Continue to Part II: Ethical Network Marketing »
IntroductionNetwork marketing is a direct selling method of moving products and services which relies on independent marketers who set up their own small businesses - sort of like mini-franchises; and have a certain degree of freedom in how they sell their products. Network marketing does not rely on stores to move products, rather on alternative ways such as dinner parties, to sell their goods. Another key characteristic of network marketing is the need to recruit customers into the business. When a network marketer recruits new members, he will then receive a percentage of the sales. Network marketing is often mentioned and sometimes confused with pyramid schemes, but there are certain differences that set the two apart. Network marketing is governed by certain rules, such as not allowing distributors to purchase all their own supplies, how much money is required up front for distributors to join, and buy back policies.
CostsNetwork marketing costs vary from company to company, and from individual to individual. Most companies to charge a sign-up fee for new members (usually not more than a few hundred dollars) which covers training materials and sales kits. Distributors can then sell their products using the internet or face to face. They are free to create their own websites (which they must pay from their own pocket) or can use templates that are offered by the home office.
TimeframeThere is no particular timeframe for network marketers to achieve success, but generally the longer people stick with it, the more success they will have. Recruiting takes time, and this is especially true for creating downlines (other distributors that are recruited) which are several persons deep. A large amount of network marketers drop out before six months are completed, and cause the statistics for success in network marketing to be staggeringly low.
Action PlanWhat network marketing companies typically want new recruits to do is to begin by selling to their friends and family, called a warm market. After this stage, then distributors can focus their energies on creating leads, and start working their cold market. Creating a website can lead to quick sales, and is a great way to start networking online. Using social networking sites is an increasingly popular way to create leads and find interested potential customers.
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