One step to minding your marketing mindset is to differentiate your business. Getting into the business of capturing and keeping customers immediately sets you apart from your competition, and when you focus on capturing and keeping customers you will act unlike most network marketers. Here's what I mean: In the last 25 years I've purchased products and services from a dozen network marketers representing a dozen different companies. I'm a good prospect and when a friend or family member, or even someone I've met at a meeting calls and tells me about what they're selling, and how it will benefit me, I'm likely to buy it. Frequently, in fact, I get on auto-ship and month after month I faithfully purchase and consume the products. But then one day I'll have a question about a product and it's then that I realize I don't know who sold me the product. I don't remember! Was it my cousin, who has since moved two times, or a former client? Obviously the representative hasn't kept in touch with me, so in my frustration what do I do? I cancel my auto-shipment. And then what happens? You know what happens, don't you? Absolutely nothing! No one calls, no one asks why, no one seems to care that I was once a loyal customer and that I'm no longer a customer.
Similarly, people join network marketing companies as distributors only to be ignored. They become members of someone's downline, but so what? Often times I've signed up as a distributor simply so I could buy products at a lower price. And no one calls to tell me about the company, or how I can make money with the company. It's as though they expect me to prove myself first, and then they'll share their wise counsel with me.
How does this happen? It's simple. Wrong mindset. Most network marketers do not differentiate themselves or their businesses and consequently they become a blur in the minds of customers. Now you will ask, "But don't these representatives want to keep their customers?" And all of them will say yes, but the truth is, no, they don't. They want to sell weight loss products, or vitamins, or peace of mind, or they want to build people. And they're not in the business of capturing and keeping customers. These, by the way, are the distributors who end their workdays frustrated, wondering why others are successful network marketers and they're not. They are the distributors who say they just don't have enough money, or they just don't know how to market, and that's why they can't succeed.
Meanwhile, all they have to do is differentiate their businesses. For example, how difficult is it to stay in touch with customers every month? It's not, is it, and yet how many distributors do you know who do it? Do you? Do you send an email, a fax, a postcard, a greeting card, or pick up the phone and contact every one of your customers monthly and say, "Thank you!"? Most network marketers take their customers for granted. Once they get a customer on auto-ship, or they give a member of their downline the training schedule, it's over. They seem to think that customer is "in the bag." I'm proof that no customer stays in the bag unless you are willing to be different and you tend to the needs of the customer. Staying in touch with customers, both retail customers and downline distributors, will increase your business revenue by 15% to 25%. Every time you contact a customer it's another opportunity to transact business, to sell another product or service. That shouldn't be the reason to contact a customer, but it will be the natural outcome if only you stay in touch. The frequency of staying in touch helps you learn more about your customer and helps your customer learn more about you, your products and services. As that relationship develops, you can't help but build a more satisfying and profitable business.
John P. Hayes, Ph.D. is the co-author with Zig Ziglar of Network Marketing For Dummies.