Duplication Is a Myth: I Do This Instead by Kim Klaver

Two Faces of Duplication

“Kim, you’re not duplicating…” my sponsor said sternly.

Several months earlier he had advised me to enroll two people every week. When I had done that for a couple of months, he upped the number to three every week. I did that too.

I focused on enrolling new people and spent little time helping my new enrollees bring in people of their own—as I had done in all my previous network marketing businesses.

A couple of months later Chuck said those awful words —

“Kim, you’re not duplicating.”

He was right. I was focused on enrolling people, not helping them enroll their people. And most of them didn’t bring anyone in. So I was, indeed, not “duplicating.”

Duplicate Structure – the Original Meaning

Chuck used “duplicate” as it was meant when network marketing began in the mid-1900s. At that time “duplicate” referred to sponsoring and enrolling the number of people specified by the company’s pay plan, and then teaching those people to do the same.

For example, you sponsor two people who also sponsor two people who do the same, all the way down the line. Or three people might be required — “get 3 who get 3 who get 3.”

This sense of duplication describes the required “structure” of a group. It referred simply to the number of people needed to get paid, NOT how to enroll the people.

Each person buys a certain amount of product every month. That purchase triggers the system to pay.

However, each person was free to do what they wanted to bring people in; they weren’t expected to imitate what their sponsor had done. After all, each individual has their own strengths, their unique background, and their personal goals.

Requiring a specific structure ensures that everyone at each level of the group is paid uniformly no matter gender, color, age or weight.

“Duplication” in this sense refers to a multi-level payment system, one that offers an opportunity for exponential growth and unlimited prosperity — to anyone who “duplicates” that structure.

Duplicate Methodology

Over the years, however, “duplicate” has taken on an additional and substantially different meaning. It includes not just the payment structure but also the methods used to bring in recruits and customers.

Comments like

“Don’t do leads, they aren’t duplicable!” or

“Avoid home parties, they don’t duplicate well” or

“Don’t do ads! The average person can’t afford them.”

show how the original concept of duplication has been extended to the ways people try to bring in customers or reps.

That kind of advice encroaches on a rep’s freedom to use their own skills and strengths to do business. One of my students confided ruefully, “They just shut me down.”

Believe it or not, one influential guru cautioned against doing what works for your business. Instead, he taught his audience to focus solely on what the average person can do.

Even if we buy into that and try to do what the “average” person can do (say, “talk to people”) results vary wildly.

One person may enroll 8 out of 10 people while another enrolls zero — even if they use the same words and offer the same product.

It all depends on who is doing the talking.

Every individual brings their own life force, skills, talents, and experience. Why force anyone into a mold that doesn’t allow them to use what they come with?

Why not encourage above-average people to do their thing? Don’t we usually admire and try to emulate them? Because they typically achieve more and do it better and faster than the average.

Guess who else thinks this?

“Only those who adapt and change survive” — Charles Darwin.

In a constantly evolving market, a rigid approach around the “how” of enrolling people threatens survival, stifles hope, and kills business.

If you agree with Darwin, you won’t be surprised at this little bomb:

The network marketing dropout rate is 104% or higher.

‘How can that be?’ you might ask. Forty-year CEO of the Direct Selling Association 2 Neil Offen, reveals that the rate is over 100% “because many drop out of more than one company.”

Do we really want to continue duplicating methods that result in such staggering losses of good people?

Many years ago in my first ever network marketing company, my partner and I thought we had to duplicate the methods of our “upline” (sponsor). Until we had our own near-death experience with duplication.

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Kim Klaver
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