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 talks about 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 (source). If I was going to put it in my own words, I would describe 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 business will typically earn more than a general time management consultant
*** Yes, there are always exceptions to the rule, but generally speaking this holds true.
When it comes to network marketing you need to develop your own specialized knowledge. This industry is quite unique from most other industries and it takes a unique set of skills to succeed. Very few people start out with these skills when they first join the industry. Most people have to develop their specialized knowledge over a period of years, mostly through trial and error.
What Skills/Specialized Knowledge You Need to Develop in MLM
Here’s a brief list of things you will want to master if you want to succeed in MLM.
# 1 Prospecting & Lead Generation – Your ability to prospect others and generate leads will ultimately make or break you.
# 2 Inviting – You need to learn how to invite your prospects to a presentation, whether you are doing the presentation yourself or someone else is doing it.
# 3 Closing – You have to ask for the sale. If you don’t know how to close prospects you won’t sign up anyone or make any money. Keep in mind that I am not talking about using pressure or hype.
# 4 Leadership – Leadership is the highest paid skill in our industry. Ultimately, you need to be someone worth following if you want to be successful. People want to work with leaders!
# 5 Communication – Your ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and non-verbally with your prospects and team members will make a huge difference.
# 6 People Skills – This is the ultimate people business, a true volunteer army. If you can’t get along with different types of people you are in for a rude awakening.
How to Develop Specialized Knowledge in MLM
Here are a few ways to help 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 every day to get better and improve your business skills. You feed your body every day. 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 just 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. Make sure you stay active in the business at all times by focusing on the money producing activities. Simply put, learn by doing!
# 3 Find Mentors – Every successful person I know of in the business world has a mentor. What I suggest you do is identify areas you need help in and find someone who is really good at that task to help you. There’s nothing wrong with having several mentors. No one is good at everything.
# 4 Read Daily – One of the things that helped me develop my specialized knowledge the most 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 every day.
# 5 Mastermind – My next tip to develop your specialized knowledge in MLM is to participate in mastermind groups. I do this all the time myself and find it very helpful. This is when two or more people get together 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. Join my MLM Mastermind.
# 6 Automobile University – Replace the music in your car with business training and personal development materials on tape or CD. 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 a day in their vehicle. By listening to tapes and CDs you can learn a lot while you are driving around.
# 7 Attend Events – Go to all events! Go to your annual convention. Attend at least 2-3 events every year. You can event 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.
There you have it folks. These are my best tips on developing specialized knowledge in your MLM Business. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. What type of things do you think network marketers should study and what are the best ways to learn them? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. Have a great day!