Will curiousity trump teachability in network marketing?

In his juicy blog post, And the curious shall lead us, Nicholas Carr relates how Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, suggested at Google Press Day that “experts and particularly expertise will transition in our lifetime from learned information to learning information.”

In other words, the willingness to learn new stuff will trump already learnt (existing knowledge) as a desirable quality of our experts and leaders…

This doesn’t bode well for network marketing’s duplication-nation promoters.

They ask for new members to be teachable, so they can “duplicate.” However, what are they being taught? If the “already learnt” things don’t work long term, why do they keep teaching these things?

102% drop out rate. So said the president of the DSA one day (because many people sign up for more than one company and drop out of all of them).

It’s ironic that “be teachable” is one of the first qualities recruiters ask for in future network marketers. And then they’re made to learn recruiting and sales methods that are already known failures for most people (e.g. “Go out and share the product and opportunity with everyone you know.”

Instead of asking for people who are teachable and teaching them the same old same old, how about we ask for people who are curious and who are willing to experiment with new ways of selling and talking to people?

Do we dare let loose the actual practitioners to try out new ways of talking to people in the marketplace, so the curious among them can perhaps help reinvent our business from the bottom up?

Since curiosity to learn new things doesn’t seem to be coming from the top down, yet?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • >If the ‘already learnt’ things don’t work long term, why do they keep teaching these things?


    1) People keep buying them. With the high churn, there’s always a fresh supply of new prospects who haven’t heard it.

    2) WTF would they do instead? In some cases the ‘purveyors of wisdom’ appear incapable of fresh stuff and just trot-out more ‘second verse, same as the first’ stuff.

    >Since curiosity to learn new things doesn’t seem to be coming from the top down, yet?

    ‘Yet’! How long do want to be holding your breath in anticipation?

    Traditionally, shift is inspired by people who are supremely pissed off with the prevailing order… folk who don’t have reputations (and a range of merchandise) to prop-up. And it’s founded on a willingness to ask tough questions and demand straight answers… to unflinchingly call into question anything and everything that’s got us this far – decide whether it’s still valid – and add new stuff.

    >How about we ask for people who are curious and who are willing to experiment with new ways of selling and talking to people?

    Yes. Let’s. And it’s not really an experiment. Good principle & practice is ready and waiting to be swiped from ‘real business’… particularly the ‘progressive enterprise’ sector which genuinely operates responsibly, effectively and excitingly.

    Take a look around – it ain’t complicated.

  • Great article and excellent points. This is especially true on the internet.

    For example, people are still write very formally on the internet because they were taught to write formally — just lately some curious folks found that writing informally may be the way to write on the internet.

    Absolutely agree 🙂

  • Geez, you folks like stirring things up, yes? This is great! I am curious to know if anyone on Kim’s blogs has reviewed the proposed new rules from the FTC regarding recruiting. Credible people in the industry, such as Tim Sales, are very concerned about them, but I wonder if they could actually get rid of a lot of the hype and force accountability? I am rarely a fan of government restriction, but…

  • I returned because I was asked to post this quote:

    ‘In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.’ [Eric Hoffer]

    A total lack of restraint prevents me from not commenting on the post of glennjaffas in which he said… >Geez, you folks like stirring things up, yes? …new rules from the FTC.

    Having looked at the url K posted, I’d say we’re ****ed from the get-go:
    Advertising must tell the truth and not mislead consumers.
    In addition, claims must be substantiated.

    When has NM ever complied with that?

    Thing is though, many of the regs and advisories are there simply to make folk feel good – and are enforced too infrequently.

  • Actually, if you go to, Rod Cook keeps pretty good tabs on all this stuff. He has a link to his quick overview of the proposal plus a link to the 117 page pdf version of the proposal.

    Gotta love the Government.

  • I read the page at Sales’ site – along with the GrassrootsActionAlert.

    Seems to me to be a perfect example of the ****wit mentality that characterizes this business… with Sales’ pleading the usual ‘special case’ crap and extolling readers to protest and ‘Feel free to share some important facts about the industry as a whole’ [basically, a bunch of non-specific stuff saying ‘we’re really great’].

    The FTC proposed rule would apply to companies that sell their products through ‘distributors’ or ‘consultants’ that pay to be enrolled as a reseller or a company that offers individuals business assistance. In short, they apply to all companies offering franchise opportunities, vendor machine businesses, and other home-based businesses.

    So what’s the problem? I objectively can’t see any real downside for those who conduct business ethically and effectively. And, they may even benefit if the proposal does as intended… by making it tougher to get away with the usual shenanigans it should reduce the quantity of companies & distributors – and perhaps even raise the quality thereof.

  • Hi–my last email blogsaid that you would be evaluating Young living’s “quck factor” but I haven’t run accross it yet. thanks.

  • My initial reaction is very similar to Gullivers: It would force the proper behaviour, it seems to me. Tim Sales is not an ignorant individual, tho, that’s why I was interested in others’ viewpoints. Thanks, Gulliver.

  • Glenn… I’ve been encouraged by your remarks. If you want contact – chat about things, swap perspectives etc – I’ll welcome it. [And, if you want to remain incognito, no worries.]

    Your profile doesn’t provide a means for me to contact you. I’m reachable easily through this link.

  • Kim
    In answer to your Q Tim Sales now has a recorded call on his website,, that discusses the proposed FTC regs in much more detail. To access this, anyone can click on “This month’s current training call.”
    Hope this helps.

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