Thursday, February 17, 2011

Networking Mastery - Don't Poison The Well

It never ceases to amaze me. People join a network marketing organisation and then completely ignore the definitions of both network and marketing.

Network - an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to provide mutual assistance, helpful information, etc.

Marketing - the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.

What's often forgotten is the hidden network within network marketing - the network of your customers, prospects and prospective customers.
We are all interconnected. John Donne wrote, "No man is an island, entire of itself;" and "all mankind is of one author, and is one volume;". Thich Nhat Hanh coined the term interbeing to indicate the same concept. What we do affects others.
This week and last week, my retail results were poor. Part of this was due to my needing to devote a little extra time to Life! (family issues, broken boiler, ill-health, heavy workload in the day-job, etc.). That's not a concern; occasionally we all need to prioritise something other than our business goals.
What is a concern is the conversation I had with a lovely lady who has never ordered from me, and is unlikely to ever order from Kleeneze, Betterware, Avon or any other network marketing company.
The reason? In the 8 weeks before Christmas, she placed 3 orders with Kleeneze distributors (not me!) and 1 order with Betterware. Nobody contacted her to let her know there were delays with the goods; nobody delivered them either. That abysmal customer service has guaranteed that others who would have provided better service are now prevented from doing so - she never wants to see another catalogue through her door. There is nothing anybody can do at the moment to persuade her otherwise.
If I learn nothing else from that conversation, I know this:
Don't poison the well for those who come after you.
If you don't provide good customer service, you destroy a potential customer network, not only for yourself, but for others. That's not a good way to live our lives, personally or professionally.

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