Friday, January 15, 2010

How do you Evaluate an MLM or Network Marketing Company?





2010 will see more people than every looking for their Plan B or an alternative to their employment situation. In many parts of the USA there is unemployment up to 16.8%. Six figure income earners are now struggling to keep their families together with lesser jobs paying as little as $20K or even less! People from ALL walks of life are looking for an alternative path to either create new or REcreate a suitable and generous income. Network Marketing traditionally thrives during these economic downturns, and, to be sure, people are often duped into all kinds of ""creative"" opportunities. To add to the mix, myriad self proclaimed Internet Gurus entice the most intelligent people into scams or ventures that only benefit them! To be sure, a set of Guidelines is requisite to making an educated and informed decision, BEFORE you decide to jump into Network Marketing, MLM o r Direct Sales.

Here are the Guidelines and Evaluation Points I reviewed on the Thursday evening Generic Skills Training call for The Distributor Rights Associaton on January 14, 2010. Be sure to use them and your common sense, when researching a potential Network Marketing, MLM or Direct Sales company. Remember, treat your selection of a company seriously, with respect and as a partner for life. You will be spending lots of time and energy with the people in the company and on your particular team. Make sure it is a comfortable fit AND a reputable company that will be here 10 years from now so that your hard won income does not evaporate.


Guidelines and Evaluation Points:

~~~~ Be sure to consider and evaluate the Company Management and Experience. Although you are seeking a Business oriented company, it must be one whose Management knows what it takes to build a network of people or team, and one whose Integrity is exemplified in the Company Policies and Procedures or Terms and Conditions which reflects their INTENTION toward the Distributor. Policies and Procedures or Terms and Conditions are the CONTRACT between you and the company and outline THEIR REPSONSIBILITY TO YOU, and YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO THEM. Is this contract Distributor friendly or do they display Company Greed? If you were an Airline Pilot seeking a position with American Airlines, you would want to know YOUR obligations to them as well as THEIR obligations to you BEFORE you signed on with them, wouldn't you? Treat the potential contract with your future Networking Company very seriously and in the same way as any other Employment Contract! You will have to live with it once you agree to the terms.

~~~~Be sure to pay attention to the basics! Make sure that the company you are looking at has a company website that has a listing with contact information including physical address, email address, working telephone numbers, listing of all the Corporate Officers with their experience, Company history and philosophy, Policies & Procedures or Terms & Conditions and is Professionally made and not a home made site.

~~~~ Be sure you can be excited and passionate about the product or product line. Then be selective and find a company whose products not only fit YOUR criteria, but whose products are exemplary AND have some passion of their own! Seth Godin wrote a book called The Purple Cow. Roy H. Williams (The Wizard of Ads) refersto the ability of a product to stand out and get through “Boca’s Point” which is in the forefront of the brain. Boca’s Point does not allow the mundane or “the usual” to get past it to the rest of the brain. An example of this would be when you are driving down a country lane and spot herds of cows on the left and right; all black and white or brown and white. Soon they blur in your vision as they are “familiar” and all alike. Then your companion shouts, “Look at that” and you spot Babe the Big Blue Ox with pink and green polka dots all over his body. Babe COULD get through Boca’s Point because it STANDS OUT IN A CROWD. This is called “A Purple Cow”. Make sure your product line can be seen, tasted, and experienced, all with integrity as a Purple Cow in your Industry.

