Multi-level marketing, or MLM, is a useful tool in any business’ marketing plan. Multi-level marketing is also referred to as network marketing. It has been used successfully by companies such as Amway - Quixtar, Mannatech, YTB, Tupperware, Avon, Stream Energy, Mary Kay, Herbalife and Primerica Financial.
The premise of MLM is that each salesperson is an independent consultant or distributor. They purchase the products directly from the company to resell to their customers and earn a percentage of each sale as a commission. Independent distributors also earn money from recruiting others to join the company. These recruits are referred to as a distributor’s “downline.” Many companies give distributors a portion of the sales from their downline, which gives them an interest in promoting the success of their downline.
Independent distributors typically make their sales and recruit through personal contact and the use of networking. The value of such a level of personal contact is the ability to form relationships that help to expand the number of potential customers exponentially. It also encourages referrals, which harness the strength of first-hand, independent testimonies of the products effectiveness. Since a potential customer is hearing an endorsement of a product from a person they know and trust, plus see the results for themselves, there is more impact from this form of marketing than there is from straight advertising.
In order for this type of marketing to be successful, independent distributors need to have superior communications capabilities and to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes not only phone access, but access via the internet and by text. A missed communication could be a missed opportunity for a sale or a necessary contact with a downline consultant. Due to cell phones, pagers, faxes and the like, people have gotten used to having immediate contact with others and do not have the patience to wait for someone to contact them back.
While many of today’s phones and laptops allow for greater access, it can still be impractical to tote around all of the equipment necessary to give that access. It can also be expensive. Today there are services that give you all the capabilities of a whole host of equipment, but only require the smallest of cell phones to do it- no keyboards, internet access, touch screens or fancy gadgets required.
Two of these are GenieVOX, and CellPlusPlus by AllCom. For a super-low monthly fee ($4.95 a month for the GenieVOX and $9.95 a month for the CellPlusPlus), users can get a free private toll free number that is separate from their personal cell phone number, getting all the benefits of a dedicated business line without the added expense of a separate business phone account. They can send verbal and text messages to an unlimited number of people simultaneously as a more personal alternative to standard email. Additionally, users get professional voicemail and messaging that shows up on email, text and voicemail so that no matter where they are, they will not miss a chance to connect.