Network Marketing: The Evil That Men Do

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE ON THE SUBJECT OF NETWORK MARKETING”The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”- William ShakespeareI am sure that Mr. Shakespeare, as a struggling young playwright and actor in London knew well the value of network marketing. In fact, probably most of his parts and opportunities came from his connections with those who could get him a part, back his play, and so on. I am sure he had a strong concept of networking.It is also equally probable, particularly in light of the quote at the start of this article, that he understood what could happen to his networking efforts if he was found to be unable to backup claims about his product or service.In the usual marketing scheme of things, advertisers buy the opportunity to place their offerings in front of large quantities of potential customers. In network marketing, the entrepreneur is often limited in budget and tends to contact potential customers or business partners one or two at a time. At best, he or she may put on a presentation for a small group. For most of us however, our broadest and most effective form of advertising comes from satisfied customers or business partners.When a network marketing company or one of its representatives fails to live up to expectations, three things may happen:1. The injured party becomes suspicious and distrustful of the representative at least, and perhaps may extend these feelings to the company as well.2. The injured party becomes distrustful and suspicious of network marketing in general.3. The injured party becomes a fine network marketer, spreading the word about the evil that was done him or her by this “network marketing” rip-off.All network marketers depend on good words spoken of them by their customers and business partners. By acting greedily or by ignoring the needs and expectations of customers and business partners, not only are they diminishing their ability to function efficiently, but they are also recruiting new members for a very vocal group who view network marketing and multi-level marketing in a very negative light.This was brought home to me recently when I attempted to purchase several hundred dollar’s worth of advertising on a site which reached a group of people who would have been excellent prospects for one of my products.Let me make the point that this product is perfectly legitimate and can save users hundreds of dollars. The company has been in business for years, and has a very high internal code of ethics. It does, however, make all sales through network marketing using a multi-level marketing model.The owner of the website refused to accept the advertising simply based on his argument that as it is a network marketing and multi-level marketing company, running ads for the company would tarnish the image his website has for integrity. He was willing to grant that the product seemed to be good and he could find no fault with it. However, because of what he felt would be a negative reaction to his being associated with this type of marketing; he refused to accept the advertising order.We in network marketing know that much of this negative reaction comes from so-called MLM schemes such as the “Lawyer Brown” letter, or the “$90,000 in 90 Days” scam, as well as a multitude of questionable products and services that have been sold through “network marketing” or “multi-level marketing” business opportunity models.It is generally stated by those who study customer dissatisfaction that a satisfied customer will tell from 3 to 5 others about his or her positive experience. That is good. That is what we are hoping for in network marketing. That is how we get the most “bang for our buck” whether we have paid out cold hard cash or invested in “sweat equity”. However, the same studies indicate that a dissatisfied customer may also tell 4 or more other people about their NEGATIVE experience. What makes this particularly interesting is that according to the Customer Dissatisfaction Study released by the Verde Group and Baker Retailing Initiative at Wharton: “…Shoppers experiencing problems are five times more likely to tell a friend about it than contact the company”, and…
“…For every 100 American shoppers, 64 people will be told about a store’s poor products or services and no matter what that store does to entice shoppers – sales, promotions, advertising, marketing – those people will not set foot in their store,”
“…More than 50 per cent of Americans report that a negative shopping experience of a friend or colleague will prevent them from setting foot in a store altogether.”As you can imagine, as those people tell other people, those people will pass on what they have heard about you, your company, and network marketing in general. Ironically, that is also network marketing. You have some control over whether it is good or bad by how you select the companies you associate yourself with and how you treat your customers and business partners.