Direct selling verses network marketing

I often think about how my path in spreading the word about holistic healing compares to spreading the word about network marketing. I know one of my biggest challenges in holistic healing has been helping people understand the concept of cure, palliation and suppression.

People always ask me what herb or homeopathic remedy they can use for a certain symptom. My answer is always the same. It depends. Giving an herb or remedy for a symptom is palliation and is not holistic healing. It is not wrong but it is not holistic healing and it is so important to understand the difference.

It is also important to understand that direct selling is not the same as network marketing. Direct sales is finding customers to place directly under you and making commissions on their purchases. Network marketing is building a network of customers some of whom are directly sponsored by you but the majority of whom are sponsored by other people in your network.

Neither of these approaches is better than the other but again, it is so important to understand the difference. If your goal is immediate income and you have plenty of time to invest then direct sales is a good way to go. If you have sales skills direct sales is easy to do because most people get the model and are used to it. They understand they buy from you or your company and you get a commission.

Building a network, on the other hand, is much less understood and is more designed for people looking for long term residual income and time freedom. Like cure in holistic healing, there is more of a learning curve and belief shift needed to understand the concept of building a network of customers.

Let me make an analogy. Say someone has allergies and they want to use an herb that has anti histamine properties rather than take allergy drugs. This is palliation but it fits into the person’s previous belief system. A holistic approach to the same allergy condition would be to start with supporting healthy digestion and balancing the immune system. Palliation gives more quick results but because the underlying problem is not addressed the herbs will be needed long term. Actual cure often takes longer but leads to sustained good health even after remedies are stopped.

If the holistic approach is used the allergy symptoms will probably not improve immediately and might even get a bit worse until the body heals from within. Over time the allergy symptoms will disappear and the overall health will improve. This is the same with building networks of customers. With this model you take more time in the beginning to find people to be customers who also want to earn income by finding other customers. This concept is foreign to most people and you will have to be patient in helping them understand.

Can you palliate and still cure in a holistic way? Yes you can if you understand what you are doing. If you take the herb to relieve your allergy symptoms and also support your digestion and immune system you are still seeking to cure but the temptation may be to not take the harder steps if you are feeling better from the palliation.

The same applies if you are being successful with the direct selling model of finding customers you may not want to do the more challenging work of finding business partners to build your network. Sometimes initially finding a few direct customers will be good to bring in some immediate income to support you while you learn the skills required to build a network. It is important to remember that due to natural attrition, finding customers is a ongoing process to keep income coming in while properly built networks will sustain themselves over time. Both are good as long as your expectations match your approach. Madalyn

Leave a Reply