I got "brutally honest…"

What’s the right time to be “brutally honest”?

Just got this today from a gent who had just launched his ‘how to build an information product business’ for a few thousand dollars per person. He suddenly had a few open slots. He writes:

“I did our ‘Orientation’ call for our new group
of Big Banana Mastermind members last night, and on the orientation I got “brutally honest” with our new
members, and told them that this program is not
about being a “pyramid scheme” or a “business
opportunity” – and that if they weren’t 100%
committed to building an Information Product
business over the next year, to please send me an
email and quit now.

“Guess what happened?

Several people quit on the spot.”

Then he adds:

“These are people who were on a “hope and a prayer,”
who didn’t have any idea what kind of business
they were going to start, and weren’t committed
to working on building their own business over
the long-term.

So he blames them. For having fallen for his “if I can do it you can do it” pitch to begin with. It’s the same one we all know and hear daily in our own NM business:

“I made really big money doing this. And I was a nobody. Totally broke (or filed bankruptcy) lost all I owned to creditors, etc. I dropped out of high school, etc. I just took a leap of faith, and now look. I’m telling you, if I can do it…

Who doesn’t want to think they can? It’s the American way.

But how many folks have no idea what’s involved? Many recruiters even deny the possibility that there IS any risk, since ‘everyone will want this’ and it’s easy.

And many folks DO spend significant time, money, and effort. And don’t make it. Who hears about them at the recruitment meetings? Only the rare success stories are held up. Distorted reality?

Should we be “brutally honest” with people before we ask for the money?

Pitch the possibility of success, yes, but add the brutally honest statement like that above in the same big red or blue typeface, and with the many !!!s, that are used to sell the promises. Think?

That is, if we’re pitching the money. ANY money.


About the author

Kim Klaver


  • We don’t need to be “brutally honest” but we DEFINITELY need to be honest.

    In fact, why would a person consider wanting to work with a tire kicker, whiner, or complainer by sponsoring them into your company? So why attract them? There’s not enough time in the day to work with someone who isn’t going to roll up their sleeves and GET AFTER IT! Right?

    I teach my students how to sort & qualify their leads on auto-pilot…there isn’t enough time in the day to deal with people who aren’t SERIOUS about being successful working from home.


  • I think we can be “brutally honest” by telling potential business partners about all of their options, rather than forcing our own preferences on them. What if the person wants to get a discount on the product, or just sell to a few family and friends? So they aren’t 100% committed to building a serious business, does that mean they should not be offered the chance to try out their ideas and maybe one day “get it” and do more?

    I have several companies that I’m involved with for the discount and to sell to my little group of folks who like the same things I do and respect my opinion. Should my sponsors have said “no” to me in the beginning or ask me to get out now?

  • Good post. I think as we go through the flowery testimonies we should also include the facts about what it really takes to earn a living in our industry. It has to be noted that although the testimonies are true that there is an element of hard work that must be applied to achieve the desired results one is looking for.

    It’s like any profession. The more we apply the knowledge we have as we offer our products, services and opportunity to others, the more we enhance the probability of succeeding in our business.

    In spite of the famous saying, “stories sell and facts tell”, facts are good and so is truth.

    Ced Reynolds

  • John – no one would plan to work with whiners but they get them because they ask for them…by blindly repeating what their upline tells them…”It’s easy, anyone can do it.” Why wouldn’t people come who expect it to be easy? Didn’t the guy in front of the room just say that?

    Sue – Can’t agree more. But recruiters don’t look for little customers seeking discounts on products. Even though that’s what 95% of the NMers end up being, IF they stay in at all. See, then it wouldn’t be a “business” with tax deductions and tax write-offs, much less an income opportunity.

    Ced – you write “while the testimonies are true that there is an element of hard work that must be applied to achieve the desired results one is looking for.”

    All the testimonies are not true. Many are exaggerated, in my 20 years experience.

    Second, “I am successful” can mean anything from having earned a check for $50 to thousands of dollars. Sounds good, though, doesn’t it?

    As for the biggest bananas, there are so few that everyone in the company (of tens of thousands of reps) knows their names.

    There is more than “an element of work” involved. There is total commitment involved to make any real money. Add 10 years plus.

    Next add some luck. Bumping into that lottery-winner person at all is rare. Of course the more you’re out there, the better the chances. but it’s not guaranteed you’ll find that star, as most experienced networkers will attest.

    Then, there are the huge numbers of folks, 95%, that don’t make it at all. And where do we hear about them?

    The picture presented by recruiters is distorted, to entice people to come in. And most have no idea what it takes to make a business work. Then they’re blamed afterwords for not being committed, etc.

    But they said it would be easy, didn’t they?

    Can’t have it both ways, think?

