Where do you turn to for advice when buying a new product? If you’re like most folks these days, you go online. After all, there is no shortage of data traveling over the internet ether. The challenge is turning all that data into usable information to make an informed decision. Sometimes it’s spot on; other times, it feels like you are heading down a rabbit hole. But when you finally get ready to turn over your hard-earned money, chances are you’ll move beyond cyberspace and seek advice from the real influencers in your life: your friends.
Good advice, hiding in plain sight
Just how our close friends exert serious influence over our purchasing behavior is the subject of Paul Adam’s book Grouped (see more on his book in the Learn Section), and he lays out a convincing (and well researched) argument for just that. This applies equally in our offline lives as it does online. Although, when I read his book, I had to smile. He is confirming what, for me, has been hiding in plain sight since my father started selling Nutrilite products.
The foundation of multi-level marketing
In his book, Adams explains that we all have influence (on some topics more than others) within our small, often separate, groups of trusted friends. After all, these are the people with whom we share information, ideas and, of course, recommendations.
These one-to-one connections are also the foundation of my father’s original idea for selling Nutrilite food supplements put into practice over eight decades ago. In many ways, it’s the original social marketing plan. He reasoned that people trust their friends, so money that would otherwise be spent on advertising should instead be used as an incentive for individuals to share a product that they already use and trust with their friends.
In effect, my father was encouraging people to be a “product of the product,” knowing that their health and vitality could inspire others to benefit from the same products. Today’s thriving multi-level marketing business grew indirectly out of my father’s idea for selling Nutrilite food supplements.
You’ve got a friend in me
As I travel the world as Nutrilite’s Global Brand Ambassador, I often weave my father’s philosophy into my speeches. It’s also central to my 6-step plan on how best to share Nutrilite products. (The plan continues to be one of the most important predictors of business success.)
If you are unfamiliar with my plan, here are a few highlights, including the central role of friendship:
- Use the product. Become your first and best client. As with many things in life, experience is the best teacher.
- Learn about the product. Learn as much as you can about the product and role of nutrition and supplements in achieving and maintaining optimal health.
- Be a product of the product. I believe leading by example is the most powerful tool we have for inspiring others. We need to follow our own advice, teach by our actions, and do whatever we would ask of others. When we do this, we become a magnet for people eager to learn about healthy living and Nutrilite.
- Become a friend. In all the studies that I have read about why people purchase products like Nutrilite food supplements — high-quality, unique products backed by science — the key factor is usually because the products are recommended by someone they believe in and trust.
- Share the Product. Once someone is ready to make a change, then it’s time to share the product and concepts of optimal health. As a friend, you can help people on their path to optimal health and perhaps a better business opportunity.
- Service. Service. Service. Great customer service has always been a mainstay of good business. After all, it’s the most direct pathway to repeat business. Plus, satisfied consumers not only continue to buy from you, but they also refer others to you
The bottom line
Remember, no amount of coaxing, prodding, or nudging will do. Everyone needs to make his or her own decisions in their own time, but never underestimate the value of your friendship. It matters more than you may think.
While technology may help us connect in new ways, it’s important to remember the heart of our business continues to be people, especially Amway business owners and their ability to make genuine connections with others to share the important message of optimal health.
And, we’re not alone. “Businesses that place people, rather than content or technology, at the center of their business model are thriving and in some cases outperforming incumbents,” says Adams. I guess Dad was right all along!
Here’s to inspiring others with friendship!
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