Building your business is ultimately about moving as many products, goods, and services as you can, both inside your ever-growing distributor empire and to customers outside your organization as well. Therefore, product knowledge is somewhat important. Study one core product (those products you want everyone to use) every day, until you learn, understand, and can share all its benefits.

There are two distinct ways to learn your core product line: factually: what is it, what's in it, what it's used for, etc.; and emotionally: what are the benefits to using it.


Factually: Study the Product

Although the facts are important to some degree, they are usually not the real reason someone buys something. Picture in your mind a product you have in your home--any product, one you regularly use, such as salad dressing, shampoo, soap. Now, take the Seven Questions Test:


1. Who made this?

2. Where was it made?

3. How long have they been in business?

4. Is this the best price available?

5. Is this the best value around?

6. Can you get a similar product for less?

7. Why did you buy this product?


If you apply this test to six different products you have around the house--kitchen, closet, and bathroom--you quickly begin to realize that the real reason you acquire products is more about the feeling you get, and less about who made it, where was it made, or how long the company has been in business. Unless you were actually holding the product in your hand and could read the label, you probably failed the above Seven Questions test on every product!

If we tend to buy when it feels right--rather than once we know everything there is to know about something--then why should you study your core product line?

Good question; two answers: 1) to build up your personal knowledge about what it is you're offering; and 2) in order to be able to intelligently answer basic questions from your customers and new distributors--from those who simply must know a bit (or a lot) more before they make a purchase. But keep in mind, even the most analytical shopper still seeks that certain "feeling" before parting with hard-earned cash--so factual knowledge alone is not enough.


Emotionally: Share the Stories

Often, the reasons people buy a product are difficult to articulate. But the odds are good that, for whatever reasons, you like the products you purchase, and that's why you continue to buy them.

Now, if you were going to try to convince your co-workers, family, or friends that product "X" was a great product and they really should be using it, too, how would you go about doing this? You would share product "X" with them emotionally--by sharing the stories.

This is how you recommend a restaurant: "You really should try The Mango King, the food is fantastic--and they have this amazing chocolate mousse dessert that just melts in your mouth." It's how you tell them about the movie you saw Saturday night: "We went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding--I can't remember the last time we all laughed so hard." Perhaps without even realizing you're "recommending" it, it's how you suggest that a friend take his vacation in the same place you recently took yours: "You've got to go to the South Island of New Zealand some time--it's simply the most beautiful place on earth."

You do it all the time: you recommend something to someone without giving all the facts. And if you're successful in getting your point across--thereby creating a new customer for someone--it is more often because of the tone in your voice, the look in your eyes, and your internal belief--how you feel--than almost any other fact.

It is true that we buy more easily from those we know, like, and trust. Yet even when we know, like, and trust someone, we will still buy more on the feeling of emotion than on any other factual reason. By all means, study your core product line--but remember that there is a reason for the proverb, "facts tell, stories sell."

Where do you learn the stories? From your company's audio, video, and print information. From reading your company's and support team's e-mail blasts. From listening to your company's and support team's conference calls. From talking with, and listening to, your customers. And by regularly attending your local, regional, national, and international business events.


Be Your Own Best Customer

Many network marketing companies now offer a huge range of products, sometimes in the hundreds, to their customer and distributor organizations. The question is often asked, "Should I be buying everything my company offers?" The corporate answer is, "Yes!" However, the real-world answer is, "You should replace those products you currently buy somewhere else with those products, goods, and services that your company distributes."

This is referred to as "being your own best customer." And in network marketing, "being your own best customer" is just good business. Why? Because when all is said and done, building your business is about moving as many products, goods, and services as you possibly can--from your company to the ultimate end user--which includes those inside your ever-growing distributor network, customers outside that network, and yes, you yourself, too!

Ask your support team what core products you should start with. Get them, use them, study them, and share the stories.

This passage is excerpted by permission from the forthcoming book, The Fifth Principle, by Michael Clouse.


( is a veteran network marketer and author of Future Choice.