Network Marketing is becoming the business of choice among the many people seeking to start a home based business. And with the current dismal state of the economy, and unemployment rates rising relentlessly, this trend looks set to continue. Which is great if you’re already in the network marketing business (more potential business partners!). But for those of you who are new to the game, choosing the right potential mentor can be a daunting but very important task.

We’ve all heard the horror stories of people who invested significant amounts of money into a home business opportunity, with promises of full support and training. Yet once the money was received, they were left high and dry to learn for themselves. After all, this can be a cut throat industry- there are mentors out there who after 5 months in business are yet to make a sale. And with those kind of results comes desperation. And with desperation people can be willing to make promises to potential business partners that they are unable to deliver on.

But don’t Despair!

Here is a list of 5 questions that you can ask a potential mentor, that should greatly increase your chances of finding a great one;

1.) “How Large Is Your Organization?”
This question will give you a rough idea of how successful your potential mentor already is. Now just because a potential mentor has a small organization, it doesn’t mean that he or she is not a good leader (after all, we all have to start from somewhere).

But more often than not, those with the largest organizations got that way from being very good at what they do. The downside to working under a mentor with a large organization is that they may not be able to give you the 1-on-1 attention that’s important when your first starting out. But the amount of support you’re going to receive is something you should verbally agree on before investing your money.

2.) “How Long Have You Been In The Business For?”
Again, the answer to this question isn’t always going to indicate how valuable a potential mentor is going to be to you. There may be mentors who have been in the business for well over 2 years, yet still aren’t able to offer you what you’re looking for. And there may be mentors who have only been in the business for 2 weeks, who will go on to become top income earners and would be great to work with. It’s hard to know. But as a general rule, it’s probably better to find someone who has had some experience, and who is willing to share what they know with you. This way you won’t be learning along with them (and in this business, if you have to learn all of those lessons for yourself, it can be very expensive!)

3.) “What marketing strategies are you currently using?”
The key to asking this question is to get specific. If they reply “I use mostly internet marketing” then find out what exact internet marketing strategies they use. Is it Pay Per Click (PPC), social marketing, video marketing, article marketing, what exactly? You’re trying to find out what they know, because this business is reliant on effective marketing. If you are unable to generate leads, then forget about investing your money. Leads are the lifeblood of this business- without them, no one is going to invest with you, and you won’t make any money. The top network marketers will speak to over 20 people per day consistently (some a lot more). Whereas many inexperienced marketers (the majority) may only speak to less than 5- and then wonder why they aren’t getting results. I’m convinced that this is the biggest single reason that the majority never clear the six figure mark- they simply don’t promote their business opportunity to enough people.

Ideally, you want a mentor who can teach you how to cast a wide marketing net over the internet community. Competition is only going to increase, so the leaders of tomorrow are either going to have to become smarter as marketers, or make way for those with the know-how. It’s best if your mentor can go and set up a few of your marketing campaigns for you (eg Google AdWords) and that way you’ll be getting leads as your learning. Eventually of course you’ll have to become proficient at generating leads yourself in order to teach your own downline.

There are a few smart network marketers out there who have caught on to the idea that most people who are new to the industry aren’t going to have the technical know- how to set up marketing campaigns. And so they have designed their own marketing training centers that their down line can refer to (which will often have video tutorials that show step by step just how to set up various marketing campaigns).

4.) “Why Are You In The Business?”
Many people are attracted to this industry for the money. And its no wonder- there are some pretty powerful income testimonials out there (a friend of mine just broke the Australian record for monthly earnings in a network marketing business- $232,000!). Yet so few go on to achieve these stratospheric levels of success. Ironically, it’s usually the people whose sole motivation is money that don’t end up making that much. This industry is all about helping others get what they want. And only when you are able to do that consistently, will you get what you want (which is really what all business is about, when you think about it). So make sure that your potential mentor is not purely in it to get your money- they should also be motivated by the mentoring aspect of it and in helping those in their team to achieve success. It’s also a good idea to find a company that has a compensation plan that pays a residual income from the efforts of your own organization- that way, your mentor has a financial interest in seeing you succeed).