Monday, February 14, 2011

Ten Tips to Survive MLM Partnership Problems

Many who get involved in network marketing start up on their own, with their partner/spouse/significant other on the outside looking in. There's a number of reasons for this, the most common being the partner's resistance to the concept or experience of either self-employment or network marketing.

So how do you cope when your formerly-resistant other half decides that it's a good idea to formalise the odd bit of help they give you by signing up as either a joint distributor or as your downline (depending on your corporate model)?

How do you cope when they insist on doing things their way, due to their superior managerial skills, their brilliant sales pitches or their wonderful networking talent?

How do you cope when their idea of support is to order you about, sidestep your suggestions and ignore all the hard work you've done/are doing to build your business so far?

How do you persuade them to work with you towards a brighter future, yet stop them translating your concerns into "Get the heck out of my life, you control-freak"?

Not easy, is it?

There's probably a need for a "Male network marketers are from Mars...." book. Until I write it (!), all I can do is offer the following tips from my experience:
  1. Ignore the tone of voice, if you are the sort of person who reacts to aural cues. It's highly unlikely your newly-enthused partner realises how they are coming across.
  2. Identify one point of conflict that you want to address. Don't ever consider sorting out more than one issue at a time.
  3. Smile! (It's very difficult to sound angry and bitter with a genuine smile on your face; if you can't conjure up a genuine smile first time, think of something good that the two of you have experienced and then smile).
  4. Acknowledge their passion for the business and let them know how much you appreciate their support.
  5. Explain that you have been working on building the business for x months/years prior to teaming up and that you are accustomed to doing things in a certain way.
  6. Thank them for the flurry of new ideas that they've put forward and accept that there are other ways of working within the business.
  7. Explain that you would like to work together as a team of equals on one small area of the business, so that you can both get used to the other's working style.
  8. Negotiate which area of the business you will work together on first.
  9. Set specific, measureable, achievable, result-oriented and targetted (SMART) goals, such as "We will work together to contact 20 prospects, using the same checklist, script and tracking sheet, with the aim of signing up 1 person each by 1st March 2011. We will review our progress together 48 hours from now and we will continue to review on a weekly basis."
  10. Reward yourselves for working together.
How do you manage these occasional conflicts?

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