Recruiters: What Are You Gonna Sell If It’s Not the Money?

How to turn it around…Recruiters, are you ready?

Readers know the FTC has had it up to here with certain advertising practices. Namely, 1) repeating big results (income) testimonials when those results are not typical (see here) and 2) not telling up front that you are getting paid to say nice things about products (See here).

In the MLM business, recruiting with big income testimonials has been standard practice for decades. And big income is emphasized at the annual conventions: isn’t it mostly the big earners on stage? Is that what brought you in too?

Then they add the zinger – Jeff used to be a waiter/tuna boat fisherman/house cleaner, etc.

Bottom line: no special skills are required, no special education, all you have to do is give us your money, then just talk to people. Anyone – even (gasp) you, the prospect – can earn big income fast.

Don’t get me wrong. The problem is not that someone has not earned obscene income. It’s that almost no one else has earned any income to speak of. (See here for the latest such report with Pre-Paid Legal this time. Numbers are similar across major MLMs.) The companies know this. The big recruiters know it. But the prospects don’t, most having no previous business experience.

When a person believes (yes, naively and probably desperately) that financial salvation is right around the corner, why would she prepare to build a real business of her own? There’s nothing to prepare for, is there? Didn’t all those cheering people say she’d just see checks coming into her bank account for talking to people?

I believe this discrepancy – being sold the big income, but instead earning too little to even cover her monthly minimum monthly purchase requirement – is the biggest reason people “fail” and drop out. And it’s 80% women, since we’re 80% of the business.

We can do better.

Let’s start over. Recruiters: what are you gonna sell if it’s not the money?

I will assume that you are not lazy, and that you either have or are looking for something to believe in, get behind and sell. Is that true for you? If so, read on.

To restart your brain and change our world, answer these questions (if you prefer use the private survey here).

  1. Why (besides the money potential) are you really doing the business now?
  2. What is the one thing in your business that you believe in most, and why?
  3. Why does what you’re doing matter to you?
  4. What is the one specific thing that you personally think is ‘great’ about your business?
  5. Why do you want the world to know about it?
  6. Who are the people who will give a hoot about this, based on what matters to YOU? (Describe them – people who blah blah and blah.)
  7. Why would someone believe what you have to say about this?
  8. Will you give yourself 12 months from today to learn how to present your stuff so others who share your world view will appreciate it, too? And will you work it at least 5 hours per week?

I might run a tele-seminar based on these questions…one each. Would you like that?

In the next ten days, I will give away TWO Art of Recruiting programs here to respondents who seriously want to pursue a business approach like that above.

Next: How to focus so narrowly you might succeed.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Since over 90% of every companies reps seem to make no income, is it the company's fault of the reps?
    Did all of the people, who do make money,just stumble into it or did they work for it?

    By the way, why don't you post an article on Barry Minkow. I'm sure your readers would find it interesting.

  • I've never been one to lead with "BIG MONEY" as the shouting point. It just never felt comfortable to me as I can't stand hype.

    Freedom and the chance to earn a great income was what brought me in. The big houses and fancy cars make me yawn, and actually turn me off. Not so for some, I guess.

    These new regulations don't bother me at all, EXCEPT that, as usual, the network marketing profession is being somewhat "picked on." And, not that we don't deserve it in some cases, ha!

    The military recruits by selling exciting travel to exotic destinations. Never mind that you might get your head blown off while there.

    Weight loss infomercials and products show atypical results, with tiny little disclaimers that hardly anyone sees.

    People buy into hope. That's a normal human response. If we don't have hope, what do we have?

    I am always upfront with people about what it's going to take to be successful, and given that success means different things to different people, I want to know what their goals are along with their available time; budget and plan of action.

    I'm selling possibility and freedom. It's not hard to sell "lifestyle" to someone who wants out of a job. For most women, $1000 to 2000 a month would bring them HOME from a job, when you factor day care and the costs of going to work.

    For someone focused on more than JUST recruiting (ala – some retail sales thrown in there and developing a customer base) this is not a hard proposition.

    This isn't buying a lottery ticket, people! It's a BUSINESS.

    McDonald's would have never gotten off the ground if they never turned the closed sign to open!

    We have to be OPEN for business and that means taking action!

