In this post, I want to share the top 10 mistakes in network marketing, as I see it.
Having spent more than seventeen years in the network marketing industry now, I’ve done a lot of things right, and even more things wrong. I want to share some valuable tips I learned during the past 17+ years, so you don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.
Most of these lessons were learned through trial and error. The other lessons were learned from my mentors, by reading books, attending events, and listening to training programs on cassette tapes or CDs.
The Top 10 Mistakes in Network Marketing
For the purpose of this article, I want to share the top 10 most mistakes in network marketing. Some of these things should be common sense and other things are a little bit more complex. They are listed in no particular order. Let’s get started.
# 1: Lying to or Hyping Up Your Prospects
Never, ever lie to your prospects. Don’t mislead them when you approach them.
Never make them think you are offering them a job. Never invite them to a party or event and then have a business opportunity meeting instead.
Never lie about how much money you make in the business. Be honest with your prospects at all times, no matter what.
Never tell them what you think they want to hear. Do the right thing and tell them the truth, even if it means you lose some of your prospects. The truth is good enough.
Do not use hype. EVER. Hype might influence someone to join the business, but as soon as the hype wears off, they will quit the business.
What is the cost of lies? It’s not that we’ll mistake them for the truth. The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all.
~ Valery Legasov
# 2: Promoting Multiple MLM Companies at the Same Time
Don’t promote two different MLM Companies at the same time. For most people this is not a very good option (there might be a few rare cases where it works).
Your prospects and team members will be confused if you promote two different companies at once.
Instead, find a good company you are passionate about and focus on that company exclusively.
I’m not saying you can’t have other income streams. You should. But let your other income streams be something different from a second MLM Company.
Let’s be honest for a minute; building one large network marketing business alone is a monumental task. Building two companies at once is practically impossible. This is one of the most common mistakes in network marketing.
“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.
~ Zig Ziglar
# 3: Switching Companies
Don’t be the person that jumps from company to company every few months. Don’t be a MLM Junkie. Trust me, I’ve been there and done that and it is a complete waste of time.
Find a company you are passionate about and stick with it for the long haul: at least five to ten years. You will be glad that you did.
When you jump around from company to company, you lose credibility and you lose momentum. It’s hard starting over. It’s hard to rebuild the momentum and your reputation.
Know right now that no business is fast, free or easy. Building a successful business of any kind is hard work, but it’s worth it!
No matter what company you work with, you need to put in the work. Pick a company you want to have your problems with and then stay the course.
It is vital to get the right company and access to the right business coaching from the start. This is the reason why some people seem to have so much fun with this business, while others get left with a bad experience.
Source: Network Marketing HQ
# 4: Not Being Coachable
Of all the mistakes on this list, this is the one I have personally struggled with the most.
No matter what you’ve done for a job or career previously, it will hold you back in this industry. This industry is unlike any other industry.
It requires a specific set of skills. Things that work in traditional business normally don’t work very well in network marketing.
This is a business of DUPLICATION. The beauty of this business model is the simplicity. Any fool can make it complicated, but it takes a genius to keep it simple.
Follow your upline’s system. Do not ever reinvent the wheel or try to do your own thing. Be smart enough to counsel with someone successful in your upline and then be humble enough to do what they teach you.
If you want to build your business in the fastest manner possible — you must be teachable and willing to be coached. You will find network marketing is quite different from traditional businesses. Things that work great in sales, simply do not work well in network marketing. Your sponsorship line has learned the methods, strategies and techniques that work best in your business. They will work with you and teach you everything they know without charging you a penny. Your sponsor is the repository of all the experience of many generations of distributors — all the way to the company. Learn from them.
# 5: Not Working the Numbers
Selling is a numbers game. So is MLM.
At the end of the day you have to share your products and business opportunity with hundreds of people, maybe even thousands of people, in order to find your customers, distributors and leaders.
If you don’t work the numbers, you will fail. Not everyone you talk to will be interested in what you have to offer, but if you talk to enough people you will find enough interested people.
