TNMM December2023 “Ask Uncle Russ” by Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

Dear Uncle Russ:

In your opinion, which is more effective; a “warm” or “cold” market approach?

Valerie G.  Dallas, Texas

Dear Valerie:

I took the position, some time ago. that “warm” or “cold” market prospecting is built on a false premise; That whether you know someone or not is what makes people more likely to be a prospect…with the warm market being preferable and favored. But what if it’s not whether you know someone, or how well. but rather a conversation that establishes a connection that produces a possibility for a prospect? This means that rather than figuring out how to sneak up on your brother-in-law wondering about what to say, you get to PICK anyone who interests you and pay attention to who they are. what interests them, or what they are concerned about. Listening without an agenda is one of my favorite ways to prospect AND find new friends.


Dear Uncle Russ:

How much time do I need to put into something like this before I can see a decent amount of income, ie. a few thousand a month?

Intrigued  Davenport, IA

Dear “Intrigued:”

The “easy” answer to this, and the one you may expect, would be the tiresome adage that your results will be commensurate with the time and effort you put forth. However, I’ve learned that that isn’t always so. I know people who spend HOURS  and hours and work their tails off….with little to show for it. I know others who seem to do very little APPARENT “work” and produce some pretty exciting numbers. Here’s what I believe; results are a function of the right types of actions…even if those actions take very little time.

How long does it take to create 5 conversations a day and listen for an opportunity to connect?

What are the criteria for earning a few thousand a month? Volume divided by # on the team equals “rank.”

5% of 40,000? $2000 a month. Promote, enroll, consume, teach, and teach to teach. Less effort and geometric results.


Dear Uncle Russ:

Is there a difference between an illegal pyramid, a Ponzi scheme, and a network marketing opportunity?

“Skeptical Spouse” York, PA

Dear “Skeptical:”

Not according to some people. Aside from one being a legitimate and legal business model that produces over 200 Billion in Sales revenue worldwide each year and the other two being illegal money games, yes. There are several important distinctions. A “Ponzi scheme.” created by Charles Ponzi, in Italy, in the late 1800s is an investment scam where the illusion of profits and interest is created by paying prior investors with a new investor’s principal. This inevitably must collapse and new investors dry up. A famous example in recent history would be the Sam Bankman-Fried debacle, still in the news.

Pyramid schemes are most often confused with network marketing due to the”shape” of distribution resembling a “pyramid”…much like a corporate flow chart. People again, “invest” their money and recruit others to do the same. The money of the new recruits is used to pay commissions to the former recruits. WHERE IS THE PRODUCT? Nowhere. mon frere! There is NO product or service for the consumer. Therefore no value. All that is given is the opportunity to recruit for money….which of course is zero value! This, like its cousin. the Ponzi must collapse as there is no consumer and no product or service or “value.”  HUGE RED FLAGS.

A legitimate Network marketing company is always easy to spot. They almost ALWAYS lead with a unique product or service that addresses the interests or concerns of a large buying public. Customers are a priority and many people will buy the product with no commitment to a business opportunity. You cannot “buy” a position. A large and expensive may NOT entitle you to a  higher commission rate. Distributors are not paid a fee or commission to recruit others to sell. More and more today, a premium is placed on CUSTOMER acquisition as much as beginning Brand Builders. Commissions and bonuses are paid on product sales and volume EXCLUSIVELY. 

One last thing: Ponzi schemes and Pyramids require only two things; Money and recruiting others. No plan. No strategy. Legitimate MLM requires thought, planning, strategy, commitment, and passion. 

Pretty easy to see why one is a multi-billion-dollar business model and the other two crash 100% of the time, isn’t it?

Love, Uncle Russ…


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Russ DeVan
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