Today, we’re going to explore something different. We’re going to talk about the 7 Deadly Sins in Network Marketing.
I’ve been involved in the Network Marketing Profession since 1988 — a long time. I’ve engaged in almost all of these 7 Deadly Sins. So, I know from experience that if you’re around long enough and you’re going to have the temptation — sometimes it’s because of ambition, sometimes it’s just because of lack of knowledge. But after reading this today, you won’t have the lack of knowledge anymore. You’ll at least know the things that over time will have a negative impact on your business.
Let’s dive in.
Deadly Sin #1: Over-inflating your product or your opportunity.
We’ve talked about this before — this idea of hyping up the product as magical cures and using language that you shouldn’t use when it comes to what your product can do or cannot do. Making sure that you’re in alignment with what your company says that you can claim when it comes to your product. When you overinflate it in order to get a customer or in order to sign up a distributor and you know you’re overinflating it, it comes back at you and it also affects your credibility.
Now, when it comes to the opportunity, it’s very subtle how this happens. Usually, it starts with kind of exaggerating your income. You take your best month and you tell everybody that’s what you’re making all the time. Maybe you only made that one month because of a special bonus or something. You lie about your income, or somebody else maybe tells a friend in front of you they tell a friend about how much you’re making and it’s more than what you’re making, and you don’t correct them. And when you don’t correct them, all of a sudden, now you find yourself painted into this box where you are living a false reality and you’re promoting a false reality.
Maybe you’ve qualified at one rank one month but then you drop down a couple of ranks—which is normal, it happens all the time, nothing to be ashamed of. But you are telling the world that because you qualified that one month at that rank, you are kind of earning more than you’re actually really earning.
Just understand this inside of Network Marketing: the truth is enough. There’s no need to exaggerate your success, there’s no need to exaggerate the quickness of success of other people in the organization. There’s no need to exaggerate or take one person that had magical success and make them the entire story for the whole company. The truth is enough when it comes to the financial opportunities.
The truth is enough when it comes to your products. When you engage in over-inflation and exaggeration, it has an impact on your organization and people start saying, “Man, everybody’s saying this, but I know it’s not true. Everybody’s claiming that, but I know it’s not true. This person’s saying they’re making this amount of money, but I know it’s not true.” And once they have that knowledge that those untruths, those lies, are being allowed within the culture, it starts to erode their self-esteem. The truth is enough.
Deadly Sin #2: Inconsistency
I struggled with this one my entire career in Network Marketing when I built in the field. I’m retired permanently now, doing what I’m doing with you. But when I built as a distributor in the field, the biggest thing that I see, whether you’re brand new or you’re a more established leader, is inconsistency — hot and cold.
You get all excited, you go to a conference, you get all excited, you come out, and you’re going to tear up the world. Two weeks later, you just disappear from your group for a week to three weeks. Then you re-engage, “Hey, we’re going to go after it this weekend!” And you go after it for three days, and then boom, you’re gone for two weeks. So, rather than putting in a consistent effort in the hours that you have, you’re hot and you’re cold.
Now, why is that deadly? Here’s why it’s deadly. You ever hear the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? Well, in Network Marketing, absence makes the group wonder. “Where is this person? Why are they not here? I thought we were going to do something together.”
Deadly Sin #3: Negativity
Decide that you’re not going to let yourself engage in negative talk, negative posture, or negative behavior. This means you’re not going to talk bad about yourself or to yourself, and you’re not going to gossip or talk bad about anyone else. Instead, you’re going to be positive and you’re going to spread that positivity around with your team and your organization.
Deadly Sin #4: The “Idea of the week”
When I say “idea of the week” I’m referring to those who, in every single moment, they have a new strategy or some kind of new tactic they want to try. They’re inconsistent and lack the stability that’s needed if you ever want to make this Profession work right for you.
Deadly Sin #5: Sleeping Around
What you do outside of your organization is one thing. What you do inside of your organization is a completely different thing. We’re professionals. Be professional. It’s just not worth the reputation risk or emotional impact within an organization.
Deadly Sin #6: Stealing distributors
This one I’ve had to struggle with. It’s not like I was an addict or anything, but here’s what would happen: I’d be having a meeting in some area, and some prospect would find their way into my meeting. They would say, “Hey, nobody invited me. I just found this meeting, and I’m looking for somebody to sponsor me. Can you be my sponsor? I live in this town, you live in this town.”
And instead of saying, “No, somebody encouraged you to come to this meeting. You didn’t just magically show up.” I would rationalize. I’d say, “Yeah, well, we are local, and people do have a choice.” And I’d end up signing that person up. Somebody would find out, and they’d say, “You stole that person!” It was a shock.
I’ve seen this happen in many different forms. Form number one is when someone else brings a prospect, and that prospect finds that they like you better than the person that invited them. You have a choice whether to sign that person up or not. In my opinion, you should never sign that person up if you didn’t bring them to the party.
Situation number two is when someone within your company, let’s say you develop a great relationship with them, and they complain about their upline. They might say, “I hate my upline; they don’t support me.” And you might suggest, “Well, maybe you sign up your spouse or one of your kids,” and you circumvent the rules to get that person’s effort into your organization. It’s devastating, and everyone will find out, trust me.
The third instance is when you find someone happy in another company, and you try to make them unhappy with their decision. My basic rule is: don’t ever take someone who’s happy with another company and try to make them unhappy with it. If they’re unhappy or if they’re leaving their company, that’s fine. But if they’re happy where they are, don’t try to persuade them to join your organization.
Engaging in this behavior will tarnish your reputation, and people will start to see you as lacking integrity. Especially early in my career, I was so ambitious, I wanted to bring someone into my organization, and I was willing to do whatever it took. But some scenarios are not worth it. If to get to the top, you’ve got to steal from everyone else, you won’t be happy with the results or the reputation you gain.
Deadly Sin #7: Bouncing from company to company
Distributors who bounce from company to company are always looking for a situation where the grass is greener. They enjoy being in an organization when there’s momentum, but when things get challenging, they tend to leave and join another company. They’re addicted to the adrenaline of the startup.
I’ve seen many friends in the profession who cannot resist this urge. As soon as things get hard, they jump ship to another company with some momentum. However, not everyone who joins one company stays with it for their entire career, and that’s okay. But if you’re constantly jumping from one company to another, it will create problems for you.
Every company in Network Marketing will have problems and periods without momentum. Switching companies won’t change that; every company will face challenges at different times. So, decide on a company and product line that aligns with you and stick with them through thick and thin.
In summary, the 7 Deadly Sins are:
1. Over-inflating your product or opportunity
4. Constantly changing strategies
5. Inappropriate relationships within the organization
6. Stealing distributors
7. Frequently switching companies
It’s essential to be aware of these pitfalls and avoid them to ensure long-term success in your organization.