If you're like most network marketers, you've got mixed emotions about the word marketing because it sounds like an academic word that conjures up images of researchers, analysts and statisticians and really smart people with MBAs and PhDs sitting in corporate offices plotting how to make money by selling their STUFF. Many network marketers simply don't think about the word marketing because they're afraid that if they say it, they'll have to deal with it, and to deal with it they'll have to know how to make money by selling their STUFF. And since it's assumed (even by network marketers) that marketers are "specialists" most people choose not to think about the word marketing.
Continuing with this logic we discover that many people who would like to become network marketers (your prospects) often do not because they're afraid of the word marketing, and people who ARE network marketers often don't succeed because they're hung up on this word marketing. These folks all have the same marketing mindset. That is, they think they're not smart enough to be marketers, or they can't afford to be marketers, or they assume that because they don't have college degrees in marketing, and they've never done marketing before, that they couldn't be very successful at marketing. And no matter how you sum it up, that blasted word marketing discourages a lot of people and keeps them from becoming successful network marketers.
What a shame that is, and what a waste of potential, especially when you consider that marketing is a simple concept. A simple concept, that is, IF you've got the right mindset about it. My Italian grandmother, who spoke broken English, had a marketing mindset, and she taught me all about marketing at a young age. Grandma didn't have an education, she didn't have any money, and yet she was a super good marketer. She had to be, because she was responsible for a big household that included her husband and nine children, and eventually there were more than fifty of us who called her Grandma, and each of us loved visiting her. It only took a day or two with Grandma to get a glimpse of her marketing skills. Several times a week Grandma marketed. On those days, she'd put on her coat, grab her purse, and announce to her household, "I go do the marketing." Now we all knew that Grandma was headed for the grocery store because that's where she did her marketing, along with several thousand other homemakers in our little town. If marketing was a science, or if it required inordinate concentration, Grandma apparently didn't realize it, or she just didn't care. For her, and for those of us who tagged along with her, marketing was a happy experience.
First, it was a visual experience filled with colors and smells and interesting packaging. It also included visits with the "produce man" and the "meat man" where Grandma could find out about the best buys and even offer some feedback about previous purchases. It involved sampling new products, and now hear this, marketing always included networking with friends and neighbors who were also doing their marketing. A conversation might be useful for getting up to speed on the latest news, or gossip, but quite often Grandma would hear about a new product that she would decide to try. Now I assure you that never once did I hear my Grandmother grumble about marketing. She never said it was difficult, that it was for rocket scientists, or even that it was expensive, although she had to watch her pennies. Grandma considered marketing her obligation; it was part of her role as CEO of her big happy family. To Grandma, marketing was an adventure, and consequently, I cultivated the same marketing mindset. It's because of Grandma that I never feared marketing, and you shouldn't, either. In fact, I am confident that after you read this series about marketing for network marketers, you will consider marketing your obligation, but more importantly, you will treat marketing as an adventure.
John P. Hayes, Ph.D. is the co-author with Zig Ziglar of Network Marketing For Dummies.