Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Leadership Development Business???

Nowadays people ty to get over-creative in re-branding their business activities. Looks like everyone is pushing the "augmented-product" envelope too far that it's just sounds too ridiculous.

I saw this email recently (not meant to offend, and I intentionally took out the company name) and this blog is to discuss why we should be focusing more on Unique Selling Propositions (USP);

[Email extract]
"What Business Are You In?"

Network Marketing is a tremendously diverse industry with products ranging from nutrition to skincare to homecare that we often fool ourselves focusing on the products that we market and even touting ourselves and our downlines as experts concerning our business. We are making a fatal mistake by focusing purely on this part of our business and miss out on the true essence of the business.

Now I have either made you mad or scared you, please know that this is the reason that I say this. I don't want you to fail at what you are doing! I am not saying the products and marketing plan are not important, there are important. But you have to go beyond this to build a multi-million dollar organization, unless you are happy with just a few hundred ringgits a month.

Most people in this industry don't have a clue about what business that they are in! They think that they are in the business of marketing nutritional supplements or they think they are representatives of telecommunications or legal services or widgets or whatever!

You are not! Yes your business markets products, but you are not in the business of marketing products! Let's use a real world example. Ray Kroc, McDonalds king and founder (after the purchase from the McDonalds brothers) was in the business of hamburgers right? He wanted to make the greatest, fanciest ,most wonderful hamburger in the world right? He wanted all of his employees trained on selling the hamburgers to the people who came in the door, they knew everything about hamburgers and fries and shakes and cokes and . . . ? When was the last time you went into McDonalds and asked a counter person or manager what was in the hamburger?

Are you seeing my point? What if every time you went to McDonalds that the people working for McDonalds went through an educational course on the hamburger or service with every customer? Nobody would ever get a hamburger to their mouth because we would all die of starvation before the fact!

I know that this is over simplification, but it makes a great point. Ray Kroc was not in the hamburger business, he was not in the educational business and he was not in the fast food business. He was in the leadership business!!!


Who do you think bought the McDonald brothers out, Ray Kroc. Why? Because the McDonalds brothers did not have the leadership to do with this business what Kroc knew he could do! Kroc then went out and sold franchise, turn key businesses to whom? Counter persons? Managers? People on the street?

No, He sold these businesses to leaders!

We have a pet phrase that goes like this, "Leadership moves products, Leadership recruits distributors and Leadership trains these to do the same". Average people do nothing and make nothing in network marketing, they are the counter workers at McDonalds coming and going with blowing of the wind. I don't want you to send me email about dogging counter workers at McDonalds. Some of those people become mangers and even owners. But realize this, they worked hard, grew, developed and became what? LEADERS.

No matter what you physical product is in your current opportunity, your real product is PEOPLE. And more specifically the development of people into leadership.

I want to be really frank with you right now. Most people in the Network Marketing industry believes that if they have superior products and a superior marketing plan that they will succeed. WRONG

Do you know how many companies have great products? A lot!!! That's right, a lot of networking companies have innovative products that even revolutionize mainstream marketing opportunities!

Then why don't they all succeed?

What about compensation plans? Do most have decent compensation plans? Absolutely! Most companies are more than fair on how they pay out to their distributors!!! They pay more than any other form of marketing!!!

Then why don't they all succeed?

Since 1993, about 4700 network marketing companies have been born in USA alone, 4700!!! Out of those 4700 how many do you think went under? No suspense, 4300. Why? Crummy products? Lousy comp plans? NO, the lack of leadership. And the lack of leadership development. All companies are leadership driven. All organizations are leadership driven and all success stories are leadership stories.

So what business are you in? LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. Leadership sells products, Leadership recruits distributors, Leadership trains these to do the same. Network marketing is developing a network of leadership that builds a thriving organization of distributors that take products to an end user. Of course you need good products and a fair part-time friendly compensation plan too, and (company) is one of the best from the industry in these areas.
[end of extract]

Now, what I think...

Leadership business alone is not going to make you the millions. Products will! People buy products (and services) – not the leadership qualities (unless you are selling leadership formula, like what Maxwell and others do). How to make millions is when you have money flowing, and to have money flowing, you need some form of exchange…products (or services). Simply re-packaging what you do as “leadership business” is just trying to use an extraterrestrial telescope to correct a myopic view. You try to see far, far away, but it’s all going to be fuzzy and confusing. The famous example of not being in the train business, but transportation business will be exaggerated as, “we are not in the train business, but leadership building because we transport people around to be leaders???”.

Let’s use a real world example, “A” joins a “leadership development” business. He recruits distributors, train these to do the same, and develop a network of leadership that builds on a thriving organization of distributors. But the key here is…he need products (or services). At the end, it’s still products that matters. People buy McDonalds for the burgers, not the leadership values. People put McDonalds in their mouths for the food (and whatever nutrition), not the leadership qualities of Ray Kroc. It could have been Harry, Larry and Moe’s burgers. But if they packaged it as tasty as McDonalds, people may still eat these burgers.

Leadership is extremely important, but it should not be confused for the business you are operating. Don’t get caught up in creative marketing and forget the unique selling proposition! If your product is great, people will buy it (like McDonalds), and that’s what keeps the business growing. And you should be proud of the product/brand you are representing!

Leadership qualities (is a must) and helps with how to improve your distributor performance, positioning and marketing the products effectively, improve people’s perception of network marketing, and how to improve margins by having a better distribution plan.

Isn't it just great how people use language to sugar-coat or exaggerate things;
"down-sizing" > "right-sizing" > "smart-sizing", just means layoffs.
"multi-level marketing" > "network marketing" > "leadership development" will still be "direct selling".

It's time to focus on your Unique Selling Propositions!

I may join one of these companies in the future because they offer great financial and learning opportunity. In my approach, I would emphasize on the product and brand I trust, and compliment that with Leadership Development as a business nurturing attribute, rather than the other way around.

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