There are three analogies I'd like to use in reference to how folks built, are building and will build their network marketing businesses. The shovel, the backhoe and the earthmover are what I will use as an example to illustrate my point.
I first started in the industry with Amway, a company that goes way back to the 1960's. Tremendous company with great values and I learned a whole lot about this industry as an Amway distributer. Back then, people used the equivalent of a shovel to build their business. They met in living rooms and dens in homes across America to build their Internet Marketing businesses.
For nearly three decades folks grew their business through warm lists and just talking with people. There was no three way calling, no cell phones. no personal computers. That was networking in it's most primitive form, aside from the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Towards the early 199o's people still used a shovel, but others moved to a backhoe. The internet had reached homes across America and a very small group of marketers were able to network online through email's and such. Networkers got together in hotel's rather than living rooms and dens. Hotels offered more space for more people and gave prospects a more professional image of the company that was represented. This worked for some, but for others it offered little credibility.
Do not get me wrong. Fortunes were made over the years in network marketing, however there was a very high failure rate. If you took the total number of people in Network marketing and the number of people making a full time living at it, the numbers were less than 1 / 100th of 1%. Not very good odds.
Fast Forward to the year 2009 and we use the equivalent of an Earth Mover. Serious Network Marketers today build their business online using state of the art tools like Auto-Responders, Funded Proposal Sales Funnel's, Affilate Joint Venture Partners, Social Media, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Videos, Podcasts, Email Marketing, Pay-Per Click Advertising, etc.
We no longer have to sell people on our products or services as our systems do the sifting, sorting and selling for us. We develop relationships with people online by providing them value. We give them the best of what we know for free to earn their trust. We use the auto-responders to keep in touch with our prospects over the course of time and give them the information they are looking for.
When I look back at the days I used to sit in Starbucks for hours upon hours showing the business plan to prospects that I had cold contacted, I almost have to laugh. I dragged people to hotel meetings who didnt want to be there, tried convincing people that if they did not get started in business with me, they were going to be broke for the rest of their lives. Those silly, outdated methods did not work so well
The bottom line folks is no matter what business your building, the rules are the same. Use systems to build your fortune. The days of doing list builders, cold contacting, hotel meetings, etc. are over. Sure there are companies that will continue to do business this way, however a VERY small percentage of people will have any kind of success in their Network Marketing business.