Recruiting: a pot, a noodle, a one night stand or raising the baby?

Quick follow up on yesterday’s post about direct-selling pots and recruiting.

Similarity off-line: Direct sellers of pots and the NM business both approach people. Or they create ways to put themselves out there so that others make inquiries (flyers, signs, etc.)

(Online, approaching others through email leads lists and screaming success claims is fast falling out of favor for search. We all want to search for things we want when we want, not be hit up uninvited, thank you. So you must be findable online. Another subject, another post.)

Two sides: Is (direct) selling a pot and selling an NM business the same thing?

1. Joe says yes: Sell as many people on the business as possible. He believes in the “throw them up against the wall and see who sticks” approach. To Joe, recruits are just a noodle in his bowl of pasta. Beyond signing them up (and talking up the opportunity), it’s really not his responsibility. He has to bring in more because “they’re falling out faster than I can bring them in.”

If you’re like Joe, then recruiting IS similar to selling pots and pans door to door in this way: It’s a one time sale. Your job is sell the product and go to the next place. The more the better. Many NM recruiters are like that.

2. Lulu says no: Find a few right people and help develop and nurture them because doing network marketing is actually building a business, which will take 3-5 years. Lulu thinks signing up a new recruit is more like having a baby – the one night stand was fun, yes, but now, who’s going to raise and nurture this little being that came from it?

Both types of recruiters have been successful.

Like sperm, both Joe and Lulu need to talk to a lot of people to find the right ones. The difference: Joe signs up as many as he can, Lulu signs up just those she thinks might be a match.

Do you have a preferred style?

Think it’s a male-female thing?

Results so far here.

New. Art of Recruiting Program. Out one week today. 9 audios (MP3s) $63. Download and start listening in 10 minutes.

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I prefer to sign up people where there is a mutual interest and therefore, a match. It makes it easier to work together too and much more fun.

    And I wonder if it is truly a boy-girl thing verses doing what you’ve been taught, since so many people who get in the business do not have any sales experience.

    Paul Eilers

  • Hi Kim,

    Yesterday we were talking about pot(s) now we are on to sperm! What a fascinating blog.

    This pair of survey questions was difficult for me to answer. If someone came to me and wanted to join the program, I can only imagine a few extreme circumstances that would compel me to turn them away. Haven’t found a crystal ball that works with any accuracy and therefore have no way of knowing who will and who won’t work to succeed.

    I wouldn’t fish for marlin in a farm pond. Likewise your marketing should target the prize catch. So the “anyones” or “everyones” should already fit a specific profile.

    On the boy/girl thing; my first thought was that men are the hunters and women are more likely to be the farmers. In the lion kingdom, the lioness is the hunter, but they don’t do veggies either.

    We all have met manly women and womanly men. Furthermore, both sexes have both sex hormones; so I am going to say this is more of a personality/character thing than a gender thing.

    A quick comment on the pots and pans: any salesperson is going to reap much better results pursuing qualified prospects rather than anyone. As you mentioned in your post Kim, the cookware salesperson is not going to be coming by every week to make sure the customer is using the product correctly. A recruit begins a relationship and hopefully a long one. I have never and would never “close” a recruit in the same manner I would a cookware customer.

    Tom Doiron

  • My style is to recruit the “selective masses.” I look for a certain profile up front and then target that group. If anyone in that group decides this is something for them I then go through a more in-depth interview to see if we are a match.

    These days I target only three groups: real estate agents, mortgage brokers/loan originators, and financial planners/consultants/registered reps. Why? Because they are already doing what we are doing. I’m just introducing them to a way to potentially do it better by building a business beyond their local market.

    As long as you are being upfront about the challenges of the business, and someone still wants to join, its rare you should have to turn anyone away.

    And when someone approaches me who does not fit my chosen profile, then I am even more direct about the difficulties of the business, and use a series of filters to find out if they have the foundation to make a go of this. Sometimes they do but often they do not.


