The answer should be clear, the network MUST come before the market. Actually, you need to select a market to work with first but you’ll actually be doing work with your network first.
Regardless, fledgling marketers come to the marketing industry with grand ideas that all they need to do is suggest, ‘stuff’ to other people that they should buy and then make a bunch of money. Sadly, these same marketers never really reach any level of income to brag about and are generally left with a bad taste in their mouth for network marketing. They blame the industry for their inability to succeed.
If you shut your finger in a car door, is it the car’s fault? If you trip over your shoe laces are your shoe’s to blame? If you do not succeed at network marketing, who’s fault do you think that is?
As I said, you must have a ‘network’ BEFORE you have a market. What is a network, a bunch of people that you email? Well, it could be or it could be people that read a blog you write or people that follow kimberly clark email you on Twitter. The ‘network’ in network marketing is a group of people that are willing to consider what you have to say and show them. They key ingredient is that they are wiling to consider what you say and show them.
Anyone can have a group of friends but that doesn’t mean they are a network. A network has to be a group of people that have an established level of trust in you. They have to feel that they can believe what you say.
People buy things from people and places that they know, trust and are familiar with. If you stopped someone on the street and told them that they should go buy this really cool kitchen gadget you just heard about you might get a few odd looks, to say the least. You might have a 10% chance of converting that contact into a sale. Try that same approach with someone you know and who has a basic level of trust in you and your odds of converting the contact into a sale go up substantially because now the question isn’t “who is this guy?”, “what does he know about kitchen gadgets?” and “can I trust him?”, it is just “do I need the gadget?”.
After you introduce the, ‘kitchen gadget’ to your contact you simply ‘spin the kitchen gadget’. By ‘spin the kitchen gadget’ I mean that you need to demonstrate how the kitchen gadget will address a need that your contact has.
So what is the ‘market’ in network marketing? A market is simply what you choose to introduce your network to. Your market should be something that you have a deep knowledge of and can easily hold social and casual conversations about. People want to buy kitchen gadgets from people who know a lot about kitchen gadgets. A popular TV actor and a popular TV chef both set up a table in a local department store and are selling sets of quality cutlery. Who do you think will generally out sell the other?
This brings me to trust, trust is a beautiful thing – but can be a dangerous double-edged sword if you misuse it. When you meet someone for the first time, by nature we extend that person a very small, basic amount of trust. It is in our nature to trust other people until we are given reasons not to. As our positive interaction with that person increases, so does our trust in them. As a network marketer, your goal is to establish trust with your network. When your network trusts you, marketing to your network a becomes much, much easier task.
One of your goals should be to become one with your market, you want to become so intertwined with your market that the line between person and product becomes blurry. When people think of kitchen gadgets they should think of you; when they think of you they should think of kitchen gadgets. What do you think of when I say, ’tissue’? Kleenex, perhaps? Kleenex is a brand name that is intertwined with the product it represents and the line between name and product is blurry. Many people use (albeit improperly) the words Kleenex and tissue interchangeably and imply the same meaning. Kleenex is an example of outstanding marketing.