Altruism, money and sex in our training programs

Have you ever wondered why so many thousands of people do things for others not so much to earn money, but because it gives them satisfaction to be able to talk about what they know or what they’ve learned? Sometimes they just like to be the first one who turns someone else on to something new or different.

While competition and comparing oneself to others may be good and spurs some people on, collaboration is getting a lot more play as a way to learn to do things and to enjoy more getting better at it – WITH others.

Collaboration seems to be something that tickles our brains right up there with sex. The authors of Naked Conversations report that:

“Dr. Gregory S. Berns, an Emory University professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences…scanned the brains of 36 women playing the behaviorist’s game Prisoner’s Dilemma…

Berns found these women displayed cooperative behavior even when they knew they would receive greater rewards for not cooperating. The technology revealed that the striatum, a primitive brain sector, grew active during collaboration. In fact, it secreted five times the normal level of dopamine, the chemical that activates during such stimulating activities as sex and gambling. In short, humans are wired to collaborate. Altruism turns people on even more than making money.” p. 43

That makes the old adage of “going two by two” even more important in developing the skills sets necessary to make a go of the network marketing business. But not when they both know that one of the pair stands to gain or lose financially from the success or failure of the other.

So often people blame their downline for “not doing anything.” I don’t deny that.

But who wants to do things alone that they think are hard, like talking to people about the business or product? The upline who pressures the new person often drives the downline away, because both know the upline stands to gain (or not). Too stressful. It’s especially hard if the people were friends before. So the new person does nothing or something else instead.

Here’s something we’ve been doing in classes with thousands of people over the last 2-3 years: Up close and personal cross-line collaboration for certain kinds of training. I don’t mean going to a hotel room lecture setting. I mean intimate pairing up of 2-3 people who are cross-line, who may or may not know each other, to practice talking to people on the phone, for example.

Folks pair off on the phone, and do, say Cadaver calling, cross-line. Not to make money, but just to PRACTICE talking to people with someone else who just wants to practice too, and not be accountable for any kind of results other than the act of practicing with someone else who has that in mind, also.

That is collaboration. Without pressure, and both people just trying to get better together. Smart people know this is NOT easy and anyone cannot do it. So learning together, as collaborators without pressure, is a good thing. 🙂

People have done cross-line AND cross company (!!) Cadaver calling to tell persoonal product stories in 3 Scripts classes with great fun and success. We’re all in this together, aren’t we? What difference does it make what product story is being practiced so long as each has her own and they listen to each other do it over and over and over until they get good?

People report that they feel scared to call at first, but then when they realize after the first five minutes of chatting with their collaborator that the other person feels the same way, they just do it together. It takes the scary right out of it. (Cadaver calls are described on p 186-188 in the “If My Product’s So Great How Come I Can’t Sell It?”)

If it’s true that we are indeed wired for collaboration, as the Berns study and our own experience suggests, perhaps this is a way to encourage the shyer folks and those with less time to “do something” – a non pressure-cooker chance to get good at the business by practicing calling with someone else who’s trying to learn the same thing.

Collaboration. Good word. Good feelings generated by it. And many women already do it naturally anyway. Think?

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About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Having done cold cadaver calls with crossline, folks from other companies, and live on conference calls, I agree it’s quite a freeing and powerful experience, not to mention fun, a word not often associated with prospecting calls. The freedom comes first from doing them simply for the practice, not to score. Second, from doing them with someone just like you – someone out to learn and play the mirror for you, to help you, laugh with you and support you so you can see how good it feels to say no first – someone who is only there to learn with you, has no business riding on your results – there’s no pressure or nervousness to perform – just a mutual agreement to spend some time helping each other – or 3 or 4 of you – get better and feel good again.

    Sure, lots of people do “3 way calls” – mostly I’d guess with upline, some with sideline. They’re usually done to “close” the deal and loaded with seller talk. This is totally different – this is helping people learn how to communicate, and practice and learn how to be themselves, not to learn a script (assuming they’re also learning how to come from their hot buttons and all the other good stuff Kim and a few others teach).

    Lots of people feel like orphans, if their upline recruits but doesn’t really train or know how to train on building a customer base – or how to help you find what works for you. What if your upline was a Kim Klaver – can you imagine? What if you were? You can get stuck, quit, go it alone, or reach out to others, likely lots of others, in your company (or with other companies, like folks in Kim’s classes or posting to this blog) who can practice with you, do conference calls together, too – and let everyone share their gifts with each other.

    There’s lots of “wills” out there, just in need of a “way” – it’s a lot more fun working together. I have a group of all crossline people – we get together everyweek to work on traits and first date scripts and what’s working, and mostly, how we’re being. We talk about getting more in touch with ourselves, the things that make us happy and light our passion – one big collaboration on bringing more fun to everything by cattering to our own bliss ans supporting each other – sometimes even folks who aren’t even in MLM tune in.

    So much we managed to forget somehow along the largely recruiting road.

    Thanks for opening so many doors – and eyes, Kim.

  • Thanks Judy for the insightful comments from your experience. Women love to collaborate, and I hope this reminds them not only to DO it, but to pass it around. Competition is not the best way to inspire many women to practice something they think is hard, especially when we’re just getting our feet wet.


  • Years ago, my bank sent me on a pioneer training course run by a lady called Kay Smith.

    She was running two standard “management development” courses for small business owners – one with all men, one with all women – to see the differences.

    One exercise has stayed with me all this time, which beautifully emphasies the collaborative nature of women.

    We were told that there were 11 packets of biscuits in a box.

    There were twelve of us. We were told to negociate between us and decide who would be the one not to get the pack of biscuits.

    Well, we just could not get into the spirit of this! We halfheartedly made the case for why we should be one of the ones to get the biscuits.

    Then one brave soul said what it turned out everyone had been thinking.

    “Let’s each give the twelfth person one or two out of our packet, then we’ve all got the same.”

    Competitive we were not -collaborative we were!

    (and remember Wallace Wattles says that the scientific way to wealth lies not in competition but in creation….)

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