We have the best product ever! is Lie#5 in an eBook written by Ann Sieg titled “The 7 Great Lies of Network Marketing.”
Are you ready to build your business in internet marketing? I’m hoping by sharing the book, you may be interested in getting your own free copy.
I have permission to reprint this eBook without alteration. This is #5 of the series.
Here is Lie #1-4 if you missed them:
Great Lie #1 Everyone is your prospect
Great Lie #2 “It’s not selling. It’s sharing!”
Great Lie #3 “Anyone Can Do This.”
Great Lie #4 “We Will Build Your Business For You.”
Great Lie #5 – We have the best product ever!
Now it’s not that this statement isn’t necessarily true (although often it isn’t)…it’s that it doesn’t matter. Hang in there for a second, I’ll explain.
Like most of them, this lie takes on many different forms. Here’s just a few of the variations:
The product sells itself!
Nothing else on the market can even compare to this!
We have the most lucrative comp plan in the industry!
Our leadership team is unbeatable!
Each one of these assertions could go off on their own little tangents, but really what they all boil down to is this: Network marketers place all the emphasis on all the wrong things.
It’s not that all these things (product, comp plan, leadership, etc.) aren’t important. These are all critical elements.
The problem is that while everyone is hootin’ and hollerin’ about this stuff, they forget about the most important factor of all.
To illustrate this problem, consider investment properties for a moment. There’s an important lesson to be gleaned from real estate that can help shed some light on the situation.
It’s often said that the three most important factors in choosing investment real estate are (1) location, (2) location, and (3) location.
If you’re looking at a piece of property from an investment perspective, you shouldn’t be admiring the beautiful perennials out back…or concerning yourself with how many kids the neighbor has…or noticing how well the drapes go with the carpet. If you are, you’re looking at it through the eyes of a home owner, not an investor.
In order for your endeavor to turn out profitably, you have to keep the main thing the main thing.
Well just like real estate, when it comes to running a highly-profitable business, a similar formula needs to be applied. Namely the most important factor of all is…
(1) Marketing, (2) Marketing, and (3) Marketing!
This may seem obvious to you, but think about how many people go running around, diving headfirst into one company after another, following the latest and greatest product, only to end up scratching their heads when they don’t make any money. I know I used to.
Just as focusing on things like the landscape, the flowers and the neighbors is the way a home buyer looks at a property rather than an investor…putting all your focus on things like the product, the comp plan and the corporate leadership is the way a consumer looks at a company rather than a business owner.
Let me share something else with you, a personal story, to help drive the point home further.
My dad is a physicist and an inventor. He’s designed lasers for the military and has also helped design Harley Davidson’s assembly line.
A lot of his work involves light and its uses. About 6 years ago he invented a lighting design of his own that he had very high hopes for. The invention was a light that produced no glare whatsoever on any surface it shined on. Perhaps not the most glamorous invention you’ve ever heard of but it has a ton of great uses in situations like illuminating photos in a gallery, reading things in the dark and providing lighting for detailed mechanical and electronic work.
Well that was 6 years ago and he’s been trying to market it ever since.
He’s literally driven around the country in his car trying to peddle it to whatever businesses will listen to him. To no avail. He has not one contract to this day.
My dad’s a brilliant man and an incredible scientist. But heaven knows he’s no salesman. He’d probably score in the negative on the marketing IQ test. He hasn’t been able to sell his product because he doesn’t know how to market it and he doesn’t have the necessary sales skills.
He doesn’t understand the most important fundamental of all: It’s not about the product. It’s about the marketing.
Please allow this to sink in:
You Can Have The Most Ground-Breaking Product In The World,
But If You’re Not Using Effective Marketing,
No One Will Know And No One Will Care.
Effective sales & marketing is bar-none the most important function of a business.
Think of it this way: A one-of-a-kind product that’s being shipped from Chicago to New York is only as good as the truck that’s carrying it. If the truck breaks down and never reaches its destination, it doesn’t matter how great the product inside it is.
Well, your sales and marketing system is the truck that carries your product. No matter how good your product is, it doesn’t matter if your marketing can’t deliver it.
Not only that, but sales is the only activity in a business that actually brings in the cash. Think about it. Every other activity uses up that cash.
The product, the compensation plan, the timing, the people, the leadership, the management…all crucial aspects of a business…but none of them are income producing activities.
