The inspiration for today’s episode was a little odd. A friend watched a mockumentary about multi-level marketing (MLM). They thought it was humorous, so I checked it out. Wow – it actually was pretty full of important lessons, not the least of which is today’s topic of leading without manipulating.
You’ve heard it said that life is stranger than fiction and I guess my life is no different. As I reflected on my own past experience with MLMs, I felt like it was important for me to share a few leadership tips to navigate these difficult waters. The danger with an episode like this is that it can almost become like a discussion about a political view. It won’t matter what I say because someone will be unhappy about it!
If you are concerned about my view of MLMs, let me say right up front that I’m neither for nor against. Like you, I’ve seen the best and the worst of MLMs. My past experience had some very positive aspects. For instance, I loved getting together with other folks working in that business. It was motivating, encouraging, competitive, and if you had a pulse, you would leave remembering why you wanted to be involved in the first place and there would be some element of reigniting that passion and purpose.
Here’s one really important thing to keep in mind: sales is an honorable profession. Not every salesperson is honorable. I hope every one of you is passionate about the products and services you represent. Marketing and selling these products is essential if any revenue is to be generated maintaining momentum for new or better products and services for the customer.
Three things to keep in mind when leading without manipulating:
- Be honest, upfront, and direct about what you are doing
- Check your motivation
- Evaluate your intentions when developing new relationships
Great quotes from this episode:
“Marketing is something you do for someone, not something you do to someone.” – Ray Edwards
“People buy from those they know, like, and trust.” – Mike Kim
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Now, go lead like someone you would want to follow!