Sell Yourself Not Your Business

Many people enter the network marketing business with a strange idea that all they have to do is sell a few things and they’ll make a decent living. That’s fine if you’re selling to people who you already know and you’re happy just making a few extra dollars a month. But what you will have to do if you really want to make a substantial income is to go out and build relationships with others.

The key to successful network marketing is building a downline. You leverage other people’s time and while they’re busy selling products, you’re making a commission from the sale. That sounds fine – but what if you have to meet these people? What happens if you’re not a particularly outgoing person or you’re shy?

It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in it’s the relationship building part that matters. It’s extremely important online because people can’t meet you face-to-face. You have to build friendships and relationships through your blog or within social media. If you’re shy you may find this approach easier than going out into the community and meeting people.

There’s a World of Opportunity outside your Door

The reason why you have to foster relationships is to build trust. Even though you might feel safer hiding behind a computer monitor, the truth is there is a world of opportunity outside of your office door. It’s considerably easier, I think, to make friends with people face-to-face especially if you have similar interests and something that they want or need.

With network marketing you can meet people through your church group. If you’re a young mother then you can meet other folks like yourself through your children’s school. If you attend sporting events there are usually dozens of people there that you can talk to.

Forget your product for now. You’re never going to be able to build a relationship with others if all you talk about is what you’re selling.

Join a Networking Group

It’s surprising how many networking groups you will find in your local area, especially if you live in a reasonably large city. Very often you can visit as a guest. This is the best way to find out if you feel comfortable with a certain group. Some network marketing groups can be rather clique-y. Others you may find have too many members and you feel overwhelmed. Try as many as you can and I guarantee you’ll find a group of people who will welcome you with open arms.

Human beings are strange creatures of habit. We tend to buy groceries in supermarkets where we feel most comfortable. We go to places where we find like-minded people. When you meet new people talk to them about general things at first and at some point it will be natural to inquire what they do for a living. It’s rarely the first question that people ask.


If you are shy, try approaching relationship building a different way. There are many volunteer organizations that you might be able to join just for a few hours a week. As a volunteer you’ve already earned a few plus points! Others will already respect you for donating your time – you’ll be amazed how easily you will fit in. If you have talents that the volunteer group needs then offer to help further, perhaps they need someone to write a newsletter for their website, take photographs or help with catering or advertising.

You might be surprised by the number of professional people who volunteer their time and even if they’re retired they know other people. Volunteering is a long-term commitment as is joining a networking group. Just remember to take your business cards wherever you go. It may be a few days before you hear from someone but I guarantee this approach will help you with your shyness. After a few weeks you’ll have made some friends and some very valuable contacts.

Always Follow Up

Don’t forget to follow-up with people, especially if you met them as a guest at a network marketing meeting. Give it a day and then send out an e-mail saying how pleased you were to meet that person, or follow-up with a phone call. If you have problems remembering who is who, just jot down some notes about them on the back of their business card. They will be flattered that you remembered a few key points about them.

Where have you found the best places for meeting people – networking groups, church groups or perhaps somewhere else? Please help newcomers (especially shy ones) to find out places where they could meet new contacts.

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