Imagine you are a woman in your thirties, mother of three, giving alternative medicine consultations and trying to make ends meet. Imagine one more detail: you live in a third-world country. Imagine you have this idea you need something to help your clients and that could also give you an extra income, and you start looking for alternatives.

Imagine this idea takes you to study different products until you find one that delivers the results you want for your clients. Imagine you enter this new world of direct sales, the world of network marketing. You fall in love with the business model, the opportunity, the possibility for self development and financial independence. Unfortunately, you live in a third-world country where the product is not registered and will not be registered in the near future. You have to work your way around company rules and local authorities.

I did not have to imagine this, I lived it for three years during which I only sold products to customers and built no organization. I could manage the risks myself, but I couldn’t get myself to recruit anyone to live and work in the same conditions. There was no Internet. I called customer service pretending I was in the country of origin of the product and paid a forwarding service to ship packages and answer the phone.

I made phone calls to everyone I knew to talk about the product. I walked around my neighborhood and around town leaving flyers on doorsteps and in mail boxes. I promoted the product, educated my clients, provided customer service, and followed up with referrals. I managed to advance three ranks in three years just selling products. Not only did I make ends meet, I took my children on vacation abroad twice, just by finding customers for my products.

Life happened, I took a twelve-year break from the business and now things are very different. I work with a wonderful new company with a product that is registered in my country—a dream come true! I focus on both retailing and recruiting, knowing the roots of this business lie in customers and sales.

Network marketing is the business model of the new economy in which intermediaries are eliminated in order to focus resources on the product and the end consumer. E-commerce, social networks, and third-party delivery services are efficient tools to propel this new business forward. In the end, people’s needs are what matters: products should deliver results; this builds a solid client base, sales volume, and referrals; now it does make sense to start recruiting and building a team.

I invite you to imagine you just had customers...

Born in Costa Rica, MARIAMARTA ALFARO CHAMBERLAIN studied law at the University of Costa Rica, married before graduating, and had three children.
She went back to school to study nutrition, homeopathy, and iridology.
She has been a distributor with her current company since 2011.