In the last twenty years, technology has changed the way we do business.
And, for better or for worse, this is especially true in the network marketing industry. Most network marketing companies have resisted the onslaught of new technology vigorously, but the effects have made their way into the fabric of the business.
Beyond the innocuous ways that technology has changed MLM, things like automated training and education, order processing, commission tracking, and communication (all making companies more efficient and streamlined), there are more insidious ways that various technologies have found their way into the business model.
Network marketing saw success early in its history because it was a simple way to bring products directly to the consumer. But technology has made it easier for anyone to promote their products or services online, which means there is now more competition in the marketplace. Digital marketing tools and new platforms allow people to reach a large audience quickly.
One of the most negative effects is that technology has given networkers an excuse for not engaging in their most important activity: making personal connections.
We’ve even gotten to the point that many trainers in the industry tout technology that will allow the new recruit to “not have to talk to anybody”. Most of these strategies are the traditional tools of the digital marketer, tools that employ a one-to-many approach rather than the one-to-one strategy that made the network marketing industry great.
This kind of thinking takes networkers away from the core of the business model. Even worse, these strategies don’t work for most and they definitely don’t duplicate throughout an organization. Without duplication, success in networking is impossible. Duplication is what makes the industry; what is network marketing without it?
Hiding behind a mass email or a social media post gives networkers the sense that they are actively building their business while keeping them from doing the activities that actually will—most importantly, talking to people.
Much of the available technology relies on automation and while automation has been used effectively in the digital marketing space, it is not an effective tool for network marketers without some significant tweaks.
When they rely too heavily on automated tools and don’t take the time to personalize their messaging or engage with prospects one-on-one, they may struggle to build trust and credibility with their audience.
Technology has also given the consumer unlimited access to information. For some companies, this is a good thing as their reputation is spotless and anything someone might find online would only make them more eager to become a part of that organization.
Unfortunately, for many, access to information only hurts them. Network marketing has gotten a bad reputation in some circles and negative information about the industry can be easily shared online. A positive reputation can attract more customers and business partners, while a negative one can lead to decreased revenue and a tarnished brand image.
Whether deserved or not, negative information about a company online can cause many people to quickly say “Next!”.
Even when the information online is neutral, it can be overwhelming for people to sift through all the options. This can lead to analysis paralysis, where people become so overwhelmed by all the information that they can’t make a decision at all.
So though technology effectively wreaks havoc in the network marketing industry, the fact is that technology is here to stay. Technology has had a significant impact on the MLM/network marketing industry, both positive and negative. While some companies have struggled to adapt, those who embrace technology and integrate it into their business model will likely thrive in the years to come.
The question then becomes, how can a network marketing company successfully integrate technology into their system and take the bull by the horns?
Many have already done so and those who don’t soon will be left behind.
The reason that so many companies are slow to adopt technology is that there has never been an all-in-one system that encourages the best and most effective network marketing strategies while at the same time utilizing appropriate and effective technology.
Authentic Sharing Technology allows network marketers to connect with their prospects on a more personal level. It uses all the best technology but puts the emphasis on personal one-on-one connections with prospects. Everything is automated for the user but comes through completely personalized for the prospect.
By sharing authentic and personal stories, network marketers can create an emotional connection with their audience. This can help them to better understand their prospects’ needs and interests and help them decide if their products and opportunity are a good fit.
Authentic Sharing Technology encourages two-way communication between network marketers and their audiences. When prospects feel that they can also share their own experiences and ask questions, they are more likely to engage with the network marketer and build a relationship.
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