Do we promise too much with nutritionals?

Taking a nutritional supplement, especially if it’s whole food based, is a good thing.

But is it really going to change one’s life?

Should we create less expectation of a life transformation, and instead position it as as a first step towards getting back that old energy or improving one’s health?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Why promise anything? My husband wouldn’t take nutritionals for years. However, after a few years of seeing me feeling great when the whole house was sick he FINALLY decided that it might be a good idea to take “those pills & the liquid seaweed thing”.

    Others have seen my weight loss and decided that if it worked for me, it might work for them.

    I don’t get into a lot of education on why people need this. That’s too much like convincing. My good friend Art Jonak taught me that it’s better to be a “professional pointer” and just point people to the information.

    If someone asks me what a particular product will do for them I say “I’m not sure. Why don’t you try it and see?”

    We need to get away from trying to “promise people” anything. Business or product related. That’s always a bad thing.

    Point people to information that educates but makes no promises. You don’t know that the right nutrition will even “get back that old energy improve one’s health”. Everyone’s body is different.

    I don’t know if the energy drink I sell will also act as an appetite suppressant for them like it does for me. It wasn’t made to be one. All I can say is “I don’t know if it will work the same for you – try it and see”. No promises. No bull.

    ~Roxanne Green~

  • I make no claims or promises about the multi I sell.

    My focus is on eating healthy for better health. I am a fairly good eater but I still can’t get all I need from food, especially since food simply is not as nutritious as it was even 10 years ago.

    I started taking this supplement because of my choice of diet and since, I’ve have found I actually do eat better, feel better with more energy to play with my kid. This is what I focus on. My son told me today that he thinks I’ll live to be 100…. I hope so as long as I’m healthy at 100.

    As far as I know, none of my customers are taking this product for a life changing reason. They are all at least fairly healthy and want to stay that way.


  • I agree roxanne, the best way for a person to see the benefits of any product that claims to improve help and/or give more energy, is to just try it (at least for 90 days) and see how it works for you. I would suggest anyone marketing their product to give away free samples and watch your product sales skyrocket. because if they like the sample please believe they will want more;)

  • Dear Kim,

    I quit making promises a long time ago.

    When my company was a baby the product testimonials were everywhere. Growth brought on higher visibility and with it the need for FTC compliance issues. Thus the testimonials became scarce and very ‘controlled’.

    American are pill poppers and expect to’get off’ in about 15-30 minutes after the swollow.

    I had an unexpected, positive product response in my first 72 hours. Not so for everyone.

    I have also noticed that many newcomers do not closely adhere to the recommended dosages and intervals. Thus the potential for good product response is minimized.

    Like Roxanne, I don’t want to be a biology teacher any more, nor their mother. I point them toward the information as Roxanne suggests and let them do their own homework. Seems like the right kind of customers will dive right in and convince themselves if you let them.

    One to one, the personal product stories are very powerful. I love your little diddy Kim when you say, “if it works for you like it did for me, would you want to try it then?”

    It is very risky putting product testimonials in print because they can be construed as claims and bring a heap of trouble down on you.

    My company has a broad product offering. I have chosen to focus on one particular product that performs very well for nearly everyone. Within 5 days the customer will know it works for themselves, if they are compliant with the program.

    It is a good showcase to the company. Ironically, it is not really our ‘flagship’ product.

    I feel GOOD,
    Tom Doiron

  • When it comes to customer satisfaction, it’s better to under promise and over deliver. This way, no one is left unhappy or dissatisfied.

    This practically eliminates product returns, as well as negative word of mouth.

    I know of several people that are not health nuts and started taking the nutritional supplement that I market. Now, they are starting to eat better. Another woman stopped drinking Diet Pepsi. Yet another person is exercising regularly. A close relative feels like she can stop smoking. Finally.

    It seems that getting on a consistent nutritional supplement program was the first step towards better health.


  • Every person is different and we cannot make promises that they are going to see any results.

    Even drug companies cannot make promises….look at all the possible side effects (disclaimers).

    One of your strongest tools is your money back guarantee (if you have one). It give people peace of mind that they can get their money back if the product doesn’t do what they expect it will.

    If people in the industry make empty promises, you find a lot more people dissatisfied with their purchases.

    People know that they should do things to help their body rather than hurt it, but many times they do need guidance to decipher what might work for them.

    I encourage people to try our product for 3-7 days to see how it makes them feel. If it works for them like it does for me, I know they won’t go a day without it.

  • Gosh- they changed my life and the lives of many of my customers. So I DO tell people that they can change your life. BUT my company has oodles (like over 100 studies) published on their product..not just generic studies or market surveys. And I tell them that I took lots of products in our product line. So I can’t guarantee the *exact* result, but I can tell them that it will work. The company will give them their money back if they are not happy.

    Then again the company I’m partnered with just had a Landmark study published in Nutrition Journal (Oct 2007) on the health results of people who used our products exclusively for 20 years.

    I would NOT make the same claim for another brand. Most don’t have
    $250M ++ in research behind them. The research matters a great deal.

    Karen Miner Hurd

  • Kim,

    Good points about promises. I think most people do things out of a certain type of hope or sense of possiblity but it isn’t really starting with a concrete situation.

  • It has helped me to “think about how the doctors talk”…. everything is general really.

    They’ll tell you to try antibiotic A, but if you don’t see results in a couple of days, call them.


    “It doesn’t seem to be broken, but we won’t know for sure until we xray it”

    They have us try something and check back in with them.

    Brenda Bunney

  • Karen Miner Hurd,

    I won’t say what my first reading of your post in this thread did for me. Perhaps you might reread it for yourself?

    You used words like “MANY of my customers” and “they (your products) CAN change your (the customers’) life. Your money back guarantee gives you confidence to do this?

    Are you aware that no company can be a member of the DSA (Direct Selling Association) without this warranty?

    Millions in research means nothing to product efficacy. Pharmaceutical companies have spent that and more to come up with fancy poisons. Reports now-a-days have become as bogus as resumes. Drug companies are working overtime with their press releases to convince Americans that supplements are increasing their mortality.

    Karen, I am very happy that you are totally enamored with your company and its products. I am not happy with you indicating that if we are not part of your thing that we are losers.

    Happy with my thing,
    Tom Doiron

  • Tom-

    Absolutely. The company has been in business for over 50 years, and it has a phenomenal track record. Sometimes, people don’t believe it in a hyped-out world, but it’s really true. The company also has never has a product recall (mandatory NOR voluntary), and never had a citation from the FDA.

    There is precious little guidelines and regulation in the wellness industry, and so our industry is self-policing. I am aware that there is alot of hype out there. In our comapny it can take as long as 3 years for a company to complete the research and testing for a single product -even the skin care. Some companies do not go to that extent. The company I rep for documents everything. It Most companies do not.

    So I’m fortunate in that the company has actual documentation on its product performance. It has thousands of quality tests on each batch of each product. It tests each raw material for each product for over 400 pesticides and herbicides. And yes, there is an unconditional money back guarantee.

    Nevertheless, I don’t make ridiculous claims like “cures cancer” or “you’ll never get another cold” b/c there are too many variables and there is no guarantee for that sort of thing. And it is illegal to claim that any supplement can “cure” something. Also, if a client’s expectations are out of line for their lifestyle or commitment, then certainly I need to coach them on what is realistic for their situation.

    Personally, if I cannot make a strong statement about results when its warranted or appropriate, then I would look for another income source.

Leave a Comment