What is the ‘Value Proposition’ for an MLMIA Support Membership?

The Board of Directors has asked me to summarize for each of you the ‘Value Proposition’ of membership in the MLMIA. I personally have been primarily involved in the Network Marketing Industry as the Founder, Owner and President of two Computer Software & Services companies for close to 20 years, so I have chosen to address the Support Membership ‘Value Proposition’ as my first of three articles.

I will summarize all the many tangible benefits that the MLMIA Membership provides to Support Companies at the end of my thoughts but first, and I believe most important, are the intangible benefits. I have talked to many of my peers in this wonderful industry called Network Marketing, Multi-Level Marketing and Direct Sales and I am amazed at how many really don’t get it. This is an industry of face-to-face, people-to-people, relationship marketing. This industry thrives on Networking; what a surprise since it’s called Network Marketing. But many vendors in the industry create fantastic products or services, produce fancy websites, spend tons of money on all kinds of advertising, have conference call after conference call and ‘hole-up’ in their offices waiting for the orders to come in. They want to know why others aren’t bringing them prospects, after all they're paying a finders fee and everything. Marketing in this industry is much more than those things, it requires you to be physically in front of people; not just prospects, but even more important, being in front of those people who will bring you prospects. Let me tell you; whatever small success I had in the MLM Industry with my two software companies, I owe a majority of the credit to getting involved in the MLMIA and the friends I made over the years.

Other Support companies in this Industry want to know you (notice we don’t call you vendors or suppliers, we really believe that our membership is a Support to our industry). They want to see you. They want to see first hand what a wonderful product or service you have to offer. They want to hear what you have to say about the great service you give to your customers. They want to share their offerings with you so that you can and will reciprocate with prospects for them. Basically, they want to press the flesh, break bread and know that you’re the kind of person they want to promote or do business with. That’s exactly what happens at the MLMIA Conventions and Regional Seminars. Rubbing elbows. Experiencing the value you bring to the table that is worth them risking their hard earned reputation. Don’t come to an MLMIA event expecting to just make sales; come expecting to make friends and developing relationships with your future marketing force.

The Association also brings you and your company credibility. There have been those in the past that have called the MLMIA the ‘Good old boys club’. There is no question that we don’t accept everyone as members and once you become a member you must win us over with your commitment to excellence. We strive for professionalism in the Industry and are most happy referring inquirers to Support Members who have proven over time that they will do their best for their customers and the Industry. Each Support Member gets unlimited usage of the Proud MLMIA Support Member logo button on their website and printed materials.

The MLMIA website, www.MLMIA.com gets over 200 unique visitors per day. Many inquiries come into the MLMIA offices asking for referrals to Consultants, Attorneys, Computer Software Companies, Product People, Investors, Speakers and Sales Aid Providers. Those seekers are referred to the MLMIA Support Directory that is online at our website or they are given names of members in good standing with the Association. These are prospects for your product or service that don’t even know your name.

I often ask people, ‘Why would you want to do business with an individual or company that doesn’t even support the Association that diligently promotes the Industry; an Industry that both you and they derive substantial income from?’ Are you a Distributor or MLM Company that plans to be successful in the Network Marketing Industry? If so, do you really want to risk doing business with someone who is opposed to supporting their Industry Association? Do you want to do business with people who refuse to be responsible to their peers for their professionalism? Are you crazy? Please don’t tell me you’re going to run to the Association to complain about someone like that. They have already decided to isolate themselves and only take rather than give anything back to the Industry.

The MLMIA promotes the positives of the MLM/Network Marketing/Direct Sales Industry. They do that through the establishment of the Network Marketing Foundation, supporting or opposing regulations or rulings affecting the Industry, speaking on various media including radio, television and the press and through educational events held throughout the world.

I’m sure I’ve missed many intangibles but it’s time to summarize the tangibles:
1. Listing in the MLMIA.com Support Directory
2. Use of the Proud Support Member logo
3. First right to Exhibit space at all MLMIA Events
4. Right to attend any MLMIA Event at discount prices
Opportunity to Speak at the Annual MLMIA Convention & Expo
6. Ability to post a Discount Coupon exclusive to any MLMIA Distributor or Corporate Member
7. Use of your own Personal Information Manager in the MLMIA Back-office Website
Opportunity to be a co-sponsor of the Connecting Point MLMIA Newsletter
Opportunity to have a Banner Ad on one of the MLMIA.com web pages
10. Discounted advertising rates for the Network Marketing Job Bank
11. Availability of Group Health Insurance
12. Prescription Buyers Discount Card
13. Availability of Dental, Vision & Chiropractic Buyers Discount Card
14. Discounted Sales Skills Assessments
15. Invitation to submit written articles and press releases for the Semi-Monthly Newsletter
16. Ability to be nominated to the MLMIA Board of Directors or Special Councils
Opportunity to participate in Tele-Classes for Distributors as a Presenter
18. Ability to Sponsor Activities or Materials for the Annual Convention Attendees
19. Receive a Semi-Monthly Newsletter
20. More coming at the next Conference

So, to sum up, a ‘Value Proposition’ should be just a few sentences that propose to the Support Company what value they receive for joining MLMIA, the Association for Network Marketing, Worldwide and starting with fees as low as $600 (that’s only $50 per month) per year so here it goes:

“For a Support Company in the Network Marketing Profession who desires to be an active participant in the Industry and to market itself as a professional provider of products or services to other vendors and companies, the MLMIA is a Trade Association that gives to them extensive opportunity to network with and gain credibility and exposure to the entire industry by means of conventions, seminars, website presence, printed media and generally supporting of the Industry at large. Support Members are also offered valuable opportunities, services and products either free or at considerable discount. Unlike the DSA, our Association incorporates all of the Network Marketing Industry: Corporate, Support and Distributor and considers them all of equal importance to the success and professionalism of the Industry. We believe they often possess more experience and knowledge regarding the success of an MLM Enterprise than some who are attempting to direct one. Support Members are welcome regardless of size or longevity and are regarded as important contributors to the running and direction of the MLMIA.”

As I endeavor to address the ‘Value Proposition” of a Corporate and Distributor Membership in the next two follow-on issues, I would invite any of you in those two categories of membership to e-mail me your experiences so that I may share them with the readers.