And no one is Calling Them
By Len Clements (c) 1998
Several months ago I received a call from one of my downline distributors inquiring about a good “MLM list.” