How to fix network marketing

“Please say who you are, what you do, and
how Network Marketing is screwed up.”

How’s that for an icebreaker?

That’s what a big tech guy used to start a recent live discussion about “How to fix the Web”. That started a big and productive discussion on what people who use the web wanted to see fixed, and of course, ideas on how.

What if we use this same opener to begin a discussion about what we don’t like about NM and, what we’d like to see fixed?

“Please say who you are, what you do, and
how Network Marketing is screwed up.”

Your comments for what needs fixing and suggestions for fixes welcome below!

P.S. If we stop pretending it’s perfect, perhaps we can make it better -and attract more people and better suited people. Think?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • We are Chris & Sandy.

    We are in MonaVie.

    What can be changed is how people treat people. Poeple want you in their business and then forget about you! That is plain wrong. Thank God our sponsor never did that and we are following his example!

    Once you sponsor someone then it is your job to help them in every way you can! I run into so many people that tell me how do I know you will help me? See there are so many people that are trying to take people out of the equation.

    Well I hate to spoil the beans but people is the reason for network marketing! People just use people for the dollar or to get that next rank.

    If you treat people how you would like to be treated and not a number then that in itself will change the whole direction of network marketing.

    If you don’t like people or don’t really want to work with people then you have no business in this industry!

    Those are my 2 cents.

    Chris & Sandy

  • My name is Mike, I have a business with FLP and I think that a lot of the over the top hype is responsible for making this industry so ‘tacky’. How many websites does one peruse when you check out NM opportunities to see larger than life people, offering larger than life promises? The ‘can’t fail £10,000 per minute by next week’ promises that make my skin crawl. I think we should project a business like image and admit the foibles of this business; after all conventional business is full of ‘warts’ and it prospers! (well, perhaps not for long if the ‘doom-mongers’ talk us all into a recession).

  • What I do: Prepaid Legal independent associate. NWM is screwed up for several reasons. Here’s one for starters: The vast majority of people involved are short term thinkers, “what’s in it for me right now” types who are completely willing to stick their heads in the sand and do anything to get their “lottery ticket” (in the form of a recruit). The business model of NWM is sound, and the wrong people are being recruited into it.

  • Jim Simpson experienced networker.
    1. Comp plans that make it almost impossible for the novice to make money.
    2. Company owners who believe the customer you recruit belongs to them.
    3. Lack of clear instructions on what do I do to become successful in this business. (poor sponsor follow-up)
    4. Spaced repetion learning until it is caught.
    5. People being told that this is an easy business.
    6. Unrealistic earning expectations.
    7. People who join thinking that heat becomes before the wood!

    How about detailed video training that is valid done by competent business builders.

  • Maybe we should have a line we can use when we meet people who are just all over others with their deal and who don’t pause for breath “selling” their products and their business opportunity. Something that would nicely stop them dead in mid diatribe!

    Personally, I would love to either stick a piece of duct tape over their mouths or have a magic wand I could tap them with and make them disappear like magic.
    I groan when I go to networking events and I meet my fellow industry comrades who just don’t “get it”! They make us all look bad… What do others think?

  • Wow! That is an attention getter.

    “Please say who you are, what you do, and
    how Network Marketing is screwed up.”

    I’m Jackie Ulmer, and I am a professional network marketer. I don’t use that term loosely.

    What that means is that Network Marketing is my career choice, and I earn a full time income here.

    I had to “go to school” for a few years to get my degree. Maybe I was lucky because I understood that going in. I knew I was going to have to study, learn, be open to learning and spend some time getting experience under my belt BEFORE the full time income was going to show up.

    NOTHING is wrong with Network Marketing.

    There is plenty wrong, however, with some network marketers.

    My husband is an airline pilot and has wanted to fly professionally since age 8. When he turned 18, no one handed him a set of wings, a pilot’s license and said “get after it” just because he had a wish and a dream.

    No, instead he had to get his private pilot’s license (and he had to PAY for that!) and then get other ratings which also cost him time and money. Then, he became a flight instructor, earning very little and worked his way up the “airline” ranks; still earning very little for a long time.

    Today, that industry is taking massive pay cuts; suffering large layoffs; and having retirements slashed dramatically!

    Network Marketing is a viable option for anyone looking to commit and pursue something that they can control. It won’t be easy; it won’t happen quit; but if you can commit to it like going to college pursuing a career degree; or taking it further and getting a higher degree.

    It takes time and money and one is in serious debt before ever earning a dime.

    Seeking success in any endeavor is going to take time and money. Network Marketing is no different. Anyone who knows that going in should be fine!

    EXPECT Success!

    Jackie Ulmer
    Jackie Ulmer’s Training Blog

  • My name is Ed Stutzman and I am an Independent Rep. for GBG Health and Wellness ( and Co-Founder of CEO Vitality (, a home business marketing support group dedicated to helping folks achieve their goals with their home businesses.

    I believe we have got to find a way to help people to recognize that success can be theirs if they focus on a consistent, dedicated effort to their business.

    Too many people promote advertising preying on peoples dreams by touting “lottery size” earnings that never materialize. These people could be very successful home business owners but become disenchanted and quit. Leaving network marketing holding the bag.

    Quality products, fairly priced, will sell. Long term success and the methods to achieve them without chasing family and friends is important.

    Just my 2 cents…

    1-877-500-4GBG x11

  • I used to be in MLM, but now I’ve been doing affiliate marketing. How is network marketing screwed up? Nothing is screwed up about this system. It’s those who abuse the system, those who continue front line recruiting, like what’s happening in my last company.

    Front line recruiting keeps going and going and going while those who are already in it are not getting any help from the person who brought them into the business. My former upline Michele even told me that I shouldn’t expect any return calls from her. I remember Kim saying in one of her courses that if you turn your back on your enrollee, they’re just going to disappear. Well it happened when I decided to leave, especially when this Michele tried to make it look like it’s my fault by covering up her mistakes. Her direct upline doesn’t even have time for any one of her frontline distributors.

    I thought I was the only person who went through this, but I talked to other distributors in the company I worked with and they have the same complaint.

    After I left, I told her on a chat session that I was sorry that we didn’t work out. I thought it was the most respectable thing to say, at least I didn’t disappear out of thin air, but she started rambling that network marketing is not for me, that if I don’t follow the system of chasing people and spending hundreds of dollars on leads that were filled out by people who were tire-kickers looking for a freebie like a laptop or a digital camera, and get on useless team calls that were rehashed from someone else’s team calls. What a waste of time to listen to crap that’s not helping us close any sales. After all, that’s what we’re suppose to do. Basically, that’s what the uplines want me to do and as long as this is their standard practice, my reservation remains high.

    Anyways, what’s my point here? Network marketing, one of the most ethical forms of business today, becomes defaced, picked on, crapped on by the 95% (including me) who dropped out, because the leaders focus solely on recruiting, picking up anyone on the street who aren’t qualified to work this type of business in the first place and then when they quit, they started filing complaints on other boards or the ripoff report that this company is bad or the leaders are bad (which most of them are or are becoming) misusing this concept by continuously recruiting instead of focusing on customer service.

    Network marketing remains a powerful people-based model to exponentially explode your organization, but if you misuse it, people in your downline will start deserting. If you’re willing to train the 8 to 12 good people to doe the same thing you’re doing, 5 levels later, your 5th level will have over 32,768 distributors. Theoretically, this is possible. Less is more by having 8 distributors in your frontline, that is much better than having 512 distributors in your frontline. Besides, how can you get a life by having that many distributors in your frontline and keep them afloat. Some of them would have quit by now.

    My advice to you all is before you join your next network marketing company, ask the hard questions before you dig into the business and dish out $100, 200, 500, or even $3,000 to get started. That’s because you’re going to need them when you get stuck.

    So that’s what I wanted to say.


  • Apart from the normal ‘gotta recruit to survive’ inconvenience, the only thing I feel really needs fixing is the negative stigma many people place upon the industry. It’s proven it’s ‘validity’ over and over again, yet many continue to discredit and dishonor it.

  • I think we need to stop bashing each others companies. There are so many people out there looking for something special, and so many companies that have something special. That which is special to you may not be to me, and vice versa. But let’s accept what’s special to each of us, give ’em a pat on the back, and move on and continue to build your own dream, looking for that special someone looking for that special something that you have!

