“Ask Russ” by Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

What advice would you have for someone who has tried network marketing many times without success and is still willing to give it another shot?  

Marlene L.  Dearborn, MI

First, I’d like to acknowledge your courage and persistence; wonderful qualities to note when you are looking for prospects.

I’ve actually been there and suffered the ridicule of family and friends for not “coming to my senses.” Then, one of the most memorable mentors I’ve ever had, said to me: “Russ: have you ever noticed when something doesn’t work, you’re always there?” He taught me an objective formula for evaluation that has served me well and I’ve been teaching ever since:

“What worked? What didn’t? What was missing?”

It is quite easy to get swept up in hyperbole and fear of loss, and not take responsibility for what YOU are going to create. People buy products from and enroll in YOU and what you are doing and how it includes THEM, not an obscure third party with which they have no control or connection.

Did you experience the product personally? What is your plan for success? That’s right, I said YOUR plan? Does your plan depend entirely on whether the company succeeds? Are you promising more than you can deliver? Here are four questions to remember. No one will ask these to you, but if you can answer them for yourself, you can create anything with whatever Company you have deemed a reliable strategic alliance:

“What am I building?” (What is YOUR company out to create? What is your mission statement?)

“Who does it include?” Who are you PICKING to share this journey with? This turns prospecting from “getting” people into honoring them!

What does it provide?” Provide you; Provide others; Provide the world, even? ie: Health? Rest? Freedom from Pain? Security? Choice? Personal development? Unlimited new and exciting relationships?

“Why would someone want to be a part of it?” (Why would YOU want to be a part of it!?)

Finally, the jury is out on whether the system works or not. It does. The key, in my opinion, is having fun, creating a plan, and then being responsible for your own success and not relying on any company to provide it.


“How’s it working for you?” OR  “How much money have YOU made, so far?”   N. P. – Sarasota Springs

I love these! They are different versions of the same GOTCHA question.

The person asking this is banking on embarrassing you into admitting you haven’t made money because you are new and therefore they might be able to decline on the basis of “Prove it and then I’ll join!”

So how about this as a reply: “I only recently started (my) company and have many conditions of satisfaction other than just income.

Among them are eliminating my debt, building a global business (I love to travel), owning my dream home, and having a high six-figure monthly income within the next three years. But to answer your question a little more directly, in just this short period of time, I’m already in black ink every month!

What’s your plan? 


“I have a similar program to yours that I’m already currently working. What do you offer instead that’s better and why should I join?” 

Martin B. – “Somewhere Down Under”

It’s difficult to answer this question unless you know what they are comparing you to. I would ask:

 What are you creating?

Why did you choose this Company, product or opportunity?

Is it meeting your goals and expectations?

Is there anything about the experience you struggle with? Sales? Recruiting? Prospecting?

Do you have a close relationship with your sponsor?

Does the company, as a supplier, meet all your needs?

What are your short-term and long-term plan?

The purpose of these questions is for you to be able to listen intently for (guess what?) That’s right! What’s Working? What’s NOT working? and What’s missing?

They would NOT be asking this question if they were “cutting a fat hog!”  Despite their answers, remember that there is one thing you can offer them that absolutely NO other company or opportunity in the world can: The greatest sponsor on the planet! (YOU!!)


Russ DeVan is a Contributing editor to TNMM and the Founder and CEO of Success by Design Global, LLC

—Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan
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