The above quote I borrowed from my mentor Sally - she posted it on her social media and I thought - YES, that is what I need to put at the start of my latest blog post.
So today, I am having a wee rant. This rant is about marketing. And open mindedness & judgement. And being who you are and knowing what you want. So stick with me whilst I tell this story.
The other day I was discussing my USANA business (that is, marketing and selling the USANA vitamin and mineral supplementation and support products). Talking about the company, I realised (again!) that it's pretty awesome.
Here are some of the cool facts about USANA are as follows:
- Founded by a scientist (Dr Wentz) not a corporate suit;
- The motto of the company is "Your health. Your life. Your way" (in my opinion, that's pretty empowering);
- It's a billion dollar company with 500,000 families involved in either taking the products or in the marketing of them;
- They have a FDA registered manufacturing facility that ensures the quality of their product;
- They comply with British and American Pharmacopeia Standards;
- They also comply with Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP) - which means that what is in the product is in the product;
- The products also dissolve properly - this means that they aren't hanging around in your gut but are absorbed into your body;
- They have a whole site called "Ask the Scientists" which answers all your frequently asked questions, including WHY they have chosen the ingredients and formulations they have - they really stand by their product; and
- they sponsor lots of athletes with an awesome guarantee - you can read more about it here.
So, as you can see - it sounds pretty good. Check more out here.
So back to my conversation. I'm saying all this good stuff. And then they ask if it's network marketing. Yes I say.
And what happens?!
I immediately get given the 'weirded out' look or the 'sympathy' look - like "why are you involved in a network marketing company?" or "why are in a pyramid scheme?".
So this got me thinking...
Why do people have something against network marketing or MLM? If it's a great product, why does that make the product suddenly become uninteresting or "no good"?
My mission is to help people find wellness, energy and authenticity. Part of this is spreading information about an awesome product. If you aren't well, have lots of ailments or you just aren't getting the right nutrition to live life to your fullest (which most of us aren't), nutritional supplementation can really benefit you. This is FACT - and you can easily research this on the internet, in books, & even medical texts talk about the benefits of nutritional supplementation. Even the American Medical Journal suggests that most adults would benefit from taking vitamin supplementation.
I'm not 'hocking a crap product' (as you can see from the above) - it's one of the most well known and used products in the United States with rapidly growing market share in other countries (including New Zealand).
So maybe it's about the marketing approach itself... Do people feel pressured to buy the product if you ask if they are interested?
I also find this really interesting. If you're standing in a shop and someone asks if you need any help and you don't - you say "no thanks". Why is it different if I (who you may actually know and have a relationship with) ask you if you're interested in something that might help you? What does that say about you if you can't say "no I'm not interested?" I'm not going to be offended - if it's not for you, it's not for you. Just say so.
I also got thinking about different marketing concepts - all come down to one basic tenant. NETWORKING! That someone or something (be it an advert, sample or whatever) got you to use a particular product. So if that isn't network marketing....... what is? Get my point? (If you didn't, it's that everything is network marketing. ALL marketing is about building networks whether they be with people you actually know or people you know online/digitally/by brand etc. Networking is how business works).
Is it the perception that Network Marketing or MLM forces people into joining the business?
I only want to work with people who are honest about what they want and are willing to work hard for it. People who are actually interested in health and wellbeing and spreading that message.
People who want to work on personal development, personal branding and are totally coachable - not defensive or think they are perfect (having worked with people who think they are the world's greatest in the past and that they have nothing to learn I simply cannot think of anything worse)!
And of course, people who want to be entrepreneurs, own their own business and work at it.
Lastly, I want to work with people who also believe in the product - what's the point in working at something if you're not into it?
The other thing I have learned is if you've had direct experience with Network Marketing - then yes, you are going to have an opinion about it. And maybe your experience with Network Marketing/Multilevel Marketing wasn't that great. Not good that you didn't have a good experience. But if you aren't open to seeing how we do it at USANA and in my team (Global Health & Wealth Solutions) - then it's not for you and that's totally cool.
But if you haven't had direct experience - don't let other people's experience put you off. I like to communicate and ask if you're interested. But if not, I am not going to bug you or try and force something onto you if you're not a) open to learning and b) not at all keen.
I am however, going to work really hard to find like minded people to share the product with and, along the way I am sure there will be people who want to work in the business too.
Maybe it's the perception that it's a pyramid scheme?
So if you do start working with USANA, then you will become part of a big team. And there will be someone above you and eventually, if other people want to work with you, people below you. That looks a little like a pyramid (as, funnily enough) do most businesses.
My experience of this 'formula' is not that those at the top of the pyramid are getting all the money and not doing any work - but that it's a big team working towards the same goals and doing the same things to get there.
You want to see others do well and you want your team to be awesome. Why? Because you get direct benefit from that in earnings.
Of course someone up the 'chain' is going to earn more - they have been around longer & have built up a bigger business over time. But who's to say your business won't be bigger than theirs one day? And that is definitely an outcome that can happen - I've met people who it's happened to (yes, real life people who I've spoken to in the flesh!).
The pyramid then isn't so much of a pyramid is it.
Here is a fabulous article that discussed the difference between Network Marketing/MLM and pyramid schemes - worth a read if you are still convinced that what I am saying is a load of rubbish (it's not).
So, I guess what I am saying is the following:
- If you're interested in looking at different ways to achieve energy and wellness you might be into the product - ask for more information, do your research & become a customer if that's what you want.
- If you're not interested in the product - don't become a customer.
- Be clear about what YOU want. If I ask if you if you're interested, and you're not - tell me that.
- If you want to work with me - cool! Be clear about why you want to become part of the USANA family and my team. I only want to work with people who are committed and love the business and product.
- If you aren't interested in the business - cool! Read the above about who I want to work with. That probably isn't you.
I stole this from a USANA colleague's page (thanks Jeff!) - but he's totally right:
x Love to all x
P.S another cool thing - the reason USANA decided to use this approach is to keep costs down for the end consumer - top product, good price and to ensure that real people are marketing the products - people who actually USE the product and know the real life benefits. And you can trust that we use it because in order to be active, we have to show we order it.