Are You a Hustler or a Hoper? What Works for Your Business?

A sales growth bar chartI recently watched a video presentation by Ray Higdon in which he covered 10 ways to find more leads for your Network Marketing business.

Near the beginning of the presentation he asked the question: Are you a hoper or a hustler?

That’s a great question and it made me realise that I’m more of a hoper than a hustler.

What’s the difference?

A hoper takes a passive approach to marketing their business – blogging, social media, emails, etc. – and the hustler finds as many ways as they can to talk to people as many people as they can, whether it’s on the phone or face-to-face.

His basic message is this: if you’re not talking to people you’re not going to get anyone to join your business.

Now I absolutely can see his point and I do not doubt that if I found more people to talk to (they have to be the right people, of course) I could grow my organisation more quickly.

But what if your goals are different? And what if it’s actually more profitable to sell your product than to find new team members..?

I’ve been in the Network Marketing business for about 5 months now and in all the forums that I follow 99% of the talk is about finding new people to join an existing business, or introducing new business opportunities in the hope of enrolling new people.

Not about selling the product.

The reason, of course, is that the majority of Network Marketing opportunities out there pay business owners a commission for getting new people to enrol.

Plus, many Network Marketing businesses require participants to pay a monthly fee, or purchase a minimum monthly amount of stock, both of which also result in commission being paid to the upline member.

And also, of course, there’s the longer term goal that growing an organisation should, ultimately, lead to more actual product sales within your team for which you would also earn commission.

I understand all that, but I question the value of growing a team for the sake of growing a team.

What are your goals?

Before you get caught up in the ‘growing a team’ culture you need to be clear on your own goals.

In all the research documents I’ve read the success rate of people in Network Marketing is very low – that is, the percentage of all people in Network Marketing who are able to live off it full time, let alone reach dizzying levels of income.

The failure rates are well into the 90% range.

That would imply that 90%+ of the people you enrol in your team will not be successful – meaning they’re not going to make huge bucks for themselves or, therefore, for you.

So having a large team for its own sake is not necessarily going to make you rich.

But calling that figure a ‘failure rate’ is misleading.

Many people become involved with a Network Marketing business simply because they want the products for their own consumption, not because they want to start a business.

I’ve been a member of the Pharmanex business since 1999 because I use their Cholestin product to control my cholesterol level. I’ve never sold a Pharmanex product in my life and I probably never will, but I do use Cholestin and I will continue to do so.

None-the-less, as far as Pharmanex is concerned, I am firmly within the ‘failures’ group.

So it’s important to understand your business goals and the goals of the people you bring into your organisation, so you can tailor your activities in the most effective way.

What works for your business?

The other aspect to consider is whether promoting the business opportunity is more profitable than selling the product.

In some businesses this may not be the case.

If there is no fee to join the business and no minimum monthly purchase requirements (as is the case with the business I’m in), then you receive no commission for enrolling new people. You only receive commission if they buy product.

In these cases you want as many customers as possible buying directly from you, not from your downline, because that’s where you get the most commission. You don’t want a large organisation of business owners, particularly if 90%+ were to be categorised as ‘failures’.

In the model my network marketing company uses I get three times the amount of commission from someone who buys product from me directly (more than 4 times in the first 60 days) than I do if they buy product from my downline.

So when you consider that, based on all the research, my downline is probably going to have a 90%+ failure rate, and I don’t get any commission for enrolling them, then my time is going to be better spent on selling product directly, than on chasing business leads.

Of course, there comes a point in time when economies of scale take over and the sheer number of people in my downline will make me more money than direct sales to my own customers.

But that will take a while unless, of course, you have a world champion mover and shaker in your downline!

So what does all that mean

I’ve only recently discovered Ray Higdon but I do like him and, if you haven’t come across him before, you should read his stuff – here’s his blog.

He is a successful Network Marketer and he makes extensive use of content marketing (an essential online marketing strategy) as part of his approach – not the case with many of the Network Marketing sites I’ve seen.

I’ve learned a lot from him in the short time I’ve followed his blog.

But always remember the context within which he (or any coach) is positioning their tactics.

If growing your organisation as quickly as you can is your strategy then everything Ray teaches will help you.

But if you have a different strategy remember to take from his messages only that which is relevant to your approach.

Don’t get sucked into a strategy that is not optimal for your business model or your goals.


Martin Malden