Network marketers never really die . . . they just change companies!
Have you ever been approached by a friend who wants you to take a look at something he or she has just discovered? The opportunity surely will change the world, help you lose weight, create and earn an extra $500 per month in income all while working from home in your pajamas! Well I have. My run with one particular network marketing company lasted over a decade.
At first my friend called me one day in 1998 because she thought that I needed the products. I was experiencing severe pain after an auto accident which was preventing me from returning to work. So-and-so had gotten tremendous benefits from this new company’s products and I could learn all about it on a 3-way phone call. Before long, Donna was at my house providing a product demonstration (called a “roll out”) and loaning me a Japanese magnetic mattress pad. It made sense to me that a product that helped lower “physical discomfort” and improve sleep would have the potential to help me. I trusted her and bought a smaller product and eventually the full mattress pad plus insoles for my shoes. Impressed by what I saw, she invited me to a Wellness Preview where I took a closer look at the business.
Network marketing (NWM) is simply a means of distributing goods or services via a network of individual representatives who sign up with the company. They are not employees but a sort of independent sales associate. Instead of selling products via a store front, or now-a-days via ecommerce, the hierarchical matrix of Wellness Consultants (or whatever title is given) finds the customers and makes the sales. If one Consultant finds another to do the same thing then the first person will receive an override, bonus, etc. according to a set compensation plan. The concept made sense to me in 1998 and still does. I researched the difference between NWM and pyramid schemes: the latter usually collect some kind of large fee without any goods or services being provided. Pyramid or ponzi schemes are illegal. Network marketing is legal.
My sleep did improve and my pain went down some. Oh how much I have learned about my health since then (!) yet I did receive some benefits. This was enough to have a big “product experience” when those benefits helped me to return to work, thus providing me with a conversation-starter with my own new prospects. Unfortunately I lost a year or more analyzing the products instead of sharing more of what they did for people. My research background gave me a bit of analysis paralysis trying to understand the science behind the innovative technologies crafted into wellness products. This over-thinking of things actually ended up stalling my ability to help more people; you can reach more people if you focus on building a business instead of, well, trying to “help people” with the products. “Sell the sizzle,” they say.
In due time, I did achieve the first level of leadership: Silver Independent Wellness Consultants. In a single month, with the help of my friend and my downline organization (i.e. those whom I brought into the business), we generated $20,000 in sales plus met some additional criteria. My organization and the local consultants we ran with held product and business-oriented events, nearly a hundred Wellness Previews, trainings, booths at job fairs, product demonstrations at wellness fairs and markets, and really tried to make a go of things. I even presented Nikken at the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association State Conference with a physical therapist friend in the business. Along the way I met some amazing people, some of whom I still chat with occasionally today. You do develop a special bond with fellow Distributors who are smiling, positive, and trying to make a difference in his or her sphere of influence in the world! Sure was more happiness there than in my traditional job in healthcare or “sick care” as we used to call it.
Yesterday a gal called me whom I had not talked to in over 10 years and since I had moved away from our circle of distributors in the Chicago suburbs. She said she came across my business card and wondered how I was doing? Sure was nice catching up with her for the first few moments. Quickly she launched into an unusual discussion of two new companies, one familiar to me, that a friend was trying to get her involved in but she did not want to sell whitening toothpaste! Not sure if she was complaining or prospecting? Anyhoo, we are both occupational therapists which is probably what attracted both of us to Nikken’s “5 Pillars of Health” philosophy and wellness technologies. Yet at some point we all need toothpaste so why not buy it from a friend? [These are my words, not hers. Based upon my own practice of recommending favorite products via affiliate programs. Check out Julie’s Favorites below. ;)]
Pat’s call was one of two prospecting calls this past week. The first one was actually from a third gal who wanted me to look at a FitBit-type of personal monitoring device that had a special germanium plate that was supposed to block electromagnetic frequency radiation (aka EMFs). Oh dear. I asked for research evidence of its effectiveness and ended up watching a video on the product benefits. Below this YouTube listing was a video on the company’s compensation plan! Perhaps I need to warn future network marketers who come a-calling: I came into this industry as a skeptic and left it as a certified network marketer. Yes, there was a program sponsored by the University of Illinois for persons of many different companies, given by a marketing professor and gaga-millionaire from the skin care company who now sells whitening toothpaste. You gotta do better than this to snatch my attention gals . . . Still love ya hon!
So I say: Network marketers never die they just switch companies! While I have seen this over and over again with my former Nikken buddies, all of us still use their products. They are great and we are still sold on them. There’s a KenkoAir purifier in our bedroom as I write this and our home, even this many years later, would still certify as a Nikken Wellness Home. That also means that I bought-into and bought a lot of products . . . to support my health, of course . . . to demonstrate while enjoying the benefits . . . should I ever get back into the business . . . oh dear ones, I really don’t think that is going to happen anytime soon.
But I tell ya Gentle Reader, I will incorporate the concepts of leverage and word-of-mouth advertising (now called social media) should the Lord allow me to develop my company, Two Step Solutions, LLC. My experience in network marketing definitely tapped into the entrepreneurial spirit that led to two other home businesses: the Living Safely Program and Trinity Jewelry by Design. I guess there is just something in me that loves to create new things. Call it “humans being more?”
Hmmmm, I am getting a little happy feeling just thinking about it!