A solid place to rest your rump…


Stools come in all shapes and sizes, just like the people who use them. How we use a stool varies greatly. Some of us use them to stand on, some of us use them to sit on or rest our feet on, some of us use a stool as a place to relax, or any number of things.

In talking to clients about the pieces of a solid MLM, the stool analogy comes up often. I’m sure you’ve heard someone say that just like any solid stool every MLM needs 4 solid legs to be successful. Which is true, but obviously an over simplification.

As an MLM Consultant, it’s such an important topic that it’s often a major area of discussion with my clients. Previously, I mention the importance of these legs (The True Secret – MLM is not a “Field of Dreams”), and the the often missed but critically important need for the cross bars that hold the legs of any stool together (Questions, Questions, Questions).

Legs and cross bars form the foundation for what will ultimately support our weight. However, a stool without a top serves no real purpose.

Just like a stool without a seat… an MLM company with all 4 legs (product, company, comp plan, training/marketing system) and cross bars (compassion, understanding, honesty, love) will serve little purpose without a solid story…

A good story is the seat of your stool. A good story is absolutely critical.

Early on a new member of your company is likely to hear the saying, “facts tell, and stories sell.” And… it really wont sink in for them because those same people who are saying to them “facts tell, and stories sell” will start spewing out facts!

In any random nutritional company a new team member might hear:

“Read what these doctors said about our products main ingredient.”

“Did you listen to that scientific audio about the product?”

All the while these new members are being encouraged to learn words like proanthocyandin, xanthons, flavonoid/bioflavonoid, or antioxidant.

Each company has their own language and every industry has their own words and “phraseology” that they use, usually to make themselves “sound” unique.

In a technology company you might hear words like: peer to peer, B2B, Client side, Server side, and on and on.

Very early in my career I joined Melaleuca as a distributor. One of the most interesting things about Melaleuca is how they see themselves in the market. They claim not to be MLM. “Consumer Direct Marketing” is the name they give for the marketing method they use. In their marketing material they list a lot of reasons why they aren’t MLM… ultimately to dispel any stigma about the “Pyramid” mind set many have had over the years surrounding MLM. BTW, at it’s core roots, Melaleuca IS MLM (multi-level marketing). It may ALSO be “Consumer Direct Marketing,” but that is another topic all together.

My point is that simplicity over complexity is important. Far too often companies create new phrases and some times complex ideas to “help distinguish them” from their competing MLM companies, or to “help them stand out” in the minds of those who encounter them. Often to sound impressive or to gain credibility marketers will get into the “BIG WORD SYNDROME” and use phrases that will go over the average persons head. However, complexity, facts and terminology often do more damage than good as new team members and prospects can easily become overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless amounts of information that can be hurled their direction.

The sad thing is that these same people who say that facts don’t sell, send their new prospects or team members DVD’s to watch, books to read, magazines, CD’s, and websites about the product, the money, and the company all of which are filled full of FACTS!

At what point does a new team member throw their hands up in the air and say “TMI”… the new vernacular for “Too Much Information!”

Early on in my career in MLM, all this was so counter intuitive for me. I started selling ‘stuff’ door to door at an age many would not believe. Basically, I’ve been selling something all my life. But, in the early years of my MLM experience I got to a point where I stopped listening to all the facts people were spitting out. I started doing what I knew worked… and that was talking to people on their level with things they could relate to… using stories, analogies, and keeping it simple.

I learned very young that facts were never something that really mattered… benefits of the product struck a nerve more. How something could make a persons life easier, save them money, give them energy, make them happy, etc. Features are worthless unless they offer understandable benefits. It’s the benefits that have always been of value… and stories are the very best way to share benefits.

Your MLM company could have the best product (leg 1), the best company (leg 2), the best comp plan (leg 3), and the best training and marketing (leg 4) along with the needed compassion, understanding, integrity/honesty, and love… and all with the best intentions…

YET, without a solid place to rest your rump… without a solid place for members of your opportunity to rest their efforts, without a simple and powerful story for members to share… you have absolutely nothing.

So, how do you create a story? Well, that’s the trick… what message, what benefits, what value can you share that will grab someones attention, stop them long enough for you to share your thoughts, and convey the heart of your offering in such a way that those who have stopped to listen can relate to it, even desire the benefits, and see that indeed the benefits you share in your story are possible for them to attain.

Passion alone is not a story…

Uniqueness alone is not a story…

Financial success alone is not a story…

Duplication of success alone is not a story…

Combine these things in a simple and powerful way and you have a story. You need to find those things that really stand out and make your company different. Maybe it’s your product or comp plan or rewards or the marketing or system… what really matters most is your story… does your story sound different? Or does it sound like every other opportunity?

To digress slightly: people don’t go to work at their JOB for the money. I know, you’re saying to you self… what does this have to do with this topic… just keep reading. What motivates people? Why do people go to work?

They work not for some figure in their bank account… they work for the home, the car, the boat, the clothes, the life style for their families… they work for the things that the money will buy… not for the money itself. MONEY is not a benefit… people don’t really care about the money. It’s about not having to worry… it’s about being able to go out to eat if you want to on whim… it’s about spending time with family without worry… it’s about the “things” that they want to make their lives comfortable.

A good story talks to people in a way that allows them to see themselves having and attaining these things. If you have signed up for my free training Thesystem101.com you have learned about F.O.R.M… family, occupation, recreation, and money. Each of these ‘areas’ are important to people generally… but if you listen real close… it’s not the JOB but the freedom, it’s not family but the time to spend with family, it’s not recreation itself… but the freedom to do the things we want when we want… and money is simply the means for reach freedom in the minds of most people.

When you tell your story… talk about ‘earning enough to make your house payment every month’, or ‘earning enough to pay your car payment’, or ‘taking a vacation’… relate the money you would normally talk about… to their lives. Make the story about them… and find their “why” (what makes them tick). Rambling on about all your facts will never touch the lives of those you’re sharing your facts with… until you start telling a story that is relevant to their life.

Crafting your companies story is as important as choosing the right product to sell or the comp plan that creates the exact human behavior you’re looking for (sponsor 2 or 3 and have those 2 or 3 do the same, for example).

IMPORTANT: The story is the start of a new members experience… it is the first thing they will hear or see as a prospect and it is what they will try to emulate. When they start the business they will try to copy the pattern you used to enroll them. If you sent them a complex DVD full of facts… they will send all their prospects the same complex DVD full of facts. If you walk them through a simple process with an understandable story… they will try to emulate this same simple process.

The efforts of thousands and the success OR failure of untold thousands more will rest on the story you craft. Duplicate a horrible story full of complexity, facts, and ‘unique’ (read contrived) terminology… and you will duplicate failure.

Duplicate a simple and unique story that your target market can easily relate to and understand… and you will duplicate success.

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