What's the connection between competence and success in network marketing?

The words 'competence' and 'network marketing' are not words you will often hear used together in the same breath!

Why is that………?

Historically competence has been a bit of a 'dirty word' in network marketing circles because the industry generally has not promoted or developed a skills based approach to success.

If you have ever had anything to do with this industry you will know that there is a common belief within network marketing circles that success is mostly contingent upon a person's 'desire', 'motivation' and 'willingness to work hard' in order that they might achieve their dreams and goals.

Now, don't get me wrong………I am not suggesting for one minute that these attributes are not extremely important for anyone in business to demonstrate, and network marketing business owners are no exception.


These are NOT the ONLY areas that will make you successful in business. There's a whole lot more to it than desire, motivation and willingness to work hard.

All will become clear………I assure you!

To put this in perspective for you………think about all those honest hard-working network marketers out there who:

  • Work almost 24/7 in their network marketing business!
  • Know exactly 'WHY' they are attempting to build a network marketing business!
  • Have huge dreams and goals!
  • Would be off the planet if they were any more 'motivated'!
  • Are they all successful in this industry?

    Are they actually achieving their dreams and goals?

    Or………are they following blindly the advice of their 'upline', their mlm company and fellow network marketers without really thinking seriously about how ridiculous this belief is.

    After all, what can you do these days (let alone something from which you expect to derive an income), without demonstrating proficiency in certain skills? Think about this a little more………

    • When you go for a new job, isn't your prospective employer looking for you to have a track record and be able to demonstrate ability in the skills necessary to do that job?

    • If you were to purchase a franchise or traditional business wouldn't it be necessary for you to demonstrate a range of skills necessary to run that operation?

    • What about if you were participating in a club or sport or musical group, wouldn't you need to demonstrate that you possess the skills necessary to be an active member of that club, play that sport, or perform with that group of musicians?

    • Then there's your school years - gosh, you couldn't do much there without having your level of competence tested in some way

    Are you getting the picture?????

    If you can't do anything else in life without demonstrating a level of skill and expertise, why on earth would anyone think that competence is not an integral part of network marketing success?

    So what does competence really mean?

    Before we explore this any further, let's just define the word so I know we are all on the 'same page' here!

    Here are three dictionary definitions for you:

    Competence is………"The condition if being capable"

    "Someone who is competent at something can do it satisfactorily"

    "The quality or extent of being competent"


    Does that really help us to think about this word in terms of what we do in network marketing?

    I think there is a far better definition that I know will help to crystallize things for you.

    Edward Ludbrook is one of my favorite network marketing authors and trainers. He is Europe's leading Network Marketing trainer and the world authority on Network Leadership. He has sold over 2 million books and audios in 20 languages and has helped a great number of network marketers achieve their business goals through his books, audios and live seminars.

    Needless to say, I am very confident in his definition of the word 'COMPETENCE' as it relates to network marketing.

    In his book '100% Success Basics - a quick and simple guide to guaranteed success in Network Marketing', Edward's definition is as follows:

    "an ability to perform a skill to a certain performance standard"

    So, you may be asking………what are performance standards and how will I know if I am competent in those standards?

    If you have not already read my webpage on writing performance standards I would suggest that you click on the link below before continuing with this page.


    Make sure you come back to this page as you won't want to miss the rest of the information I have for you on this topic! I know it will revolutionize the way you think about success in network marketing!

    Click here to take a short detour to writing performance standards………>>>

    If you have already read the page on writing performance standards, then stay with me as I start to demystify the relationship between competence and network marketing.

    By defining the word competence, particularly in terms of how it relates to network marketing, the connection between the two starts to become more obvious.

    If competence means "an ability to perform a skill to a certain performance standard" (as defined by Edward Ludbrook); then we must be very clear on exactly 'what skills' and 'what standards' are important to success in network marketing.

    A word about network marketing skills

    You know if you really want to know what skills are important for the network marketing professional then all you have to do is analyze what network marketers actually do.

    Now this is something I have done in a lot of depth, so believe me when I say that in my experience:

    'Network marketing professionals have to be some of the most talented and multi skilled people on the planet'.

    Talk about knowing how to juggle multiple balls at once!

    And as if that isn't enough………

    Many network marketers demonstrate a willingness to pursue an ongoing program of personal and professional development so they are always on the path of continuous improvement.

    In fact I would go so far as to say the industry encourages this approach to long term business success.

    When you look at the skills demonstrated by 'highly successful network marketing professionals' you can certainly see how proficient they are and that everything they do is performed to a high standard.

    The problem is however………it's a bit hit and miss!

    Those who are seen as having succeeded at a high level within the industry manage to 'score a home run' somehow, while others struggle to even 'get off first base'.

    Actually, there's NO real MYSTERY as to why some 'score the home run' and others don't!

    It works something like this………

    Those network marketing professionals who succeed at a high level either:

    • Come to the industry already well equipped and able to demonstrate a high level of proficieny in a wide range of skills, or

    • Embark on a program of up-skilling and focus their attention on building their level of expertise

    Either way, they can 'perform a range of relevant and important skills' and they can do this to a particular 'performance standard'.

    Both elements are essential to their success in network marketing, because this means they are able to demonstrate ongoing 'competence'!


    There is an important key piece of information I really want you to 'get' at this point!

    Any program of personal and professional development undertaken by network marketers who are looking to achieve a level of professional excellence and unlimited success in their business needs to be firmly based on 'skill development' and achieving a level of 'competence'!

