The Sharing Business

If you don’t like the idea of ‘selling’ things, especially to your family and friends, you’re not alone. I’ve been self-employed since 2003, and even though I have put together business pitches and plans in order to win clients, I’ve never considered myself a sales person. I’ve certainly never had any sales training. Like many people, the image of the smarmy used car salesman trying to push his wares onto people sends a shiver down my spine.

One of the great misperceptions about the network marketing model, is that it is a glorified ‘selling’ career. My experience has been far from that.

I started my franchise out of curiosity for the products. I wanted my whole family to try them and it seemed sensible to enjoy the discount of being in the business. We are a product of my product.

At this point, my instinct was to share our success with the people I care about most; my friends and family. It’s the same when you see a great movie or eat in a great restaurant…you tell people about it. I did exactly that.

By helping three or four of my friends, I was already earning enough additional income to buy myself a new pair of shoes every month (should the mood take me)! That said, helping them wave goodbye to issues such as psoriasis, immune issues and poor sleep, was way more rewarding.

This is why network marketing is really a sharing business. And it’s very well placed in today’s business environment. In his excellent book ‘To Sell is Human’ Daniel Pink explains this concept beautifully. The days of vendors wielding all the power are well and truly over. The smarmy used car sales person really is becoming a rarity.

The rise of the Internet and the easy dissemination of information means that the buyers now rule. And invariably, they want to buy through referrals. They ask for recommendations and they read reviews. Network marketing professionals simple plug into this new buying paradigm. Face-to-face, via social media or at events, it doesn’t matter. They’re there to inspire and share.

And if it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.