You Are The Message

Scary. I’ve preached this before, but I had not read anything like this before.

“To be successful with the words of the 21st century, you will have to…live the words; they have to become you. In the immortal words of Chevy Chase’s character in the movie Caddyshack: ‘Be the ball Danny.’ It’s just that sort of a Zen approach that’s required. As Roger Ailes, the greatest media guru of the twentieth century so accurately put it: “You are the message.” Words That Work, Frank Luntz

Here’s why this is scary: Would you buy health products directly from someone who doesn’t look healthy? You get the idea…

We’re a person-to-person business. We market specialized products and a specialized business opportunity. We have to walk our talk because others judge us in the blink of an eye. The more you can demonstrate that what you’re selling is an extension of who you are (or are becoming), the more success you will have. The busier people are with their lives when you come calling, the more you are the message.

That’s good news for some, bad for others.

Your take?

About the author

Kim Klaver


  • Great post, as usual, Kim!

    It is unfortunate that the majority of people are so opposed to network marketing, due to their lack of understanding of what it really is and how to do it successfully.

    I spent ten years working in the economic development field, and I can't help but see the potential MLM has for re-employing millions more people…if they could get over their prejudices against it.

    There's no sense in trying to force it onto people who just aren't ready for it, though.

    Thanks for continuing to bring some sanity to this profession.

  • Kim,
    True! Very true!
    If the messenger's only focus is words, the messenger probably will not deliver a positive message.
    One must add the non verbal behaviors e.g. eye contact,postures of the body that signal Openness-Truth, physical distance from the customer, tone and pitch of one's voice.
    We read the non verbal actions first! Then we listen to the words!
    We make quick judgments about what is NOT said &/or NOT shown in body language.
    The flip side of this is: we are quick to judge the entire message: words & body language. The entire process is one of "stealth". The messenger's words and actions are seldom, if ever shared, with the messenger.

  • Hi Kim – VERY important point, as usual!! With Social Media – everyone is so "out in the open" and cannot pretend to be an example of their product or their message. That's why I love having a lot of YouTube Videos up and lots of Flickr photos, so that I can connect with others, and often they feel they know me and subscribe to my newsletters because of that. It is so fun!
    Diana Walker, CEO, Diana's Internet Marketing Education

  • I am very healthy since I switched (13 years ago)to the products I now sell. But every now and then I pick up a little sniffle and it is usually when I am meeting with a prospect or doing a wellness meeting. I think they call that Murphy's Law. Hee-hee.

    You posed the question "would you buy health products directly from someone who doesn't look healthy?"

    It always amazes me when I see someone who I know sells supplements and they come to a meeting looking half dead. I sell health, so I truly believe I better look my best when I am out in public.

    As usual, you are right on Kim! Great post.

  • I think it's interesting how this social media world has people hiding and becoming "MLM Coaches" or "Wellness consultants" and a lot of titles when they are really just MLMers trying to find business builders or customers.

    There's a little bit of lying going on here, but eventually, we all get found out- if you're unhealthy, then your products don't do what you say- no matter what the comp plan says.

    I have been a big advocate of taking out the mystery of MLM and just saying "WE ARE CUSTOMERS!!!" and we get paid for finding other customers.

    Then we don't have to be visions of perfect success- we can just be people!

  • Bones – you wrote "social media world has people hiding and becoming "MLM Coaches" or "Wellness consultants" and a lot of titles when they are really just MLMers trying to find business builders or customers."

    Unfortunately – those selling the health coaching programs are appealing to many mlm-ers who don't know how to sell mlm given its negative connotation in the USA especially. So these mlm-ers pay thousands to be able to say they're a health coach, but when folks meet them, well, uh oh. They're not very healthy themselves.

    If a person sells health products and a health opportunity, and they don't have many healthy habits themselves, it shows.

    Suddenly, it's plain that they and their message don't match.

    People will believe THEM – what they see – not their words. Just like someone said here, body language is 70% of the meaning observers get from the speaker. Versus the words they actually utter.

    In direct sales and NM, where we meet people to sell and network, when what you sell is not an extension of who we really are, it's pretty much over.

    Would you buy weight loss products from an obese person? Might be a cruel thing, but if that's the real world, why not start acquiring healthy lifestyle habits to become what you are selling to others?

  • Kim,

    As always you are spot on. Walk the walk. Talk the talk. And look the part.

