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May 1999


What Do You Say

... to 'I Don't Want To Take Advantage Of People' - Coy Barefoot

A genuine concern that many people have, when they're first presented with a Network Marketing program, is that they will have to sell products to their friends, or have to convince their family members to join a business.

How many times have you heard someone say something like: `Sure, I'd like the chance to make some real money, but I'm uncomfortable with the idea of selling stuff to my friends and family. I feel like I would be taking advantage of people.'

What do you say? --Coy Barefoot

Phoebe James is an Executive National Vice President with Arbonne International. She has been involved in the Networking industry for 26 years and lives in Pleasant View, UT.

My first response would be to ask: How do you feel about the products? Are you benefiting from them? When you find something that you really like, that brings alue to your life, do you usually keep it to yourself or do you share it with the people that you care about? That's how I feel. If I've found something that's really wonderful and that benefits me, then I want the people I care about to benefit, too, and share in my discovery.

Sometimes people are uncomfortable approaching people they know, which I completely understand. That can be very common. But you can work a cold market if you'd prefer. It takes longer and costs more, but you can do it.

We all promote things we believe in. The main issue is this: Are you really convinced that you have something of value? The only way you'd be taking advantage of people is if you had something that wasn't of value to them. If you really love the product, and you really believe in the industry, then you are offering a value to people's lives.

They should have the opportunity to evaluate the products or the business for themselves. If I refuse to share what I have found-- even though I believe I truly found something wonderful-- then I'm taking away their opportunity to experience something that could change their lives for the better. What right do I have to do that?

I have the obligation to at least share what has benefited my life with the people I care about. They can do whatever they want with that information. I look at it like giving someone a gift. If they don't want it, that's fine; it's no big deal. But I want the people I care about to have the opportunity to have this gift.

Ruby Miller-Lyman has been actively involved in Network Marketing for almost 50 years. She is currently one of the top leaders in Essentially Yours Industries. Ruby lives in Diamond Bar, CA.

Look, if you see a good movie or eat out at a real good restaurant, don't you want to share that with someone you love-- family, close friends, neighbors? I think if you do that with honesty and sincerity, it would be a blessing to them. That's all Network Marketing is about. It's about sharing with people. It's not about taking advantage of people. It's just the opposite of that.

I think that a lot of Networkers get in people's faces. A lot of people are just tired of being begged, bugged, nagged, you name it. When you're sharing with people, make it fun and light. Don't be thinking `Oh my gosh, I've just got to sign this guy up in my business right now!' Involve the prospect in a discovery process with you. Selling or sponsoring is all about finding a need and filling it. If there's no need, you can't invent one for them. Move on. Your success is waiting for you. Get moving.

A speaker and trainer with Life Dynamics International, Wayne Chislett lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Someone who reacts with that concern is probably either fearful or doesn't understand how the business works. So I might say: What exactly are you afraid of? or What don't you understand?

Most people Network every day-- they promote products and companies all the time, they just don't get paid for it. If you could be shown beyond a shadow of a doubt how to acquire and maintain a care-free, financially secure lifestyle-- by being paid to do something you already do-- would that make you uncomfortable to share that with people?

We all have comfort zones that we live and work in, but if we are willing to expand our comfort zones, even just a little bit, there are many rewards waiting for us. Whole new horizons open up if we are just willing to make little changes here and there and step outside our comfort zones. You're not taking advantage of people, you're offering them the chance to take advantage of an opportunity. The rest is up to them.

A Diamond with Nikken, Trish Schwenkler lives in Boise, ID. She has been a full-time Networker for six years.

I say: There are two ways of looking at Network Marketing. One way is that you are using people for your own benefit. And when you're in that frame of mind, your internal dialogue is `what's in it for me?' According to Deepak Chopra, when you're like that you're living in the realm of the ego.

The other option is to take your eyes off yourself and focus on the needs of others. Change your internal dialogue to `how can I serve?' Then again, according to Deepak Chopra, you'll be speaking the language of the spirit and living in that realm. I believe that one of the fundamental desires of most human beings is to make a positive difference in the lives of others. We have no way of knowing who's out there searching, looking, maybe even praying for what we have to offer.

We truly have the wherewithal to bring genuine value to the lives of others-- whether it's our products, services, or business opportunity. When we really know that our products and our company have been a gift of great value to us, then it's easy to offer that same gift to others. You're offering people a gift that they are free to accept, not accept, or refer to someone else. It's just our job to expose our business to as many people as possible until we find the people who want what we want-- who want to be more, serve more, help more, contribute more.

James Clendenin lives in Melbourne, FL. He and his wife Jennifer are Master Sales Managers in Alpine Industries, and have been involved in Network Marketing for over 10 years.

Approaching friends and family with a business opportunity or products to sell is totally new for most people, and it's natural to expect them to avoid it like the plague.

I know how you feel. Many people in our organization felt the same way. But what we've found is that once you learn more about the company and experience the products yourself, you're not going to want to keep this a secret. We're not looking for you to become a salesperson and trick someone into doing something. Can you get excited about helping people? That's what we're all about.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, What Do You Say - May 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,