    Joe Johnson
    Proud Traverus Rep

  • Hi. My name is Scheria.

    I market a family of spa products to overworked & stressed out couples who dont have time to pamper themselves, like my husband and I used to.

    If I could change one thing about our industry it would be to stop making folks that join our gig think that anyone can do this…because anyone cant! To name a few things it takes guts, determination and a strong will to make it happen to stay in the game long enough to attain any form of success.

  • We need to stop to tell people this business is easy to do and no selling or money are necessary in order to be successful in this industry.

    All the best,

    Ed Torres

  • Network Marketing is screwed up because some reps STILL use the secret approach where the prospect is invited to a meeting, lunch or whatever and given a big pitch about how much money they can make and how easy it is, THEN spring the name of the company on them. Big surprise that people don’t sign up with them.
    Network Marketing is also all screwed up because most reps aren’t trained in Network Marketing as a form of marketing but are just trained on THEIR product(s).

  • I think the way to fix it is to allow distributors to run their businesses like REAL businesses, i.e., lower wholesale pricing, freedom to retail at reasonable prices, etc. In other words, if people want to make money by recruiting, fine, but the companies should also allow distributors more freedom to make a profit by REALLY selling.

  • Dear Kim,

    Having been in this industry since 1972, but more seriously since 1996; I have an opinion or two about what is screwed up. For the record, most of my efforts have been in health and wellness.

    It is difficult for me to clearly describe what I see. Network marketing turns people into camoflagued preditors, like the Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Ridinghood.

    A very successful and beloved associate of mine that was earning about $30K yearly after just two years quit and walked away from the business and industry. Maureen said, “she just wanted to be able to meet new people without thinking of them as a prospect.”

    The second thing about network marketing that I think is really, really screwed up is it pretending to be the answer to everyones’ economic challenges. The idea that is so commonly promoted is that, “if you just follow me, all your problems will pass away.” It’s like you are telling folks that if they will just step over here and push this big red reset button; everything will straighten itself out in their lives.

    Presenting the potential as the probable might be a shorter way of expressing my viewpoint.

    Enough for now.

    Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

    Tom Doiron

  • I am with Send Out Cards.

    If we could convince the companies to adequately compensate the sales force (downline) then thousands more could make some serious money selling to customers who don’t want to sell.

    In addition, the products need to be priced right (lower, realistic) to attract more online buyers.

    Greg Cryns
    Paso Robles, CA

  • Hi My name is Ellen and I’m very new to NM. I am in a wellness company with what I believe to be a great product.

    My company has a lot of training and I feel that the upline support is really amazing.

    The problems I see is that I was not really taught to promote the products and I am now changing my own mindset about how to do this business.

    The problem I see with my own outlook is that although I feel they are a superior product, then any retail products I’ve seen they are very costly and the average person might not be able to afford them.

  • I’m glad that my experiences haven’t been in a vacuum. I am so frustrated by the predatory way of looking at potential prospects. I was one of the ones abandoned by my upline and when I tried to switch, they called me and said I couldn’t switch to someone else because their business went downhill when they quit working it and they needed the little bit they got from me to keep going.
    In business by yourself but not for yourself would have been a lot more honest than the other way around, which is why I joined in the first place.
    That’s what’s wrong with NWM. All I really wanted was 5 or 6 likeminded people in the entire country that I can work with so I wouldn’t feel so alone. Too bad I never really learned how that’s supposed to work.

  • Hi my name is Tilly and I have been in NM for more than three years and the owner of a company called BeWell.

    NM is a business model that supports the sale of specific products or services. But the focus is on selling the model NOT the products or services. So everybody tries to recruit others to sell a Business Model with huge promises of earning huge incomes. Doing What? No wonder that so many fail – they just do not know how what to do!

    Fix it by focusing on your industry, your business, your products/services. To quote Kim – Find others to help you fixing others achy knees. Sell them that not NM not a business model. In short give others a job description and help them to develop into entrepreneurs!

  • A big part of what’s wrong is crap like this from Schreiter – the opener in his ‘amazing, easy sentences that create new, hot prospects’ series.


    To get an appointment for an instant presentation with a prospect, simply say this:

    “I got a good story. Takes about two minutes. Might make you a lot of money, might not. Want to hear it?”

