Brandon Tarbert

Network marketing has been touted as the perfect business model. And in a perfect world, the 'She told two friends, and they told two friends, and so-on and so-on..." is the 'exponential growth' pitch

Get to know Brandon Tarbert

In order to achieve real network marketing success you need to first: find the perfect company for you. The company needs to be privately held, cares about their individual representatives, and has a compensation plan that leads to financial freedom. The company needs to have leadership support groups with solid business ethics, and a training system to get people started off right. The company needs to be all about the people, and not about the sales.

The following are the key ingredients on what makes or breaks a network marketer. If one follows these very simple ingredients, their business will grow, and grow, and grow.

1. Duplication is key
2. Do what the successful people do
3. Perseverance
4. Leadership and servitude
5. Self Education

Network marketing is not a get quick rich scheme. And this is the misconception. It is a season of sacrifice that leads to years of financial freedom. From successful networking leaders like Zig Ziglar and Jim Rohn, to self made millionaires like Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki, the one thing that is key to success is the determination and the will to succeed.

Many managers just look for results. They look for people who can prove that they did sell. They don't understand that this is only one element of the profile. They don't understand the importance of rejection. So they eliminate some very good people. Instead, I would ask: How many things did you try in your life that you failed at? And not only in business. Did you try skiing? Did you try snowboarding? Did you try fencing? How about during your education?

What do you think of in-house sales contests and similar motivational programs with big rewards?

Rewards are good, but the symbolism of the reward is very important. I once did some work on the merger of two large banks. One question for the merged entity was, How do we reward the people who sell? One of the banks was very sales oriented, and it offered its top salesperson a cruise. The other had a slower sales culture; it spent more time building relationships and gave out small diamonds, which salespeople wore on their jackets, like stripes on a uniform. Its salespeople were very proud of those diamonds.

The message of the cruise was, Sell, sell, sell, and for one year you will be on top. But when the cruise is over, it is over. And the next year someone else wins, and you are the ex -- world champion. At the other company, salespeople would always have the diamonds. What do they say, Diamonds are forever? And so it is more like having a gold medal that no one can ever take away from you. The emphasis was on longer-term relationships built over time.

If the manager keeps saying, "You're going to win; you're going to win; you're going to win," and then the guy goes to see the potential client and is rejected, it's a disaster. A sad loser goes down and never comes back. A happy loser comes back.

Another reason to embrace the no is that the sale isn't done until you hear it. Say a customer walks into a store to look at a dress, and the salesperson says, "It's inexpensive; it fits you; you look so beautiful." So the customer buys the dress and leaves. The boss of the salesperson says to her, "How did it go?" She says, "Well, I'm very happy. I sold the dress." The boss asks, "How many nos did you get?" "I didn't get any nos." "Then that's wrong," says the boss. "Because the sale doesn't end when the customer says, 'Thank you.' You say to her, 'You have that nice dress. You should have these shoes that go with it. This purse, this belt, this sweater, this scarf.' At some point, the customer will say, 'No. This is enough.' That is when the sale ends. The sale ends when you lose."

How do you ensure people actually learn from their mistakes?

I really believe in support groups. Companies should have a kind of Happy Losers Anonymous. Salespeople get together and go around the room and say, "I'm a happy loser" -- they know that part is a joke, so it's OK -- and then confess all the mistakes they made. And the group says, "What can we learn from these mistakes?" You end up with so much more learning; it's fantastic. And we know it works, because people don't make the same mistakes again.

If the manager keeps saying, "You're going to win; you're going to win; you're going to win," and then the guy goes to see the potential client and is rejected, it's a disaster. A sad loser goes down and never comes back. A happy loser comes back.

Another reason to embrace the no is that the sale isn't done until you hear it. Say a customer walks into a store to look at a dress, and the salesperson says, "It's inexpensive; it fits you; you look so beautiful." So the customer buys the dress and leaves. The boss of the salesperson says to her, "How did it go?" She says, "Well, I'm very happy. I sold the dress." The boss asks, "How many nos did you get?" "I didn't get any nos." "Then that's wrong," says the boss. "Because the sale doesn't end when the customer says, 'Thank you.' You say to her, 'You have that nice dress. You should have these shoes that go with it. This purse, this belt, this sweater, this scarf.' At some point, the customer will say, 'No. This is enough.' That is when the sale ends. The sale ends when you lose."

