My folks had just been sponsored by my aunt and uncle in Denver and my dad had set a goal to have the largest Amway business in Nebraska.
We lived in a little town called Imperial Nebraska which had a population of less than 2000 people in those days. This certainly would not have seemed to be the best place to start and build a business of their own, but that's what they set out to do.
Did they succeed?
By 1979 they were profit-sharing direct distributors with two silver legs going, and a consistent dollar volume of over $15,000 a month. This was enough income for them at that time for my dad to leave his job as an elementary school principal, and work full-time on Amway.
Over the years they consistently moved a lot of product, sponsored new distributors, and created multiple streams of income through their family business. They held training meetings at their house, opportunity meetings in front of a marker board, and explained the business opportunity at kitchen tables.
I don't think they ever became the largest Amway distributor in Nebraska, but they won a trip to ADA Michigan, the Cayman Islands, and attended Amway meetings all over the United States.
I remember them being very successful and happy at that time!
Why the long story?
Network Marketing Today
It hasn't been that long ago that network marketers started coming around to the idea that you did not need to make a list of all of your friends and relatives as a starting point to build your business when you first joined a network marketing company.
This flew in the face of how network marketing had been done in the past.
The world's largest network marketer was a guy named Mark Yarnell, and in his book "Your First Year In Network Marketing" he specifically talked about the importance of making a list of people you knew, and starting to contact them about your business opportunity.
The rationale was this was easier than cold calling or prospecting people you did not know face-to-face. Having done both way at the time myself, I would agree that contacting people you knew was a least an easier way to soften the rejection you were bound to get.
Flash forward to the day!
Network marketing businesses have grown, and are continuing to grow unbelievably. When my mom and dad got in Amway it was doing almost $2 billion a year business,
Today it is the world's largest direct sales company with annual revenues approaching $11 billion. According to Direct Selling News there are almost 100 direct sales companies doing $100 Million a year in revenue.
Thanks to the Internet anybody can build a successful network marketing business of their own. At least they can if they learn how to use the Internet as a sales and marketing tool.
This is not to say you can't contact friends and relatives if you want to, but you certainly do not have to. From a long-term success strategy you're better off to develop Internet marketing skills that will last you a lifetime. You never run out of prospects this way, because let's face it, we only know so many friends and relatives.
MLM Prospecting Funnel
As you may know I'm a big proponent of blogging. I feel this is the best way to create your MLM prospecting funnel.
Your blog serves as a starting point for people to become impressed with you. Your blog articles should be used to provide useful information to you readers.
The long term effect of that is establishing your credibility with prospective business partners who are looking for ways to make money.
Your funnel really needs three components to do this.
1. Your blog.
2. An autoresponder.
3. Follow-up email messages.
Today many network marketing companies will provide you with an autoresponder and follow-up messages. Some will even provide you with a blog, or at the very least train you on how to set one up.
Where I come into play is I can write the content that you need to provide useful information and to start establishing your credibility. This takes you off the hook in terms of learning how to be a blog writer.
It doesn't take you off the hook in terms of learning how to be an Internet marketer!
The best blog articles in the world will not do you any good if you are not getting people to your blog to read them. You can let me focus on writing the articles, while you focus on promoting the blog posts all over the Internet in as many different ways you possibly can.
Your goal simply is to get people to subscribe to your follow up email messages. You're getting the names and email addresses in one end of your funnel, and over time prospects will come out on the other end.
The great thing about prospecting this way is you do not have to waste your time trying to convince somebody to join your MLM business. This takes the majority of rejection out of network marketing.
Your Best Prospects
People who have been receiving email messages from you are beginning to trust you and they may even start to email you.
You can certainly encourage them to do that by making yourself accessible via email, Skype, or your smart phone.
These are your best prospects because you do not have to sell yourself.
You have already done that!
Some of your follow-up emails are going to promote your specific network marketing business. So, you're not going to have to spend a lot of time talking about why they should join your business.
Where will you spend the majority of your sponsoring time?
Smart network marketers are those who focus on their prospects needs, problems, or goals. When you do this you get to understand your prospective business partners, and why they would be good candidates to work with you.
Everybody has different reasons for joining a network marketing business. The key is to learn what is motivating them personally, and then focusing on how you can help them solve their need, problem, or goal.
The majority of people join a network marketing business because they want to make more money. Today it's pretty common for people to jump around from one network marketing business to the next, so they are already sold on the business model. They just haven't found the right opportunity or sponsor to work with.
In my opinion there is no better way to do network marketing today than to use the Internet. You certainly can incorporate social media marketing into that. Include blogging and email marketing as a way to build your sales funnel and work with the most interested and qualified prospects.
Related Video: Why Network Marketing - Top 4 reasons to do network marketing (and Top 4 reasons NOT to)