July - August 1999

What Do You Say

What Do You Say

... to "Will The Company Survive?" - Coy Barefoot

Another home meeting in another living room somewhere in America-- this is the front-line of success, you think to yourself as the small group takes their seats on couches and dining room chairs. You check your watch. It says just about eight pm, right on schedule.

One of the guests who has come to take a look at the business-- a 30-something accountant-- sinks into a lazyboy with a tired huff and crosses his arms, just daring you to impress him.

So you do. By the end of your presentation he's on the edge of his seat, obviously intrigued by the opportunity.

"It's not really what I thought it would be," the accountant admits to you later, as you chat in the dining room. "But I have one concern that's really bugging me."

You tell him you'd be happy to answer any questions he has.

"I know that some of these Network Marketing companies come and go," he says. "How do I know I'm not going to get started and this company will go out of business, leaving me high and dry with nothing to show for my efforts? How do I know the company will still be around in three years?"

You look thoughtfully at your shoes and nod.

"I can appreciate that concern," you say honestly. You clear your throat and look the accountant right in the eyes.

Now, what do you say? -- CB

A nearly-seven-year veteran of Network Marketing, Sam Pitts is an Executive Director with Market America, Inc. Sam lives in Ozark, AL.

If you're with a new company that is just starting out, then I would say something like: My crystal ball broke a long time ago, and I'm certainly not a prophet. But since I have been involved with the company, I have found that the products, the compensation program, and the integrity of those who manage and operate the company are superior.

What I would suggest that you do is to check it out yourself-- do your due diligence and put the company under a microscope. When you're done with your evaluation, there's one of three conclusions you could have.

First, you love our products, but you have no interest in the business opportunity. I'll be happy to retail products to you, and we'll just take you off our list as far as pursuing the business is concerned. The second conclusion you might have is that you are impressed with the products, and you are interested in the business, but you have a lot of questions. My job will be to help you get the information you need to answer those questions. The third response you might have is that you are not impressed with the products, and you have zero interest in the business-- and therefore you can go on looking for the right opportunity for you, as I continue to develop my business.

I think the key is to get someone to check out the business and research the industry, instead of trying to sell someone on the company. So many of us in Network Marketing make the mistake of trying to get someone to hurry and sign up, like that's the big event we're after. Really, we should be encouraging them to make it a process of researching the company and checking us out. By the time they've checked out some videos and literature, listened to a couple of tapes, and met some leaders in the company, I know they will be excited about the opportunity. Where you're headed is much more important than how fast you get there.

Now, if you're with a company that has a lot of seniority and has been around for awhile, I wouldn't knock new companies in the industry as a way to respond to this question. Let's be professionals in this industry; respect one another's efforts; and let each company stand on its own.

Brian Bumpas is a Gold Presidential Director with Mannatech. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

I'd respond this way: That's a great question. I had the same question when I got involved. The first thing I did when I got involved in Networking was to totally investigate the company I was looking at. It makes sense; if you're going into business for yourself, you want to do your due diligence. Check into the product, the company's track record, their fiscal viability, the training system, you name it. You will also want to research the industry itself, so you completely understand how it works and what you can reasonably expect. I'll help you in any way I can to get the information you need about my company or about Network Marketing in general.

Duff Kaster is a Regional Director and Advisory Board member with Oxyfresh. He lives in Las Vegas, NV.

First of all, the fact that someone is sharing a concern with you is a good thing. Don't be turned off by that. There's genuine interest there. Now, define exactly what is at the heart of the question or concern. Ask them: Tell me what you mean by that. Did they have a bad experience in Networking before? Have they gotten some negative opinion about it from someone else? What really is the motivation behind that concern? Talk about this, so you really understand where they're coming from.

Then you can address that concern directly: That's a critical question, and from my experience, few people know to ask it. Few really understand the importance of it. It's a great question, and it's something we should research together. I will commit to help you get all the information you need to make an educated business decision, if you will commit to meet me half-way, and really explore the material I can provide to you. And then we go to work together.

A resident of St. Louis, MO, Lorraine Galloway is an Executive Senior Director with Excel Teleglobe.

If it was my company, I'd say something like: We're an eleven-year-old, New York Stock Exchange company, with an award-winning customer service department, top executive management team, a proven track record, and an amazing vision for the future that I'd like to tell you more about. I can comfortably put my future in this company. The statistics and the results are irrefutable; they speak for themselves.

Generally speaking, I think the decision to get involved with Network Marketing is similar to buying a franchise-- and requires just as much research so that you understand the industry and what you want to get out of the experience. The first thing I would recommend that you find out is if the company abides by the rules and regulations of the Direct Selling Association, and if they subscribe to the industry's Code of Ethics. What is the company's track record? Short-term and long-term goals? What type of management team do they have in place? Do they have an effective training and support system in place? And what is the risk versus the reward ratio-- is the time and money investment going to be worth it to you? Finally, most importantly, you have to decide if you yourself are still going to be around in three years-- are you willing to do what it will take to become successful?

Share your best "What Do You Say" with us! Send your, or your team's, proven Networking one-liners, phrases, questions and answers, to Coy Barefoot at the Upline address, or email them to barefoot@cstone.net. We just might include them in a future publication. Be sure to include your name, company, and a little neat information about who you are.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, What Do You Say - July/August 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com


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