Make a commitment to talk to 2, 3, 5, 10, 20 or even more people every day, no matter what. Do that for a few short years and you will have a huge team.
And remember, what you lack in skills you can make up for in numbers.
…if you cannot leverage and capture the benefits of network marketing and grow your business, then you cannot succeed or grow in this industry. The power of network marketing is the ability to build your system and be able to move more products and services through the network.
To be able to succeed in network marketing, you must master the art of MLM recruiting and convert your prospects into your business.
# 6: Trying to be a Lone Wolf
Do not be an island or try to isolate yourself. Remember that this is a team effort. Network marketing is a team sport. You are part of a team and you need to build your own team.
When you are isolated it’s easy to get lonely and feel dejected. When you surround yourself with other positive people who are building their own businesses, it will help keep you excited. Get plugged in and stay plugged in. Encourage your team members to do the same thing.
If you surround yourself with positive people who build you up, the sky is the limit.
~ Joel Brown
# 7: Recruiting Down
You need to recruit up. Most network marketers do the complete opposite.
Rather than focus on self-motivated, successful people, they approach people at their social/economic status or lower. They approach people they feel comfortable approaching, rather than approaching people who are business and success minded.
That is a huge mistake. You always want to RECRUIT UP. That is the key to success in our industry.
Remember that quality people will lead you to quality people.
One of the biggest mistakes new MLMers make is looking at everyone (including friends and family) as a potential customer or recruit. This is one area where the MLM industry gets it wrong. Like any other business, you’re going to have greater success and efficiency if you identify your target market and focus your marketing efforts at them.
Source: The Balance Small Business
# 8: Stopping & Starting
Simply put, their business isn’t a big priority for them. They let life get in the way and put their business on the back-burner whenever something comes up.
Successful networkers are persistent and consistent, no matter what. They set a work schedule and have the self-discipline to stick with it, day in and day out. They treat their business at least as seriously as they do their day job.
Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.
~ John C. Maxwell
# 9: Treating Your Business Like a Hobby
Most network marketers who join the industry don’t treat their business like a real business. They don’t act as if they have a million dollars invested in their business. As a result, they accomplish very little.
Most of these folks have never owned a business before so they don’t even know what “treating your network marketing business like a real business” means.
If you want to be successful in network marketing, you need to schedule business hours and work your business every day, no excuses.
If you only work an hour a week, or take a couple of weeks off, don’t expect much to happen in your business.
I like to tell people to treat their business like they do their job. Show up every day, be consistent and work hard (even if you don’t feel like it) and good things will happen. You get out what you put in.
This is one of the worst mistakes in network marketing you can make.
Network marketing has probably produced more millionaires than any other industry, and although each of those people built their businesses with different companies and using different methods, they all did one thing–work.
# 10: No System
The system is the solution.
That’s a valuable lesson I learned from Michael Gerber, author of “The E-Myth Revisited.”
All successful businesses have systems. You need to follow you upline’s system or company’s system. It makes no sense to even get involved in network marketing if you aren’t willing to follow a system.
You need a training system and a marketing system. There is no right or wrong system, but you need something that is proven, simple and affordable. You need something that works for the part-timer or full-timer.
Do not think about changing the system, or creating your own system, until you are at least a six figure earner.
If you are new to the business, plug-in to the team system and follow it. No excuses. If you try to do your own thing you will fail.
This is the mistake that keeps most network marketers from EVER having the kind of financial success they truly want. If you want to guarantee your financial independence, then you need to follow a proven strategy for getting the kind of results you’ve always wanted.
Having a strategy increases the chances of success dramatically, and turns your dream from plan to reality.
In summary, these are the top 10 mistakes made in network marketing, as I see it. Do yourself a favor and evaluate yourself in each area listed above, so you can make improvements in your business. You will be glad that you did.
What are your thoughts? What do you think are most common mistakes in network marketing? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Network Marketing Professional (21+ years)
Top Recruiter & Top Rep