So you’re thinking about joining one of those ‘things’? You know, a network marketing company. You want to be a part of the next generation of millionaires by claiming your very own slice of the freedom pie, offering more time, better choices and more money?
Well, before you go for that coffee date, I suggest you do your due diligence and whittle down a select handful from the hundreds that are out there (and more popping up every day). You’re going to need some answers to some big questions in order to make an educated decision.
After more than a decade in the network marketing industry, and now as a self-proclaimed lifer, here are my top 21 questions to ask a potential network marketing ‘sponsor’ or ‘upline’ to help you decide WHICH company or product is a fit for you.
#1 – Is this company a member of the Direct Sellers Association?
Why? Because the DSA acts as a governing body to ensure that the business practices of the company are ethical, legal and NOT a pyramid scheme (among other things). Each company has to go through an extensive audit process before they can become a DSA member. You want that. Remember, this is your reputation on the line too.
#2 – How do I earn a $1,000 dollars per month?
Why? Well, other than the obvious, being that you want to make a profit, you also want to know if your friend actually knows how to make money with this business or has he/she just bought into a concept. The average household’s make it or break number is $300. That is, if they make $300 less/month they might go under, and if they make $300 more/month they feel secure. Shooting for $1,000 extra/month means you have a viable business and not just a funky opportunity.
#3 – Do I make money by selling product, or signing up people?
You want to be a part of a product driven company that pays their distributors/consultants on product sales. Why? Because maybe they are meeting with you right now because they get a bonus instead of seeing how this business could be a fit for you.
#4 – Do I have to buy product to get started?
So this is a bit of a trick question. The truth is you can’t sell from an empty cart, nor can you effectively sell what you haven’t tried. That being said, if you HAVE to buy a ‘package’ to get started, how are you to know whether or not they are ‘consulting’ for your paycheque, or theirs? BTW, the Direct Sales association frown on this kind of behaviour.
#5 – Why did they say yes to this business?
Listen for their heart in what they say. If they started their business just to make a paycheque, while that’s totally acceptable, logical and a great reason to have a business, so is gold-mining, or selling products on eBay. This is a relationship based business and you are entering a very long term relationship with both this person and the company. It’s a good thing to know the truth about why they are here.
#6 – Why did they choose to sell these particular products?
If they haven’t tried them yet, you’re going to know now. If that’s the case, this business might just be an ‘opportunity’ for them just like countless other opportunities. What would that say about you?
#7 – What is the duplication model of their business (or what is expected of you each month?).
Success in a network marketing business is based on duplication, meaning, can 1,000 people do what you do? Find out what they do each day, week, month and what you will be teaching others to do as well.
#8 – What is their monthly sales target and why?
#9 – Are they set up for clients to shop online from you?
In today’s market if you’re not able to shop online, you’re in the dark ages. Enough said.
#10 – What are their social media marketing rules?
You want to sell a product/brand that is protected. For example, one distributor can’t sell publicly at 50% off while you are choosing to sell at no discount, and you want to have access to professional images ensuring that the brand doesn’t look like it’s cooked up in someone’s basement at home. That said, too many rules may hinder your ability to tell the product’s story online! You want a balance.
#11 – What is their return policy?
And hope it’s a good one! What would be important to you?
#12 – What kind of compensation plan do they use?
There are generally four: The Binary System, the Breakaway (or Stair Step) Plan, Unilevel and Forced Matrix. Each system has its positives and negatives. We won’t get into the details here as it’s another post entirely, however, it’s important to fully understand HOW you are getting paid and how others on your team will be as well.
#13 – Are their products used daily?
You want to be part of a business that sells products that are consumable and need to be replaced regularly. Why? Because you want your customers to come back without you having to ”sell” them on the idea of a re-order.
#14 – Can you try the product before you join the company to see if you would feel comfortable being a part of it.
This is a no-brainer right? The answer should be YES to this one for sure!
#15 – How long has the company been in business?
I know, I know, I know… some of you like to take big risks and jump on board the newest thing, and while I understand the appeal, there’s something to be said about getting involved with a tried and true company that is on the rise. When you get involved with an established company, a lot of the early kinks have already been sorted out. Did you know that more than 80% of all network marketing companies close their doors before they reach their 10th birthday. It’s true.
#16 – Is their business in other countries and if so, which ones?
The network marketing industry is becoming one of today’s most accessible and profitable global businesses because it can be done online. Be sure to find out where the company is and where it is going.
#17 – Is there a market demand for these products?
For example, Health and Wellness is the top growing market in the world today. People want to live longer, save the planet and save their lives. Are these products an answer to those wants and needs?
#18 – What is the average monthly ‘overhead’ with your business?
For example, do you buy samples? Business supplies? Catalogues? How much money on average does a distributor/consultant spend each week?
#19 – What kind of training is available to you?
Look for the fit that works for you. For example, do they have a monthly Skype/Zoom/Google+ Webinar, or conference call? Do they offer an annual convention? How is your sponsor going to support you?
#20 – Who are the top three upline/sponsors above you that you can connect with?
Believe it or not, people quit all the time in this business and you want to make sure that if this person quits, you know who to reach up to above them for mentorship.
#21 – What is their business goal and how are you a part of that?
If you want to build a substantial business, you want to be a part of a successline that is going somewhere. While it’s true that you can pass the person ahead of you (your sponsor or higher), it’s much easier when we have mentorship and a leader out in front.
And lastly… and this is a bonus, if you are just looking at starting up your own little business to have a little hobby with a small paycheque attached to it, just remember: “if you treat it like a hobby, it will COST you like one, but if you treat it like a business, it will PAY you like one and more!
Want to learn more about how you can benefit from all the network marketing industry has to offer by being in business with TinaO? Why not join in the conversation in her private Facebook Group? All are welcome.