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Sunday, May 24, 2009

MLM Duplication Myth

I recently read an interesting thread on another BLOG and thought it might be useful to cover the concepts here. It involves the ever elusive theory of "duplication" in MLM. Maybe you can relate. I welcome your comments.


Here's what was written -


"To get duplication, keep the system so simple that even stupid people can do it." (I'm quoting my upline here who used to say, "Keep it simple stupid," or "KISS". He later changed this to "Keep it short and simple," which still stood for KISS... I imagine because some were offended by the word 'stupid.')I think this famous network marketing motto is completely off base.


It puts people's focus on the wrong side of the fence. My upline who used to say "KISS" made $300,000+ a month, but I didn't notice one person on his team who he worked with that wasn't a star player--he attracted them because he knew the principles that make you INFLUENTIAL.


And THAT is why he saw the duplication.


There was a time when I could enroll a lot of people into my organization by working hard all day, every day, at an intensity few would endure for long--The end result was OK, but nothing close to my potential and it wasn't at all rewarding because I knew I wasn't tapping into my potential. I knew I couldn't help others tap into their potential if I wasn't.

Mike Klingler


My thoughts and response -


I took my business online over 9 years ago; a network marketing business. I was told then, and am still told today, that what I do is not duplicable; too complicated; that no one can "do what I do." Ouch.


Hmmm, and yet many of the strongest leaders in my organization are forging their own path through internet marketing. And, interesting to note that I am the highest paid in my company with the largest downline. (I certainly don't take credit as getting this done all by myself.)


I'm glad I didn't and don't buy into that misguided theory. After all, I'm a stay home mom who didn't have a lot of time, or a ton of money, but did have a BIG desire. I've never taken a computer class in my life and everything I have learned is self taught, so why can't another do that?


It's vain for anyone to think that "others can't do what I do" or to doubt that another could follow such a complicated system. Take the very shy person and tell them to join BNI or the Chamber of Commerce to generate leads and that person will be out of the business in short order.


Show me any leader or top income earner in any company and I will show you how they somehow forged their own path and differentiated themselves in some way. Nothing wrong with that; all success stories in any profession do this. And, there are always those who will follow and forge their own path as well.


Why do we tell people evaluating network marketing to "think outside of the box" and then when we sponsor them, we want to put them back into a box – "our box"; the box called – simple duplication; the cookie cutter approach?


How many people really succeed at working their warm list? Is this method duplicable? Sure. But if it were really such a "simple" process then we would have less people quitting the profession of network marketing and more people quitting their jobs.


Success in a business, ANY business, requires developing a successful skill set. PERIOD. Good communication; speaking and marketing skills; and leadership are all part of the equation. These are the things that must be duplicated to be successful in MLM, and the way to develop these skills will vary based on the individual and their PASSION.


People often ask me what the BEST way is to generate leads online. For me, the BEST way is the way you feel drawn toward and passionate about. What is BEST for me will not necessarily be BEST for you. That's okay, it’s not a right or wrong, it’s just a FACT.


Once a person moves into developing their own skills, the process does become (dare I say it?) EASY. It really does. It is EASY for me to sponsor 10-20 people a month now. It was NOT easy to do this before I developed my own skill set.


I worked harder BEFORE I developed these skills and made a LOT less money and had a LOT less fun.


10 years ago, I decided that the theory of "Duplication" being taught by so many is a complete myth. I am not interested in a cookie cutter business or being forced into someone else's "box."


It takes time, money and, more than ANYTHING else, a commitment to "going back to school." Going back to school involves learning, researching, and getting rid of the desire to say "This is too hard." It is "hard" to make a lot of money, in anything. And, "hard" is relative.


Understanding the reality of the 2 – 5 year plan is imperative in Network Marketing, and , in most cases, even with internet marketing, because one still has to develop that skill set.


How fun, though, to earn while you learn and develop those skills following a passion and helping others. So, to echo a sentiment, before you ask –


When will I earn $5k a month? $10k a month, and so on; ask this – what value am I offering another? What skill can (WILL!) I work to develop today that will make me better, even if it doesn't yield an "immediate" gratification result?


Like the analogy of going to the gym, the first week that you set out on a workout routine, you don't look in the mirror and see dramatic results. We don't see what is happening behind the scenes. But, it's happening none-the-less.


Same with developing our business skill sets in Network Marketing. I cringe when someone quits after a month or two in the business and says "I'm going to try something else." I want to tell them to save their money.


Here is the reality, until the SKILLS needed are developed, the results will be the same. Guaranteed.


So here is the very simple business plan for success – decide what you are truly willing to commit your time, money and energy toward learning and mastering.


