They told me make my list of 100 contacts. Should I?

list“I don’t feel like I can call my friends with this, but my upline is insisting. Should I?” So said Sheri on our conference call.

Here are at least two options:

1. If you don’t want to approach your friends, don’t. And don’t give your contact list to anyone if you value the relationships. Instead, use cold market to find customers and reps. There are plenty of reaching out methods for cold market, from giving local talks to running ads online and off.

If your upline insists, tell them goodbye and find other people to work with. There are plenty of New Schoolers who don’t insist on forcing Old School methods onto others, especially in today’s marketplace. Who knows? Maybe later you’ll change your mind. People do that sometimes.

2. There is a way to approach your warm market without really approaching them. It’s the New School warm market referral method. Here goes:

Say you’ve just taken up tennis and you love it. Wouldn’t you be asking around among your contacts – to see who plays?

This is the same. If you’ve decided to market a certain product because you’re enamored of it, or you’ve started the business because you’ve always wanted something of your own, approach your friends with the attitude you’d have if you just found tennis: “I just found tennis and I love it…do you know anyone who plays?”

You must not assume, much less insist, that the person you’re speaking to is the one or should be the one, for your product or business.

Here’s why. Products present values and world views. So does having a business of one’s own.

If you market a natural weight loss or health product, people who are candidates for it FIRST need a world view that says they prefer natural products over the usual fare. It’s that simple. And, everyone does NOT. So why bang on the wrong ones and irritate friends needlessly? They won’t change their world views just so you can sell them something.

You are looking for someone with a world view about your product line that’s similar to yours. Or someone who values having a business of one’s own. Those are the people you want to talk to, and they’re they ones who will give you ear.

So ask people you know for them, ok? Can you feel the difference?

No pressure. No anxiety. No fear. No being shunned next time your caller ID comes up.


The New School referral scripts for customers are here – a customer book and CD program to help you. And here’s help for referrals and for talking in a human voice about your business opportunity – a business opportunity CD set and cribsheet .

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • I think you should always make a list of 100 people (or even 1000), even if you NEVER plan on contacting any of them. This will help you see just how many people are out there to contact. It will also trigger ideas you wouldn’t have without making the list.

    It’s also worthwhile figuring out why you don’t want to call your friends. Are you ashamed of MLM? If so, that could be a huge barrier to your success.

    (It took me a long time before I was comfortable telling work associates that I’m a MLMer. Now, it’s no problem.)

    — Walter Reade (from Wisconsin)

  • Asking for referrals has worked well for me. It is a great relief to me to have alternate ways to market my product and business.

    I did NOT like being pressured to call family, friends, church members, work associates… you get the picture.

    I am also not comfortable with the mall scene or three-foot rule!!

    As you were saying, it is much more comfortable to target my market to those who would like a business of their own or are looking for the product I have to offer.

  • Hum, ih march I did something daring.
    I cold called ‘alakimklaver’ in my city. Instead of product or biz opp. I asked if they knew someone who’s in network marketing.

    I had the most bizzar reactions. I think it just struck them that someone would bluntly ask them and admit that he’s in network marketing.

    Guess what. 3 out of 5 that didn’t hang up said either:
    I’m in a business now.
    I was years ago
    My brother/cousin/friend/wife whateve is doing that.

    So 3 out of five had been or are in NM. Of course I didn’t meet anyone who made any money this way. But they were very open and talkative.

    I did sell some product and recruited some reps and one of them is doing just that, although she moved from CA to Idaho.

    I also used that script at some “get rich” biz presentation to the guy sitting next to me.


  • Thanks Brenda, do what you like, not what they push you do to.

    Yves – rock on!
    Walter, you said:

    “It’s also worthwhile figuring out why you don’t want to call your friends. Are you ashamed of MLM? If so, that could be a huge barrier to your success.”

    What if someone just isn’t ready or doesn’t want to do business with their friends?

    I have always thought that the idea that I must be “ashamed of MLM” was an unfair and underhanded way to force people to do things they’re not comfortable with. My upline did that to peeople constantly and I cringed when he did it.

    Many poeple have made a success of NM it big without contacting their friends, or at least, not until they had success without them. Then, often the friends came to them.

    So another perspective, huh?

  • When I first got started in Network Marketing that’s exactly what my upline and the guys at the front of the room told me to do . . . make a list of everyone I know.

    Well, I tried that, several times. What I NOW realize is that I didn’t know the best way to use that list. What I was being taught was definitely Old School, but I didn’t know any better.

