I was teaching at Kent State University when I first got started in network marketing. Part of the challenge for me was that I kept trying to reinvent how to do the business. I kept trying to adapt my prior knowledge to this business instead of just cleaning off the slate and going about the business with a totally open mind. I needed to start over with complete faith and learn from the people who had walked the walk before me.
After I spent the entire first year trying to apply what I thought I knew and reinventing the wheel, I realized that you can't apply anything to network marketing. When people say "I don't have a sales background" I say GREAT because then I know their minds are more open to learning and we don't have to spend so much time unlearning bad habits. I found out that you have to learn from the people who are where you want to be. Some people call it "modeling" the person you want to be like. Make sure it's someone who really IS successful. Not just a talker.
So, I followed the person who was where I wanted to be. I would tape every conversation we had and his answer to every question I would ask. There were times I remembered sticking my arm, with the tape recorder in hand, into a crowd that was surrounding a superstar just so I could retrieve a morsel of information. Sometimes it was only a conversation about what they had to eat for dinner or the weather or even travel plans to the next conference. There were many times I transcribed a tape with only trivial information on it. But I'm a big believer that one line, even one sentence can change your life. It can change the direction of your business. So I would transcribe every tape and try to absorb the information on the tape. Many times I discovered that tiny morsel. Sometimes the information was over my head but I knew I would have it available to read or listen to later when hopefully it would make more sense. I definitely became a good student.
For some people it is hard to let go and have blind faith that you can be successful at network marketing. In the beginning that is exactly what you have to do. The only success you have at the start is the success of those people who have preceded you. You have got to have faith that what they have done is what they are teaching you to do and that duplicating those actions will bring you the same success. I was so committed to modeling that I would wear similar clothes, adopt a similar posture, read every book and listen to every tape they prescribed.
One of the most important keys to success in this business is understanding the duplication process. The key to my success was duplicating myself, helping other people to do what I do. The only way I could teach true duplication was to be consistent in everything I did, making sure I did it the same way every time so that people could copy it. I believe in setting a good example. I would never tell people to do something I hadn't personally done.
In order to be consistent, I would do the opportunity presentation the exact same way every time, just so people could learn it, even if by osmosis. That was the best way to create leaders and get them doing the presentation themselves right away. My goal was to take the focus away from me. It kept me from being the issue, which is very important. Success is the ability to transfer the information properly to others and empowering them. My philosophy is that if you help enough people become successful, you won't have to worry about your own success. I know that it is a cliche' but it really is my focus. I make my goal their success and in the process I don't have to worry about mine. I have been very fortunate to have helped a lot of people. Some have gone on to be at the top in the industry and some have gone on to own their own network marketing or conventional business.
Commit yourself to designing a duplicatible system that people can learn and teach. Then commit yourself to following the system to perfection so people can learn it by following you. Remember, success is not how many times you are recognized but how many times your people are recognized.
Paula Pritchard is a self-made millionaire who has built huge organizations throughout the United States and Europe. You can read about Paula and her book "Owning Yourself " and training program "What You Need to Know to Build a Profitable Network Marketing Business", available on CD at www.networkingtimes.com
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