Women and network marketing seem to fit together as perfectly as chocolate and peanut butter. Perhaps it's because success in this business is so dependent on factors like teamwork, collaboration, coaching and connection – generally traits that come naturally to women.
Or perhaps the great income opportunity (paired with time flexibility) is what attracts women of all ages offering a perfect solution for moms who want to be home with their kids, or college kids/baby boomers who want to work part time around other commitments.
Whatever the reason, women obviously love the direct sales model (as indicated in a recent report from the DSA showing over 80% of this profession is made up of women). This brings up an important question; if this business opportunity is so perfect for women, why then are men still dominating the top levels of leadership/income across the profession?
I've had a unique opportunity to work with women from many different companies, and I've watched closely for any clues that help explain why some women become top leaders (and others don't). Although there are many factors that contribute to success, these 3 traits seem to be the most common amongst women who are thriving in network marketing.
a) Successful women are masters at networking.
Successful women in this profession know how to network. This involves more than just showing up at leads groups or local meetings and passing out business cards. Smart women are much more strategic; they know what types of prospects they are looking for, and then take time to research the best places to find them (whether this is "live and in person" or over the internet).
While men often approach networking like hunters (viewing prospects as targets and looking for a quick kill) the most accomplished women are "collectors" of people. They weave powerful networks comprised of friends and helpful contacts, and have the patience to develop quality relationships that can naturally lead to business opportunities.
Even more importantly, women look for ways to serve their networks and create value for other people whenever they can. Whether making a referral, offering to make a helpful introduction or just sharing the value of friendship, top female leaders add value for the joy of it. They then listen attentively for opportunities to offer their products or business opportunity, and are often successful because of the trust and value they've created within their network.
b) Successful women leverage their natural skills to sell and sponsor.
I've seen many women struggle in building a large team because they haven't been taught how to sell or recruit in a way that really works for them. Much of the traditional training in companies is still too "pitchy" or scripted for women. It goes against their natural style, and because they feel uncomfortable approaching prospects in this way, they either don't follow through or aren't effective when they do.
Women don't "pitch" and we don't' "close" – it's not our style. Instead, top female leaders have learned how to sponsor others using more natural skills like connection and empathy. They engage people in conversation, discover their problems or biggest needs, and then look for ways to help them. Women don't like to "sell" but they truly love to "serve others" and if this becomes part of their recruiting style, they are very effective.
c) Successful women set up support systems
Because women are great multitaskers, we naturally take on a lot in work and at home. Without enough support in place, women often burn out and their businesses start to stall. The most successful female leaders have realized that support is not optional, it's absolutely key to building a successful business.
They seek out support at home by enrolling their spouse or kids to help out where they can. They delegate household responsibilities and errands if possible, so they can focus more of their energy on building their businesses.
They are also not shy about delegating responsibilities to their team, and encourage them to step up and lead as much as possible. Every top female leader I've met has also invested in "hands on help" by hiring an assistant to help them with busy work in biz, so they can focus on activities that make money and grow the team.
The truly successful women also seek support from other women, because they realize that when women collaborate (whether within their own company or with others outside their business) they are fueled in powerful way, and what they learn from each other not only accelerates their results and income, it makes building their businesses more fulfilling in the process.
Subscribe to Networking Times and receive a whole professional journal packed with similar insightful and motivational articles. A subscription to Networking Times includes the following benefits: