Forbes: The Correlation Between MLM Success and Mentorship

by louabbott on April 5, 2013

It’s somewhat rare to find positive articles about MLM, Mulitilevel Marketing or Network Marketing on Forbes.

So, this article is both interesting and good for the industry.  People are waking up to the beauty of the model – even if the way it’s done sometimes leaves a lot to be desired.

The Correlation Between MLM Success and Mentorship
Jody Greene, Contributor

We recently sponsored an event at a local university on the topic of women and mentorship. There was a panel discussion that looked into the way that 3 different large organizations have implemented mentorship programs. We discussed the difference between having a sponsor, meaning someone that literally helps move your career along and a mentor who has the roll of helping you through advising and coaching. It was nice to hear that so many organizations have programs and a top-down approach that helps with employee retention and well-being as well as personal and professional growth.

After the event, I met a friend for dinner and tried to describe the purpose of the event and something she said struck a chord. She said something along the lines of, “So mentorship within an organization is kind of like an MLM, right?”

At first I was confused but when I thought more about what she said, I realized that mentorship is one of the reasons that the multi level marketing (MLM) business model is so successful. Mentorship and coaching are important in all aspects of life and if you look around at the most successful people, I bet 9 out of 10 of them have or have had a mentor. Multilevel marketing businesses have built it right into the business model. Brilliant! (When used.)

MLM diagramA multi-level marketing business model starts with a product or service that one person sells, then they bring on a team below them that also sell the same product or service, and receive a commission on all of their team’s sales. The cycle continues until there are multi levels of people all benefiting from a single sale. This not only helps entice the top-tier level sales people to coach and mentor the lower-tier levels but it proves the importance of having someone to learn from, ask questions to and someone that is personally invested in their success. Ask anyone who has every been successful in an MLM based business and they will most likely tell you that topline mentoring was a major factor in their success – on the other hand, ask someone who hasn’t been successful and they’ll probably tell you they had zero support.

As an entrepreneur, we spend a lot of time building our business through sales goals, marketing, structure and infrastructure but how much time do we spend on company culture? It’s true that MLM is often thought of as a “bad word” (http://onforb.es/Xsy8Xa) but the stigma comes from the approach not the business structure which has proven over the years to be one of the most effective ways to enter the entrepreneurship arena. It is also important to be able to recognize what is successful about a specific model in order to create a successful business of your own. I challenge you to think about the aspects of what makes the MLM business model work and figure out how you can create a culture that fosters upward growth, stability and motivation. Rock on MLMs, thanks for laying it out so clearly.

Italics mine (for emphasis) – – -Lou Abbott

About the author of the article:
Jody (Coughlin) Greene is the CMO and co-owner of Chic CEO – a free, online resource for female entrepreneurs. You can follow her @Jody_ChicCEO and Chic CEO on twitter at @ChicCEO

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