Matt DiMaio


It was probably in the mid-1980s when I came across an article about selling that compared it to catching fish. It could have been Dan Kennedy who wrote it, but even after much research, I don’t know for sure who should get credit for my original inspiration.

Since then, I’ve adapted it to explain how you can become an expert recruiter in network marketing. I’ve adjusted, customized, and personalized this talk about being very specific to the recruiting process. Over the span of many years, I have delivered it a multitude of times to my live audiences.

Here are the 3 essential rules for catching a boatload of fish.


It seems obvious enough, but many people seem to ignore this basic rule.

If you are fishing on this side of the lake, but all the fish are on the other side, I don’t care how well prepared you are, or how skillful you are… you’re going home with an empty boat.

Maybe you like fishing on this side of the lake for your own personal reasons. Perhaps it’s convenient and close to your dock. It’s nice and shady. It’s very picturesque and you like the view. You’re comfortable there. But, as I said, if the fish are all on the other side of the lake, you’re just wasting your time.

Here’s how it relates to building your team. You need to know your target audience and where they spend their time, both online and offline. This helps you to focus your marketing efforts on the channels and platforms that are most likely to reach your ideal customers.

You need to gain new skills so you can navigate effectively. You may want to become good at calling leads. You might want to learn how to use social media marketing better, with all the latest techniques.

Don’t stick with your regular methods simply because you’ve grown comfortable using them. Sometimes you’ve got to get into unfamiliar waters and explore parts of the lake you don’t know very well. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and go where the fish are.

Rule Number Two: USE THE RIGHT BAIT.

I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But if I’m fishing for trout, I’ll probably need to use worms as bait.

Trout don’t like my PB&J. They like worms. I don’t understand their reasons and they don’t care about mine. I love my PB&J, but they won’t bite on it. And don’t you dare try to feed me a worm sandwich, Yuck!

You’ve got to use the right bait. You’ve got to use what your fish wants, not what you like. It’s the same way when you’re making a presentation.

You can’t completely focus only on your personal reasons for signing up with your company and expect to be successful. Sure, you can mention your reasons. But you’ve got to figure out what your prospect wants. Not what you think they should like.

Unfortunately, the only bait most reps use is money.

“Look at all the money these other people are making”. “Look at how much I’m making”. “Imagine how much money you could be making”.

Money, money, money.

That bait only catches the “money fish”.

But there are other important reasons people join companies.

You’ve got the “helper fish”. Those are people who want to help others. There’s something inside them that drives them to do it.

You’ve got the “joiner fish”. Those are people who want to belong to something. They like the camaraderie. They enjoy the social interactions and the friendships they gain.

You’ve got the “product fish”. Those are people for whom the product needs to make a profound difference. They need to believe in something. They become evangelists for the product once they experience the benefits.

You will NOT catch “helper” “joiner” or “product” fish using only money as your bait.


This is the most frustrating part of the process. You see, sometimes it just doesn’t matter how good your equipment is, or how much skill you’ve got. You could even use the perfect bait. But if the fish aren’t hungry, none of that matters. They just won’t bite.

Sometimes you’ll make a presentation to an ideal prospect. They’d be a perfect fit. You’re sharp. You did everything right. You didn’t make any mistakes.  And still, they won’t sign up with you.

If that fish isn’t hungry there’s nothing you can do about it… EXCEPT… come back another day.

You see, just because the fish aren’t biting today, doesn’t mean they won’t be hungry tomorrow, next week, or next month. You’ve got to keep in touch. You’ve got to go back out on the lake. You’ve got to drop your lines in the water again.

Don’t forget about them. Keep the door of communication open. Stay connected. Otherwise, you risk them being caught by some other fisherman who went to your fishing hole.

So there you have it.

Keep these 3 essential rules for catching a boatload of fish in mind as you go about your recruiting efforts.

As the old saying goes: “Give a man a fish and he eats for today. Teach him (or her) to fish and they eat forever.”

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Matt DiMaio
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