"Don’t follow Kim…"

“…Because getting customers isn’t duplicatable.”

That’s what R’s upline said to her a few weeks ago.

I’ll assume the upline means it’s better to go after business builders than customers.

Can this be true?

Consider the 95% drop out rate in the industry.

Consider the odds: 1 in 100 at best want to do sales, whereas everyone is a customer.

So why would someone think that getting reps is ‘duplicatable’ and going after customers is not?

Could it be that she thinks her products are too expensive for “Just customers” and that someone needs to be invested in the business to bother with them?

Could it be that she doesn’t believe in the AOL or cable TV business model for NM, which model is entirely based on regular customers paying something each month?

Could it be that she feels life-changing product stories can get the company into trouble?

Could it be that there is more money in a new business builder’s large initial order than in a customer’s initial order?

Could it be she doesn’t believe customers can be a source of business builders?

What are your thoughts?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I’ve been in business’ in the past that the BB model is the only real option. And yes it’s because of the product price compared to competive products priced lower. Today it seems like most high growth companies have preprietary products. Maybe the individual’s upline’s just ‘old school.’ Networking requires customers, and the whole business is about duplication. Customers are a must!

  • Not getting customers? How crazy is that?

    I am with Mia Bella. I love customers! The commission I make on a customer is astronomical compared to a distributor! I love loyal customers!

    Do I recruit? Sure! But I ALWAYS lead with my fantastic product!

    I opt to do Mia Bella as a party plan. I can reach 40 people or more with one hostess. The amount of business I can get from one good hostess is probably more than I make in a year off of one recruit!

    And I use tools to teach my recruits how to find great customers, too! They make money right up front and I get bigger commission checks! :o)

    ——Shay :o)

  • That is crazy!

    I love Customers too!!

    I have built Sunrider Leaders/Business Builders over the past 10 years.
    I figure it takes about 1 year of intense work on my part to mentor and guide a new business builder.

    I have built 6 business builders.
    That’s 6 years of my time.

    Of those 6, only 3 are still very active. The other 3 love the products still, and have a “tiny heap” – but life circumstances left them unable to continue to do the business.

    Wow – where would I be if I didn’t have all the hundreds of Customers that I have and that I’ve taught my people to look after?

    I love Customers, and I love your way of teaching, Kim.


  • Kim, your approach truly does have detractors however, I believe in the AOL and cable company approach… it makes perfect sense to me… let me explain…

    When you first started talking about AOL and cable concepts years ago it always stuck in my head.. I started thinking BIG.. had visions of people like Mark Cuban and Michael Dell or how about MY FAVORITE STORY… Fred DeLuca, who is the founder of Subway Corporation…

    His mantra for business success – start small, finish big…

    All these people started out just like Steve Case at AOL…with CUSTOMERS, so my approach was to give my customers value by providing great customer service.. when you give them great customer service it ONLY MAKES SENSE to put them on auto ship program to give them even more value just like AOL and the Cable companies.

    It just makes perfect sense to me and I wanted to share my comment with you.. Mary Jane Medlock, Member, Network Marketing Central

  • Enrique
    Yes I could walk away from serving my customers and still get residual income.. WHY?? Because you get your customers in the “teachable moment” and make sure they understand “why” the product and program is working for them in my opinion…

    The result for me is that I could walk away and the orders will still come in because they are now sold on the product and not on me… just like AOL and Cable companies…

    Using myself as an example… I started with AOL in 1993 and I still use AOL.. every single month… they charge my account.. WHY DON’T I change even though they cause me massive spam filter problems etc… because they have always been reliable… now they are very competitive and lowered the prices to $4.95 a month so why should I leave since I am getting the same service… so I put up with the crappy spam filters issues but I save almost $20.00 per month and get the same reliable service that I have been getting since 1993…

    My goal is to do the same with my customers while I build a MASSIVE ORGANIZATION… Hope that helps.. Well have to go and will come back later on to check more posts… Mary Jane Meldock

  • When I hear upline comments like that I almost explode. I was so excited when I first joined Rexall (now Unicity) and wanted to tell everyone about our products. I even went to the bank and got a credit card machine so people could charge their products. Upline told me I shouldn’t be doing that because it was not duplicatable.

