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Changing The Face Of Network Marketing

Aug 20, 2008
It is said that perception is reality. This is true to the person who has the perception. Those involved in Network Marketing know the truth about the brilliance of the compensation plans they believe in, but too many times even with the best of intentions Network Marketers shoot themselves in the foot with what they say or how they describe this truly genius marketing plan.

"I've never participated in MLM programs, because I don't want to be under somebody having to get more people under me." This was an actual response from someone I talked to about Network Marketing. Why does he feel this way about MLMs? Just look at what he said and how he said it. Take special note to his choice of words. "I don't want to be UNDER somebody...". This perception has to go.

Why is it there in the first place? There are a number of reasons. I would submit to you, though, that the Network Marketing industry and the people in it perpetuate this unfortunate misconception. How?

Mostly by the terminology that is used when people are showing their business plans. Also, by the illustrations that have been shown for years like the drawing of circles one underneath the other underneath the other and so on.

For this particular prospect, it is his perception that he is "under" someone, as if he is a subordinate to the person above him. Nothing could be further from the truth! It's interesting to note that he has no problem being a subordinate to his boss at his job. Those of us that understand the brilliance of the Network Marketing compensation plan know that in reality, MLMs are truly the most level playing field available for anyone who gets involved compared to any other business structure out there.

The reality, as we know it, is that EVERY person that gets involved in an MLM program has an equal chance of success in terms of promotion status and compensation than anyone else in that program. No matter where that person may be in the "system". When one person sponsors another, they are on equal ground in terms of the success each one can achieve. The new associate can actually out promote and can far out earn his sponsor if he so chooses. He who does the work gets paid the most. Isn't this the most sought after thing in the work world? That is equal opportunity for everyone no matter who they are or where they come from? Isn't this what traditional business has been trying to accomplish for years? Hasn't our government tried to legislate this??? Here's a news flash for the traditional business world... You can never truly accomplish this. Network Marketing always has and always will have it.

Why do think most people want to own their own business? They want equal opportunity.

In Network Marketing, sure the sponsor in most cases is getting overrides off of his downline(bad term we'll discuss later). However, if the sponsor is out "sponsored" by his partners then the partners promote to higher levels and make more money. Sometimes a lot more money. So in this case, who actually is below or under who?

Network Marketing is truly the most equal and level playing field for anyone who makes the decision to get involved despite of their background. The traditional business structure is far from being this fair. The true "pyramids" are traditional businesses and governmental structures where the guy at the top always makes the biggest money while those UNDER him are compensated far less. Additionally, those in the "downline"(better term for these business structures) of the traditional business can NEVER promote past the guy at the top. They may be able to promote past others in their "upline"(better term for this structure), but usually at the expense of someone else. When someone is promoted in the traditional business structure, many times it is at someone else's expense fostering resentment and bitterness by those demoted or passed over.

In Network Marketing, on the other hand, a sponsor would love for anyone in his "downline"(can we get rid of this term?) to promote to any level they desire. In fact, the sponsor encourages it and begs for it... Please promote!... Everyone! Any associate's income in Multi-Level Marketing is NOT at the expense of anyone else's in the organization.

I've made several references to terminology and whether I believe it's good or bad depending on which business structure you are referring to. Network Marketing's references to those in one's organization giving the perception of subordination really need to be done away with. "He's in my downline." "She's in my upline." It is my belief that the perceptions of many prospects like the one I referred to earlier might have had a different opinion if certain references and illustrations changed in Network Marketing.

So what should you call your business partners in your Networking business? Well, just that, "Business Partners" is a start. I don't think anyone should refer to their business partners as part of their "downline". That would seem to indicate that they are somehow lesser than you or a subordinate to you in some way and we know that this is NOT the case.

I don't believe when circles are being drawn for a prospect that you should put yourself ABOVE them. On the contrary, you should draw YOUR circle at the BOTTOM of the page and put your partner circles above you. Or draw them out to the side. After all, they are equal partners with an equal chance to succeed.

We all know that the true pyramids are the traditional business structures. Let's separate and distance ourselves from them. Can we please?!? MLMs are equal opportunity and traditional business is not. We need to clearly distinguish Network Marketing businesses as the equal opportunity structure that traditional businesses are not.

Uplines should be Sidelines. Downlines should be your true Upline. Put your sponsored partners above yourself to raise yourself. We all know that that is what Network Marketing is all about. Helping others to succeed.

Come on Network Marketers, let's change this perception to the true reality of equal opportunity for all.
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