Millennials aka Gen Y and the network marketing profession are a match made in heaven—on paper. I say “on paper,” because our generation ticks all the boxes when it comes to the advantages of network marketing: it’s a business with low start-up cost, it fits around our lifestyle, we enjoy working multiple jobs and having various income streams, we don’t subscribe to the 9 to 5 routine, and we love socializing and connecting with people.
All these factors indicate that Millennials should be jumping at the network marketing opportunity and doing really well at it, but the reality is different… Most of them aren’t jumping at the chance to join us, and of the ones that do join, many don’t succeed.
This generation is the perfect fit for network marketing, but the problem is getting them to realize that. Many of them feel that what we do revolves around hard selling people on the opportunity, and pressuring family and friends to buy products. The key for us is to help Millennials see how far our profession has come in the past 20 years, and that it is not only one of the most efficient distribution systems, it also allows them to build a global business on their smartphone or tablet.
Generation Y has also had many of the network marketing horror stories filtered down to them via family members where Uncle Bill did it and would ram it down family and friends’ throats until everyone actively avoided him. The thought of being unpopular is a scary one for most of us, but a Millennial would rather die than have less than 1,000 friends on Facebook!
How do we help Millennials see what we have in a positive light? Once they do, how do we get them motivated and excited about joining us? The answer to these questions starts with being positive and professional at all times.
Network marketing is based on word-of-mouth advertising, which can work for or against us. We need to leave people with a positive experience and make sure we are not perceived as hunting them with our opportunity.
We need to be professional and treat our business with respect. This will go a long way to change the perception people have of our profession. Millennials don’t want to be like Uncle Bill trying to pitch a product to their mates and then get anxious because they have run out of people to talk to. We need to help them see that outside their family and friends, their 1,500 “friends” on Facebook may be a good place to start prospecting.
There are a lot of myths that get thrown around, particularly amongst the baby boomer generation, suggesting that Millennials are lazy. I think the bigger problem is they have been given the wrong tools for the job at hand. My father always told me, “You need to work smart and not hard.” A lot of this came from his own mistakes and realizing that if he had his time over again, he would do things differently when it came to a career.
My dad and most other Baby Boomers pushed their children to get good grades and then get a high paying job with a major corporation. This would be good advice if there were enough high paying jobs for all the students coming out of college. Millennials need to realize that rather than compete with thousands of people for a job, all they need to do is create the career they want and generate the income they desire.
It’s scary how many Millennials I speak to who tell me they went to university for 4 to 6 years, only to conclude that there weren’t any jobs in their chosen field of study, or that they had lost interest in it altogether. Many of them now work at the local supermarket trying to figure out what to do next.
Network marketing is the answer for this generation, because it allows them to create the life they want utilizing the natural skills many of them possess without the problems that plague traditional business models. They can get a proven business with all the logistics taken care of for the cost of a laptop computer; they can have a mentor who is willing to guide them through the business at no extra cost; they can choose the hours they work, who they work with, and they get to decide how much they earn based on the amount of effort they put in.
Although there are other unconventional ways to create income in the new economy, such as Uber or Airbnb, the reality is these business models require a significant upfront investment—you need to have a reliable car or property. On top of all the things listed above, our business allows you to leverage your time. You can bring people into the business and benefit from the time, effort, and skill they bring. This is unique to our model and a huge drawcard for corporate employees who feel they have been working too many hours for too little financial return.
I personally believe in connecting with Millennials via technology initially, but our business is all about meeting people heart to heart. Technology allows us to get in touch with people quickly, but it doesn’t replace genuine human interaction. We also physically (or virtually if necessary) sit down with people and take the time to listen to their story and help them see the benefits we can offer them.
I build my business around having a one-on-one conversation with someone about our amazing opportunity and then let them decide if it is a fit for them. Millennials can certainly use technology to their advantage in building their business, but it will always be important to build genuine relationships in order to grow a sustainable organization.
I personally am excited for the future of our business model as more Millennials realize its power and effectiveness, so keep sharing it with them, and many will see that we do have a better way.
Based in Melbourne, Australia, JOSHUA PEART is building a global network marketing business part time with his wife Natasha, while working full time in construction. Joshua and Natasha are passionate health advocates and parents of Noah(5), Oliver(4), and Celeste(2).