In today’s world of hype and fraud, nothing is more important to your success than building trust, admiration and respect. For some people, network marketing does not spell value, honor or integrity—yet to us it does. How do we bridge this gap and shine a positive light on our profession?

Build trust. Trust must be earned through our words and actions, which make us predictable and believable. Being believable means sometimes not telling the whole truth. Perhaps you do earn $20,000 a month working part-time; telling this truth to someone who cannot fathom it may stroke your ego, but you will lose trust.

People need to believe what you say, both in content and delivery. This requires being authentic and showing the real you—the good, the bad and the ugly. People are attracted to the authenticity and humanity of others. Perhaps you have an extraordinary income opportunity to sell, and perhaps you have failed at times, or you feel your product is expensive. Give others the whole you and nothing but you. People trust that.

Earn admiration. People admire others for what they accomplish. You may or may not have this going for you right now; accomplishments take time. The admiration you will enjoy in the future will depend on how you contribute to those who you want to admire you.

The greatest tool at your disposal is listening. We all want to be heard, known, accepted and loved. When we share something important to us, we need the listener to truly understand the deeper meaning of what we are saying and why. This is often conveyed through the energy of the speaker rather than by the actual words. A great listener will put his own need to be heard and accepted on hold while fully focusing on the speaker. This type of listening is so powerful it can actually heal people, as it often is the first time they have truly been heard.

Inspire respect. When people respect you, they tend to buy what you’re selling and follow where you’re going. You can build respect through character and courage.

You show character by honoring your values at all times. If family, integrity, fun and leadership are your highest values and you live a life that honors those values, people will respect you, even if their values are different.

Courage is seeing danger and acting anyway. Courage is rooted in motivation, and to the degree that you are self-motivated, you will demonstrate extraordinary courage— to tell the truth responsibly, to talk to people you would not ordinarily talk to, to speak to groups, to make and honor commitments, to ask others to hold you accountable. We respect people who have the courage to do the things we are afraid to do.

As we commit to earning the trust, admiration and respect of those with whom we build our businesses, our profession will continue to gain the credibility it deserves.

RICHARD BROOKE has led, coached and trained
business leaders for over twenty years. He is the author of
Mach II: The Art of Vision and Self Motivation and
Mailbox Money: The Promise of Network Marketing,
and co-author of
The New Entrepreneurs:
Business Visionaries for the 21st Century.