Why Fitness Trainers Don’t View Network Marketing as Legitimate.
I’m stepping away from my usual blog posts because there have been several occasions when mentoring the business opportunity to other trainers, I would get a look as if they didn’t correlate how being a trainer and now a network marketer was one in the same.
Okay…well…I’m going to challenge that attitude. And I’m well equipped to because the past three and a half years have decimated those beliefs.
On the most primitive level, you the reason you don’t like Network Marketing is because you don’t understand it.
And you don’t understand them because you’ve never been involved in one. Or you had a bad experience with network marketing and feel like you wasted your time.
You think you know how they work but how could you—you’ve never been involved in one. You only have your perception of what it is and how it works. That, combined with the bullet points from what others have told you, leads to your baseless belief that “No one is successful. It’s a get rich quick scheme. It’s a ploy, no one will ever make any money.”
I know all the reasons why Fitness Professionals think Network Marketing is not really a profession.
• Low-barrier of entry.
• People in network marketing come from all walks of life.
• It’s a sales job and you don’t like “selling”.
• It’s not a legitimate business model.
• If the products are so good then why are they not in stores?
• You can’t make any real money.
I can honestly understand how you might feel this way. After all, the first thing that turned you off was that your Aunt Debbie started her networking business in the amount of time it takes you to walk to your mailbox. Barrier to entry is low. One needs to be willing to part with a few hundred dollars and start buying the products and voila, you’re in business.
Which leads into one of the primary reasons you don’t believe in Network Marketing.
You don’t respect anyone who’s not completely qualified to talk about products that help others.
“They’re not qualified!” you’ll say.
And yet half the personal trainers with this thought process became trainers following a ridiculously easy online or weekend certification course. Talk about a profession with a low-barrier of entry—look who’s calling the kettle black.
But if you are one of those that had to work hard to earn your credentials, and consider yourself in the top 20% of trainers, you would actually admire what the top 20% of Network Marketers do to get where they are. (It’s not all about getting people to join. More on this later.)
Let’s peel back the layers on the “qualification” issue. I’ll start by asking, you, my fitness professional colleagues a question: When was the last time you recommended a product or suggested an approach to health after reading a few articles, research papers, or books?
Don’t say you’ve never done it. Truth is, unless you’re a licensed or degreed professional in that arena then you are no more qualified than anyone else to educate others on these topics.
But because you investigate these topics and learn from reliable resources that have extensive insight and knowledge, you feel confident in your ability to pass along the information. You guide people to what you think is best for them—and there’s nothing wrong with it. As long as it’s you doing it, or those you think have the right to.(Keep in mind, there’s someone out there smarter and more versed than you who thinks you have no right to educate people. …Just saying.)
Science and education are what you’re looking for, right?
I can’t speak for every Network Marketing company but Rodan+Fields (whom I have been partnered with for going on four years) does an incredible job educating their consultants and customers. As you’ll soon see, their entire business model depends on education with a culture of support and empowerment.
Rodan + Fields® is a social commerce skincare company founded by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, world-renowned dermatologists and creators of Proactiv® Solution. Rodan + Fields specializes in marketing clinically-proven, physician grade skincare products with a unique business model, that empowers people to become their own bosses and potentially earn substantial incomes with their growing organizations. Their mission is to simply change skin to be the most healthy it can be and change lives with an unparalleled business opportunity.
They also host weekly webinars, conference calls, and speak at live events discussing the philosophy behind the products and the results of clinical trials.
Speaking of research…
I find it ironic that so many of my colleagues and friends don’t demand more from the companies whose products they use. In their eyes “the research” behind a product is the true worth of a product.
Well here’s a challenge to you all. Pick a product from five of the companies you believe to be the most reputable. Now call the company and request a copy of their clinical trials on that product.
Do you think they will have something to offer to you? Maybe except a reference to a study about that type of product/ingredient (but not theirs specifically) and a discount coupon. It is an eye opener.
On the other hand Rodan+Fields has over 90 abstracts and manuscripts in peer-reviewed dermatologic journals to support product efficacy and safety. They run trials on THEIR finished product before it’s released for distribution. And if even one ingredient (from a supplier) in a product is not up to their standard they halt production of that product (no matter how popular) until the right one is found.
This coming year (2015) Rodan+Fields will spend $100 million on research and development. I wonder how many of your favorite brands are willing to pony-up this kind of money to improve their current batch of products and develop new ones. To be constantly bringing new innovations to the market that are far superior to any other product on the market. To be proprietary with exclusive technology. To listen to what we the people want and need to live better lives.
I am not implying this is the standard for all Network Marketing companies but for the one I work with it is. For me it’s about…
Money spent the way it should be.
Remember bullet point number five: If the products are so good then why are they not in stores? Someone once asked this the founders of our company, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields.
To paraphrase their response; A product on a shelf cannot tell a person what makes it better or different from all the other products. That’s why you need people—people that are knowledgeable about the product and can communicate what it has the power to do. We are a company that empowers people to take a superior product, share it and make a significant income based on their efforts.
Seems like a rational answer to me. I know when I was a personal trainer that I do a much better job of explaining to someone in person what training will do to help them than even the most comprehensive marketing pieces that could be produce. You just can’t beat face-to-face communication, especially when you’re discussing someone’s health and wellness. And with the advent of social media, you can virtually be face to face with the world.
You’re smart enough to realize that companies spend billions of dollars a year to grab your attention in hopes that you’ll reach for their product on the shelf, right? And you’re also smart enough to know that half the stuff they tell you is BS. So I don’t quite understand the logic that, if a product is not on a shelf then it must be poor quality.
