The other day I saw this hilarious question on Yahoo Answer...
"What exactly is network or multi level marketing? Please don't give me the wikipedia definition 'cause i can't make anything out of it.. ."
Below is the wikipedia's network marketing definition at press time...
"Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit."
As you can see from the yahoo-answer question above, it's not necessarily as straight forward as we would like to believe. So in this episode, we will break it down further.
I'm also going to use it to highlight some benefits of network marketing 2.0 over traditional network marketing.
Wikipedia's definition assumed that a person who wants a clear understanding of network marketing knew what multi-level marketing or MLM is. Well newsflash: Most people don't know this term.
I've been around this profession and generated 100's of thousands of leads. One thing I've learned to do is to remember that not everyone is as versatile with technical terms even after 2 years.
Therefore the beginning of wikipedia's definition could have thrown a newbie off. I could have just defined it as this...
"Network Marketing is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit... hence why many call is Multi-level marketing (MLM)"
That's better. There is also still an assumption that the average prospect being attracted to network marketing knows what a sales force is. But we can probably get away with that.
I personally did not know of the term 'network marketing' until months after I joined my first network marketing opportunity. Many network marketing companies would rather use the term 'direct sales'.
When I saw the presentation, they used the term 'direct sales' and/or 'relationship marketing' as the fancy ways of saying MLM or... lol stalking your family and friends. Where I'm from, we call that packaging. I can respect a cleaned up presentation because it's not what you say but how you say it..
But we don't teach stalking here... PLUS it doesn't work for most people.
Most people who got introduced to network marketing conventionally (i.e through a friend or an associate) don't even know the term 'network marketing' much less 'Multi-level marketing (or MLM)'.
In fact, most of them don't realize until struggling for a while that... 'marketing' is the actual job. Well, now you know.
Sometimes, people would find books and magazine about business opportunity where network marketing would be one of the ways prescribed to start a business.
So in research, many of the network marketing definitions they would find would not add up well.
The two words in network marketing are:
- Network and
Most adults know what they mean. But once you start diving through the idea of recruiting a sales force and complicated compensation plans like the binary and the uniline and legs of lagging bonuses, simplicity goes out of the window.
I've been studying successful people ever since I read "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill which was a book that studied successful people.
One of the major things I've noticed about successful people is that they don't claim to know it all. They'd rather 'leverage' the effort of a bunch people who do know something while keeping simplicity in mind.
...hence the idea of a Network Marketing 2.0. driven definition that I am about to reveal.
"Network Marketing 2.0 is a business model that uses professional marketing and prospecting skills as a tool to grow a network by building a 'leadership brand' that serves consumers by actually giving value thereby building a loyal tribe and a sustainable empire."
Do you like it?
It defiles the purpose of simplicity. But then it may be impossible to wrap a successful network marketing business into a one statement definition. Also, that definition arguably sounds more complicated than the other ones.
But we can take a few minutes to dissect that baby right? Check out these 7 elements of network marketing 2.0:
- A Business Model
- Professional marketing and prospecting skills
- Growing a network
- Building a leadership brand
- Serving by giving actual value to an audience.
- Building a loyal tribe that buys and join anything you recommend
- Building a sustainable empire.
(NOTE: Want to copy & paste my personal prospecting system into your business? This is how I was able to build my downline to 7,000+, recruit 20 - 30 reps per month, generating $13,000 - $15,000 in a single day WITHOUT the need to mess with my family and friends ever again? PLUS you will discover my Automatic Downline Builder Program. Click Here for INSTANT ACCESS)
Ultimately every business consists of buying and selling activities. No network marketing definition will be complete without a clarity of how these 2 activities happen in it since it's a business model first.
How come we can't simply open a corner store and sell whatever we want... to buyers from there? How is the network marketing business model better than that simple model?
It's better because of leverage. It's basically the difference between a self-employed operation and a business system. Robert Kiyosaki of Rich Dad did a great job of breaking this down in his book series.
"I would rather earn 1% off a 100 people's efforts than 100% of my own efforts. ~ John D. Rockefeller"
Why Network Marketing 2.0? Well, the network marketing concept is more popular than ever before.
If you don't set yourself apart in your marketing strategies, you will be doing the same thing as 98% network marketing reps on the internet.
It's not a coincidence that about 98% of network marketing reps are failing and making less than $10 per month. I'm sure you do not want to be a part of that stat.
That's why you need the last 4 of those 7 elements, building a leadership brand, serving by giving actual value to an audience, building a loyal tribe that buys and join anything you recommend, building a sustainable empire.
So he or she with the question in the beginning was absolutely right.
You can't have a true network marketing definition in just one sentence. Hopefully, I've given enough to create more interest in exploring into it more or making a well informed decision for a suitable business model for you.
Here are other network marketing definitions from some popular sources:
"Network marketing is a type of business opportunity that is very popular with people looking for part-time, flexible businesses. Some of the best-known companies in America, including Avon, Mary Kay Cosmetics and Tupperware, fall under the network marketing umbrella."
DEFINITION of 'Network Marketing' A sales strategy in which a salesperson attends meetings of organizations whose members are likely to be interested in a particular product or service in order to develop a book of business.
Network Marketing is a marketing strategy in which sales representatives of a company recruit other salespeople and earn commissions on their own sales and on the sales made by their team.
Network marketing is a business model that relies on a network of distributors to grow a business.
Multi-level marketing (MLM), also known as Network Marketing is a business distribution model that allows a parent multi-level marketing company to market their products directly to consumers by means of relationship referral and direct selling.