Don’t Do Direct Sales Until You Read This

There are many network marketing companies out there.  I’ve used the lens of my experience in marketing strategy to analyze what constitutes a good network marketing company.  While there are many ways to evaluate an opportunity, these are the eight key factors I’ve found that can impact the potential of success. Of course, hard work, determination, and other internal factors are inherently critical.  Today I am focusing on external factors.  Ensuring you place your bets on the right horse will give you the long term runway you need. That said, let’s dive right into the top criteria.

 

Growth chart and growth potential

 

#1 – Growth Potential of Network Marketing Company

This is one of the most important of all the factors. If you join a company at the tail end of growth it will make your job much harder. However, if you are in a growing category and company you can ride that wave. Evaluate the category trends and the company growth plans. What is the consumer behavior around the products and what are the companies’ longer-term plans for expansion?

 

Woman eating parfait - consumable

 

#2 – Consumable Products

So consumable can have a few meanings, but for this purpose, it’s something that is likely to become a repeat purchase. For example, if I’m a grocery store customers come back on a regular cadence because they need more food. If I sell engagement rings in a jewelry store you aren’t likely to get the same people coming back week after week (at least I hope not). If you are selling a consumable product it will increase your chance of recurring customers which strengthens your business.

 

Working remote - coffee and laptop

 

 

#3 – E-commerce Element

 With giants like Amazon, more people have come to expect the ability to easily purchase products online and have them delivered to your door. Not having an online presence for your business can be crippling. You will be more limited to your personal time if you need to go to set up product to sell. Also, an e-commerce store removes you from the burden of carrying inventory and shipping. Having high touch customer interaction is still critical, but the more equipped you are to manage logistics and orders online the better. This also sets you up to work from anywhere on your own term. Flexibility is likely one of the reasons you are interested in network marketing in the first place. Having a digital business allows you to operate from anywhere. Note – a few years after writing this I found what I believe is a Direct Sales unicorn specifically with e-commerce (you can read about that here)

 

Four star review high quality

 

#4 – High-Quality Products

 I remember sitting in a branding meeting with one of the largest food companies in the world. As they peeled back the onion on the core of their brand strategy, at the center of everything they had two words: quality products. At the heart of everything they did, they started with a solid, quality product. Without that you don’t have a brand, you don’t have anything was what they said. This was fascinating, but a solid reminder to ensure whatever you plan to sell is the best quality and will create raving fans. Many network marketing companies fit these criteria. Unfortunately (although I am not here to knock any specific companies), there are some that are not known for quality products so it’s definitely something to evaluate.

 

#5 – Solid Branding of Network Marketing Company

 

Pepsi Cola bottle

 


Here’s a scenario, you can partner with Pepsi or No Name soda B. Making that choice is a no brainer right? There is a reason big companies spend a fortune on marketing and branding. Consumers need to know, like and trust before they want to buy. The top of the purchase funnel is awareness. The short story is, having a strong brand and brand story will go a long way to building consumer confidence. The more confident a consumer is in your brand the more likely they will be to make a purchase. Think about the brand you are joining. Is it well regarded? Are there strong assets you can leverage? The only brand piece that can be a bit deceptive is awareness. I’m of the opinion that a lower level of awareness can be a positive factor when joining a company as it shows strong potential.

 

Origami boats

 

6 – Quality of Leadership

 Even though you will be an independent contractor, don’t dismiss the need for strong leadership. Look at not only the quality of the leadership but how you fit within the vision. Do you see yourself in this company is what they stand for something you can fully get behind? Similarly to if you were interviewing for a role in a Fortune 500 company I would take some time to read-up on the leadership of the network marketing company you are interested in joining.

 

blue globe

 

#7 – Global Expansion

 Going global is exciting in the product world and ties back to growth. The goal will be for you to market a product that is only in a few countries but has plans to expand. Just ensure that you will have the opportunity to reap the benefits and take advantage of that expansion. Try to understand what market expansion plans the company has for the future.

 

lightbulb and hands innovation

 

#8 – Marketing Innovation

 


I like to think of innovation as the difference between kayaking in a lake or a river. In a lake, it’s going to be fun for a while, but eventually, the scenery is pretty much the same, it’s flat water and it gets less exciting. In a river you might have rapids breathing new energy and excitement into your journey, the scenery is changing over time. I don’t know about you, but a river sounds more appealing to me (admittedly I’m a whitewater kayaker). Innovation will breathe new life into your business. It’s the same reason there are 15 types of Mountain Dew or why there are new colors of iPhone. Innovation gives you new reasons to talk about your business and a larger breadth of products to appeal to your customers. Does the company you are evaluating have a solid roadmap of innovation and product line expansion over the past year?

 

That’s the list. I’d love to hear if there’s anything you think I’ve missed. I would also be happy to look at any opportunities you are evaluating. Feel free to contact me here.

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