Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Self-Serving Bias and MLM

‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Grafisk presentasjon av hv...
‪Norsk (bokmål)‬: Grafisk presentasjon av hvordan distributører i flere nivåer kan tjene penger i et levedyktig MLM-konsept. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
MLM is a heavily ego-driven enterprise that relies on selling, and as such, self-serving bias is RAMPANT.

What is self-serving bias? It is the tendency of your mind to attribute positive outcome to your own brilliance, and negative outcome to external factors beyond your control.

For example, let's say you pitched your product to a Mr. Smith.

Positive outcome: you made a sale! You were brilliant! All those sales techniques worked!

Other possibilities you did not consider: the guy actually needs it, he just want to get rid of you, product is good (not necessarily sales technique)

Negative outcome: You did not make a sale. The guy probably hates MLM. The guy clearly don't need this product.

Other possibilities you did not consider: your sales technique sucks, your product sucks

Self-serving bias is when you attribute success to yourself, and failure to others. 

Note that when one's depressed, the attribution can flip. Success is due to luck, failure is due to self. Clearly, you need to have a good balance.

Self-serving bias is dangerous because you can't identify the relevant factors, and you keep focusing on the wrong things.

Assume positive outcome for a moment... Do you know REALLY what clinched the sale? It may NOT be your sales technique or the product.

Assume negative outcome for a moment... WHY did you not make the sale? Did you simply pitch to the wrong person? How would you improve?

If you don't identify what was good and what was bad, and simply ASSUMED, you'll not get better!

One of the core problems with MLM is just where *do* you attribute success? Is it the system, the product, or the sales people (i.e. your sponsor/upline)? (And we're assuming that the whole thing's legal, which may not be!)  People selling you the system (i.e. trying to recruit you) will emphasize the system and the product and minimize their own role as they want you to believe that you can do it too. But can you really? Remember, MLM's primary word is MARKETING. So what is "marketing" to you? There is no "system" for marketing. Can you sell? If you can't sell, how fast can you learn?

Are you going to ASSUME that you can, by throwing in hundreds, perhaps thousands of your own dollars?

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