Loyalty is earned. Whether you are talking about downline loyalty or customer loyalty, the degree to which you earn others' loyalty is based on trust, respect and value.

TRUST. I've often told my Momma that she has a genetic defect: she's missing the valve between what she thinks and what she says...she thinks it--and out it comes! Now I realize what an asset that can be. Not only do her family and friends know that they can count on her to be truthful, but her truthfulness has also instilled loyalty in her downline as well. When a new product or program is introduced that doesn't meet her expectations, she won't tell you how great it is just to make more money. Likewise, when you hear that she's endorsing a product or program, you know she really believes in it.

Don't honey-coat situations; tell the truth. When people know you can be trusted to be a straight shooter and tell it like it is, they will look to you for leadership.

RESPECT. My Momma also taught me this: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated." That means, treating everyone with respect. If you always do what is in the best interest of the prospect, you can't lose. That means not signing up someone "just because they have a heart beat." It means giving them an honest assessment of their qualifications and skills, and telling them what they're going to need to do and to learn in order to have genuine success at this business.

VALUE. Be known for providing exceptional value. When a customer feels she is getting good value for the money she spends on your product or service, she'll be a repeat customer. You can add value by giving a free gift with every order, offering free gift wrapping during the holidays, providing free product usage consultations, or publishing a newsletter for your customers filled with helpful information.

You can bring this same sense of providing value to your downline organization. When I receive my bonus check every two weeks, I ask myself, "What value have I given my team members to justify receiving this check?" Some of the services that I provide for my downline include: toll free help line, newsletters filled with selling and recruiting tips, awards for my top sellers and recruiters, seminars, incentives, welcome packs and reminder postcards.

Loyalty is not a given: it is something you earn by your consistent, long-term actions.


LISA M. WILBER is a successful networker; her profile was featured in Networking Times, Oct. 2002. She publishes a free weekly e-zine
entitled "Ideas You Can Use" (www.winnerinyou.com) on finding and keeping customers and recruits.