The reasons Rodan+Fields don’t spend money on advertising.
• Instead of spending money on advertising they spend it on R & D, and investing back into what they consider the heartbeat of the company, its consultants. (
• Instead of spending money on advertising or celebrity endorsements they spend it on educating consultants about the products.
• Instead of spending money on advertising they use it to pay people to spread their message.
• Instead of spending money on advertising they use it to reward people for business growth.
You don’t bat an eyelash or voice your displeasure over products endorsed by athletes who likely never heard of the company before they got paid to know and talk about them. Your rational senses tell you there is no reason to believe that the products they are pitching actually work, but you consider using them anyway.
That’s the power of seductive marketing. It can turn the most cynical person into a buyer in a few thirty-second snippets. And worse, you know what they’re doing as they do it.
So why vilify a company that chooses NOT to spend millions, if not billions of dollars on deceiving you?
Do you actually trust a paid celebrity over people that really use, benefit from, and are educated on the products they are recommending to you?
Our logic is severely flawed. …But I guess that’s why marketing is designed to appeal to emotions and not logic.
It’s sales and I’m not a salesman
I’ve known family members and many friends who are sales people. They are exceptional at it due to a combination of their personality and drive to succeed. As an Occupational Therapist and personal trainer…I’m not a salesman. But like so many other trainers I can “sell” the heck out of my services or something I have a passion for. Why? Because I believe in what I do. Because I know with absolute certainty I can change peoples’ lives. And if you’re a trainer or fitness professional of any kind I know you feel the same way. Does it bother you that some people don’t buy into what you do? That they don’t really think your services are necessary to get in shape or be healthy?
Of course not!
You realize that what you do won’t be for everyone and you’re only concerned with those that it is for. And you are certainly not going to spend your time trying to hard sell people on what you do—if they don’t want your help, it’s their loss.
Well the same goes for the products I recommend and proudly “sell”. I’ve done my due diligence, I’ve read the research and I use the products.
Providing people with viable products to improve their lives is not selling, it’s my job, and if you are a fitness professional it is yours too. People come to us because they need the help of an expert. This is not snake oil sales. It’s sharing a gift with people that can permanently change their lives.
It’s a not a legitimate business model.
It’s a pyramid! This is my very favorite objection fitness professionals cite for not joining a Network Marketing company. The reason is, many are already part of a pyramid.
Wait, what? Huh?
Yup, that’s right.
Ask yourself what a pyramid looks like?
There is a person at the top and then there are people underneath that person…and then people under those people…and others under them.
The traditional companies we all support are the real pyramids. Think about it. Who gets paid the most? The CEO. Who next? The Presidents of each division. Next? Vice Presidents, then Middle Managers, then Supervisors, and dooooooooooown the line it goes.
Even in small businesses there’s always a hierarchy. You have one or two owners and then everyone else is “underneath” them, right?
So help me understand the concern about someone earning a percentage from the work you do? The work they have to spend time teaching you to do. It’s already happening unless you are the sole owner and operator of your business. (And the percentage of what’s being made off your work in a “regular job” is no less—often grossly more—than that of Network Marketing companies.) I’m not the only one who has had success. I’m watching several on my team have the same success and many came on board years after me.
In reality, no one earns anything without adding value.
Anyone who has ever earned a good living with Network Marketing will tell you that you don’t make money simply by getting people to join. Your earnings are tied to what happens after the initial purchase. Specifically, the amount of value you are adding to people’s lives.
The folklores about people signing up their family and friends so they can advance themselves and become a multi-millionaire is typically a) complete BS or b) a Ponzi scheme akin to The Wolf of Wall Street. The latter resulting in imprisonment.
I can’t speak for every Network Marketing but in RODAN+FIELDS we get paid based on the quality and volume of work we put in. We don’t earn anything if we’re not helping others be successful. In every way we are like a 24 hour support staff for those we bring into the business.
If you are not adding value and helping others improve their quality of life, your quality of life will suffer. That is why those who think this business is all about signing people up never make it long-term. This business is about connecting with people and showing them the road to better their lives.
It’s your reputation, I get it.
No one could be anymore apprehensive about joining an Network Marketing than me. I was fearful of the blowback from clients and colleagues if something was wrong with the products or they didn’t work. I also didn’t want to be seen as a self-serving pushy salesperson.
The Cliff Notes version of my story is that the science and real-world proof won me over. As a result, my clients have improved their skin, their finances and confidence that spills into every other aspect of life. That is priceless!
There are bad salespeople, business people, and service providers in EVERY industry and profession. Does that stop you from using those products or services?
Have you stopped going to all restaurants because the food and service was bad at one of them? Or did you chalk it up to that being a bad restaurant and move on?
If you’re a fitness professional reading this, I know how you feel. I felt the same way too. But what I found—when I set aside my preconceived notions and negative experiences with certain companies—is that the business is like any other. The model is completely legit and the quality of products were SIGNIFICANTLY better than 98% of those found on a shelf.
As I said at the start, if you have never been a part of a Network Marketing company you have little basis for judging them. Sure you can continue judging them based on the few (bad) people you know involved in them and say they’re all con artists. But that would be like people refusing to consider your services because their first encounter with a personal trainer, chiropractor, nutritionist, coach, or whoever was an off-putting experience.
Bottom line, you chose the profession to help others, to be an architect of change. If we don’t continue to evolve ourselves to that mission we will become stale and stagnant. If you are looking for positive change, relationships and the resources to get you there, I invite you to contact me. I will send you information that is validated and accredited. From there, it’s your decision. It may not be right for everyone, but it may be just perfect for you.
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