Seriously, how many people do that…

In over 12 years working in and around Network Marketing / Multilevel Marketing, one of the things that fascinates me is the prevalence and reliance on a recruitment methodology which, it seems to me, is flawed from the very get go.

The question I often ask people is: When you woke up that morning, you know the morning of the day that you were first introduced to Network Marketing, did you already know that you wanted to start a business or more specifically a Network Marketing business?

Unsurprisingly nearly everyone answers: “No”.

The challenge, as I see it, is that from then on everything that happens is about convincing a person that

1) they have some lifestyle / work-life balance problem that could do with being solved

2) they need network marketing to be the solution

3) the company that you represent is the right company and solution for them

Now of course, this isn’t how it plays out exactly. There’s often a conversation, a call, a message or a text about having a catch up, meeting for coffee. Over a coffee (or online) the conversation is kept very light and chatty about what’s going on in their lives, what are some of the problems “challenges” they face, what’s holding them back, what if they had more money, time, what difference would that make etc etc – sound familiar?

Then there’s the conversation about, “if I could show you something that would … (solve the problem)… would you at least be interested in taking a look?” Or “That’s very interesting, I may have something for you…”

And so on and so forth until they sign in the magic box which means they are now a fully joined up Independent Distributor embarking on their new business.

At this point the goals and aspirations have been changed somewhat and are now considerably bigger than earlier in the day (and certainly bigger than when they woke up) and there’s a new glint in their eye – is it excitement or madness?

Now, I could talk in some detail about the journey that they will embark on, but let’s get back to my first question. When they woke up that morning (ok by now it may have been a few mornings ago, but it may actually have been that very morning!) did they wake up knowing that’s what they wanted to do?

Anyone who has started in any business knows that it is not a decision to take lightly.  Most people spend some weeks, months and even years working out that that’s what they want to do and what they need to put into place to embark on and work through those early weeks, months, even years before their business gives them anything tangible in return.

So the conundrum here is why do Network Marketers constantly approach people who weren’t looking to start a business? Why do Network Marketers spend so much time and energy learning skills to cleverly convince people that they have problems and that Network Marketing is the way to solve them, Why do Network Marketers then spend so much time and energy motivating these people to stay on track to achieve their new goals and aspirations, and why do Network Marketers spend so much time and energy creating and implementing a training system to teach their new team members to do exactly the same thing?

Here is just a small sample of articles available about the recent rise in business startups:

Britain hits record number of startups as more aspiring entrepreneurs take the plunge

FSB small business statistics

More Young Entrepreneurs launch startups in the wake of recession

Why, when the facts are clear that more and more people are starting up new businesses, and looking for the right business opportunity and DID wake up that morning thinking about starting a business and possibly even a network marketing business, do Network Marketers ignore this and set about convincing a whole load of the wrong people to do something that it is highly likely at some point they will work out it’s not what they want at all (or that what is needed to make it work, isn’t for them)

Contrast that with those (few) Network Marketers who answer yes to my question – these are the ones who are committed to the journey including the ‘apprenticeship’ because they were already looking for something, when the right opportunity was brought to their door.  

So much time, effort, energy, blood, sweat and tears is wasted focusing on the wrong people, and then teaching those wrong people to focus on the wrong people…

Surely,  as in any business, those resources would be better focused on sourcing a more targeted group of people such as:

  • Those looking to and/or thinking about the idea of starting their own business
  • Those who have already worked out that they would like to find an additional income stream, and are researching their options

And how about providing ALL the relevant information, making it readily available (no ‘gate keepers’) very easy to access, plenty of opportunities to get questions answered – with no ties – before signing up to anything. The Network Marketing model IS a very sound business model. 

That seems a much more sustainable and business-like place to focus time and resources… particularly as there are clearly a huge number of people out there, right now, looking to start a business.

Now, maybe that IS something to wake up thinking about? Or is that just me…

Michelle Turner-Davidson is a speaker, trainer and mentor specialising in developing people and teams and taking the fear, hype and struggle out of network marketing. 

To find out how Michelle can help you, or if anything in this article resonates with you, do get in touch. You can fill out the comments below, email her at or connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter @MichTD,  Facebook  or check out the rest of this website 

Share This