    I made the mistake of trying to email everyone I knew because I recognized early on that I took Nos personally and didn’t recover well from them. And calling people just seemed like an intrusion . . . they were either on their J-O-B or just getting home from, or going to, the J-O-B.

    Nothing I did seemed to work, even having my upline trying to contact people on my list (see, I told you I didn’t know any better).

    I believe that I managed to run my warm market away by trying to tell them everything I knew in an email. Couldn’t get them to a presentation or a conference call. I mean why should they take any action? I had already told them everything!

    Fast forward through the steep learning curve and 4 years later . . .

    I still prefer online contact; have learned how to draw people to me, rather than chase them; and thanks to Kim’s teachings (clearly and succiently stated above), I now know WHAT to say.

    For instance, I sent out several emails today to hundreds of people that I either personally know, or have met online, letting them know that the manufacturer of the product I market has 2 race cars in the Indy 500.

    I stated that I was looking for customers, people interested in saving money on gas and helping to reduce the effects of global warming when they drive, and wondered if they knew anyone who might like to know more about a product like that?

    A Johnson Enterprise

  • Why limit this to Network Marketing?

    What about people who sell insurance?

    Or who sell financial products?

    When you get started with a company that sells insurance or financial products, they too encourage you to call on your warm market first.

    That’s why many times people are hired because of their sphere of influence and who they know.

    So if you’re in the business of selling insurance, do you want to be calling grandma about it?


  • Kim wrote: What if someone just isn’t ready or doesn’t want to do business with their friends? I have always thought that the idea that I must be “ashamed of MLM” was an unfair and underhanded way to force people to do things they’re not comfortable with.

    Whoa! I wasn’t going there.

    I’m a strong believer that people should play on their strengths. If talking to friends and family isn’t someone’s cup of tea, then I see no problem with that. In my case, there are plenty of business ventures I wouldn’t invite my family to participate with me in! 🙂

    All I’m saying is some self-reflection is in order.

    If you don’t want your friends and family even knowing you’re in “one of those deals”, then you may struggle in MLM.

    But yeah, there could be plenty of good reasons you might not want to prospect them.

    — Walter Reade (from Wisconsin)

  • Hmmm…. I’ve been doing network marketing so long, it is no longer a problem at all to find LOTS of leads… both as customers and as potential reps.

    EVERYONE in my community – locally and online – knows I rep health products from home and over the internet.

    And if they don’t know, they very quickly find out, as I just drop the info casually into any conversations. Just drop it – like planting a seed – and then move on.

    My regulars all EXPECT me to show them some cool new things when they visit me – or hear about cool new things when they call or email me.

    Most think that is pretty cool.

    I do NOT make myself obnoxious nor do any hard-sell, nor try to “close” anybody. Nor go on and on and on and on….

    I ALWAYS offer visitors to my home a taste of my yummy juice or other health product and a little brochure about it. I never make a big deal of it, nor give a pitch…. just say something like: “Oh… do you want to taste this great new juice… gives you so much energy”…. etc.

    I just offer them something that may be beneficial to them. Since I consider them adults, I figure they will let me know if they want to get some or not.

    Then I leave it to them to say if they want it or not. 3 out of 4 people want it on the spot.

    And then they often ask me what else I have…. so, then it is show and tell time – usually resulting in an order or shopping on the spot from my little inventory I carry as a convenience to my friends and neighbors and visitors.

    Over the years, I’ve collected LOTS of fine continuing customers and some really quality reps with no pressure, no gimmicks…. just offering something of value without making a big deal or scene about it at all. Nor making a pest of myself at family/friend/community gatherings.

    This strategy works really well…. just like anybody in business would make mention of what they do.

    That’s that.

    For people who are just getting started, they could use Big Al’s FISH BOWL TECHNIQUE. See for all kinds of free tips and ideas.

    Pat Crosby
    Networking Education Resources

  • There are so many approaches you can use with people you know and people you don’t know that comes across in a way that is not pushy. You can build a business any way you want to and that is the great part about having your own business. I know I wouldn’t want to work with a sponsor who insists on doing things their way in my business. The relationship would deteriorate pretty quickly with someone who is not on the same page with me being the new recruit. The one thing I would caution people on is that if you don’t tell your “warm” market what you are doing, you might really be hurt if someone else talks to them and they sign up with another person, so you would want to at least make some kind of initial contact with them about what you are doing. You never know what can happen and if they were going to join your business or be a customer, I am sure you would want them to be on your team or to be your customer. It really does happen.

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