3 Reasons MLM draws the weak and desperate

I believe our industry is second to none in attracting folks who are weak and desperate. (Plus a few caught in a moment of weakness or desperation.)

In our ads, promotions, opportunity web-pages and live meetings:

1. We show the circles and promise them their business will be exploding soon.

2. We give the impression that anyone can (and does) make big money (fast)

3. We say we have a free or near-free proven systems anyone can use to make money fast.

Any other reasons you think our industry specializes in drawing those who need (and expect) money quickly, and are surprised and mad when they find out it’s not?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim, as usual your headline grabs the attention of your loyal readers, especially those who don’t feel they are weak and need money. The “leaders” of the MLM companies I’ve been associated with, or to whose BP’s I’ve attended have ALL appealed to those of us who “need money”. Are we weak? Probably yes, at the moment we sign up and give them our check for the “start up kit”, but is that weakness or a need to believe it can be true and that it CAN happen to us.

  • There has been a legacy of circles being drawn and a correllation of “Lulu did it” so can “you”. Lore has it that it’s a numbers game and you just have to present to enough people and you’ll get an “ace”. Or, even worse, if Lulu can sell “it”, then if you’re not successful selling “it”, you’re the reason why.

    I do believe in providing my team with free or near-free systems, even that would probably run more than $100 a month, but I would NEVER tell anyone they’d make money fast.

    I probably scare too many prospects away with what it takes to be successful, but I’d rather do that then have a recruit think that I bamboozled them into something that not only doesn’t make them money, but worse, costs them more money than they made.

    Are there some prospects out there that can make money from the gitgo? Yes. That’s where I focus my prospecting. Do a lot of them want to diversify into something else? No. That’s where the numbers do come into play.

    Certainly our industry specializes in drawing those who need (and expect) more money quickly, but hopefully, there’s a contingent of marketers out there with integrity, who are trying to change that 😉

  • Motiv8r: You write:”Are we weak? Probably yes, at the moment we sign up and give them our check for the “start up kit”, but is that weakness or a need to believe it can be true and that it CAN happen to us.”

    The last part of your quote tells the story…”the need to believe it can be true and CAN happen to us.”

    Yes, CAN, if someone is willing to put in the years of steady effort required. Even an hour or two per day. Over the years, one gets good at it. But short of that readiness and willingness to go for the long haul, nothing much will “happen to us” other than discovering that “it” didn’t happen to us.

    That’s why this sort of marketing is so effective – and lethal. It attracts everyone in need of something quick, whose attitude is, hey don’t we deserve it? Yet no one has a real clue what to do, or how long it really takes to GET GOOD. Until after they’ve signed up and spent that money.

    Those that get hooked into the model pursue all kinds of options, seeking a quick way to “expode” their business. Only to discover that it doesn’t exist, and they’ve have been better off developing their approach skill set all those hours, months and years.

  • GET RICH SLOW is my motto.

    I got into MLM for

    1. Personal growth
    2. My dear friend invited me
    3. I liked the business model – no stores to contend with
    4. A supportive, fun group.
    5. Money – somewhere on some distant horizon.

    It has been a good ride. 26+ years in the industry have provided me a reasonable income for my part-time efforts.

    I go away for months at a time to fa-off-the-beaten-tracks locations: Hawaiian islands, Tibet, Kathmandu, India, SW deserts, Catskill Mountains, etc. etc.

    Sure beats the J-O-B routine.

    I value all my LOTS of free time above all else – with the basic bills taken care of :)))

    I’m never in any hurry to get someone to go the fast track. Even if they do earn lotsa money fast, they will loose it fast – IF they haven’t grown in their self-image and personal finance skills to be able to handle it.

    Pat Crosby

  • Network Marketers get who they call for. Call for making easy quick money and you will get the weak and desperate (or gangsters.)

    Be careful whos name you call – they might answer.

  • Hi Kim,

    I am not sure its the industry drawing them more than we ourselves. The old “chicken list” keeps us from sponsoring up so there is only one direction left.

    Also the ‘rags to riches’ stories get top ratings.

    I’ll be back if I think of more.

    Easy sleazy,

    Tom Doiron

  • Kim-We also have the people who
    want something for nothing.These
    people wont do what it takes to
    succeed in this industry but these
    same people will stand in line at
    the convience store and spend
    their mortgage/car payment, trying
    to get rich in the lotteries.


  • As long as you take the time to make sure people understand exactly what they need to do to make money, you won’t have these problems. The only way to do that is to not slam everyone into your “deal”. Take the time to get to know people and make sure they understand what they are getting into.


  • To answer Kim’s question: Any other reasons you think our industry specializes in drawing those who need (and expect) money quickly, and are surprised and mad when they find out it’s not?

    It’s easy, anyone can do it.

    The product sells itself.

    Recommending the product is just like recommending a good resturaunt or a movie, except you get paid for your recommendation.

  • We have a saying in our company: “ONLY sponsor people you’d like to take a 30 DAY cruise with.” Sure keeps things easy, fun and enjoyable.

    The BIG problem with Red Personality Sponsor Monsters is that they can throw a mess of people against the wall and see who sticks, but they can ALSO totally destroy and wipe out an organization in record time – with their greed and ego tactics.

    Pat Crosby

  • A little over a year ago, I read a book titled, “The Underground History of American Education” by John Taylor Gatto.

    Gatto is a former school teacher and was the New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year.

    His book traces the forces behind compulsory education in America from the mid-1800’s to the present. According to Gatto, the end result is obedient drones that are produced for an industrial economy.

    Consequently, we have a society full of people who have never fully developed their critical thinking skills. They do not truly understand economics and how our system of capitalism works.

    So when people are exposed to the network marketing hype machine, they get sucked in simply because they don’t know any better and can’t think for themselves.

    And that’s the point.

    Paul Eilers

  • Any time the perceived barrier of entry for any given opportunity is low, you will attract all kind of unqualified folks. MLM tells people it is easy, quick, fast, explosive, and all you have to do is….. That’s a low barrier to entry and it is no wonder we get the flaky and the furious.

    I said perceived because in reality the barrier for entry (success) is quite high in the world of selling and network marketing. While theoretically “anyone” can do it, practically most people do not want to do it.

    Thus it is best to present a high barrier of entry *upfront* and you will eliminate most of the weak and desperate.

    How do I do it? By telling people upfront how tough and hard this business is to make it work. By telling them their chances for success are slim. By telling them they will probably get tired, frustrated and quit before they realize their dreams.

    But I also tell them if they are willing to do what it takes, I will stay with them every step of the way. If they don’t quit I won’t quit. And maybe it won’t work out, but we will both have the satisfaction of knowing they gave it their best shot.

    Why do I tell them that? Because that is what the founder of my original company told a group of us when we first signed up.

    And until the day he was asked to step down as the leader of the company he founded by the mega-corporation that had bought him out (worse decision that company ever made – but it made our founder a member of the Forbes 400) yet wisely had retained him as a “consultant” up until that point, he was right on both counts. He never wavered or let us down *and* it was the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, even though I and my fellow recruits were making sales.


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