Men taking the lead in network marketing?

With International Women’s Day just behind us, it seems appropriate to challenge a business stereotype, if not exactly topple the whole monolith.

The stereotype of the direct seller or network marketer is changing forever. If you’re not part of the industry you may well be thinking of food containers or doorbell-themed cosmetics, sold in a pastel-tinted 50s living room.

But every preconceived idea we hold conceals a more useful truth, and the network marketer has come a long way since that image was set in stone. Over the decades companies have found direct selling to be a productive and profitable business model for all concerned, and the range of products sold has snowballed to include skincare, health supplements, e-learning courses, food, books and utilities. The very premise of network marketing’s existence – to share more of its revenues with its direct sellers rather than spending a fortune on advertising, is gaining recognition from an audience that may previously have written it off to the women’s Tupperware party.

Network marketing companies are keen to expand the makeup (if you’ll excuse the pun) of their sales force. The Direct Selling Association revealed this month that nearly a quarter of the UK’s 400,000 direct sellers are men, an increase of 28% over previous figures. And 95% of these people sell part-time, whether to supplement a full-time income, or to work around the increasing need for flexibility in modern family life. And what better way to take the temperature of a business move you’re interested in, but might balk at jumping right into?

If, like so many other people, you’re teetering on the edge of forging your own career path, you might be interested to learn that it’s not as hard as you might think.

One of the special things about network marketing is that there’s no career fast-track, no old boys’ club or grace-and-favour senior appointment. With the right skills and dedication, anyone can make significant residual income, making it the perfect way to juggle modern family demands.

So, for all those men out there, especially in the UK, here are some golden rules if you’re ready to venture into network marketing

Before you start …

Don’t run before you can walk

It’s great to be enthusiastic but if you don’t get started properly, you’re doomed to fail. Building momentum is crucial to your success. Find a mentor whose achieved the success you’re looking for and learn the business. Don’t expect overnight success.

Wheels are round for a reason

Follow the system. Don’t look at an existing setup and think you can do better. The purpose of a process is to create effective duplication, which helps build an ever-increasing community of people consuming and sharing products.

Master the process

Our job is simply to elicit decisions from people and leading them through the process is designed to help do that efficiently. To succeed in this business you need to become a master at that process and teaching it to others.

Talk, talk, talk

One big mistake some people make is that they don’t talk to enough people. They speak to one or two, get a negative response and then often quit. There is only one reason why people join this business and that’s timing.

Work hard

This can be a part-time business, but it’s not a spare-time business. Decide on how many hours a week you plan to work and stick to it.

Don’t quit

Building a successful network marketing business takes time and effort. It requires three to five years of dedicated exertion to build the foundation. And you need to stay committed over the long term, despite the challenges.