To succeed in network marketing it is essential that you enjoy meeting and communicating with people. Why? Because you’ll need to do both to sell products and sponsor new associates. To build a downline it is essential that you can lead by example, meaning “practice what you preach.”
To make a lot of money in network marketing it is essential that you recruit and sponsor new associates regularly, and train others how to do the same. This is true regardless which network marketing organization you might join or belong to at this time. All successful network marketers make the bulk of their income from commissions or bonuses on downline sales, not from personal sales. This does not imply that you don’t have to sell product yourself, for if you can’t sell product, you likely won’t be able to teach others how to sell product. Instead, my statement simply means that the “power is in the numbers.” If you continously focus on building your downline sales organization, it only stands to reason that the day will come when your income from your downline will exceed any income derived from personal sales.
But how does one build a downline continously? Like sales and recruiting in any line of business their are multiple paths that lead an individual to success and stardom. But there are common traits and attributes shared by all who reach success in network marketing. I’ve listed below some I feel are most important:
- Always be honest with your downline, never lead them astray or feed them a line of bull.
- Provide prompt and courteous service and support at all times.
- See that all downline members are properly educated and trained.
- Welcome their questions, phone calls, emails and comments. A quite downline is a downline that will ultimately disintegrate and collapse.
- Communicate with your downline regularly.
- Be innovative and create new learning, sales and marketing tools for your downline.
- Your relation with your downline is like a partnership, treat it like one.
- Follow the golden rule with your downline members at all times.
- Focus first and foremost on supporting those members that are actively building their business and/or seeking advice.
- Give every downline member ample chance to succeed by training them well. But if they later prove to be couch potatoes and not willing to put forth an effort, pull back and spend more time with those that hold promise and exhibit a desire to succeed.
Network marketers can be split up into four groups of people: (1) those that love to sell product, (2) those that love to recruit and sponsor new associates, (3) those that enjoy direct sales and recruiting, and (4) those that don’t enjoy selling or sponsoring (what many call retailing and recruiting). Obviously, the group of the four will not succeed in network marketing. Thus, spend your spare support time in training members in Groups 1 and 2 on how to become good at selling and sponsoring (retailing and recruiting).
In the end, building a successful network marketing business is no different than building a successful business of any type. Namely, good service and support regularly and consistently will always result in business growth at any level. So do your Watkins business a favor and raise your personal income from Watkins by focusing on support and service to your downline members at all times.
In February of this year, John Quelch, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School since 1979 and known worldwide for his expertise in global marketing, global branding and communications, published an article entitled “How to Market in a Recession.” I just came across the article today, but parts of it reminds me of an article I published here Watpros.com on April 4, entitled “How to Beat the U.S. Economic Recessions with a Part-Time Watkins Business.”
I’ve reviewed Quelch’s 8 recommendations for marketing in a recession and determined how each can be applied to a Watkins Associate business. His 8 areas of concentration and my recommendations on how we can apply them are provided below for your review and consideration:
- Research the customer — I agree, before you go out start selling people Watkins products, make a list of your prospects and jot down things you know about each (i.e., their interests, hobbies, favorite foods, etc.). Then review your Watkins sales catalog in search of products you feel are best suited for their interest. When you have your sales meeting with them focus on those products you determined they would like. In short, don’t always pitch the same products, or rely on the most popular Watkins products to garner a new customer. Instead, customize your sales presentation to fit the needs of your customer.
- Focus on Family Values – Well, now isn’t that easy when you’re selling Watkins products. Review your Watkins catalog and look for products that might hold intererst to the whole family, or could be used by the whole family. Paint a nostalgic picture of the history of Watkins and how they’ve been helping American families for 140 years. Demonstrate products like Watkins Red Liniment and Petro-Carbo Salve that have been staple goods and part of Americana since the beginning.
- Maintain Marketing Spending — That’s right. It takes money to make money. In the beginning you can rely on sales to family members and friends to kickstart your Watkins business. But finding that next new customer might require some new Watkins sales materials or brochures, a classified ad in your local newspaper, an ad in your church bulletin, etc. Just because we’re in a recession and having to cut back in many areas, one expense area you don’t want to cut back on is marketing.
- Adjust Product Portfolios — If you see your customer’s cutting back on buying Watkins products and trying to save money, educate yourself on the cost effectiveness of your Watkins products and adjust your sales pitch to promote products that not only meet the interest of your customers, but will also save them money. Ask your customer or prospect if they would mind you conducting a survey of their kitchen pantry and laundry room to review products they’re currently buying, then show them Watkins replacements that costs much less when analyzed on a cost per use or cost per serving basis.
