Selling Against the Field: The Cardinal Sin of Network Marketing

The field is one of (if not THE) most important departments in any network marketing company. It is made up of sales associates who are a critical component of network marketing, as they play a key role in building and maintaining relationships with customers, generating sales, and growing the business. 

The field is the face of the company

Sales associates are often the first point of contact that potential customers have with the company. As such, they are responsible for presenting the company in a positive light, answering questions, and building relationships with customers.

The field generates the company’s sales

Sales associates are responsible for driving sales and revenue for the company. By building relationships with customers, understanding their needs and preferences, and offering solutions that meet those needs, sales associates can generate repeat business and help the company grow.

The field is responsible for recruiting new distributors

In network marketing, sales associates recruit new members to the team. By doing so, they expand the reach of the company, increase sales, and generate more revenue.

The field brings invaluable product feedback to the corporate office

Sales associates are in direct contact with customers, which means they can provide valuable feedback to the company on what’s working and what’s not. This can help the company make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and other aspects of the business.

Sales associates are critical to the success of network marketing companies as they are responsible for driving sales, building relationships, and growing the business. By empowering and supporting their sales teams, companies can achieve greater success and reach more customers.

Network marketers make their money through field sales; the better the field performs, the healthier the company is as a whole.

Given the value they bring, why do so many companies jeopardize their relationship with the field by selling against them?

What exactly is selling against the field?

Unfortunately, the ways that network marketing companies sell against their field are many. 

Some network marketing companies have even started to use an internal sales team to follow up on leads generated through digital marketing efforts, instead of passing those leads on to their distributors. 

The irony of this is often palpable as these are the same digital marketing efforts that the company has forbidden their sales associates to use in the field—with good reason, I might add, as they can be highly detrimental to the effective functioning of a sales team in this industry.

Often they will offer special deals or incentives to these in-house sales teams while not extending those same offers to their distributors. 

Using these digital marketing techniques, they will steer their customers toward purchasing products through the company website, rather than through a distributor. They will often do this by making it more convenient or cost-effective to do so.

Network marketing companies may sometimes create competing sales channels that bypass their distributors entirely. For example, a company may set up a brick-and-mortar store or an Amazon storefront to sell its products, rather than relying on its network of distributors. 

All of this can create tension between the company/in-house sales team and the distributors, as the sales team may be seen as “competing” with the distributors for sales. 

In the end, the field feels undervalued.

Trust and relationships are damaged and the distributors lose confidence in the company. It often turns into an “us vs. them” situation and distributors may feel like their interests and goals are not aligned with the company’s.

When a company sells against its own distributors, it can create a negative atmosphere that can reduce the morale and enthusiasm of the entire organization. It can also harm the company’s reputation and make it less attractive to potential new recruits or customers.

One of the dangers of network marketing is not doing enough research on the company with which you are affiliating with. Knowing they have a strong track record of supporting their field sales team can go a long way in finding a company that you can be with for many years.

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How to vet a network marketing company

Choosing the right network marketing company can be a crucial decision when it comes to building a successful career in the industry. 

Before joining a network marketing company, do your research and look for companies with a history of supporting and investing in their field sales team. 

The best way that companies do this is by providing consistent network marketing training and coaching to their distributors, as well as offering fair compensation and opportunities for growth.

Always check how a company distributes its in-house-generated leads. A good company should have policies in place that ensure that leads are distributed fairly and evenly among its distributors, rather than being kept as a corporate sale.

Additionally, a clear and transparent compensation plan is essential for ensuring that you are fairly compensated for your sales efforts. A simple and easy-to-understand compensation plan with clear guidelines on how commissions are calculated and paid is a must.

Finally, one of the best ways to get a sense of a company’s culture and support for its field sales team is to talk to current and former distributors. Ask them about their experiences with the company, the level of support they received, and any challenges they faced.

Teaming up with a network marketing company can often be a spur-of-the-moment, sometimes emotional, decision. Make sure you are asking the right questions before you pull the trigger.

Happy sales distributors, healthy company

Selling against its own distributors is bad for any network marketing company as it can damage relationships, create conflict, reduce morale, and harm the company’s reputation. Instead, companies should focus on building strong relationships with their distributors and supporting their growth and success. This can lead to a more positive and productive work environment, increased sales, and greater overall success for the company.

Digital marketing has a place in network marketing field sales if done correctly. The key is having the right technology. RapidFunnel’s Authentic Sharing Technology can give your sales team all the tools they need to make genuine connections and effectively (and consistently) follow up.

Schedule a demo today!

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