Today, I want to talk to you about how to develop specialized knowledge in network marketing.
One of the most important lessons I learned about success was from Napoleon Hill in his best-selling book Think & Grow Rich. In the book he discusses the importance of specialized knowledge (see chapter 5). He claims that all successful people have specialized knowledge about their particular profession, purpose, industry or business.
After doing some searching online, here is a good definition I found of specialized knowledge.
Specialized knowledge includes a range of factual, theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as competencies and skills in a particular discipline or profession.
If I was going to put it in my own words, I would define it as knowledge and skills in or about a specific career, business or profession.
Going back to the book, Mr. Hill claims that “successful men, in all callings never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business or profession.” In other words, successful people are not generalists. Rather than knowing a little bit about a lot, they focus on knowing a lot about one specific thing, usually their profession, purpose or business. And they never stop learning new things about it!
I have to agree with Mr. Hill that specialized knowledge is one of the keys to success in life and in business. People with specialized knowledge are always in demand and normally make more money that people with general knowledge. Let me give you a few examples to put it in perspective.
- Cardiologists typically earn more than general practitioners.
- Litigation attorneys typically earn more than your standard lawyer.
- A Harley Davidson mechanic will typically earn more than a standard motorcycle mechanic.
- A consultant specializing in time management for businesses in the financial industry will typically earn more than a general time management consultant.
*** Yes, there are always exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking this holds true.
Specialized Knowledge in Network Marketing
When it comes to network marketing you need to develop your own specialized knowledge. Every industry requires a unique set of skills. Network marketing is no different.
Very few people start out with these skills when they first join the industry. Most people must develop their specialized knowledge in network marketing over a period of years, mostly through trial and error and by listening to their coach.
What specialized knowledge do you need to learn and master to be successful in network marketing? Here’s a brief list of things you will want to master if you want to build a big team and succeed in MLM.
Prospecting & Lead Generation
To succeed with network marketing you must learn how to generate leads. This starts by making a name’s list, teaching your team to do the same thing, and meeting new people daily and adding them to your name’s list. Once you know how to generate endless leads, the business becomes fun and easy.
In today’s world, you don’t need to know how to give a presentation yourself to succeed, but you must learn how to invite people to a presentation. This one simple skill is the most important skill on my list of specialized knowledge for network marketing. The best way to invite people is to use the curiosity approach, book an appointment, and share a third-party tool with them.
Follow Up & Closing
To succeed in network marketing, you must learn to follow up with people and close sales. Few people will sign up or buy on the initial contact. Understand it takes most people 10-20 follow-ups before they make a buying decision. You will miss out on 100% of the sales and prospects you do not follow-up with.
Network marketing is an event driven business. To be successful, you must attend every event yourself and get your team to do the same thing. The more people you have attending events, the more your business will grow.
Launching New Reps
Launching new reps is one of the most important skills to master. It’s when you help your new rep launch their business, sponsor a few distributors and find a few customers. After all, we are a business of duplication. If you can’t “duplicate” yourself, your business won’t grow.
To build a big organization, you must be a servant leader. You must be likable and focus on helping others reach their goals. In the corporate world, people MUST listen to their boss. In network marketing, it is a volunteer army and no one HAS to listen to you. You must learn to inspire others and expand your influence.
People Skills & Relationships
This goes hand in hand with leadership. You must learn to get along with many different types of people. You must learn to build relationships with people. This means you take your eyes off of yourself and focus on others. You must stay humble and never let your ego get in the way, regardless of your pin rank. Long-term relationships equals long-term money in network marketing.
Finally, you must learn to teach people to teach people to teach people. We are a business of duplication. Your job is to teach Joe to teach Mary to teach Sue to teach Tim how to do the business. If you can do that, your team will grow without you and flourish for a long time.
You might be wondering why retailing and recruiting are not on this list of skills I just mentioned? I believe those two things are a byproduct of mastering the skills mentioned above. If you master the basic skills, you be a retailing and recruiting machine.
How to Develop Specialized Knowledge in MLM
Here are a few ways to help you develop your specialized knowledge in network marketing.
# 1: Create a Personal Development Plan
One of the first things you should do is come up with a personal development plan. This is a simple list of what you intend on doing each day to improve your business skills. You feed your body every day, so make sure you spend some time to feed your brain.
# 2: Get in the Trenches
The best way to learn how to do something is to go out and do it. You can study something until the cows come home, but you will learn more by putting the idea to use. Stay active in the business at all times by focusing on the money producing activities. Simply put, learn by doing! You will learn more by “doing it” for one hour than you will by studying it for 100 hours.
# 3: Find Mentors
Find someone who is successful in the business, and in your upline, and humble yourself enough to listen to them and do what they teach you. Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t need to? The shortest path to mastery is to learn from someone who has achieved what you are trying to do!
# 4: Read Daily
One of the things that helped me develop my specialized knowledge in network marketing was reading. I suggest you read books about our industry and about areas you need help in. Make a commitment to read at least 20 to 30-minutes daily.
# 5: Mastermind
My next tip to develop your specialized knowledge in MLM is to participate in mastermind groups. I do this frequently and find it very helpful. This is when two or more people meet up to share ideas and learn from each other. You can start out with your sponsor and upline. You can even have cross-line team members and downline team members participate.
# 6: Automobile University
Replace the music in your car with business training and personal development materials on tape or CD. Some people call this automobile university. The radio will not make you one penny for listening to it. On the other hand, business training will. Most people spend at least one hour per day in their vehicle. By listening to tapes and CDs you can learn a lot about the business while you are driving around, running errands, commuting, and living life.
# 7: Attend Events
Attend all events! Go to your company’s annual convention. Attend at least two to three events every year. You can even attend seminars and workshops in your local area. Learn about network marketing, but also go to workshops and seminars on leadership, communication, marketing, entrepreneurship, lead generation, etc.
# 8: Teach
One of the best ways to learn something is to teach! From personal experience I can assure you that the teacher learns more than the student. Whenever you learn something new, teach it to one of your team members. This will benefit you and them alike.
In conclusion, these are my best tips on how to develop specialized knowledge in network marketing.
If you want to succeed in network marketing, or any business or career field, you must make the time to develop your specialized knowledge. It won’t happen overnight. You must invest your time, money, and energy into mastering a specific set of skills, if you want to make the big bucks.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. What are the skills you think network marketers must master and what is the best way to learn them? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. Have a great day!
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