By Selwa Lukoskie
Direct sales, network marketing, MLM – whatever you want to call it – requires one key skill, no matter who you are: effective communication. You’ve got to be able to talk to people. That’s one thing that has always caused me to shy away from the network marketing industry. I’m an introvert. Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re shy. Though sometimes I get a little nervous at the thought of having to speak aloud in large group settings, I think shyness borders severe social anxiety much more than introversion. Introverts are introspective. We’d rather sit at home on a Friday night with a good book and a good beverage than go out and be around a lot of people. We don’t mind solitude; many times we prefer it, as it gives us more time to think, elevates our creative energies, and allows us to better develop a skill that’s absolutely crucial to effective communication: listening.
I recently fell in love with a quote published on Time.com, in an article called “Shhh! The Quiet Joys of the Introvert:”
“Introverts listen better, they assess risks more carefully, they can be wiser managers. It’s not for nothing that the Silicon Valley billionaires are so often the retiring types.”
I recently joined a health and wellness company in the network marketing industry that is helping thousands of people lose body fat and get healthy. When I first got started, it was more for the products than for the business. Because I’m an introvert, I didn’t think I’d be able to “sell” the products effectively. I don’t really like sales and I especially hate the thought of having to force any product on my friends and family in order to be successful – which leaves me one of two options: 1. Meet new people. In order to do that, you’ve got to be willing to go out and be among large crowds, or 2. Be really good at generating leads through Internet Marketing. I dreaded the first option, and I know that the second takes time, especially if you want people who will stick around for a while.
I’ve been with this company for several months, and in that time I’ve made a little bit of money. Not a fortune by any means, but a few hundred dollars. And I’ve got to say, it’s the easiest money I’ve ever made. Not only that; I absolutely love the products and believe in them 100%, and I’m beginning to generate residual income simply by sharing it with others through various means of communication, both online and off. I don’t have years of experience in network marketing, but based on what I’ve seen so far, the answer to the question, “can introverts thrive in direct sales or network marketing” is: YES. Absolutely. Here are 3 tips for introverts who are struggling with the idea of multi-level marketing as a means of generating income:
- Listen. Learn more about the people you come in contact with. Find out what their goals are, what they want in life. Take the focus off of yourself and put it on them. The secret to being successful and getting what you want is helping other people get what they want.
- Get to know your product. Use it. Learn everything you can about it. Get excited about it. Get really good at talking about it concisely and effectively. The more you believe in what you’re marketing, the less it will feel and appear as though you’re “selling” something. No one likes a used car salesman…
- Learn Internet Marketing. If you’re an introvert you’ll probably want to spend less time in large crowds. Channel that time toward building your business online. Learn how to create a website/blog. Learn about search engine optimization (SEO) and apply it to your website/blog. Build relationships via social media channels like Facebook, twitter and Linkedin. I’ve found Facebook to be extremely effective in building my own network marketing business. People market products on Facebook every day without even trying to, and your friends are more likely to trust you than a random stranger. Linkedin is also a great business tool that you can use to connect with others in the MLM industry. There are tons of resources out there on how to market your business online, and many of them are free – just do some research and you’ll find them.
About the author: Selwa Lukoskie is a singer/songwriter, a health and wellness consultant, and an introvert in the network marketing industry. Read more about her endeavors at www.selstalk.com, and feel free to connect via Facebook, twitter or Linkedin. Introvert or not, she’s wide open to meeting new people.