It’s the gory story

Why does prospecting seem to be so hard in our business today?

A skeptical market place is one thing. And that’s partly the result of marketers everywhere making promises and more promises that they don’t keep. See, for example “Consumers Wary about Believing Us Anymore” posted here July 28, 2005.

Add to an already jaded market place the gory story. Yep. One very big reason you have trouble getting people to listen to YOUR promises about the wonders of the business is that almost everyone knows someone who’s spent their rent money and didn’t get the promised $5000-6000/mo for 10 hours/week work. Or they lost their old friends because they nagged everyone they knew to join or tried to make money selling to their friends.

Everyone’s learning the hard way that these days, most people view selling to each other socially unacceptable – for themselves AND their friends. Years ago I lost my second best person, who was earning over $10k/mo, because her friends told her one day that they didn’t want her to come to their social functions anymore unless she stopped selling things there. She quit the business the following week. Her social life was more important to her than the income.

She’s not the only one. The Wall St. Journal reported that people who want a happy retirement should “invest in friendship.” They report, “Research suggests that regularly seeing good friends in the local park will bring a greater boost to mental health than having a shiny German automobile parked outside your retirement home.” WSJ, July 27, 2005. People don’t want to lose their friends.

Losing friends is probably the biggest risk in our business today. Way too many people who failed after the big talk became a laughing stock, and many have no place to go for Christmas dinner. No one wants to be the next gory story.

Back when Amway started 50+ years ago, people were interested in hearing about new things that would help make their lives better. Then they weren’t being bombarded by inane ads constantly – on TV, radio, newspapers, Internet and phone.

Everyone’s trying to escape the pitches today. You watch TV? Do you use the remote or Tivo to skip the ads? Radio has now come up with alternative satellite networks to get away from all the ads on regular radio. The sales pitches of telemarketers across the US got so bad and so annoying that the people of America rose up and demanded legislation against them. So now we have the federal Do Not Call List, with over 70 million Americans signed on. Nobody wants to hear the constant sales pitches anymore.

That’s the current marketplace. Throw in the gory story, and you are really going uphill. What to do?

How about you stop leading with promises about what your business will do for others? Or asking for people who want to earn $5k/mo part time? Stop making promises about their income. If it were that easy, why do 95% of those who start, quit?

How about you surprise your prospect instead?

Instead of promising the moon to entice her, how about FIRST asking her how much she’d like to make and how much time and experience she has?

THEN offer some options. For example, say she’s a woman with a family who wants nylon money – mad money – $300/mo, and she might be able to commit 5 hours per week. Say she’s done some retail sales in college.

How about you show her how to find regular customers for the product first? Forget the recruiting. Go for the customers, because there are WAY MORE of them than sales types. Most part time women say they prefer getting customers over doing recruiting. And women comprise 80% of our industry. Plus 85% of everyone in the business is part time (according to the DSA). Shall we stop ignoring those numbers and stop catering exclusively to the full time men?

Make sense?

Do you really want to be someone who creates another gory story for an unsuspecting woman, because you can’t keep the promises they told you to make to her?

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About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Kim, Your frank approach is right on in todays selling environment. I have been in sales for 30 years(selling to New Car Dealers) with some part time efforts in NM because I enjoyed the personal development and training programs. I hated the BS about the income opportunity that I was taught to duplicate. Your teaching is responsible and has a high degree of integrity…I have been watching and listening to you for some time. You are bringing professionalism to the Industry… I appreciate you.

    John Charles Steinmuller

  • Thanks for the good words.

    I have always hated the BS about the income opportunity also, especially since not only is it almost never attained, but most of those saying the words online or off, don’t have the income they’re promising, either. And many of those very people use those words and promises to lure in others in order to MAKE THEIR WORDS come true.

    You know, with the income they get from those initial signups and orders based on the promises they made to them.

    This is not the way to build a business that will last, and the 95% drop out numbers testify to that.

    So maybe it will be the new generation of direct sellers and network marketers who will make the change.

  • Hi Kim. As usual, your outlook is right on the mark and refreshing. I took one of your classes a few years ago. I’m one of those who had “one of those sponsors.” I pretty much didn’t know any better, so I left the industry altogether. I was the “Parents of Picky Eaters” student.

    Anyway, I’ve still been getting your newsletters all this time and was in business with my own product and company, but am now going to take another look at network marketing with a new company and a whole new approach.

    I am very excited about the future. I have a no-hype sponsor who has been with the same company for 15 years, is successful and treats her business like a business.

    I’ll be finding customers for the products and if anyone wants to “do the business”, well, then that will be a bonus.

    Patty Gale

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