Have you recently decided to take the plunge and become a network marketer? You likely have dreams of building a successful business.
Network marketing attracts people for many reasons. While some want to supplement their incomes, others love the opportunity to work for themselves. Whatever your reason, you’re likely anxious and eager to get started. After all, the sooner you start, the sooner you can start making money.
Hang on for a moment, though. Although success isn’t guaranteed, there are several things you can do before you get started to build a strong business.
How to build a successful network marketing business
Success secret #1: Focus on relationships
Network marketing is like any other business – if you want to succeed, you have to have a strong customer network of loyal advocates. However, for many years network marketing had a negative reputation because of the aggressive sales tactics used by network marketers. Instead of building advocates, many were burning bridges just to make a sale. The biggest downside of this is although one may make the sale at the time, the customer isn’t likely to buy again in the future.
The good news is you don’t have to sell that way. You don’t need to use aggressive sales tactics and pressure your friends, neighbors, and loved ones into buying from you and joining your team. In fact, it’s smarter NOT to use aggressive, often traditional, sales methods to build your business.
One of the reasons many network marketers get into the business is they love connecting with people. They love talking to people, expanding their social circles, and finding ways to make new connections. People skills are vital to building a successful business. Use these skills to help you build yours.
Instead of using aggressive sales tactics to make a sale right now, take the time to get to know your current and potential customers and build trust. As you build trust, people will become more likely to buy from you, not just once, but on a regular basis. Studies show we tend to buy from people we know and trust. Let your network get to know you better – and vice versa – and you’ll earn their trust. Not only will they buy from you, they’ll likely introduce you to other people who can benefit from your business, but more on that later.
Success secret #2: Cultivate a heart to serve
When relationships are at the heart of your business, show you care by serving your customers and team members. Service comes in many forms:
Listen to your network when you have the opportunity to connect with them. How many of us ask questions, but don’t quite listen to the answer? So often we’re busy thinking of the next thing – a response, a witty quip, etc. Instead, stay present and listen to what people are saying.
Look for ways to help. People may not always say specifically that they need help, but they often leave clues in the conversation. Look for those clues and find a way to help, whether it’s by suggesting a product or service you sell as part of your business or by connecting them with someone else in your network who can help them if your business can’t.
Seek to be the hub of your network. When you’re at the center of your network, people come to you. They see you as an expert in your business and industry and love that they can rely on you. Although this takes time, it’s well worth the effort.
Success secret #3: Place more importance on serving rather than selling
That’s not to say that sales aren’t important; they are. However, it’s not the only important part of having a successful business. Traditional network marketers focused only on the sale and then found themselves always trying to find new customers. Why? In the process of making the sale, they managed to alienate their customers. Sure, customers bought from them once, but they likely avoided them afterward. It’s hard to make a sale when someone is avoiding you. As a result, these traditional network marketers are always in the process of rebuilding their networks.
In contrast, when you focus on serving rather than the sale, you build trust with the people you want to become your loyal customers. No one wants to be seen as just another sale. Your customers don’t want to be used for their wallets. And, customers are super savvy these days and can smell a sales pitch from miles away.
Instead of always trying to sell, sell, sell, focus on finding ways to serve. As mentioned in the previous section, look for ways to help. This allows you to build trust and also builds your overall relationships. Your network will be able to tell the difference. They’ll see that you truly care about them as people, not just a potential sale. That great service will encourage them to continue to come back.
Success Secret #4: Grow your network
The language here is intentional: grow. Think of your network as seeds. In order for them to blossom into plants, you have to tend to them and give them all the sunshine and water they need. In business, sunshine, and water take the form of communication. Just as some seeds require more sunshine and water than others, so too will you connect with some people in your network more often than others. These are the top advocates in your network. Think of them as the delicious sugar snap peas or prize-winning pumpkins in your garden who keep your business alive. Showering them with attention – that is, connecting with them on a monthly basis to check in and see how you can help – ensures they’ll remain the showstoppers of your garden…er…network.
In gardening, when you want to grow more of a particular plant, you save its seeds or take a cutting of an offshoot. In business, when you want to grow your network, you go to your best customers and ask them to introduce you to other great people they know and trust. For many, this is the toughest part of building a business. Whether they’re shy or don’t want to come off as salesy, it can feel awkward – at least at first – to ask an advocate to introduce you. But, rest assured, they would love to introduce you; in fact, they’re probably already telling everyone they know all about you. Asking them to introduce you gives them the opportunity to close the circle. So, go ahead and ask. You’ll be surprised how many people in your network are excited to connect you with other great people they know.
Success Secret #5: Create a successful business routine
One of the most important things you can do to create a successful business is to commit to a daily routine. Success isn’t a flashy, get-rich-quick scheme; it takes time and patience. At the core is a commitment to the habits that drive your business. In network marketing, this means connecting with your customers, prospects, and distributors on a consistent basis. Although the frequency of communication will depend on the level of relationship you have with them, it’s important to connect with them on a regular basis.
The biggest challenge network marketers have is setting aside the time it takes to connect with their networks. That’s why I encourage network marketers to do a daily Power Hour – an hour (or less) each day to focus on connecting with customers, prospects, and team members and taking care of business.