    Looking back, I should have said “The only thing that is not duplicatable is telling people to buy $5k worth of products, put them in your garage and call that a business.” It didn’t feel right then and nothing has changed.

    Each one of us must do what seems right for us personally. I can’t be Milton Fogg, or my most successful upline, but I can be me.

    I will only be able to build a business if I have happy customers.

    Ask your upline why he/she is in the business? Money or product???

    Jackie Houle

  • Kim,
    It is very sad to see R’s upline feels that way. I personally struggled for over 3 years and spent countless dollars in my quest to “ADD REP’s”.

    My success in this industry started the day I decided to get customers. As I stated in another comment, as my customer base started growing I added reps by accident. I don’t know of a better “Rep” for a company, than a very happy “Customer”.

    I wonder what would have happened to McDonalds if the company told all its stores to forget selling hamburgers the real money is getting your neighbor to buy a restaurant. Food for thought.

    Joe Dynarski

  • I think people are just too scared to learn how to sell and all they wanna do is to take advantage of the “leverage” part of network marketing ASAP. Maybe they just won’t admit that they’re in the selling industry because of the many negative connotations many people have attached to it the world over… Well, getting a customer base is the heart and soul of making money in the first place… its where the success in network marketing is grounded on.. that’s why I love what Kim has taught us all.

  • Kim
    I’m still a newbie with Network Marketing, this post got my attention right away. My upline always talks about recuiting and rarely about customers. In her About Me page on her website she only writes about how wonderful our company is (I believe it is but that’s beside the point) and how much money you will make by recruiting. I’ll go broke if I just try to recruit, I think the products are where the income is. I didn’t start with my company just because of the income I could earn from building an organization, it was the product and what they did for me. I’m pretty much going it alone because I can’t duplicate what my upline does. It’s not natural for me and it doesn’t work for me. I’ll keep getting customers and the residual income will come from these customers that decide they want to get customers just like me. I’m learning a lot from everyone here and love the site.

  • Kim:

    The answer may be much simpler than some would profess.I say that the reason an upline would make this kind of comment is because:

    Most NWM companies never explain their compensation plan in terms of customers.

    Because no one designs a comp plan with customers in mind

    It’s always about you getting 2,3, or however many new builders and then you helping your new people get their 2,3, or however many new people. Someone draws those little circles on the whiteboard and there is never any discussion about getting customers. So it is implied that doing the business is about getting other builders. The income potential earnings is also based on the builder’s monthly personal volume requirement in order to qualify for a check that month.

    Now you want to get your upline’s attention? Show your upline the potential income figures with every builder having 100 customers.If that doesn’t get their attention then they never had a pulse in the first place.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  • I agree with so much that has been said here. I understand the feeling of confusion when so many around you are saying business first. It is a struggle I have too, partly because I love the concept of this business model, and partly because I have a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

    The thing I keep reminding myself of when I start feeling the business first pull is, that only 1 in 100 will want to do the business. 1 in 10 will want my products. Do the math…it just makes more sense to look for customers first.

    When I joined Sunrider, I did because of the products. I took a look at the business only because I loved the products madly and wanted to be sure that I would always be able to purchase them. Then as I started to catch the vision of the business the entrepreneurial spirit kicked in. But it all comes back to the fact that I love the products. This is what builds a strong business…love what you do. It also makes for a happy life.

    So if product first is what feels right for you…do it. Keep your focus by staying in touch with others who feel like you do. Kim is creating a great place for us to do that…Thanks so much Kim!


  • What is the FUNCTION of a business?
    Most people say it is to make money.
    The GOAL is to make money.

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