AND NO ONE IS CALLING THEM Several months ago I received a call from one of my downline distributors inquiring about a good “MLM list.” Jack then asked specifically if a list of “heavy hitters” existed and how he might approach them. My response was something to the effect of, “Jack, why would you want a list of people who are the least likely to want to join your opportunity?” After all, heavy hitters are people who are making huge monthly incomes (that’s why they call them heavy hitters, right?). I would assume they like making huge monthly incomes and probably would not be too interested in walking away from it to start over somewhere else. NULL
“But Len, think about it,” Jack persisted. “Just imagine if I could have recruited…”. Jack then reeled off the names of four major “heavy hitters”, all well known throughout the industry (we’ll just call them Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice). Jack began to fantasize about the great wealth to be had by recruiting the likes of even one of the four mega-earners he listed. Well, I happened to know the “heavy hitters” Jack listed, and I know their story. Ironically, all four of these men and women claim to have once had a strong skepticism towards network marketing and at one time felt it was something they would never consider being involved in. Yet today, they are four of the richest, most successful network marketers in the country – as are their uplines! “Exactly!,” Jack exclaimed. “So how do we sign up people like that?” Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice were, at one time, not network marketers. Obviously. The fortunate folks who personally sponsored these four did not do so by scrolling though existing “heavy hitter” lists.
They worked hard on opening the minds of people who they thought had a lot of potential, got them to consider network marketing, and today they are set for life.
There are about 11 million people involved in MLM in this country today(1). Therefore, there are about 300 million who are not. This means there are literally tens of thousands of Bobs, Carols, Teds and Alices roaming around this country, right now, who are either completely oblivious to it, or who are very skeptical of network marketing and firmly believe they’ll never be involved in it – who’ll someday make somebody a million dollar income! Tens of Thousands of them! Personally, I think the very best network marketers are not involved in network marketing yet. Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice are only the best out of the 11 million who are involved. The odds are there are many people among the 300 million who are far better network marketers then even they are! We should also draw a distinction between a “heavy hitter” and a “leader”. The term “heavy hitter”, which never seems to get outdated, refers to those who have large organizations and are making, or have once made, a lot of money.
A “leader” is someone who is helping others become successful, right now, and regardless of what opportunity they are involved in.
I know a lot of leaders who are not yet earning large incomes, and I know a lot “heavy hitters” I certainly wouldn’t classify as a leader. Today there is a constant ebb and flow of distributors from company to company – those who migrate like Gypsies from program to program always looking for the better deal. And this segment of the MLM population is huge. The result is that many companies have significant increases in sales volume and distributor enrollments each month, but it’s usually at the expense of another MLM program. There are numerous examples throughout MLM history of companies that experienced strong growth that came primarily from the fall out of another MLM company. The MLM industry is like a huge capsule filled with 11 million distributors who are all within about 1,000 different bubbles floating around within that capsule. These bubbles (MLM companies) are all in a constant state of expansion and contraction. Most of the contents of the bubbles that contract are absorbed by those that expand. The challenge is, each time someone expels themselves from one bubble and is sucked into another, their ability to attract more content, and expand that bubble, diminishes. As distributors jump from one opportunity to another, and another, they lose credibility with their warm market, they lose the trust and confidence of those that follow them, and they lose momentum by constantly having to start over. Ultimately they eject themselves from the entire MLM capsule, with a warning to those outside not to enter. And thus, according to DSA numbers, our Direct Sales capsule has had a net gain of merely 400,000 participants – since 2006. You don’t want the “junkies” that switch every time someone tells them their deal will make them richer, faster, easier, right? You want those in your downline to be loyal and committed, yes? Then let’s be clear. The only people you want from someone else’s organization are the loyal, committed ones – the ones you can’t get! The one’s you can get are those that believed you when you told them your deal will make them richer, faster, easier (or what every benefits you described). As history is now demonstrating, buying your leadership, by paying “heavy hitters” to abandon their team and join forces with a competitor, doesn’t work long term. It is the very antithesis of loyalty and commitment. Some companies have essentially become the Yankees of MLM. That is, rather than build a championship team though effective scouting, recruiting, and good coaching, just buy all the best players from other teams. This clearly doesn’t work in MLM, and it’s certainly not a strategy that can be duplicated by a typical distributor.
