“MLMs grow by exploiting people’s relationships.” Really?

“MLMs grow by exploiting people’s relationships.
If you are going to be in an MLM, you must accept
that selling to your friends, neighbors and family is
part of “building your business.” The MLM’s call this
“networking.” But to those not “in” the MLM, it seems as if the
friendship is being abuses or used merely a pretext for selling.
There is no compromise here, try as you might.

“While this is the most difficult point to make, it is perhaps
the most important. Anyone who has any experience with
an MLM has strong feelings, either for or against, and this
is the problem
. Polarization runs deep.” More here

Some network marketers feel this way too. But the quote above refers to
“those not in the MLM”. Are you presenting to those folks?

Here’s a way to keep this emotion from creeping up in a friend. At the end of
your little presentation, be it about the business or the product, ask
this “closing” question:

“Do you know anyone who might like to know about something like that?”

Wait until you get a response. It will be as if you asked the person if they
know anyone who plays tennis.  Wait to hear the answer.  Sometimes,
the right person has been known to say, “Yes, me!”  And if not,
forward, march.  And you have not lost your friend.  That is, if you
let it go.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Another way to keep this emotion from creeping up in a friend is to do what you teach, which is to tell them up front that you market the product or service that you are getting ready to tell them about.

    Another thing. Folks who get a job selling insurance or financial services are usually taught to make a list and go to their friends, family and neighbors. Then they try and convince them to switch insurance or financial companies. These jobs usually pay a draw during training and then it is straight commission. There is a high turnover too.

    The same applies to people who open a hair salon or similar business. They first go to people that they know and try do conduct business.

    So this idea that network marketing is the only industry that teaches people to go to friends and families to market their products and services is flawed.

  • I wonder if the problem is that we (the ones offering the opportunity or product) feel like we are taking advantage of the relationship or friendship of our warm market people rather than we want to help them. If we are talking to one of our friends and asking them if they would rather purchase a product from or take advantage of an opportunity with a friend and have them benefit or from someone they don’t know and have a perfect stranger benefit? Their answer would be from a friend if it is someone they know, like and trust.

  • Great points, Paul.


    One advantage to buying from a stranger (or company) is, that if there’s a problem with the product, it doesn’t strain a relationship that might matter. Somehow, money between friends, borrowed or otherwise, puts pressure on the friendships. Often too much and the friends become not friends anymore. That’s why the “Do me a favor” type come on doesn’t work for some folks. They’d rather do you a different kind of favor, like help you move. For nothing more than the experience and some pizza.

  • So I see there are other members of the NFL ( No Friends Left ) club of network marketing. I stopped approaching friends and families because I never got very far. I have had family members just buy products that I recommend.

    I started online in 2005. A colleague suggested that I start a blog about what I did in late 2005. It took me 2 years to get started with a blog and then I landed one of the most connected network marketers on the internet and built a very nice business. I am still getting residual income from that company. You tell me whether network marketing works or not?? I say work smarter, not harder. The effort I make today will pay me over and over again like the cable, insurance, internet, and phone companies.

  • As someone who has used this approach for years, I can assure you it works. Not everyone will look or listen, but many will, and it takes the heat off of them personally. It gives them the time and space to let YOU know now if they are interested. And the bonus – now it is the prospects idea and not yours.

    This opens up a whole new mindset! How cool is that?

    Always let your warm market know what you are doing, because remember this – everyone who goes online looking for a network marketing business has a warm market. Chances are, someone in his/her warm market is involved in a business that he/she would be interested in – they just don’t KNOW about it!

    I love the internet as a tool to bring in solid leads. But don’t make the mistake of using only this system as it has challenges duplicating for most newbies!

    EXPECT Success!

    Jackie Ulmer

  • Happy New Year, Kim!
    My products have never been something all of my friends and family would want or need. Not everyone has a dog so when I ask, “Do you know anyone who might want to know about something like this?” it’s more likely they will say, well my neighbor cares a lot about his dogs and might want to talk to you…. etc….

    When I started internet marketing with niche products, I knew to seek a few of the right shoppers, not the masses. It’s so much easier to NOT hit up my family and friends to buy, just ask if they know anyone, sometimes:) My business is somewhat a mystery (because I don’t talk about products or business with family) so, often my friends and family ASK me what I’m marketing and how it’s going.

  • Happy New Year Kim!
    I have been using that one liner now for about two months, I have to say; it sure removes any pressure on my part to talk to my family and friends by offering them a chance to either refer someone or speak up, jump up and down shouting yes; ME ME ME!!! And if they don’t shout or refer someone, then I feel I’ve done a justice to myself as well as them prospect to inform them of what I do.

    Great tool! And for the record, Most times I either get the sell or get a referral.

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