    I also liked Paul's comment about the MLM industry having the potential of re-employing millions of people. Prejudice clouds people's judgement though. And maybe also the ignorance of many people to educate themselves about the industry. I should know. I once was one of them.

    I am glad that such great individuals as Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump as well as Warren Buffet are helping spread the word about the benefits of network marketing and direct sales.

    Sorry I got a bit off topic.

    Ilka Flood

  • Oh Good- I love it when people I respect agree with me!

    I think we're in for a BIG change in our money system, and the way we do business. Time will tell.

  • Hi Kim,

    This is a really important message in this era of the home business guru who does not know how to build a home business.

    It has gotten really crazy now when after reading magnetic Sponsoring(A good book by the way), the individual who has zero leadership ability and success track record starts to post re-hashed articles showing people how to make money, when you now engage them in a conversation you realise that they have nil substance.

    While I believe 100% in attraction marketing, a lot of people miss the point of attraction marketing, you must first become a leader and then as you demonstrate leadership you will attract potential leaders to yourself, something leaders like you, Ilka and a few others have done quite successfully.

  • Paul – You wrote "the majority of people are so opposed to network marketing, due to their lack of understanding of what it really is and how to do it successfully."

    I agree that many people run when they hear it's mlm or network marketing. No doubt many do not understand it. And here's another big reason people don't want to hear about mlm: they don't want to be identified with "those kind of people." Those who have made no money, and who are screeching about how easy it is to make it, and how their deal or their company is the best in the world.

    Networkers around the world have been taught to tell the story, yes. Only it's someone else's story, someone they usually have only heard about or seen on stage.

    But the new person, with no success in mlm or any other business, is hoping to persuade others to join based on that story, and talking as if they have themselves already done it.

    But when one looks closer and sees the screamer has never been in business before, and has had no real success in any business, folks who know what it takes to build ANY business hesitate.

    Then a month later, the same person is out of the business after hitting up all her friends, well who wants to identify with that?

    As DJ points out, you need some experience and substance in business or health (assuming you are selling health and if not, whatever your product line is), so that you, as the message, don't give off conflicting signs between your words and who you are.

    People pick it up and say, nah, I don't want to be seen as one of those people.


  • With the economy reaching a point where more and more people are looking for alternative income streams, there's a much larger pool of people who initially succumb to the "get rich quick" carnival barkers, but there's also an increased awareness of the many online scam artists (and the scams they promulgate). As a business person, personal use of the product/service (if possible) isn't an option – it's a necessity! Successful Ford dealers don't drive Chevys! Personal testimonials are valuable "ammunition" in the battle for the hearts and minds of prospective customers and business partners as well.

    I personally will NOT try to recruit anyone who doesn't have a STRONG positive opinion about the products and services my businesses provide them with. In essence, I don't "prospect" people – instead, they "volunteer" as satisfied customers who see the earning potential because of the quality and efficacy of the products. I never use the phrase "these products sell themselves" when I'm speaking with a prospect. Instead, I ask them, "Based on your own experiences with these products, they'd be pretty easy to sell, wouldn't they?"

    As an industry, MLM/NM has developed a VERY bad reputation to overcome, brought about by people blindly employing the very "duplication" that most of us were taught to use. Unfortunately, the "get rich quick" myth has been duplicated more than anything else! If we instead start focusing on the people who will actually WANT our products and services, making THOSE PEOPLE our customers, and then converting our most enthusiastic customers into distributors, we start building our MLM/NM businesses the way the whole system was designed to work in the first place.

    Not only will the growth be steady, but retention will be much higher – because people will actually be in profit instead of complaining about the cost of their auto-ship.

    (Sorry about the comment being longer than the original post! We love talking with our listeners about this very topic – and many others on our daily talk show. We'd love to hear from you, Kim, as well as the readers of this blog. )

  • Hi Kim,

    You can't spread the measles until you first catch a good case.

    Beyond looking successful, promoters of health and wellness products need to look the part. Remember how health and happy looking all the cigarette smokers were before the ads were band.

    The president of our company to giant steps to make the corporate employees become more healthy by becoming a living example himself.

    I seldom will spend much time with a smoker who isn't on the quitting side of the addiction.

    I like the transparency of the need media because I detest hypocrasy and fakes.

    Wishing You Plenty To Live,

    Tom Doiron

  • Certainly have missed reading the blog and the comments…Absolutely this reading hit home and the comments along with the answers were very educational and thought provoking…Thanks Kim and everyone…………Edgar

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