You've seen it, at the end of a network marketing training. Enthusiastic attendees surround the leader who has just come down from the stage. They line up to take pictures and request autographs. The most courageous of them will ask the million-dollar question: "What is the secret to success in this business?" What they are really asking is, "Why is it so hard for me to sign people up or sell my product?"

The leader's answer often goes something like this:

"You just need to do some simple things:

a) use the products;

b) be a product of the products;

c) share your results with others;

d) be positive;

—and everything else will happen for you."

The distributor replies, "I'm doing all that, but it isn't working for me."

The leader says, "You're just being negative. You should trust our company leaders and do as they say."

In my eighteen years of network marketing experience, I can assure you this approach doesn't work. No one will learn, progress or win. You will only alienate potential distributors.

As an alternative, I've developed a tool that will help you answer most questions prospects or new distributors have in particular situations so they clearly understand how the business works, what to do and when to do it.

Let's say you meet someone who has never been exposed to our business, who is ready to jump in head first with great enthusiasm but without any experience or clear understanding of what he or she is about to embark upon. At this point, it is important that you sit down together, determine the objectives you want to reach and what it will require to succeed:

We have to make it abundantly clear from the beginning that the road to success will not be easy, that there is a learning curve to becoming a network marketing professional.

I can already hear indignant voices saying, "How could we crush someone's enthusiasm right at the beginning?"

I apply this spartan approach only with those beginners who quickly express a strong desire to work with me, and I do so to gauge their level of motivation and the firmness of their commitment. I tell them which qualities they will need to cultivate, what financial expenses they will have to incur, and what they will need to commit to doing in both the short and long term.

I believe honesty is the best policy, and I want to let new and prospective team members know from the very beginning what they are getting themselves into. To facilitate this communication, I developed a tool that will help new recruits perfect their skills without drowning in information or becoming disillusioned. I call this tool the Distributor Profile. It consists of four pages that look like the pictures you see below:

This tool is not set in stone; I encourage you to adapt it to your own style and needs. I am giving you the Christmas tree; all you have to do is decorate it in your own way.

Filling out a profile like this with your new recruit can save you both a lot of time and frustration. I suggest you refer to the knowledge you have obtained by reading and updating this profile each time you communicate with your distributor. When your distributors ask questions, refer them to their profile. Note how they approach each obstacle they encounter and what action they take to resolve it.

The profile allows you to be very specific, making it simple and easy to address any problem and visualize each distributor's growth curve. Using this profile consistently will give you an accurate picture of whom you are working with, what advice to give and how truly determined the person is. You will also be able to distinguish what drives each individual, see his or her potential and know what to do to help him or her actualize it.

This distributor profile is all about providing structure, guidance and direction. It will give you a clear vision of your distributor's profes-sional qualities and the development of his or her daily work. You will be able to evaluate at any moment whether and how you should continue to work with this person based on his or her results, matching your energy and commitment with his or hers.

NIKITA GROMYKO is a network marketing leader,
motivational speaker and trainer in Eastern Europe
and the U.S. Nikita was featured in the Sep/Oct 2007
issue of
Networking Times.