People often ask, what does the ideal network marketing company look like? Here are nine traits that, for me, characterize the ideal company; the more companies take the lead and embody these nine qualities, the more our profession will take the lead in the world at large.

Leading network marketing companies:

1. Provide a reasonably broad product line.

Network marketers can build their businesses with one or several products only to a limited extent; in the long run, this leaves them vulnerable to competition. When distributors have a variety of products on their hands, their presentations can appeal to a much larger clientele.

 

2.View their distributors' need for information as vital.

Distributors need to know everything--forthcoming meetings, conventions, promotions, incentives, additions to or removals from the product line, changes in policy or in compensation plan. What's more, they need to know this information well in advance, so they can digest the information and have time to decide how to redirect their efforts accordingly.

 

3. Keep that information as basic as possible.

It's not helpful to say, "Anybody can be successful in network marketing," and then construct a compensation plan that only a bare few corporate people and full-timers in the field can understand. This holds equally true for product information. Distributors need to know the basic benefits (the "what's-in-it-for-mes," as the marketing people call them). They have no ambition (or at least, they shouldn't) to be experts on products and ingredients, and neither do the new prospects they'll be talking to tomorrow.

 

4. Make the organizational report information available in real time.

Producing this report a few days before the end of month doesn't help distributors much; by then, it's almost always too late. Making this report available at intervals the company assumes the organization may need is not much better. Distributors need to be able to access current information seven days a week, 24 hours a day; today's technology is certainly capable of providing this.

5. Pave the way for those who want to communicate more with their downlines.

Some companies refuse to provide distributors a list of their downline members, or severely limit this information. Perhaps the company is reluctant to trust the individual distributor with this information. But the distributors are the company's business partners; the distributors brought all these people to the partnership. They could go out and gather this information themselves, but at a great cost of time--time they could use far more effectively to build their businesses.

 

6. Provide distributors with all the necessary marketing materials.

Too often, companies produce material that is virtually useless for marketing. The last thing a network marketer needs is a briefcase full of hard-to-even-carry binders with reams of information. Those binders sit on people's bookshelves...or in their closets! What we need are powerful, persuasive, simple and easy-to-distribute materials. These are typically in print, on CDs or on the web. What's ideal is to have these materials placed on the corporate web site, so distributors can have the option of simply referring prospects to the site to view and/or download.

 

7. Recognize the organization's need to be trained.

Network marketers need to be trained, not bombarded with information they will likely never use. Good training programs are not necessarily free, nor should they all be company-organized; they should be readily available, at reasonable prices, and all distributors need complete and up-to-date information about how to access them.

 

8. Are aware of the huge potential the Internet provides.

Today, the most powerful tools to assist networkers exist on the Internet. For starters, distributors need a corporate web site that is informative and fully up-to-date, so they can refer prospects with confidence. The corporate web site should include all the necessary forms, price lists and marketing materials, ready for download. I admire those companies that make use of such modern tools as mass e-mails (but please, provide a choice of HTML or text format), electronic newsletters (e-zines) and web conferences to communicate with their organization. The best companies provide distributors with their own self-replicating web sites.

9. Listen to their organization.

Many network marketers are flattered when they hear their company's President say, "We are all in this business together." What's even better is when this is true. Business partners should speak and listen to each other. Of course, most distributors don't have first-hand knowledge of the realities that the corporate staff faces, nor do they need to. But listening to the field is almost always beneficial to all parties concerned.

 

There are dozens and dozens of fine companies in our profession. I admire most those who lead the rest, those who lead the profession as a whole. I believe that those who embody as many of these nine traits as possible are those who will lead the world of business in the next generation.

HAKKI OZMORALI
is known as "the pioneer of
network marketing" in Turkey and introduced network marketing to his country 11 years ago.