    Almost 100% of the people you talk to will want to hear your two-minute story. I love this sentence, and it has made me a fortune.

    And watch your prospects’ eyes light up while they lean forward, eagerly awaiting your story.

    Watch your inbox for more amazing, easy sentences from me that will create new, hot prospects.


    Problem is, suckers lap it up. Then wonder why it doesn’t work.

    Jonak’s just as bad with his ‘just show ’em your lifestyle pictures and they’ll be instantly impressed’ nonsense. Yeah, right.

    ‘Too much stupidity and too many ready to latch-on to it.’ Does that count as a ‘what’s wrong’?

  • I’m Jason, a Quixtar/Amway Global IBO.

    My suggestion: Less focus on fantasy lifestyles achieved by aggressive promotion of the business opportunity.

    Instead, emphasize the solving of our customer’s problems and meeting their needs with quality products and exemplary service.

    As Kim says, people interested in the business opportunity will ask about it. Then, we help those individuals to develop their skills and serve their own customers.

    Help others with a true attitude of giving and the result is personal and financial reward.

  • Yes I bought those ice breakers from Big Al too.

    But you know, if you really modify them a la Kim, there are one or two nuggets in there….

    The one I like for young people is how college students can earn more money part time than their professors earn full time…

    If you bought this stuff, go back to it and then use your “Kim Klaver Microscope”…. You can doctor these nuggets to fit in with Kim’s philoosphy and…Hopefully yours by now…

    It requires work on your part. And you know.. You cant preach it till you do it.

    I did over 100 Cadaver calls this week and it “inspired” some of my downline to have a go….

    So don’t knock trainers, upline etc… Just go back and use your Kim microscope and you can probably extract a nugget or two to make the money you spent on that particular CD worthwhile.

    And guys… We are professional networkers…. We do NOT need to start off telling everyone which company we represent,,, Ask yourself the question,..

    Why on earth did I need to tell everyone which deal I am in?” You know and I know… Shameless promotion in the hope that Mary Networking migh like your deal…. Stop… We all love our deals and we don’t care what your deal is… Give us some good stuff and we love it.. Pitch your deal and we just scroll down….


  • The problems with the industry are MANY. I’ll touch on one.

    The HYPE SESSION hotel meetings are a big problem because they are solely focused on the end result in mind WITHOUT any follow through for HOW to get there.

    Sorry if I step on toes…but names list of friends & family is a HORRIBLE way to build a business and is what has given this industry the bad rep.

    I’d MUCH rather put “the company” behind the scenes while I market Me Inc which is where the TRUE VALUE lies…it’s NOT in the company, product, or compensation plan.

    Success in this business is about You Inc and your ABILITY to give VALUE to others you come in contact with whether they join your business or not.


  • I think eliminating hype would be a good first step. Some people like it, some people fall for it, but it never really serves anyone only those who are looking to make a quick buck at someone else’s expense.

  • “Please say who you are, what you do, and
    how Network Marketing is screwed up.”

    My name is Donna Valdes, I’m a global business developer for Waiora International, a personal mentor, network marketing coach, along with mother, child, wife, sister, daughter, friend and a gazillon other hats I wear of what I do.

    How is Network Marketing screwed up? In my opinion, it isn’t! The industry isn’t screwed up, the model works, proven and true. What isn’t working sometimes are the people involved. There are millions of people involved in network marketing, and that brings a vast array of personalities, expertise, ignorance, and all traits in between. It all starts with self. If you are doing what makes you happy and treating others with respect and are professional, then that is all that matters. Lead by example, whether others choose to follow is completely up to them. Not me. I don’t have to change the industry, just myself.

    Have a brilliant day!
    Donna Valdes
    Donna Valdes’ Network Marketing Blog

  • Hello
    Im sharon represnting nuskin.
    Im not as expirence as others here but i disagree with many of you who claim that nothing is wrong with the system and blame it on the people involved.
    People wont change they have their weaknesses, a good system should be able to work effectively with those people. I dont have any cleaver solid idea of what and how to change the system, but i do believe that it can be change to meet the reality. I do believe that a new system is needed and i do believe that the world is ready for the new marketing type that will take the advantages of MLM today but will solve some of its problems.

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