2 Best – and Worst – Reasons To Get Into MLM?

Why do people get into MLM?

Both old and new companies pitch these two reasons:

1) the income opportunity (financial independence/security) and
2) that you’d be (paid for) “doing what you would do anyway – sharing an outstanding product that will bring better health [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][you name it] to everyone you know, and the people they know, and the ones they know, and so on, and so on” (from a top ten company website)

These two appeals get most everyone in. But, they’re also the two reasons most people get out.

1. The income. It is not fast, much less secure for most folks. No one told them how hard it really was, so they weren’t ready and packed for the trip. They go home mad.

2. Being paid for “sharing an outstanding product [with] everyone you know, and the people they know, and the ones they know…” turns out to be the thing about the business that people say they hate most. Even those who are still in it say they want people to talk to, that are NOT peeps they know.

These two reasons turn out to be the worst two reasons to get in. Because neither turn out to be, after a month or two, what they seem. The money ain’t easy or quick, and most people hate selling their friends.

So how SHOULD we sell the business then?

One thing I did recently – I asked hundreds of my students: Why are you still in the business? (Most of the folks IN the business aren’t making much, either. See here for an example of how the great majority of those who stuck with one company until the bitter end were making almost nothing).

“Oh,” said one on a conference call last week, “I love my products.”

Others chimed in:

“I like helping people and when someone uses it and tells me what a difference it made in their lives, it feels really good.”

“I just love doing this business and I’ve been doing it for almost 20 years.”

They love it. That’s why they keep doing it. I call them the belongers.

Then there are the bargain hunters.

Two years ago, a big MLM company CFO explained to the press why 85% of his reps weren’t making enough to cover their minimum monthly product orders – about US$115:

Most associates are interested in purchasing the vitamins without commissions…and most distributors view what they can earn as a vitamin discount, not as a path to profits.”

Hundreds of Shaklee reps told me the same thing over the last 10 years. Many of them had been Shaklee customers for 30 years and did just enough sales to get their products free. That’s why they stayed on as reps.

Both these groups are what I call bargain hunters. Even though they joined their company as a distributor. Now they’re more like Costco or Sam’s Club Buyers. (And they add BIG to the upline’s income and company bottom line. Probably 80%+ of most NM companies’ monthly income is from these bargain hunters.)

So back to the original question: What are the appeals – the motivations – that we might offer folks to build a big and steady business? Appeals that are not 1) and 2) above? No sense using proven losers.

Here’s a survey that’s quick and anonymous. What some best appeals that might draw in someone who wants to build a big business and stay with it. Who should do this? Who shouldn’t?

You can begin to find people like you to build in the Art of Recruiting Program here. Or see 9 Cruise Recruiting Tips here.

P.S. Me? I am an evangelist. I love to have something to evangelize. Have been since forever. But I’m also a plodder. So between the love of fire and the willingness to practice and keep going, even when NO ONE showed up at my meetings, I built a very big business, faster than anyone else in that company’s 25 year history.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • My two reasons for doing this business are the same as yours, Kim. I have a "fire in the belly" to help people live better lives, physically and financially. I never, never, never give up. Both qualities have been bringers of both pleasure and pain, but it is who I am. I love being healthy. I believe in the possibilities of this business. It stirs my soul. And good health is the number one treasure, on every level. You have helped me, your posts and your readers' comments have been essential to my progress in doing what I love to do. Bless you!

    Annie Bowlby

  • Hey Kim,

    First time I'm commenting on here, but I've enjoyed your posts 🙂

    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one. I'm in an MLM as well, and have found most people are just looking for the quick income and are turned off when 1) they see it's NOT quick, and/or 2) they'll actually have to WORK for it.

    They don't see 10k in their bank accounts the next month and decide it "doesn't work", and quit. I've personally seen that in my own downline, and it's very disappointing.

    As a side note, I've been into internet marketer long before getting into MLM, so I already had an advantage in regards to promoting my business (using Attraction Marketing, etc). So, it was just a matter of what company I felt strongly about. I DID find that one, so now I'm doing what I love (IM) with a product line/industry that I'm passionate about…

    And I've seen that those in my downline that share either passion have typically been the most successful.

    Thanks for the content 🙂

  • Hi Tom Ness:

    You write: "I'm in an MLM as well, and have found most people are just looking for the quick income and are turned off when 1) they see it's NOT quick, and/or 2) they'll actually have to WORK for it."

    Don't you think that's true only because MLMers have for so many years insisted and repeated over and over – to prospects – that MLM is "easy, anyone can do it, make big money fast"?

    This country (USA) isn't known for laziness. I think the way people recruit MLMers brings that side of people out.


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