Recruiters: Dec. 1, 2009. Adapt Or Risk Being Sued by the FTC

“Everyone I’ve signed up is either dead or dying. How can I get someone who will DO something? Especially now that we can’t lead with the big income anymore?”

Yep, after December 1, no more big income (or big any result) testimonials. Not unless you also tell what the typical results for the typical person doing the deal are. It’s not enough anymore to say “results not typical.” (See FTC release here.) The relevant language:

“Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect.” More here. (ital added – kk)

No one who sells via big stories wants to tell you what consumers can generally expect. It’ll ruin everything.

If anyone ever found out that almost no one makes much money (who’s putting forth effort) in money making ventures, be it MLM or Internet marketing, who would buy? The big boys know this.

Several of the biggest Internet marketing ‘make money’ gurus have already announced their exits from the make-money business, moved it outside the US, or announced they’ll no longer use income testimonials. See here.

I think the MLM/Network Marketing business has a much brighter future than some of the other options. Because – we don’t need to sell based on giant (and atypical) income. Instead of marketing money, I suggest we market meaning.

Consider the advantages when you stop selling the money:

1. Peeps who quit ALL thought big income was going to come much faster and more easily than it does. The new FTC regs forbid those big income testimonials (unless you also tell, at the same time, the typical results peeps get). So retention should improve greatly. You didn’t lure them with easy, big money. Right?

2. No big income stories means you won’t miss anyone except the get-rich quickers. Because. While money IS one reason people start a business of their own, it is almost NEVER NEVER NEVER the main attraction. See here for the top three reasons Americans want a business of their own. Note: Money wasn’t the reason the Google boys started their business, either (see here)

3. Last, money is not the reason thousands of folks stay in MLM, I mean the masses without much income. Here’s why they say they DO stay in.

We can do the business for much MORE than the money. How about for the meaning it gives your life and that of others? I believe this is the only way the industry can remain a viable business option long term – to people who are long term doers, not screamers and hype-filled chatter boxes. Aren’t you sick of them ‘friending’ you on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and littering your email box? Yuck. Get-rich-quickers.

“It’s not the strongest who survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin.

Here’s a little video I just made, to keep things on the light side. Work in progress. 3 minutes.

If you’d like to learn how to recruit with meaning, and create meaning testimonials, contact me here and perhaps I can arrange a class for your group or your company.

Dec. 1, new FTC rules take effect. Isn’t it time for you and your babies to adapt your recruiting to the new FTC rules? You can. I’ll help you. Do you believe meaning trumps money?

“The market for something to believe in is infinite” – Hugh Macleod

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I am so relieved that I don't have to compete anymore with those who market the money. I was never comfortable with it because I knew the big money only happened for a very few; thus I chose not to market the money anyway.

    I love your term "market meaning." And I think there are a lot of women especially who will really relate to it.

    Thanks, Kim, once again for saying it so perfectly.

  • “It's not the strongest who survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin."

    So true, Kim. If I may draw a parallel here to the mortgage industry which my husband is in. Over the past few years there have been so many changes and new, stricter, regulations for mortgage brokers, that over half of them quit the business. Of course most of those who quit were in it for the money in the first place. Those who stayed were in it to genuinely help people.

    I see the same thing happening in the network marketing industry. Those who were in it for the money are leaving. Good riddance!

    I welcome the new FTC regulations. And those who are in the business for the right reasons will as well. We're looking in to a bright future!

    The cream always rises to the top!

  • Interesting Post. I believe it is the honest who will survive on the long run. Using testimonial videos on big income is not in my interest. I rather use some testimonial text/email and videos form happy clients who've used our products and have improved their wellness and health. That our online marketers make more or less money isn't the problem. It is up to them to promote and sell, thus making good money (like in all jobs – only hard work pays!!!).
    When network marketing companies use fair pay plans it isn't all to tough to earn extra. But just to many people believe that all they have to do is wait for the overhang… and since they all wait, no earnings.

  • When I first was introduced to network marketing, I was surprised to see things like, "retire tomorrow with this comp plan, I make $100,000 a month and so can you!"

    How in anyone's right mind can they believe that all they have to do is take a magic pill and poof. Financial freedom?

    Personally, I knew it was wrong to sell people on the money. That's why its so hard to recruit people that want to build businesses. They don't want to hear get rich quick schemes. They want to hear about legit opportunities.


  • Maybe Dec.1/09 will be D-Day that will separate the wheat from the shaft.

    Too many unscrupulous marketers have been taking advantage of desperate people and giving them a bad taste after their experience with online marketing.

    In the end, it's content that rules and what you can give back to a community that should be driven by value not greed.

  • Hi Kim,
    Thanks for this post…I've heard that the FTC was meddling in our lives again but couldn't find what they were up too without spending money at some gurus site. I just wish that they would mind there own business…we aren't stupid! 😉

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