Business-Building For MLM Men ONLY
By Richard Dennis
I read recently that 75% of all network marketers are women. Can that be true? I guess it wouldn't shock me. I'd love to ignore it, considering my knack for saying the wrong things to women. But being oblivious is not a good gameplan for a marketer.
I've read in books that women are different from men. Now we have proof. A buddy of mine recently had a cup of coffee in Starbucks. Kim is a networker, and he observes people. Two tables fascinated him.
Two men sat at Table #1. They sat on adjacent sides with 1 corner in between, not facing each other. Each could turn sideways to look at the other if they wanted, but mostly, as they talked, their eyes darted around the cafe, noticing all the other patrons (especially the women). Kim couldn't hear their conversation, but he figured it must be pretty fragmented or superficial. Their thoughts were obviously elsewhere.
Two ladies sat at Table #2. They sat across from each other, facing each other. They also had a conversation ... but their eyes never left each other. No glancing here and there, looking all over the store for anything interesting. They didn't size up the male patrons. Instead, they just talked with each other, they laughed, they drank their chai and paid attention only to each other.
Women Are Really Weird
They seem to be more social. They seem to be … sort of … networkers. And network marketing done right really is networking. It's not sales.
My wife says networking comes more naturally to women because they are trained from very young to do things for other people (and guess which gender most of those OTHER people are!), to think of themselves last. And networking definitely works best when you put the other person's desires first. So women were trained as MLMers from the get-go. The rest of us - that other gender - have to play catch-up.
Forty years ago, I had a couple of girlfriends (not simultaneously) to whom I wrote love letters. I later discovered that in both cases, they loved the romance and excitement of my letters a lot more than they loved me. We were soulmates, so long as all they saw of me were the letters.
When I was actually WITH them, in person, things weren't so smooth. For whatever reason, actually talking to women was a real challenge for me.
It's gotten better ... but no one will ever confuse me with Cary Grant. Recently, my wife decided I needed a crash course in how women think and feel ... what REALLY goes on in the mind of a woman. So Cheryl began reading to me from the book, "Something More - Excavating Your Authentic Self" by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
ATTENTION MLM MEN!
This book is written by a woman, for women. But buddy, this book is for YOU! It is your Owner's Manual ... although I don't think the author or any of her intended readers - certainly not my wife! - would be too thrilled with THAT idea.
I watch my wife's eyes tear up as she reads certain sections, and I realize how much the author's insights are 100% on-target. Cheryl & I have been married 34 years, yet this woman she's never met seems to understand her way better than I do?
Embarrassing … but enlightening.
Some wit once said that network marketing is a personal improvement system with a compensation plan attached. "Something More" gives women a blueprint for personal improvement. And it can give oblivious men (like me) real insights into how to offer true personal improvement to the majority of your MLM prospects. When you're in a profession where 75% of the successful people are female, it's pretty important to get good at relating to women.
I actually began my network marketing career with about 17 years of failure. (It wasn't just women I couldn't talk to.) And then suddenly one day, talking about my failures became a bonding experience. The person I was talking to actually LOVED my stories of one failure after another.
Why? Did it make me more human? Did it make their own failures less damaging? I didn't know and I didn't care. What I did know - after telling my stories a few more times - was that I had discovered a foolproof way of relating to people. Revealing past failures put me on the fast track to building current relationships.
Better yet, I had WAY more failures than just the few I'd mentioned. The thought of being able to leverage all those years of stupidity and loss into present-day success really got my juices flowing.
Remember The Alchemists Who Turned Straw Into Gold? I Felt Like Merlin!
So I sat with pen and paper and started writing, listing every failure I could think of, no matter how trivial. There were successes, too, and I wrote them down. I made note of the year of the event and the other people involved. I wrote down the thoughts I had and any decisions I made, the location, the work I was doing or the school I was attending, every detail.
Then I organized it all chronologically, winding up with a timeline of my life.
Breathnach's book is about this exact type of personal excavation ... but it's more thorough. And the author's purpose is to "find your authentic self." My purpose was just to find some good stories to tell.
But it works either way. Whether you're male or female, you can use Breathnach's regimen to dig up those long-buried events, brush off the dirt, and get a good look at how your entire life has been affected ... AND how to use the lesson now to be happy and successful in present time ... AND you now have a great story that will help you build those crucial bonds with your MLM prospects. Especially your women prospects.
Find Out What Women REALLY Want!
Even if you think you already know those answers, this book is a great reminder. The author points out on a regular basis that she's talking only to women. Makes me feel like I'm standing in the middle of the pajama party, invisible.
Breathnach instructs her readers on how to excavate their soul. Now THAT is true self-improvement. And if your ladies react at all like my wife does … and if you can set this up and attach your compensation plan to it ... WOOOO-EEEEE!
I don't mean to sound like a man, but we ARE talking about a business, you know?
The author points out that women are born incurable romantics.
There have certainly been romantic moments in our marriage. But thinking of my wife as more or less driven by the idea of romance ... looking back over the years .. it's TRUE! And it's only been on rare occasions that I've given her the romance she wants. This book really opened my eyes.
MEN! (And if you're not a man, you shouldn't be reading this) MEN! Think about the women in your network marketing business. And hear this: that word "romance" conjures up a different picture in her mind than it does in yours. See HER reality. Excitement, intrigue, comfort, CARING ... that's romance to her. If you can supply some of the romance that has disappeared from her life ... could THAT help your networking?
I'll bet it does.
If you get at least 75% of your team to see and achieve THAT idea of romance, I think there's a big reward in store for you. Who knows? You might grow a little yourself. My wife thinks there's hope, even for me. Just the fact that I've taken a strong interest in her book makes her optimistic about our romantic future … which has already begun to affect THAT compensation plan.
Try "Something More" by Sarah Ban Breathnach … you might really like it.
Richard Dennis writes regularly about network marketing, team-building, lead generation, mlm relationships, product promotion and much more at his blog: http://RichardDennisNetworking.com/.