in the business model of Network Marketing, which like the title says, is all about Networking and Marketing.
So in further building and strengthening my Network, I am trying to provide some value though this blog. I hope that the some of you who are kind enough to read my articles learn something and leave this blog with a good feeling. I pray that you do find some value, and share your point of view which may be opposite or not quite the same as mine.
In conclusion, I assure you that if you are a fair minded, reasonable and civic minded person, whether young or matured, you should already have a sizeable Network in place. And if looked after correctly, would only multiply in number and depth!
We shall now turn to the second pillar, Marketing.
Oh, boy, I did not expect this article to be so long. Looks like I have to stop here for the time being. We shall talk about the second pillar on the 18th, which is next Monday.
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Thank you for reading this post.