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Network Marketing as a Business Model – The 5 Critical Keys to Long-Term Success

5 Critical Keys to Long-Term Success

By Michael Duffey

If the network marketing “Business Model” is so great (and I truly believe it is), then why do so many people fail to make real profits, much less achieve the worthy goal of financial freedom and independence?

Here’s the simple answer to that very important question: Most people ignore one or more of the FIVE critical keys to success I’ll briefly outline below. And like a chain with a weak link, if there’s just one weak “link” in your business plan, you will never achieve your dreams or reach your true potential — no matter how determined you are and no matter how sincere an effort you put in.

The main feature well-informed people love about network marketing is that if you do the work ONCE, and do it RIGHT, besides earning more money than many doctors and lawyers do—with a lot less time and money invested—you can get paid ongoing residual income for LIFE, ENJOY a life and lifestyle most people only dream of, and continue to get paid even if you choose not to work.

Rank each of the Key areas below on a scale of 1-10 for your chosen company, and then add up the total. If your total score isn’t close to 50, you could be asking for trouble and disappointment down the road.

Key #1) Company LEADERSHIP – MLM Experience? – Ethics? – Integrity? 

Have you actually read the company “Policies & Procedures (P&P)?” Very few people do! Yet this is one of the best predictors of company ethics and integrity and their FUTURE treatment of you. Many people have built huge incomes and organizations only to have them legally stripped away because of a “gotcha” clause in the contract they signed when they joined. Unfortunately greed and mismanagement are not reserved solely for the conventional corporate world.

How many pages is the “P&P?” (Less is usually better.) Who does it protect? Are the Rules & Comp Plan set up to favor/protect distributors—or the company? Do they allow true “walk-a-way” income? What’s the one-word giveaway if they don’t? Are there loopholes to take away your organization or income some day? You might be shocked and amazed at what’s out there!

And don’t be naive. Just because a company is “well known” doesn’t mean it doesn’t have some skeletons in its closet.
Reading and understanding a company’s “Policies & Procedures” is critically important to understanding their integrity and intentions, and to predicting your real chances for long-term success. A company’s “P&P” is your “prenuptial agreement” with it. Yet most distributors never study the P&P closely.

It may be more fun (short-term) to get caught up in hype, excitement, and false promises. But it’s a lot more profitable and fun (long-term) if you do your due-diligence before you make an avoidable mistake.


Is there a TARGET MARKET for your PRODUCTS? Is there a huge current demand? Future demand? Profit Potential? How long has the company been in business and what is its track record? Many distributors and companies foolishly ignore one or more of these important elements, or miss important clues that help improve their decision making process.

Generally, more name recognition could mean less of an opportunity for YOU, the individual distributor. Company success and distributor success are not necessarily the same. If too many people have already heard of your company and formed an opinion (right or wrong), it limits your individual chances and potential level of success.

Ideally, you want something in between—a young company you can grow with—but that has already established a success track to run on, and proven its likelihood for long-term success. Picking the right sponsor and TEAM within a company can also be a big factor. Almost EVERYONE needs good support and training when they first get started.

Key #3) Flagship PRODUCT(s) – Have to be REMARKABLE – Not over-priced – Consumable

The secret to long-lasting residual income is customers re-ordering quality products. It’s not about a large “one-time” sale or commission. It’s about automatic repeat purchases by customers, month after month, year after year. That’s what adds up to BIG BUCKS long-term.

It’s important to have at least one “Purple Cow”—Attention Getter / Stand Out product. It’s best to have multiple GREAT products. It’s very rare for distributors in ‘one product’ companies to have MASSIVE LONG-TERM success. Some have short-term success that may last a few years and build a loyal following that is good for the company. But they seldom create dependable, large, lifelong income for many individual distributors.

Key #4) COMP PLAN – Pays both “part-time” and “full-time” people a fair percentage –Rewards for promoting products NOT just for recruiting reps.

Part-time people usually make up over 90% of any organization. They have to be able to realize a profit fairly quickly if they’re going to stay for the long-term benefits. If the part-timers can earn a decent income, everybody will. And the ultimate focus and rewards should be on movement of consumable products to end users, not just recruiting other distributors.

Another key to look at in comp plans is whether it pays on VOLUME, not levels. You eventually want to get paid on the volume of your entire organization, not just part of it. Learn about “breakage” and how to avoid or minimize it. Compensation plans drive BEHAVIOR in the field—both good and bad. Make sure the one you choose drives good behavior. And along those lines, be careful of anything that heavily promotes “spillover.” Spillover rarely works long-term like it’s promised or promoted, and it could attract the wrong kind of people.


The 3 keys to success in anything are:

  1. Gaining some (accurate) knowledge through EDUCATION;
  2. Developing some basic SKILLS;
  3. Taking ACTION to apply and share your knowledge and skills.

If you don’t have systems and TEAMWORK to make sure that all new people get the proper mentoring and training they need, your business will never flourish. You’ll keep spinning your wheels going nowhere. Proven systems are a common thread in any successful organization.

Here’s another fact that may surprise you: Successful network marketing is NOT about selling. It’s NOT a sales business. It’s a people and relationship business. If you try to force people to do things they don’t like to do or are not comfortable with, they won’t be with you very long! Most people hate to sell. That’s why the tactic many companies and organizations teach of trying to recruit your friends and family, is one of the fastest ways to fail.

It’s much better and more FUN to find people who are already looking for what you have to offer. And with advances in technology and the Internet, that’s much easier than it used to be. All you need is a little good training. Having a coach and mentor who are actively and successfully building their businesses TODAY is critically important.

If you honestly and objectively use ALL “5 Keys” above to evaluate any opportunity you are considering (or are already involved with), you will greatly enhance your chances for LONG-TERM SUCCESS. If you ignore any one of them, you’re asking for trouble and disappointment. HBM


Michael Duffey is a Success Coach and Home Business Consultant. He lives near
Green Bay, Wisconsin. Direct phone: 715 -758 -7550 (7am-8pm CT) 24hr
Life-changing FREE e-book: www.RUwealthy.info  FREE Coaching: www.RichDad2.info “Crystal Ball to Success” website: www.RichDad6.com 

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