“Ask Russ” by Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

What is the best quality I can look for in a prospect? Paul M.  San Jose, CA

In my experience, there may be several qualities that make it more likely that someone will succeed in this business model. Among them are attitude (see this month’s TNMM theme); loving people and being interested in them AND their humanity; the ability to listen; persistence, and even courage.

However, there is one that trumps all others, at least for me: An open mind.

Have you ever met anyone who knows everything? There seems to be a glut in the market for these. If someone already insists they “know” what they think “this” is…more often than not you are dead in the water.

Are there exceptions? Of course. Look for individuals who are open, curious, expansive. A prospect might know a lot of people, be able to sell ice to Eskimos, or have an amazing personality, but if they are not open to the possibility of network marketing working for them, find someone who is.


What do I do if the person who sponsored me quits?

Candy J. Jacksonville, FL

Thank them and wish them well.

Fortunately, in this business model, there is only one person who can be responsible for your success…you. A good sponsor can be invaluable, IF they realize the more you thrive, the better they do. However, many do not.

The good news is a sponsor cannot hurt your efforts, only contribute to them if they are smart. Left on your own, you need a plan to succeed, training, a good strategic alliance with your “Mothership” (The company you’ve chosen to represent – your strategic alliance) time, and a vision for your personal success that includes others.

Then as a sponsor, make a commitment that you won’t desert the partners you enroll, but rather take it on to promise and deliver on three things that don’t include their motivation or success.

1) An example of how and that the product(s) are excellent and how they work and the same for the business (how to promote and enroll successfully.)

2) Direction – Show them “where to go” (prospecting); What to do: Promote, enroll, consume.

3) How to stay in action. Co-create a twelve-month action plan with them, that is based on objectives and rewards they are committed to.

Here’s an industry “secret.” Sponsors never make anyone great. They were great, to begin with. The brilliance of the sponsor is that they “see the gold” and stake their claim!


Why do Network Marketing companies always “make you” get on an “auto-ship” program? How much should I have to spend before I start making money?

 Eddie B. Spokane, WA

I realize I may be dating myself, but I recall when continuity programs first became popular about 29 years ago. From my perspective, they are a good thing for the company because they help to ensure volume and activity by promoting “consumer direct” discounted retail of the product and to enable distributors to qualify for and earn commissions with a minimum commitment of activity.

However, it also creates the impression to some that to earn money in a compensation plan, there is a minimum and ongoing “cost” or liability, which of course, is not the case.

One of the beauties of this type of system is that it is NOT capital intensive. Auto orders are meant for convenience so that you always have the product you are creating a “cash cow” with, on hand for promoting, enrolling and consuming.

As a matter of fact, I recommend that no one should EVER order products just to qualify for commissions. If you are not building anything, there are no commissions to qualify for and you will wind up stockpiling products and eventually quitting.

However, if you make a provision for how much product you and your family will consume on a regular basis; how much you will wholesale, retail, or give away as samples each month; how could a hundred or two hundred dollar auto-order ever be a problem?

In other words THINK like the business owner and entrepreneur you endeavor to be and create an effort that hundreds and perhaps thousands are willing to do, in order to create the combined volume necessary to provide a six-figure (or more) annual income!


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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