If you have experienced any success in network marketing, chances are you have heard someone utter the words of the title above. "Oh, I can see that it's working for you... but I don't know, network marketing just doesn't work for me." The following story may even sound familiar to you.

For me, it happened with a man named Steve (not his real name, though every other aspect of the story is quite real). The first thing I told Steve, an experienced salesman of 30-plus years, was that his greatest challenge in network marketing would be to not approach this business as he had his sales experiences in the past. "Network marketing is different from sales," I told him as he dutifully nodded, not hearing. "Networking is about systematic duplication. The successful networkers are those who follow the established system with discipline and tenacity."

Steve worked the business hard--and failed to make any money. Why? Because, despite my warnings, Steve worked the business like the card-
carrying salesperson he was. He made flamboyant presentations to prospects. He de-signed pamphlets and custom sales pitches to further promote our company's services. As all great salespeople do, he invested the time to identify his customer's need and set out to customize a solution... all great things to do if you're a salesperson. The problem was that Steve failed to realize that network marketing is different from selling.

Despite Steve's ability to deliver a quality presentation, he was having no success because his prospects didn't feel they could duplicate his actions. They couldn't make the kind of time investment Steve did, nor did they have his skills of delivery. Bottom line: Steve was not duplicatable.

At the end of his fourth month, Steve announced that he was disenrolling from our team because he needed to focus on other "income producing" opportunities.

Convinced that Steve had what it took to be successful in this industry, I decided that Steve was worth fighting for. I challenged him to stick with our team for 60 more days--on one condition: he would have to commit to working the business via our established systems. He agreed.

The next 60 days changed Steve's life. I have no doubt that 10 years from now, Steve will look back on that decision as one of those major decisions that influence the rest of one's life.

What did Steve commit to? Three things: 1) making a schedule; 2) taking massive action; 3) becoming systematic and duplicatable.

Make a Schedule
Many neophyte networkers treat their new businesses as hobbies.

They come home from work, spend time with the family, watch a little TV (as my friend Lisa refers to it, the "income reducer") and if they have time to get to their businesses, then they do. If not, they simply cast it off to be pursued on another day.

This strategy is perfectly fine for a hobby, such as golf or knitting; it is not an acceptable strategy for someone looking to build a successful business.

Take Massive Action
Is it harder to ride a bicycle fast or slow?

I learned this lesson the hard way when my son Eriq tried to show me how he could ride his bike with no hands. He was riding along at a slow pace as he yelled "Look, Daddy!" and took his hands off of his handlebars. Unfortunately, his gleeful confidence was short-lived: his momentum was insufficient to maintain his balance and he crashed into a nearby tree. I picked him up, dusted off his knees and elbows, and we tried it again--but this time I convinced him to try it with adequate momentum.

What Eriq and I both ever so painfully learned that day was that it's much easier to maintain your balance and control when your momentum is high. If your momentum is not sufficient to support you (and, for that matter, to support your organization), you will most likely crash!

Be Systematic and Duplicatable
The reason networking is so doable by so many different sorts of people is that the companies we market for have duplicatable systems. We have conference calls, flash presentations, flip charts, three-way calling and many other systematized methods that assist novice and professional alike. One need not be a professional salesperson to be a successful networker. All it takes is a burning desire to change linked with a willingness to be coachable, teachable and trainable under a duplicatable system.

Today, Steve has a dedicated business schedule and is taking massive action towards the building of his business. Although he continues to believe (as I do) that we are all salespeople at heart, Steve has learned that the secret of professional network marketers lies in their tenacious adherence to duplicatable systems.

Do you have any Steves on your team? If so, I challenge you to reinforce these three aspects of network marketing as they are sure to get your "Steve" back on the track towards prosperity and freedom in all aspects of life.

 

JAMIE RHONE
is a network marketing leader and full-time MBA student
with roots in New York, California and Texas.