Remember that spooky lab where Victor Frankenstein created his own version of himself—the infamous monster?

In some ways, our business can be like that.

Many of us are all too familiar with the chemistry: we know the concoctions and their frightfully combustible combinations ahead of time, yet we gleefully stir the brew, smiling all the while. (After all, it’s another enrollment, right?) Later, when we’re being chased around the lab by our own creation, we whine and complain and wonder from what far land this monster arrived.

Here are five ways network marketers sometimes let the beast out of the bottle.

 

Wanting It More than They Want It

How many times have we become so enamored with our business opportunity that we fail to recognize that we’re talking to someone who is just too polite to hang up on our enthusiasm? We keep shaking in this reason and pouring on that benefit, and before it’s over with, the poor victim—and potentially the newest monster of our own making—finally signs on just to get rid of us.

 

Getting People to Sign by Telling Them All the Things We Will Do for Them (Instead of with Them)

This is also known as the quintessential networker’s blunder, or the big lie. The creature that arises from this particular cauldron will haunt us for the rest of our lives in our existing company, and may even drive us to consider looking for another lab, far away from this one…where we will most likely repeat the experiment with the same sense of ignorant zeal.

 

Doing All the Talking Instead of Asking Questions

This willful experiment produces the Large Blob that will just sit there for the next multi-level half-life and let you do all the talking on every three-way, every training and every approach. After all, you brought him into being listening exclusively to you: why should you expect that he will have a clue as to what to say? He might be able to grunt some lyrics when that sweet old blind man plays his violin, but that’s about it.

 

Enrolling Everyone

Many lab assistants leave the castle and go out to sea, eager to become masters of forging (or is that “forcing”?) a new persona out of every creature they encounter. This is also known as “enrolling everyone,” and especially those whom we know from the beginning that have no business in our business. Like our mothers. Or the 18-year-old waitress. Or the neighbor’s dog with a nice human name. These little sea monsters can morph into leviathans, dragging us far out into a boiling sea of trouble.

Stacking to “Light a Fire”

Finally, the greatest beast of our many creations is the one with all the talent that’s lying around the lab in a stupor. We sniff and shake all the bottles, and come up with a plan: “Let’s put a big business builder under this guy who’s doing nothing—and get him motivated!”

Nothing could produce a more monstrous, more terrifying aberration of nature.

Before, the monster was sleeping. Now, he is suddenly rewarded (some would say “enabled”) for doing nothing. Instead of hightailing it out of the lab and out onto the moor to recruit, he retires to the village pub and complains loudly (for all the villagers to hear) that he’s mad ’cause we put only one person in his organization. For doing nothing, he got one. Now he goes on a rant and spurs a village uprising when he doesn’t get another one for continuing to do nothing. A derangement of our own artifice! And we wonder what went wrong.

And this failed experiment is only the beginning.

Wait until the supposedly “motivating” business builder we placed under him has a whole organization bottlenecked by the Frankensteinian upline, inconveniently yet immovably embedded on our front line. Now Frankie holds all the cards and becomes our master—and we may start manifesting some monstrous behavior ourselves! We fuss and fume to anyone who will listen about how this brute does nothing yet makes a significant check off our efforts.

Forgetting, of course, that it was we ourselves who invented the whole mess.

 

Undoing Frankenstein

What to do when beasts are jumping all over our laboratories, breaking bottles and stirring up a world of trouble? First, decide to be a network marketer who brings more integrity to the profession. We belong to a profession of exaggeration. We should have facts and statistics available to keep us truthful.

When people ask how much work they’ll need to do if they join, we must be forthright and tell them we will do everything with them, but nothing for them. The biggest gift we can give our enrollees is the gift of our time based on our expertise. Prospective clients are always positively influenced by honest answers to hard questions.

We must slay the very thought of creating more monsters.

Refuse to enroll someone in an illegal manner (no explanation needed here). Teaching this to our entire organization also serves to hold us accountable for our word.

Constantly ask questions when interviewing prospective clients, finding out their needs and wants. The person asking the questions always controls the interview.

Finally, we must recognize the difference between the needy and the deserving, and reward first those whose efforts are moving their businesses forward. It might seem a great idea to buy someone’s enrollment package for him, but this initiates a codependency that will likely grow ugly (and yes, spawn more monsters).

What if you already have an overwhelming number of monsters lurking in every corner from poor decisions in the past? You can always remember the network marketer’s favorite four-letter word—next!—and start anew.

KATHY V. MARTIN got her
start in sales teaching English to
high school and college students.
A veteran networker who quit her regular JOB to be home with her two daughters, she is also the author
of
Living Well: Eight Fundamental Principles for Developing a
Healthy Lifestyle.