Wednesday, March 14, 2012
I didn't come here because I looking to buy Stuff.
Being perfectly honest, many of us probably experienced some irritation when we first joined SFI and received a number of emails encouraging us to buy something. Most of us joined SFI because we were seeking a way to make extra income in our spare time from the comfort of our own homes. Many may have been attracted by the international component to SFI’s marketing system as well. Most of us recognized that this was a marketing group and that to make money we would have to become involved in marketing. That meant, for most of us, that we needed to learn to promote products and services effectively on the Internet. But, then, much of the first correspondence we began to receive was telling us what to buy, rather than how to sell. Many of us thought, “if you are selling to me, then this is just a marketing scheme to get me to buy so someone else can make money.” Some reacted by thinking, “I didn’t come here because I was looking to buy stuff and make other people money. I came here because I want to make money!” I suspect that many new recruits short-sightedly back out of SFI almost immediately due to that type of reaction. Network Marketing in general has been given somewhat of a bad name due to unscrupulous organizations that do force new recruits to buy overpriced products. When these organizations are examined, it turns out that all of the product sales are to new recruits and no one is really marketing the products to the general public. Their products often turn out to be so overpriced that the general public would not buy them. It is only the promise of riches from being a representative of the organization that motivates anyone to pay that price for the products. Laws have been passed in many jurisdictions requiring multi-level sales organization to have a certain percentage of sales to the general public (i.e. to people who have not been recruited as representatives in their organization) to remain legal. These laws hope to drive out the unscrupulous organizations who have so overpriced their products that no one will buy them unless forced to do so to become qualified in the organization. New prospects in SFI who have had bad experiences with these types of organizations (or who have heard about such bad experiences from others) are naturally skeptical when they first become involved in SFI. While this is understandable, it is unfortunate. Network Marketing as originally conceived was a creative and beautiful idea. Word of mouth recommendations are the best endorsements for products and services. When someone needs to find out which product or service will best satisfy a particular need, they turn first to family, friends, neighbors, and acquaintances for advice. That advice is usually welcomed and trusted...and acted upon. The concept of network marketing is to harness these existing and powerful networks to promote worthy products and services, allowing the individuals who have used and recommend the products and services to share in that portion of the profits that would otherwise be paid to large media for advertising. It’s a win-win situation (for everyone except the large media who sell advertising). For this concept to work, it requires the individuals who are going to recommend the products and services to first use the products or services themselves...so that their recommendations will be based on their own experience and will be honest. Thus, the logical first step in the process for a new recruit is to find the products and services available from the organization of interest to them, buy them, use them, and determine whether they can honestly recommend them to others. It is difficult to endorse and recommend something that you have never tried yourself. There is nothing inherently dishonest or wrong with the network marketing concept. It is just that, unfortunately like so many other things in life, something good has often been made into something bad by dishonest people. This has happened so often that networking marketing has acquired somewhat of a bad name in general and people are naturally suspicious of network marketing organizations. The key difference between the dishonest organizations and the legitimate ones is easy to spot, however. It is NOT whether you are approached first to buy products. That is a natural part of network marketing—before you can effectively sell something, you should first buy and try it yourself. (If a Ford dealer drove a GM as his or her personal car, he or she would not be an effective salesperson for Ford! If a restaurant manager ate all his or her meals at another restaurant, that would not bode well for the quality of food at their own restaurant!) Rather, it is the nature, quality and pricing of the products and services themselves that divides the good organizations from the bad ones. If the products and services offered by an organization are worthless or, while perhaps not being completely worthless, are otherwise so overpriced that no one from the general public would buy them; then you should be skeptical of the organization. On the other hand, if the organization offers good products and services, reasonably priced, you should be comfortable with the organization. Thus, it's not the fact that you are asked to buy upon entry into the organization that should cause concern for you. Rather you should look at the products and services available. If those products and services are useful and reasonably priced, then you should be comfortable that you can make some money promoting them. And, you should certainly pick out the ones that serve your needs and give them a try yourself. That’s the best way to get started promoting them! SFI, as you will recall from Lesson 6 (Internet Income, Vol. 1, Chapter 5), is a mixture of network marketing concepts with Internet marketing concepts. You might think that personal experience with a product or service is not important on the Internet. What has proven the most effective marketing technique on the Internet, however, is basically the same as what works in person – the sharing of personal experience with a product or service. Thus, even though the emphasis in SFI is on Internet marketing, the concept of trying and personally recommending the products and services still applies. Refer back to Lesson 26, In-Context Link Placement, to refresh yourself on why and how this works. Thus, regardless of whether your focus is on offline or online marketing, personal experience with the products is a must. Start with SFI Here