The revenue brought in from sales is what makes it all possible. It’s the driving force behind everything.
And that’s why you need to be more concerned about the sales strategies you’re using than anything else. This can’t be emphasized enough. It could be the most important thing you ever learn in your network marketing career.
And understand this:
You Can Make A Lot Of Money With An Awesome
Marketing Plan And A Mediocre Product.
You Will Never Even Come Close To Making As Much
With An Awesome Product And A Mediocre Marketing Plan.
Don’t believe me? Ask Robert Kiyosaki.
In his book ‘Cashflow Quadrant,’ (p.27,28) Robert talks about how he has people approach him all the time about starting a new business or how to raise money for a new project. He can instantly tell whether that person’s focus is on the product or the system of business by the words they say. Things like:
“This is a much better product than company xyz makes.”
“Nobody else can compete with this product.”
After listening to their pitch, he slowly asks them, “Can you personally cook a better hamburger than McDonald’s?” So far, everyone he’s asked that question has said “yes,” they can.
He then asks, “So, if you can cook a better hamburger, why does McDonald’s make more money than you?”
Some people see the difference immediately and some just don’t get it. The problem, as Robert explains, is that most people focus on perfecting their skills at making a better hamburger rather than the skills of selling and delivering the hamburger. McDonald’s may not make the best hamburger, but they are the best at selling and delivering a basic, average hamburger.
He then goes on to say how the absolute most important skills a business owner can ever develop are sales and marketing.
Or as Seth Godin, former Vice President of Marketing for Yahoo!, says:
“Marketing is all there is. You don’t win with better shipping or
manufacturing or accounts payable. You win with better marketing…”
Why am I telling you this? What’s the lesson for network marketers? Simply this: Your product (or your opportunity), no matter how good, will not sell itself and will not make you rich.
Also, keep this in mind:
You May Believe With All Your Heart
That Your Company Is The Best, Hands Down…
But So Does Everyone Else.
Therefore, the person who succeeds is not the one with the best company, but the one who can do the best job communicating the idea of their company.
Now just so that no one gets the wrong impression, I want to stop and emphasize something.
I am not saying that your product doesn’t need to be top-quality. It does. I am a firm believer that the only way to do business is to provide a product or service that far exceeds your customer’s expectations. Both for ethical reasons and for the obvious business reasons of getting repeat business from satisfied customers. Anything that you sell to anyone should always be of enormous value in comparison to what they paid you for it. It should always over-deliver.
An unbeatable combination therefore, is to have a killer marketing strategy and a killer product. You want the best of both worlds.
BUT–the reason I’m stressing marketing so much is because in our industry it is so sorely lacking. Many times people are given the impression that if they’ve got an
awesome product, they’re as good as gold and the rest is all gravy. The product will do all the selling for them and they’ll be swimming in money.
At this point, you may be thinking something along the lines of: “Well, seeing as how I’m in network MARKETING…that means my sales and marketing system should be pretty much taken care of for me. I mean, we use one-to-one sales and word of mouthwhich of course everyone knows is the most powerful form of marketing there is.”That’s what they’d like you to think. But unfortunately it’s not the case.
You see, one of the most important (and shocking) things I realized when I made my
transition from a floundering distributor to a thriving one, is this:
The Marketing In Network Marketing Is Missing!
I know that sounds crazy, but it all makes sense when you understand that…
(a) Network marketers do not truly use word of mouth advertising, as explained in Lie #2, page 13
(b) Just because we use one-to-one sales does not in any way mean that it’s an effective form of one-to-one sales. That’s like saying – I play golf, so that makes me a good golfer.
(c) Most of the marketing materials (brochures, websites, etc.) used by mlm companies are awful and have very little value to you (the reason for this is too long to get into here but suffice it to say that most company’s marketing materials are little more than pretty showcases that fail to connect with what the prospect is really looking for); and
(d) The “proven” system of names lists, referrals, warm markets, home parties and hotel meetings is not all it’s cracked up to be. I’ll explain in a minute.
“We have the best product ever” is deceiving. Remember no matter how good you think it is, marketing it effectively is the key.
I hope you’ll consider contributing to the conversation by leaving a comment and sharing this post with your friends! In fact I’d love to connect with YOU! To follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, just click on my Social Media Globes on my sidebar 🙂