    EXPECT Success!

    Jackie Ulmer

  • I'm with Jackie. I hate hype. Always have. Nearly did me in early on. (The hype fed to me by my 'then'upline..that did NOT come to pass…i.e. everyone will want my product, everyone will want in my biz, yada) Simply was not the case and was in fact the opposite.

    At any rate, I stuck it out (the industry) and now am successful but it was certainly not easy and most assuredly not overnight. (which is normally what they 'hype'….easy/overnight)

    These posts simply confirm for me that I go about my biz the right way. In my reach out methods, I call it as it is thus reducing drastically those who 'answer' the call but that's how I like it.

    Nothin' worse that watching someone start out enthusiastically based on hype then when their reality does not meet the hype that was carelessly thrown their way, yup..they quit. 🙁

    Thanx for the post. Luv confirmation. Especially when most are still out there hpyin' things up.

  • Hi Kim,
    I really respect what you do, and I have actually done your course. But I must confess, I have not made any headway. I definately belief that you need to be able to sell the MLM companies product, not only to associates, but also to retail customers if you want to consider the venture commercialy viable. I have found this just about impossible. Now this may be the reasons. One, I am a bloke, two I am not a health nut (but really belief in my products and use them daily) I sell (try to)sell supplements etc. I think the true MLM concept is very good, but to tell people they can make money upfront, is I think misleading because 99% of the products sold via MLM are not commercially competive (they are overpriced)

  • Dear Kim,

    I appreciate the purpose behind this post, but please do not use Fraud Discovery Institute Inc. (FDI)and its co-founder Barry Minkow for substantiation. This man is far more despicable than any of the 'scammers' he supposedly exposes.

    Like Jackie, I am selling possibility and freedom. We offer an alternative that can produce with work not by chance. I determine what the prospects are seeking and what they plan to do with it when they get it. As Jackie pointed out, often it is reasonable and not the 6 figure annual income so commonly tossed around. Also it does not take a Ph.D. in psychology nor a battery of tests to determine if an individual has what it takes to succeed in network marketing. To me it is a disservice or scam to pretend they can when you know better.

    I am pleased about the new FTC rulings and only hope they have the budget to hire the staff to enforce them. If acted upon by the Feds, it will level the field and eliminate many that have no product of merit.

    Interesting times all around us.

    Wishing You Plenty To Live,
    Tom Doiron

  • Anon: 90% don't make it in any business of their own. Who knows why a few do and most don't? Sometimes a person makes it the second or third time. My point is that NM recruiters lead with the big money, and that has been very effective for luring peeps in and also is responsible for most of them quitting, because there is no easy money there, or in any other business of your own.

    Cathy – thanks!

    Kerry – I don't know your situation, perhaps it's like you say – you have no cred selling what you sell – but regarding the products, many look-alike products – e.g. vitamins – are very different. No matter what the product, you'll find some cheaper, and some more expensive. Don't you think?

    No doubt if the seller thinks their product is overpriced, they won't sell any at retail.

    Tom – thanks. I've used Barry Minkow before, because much of the data he gets is direct from the public earnings reports the companies have filed, e.g. USANA, PrePaid. His conclusions about that data are obviously debatable, but my point here was that even based on a company's own public earnings filings, most reps don't make any sales.

    I have been a PPL member – as a customer – using their service for over 10 years and have no complaints about the service.

    The problems come when big incomes are used, or "financial opportunity" and such, when so very few earn even enough to pay the monthly minimum purchase requirements to stay active and qualified for commissions.

    I am in agreement with you re Minkow's conclusions, however, and do not agree with most of them.

  • Dear Kim,
    It took 8 of us to change the mindset of the company from focusing on "Bring them in and promise them the universe…" to focus on building a customer base, but when one of the Old School Gurus came to town he told them I will do it the old way and bring your sales up, and the HYPE Machine came back.

    I want people to see how MLM is a true business like any other, and let them know that it has some outstanding advantages that a regular business wishes it had.

    Step1: Build a Customer Base.
    Step2: Find people who want to have and build a Customer Base
    Step3: Teach them how to do so
    Repeat, repeat, Repeat…

    Moustafa Kassim
    Dubai, UAE.

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