Networking In Perspective - Two Short Essays
Word-of-Mouth Promotion at it's Finest By Mark Stutz
Here is a true story I like to tell at my monthly opportunity meetings because I feel it puts Networking into a more understandable and do-able perspective for people who are concerned with " bugging" family and friends.
About a year or so ago, I was sent an invitation to a complimentary pre-opening evening at a new gourmet restaurant in town. The night was to be handled as an ordinary night at the new establishment, from reservations all the way down to the presentation of the bill.
The setting was romantic, the food was prepared to perfection and the waitstaff were impeccable in their efforts to satisfy our every need. At the end of the meal when our waitperson delivered our bill, I studied it as I would have had I been paying it and mentioned to my date that I felt the $100.00 for food and drink was not unreasonable given the caliber of the experience.
The owner stopped by the table and asked how everything was. We lavished praise on him and on his staff. We were already looking forward to our next visit and wondered out loud why we had not seen any advertising in the local newspaper.
He pulled up a chair and asked if we would allow him a few minutes. We were flattered that he wished to speak to us, so of course we said yes. He told us that he was very happy to hear that we had enjoyed the meal and wanted to know if we had friends who might enjoy the restaurant as well. My date rattled off half a dozen names and I also ran through five or six.
"Would you be interested in helping me advertise this restaurant through your recommendations and possibly earn yourself a free meal?" our host asked.
"Wow, we sure would. How would that work?" we eagerly responded.
"I have a theory that word-of-mouth advertising is much more powerful than printed or televised ads," he said. "I would like to save the money from those traditional sources and reward those customers of mine who feel so strongly about the product I have here that they will go out and tell their friends and family about it. What I am talking about is a referral-only restaurant - one that you cannot get a reservation to without a referral from another customer. Our reservationist will not accept your request for a reservation unless you have a name or number of one of our regulars. A regular is simply someone who eats here once a month and has the ability to recommend others. For that service, I am prepared to put ten percent of the total food bill into an account for the patron who provided the recommendation. At the end of the month, if the `regular' has eaten here, they will receive their check from me for ten percent of everything that has come here from their base."
"Wow," we both said. "Eating here once a month will be a no-brainer. We would probably be doing that anyway and basically we would be eating almost for free eventually."
The now equally excited owner wondered, "Do you think there will be a problem with the cost?"
"No way," my date exclaimed. "Sure, $100 a month may seem a bit high, but you can't get a meal like this anywhere in town. Most of our friends spend that one night a month at least."
"Will you feel uncomfortable talking to your circle of friends and family and co-workers about this since you will be getting something back?"
"Not at all," I chimed in. "I am assuming that the others I send here will have the same opportunity I do to recommend and sponsor people here for the same ten percent."
"Absolutely," our host said. "Only one sponsor to a patron but unlimited patrons to a sponsor. Here is our private unlisted number. Please enjoy the rest of your evening and drive carefully."
Well, that was about 18 months ago - now you need to reserve your table at least two weeks in advance for this place. Through our telling friends about the restaurant, we have not had to buy dinner for over a year and often we get some cash on our way out the door. What fun - what a way to do business!
Did any of it sound like a scheme or a scam or an illegal or immoral method of promotion?
Of course not.
See, that's all this business is. In the scenario I just described, I was not asked to sell anything; I was not made to feel like I was bugging my family or my friends; I was made to feel empowered by my host - like an integral part of his success.
Look at the products or services you offer. Use them and learn to love them. Learn not to be able to live without them and then follow the example of the restaurant patrons. Tell your friends how terrific they are. Get them to call the company with your ID number and order products. Get them to believe in the quality of the product themselves. Then teach them how to do the same thing you just did.
Before you know it, you will be getting the products you love for free and walking out with some "cash" in your pocket as well.
MARK A STUTZ is a Director with Oxyfresh Worldwide. He has been with the company for two years and lives in Allentown, PA.
Who Says You Have to Talk to People? By Teresa Epps
The sign above the sink in the camp kitchen read: "You don't have to wash dishes, you get to." Doing the dishes at church youth camp is simply another way to serve, and when I read the sign, I immediately thought of my Network Marketing business. I don't have to share my incredible opportunity with anyone, I get to. I don't have to share the benefits of my product with anyone, I get to. WOW! It dawned on me that I am actually being of service to others by offering them what I have. It is such a privilege to be involved in an industry and a company that lets me actually play a small part in changing people's lives! According to Albert Einstein, that's why we are here on this earth - to serve. That's powerful stuff!
Why is it, then, that so many consultants and distributors (new and seasoned) are not being of service to others by offering them what they have? This is simply a business of using products and talking to people. Most of us don't have any trouble using the products we market, it's the "talking to people" part that many Networkers seem to struggle with. Maybe they're still stuck in the false thinking that this is a less-than-professional business that people do only if they don't have the skills or knowledge to pursue anything else. It's embarrassing for them to pursue their business, and until they realize that this is not just "selling stuff" but about "making a difference," they will never experience the incredible success that this business offers.
I believe that everyone deserves to know about this business. Only then can they make a choice between getting involved or continuing to live life as usual. When I tell them about Network Marketing, I have done my part and have been of service.
I don't have to make ten calls daily, I get to.
I don't have to conduct private business receptions to showcase my product and opportunity, I get to.
I don't have to follow up with people I have placed samples or information with, I get to.
I don't have to tell anyone I come in contact with about my opportunity, I get to.
How we view this incredible industry is so important. We are professionals and provide not only leadership, but leadership opportunities for others as well. We change people's lives for the better. We offer ordinary people the opportunity to become extraordinary, and extraordinary people the opportunity to soar to heights they never even imagined!
I didn't have to write this article, I got to.
TERESA EPPS is a National Vice-President with Arbonne. She's been with the company for seven years and lives in Nashville, TN.
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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Two Essays - October 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com