The secret to real residual income in network marketing lies in your Network Marketing Customers. Read further to find out why and how?

There has been genuine lack of consensus and general confusion amongst Network Marketing novices and experts alike when it comes to prospecting your hot market (i.e. close family and/or friends). Do you lead with the business, lead with the products or approach with both? Well, I do believe some Network Marketing experts and coaches maybe effectively setting many new network marketers up for failure!

I agree this is a strong statement, but in my five years or so having been involved in the network marketing industry I have heard and studied many of the world's leading network marketing coaches. While there are exceptions, many of these experts encourage network marketers when prospecting their hot market to lead with the business. They do so by building the dream of wealthy lifestyles; or the pain associated with their current lifestyle; in doing so they sell Network Marketing as the solution. This usually goes hand-in-hand with skeptical prospects (who often double as family members or friends); who then blow the new associate out by of the water with the reasons why this 'get rich quick' scheme won't work. How long does it take for the new associate to "quit" or "simply do nothing" in their new venture, when they receive this type of negative feedback?

Well generally three of these "negative" experiences will be enough to sour the expectations of our new associate. So how do we minimise these negative responses and help facilitate success for our new associates?

To explore this we need to make a few basic assumptions. Firstly, you have done some research and have selected a company that manufactures products that are somewhat better than what is commercially available or provide a value proposition for consumers. Secondly, we will also assume that the company you have joined has the ability to get these products in the hands of consumers in a timely and cost effective manner. Finally, we will assume 'your company' or 'prospective' company has a pay plan that is relatively balanced in rewarding the distributor for adding both customers and new distributors to their organisation.

For the next step we will ask 100 network marketers who have been in the industry less than 6 months if would they feel more comfortable approaching

    a) 10 of their best friends about a new business venture or

    b) conversationally recommending to 10 of their friends a product they already use and most likely believe in.

So what would our 100 new network marketers choose?

Well we recently surveyed 100 new multi-level marketers across 5 different companies and the results were surprising to say the least. With 83% of respondents went with option B and decided to use a personal testimonial with the products as their first approach to their hot market. Why did we get such an overwhelming result? Almost without exception the 83% came up with two common answers. Firstly, because many had had a result with their company's products but had not yet seen the results in their business; so they felt uncomfortable recommending the business based on faith on what it may deliver long-term. Secondly, many thought that the promise of million dollar lifestyles that many network marketing companies promote in their marketing was unrealistic both to them and felt that they would receive a similar feedback from their hot market.

So on the basis of these results what if we adopted a different strategy toward prospecting and marketing toward our hot market? This marketing approach is based around promoting the positive experience that you have had with your company's products and potentially identifying how these products may provide benefit to those in your hot and warm markets. This coupled with the ability of network marketers to value add to customers experience through educational marketing provides network marketers with a major competitive advantage over commercial suppliers or retailers. This is the same marketing approach advocated by one of Europe's leading Network Marketing coaches - Edward Ludbrook.

Now there are a few exceptions to the leading with the products approach. These exceptions would include being partnered with company that has is a below average product, or a product that provides little to no value. If the Pay Plan of your company is front-end loaded toward growing your organisation with new distributors; or finally if you have a specific targeted marketing campaign of looking for a few key entrepreneurs to partner with on your new network marketing venture.

I personally have encouraged the 'customer and product' first approach throughout my organisation. It is based around helping new associates to find ten new customers within their hot and/or warm market. The next step is to identify just two of these ten customers that maybe want to cover the cost of their products and make a little extra money. An extra $20,000/year is far more believable and achievable rather than promoting unrealistic multi-million lifestyles; which in reality less than 1% of people achieve in network marketing. The third step is to help those two new associates to also find their ten customers and within those ten customers we will find another two distributors and so on. We have now achieved a growing organisation built around a base of loyal network marketing customers who feel valued and are also part of an on-going education program about the continued benefits of using your company's products. We have also established a core of network marketing distributors who have realistic expectations of their success in network marketing and who are also enthusiastic about recommending products that have made a difference in their lives and are happy to be rewarded for their recommendations. This approach for building your Network Marketing business helps address the boom-bust cycle when your income is tied to how quickly you can sign-up new associates only for them to drop out two or three months later because they have not been able to duplicate your expansion activity, they do not understand the personal value of using your company's products; or they are not earning regular income because of the lack of regular product volume in their organisation.

This approach may sound a bit boring compared to large meetings with people throwing their arms in the air about the prospect of driving Ferrari's, living in mansions or holidaying every year in the Caribbean on the Network Marketing Company's account. However, all this 'hoopla' and 'hogwash' counts for little unless you have a steady income week in and week out, year after year. Generally, most people quit Network Marketing not because they haven't made any money out of Network Marketing; they quit because they have been sold on unrealistic expectations of 'immediate riches'.

"Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations" - Edward de Bono

If you are new to Network Marketing I would strongly encourage you to get together with someone who has achieved a level of success within your company and to look to develop a multi-faceted marketing approach including how to better promote network marketing customer development and retention within your growing organisation.

Author's Bio: 

Troy Rocavert is chairman and CEO of Network Marketing Business School, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and network marketing companies.

Born and raised on a farm in outback Australia, Troy from a young age learnt how to overcome adversity and has since developed a passion to help individuals and businesses achieve their goals and commit to their action plans to achieve success.

Prior to founding his company, Troy had a successful career in project engineering management. During his engineering career he started his own network marketing business and soon found that he was a born trainer becoming one of industries most recognized entrepreneurs, training thousands of people in the network marketing industry each month. Troy’s successful experience and knowledge make him one of the most sought after advisors, speakers, trainers and creators of content in the network marketing industry. Be sure to check out his Blog.