~~~~Be sure that the Price Point for the product or product line is one that is not only fair to the Company, but also to the End User, whether they be a customer or distributer on your team. Traditionally, MLM, Direct Sale and Network Marketing company's product pricing is usually a bit higher (so they can pay out commissions to you) but should be equally generous to both you the distributor, and the company. This is why I personally would NOT select a company that is publicly traded. They have to report and satisfy their Board of Directors and Shareholders, and care less about the pockets of their distributers. When your products are fairly priced and have exemplary quality, your ability to grow AND RETAIN a large customer and distributer (END USER) base becomes easier! Recurring Income is based on the ability to gather and RETAIN customers who purchase over and over and over again! When the pricing is fair AND the quality of the products is exemplary and does its job, the end user will continue to purchase products, Sustaining and Stablizing your Recurring Income!

~~~~Be sure The Compensation Plan is fair and treats you, the distributer and the company itself fairly and as equal partners. There are all types of compensation plans; binaries (where you build 2 teams), Matrices (Matrix either square or triangle & promising "spill over"), Unilevel (building one long line) and more including some very convoluted hybred plans! The plan you select MUST pay the AVERAGE, part time people, not just the 2% top distributers. It must also give you the ability to be rewarded and thrive on Retail Sales, if you wish. Again, Recurring income is built on CONTINUED use of product by both distributor and customers (end users). Thus, it is essential that your plan PAYS the AVERAGE person who is just starting out so they will continue to use the products and build their businesses for years to come. Large amounts of new distributers become END USERS and do not "build a business" with you. When your compensation plan rewards you based on VOLUME of product purchased, YOU WIN, because your Recurring Income checks will stabalize and grow as these satisfied End Users CONTINUE to purchase product and ocassionally refer others.

~~~~Select a Sponsor who shows that they care about you and YOUR goals and is willing to help YOU on your Journey to Success. This person is your Business Partner! Time and again, I have seen people who know nothing about Network Marketing sign up with the first person who calls them and paints them a rosie picture of riches in the next 30-60 days. You will be building a relationship with this person, so be sure that their knowledge, passion and integrity matches yours. To be sure, you will be IN BUSINESS FOR YOURSELF, but should NOT BE BY YOURSELF. The wonderful part of Network Marketing, if done properly, is the Team effort including Upline Leadership and Support. It is essential that Your Upline Team Members will lend support, develop and encourage team spirit & culture and supply leadership, perhaps including tools such as a Team Website, Continued Education, a Personal Development Program and an ACTION PLAN for all on an ongoing basis for ALL members regardless of their geographic location, limitations or initial abilities. Synergy, integrity and honesty must prevail within the team and all actions should benefit ALL, not just the few.

~~~~The economic downturn has created a natural Timing in the Industry for Network Marketing however there should be a “Window of Opportunity” with your chosen Company. If your company is one of 200 who sell blue and green marbles, with no distinction, the company does NOT offer a Window of Opportunity”. Excel Communications had to SUE the Baby Bells BEFORE they would release any customers. It would not be prudent to have joined Exel BEFORE they were actually able to supply services. In other words, good timing for a Distributor would have been AFTER the Law Suit was completed and customers were able to actually receive the service, NOT during the two years Excel was suing the Baby Bells. (This includes “”start up companies” who are untested and perhaps under financed). Look for products that distinguish themselves in the Global Market Place.

There are a plethora of "new" companies sprouting up every day. Be sure to employ these Guidelines and Evaluation Points BEFORE you choose your company. Approach your selection with the Intention of finding a company with whom you will be associated with for many years to come. Up until the 1970's it was the "norm" to seek out traditional employment with the Intention of being there 30-40 years or even a lifetime, collecting your Gold Watch and Retiring. These days collecting job titles on a CV and hopping from one company to the next seems like the norm for those in TRADITIONAL EMPLOYMENT, if you can find it! The Network Marketing Arena, attracting entrepeneurs and the traditionally minded alike, has the potential for us to go back to the security of an (extraordinary) income stream for life, if we choose wisely and then find the right sponsor/mentor, company and pay plan, learn the basic skills and Take Action.

If you would like to learn more about these Guidelines or would like assistance in finding a company, feel free to call or write,
Guidelines@CompassionateMarketing.com


May your day be a treasure bringing Increase and Plenty to your door.

Practicing Abundance, Prosperity & Kindness EVERY DAY,

RS
RandiSusan Mallory
Compassionate Marketing
512.472.2604 Country Code 001
SKYPE or Oovoo: rsmallory



Copyright ©2005- 2010 RS Mallory/Compassionate Marketing. All Rights Reserved. May be used with Proper Attribution

3 comments:

Bernie Kaufman said...

Lots of criteria but all important!

Bernie Kaufman said...

It can be difficult to properly evaluate a company or offer. Thanks for sharing.

Judy Garcia said...

Great article RS.A lot of valuable information.