TNMM October 2022 “Ask Uncle Russ” by Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

Why does it feel like no one ever wants to do this AND that so many people say that they “don’t know anyone to talk to?” 

Angelica L. – Chatsworth, GA

One of the most valuable things I’ve learned over the years about listening is that it’s not only important to hear what people are saying, but that it is possible to hear what they are NOT saying. For instance, the operative words in the above statements are “….do this…” and “…don’t know anyone…” When someone says the first: “do this,” it’s a lead pipe cinch, they are referring to “this” being sales or MLM. Instead of the natural tendency to give a quick, if not noticeable, “eye roll,” do this instead:


What is the “this” they are concerned about? What was the experience they had that made them feel this way? Are they open to a different possibility for doing what they think “this” is?

“Don’t know anybody” is not LITERAL!  Of course, they don’t mean that literally. What they are not saying is: I don’t know anyone who would be interested in MLM or alternatively perhaps, “I’ve already gone through my friends, neighbors,  and relatives and

I’m not going through that again!”

In fact, you won’t KNOW what they mean precisely unless you ask for clarity. You might say: “If you don’t know anyone, that’s all right. What if I told you that whether you know someone or don’t, ISN’T what makes them a prospect? What if I could provide you with more prospects than you’ll ever need? Would that help? Then would you be open?” Listen carefully and don’t react. Explore what they are actually saying.

 Remember, when you feel resistance, no matter how subtle, ask “Do you have a concern?”

I was at an event recently and someone asked to try the product I was using. They loved it. For the next few days, they kept emphasizing how “interested” they were and asked me if I could send them information. I did of course, with much excitement, anticipating an enthusiastic new customer, or perhaps a distributor. To my chagrin, just a few days later I got an email that said: “Hi! I read over the information you sent me. Thank you but I’m not interested!” Huh? What gives?

D. Neary – Saratoga Springs, NY

Have you ever asked for “more information” or a brochure to be polite or avoid saying no

to not hurt someone’s feelings? We have learned to hear “I’m interested” or even “might be interested” as a “sale”, or worse, a potential distributor, and we set our expectations accordingly.

Understand there is somewhat of a cultural gap between being interested and making a commitment. Ask any car salesperson.

So again, when I hear “interested” I GET interested…in them.

“What, specifically, interests you?” The product? The results? An opportunity to make money? In my opinion, when you explore the level of interest as it first occurs, you are less likely to hear “not interested” later on.

I was speaking to someone about our amazing product and opportunity the other day and they asked me something that threw me a little. They asked: “If this product is as good as you say it is, why would the company use network marketing? Why wouldn’t they advertise or place in major store chains?

J. Yerke – Los Angeles, CA

It has long been considered by many marketing experts that the most effective form of advertising is word of mouth.

This is still true, in many cases, of specific types of products; The most obvious perhaps, being movies, for instance, or local restaurants. What we have become used to, however, is the impact media and commercial advertising can have on any particular product’s sales….quickly- more people in far less time. Here’s the dilemma: It’s EXPENSIVE, and there are lots of middlemen all jockeying for a piece of the profit!

So what if you took that advertising and marketing portion of the profit or budget, and you PAID satisfied customers to “get the word out?” 

This system may take a little longer, but can be far more lucrative and cost-effective for all parties concerned, including the company or manufacturer. It’s called Network or Multi-level Marketing and it produces more than $200 BILLION in sales worldwide each year.

Russ DeVan is a contributing editor to The Network Marketing Magazine and the CEO and Founder of  Success by Design Global, LLC

Russ DeVan
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