Once you have that determined, write it down and then seek out a mentor who is doing what you want and will coach you (not just teach, there is a difference) in developing your skill set. Pull out all of the stops to get it done and resist the temptation to quit when it seems just a little tough.


I look forward to YOUR insight and comments.

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

6 comments:

Inspired said...

Great post, Jackie and perfect timing. I have an article being released this week on a similar topic.

I've known you for a long time and I completely agree with you.

People confuse "duplication" with "cloning."

We are independent distributors, not franchise owners, as some would like to compare network marketing to.

What we do should be compared to is more along the lines of the independent financial rep.

Here's what I mean.

Independent financial reps within the same company each have their own audience of people they work with. They are independent business owners, like us, yet when it comes down to showing their company products, that doesn't waiver.

Same thing with us. The last thing I want to do is compete with people in my downline.

Why do people do business with one over the other? Relationships.

My audience, and how I reach my audience, may not be the same as those of my downline, yet when it comes to showing my company products and comp plan, THAT part never waivers from one person to the next.

People should be "building their own cities", so to speak, and how you build your 'city' is not going to be the same as your organization, nor should it be.

Just because everybody can use your product doesn't mean everybody is your audience.

I know you just sent out an email about who "Your target audience" is and this is what I've been talking with my group about.

When it comes to showing the products and opportunity, yes, I keep things as simple as possible to explain and understand because I know if I can't explain it, then I can't expect my downline to explain it.

However, we are in business, and regardless of how simple we keep things, there are absolutely skill sets that have to be learned.

Patty

David said...

Jackie. I agree. I often teach people that duplication is 20% processes and 80% "the person."

I look into my organization and I see that ALL my leaders were successful people before they ever joined my team.

The quote, "Systems are duplicateable, people aren't" is untrue. The fact is, if you want to duplicate like crazy, go out and find successful people and use your leadership to help them buy into your vision.

Now with that said, I would do not condone promoting systems outside the company's standard business building system. "For a great orchestra to play, all the musicians need to be playing off the same sheet music."

All the best.

David Frey
www.MarketingBestPractices.com

Todd Morris said...

Hi Jackie,

I've often thought that duplication of attitude and motivation are probably more important than getting people to follow some "10 step plan".

One thing that many people don't keep in mind ... duplication works both ways ... not just for the "good stuff".

If (no matter how good the excuse), you find yourself distracted and "busy" with life, chances are amazingly high that a good percentage of your downline will also find themselves in the same situation.

(spoken from recent experience)

The good news is, attitude and motivation are a whole lot easier to change than trying to come up with a whole new "duplicatable" system.

btw, glad to see you blogging more often again ... looking forward to getting a (virtual) glimpse of your own current attitudes and motivations.

Catch up with you again soon,
Todd

Jackie Ulmer said...

Patty, I always appreciate your insights as we have been "net-marketing" together for some time and we are kindred spirits to a large degree.


David, I guess I would ask what you mean exactly by "I would do not condone promoting systems outside the company's standard business building system."

Would you offer an example?


Todd, are you stateside again? Great to see YOU! Hmm, my own current attitudes and motivations? I still believe you get what you focus on and I am deeply entrenched still in internet marketing!

Thanks!

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

Rasul said...

Hey Jackie,

I was just talking to a fellow networker about this (from a different company than mine.) We were saying how everyone focuses on motivation and not on real business skills.

Also, I was at a meeting for my company and had a discussion with a guy more successful than myself in the company and he said that he had not seen anyone successful long term building it on the internet. Of course I mentioned you and gave him your site.

Even after that discussion I wondered about duplication and following the company line...you answered all that right here. All you hear is about duplication, duplication, duplication and all I've been faced with in my experience, is that you have to find your own way to make this industry work for you.

Thank you for being willing to stand up and say what is "blasphemy" in the industry (even though you have the proof in the pudding, so nobody can say that what you're doing is not working!).

Very good article...please keep them coming.

Rasul

Rasul said...

Hey Jackie,

I was just talking to a fellow networker about this (from a different company than mine.) We were saying how everyone focuses on motivation and not on real business skills.

Also, I was at a meeting for my company and had a discussion with a guy more successful than myself in the company and he said that he had not seen anyone successful long term building it on the internet. Of course I mentioned you and gave him your site.

Even after that discussion I wondered about duplication and following the company line...you answered all that right here. All you hear is about duplication, duplication, duplication and all I've been faced with in my experience, is that you have to find your own way to make this industry work for you.

Thank you for being willing to stand up and say what is "blasphemy" in the industry (even though you have the proof in the pudding, so nobody can say that what you're doing is not working!).

Very good article...please keep them coming.

Rasul