This book explains the misunderstandings and mischief of the network marketing trade. Its content has been included in many universities around Hungary since last year.
Network Marketing, or MLM. These three letters meet us every day mostly because of the promises of a dream life and wealth beyond imagination that turn out to be lies. What is the truth about this form of marketing and what should we be careful about? All this is covered in Méhes’ book, which has just been translated to English and become available world-wide both in printed and digital versions.
Méhes lives in Budapest. An economist with a BA from International Business School, he also holds an MBA from Babson College, Massachusetts. His hobby is IT and programming, and he has work experience as a government consultant, stock exchange broker and analyst. He has also taught IT/economics voluntarily at Corvinus University in Budapest. He started working with one of the most successful networking companies, and became successful.
“Many of my friends approached me with some ‘great’ pilot games,” Méhes recalls. “I certainly did the due diligence and usually told them why the company would fail. They never believed me, they lost. I felt sorry for them. Most of these friends lost their last savings on such endeavours.
“I was sitting on a Kiyosaki (Robert T. Kiyosaki, investor/entrepreneur) conference in Nürnberg around November 2012 when I heard that our knowledge is important to others and we must share it with them, and the best way is to write a book. I took a note at the bottom of the page and the rest is history. I wanted to develop a map that prevents others from falling for these ill-fated offers. My intention was to write something economically valid, and as a result I have been teaching classes about the content at various universities since last autumn.”
Most of the network-related books go around the topic of self-development and endurance that eventually lead to freedom. Méhes said he knew it was important because our school system only teaches how to survive. Hence we must teach ourselves the way to success. “On the other hand, I realised that a sinking ship may have the most well-trained captain in the world yet it would sink. So why not choose the best ark for the trip?”
Who is the target audience?
Méhes replies: “People in network marketing would find it important to know where not to spend their valuable time and avoid their work going up in smoke three to five years down the road. Those not in the business will learn how to defend their pockets and those of their relatives and friends by recognising lies. The third group would be businessmen who want to build network marketing companies. They could surely avoid the problem of taking the wrong road at the very beginning.
“The main message is that we all should learn to know the difference between pilot games and decent businesses, and we together must save others on the way. The book revolves around eight questions. One can learn it easily. The thoughts inside are valid – since the basis is economics – for other fields of business too.
“Should someone be interested in the reason why his own company is failing to succeed in the long run, the book is a must-read. We should imagine what happens if in ten to 20 years from now all the business transactions would work over the Internet and many companies would be willing to pay us money instead of the mass media? This is the path that will lead to our future, so a guide to trade will become a necessity soon.”
Why do people think about something bad when it comes to network marketing?
Méhes: “This is not just about Hungary. I have many relatives and friends abroad who thought I was crazy. Five years passed, the market capitalisation of the company I am working with went up five-fold, doubled its revenue in the middle of the crisis and released scientific solutions that had Hungarian scientists thinking.
“The facts also made them change their view slowly. Most of the time the partner company would not survive those five years to tell the story. People do have that image in their heads. Words associated with the business are: stealing, meetings, expensive products, set-ups. This is like saying bad things about all women just because we did not get along with one person in particular.”
How different is it abroad? Why is it more successful in other countries like the US? How could we make this form of marketing more successful here?
“When we are looking for success in network marketing it most surely comes from the Far East: Thailand, Korea and Japan. Those people are very dedicated and goal oriented. People in Europe enjoy a better lifestyle and have a larger ego with a little less humility. This is the reason why Hungary is so successful in this art of business. We compete with the biggest countries in Europe. I believe that we desire more on average and also because a network business can be a great way to up your salary a little bit, which we usually require.”
What would a successful network marketing person look like and what are the mistakes that newcomers usually make?
“Success is the same everywhere in life. One should be open-minded, self-motivated, precise, a great company, someone that pays attention to others. The biggest mistake is to not think about it as a whole new profession. This usually leads to quitting the business before learning and practising enough to become successful.
“We must not push people, mislead them or whatnot. The one that does so, loses eventually. A great example: the other day a guy walked up to me with a folder in his hands. He asked three questions, I answered no for all three. He said with a big smile: ‘Thank you, I must find someone else that finds at least one of these three important!’ And walked away… this is what a pro looks like.”
“Trainings are an integral part of network marketing. These events help you with the business and also with your personal development. Many criticise this for the influence from Scientology.
“Both in Hungary and anywhere around the world, sales and management people of every large corporation learn Scientology from training companies, only the sticker is not on it flashing red, saying: ‘Made by Hubbard’. They apply their knowledge happily and efficiently both at their jobs and in their personal lives. Nobody enrols in secret societies, nobody forces them to do so and nobody surrenders their wealth to the greater cause. They just use a useful knowledge.”