Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Art of War for MLM

Sun Tzu The general rule for military operations is that the military leadership receives the order from the civilian leadership to gather armies. Let there be no encampment on difficult terrain. Let diplomatic relations be established at borders. Do not stay in barren or isolated territory. When on surrounded ground, plot. When on deadly ground, fight.

Let’s examine each of these rules as they relate to The Art of War for MLM:

1. The military leadership receives the order from the civilian leadership to gather armies.
While the general population (GenPop) doesn’t tell you which products to market nor how to market them directly, if you aren’t listening, you’re dead. Too many MLM companies are formed because somebody got access to a widget that wouldn’t sell via traditional means so they decided to pawn it off on the dumb Network Marketers. An example would be 3-D cameras.
I often see ads that proudly proclaim; we don’t sell lotions and potions. This leads me to question; why is it to your advantage to avoid marketing the greatest selling items the MLM industry has ever known? Since people in the GenPop use lotions and potions on a regular basis, I would think you would want to attack that marketplace with these items in your arsenal.
I also see ads that say; you don’t ever have to talk to your friends and neighbors. Network Marketing derives its power from the fact that it is the greatest form of word-of-mouth advertising ever created. Try this next time you have the opportunity to speak to a group of Network Marketers. Ask them how many joined the industry through friends, relatives or co-workers and how many joined because of an ad or the Internet. You will find that about 90% joined through people they knew and trusted. If you want to build a large international organization, you need to find ways to help your new sponsorships contact their warm market, 1) to introduce you to them and 2) to notify them that they are in business. If they are not willing to contact their warm market, don’t spend a lot of time working with them. Your job is to teach them how to be successful, not to find an acceptable way for them to fail and then blame you for that failure.
2. Let there be no encampment on difficult terrain.
Many distributors spend all their free time trying to build their MLM business in Internet business chat rooms and on MLM related bulletin boards. This is like setting up camp among the enemy. These mediums are filled with people who are hostile to your cause. They are either anti-mlmers looking to stir the pot a little or the mlmers in the wrong color uniforms trying to build their business in the same environment as you are.
The anti-mlmers are, of course, against everything you are about and they are very vocal. So they spend most of their time looking for the dirt under your fingernails. Since you are human, they will find it. They will expose your humanity and they will do it in the worst light possible.
Now the guys in the wrong color uniforms are an even more interesting threat to your business. Most inexperienced and ineffective mlmers highlight what is wrong with you and your company rather than what is right about theirs. This is a stupid strategy that becomes very concentrated in these environments. Since this is unlikely to change, find more fertile ground to build your business on.
3. Let diplomatic relations be established at borders.
While you are competing with other Network Marketers, they are not the enemy. If you choose to treat them that way you will spend all your time at war in your own back yard rather than expanding your empire.
You will earn a fortune if you only build an organization of 10,000. Make friends and allies of the better Network Marketers in the industry. They will possess weapons and abilities that you do not have. Trade skills, strategies and concepts. All great civilizations have been built on trade. Befriend the best of the best and you also will become great.
4. Do not stay in barren or isolated territory.
Many Network Marketers move from company to company and continue using the same techniques they failed with in their previous company. They think the change of company will yield a change of results. But they are wrong. When your tactics are flawed, change your tactics or your results will remain the same.
Hot products and hot opportunities do not make great network marketers. Great Network Marketers make hot products and hot opportunities. If you are not successful, the change you must make is in you. Learn the tactics and strategy for success and employ those tactics and strategies. This will move you away from barren or isolated territory and toward great victories.
5. When on surrounded ground, plot.
When your competitors seem to have taken the advantage, take inventory of your strengths and theirs. Where they possess greater strength, build up your weapons base and adjust your strategy based on your new strengths.
Many Network Marketers move from hot opportunity to hot opportunity without ever establishing a distributor base / foundation, or a reputation as a strong warrior. By doing this you will never step into your greatness in this industry nor will you ever build the wealth you are seeking. To join the opposition is to surrender. To surrender on many occasions is to build a legacy of failure.
When the opposition appears as if it has the upper hand, plot. Take inventory and build your arsenal. When you are strong, attack the marketplace again with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.
6. When on deadly ground, fight.
On occasion, you will encounter an enemy who wants you dead rather than simply beating you. This enemy may say bad things about you, even untruths to show you unworthy of public trust. When this happens, you must fight for your life. You must wage war on every front. You must deploy your best tactics and weapons at every turn. You must swarm your enemy.
When you are under attack, this is the time you must work long hours and recruit new troops. In some ways, an enemy who wants you out of the picture is doing you a favor. Most great accomplishments are built upon a foundation of urgency to survive. More distributors will join a cause than an opportunity. When you have a great cause you will truly have a great opportunity.
When your life is threatened, work long, work hard, charge.
Building an empire is not for the faint of heart, however, you can never do it if you don’t understand what it takes when you set out to get it done. As in the game of life, winning in MLM takes strategy, I often look to the master strategist, Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War, for inspiration and guidance. Sun Tzu was a brilliant general who lived in China over 2000 years ago.

Lastly, here is my favorite leadership quote: Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. - Peter F. Drucker

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