WHO IS THE BEST PERSON TO MARKET A PRODUCT OR SERVICE?
ANSWER: A SATISFIED CUSTOMER
Have you ever noticed how many products, services, restaurants, movies you try because you heard about them from someone else? A friend, family member, colleague, co-worker just happens to mention that they have been using something or trying something and you want to try it too? Well that is a form of network marketing except the person who refers you isn’t getting paid for the referral. Would you be surprised to know that there is an entire industry that is made up of exactly that type of referral marketing that is a huge expanding market and is projected to keep expanding at an even great pace for the next 18 years as the baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 start to retire this year. Did you know that for the next 15 years every eight seconds someone will turn 53? If you are curious to know more about this exponential growth industry read on.
The baby boomers are approximately one third of the present world population and control 65% of the money. If you look back over the last 55 or so years you will notice industries that the baby boomers have controlled in 15 year cycles, starting with Gerber baby foods which was an unknown company at the end of the forties; Hasbro Toys, McDonalds; Dairy Queen; the real estate boom in the 70’s and 80’s; the fifteen year massive stockmarket rise. What are the current concerns of the boomers? Health, retirement, looking younger, financial security, education, money. The interesting thing is that the concept of “retirement” is just a concept. People don’t just retire any longer partly because the golden retirement package became a little tarnished for many people, the pension plans and 401k plans that were such dream machines in the seventies never quite materialized enough for our boomers to continue with their affluent lifestyle. Then we have the X and Y generations who found that they had a ton of education and yet the workplace didn’t quite match up to their expectations and their time was being leveraged for the fat cat CEO’s at the top of the pyramid so now we have three generations looking for another stream of income. Enter Network Marketing. Network Marketing as an industry is about 50 years old but has come of age of late. The main reason is timing and trends. About seventy per cent of network marketing companies are in the health and wellness industry. This is possibly due to the fact that many people are having to take responsibility for their own health care and the fact that, (with the exception of the “Fast Food Nation” (Eric Schlosser )sector of the population,) people are younger and more vital than ever before and want to remain so into the third trimester of their lives. The French call this Le Troisieme Age – meaning a new epoch where different life challenges present themselves – but these are in actual fact new opportunities rather than just a time to retire and vegetate. Furthermore, network marketing turns the pyramid on its head. Instead of all the wealth being controlled from the top down in network marketing anyone can start at the bottom and reach the top where there are lots of places not just one or two so this a much more democratic system.
How do you explain network marketing ? Basically, Network marketing is a distribution system that enables the distributor to leverage his or her time so not only do they make money from their own efforts but also the efforts from the people that they have introduced to the company, mentored and trained. This is a 20 billion dollar industry in the US alone and is growing globally between 10-12% a year, compared to 3-4% growth of traditional retailing. What makes this system work so well? Firstly the products are usually less expensive than traditional products of the same quality but actually often you are getting more value for your money. If you think about the traditional cost of getting a product to market lets say a can of soda – the soda costs 6 cents including the can to make, and yet by the time it goes through all the distribution channels, i.e. national distributor, regional distributor, local wholesaler, advertising costs and reaches the retail store that 6 cent can of soda costs $2. In network marketing those distribution steps are broken down where instead of all those distribution channels and advertising costs the products go directly from the manufacturer to the warehouse and the sales are made through the distributor therefore leaving all that in between money for more research and development and to pay the distributors. This is a much more efficient system that can cover the entire country because the products go directly from the distribution center to the consumer. The distributor is effectively in business for himself but the difference is that unlike the majority of people who open their own business he is not in business by himself. Regular small business owners have to pay all their overhead but with the network marketing company covers the cost of warehousing, pricing, shipping, research and development, catalogs, quality control, accounting, government relations, website maintenance, and payroll. The distributor just has to be concerned with recommending his products and teaching his people how to do the same thing. With a minimal investment of money but some investment in “sweat equity” i.e. studying the business model, the products and marketing strategies, the distributor can start a business, set his or her own hours, work from home part time or full time or as is happening a lot use the network marketing industry as an adjunct to their other business such as professionals in health care, doctors, dentists, accountants lawyers. Network marketers are also able to take advantage of the tax benefits of owning a small business.
Universities are now offering courses in network marketing . The internet is saturated with people that want to sell you courses and leads but “caveat emptor” and do due diligence, because like all industries there are going to be smoke and mirrors and the rogues and scoundrels will get their share of your dollars.
What to look for in a network marketing company?