We’re all Salesmen and Marketers

I’ve heard that the economy has changed.  Employees have figured out they’re easily replaceable and that companies aren’t showing much loyalty.  Industries are moving towards performance-based salaries.  

Companies will reason: we can start you at a $25k base salary with bonuses offering an additional $30k based on quotas and productivity.  Then the next year, maybe they’ll raise the quotas and perhaps the bonuses as well.  Possibly, you could be expected to raise performance to claim the same bonuses as the year previous.  For those of my peers that haven’t graduated yet, a degree is just a degree.  It doesn’t set you apart and more businesses are requiring all sorts of additional credentials or experience to gain even an interview.  On top of that – good luck talking to an actual person or getting them to read your resume.  Most applications are all online and screened by a computer: without the right key words, you’re SOL.

Personally, it’s so clear and simple to me that network marketing is the underlying tectonic plate.  It’s caused a couple minor earthquakes and ripples, but those of us who embrace change as the ever-constant-variant to our universe have recognized the true beauty and opportunity in relationship building.  The top successful companies have integrated engaging relationships with customers into the core of their business strategies.

  • Evernote has just unveiled Evernote Context which suggests content from outside sources as well as your existing notes to you as you write.
  • Dove dug deep into women’s experiences and encouraged a different perspective on appearance and self-esteem of young girls. http://youtu.be/XjJQBjWYDTs
  • IKEA brings compelling, empathetic content to help its customers with every day challenges.  Coca-Cola launched their “Share Happiness” campaign.  Nike welcomed consumer individuality with story-telling and NIKEiD.

Anywhere you look, building relationships is key to advancement. Networking should be an established habit as it builds strong support nets for when we need it the most. Whether it’s resolving a conflict with customer service, expanding a business, or getting an interview, human interaction and “who knows you” is crucial.  Marketing isn’t just a “category” anymore.  Sales and marketing are interwoven into almost everything we do.  I love Daniel Pink’s book To Sell is Human.  He explains “Can I get strangers to read an article, an old friend to help me solve a problem, or my nine-year-old son to take a shower after baseball practice?” Pink’s point is that whether we’re directly ringing in a sale or not, most of what we do is built on persuasion, influencing, communication, branding – aka selling your ideas.  

Marketing isn’t limited to a lame tv commercial and sales isn’t limited to a sleazy car salesman.  When you build a resume or simply style your outfit, you’re branding yourself.  Your high recommendation of some movie or restaurant isn’t getting you paid, but you’re marketing and selling in one swoop. Network marketing as a business model is simply taking out the middle man and benefiting from activities you do every day.

I would like to encourage you to challenge your perceptions around network marketing and test your assumptions.  Should network marketers still hold the public’s negative connotations and is the business model really a scam?  Is networking with your peers truly sleazy and developing mutually beneficial relationships really selfish?  I also would like to examine a company leader’s role: should a leader manage and dictate, or facilitate the right people into developing desired outcomes?  What does it really take to know the right people and be able to facilitate those interactions?

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.” – Pamela Vaull Starr

Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.

-Seth Godin
Thanks for reading,

One thought on “We’re all Salesmen and Marketers

  1. Fabulous post, Ashley! Way to ‘sell’ your thoughts and ideas to the reader! 🙂 What do you think is the most challenging aspect of “selling” (and once conquered, a person or company becomes quite ‘successful’)? How about marketing?


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