    Having your 'dreams and goals', knowing 'why' you are building a network marketing business, and having the 'motivation' to do so is important, but it's not going to be enough, despite what you may have been told to the contrary.

    You MUST be able to demonstrate COMPETENCE in the SKILLS necessary to build a successful network marketing business! In real terms this means;

    You can 'perform a specific skill over and over again' and achieve a particular 'performance standard' when doing so.

    So what skills are important and necessary for network marketing success?

    Great question!

    To be honest, you can't go too far without knowing this critical information.

    You may already have a good idea of what the important skills are. But just in case you don't, here's a small sample of some broad skill groupings that I personally consider to be vital for network marketers:

    • Communication skills (using effective communication techniques to facilitate win, win outcomes in all conversations)

    • Retailing skills (building rapport and supporting your customers)

    • Sponsoring skills (Authentically connecting with people as you facilitate the process of helping them to explore a business opportunity)

    • Marketing skills (attracting new customers and business partners)

    • Business management skills (Utilizing business management processes and tools that enable you to effectively manage your business and to test and measure business outcomes)

    • Coaching skills (authenically lead, teach and inspire others through strategies that allow people to to achieve their full potential)

    • Network Marketing Online skills (Using online tools such as websites, blogs and social media to attract customers and business partners)

    There's a whole bunch more, and each broad grouping contains a number of sub-skills also, but I am sure you get the picture.

    Now if this all seems a bit overwhelming for you at this stage and you are thinking………

    "How on earth am I going to build a skill set like that? And, how am I going to know what all the important skills are that I need to develop"?


    I am going to let you in on a little secret!

    What you need is a Network Marketing Career Development Plan.

    This plan should establish a Road Map or Success Blueprint that clearly outlines every step you should take to be successful in your network marketing business.

    If you don't have a plan you are not going to end up at the correct destination!

    So what is one sure fire way of making sure you end up where you want to be?

    By knowing your TARGET of course!

    As I said before, your network marketing success can be very 'hit and miss' if you don't know what you are aiming for.

    By being very clear about your target you will know where you are heading rather than searching aimlessly in the dark for that magic bullet of network marketing success.

    In short, what you need is a 'toolkit' for network marketing success.

    So if you are genuinely interested in knowing more about important and necessary skills and how you can develop proficiency in those skills to ensure you have a solid foundation for network marketing business success, then you need to keep reading this webpage.

    How do you know if you or the distributors in your network marketing business are competent?

    Another GREAT question!

    Quite simply………:

    1. You MUST have a 'baseline' against which you can compare 'expected performance' against 'current performance'!
    2. 'Current performance' MUST equal 'expected performance' by 'consistently producing RESULTS' (results that positively impact customers, prospects and/or business growth in some way)

    How do you ensure you and your distributors have a plan in place to build competence and therefore business success?

    You must have:

    1. A baseline from which you can measure 'current performance',
    2. A process for comparing 'current performance' against 'expected performance', (for example: completing a foundation skills assessment), and then
    3. A strategic mlm business plan for 'performance improvement' which will ultimately lead to business growth.

    The most effective route is to follow the process described below:

    1. Determine the Key Result Areas for your business
    2. Determine the Key Performance Indicators for your business
    3. Set minimum Performance Standards for your business
    4. Compare 'current performance' against 'expected performance'
    5. Design a Career Development Plan based on necessary knowledge/skill development, competence and business results
    6. Set objectives for performance improvement

    Now, if you are not sure how to do this don't worry!

    Getting some great background information is easy. All you have to do is visit the relevant pages of my website as shown above.

    As I continue to develop this website more of the "HOW TO'S" will be revealed!

    So why is competence so important for the success of your network marketing business?

    Think about it this way………

    What would be the outcome for your network marketing business if:

    You and your team of distributors are 'INCOMPETENT' in the necessary skills to produce results?

    Simple answer - people who are incompetent don't usually take action, or if they do, they don't do it well.

    It's like setting people up to fail and no one likes to fail! So naturally the outcome will be lack of action and lack of 'results' for your business and theirs!

    On the other hand, what would be the outcome for your network marketing business if:

    • You are PERSONALLY COMPETENT in all the necessary skills to manage your business and get RESULTS?

    • You have a team of COMPETENT DISTRIBUTORS who are also producing results and demonstrating leadership competencies?

    The outcome is pretty obvious really……… and I can honestly tell you from my own personal experience that these are the outcomes I have observed in my own network marketing business. This is because I have always had a focus on competence and coaching which I believe to be 'two key elements' of network marketing success.

    The likely outcomes of focusing your business building strategies on competence and coaching are:

    • You will personally be able to achieve RESULTS that will impact your business growth

    • You will develop distributors in your business who will naturally move to the next level and become leaders themselves - they will:
    • You will experience duplication and leverage in your business and so will your team of distributors - before you know it you will be well on your way to building a global business network.

    What are the key messages here?

    • Don't be like so many network marketing professionals that fall into the trap of seriously underrating the importance of taking a 'competence approach' to building a network marketing business.

    • Make sure YOU learn what it takes to make the transition from network marketing novice to successful professional through skill development and following a competence model! If you do so you will make the transition with confidence and ease!

    • If you want success beyond your wildest dreams then I strongly urge you to learn more about how to integrate the 'competence approach' into everything you do in your network marketing business!

    Taking the 'competence route' spells network marketing SUCCESS for everyone!

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