We must find future All Stars. Those that will work there way up through our organization and eventually become successful leaders.
History has also taught us what causes an MLM company to go into “momentum”, where geometric progression really kicks in, and the sales graph goes up at about a 70º angle for a year or two. You know, that stage of a company’s growth that allegedly every MLM company in existence is about to enter into! How do we know when an MLM company is really about to enter a momentum phase? We don’t. However, much like picking stocks that are about to rise in price, we can look at historical trends and patterns to make better guesses. And sure enough, if we find every MLM company throughout history that entered an acute, sustained, organically derived momentum phase and analyze what happened right before their momentum kicked in, there is, in fact, a monofilament(2). The one thing they all had in common was a massive influx of new blood. They did not achieve real momentum by Hoovering up migratory distributors from other companies. They attracted those who’ve never participated in an MLM program before, and those who would eventually become the leaders of one. In spite of this, the MLM industry continues to be one that feeds on itself. A great deal of marketing focus, at the distributor level, is devoted to sucking up content from someone else’s bubble, rather than attracting content from outside the capsule. Today, everybody seems to be into retreading existing distributors over and over and dreaming about landing the big “heavy hitter”. The industry has become a sluggish, lazy one filled with a massive sense of entitlement, and a lot of mostly online opportunist looking for something for as close to nothing as possible. The point being, recruiting “outer circle” people (those not involved in MLM) is hard work, and so few MLMers today are into working hard. Why is it so hard? Because outer circle recruitment involves a two, and usually three phase process – and the first two steps can be challenging.
Step one is to open the mind of your prospect as to the possibility of just starting a home based business.
Based on surveys performed by my company, MarketWave, 85% of al
l Americans who do not own their own business do have the desire to be entrepreneurs. When polled as to the reasons why they do not pursue this desire, the four most common reasons were: It takes too much money, takes too much time, too much risk, and I don’t know how. This means that well over 200 million people in this country want to be self employed who are not – and for reasons that do not apply to network marketing! Nonetheless, these are powerful objections and ones that must be overcome before an outer circle prospect would even consider your opportunity. Once the prospect has excepted at least the possibility that there might be a type of business which overcomes all of their concerns, you must then confess that it is called network, or multilevel, marketing. At this point, you may have to address the stigma that surrounds this industry and/or at the very least, educate the prospect on what MLM is and how it addresses their entrepreneurial concerns. The greatest challenge here will likely be that what you are proposing will sound too good to be true. This may actually create even more skepticism regarding MLM in general.
So step two is to legitimize the industry as a whole.
(Gratuitous plug: These first two steps are the basis for my Case Closed! cassette tape. See below.) So to recruit outer-circle prospects, the first step is to open their mind to starting their own business, the second step is to remove all the garbage about MLM that may be in there, and the third step is to then pour new information in by finally presenting your specific opportunity. And as I said, steps one and two may be the most difficult to complete. So, wouldn’t it be so much easier to just find folks who are already involved in MLM, who’ve gotten past steps one and two, and just convince them that your products are better and your compensation plan will pay them more? I mean, why go through all the trouble of taking them through steps one and two when someone else has already done the tough part for you?
Because – if you don’t, this industry will not grow, your downline will be forever turning over as these transient MLMers move on to the next “better” deal, and you will never recruit a leader!
There are tens of thousands of them out there. Get out there and sponsor one. Or four! 1. The DSA’s 15.8 million figure represents total distributorships, not active, individual distributors, and a lot of us still have annually renewable distributorships on the books of more than one company. 2. Which means “common thread” – but I paid $200 for these Verbal Advantage CDs and I’m going to use that damn word for something! Len Clements Founder & CEO MarketWave, Inc. Copyright © 1998, 2012
- Working Multiple MLM Programs: A Gross Fallacy of Logic by Len Clements - June 1, 2013
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- 10,000 UNRECRUITED MLM Leaders by Len Clements - May 1, 2012