Certifications

Duplication is key

Every and any training you will attend will pound in your head (if they are about long term success) that "Duplication is key!" Yet immediately, after a new representative signs up to their MLM of choice, they learn 'duplication is key' but they go home and reinvent the wheel.

2. Do what the successful people do

Put yourself in the path of the successful people in your industry. And do what they do. Here's a hint: They teach and preach duplication. They are proud of what they do and do not hide it from friends and family. They are caring, they are kind, they are humble. Many network marketers take their ego with them into a business and realize they are always right, but they never recruit any prospects.

Successful people duplicated, they struggled, but they also did what the successful people before them did. If a new network marketer checks their ego at the door, life doesn't just happen to them, success in life does!

Having a high-maintenance salesperson around is like owning an older car  that requires constant tinkering to keep operating.

Unfortunately, you can't give a high-maintenance salesperson an oil change or replace a few parts to improve their sales performance.

A high-maintenance salesperson is one of those people who seem to require almost constant attention to keep operating properly - as an older car. Sometimes it's not a matter of the person needing attention for sales help, it's more a matter of the person wanting attention.

Wants to Talk

Highly social salespeople fall into this latter category. These are usually bright, cheery individuals who like people and like to talk. Sometimes, when they don't have anything of real substance to talk about, they'll chat about anything or simply make up problems and situations that require the advice of someone else, usually you.

These people will often go into long, drawn-out explanations of situations and then seemingly ask for advice. I say seemingly because if you look into their eyes, they're not listening to you. They're waiting for their next opportunity to talk. In other words, they're not looking for a solution to their real or imagined problem; they just want to talk about it.

Unfortunately, these types of salespeople take the same approach with their customers. They prefer to talk than listen and miss key information and buying signals. This can result in lost sales, the wrong thing being sold, product returns, disgruntled customers, and a small multitude of other sales management aggravations.

Many of us end up with salespeople like this because we hired them. They seemed charming and outgoing during the hiring interview and you felt they would really get along with people, both inside and outside the company. And you're right, they do. In fact, that's often all they do! They don't sell; they just make friends.

The question then becomes, What do I do now? The salesperson's job is to sell, which is a measurable activity. Being measurable means you can set measurements (sales and activity quotas) that need to be met or exceeded if the person is to maintain his or her eligibility for employment.

Needs Help

What about the second type of high-maintenance salesperson - the one who needs rather than wants attention, who needs sales help? These people are usually suffering from one of three ailments: lack of experience, lack of skills, or lack of confidence.

Sales managers occasionally end up with this type of salesperson because they were sloppy in their hiring process or they were desperate for a warm body and this person came along at the right time for the candidate and the wrong time for the sales manager. The salesperson got the job and the sales manager got the problem.

If the constant need for attention comes from lack of experience, shame on you. Why did you hire someone without relevant experience? I know, I know, selling looks easy and anyone should be able to do it. Well, selling isn't easy and not everyone is suited for the job. It's better to hire someone who has been out there banging his head against the selling wall and who brings some selling street smarts to the job.

If lack of skill is the problem, train 'em! I figure that over 80 percent of salespeople have had no formal sales training. That doesn't mean they can't sell, it just means they're doing it instinctively and that may or may not work. When it does, they're successful. When it doesn't, they are ripe to receive some formal sales training.

If the person has the experience and the skill but he's still camped on your doorstep asking questions and seeking direction four times a day, he probably has a self-confidence problem.  He's unsure of himself and afraid to make mistakes.

Give people permission to make mistakes. That's how they grow, learn, and gain experience. Now if they keep making the same mistakes over and over again, you have yet another problem.

If you have a salesperson with a self-confidence problem, I recommend Toastmasters or a similar program to boost the person's self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence-a great investment in personal growth for any individual.

The End is in Sight

When you find your job as sales manager and coach turning into one of simply a shoulder to cry upon, it's time to change the rules. Help your people help themselves. This may mean giving someone a new career opportunity in another company or simply giving them the tools and the freedom to go to the next level of personal growth.

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