The biggest lie in MLM

by yvettefourie on January 15, 2010

If you believe that NWM/MLM opportunities do not include sales, then I could probably get away with posing as your uncle!

Network marketing is sometimes portrayed as the act of ‘building a family that you never had’. All you do is find a few friends, who find a few friends and so on. In a ‘jiffy’ you have a massive network and you’re earning that awesome illusive ‘six figure income’ you are constantly promised.

Right? Let’s look at it.

Perhaps it IS building a ‘new family’ because you just don’t have any family left after a short time in the business! This ‘new family’ will take care of you of course, and they promise their undying loyalty. (This reminds me of the myth of commitment – but that’s a story for a later post).

So while you’re caught up in the wave of ‘millionaires in motion’ you are pulled closer, hugged and assured of ‘assistance’ till you get ‘to the top’. ‘Fake it till you make it’ is a popular ‘slogan’ as one may call it. Here’s the problem … you do EVERYTHING they teach you but you simply get nowhere.

Until you realize the truth … you WILL get nowhere.

Let’s talk straight.

If you talk to any successful network marketer (provided they are completely honest – some like to keep it a secret to protect their egos) their success is attributed to two things.

1. They got lucky … the timing was right and they were prepared to stick through the pioneering phase till the company hits momentum growth.

2. They developed an effective MARKETING STRATEGY!

In the case of NUMBER 1 above, I have personal experience with a company that stopped revealing and listing the top 10 earners in the company. This is because the top 10 have been the top 10 for more than 10 years and they joined the the company when it was one of the ‘new MLM companies‘. It’s so OBVIOUSLY ridiculous that they were forced to change their reward system. They now endeavor to issue all sorts of ‘nice’ awards to various ‘beginners’ – just to keep the rest going and new hopefuls coming in. I can’t imagine that this is the only company in the world that has had to do this. So if you were one of the first guys in … and you were prepared to stick it out, you would be quite happy with your business. HOWEVER, every single one of these people will tell you that it was hard work and that it took time (3 years plus) and entailed marketing and sales and a lot of training. They usually work closely with the company and develop various incentives and promotions to get the business off the ground.

In the case of NUMBER 2 above, I know people that entered one of the well established NWM/MLM opportunities and because they stuck it out and built it like one would build a proper business, they are succeeding very nicely! They developed and followed a plan. This included promotions, sales and marketing strategies; putting together an effective team and working together for 3 years plus.

Don’t let anyone lie to you. NWM/MLM involves sales and marketing. If you are unable to sell or market, your network won’t grow. If you develop the skill of MARKETING (which includes sales), your network will grow less painfully. Most people don’t know how to sell and don’t wish to learn to sell. They join a NWM/MLM company only because they are told that ‘it is not selling’ – and then they fail and wonder why.

This lie has tainted the industry and caused harm to millions.

On the other hand, there are many people out there that love marketing and selling. If that is the case you will have them to join your team and work together. This is where you can teach them and share with them different marketing strategies that work for your particular business and they will bring various skills to the table. There is nothing more exciting and educating than to work with a powerful team of knowledgeable marketers who offer a service or product that the market wants and can benefit from. (By the way … if you are keen to learn, the best place is with a team of experienced network marketers)

BOTTOM LINE: It doesn’t matter what business you go into, you need to develop a sales and marketing strategy. As in normal business you will need to develop a team just like you would in MLM. If you don’t like sales, don’t join a NWM/MLM program. There are many opportunities out there. Find something that suits your personality. Don’t destroy your family relations and friendships for the love of money.

Network Marketing/MLM is a wonderful business if, and only if, you are prepared to do the work … which entails marketing and sales.If you develop a proper marketing and sales strategy, you may even be surprised by a family member joining you in your business without you EVER approaching them. (Of course they will know what you are doing! They are family and family always ask and tell).


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John Counsel January 19, 2010 at 9:49 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

I agree with all of the previous writers, including Yvette.

I do have a couple of reservations, though.

First, the name “network marketing” is a misnomer except as it applies to the company’s business model. Distributors do NOT market in any strict sense. The company’s marketing is done by the back-room professionals with degrees and diplomas in marketing who work in its marketing department.

Almost no consumer ever has direct contact with a real marketer. What they DO have regular contact with is SELLERS who implement the sales strategies and tactics created by the marketing department.

Sellers are, by nature and absolute requirement for survival, opportunists. That’s perfectly proper — unless they abuse their position. One of the lasting legacies of the advent of professional marketing departments in the 1950s and 1960s was the hijacking of the hip new marketing language by sellers looking for an edge over their competition. The problem was they had little or no idea of the very specific meanings of the terms they hijacked, so they made up their own SALES dialect, using marketing language.

The conflict and confusion this created between marketing and sales departments in companies everywhere still lingers on today.

As my colleague and friend, Rob Frankel of FrankelBiz, wrote in his excellent book “The Revenge of Brand X”, one of the simplest ways to identify a company that has NO clue about marketing, is to see if anyone in the company has the title “Sales & Marketing Manager”. That’s a dead giveaway.

The bottom line is this (and Yvette is correct): the distributor network is nothing more than a network marketing company’s independent, outsourced SALES department.

Get over it and get on with the ONLY role in any business that brings in the money to pay everyone, including the marketing department!



Dave walz January 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1


What would spark someone to “generate a marketing plan” outside of what the corps fundamentals of building a successful business dictates.

Your premise that one must create flies in the face of the essential attraction of Mlm- simplicity. The late Jim Rohn taught us we need only do 3 things:
1. Learn the skill of getting customers.
2. Learn the skill of a good invitation.
3. Train large numbers to do 1 &2 (training events).

Anyone espousing other ideas is simply another voice in the crowd shouting “check me out! Look at me!” – and who isn’t leading from the trenches.


Terrance Brandon January 18, 2010 at 1:54 pm Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

“The late Jim Rohn taught us we need only do 3 things:
1. Learn the skill of getting customers.
2. Learn the skill of a good invitation.
3. Train large numbers to do 1 &2 (training events).

What is getting customers but selling?
What is inviting but Marketing/Advertising?

Jim Rohn International did and does offer tons of quality motivational products for sale. The promotional literature I have received from them follows all the Introducing, qualifying, objection-overcoming, sense of urgency creating methods every successful sales organization follows.

Unless every distributor Dave has signed up joined his business the first time he showed them the plan or products ( a statistical near-impossibility) he had to do some follow up, questioning and objection overcoming to successfully sponsor them into his business, in short he had to “sell” them on taking a look at the products or business. It would be better for the industry if we told people that it does involve selling and they were okay with that and joined and found out it doesn’t involve selling than telling people it doesn’t involve selling, then asking them to go out and try to convince their family and friends to invest their time and money in something they neither needed nor wanted. In the non-MLM world where our potential customers and business partners live there is a term for this kind of behavior: bait-and-switch.


Yves February 4, 2010 at 5:03 am Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

You’ve got it Terrance. That’s what this is all about. MLM-The Whole Truth.


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