  • I firmly believe there are a lot of recruiters of both genders out there that recruit anything that breathes and move right along to the next breather. However, I think the more successful recruiter will then nurture and “raise” that recruit to be successful in their own way, and help them find that way. The true nurturer will develop a relationship that will encourage the recruit to stick it out for the long haul that it really takes to be successful.

  • I’m more like Lulu, however, I don’t turn people away, I attract the ones I want to do business with. When you build your business this way, it will be a much stronger organization. Let people come to you. No rejection. Never get a NO again because you’re not asking a question. Just be yourself and people who like who you are will ask what you’re doing.

    If you do business like Joe, you will NEVER be able to retire. You may be a “heavy hitter” however, your organization will disappear without you constantly recruiting “new blood”. I don’t want to do business that way. I prefer to build a secure financial future.


  • I klso meant to say that if someone did come to me, I would take that as a good sign of initiative and true interest and have no compunction about signing that person up after making sure they shouldn’t be signing up with someone else who may have done all the groundwork. It’s the recruits you have to pursue that you want to think twice about actually recruiting.

  • Kim I’ve had people contact me about joining my company and after talking with them I told them it didn’t sound like a fit for them. I won’t sign up everyone. Just like an employer will not hire everyone seeking a job.

    It only takes a few good people to be successful so I only sign up a match. Numbers do matter, you have to go through lots of people to find a match. Having huge numbers of reps isn’t worth it if they aren’t the right ones.


  • All of this begs a question…how do you know who is qualified, a match, call it what you like. I’ve seen the most likely to succeed, a great match, fail miserably, and I’ve seen those I wouldn’t have given a second thought to, rise to the top.

    Everyone should be given the chance, if they want it, by giving them your attention, your help, and your friendship. If they choose not to do anything with it, that is their right and decision, but wouldn’t you be sad if you discovered that you didn’t think they were right for you business, turned them away, only to discover that they succeeded wildly with someone else?

    I prefer to make my opportunity available to anyone that shows an interest, give them all I can, and see if they will take it and run. When I say “give them all I can”, I mean support them encourage them educate them, as much as they desire, and pray that they will succeed. Remember, you can never judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, too many are attempting to judge the book by just that.

  • Very interesting, Kim. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) might have something to add to this topic.

    TCM describes people’s health and other issues in terms of balance between “yin” (receptive, ‘dark’, yielding, night, intuitive, wet, etc) and “yang” (active, “light”, doing, aggressive, logical, hot, etc) energies. The goal is a dynamic dance between the two, as needed in moment-to-moment life.

    But for generations, our culture at large has been heavy on the “yang” and deficient on the “yin” end of things. Think about it: our ads that scream, rushing around to recruit everybody within 3 feet of us, blasting ‘we’re the greatest’ at conventions, hyping people up whenever possible. In an individual patient, the ultimate result of this focus is using up life force much too soon and getting sick! Of course, over-emphasis on the ‘yin’ leads to problems too: stasis, swelling, pain, inactivity.

    You can find out-of-balance “Yang” energy in both men AND women network marketers. “Yang” is rewarded in the social culture of many companies, whereas “yin” is overlooked in its contributions. Even so, “yin” energy (nurturing, enduring, tempering, etc) is what keeps the company going while the wild “yangsters” are running around screaming.

    Personally, I want to get much better at being ‘findable’, responsive, and able to work well with those for whom my company’s products are a fit. It involves searching out good marketing methods (using my “Yang”) but also being willing to listen to others (“Yin”).

    Over the last several years, your blog has kept giving me good treatments, without acupuncture needles. 🙂 At times when I needed to take action, comments in these blogs have helped; the same has happened when I needed to wait and listen.

    Thanks, everybody.

  • Hi Michael…I’m wondering if you could elaborate a bit more on the three groups you target. Do you mind sharing with us your methods for getting these types of professionals to look at your biz? I would love to read about your proven strategies!

    Regards, Karen

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