TNMM September 2022 “Ask Uncle Russ” by Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

What do you think the best thing to say is when a potential customer or prospect asks “How does this product work?”____ JY – Santa Monica, CA

Well, the safest, and also, in my opinion, the most powerful is simply: “I have no idea, but here is MY experience with it.”

The courage of conviction that comes from a personal experience, wins hands down over a mountain of product knowledge or information. Why? Because it is INCONTROVERTIBLE! Most of us feel thrown to give a thorough or even scientific explanation, that can actually border the slippery compliance slope called “cures and/or health claims” which need to be avoided at all costs. EVEN when drugs are advertised on TV as treatment or cures, rarely if ever is the science disclosed for HOW the product does what it does but it is mandatory that they reveal potential and often dangerous side effects. I recently came across a brilliant product that uses a non-invasive holographic energy technology to provide: protection from EMF; deeper sleep and rest, energy, and even relief from certain discomforts. I remain CLUELESS as to how it works, but stick a little disk on and POW- no explanation necessary. Here’s one safe little trick, I’ll often use if pressed, with nutritional or supplement products. Have the prospect look up the key ingredients online. There will usually be tons of third-party studies, research, and literature showing the health benefits that are in your product.

But trust me; unless you are a doctor or a scientist, “I don’t know” is the way to go.


According to my husband, in “these things” only the people at the “top” make money. Is this true?_____ Cristina P. – Thailand

Sometimes….. but the good news is, YOU are at the top!

Each independent distributor is the top or head of their own organization: The CEO, The President, the “Big Cheese!” lol. However, I know many, many companies of ALL kinds, where people, particularly salespeople out earn the president…why? Because they produce more and are incentivized to do so!

This particular assertion, though, more often than not, is a reference to an illegal pyramid scheme. In an illegal pyramid there is no product, service, or value being exchanged for money; the hallmark of a legitimate distribution model.

The only thing driving the illegal pyramid is the ability to recruit people who put in money that pushes people up the ladder to the top.

Sooner or later, people stop recruiting/ putting in money, and the cash flow stops. The people who got in early might have gotten their money back or made a little…the others lose. Perhaps a lesson in greed and stupidity but certainly far cry from the thousands of legitimate Multi-level marketing opportunities that combine to produce upwards of 200 Billion in sales worldwide, each year.


I’m looking for a network marketing opportunity. What are the most important considerations, in your opinion, that may help me pick the right one?_____ Mike P. – Greenville S.C

Love this question, Mike. I truly wish more people would create a “criteria” for what they are looking for, rather than operate on hype or impulse, which often leads to expectations not being met.

So here are some of my TOP things to look for. 

For me, everything begins with the product.

Did I use it?

What was the result?

Can I be passionate about it?

What is the need or market that it addresses?

If you have a product or service that can PROVEABLY make people look better, feel better, or live longer…

Winner winner chicken dinner!!!

I don’t join or get involved with companies; I pick a strategic alliance/supplier. So who owns it? What are their experience and reputation? What is the company’s vision or mission? Does it align with mine and my core values? 

I never bought into the “debt-free” come on. It’s fine for a company to carry a little debt. Commissions to be paid are considered debt. This is a line that often attracts suckers who don’t want to do due diligence.

Speaking of commissions.

I’ve always wondered how every company can have the BEST compensation plan. Of course, they can’t. Best is a relative term, a comparison to something else. It doesn’t matter how MUCH the compensation plan pays, how easy is it to get at? The “Holy Grail” of network marketing has always been long-term residual income. It’s not in “fast start bonuses,” retail profits, recruiting contests, etc. in my opinion. So instead of building or figuring out a compensation plan, figure out what you are building as an income first, then figure out how to “use” the compensation plan to get it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a matrix, binary, unilevel,,, whatever…I want to know if I can average a 5% override on the volume in my organization and what the criteria to do that are.

Before picking the right company for you, ask yourself these questions:

Am I passionate about this product or products?

What is my vision for my company/ what do I want to build?

Who would I include or enroll in that vision?

What do I and my products provide in the world?

Why would someone want to join me?

Russ DeVan
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