  • Kim. You make us think don’t you!! Excellent work. The problem we face is that we recruit mostly people who have a wage mentality, and forget that it’s a vastly different world being a business owner. 85% of traditional businesses don’t last due to a million different factors… including franchises which can cost hundreds of thousands to get into, and we provide opportunity for those who are willing to do the work but don’t have the big amounts of money needed to feed the family while the foundations are built. That’s why it’s a must that we explain that it means hard work and sacrifice over about the same time it takes to get a Masters Degree to build a big heap. And it’s a must to find their reason why before we even sign them up. I’ll bet most folks have no clue why half their reps join their team, and spend little time building a team mentality to help everyone through the growth necessary to get to the top of the pile.

  • I am green as the new mown grass when it relates to MLM recruiting.What I is found dishonest when someone says “mentoring for Free’ then you end up with a 19,00 dollar payment charge for e books.Next comes the join the payment plan covering the monthly charge of 150 for MLM which sucks the guts out of all the little old ladies,pensioners on limited income.Who are caught between a rock and hard place their life in the wringer.Looking for a way to supplement their income.I think if Free is the password to get them in then it should be FREE here should not be a hidden charge for a splash page and e books to fork over.Not for he person who want to recruit you or the joiner.YOU SHOULD BE TOLD THE FREE LUNCH WAGON DOES NOT STOP HERE.It cost bucks to be in business I say I am green as grass on MLM but not business.The last company cost 600.000 to take home 5.000 per month.MAKING MONEY IS WORK.I would like to have all the hype blowers in one room and read them the riot act.They are screwing the legitimate Internet community.Screwing the pensioner out of his last few bucks o stay in this new game.

  • MLM has been so corrupted by the lies and distortions of the people in it. We need to make an individual commitment that we will not compromise our integrity. We will not recruit and train with the lies that were told to us. We have a pretty good idea of who will and who won’t make it and we will concentrate on them. We want people who already have a success consciousness and can equate this with a business. We need to stop attracting the dreamers with promises that we cannot keep. We need to start with ourselves and then align with other who feel the same way.

  • Dear New Schoolers,

    How many Michael Jordans have there ever been? Where there others of equal athletic ability? Probably.
    Michael is a triumph of self development and practice.

    If Michael can do it, or if Tiger can do it, or if Vince Lombardi can do it, then we all can?

    The potential for greatness may reside in many of us. Only a driving passion heats us up enough to bring it out over years of work. Not many can sustain the desire long enough to persist until they win.

    As Kim has stated many times, Network Marketing companies exist to sell product. They will not be “brutally honest” because of financial loss.

    As mentioned in the post ahead of me, the change has to be one distributor at a time. They will have to be very independent because they will alienate their upline due to nonconformity. This wipes out the ‘system’ factor and much of the incentive to join up with a team.

    So how do you showcase the potential without over simplifying what it takes to reach the upper levels? I truly believe that those at the top of any company have the chemistry on the inside to achieve greatness in any field that they choose to apply themselves to. It is not common, it is not easily duplicated, and it is not easy to learn. For some it may well be impossible to learn, and we should be honest with them. Should they prove us wrong, all the better for everyone.

    I still feel the most honest approach to the whole income thing is to find out how much the potential business partner truly wants. Show them on a customer basis what it would take to earn that size check without team members. Then point out that with the leverage of a team that it could happen faster and easier.

    In my primary company, nearly all full time distributors have personally sponsored over 30 people to arrive. Yet the industry average is less than 3 personally sponsored. Quite a gap.

    Show ’em what it takes,
    Tom Doiron

  • Kim,

    I started Home Business Success University to combat the confusion out there about “network” marketing, online marketing, internet marketing, etc. so that the people who try to kluge all of them together can be found out. I dont care what you promote as long as you are honest about what it is really about and how to be successful. I would like your permission to give you the credit but post this at

    I love it when you talk dirty! Go to the honest side of the room as you always have been.

    Ben Pittman
    Home Business Success University

  • Every one wants the money. Not every one wants to work. I am honest when I speak with people. I do not lead them to think it is easy nor over night and had many back out right…and I would rather than get them involved, they lose their money and my time. Good post

  • Hello.

    As far as my experience is concerened, most of the testimonials are fabricated. I personally prefer network marketing with a goos product which i test myself. then i contact the guy under whome i want to join the business. lots of people claim fake success, i call them posers. asking them proof of there success really pisses them off. its really hard to differentiate between posers and real successful mentors. what i do choose a product and then learn things myself, i dont get disheatened if my sponsor ignores me coz at that point of time i know that the product is worth promoting. I think network marketing is all about building a relationship, earning trust and then making money!
    its simple.. Learn , Earn and then return!

    NES Freedom

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