Network Marketing Strategies for Marketing Professionals

No longer exclusive to star athletes and high-level corporate executives, today employees at all levels of the organization and across professions are getting signing bonuses says Walter McGlawn, a principal with Norcross, Georgia-based Corporate Plus Executive Search and Management Consultants Ltd., a global diversity talent acquisition firm.

A recent study conducted by World@Work, an international association that researches workplace compensation and incentives, found that almost 70% of employers provide signing bonuses to attract key employees.

McGlawn says employers offer bonuses for several reasons: recruiting in-demand candidates, minimizing compensation disparities between the current job and the new one, and providing a show of good faith until the company can adjust salary with an annual merit increase or promotion.

Looking to sweeten your deal? McGlawn offers these tips for snagging a little extra cash:
Wait for an offer. Refrain from discussing compensation — including signing bonuses — until after the employer extends a job offer.

Give a good reason. Explain how it will replace monetary losses or cover costs you will incur as a result of switching jobs.

Have practical expectations. Don’t expect to double your pay; bonuses are generally a percentage of the total salary.

Put everything into writing. Document the specifics of your signing bonus: the gross and net amount, when and how you will receive it, and any employer-imposed stipulations.

Maximizing the Success of New Products
The tactics used by network marketing programs were once questionable at best. But with the evolution of many of these companies’ processes, their methods could become a blueprint for marketers in traditional business.

“Network marketing is changing the way we sell and buy products and services,” acknowledges Hugh B. Brown Jr., director of urban marketing for The Media Audit, a Houston-based marketing survey provider.

In reading The New Professionals: The Rise of Network Marketing as the Next Major Profession by James W. Robinson and Charles W. King (Three Rivers Press; $15.95), Brown has learned how network marketing strategies are redefining the sales business and leveraging opportunities in an increasingly global, highly networked, and ultra-specialized marketplace. Brown shares these takeaways:

Think global. Adopt processes and procedures that promote the sale of products and services in international markets. Use the Internet, toll-free numbers, and a multilingual workforce to create a global presence.

Think niche. Forgo mass numbers of customers for mass appeal among a smaller, select group. Customize products and services for this core audience; allow customers the flexibility to tailor offerings to particular needs and wants.

Think relational rather than transactional. Invite customers to be an integral part of the design, marketing, and sales process. Solicit ongoing dialogue and feedback through customer surveys, suggestion polls, and focus groups. Maintain contact with customers after the sale.