- Support Distributors - We can translate this recommendation of John Quelch to implying we need to support our downline Watkins associates more than ever. Recessions are difficult times to market and sales products, although Watkins has prospered and done extremely well during recessions over the course of its 140-year history. That said, don’t be surprised to find Associates in some areas of our country become discouraged if they find selling in their area more difficult than normal. You must be able to not only recognized this and jump to their aid, but you also need to be proactive and plan to contact your associates more frequently and offer them better ideas on how to market during a weak economy.
- Adjust Pricing Tactics – What’s this you say? How can I adjust prices if Watkins has official prices? Well, that’s actually pretty easy. Instead of focusing on prices, focus on the cost per use aspects of Watkins products. Visit the Watkins website often and read all your email notices from Watkins to keep up-to-date on the latest Watkins promotions and price mark-down’s. As soon as you see one, email your regular customers and promote products that are on sale. For that hard-to-sell prospect, contact your prospect to discuss the latest Watkins deals.
- Stress Market Share – This want is a bit more difficult to enact than the previous 6, because its too difficult to measure in our field. However, I review this as “replacing my competition.” For example, if you have friends or relatives that are already buying and using products from other direct sales companies, focus on replacing these products with Watkins products. They’re really a great potential customer base to focus on because they’re already accustomed to buying direct from others. So how can you do this? Well, let’s say you have a friend that is currently purchasing laundry detergent and dishwashing detergent from Amway. Study the Amway products and compare them to Watkins’ detergent products. Make a list of attributes and features that set the Watkins products apart. Now that you have some ammo, visit the prospect and make your pitch. It’s best to do this with product samples you can show and demonstrate.
- Emphasize Core Values - Cement the loyalty of your associates by informing them that Watkins has survived difficult times before. Emphasize that Watkins has always focused on “maintaining quality rather than cutting corners and servicing existing customers rather than trying to be all things to all people.”
I hope you find my take on Quelch’s article useful and that you can find ways to work these 8 recommendations into your own Watkins business. Until next time — keep plugging away!
Many Watkins associates come from a background with very little direct sales experience and lack knowledge of the powerful online and PC-based resources available to professional direct marketers and sales persons. This article is aimed for Watkins associates that fall into this category and specifically addresses 3 very successful marketing techniques you can add to your direct sales and marketing tools chest.
You’ll soon learn that as your Watkins business grows your most valuable asset will become your mailing list, or should I say your “e-mailing” list. You will ultimately have 4 email lists. One will be your customer’s email list, a second will be the mailing list of your downline, a third will be a mailing list of prospects who have not become associates yet (but are still receptive to your contact) and the fourth list will be a list of prospective customers.
So how do you manage such email lists? Well, you’re in luck. There are numerous companies online that provide mailing list management software, or what is often called email marketing software. Such companies as iContact.com, ConstantContact.com, SendBlaster.com, Mailworkz.com and ContactPro.com are widely recognized cost effective solutions for managing your mailing list, no matter how large it might get. Most of these products will allow one to set up email address by “Groups” — which would allow you to put all of your contacts into one database and send selective emails to your Groups separately. For example, if you wish to send an email strictly to your downline Associates you could type in your message and send it to every contact marked under the group “Associates.” Likewise, if you want to contact your prospects you send the email to everyone in your list labled as a “Prospect.”
Free Conference Calls
What? Free conference calls? You probably think I’m kidding you, but there remains some great free deals on the Internet these days, and free conference calls is one of the best deals you’ll find online. Once your Watkins business begins to grow you’ll find there will be many times when you will want to hold a conference call with your downline associates. A great way to do this at no cost to you is through an online conference call service like FreeConferenceCall.com. The cost to you is free, normal long distance charges apply to those calling in. The conference bridge will hold up to 96 callers at a time. If you prefer to offer your downline a toll-free number for conferences and you pick up the charges, try a service like SimpleTollFree.com and pay just 6 cents a minute for the total minutes used.
Make Presentations to Your Downline Online
Let’s say you wish to share something from your computer desktop, say a Microsoft Word, Excel or Powerpoint file. So how does one go about presenting a Powerpoint presentation to your downline via the web and a conference call setup. It’s easy, particularly if you use an application like Webex.com, GoToMeeting.com or MeetMeNow.com.
These are are just three fantastic direct marketing methods one can use to promote your Watkins associate business using web-based and PC-based applications and services.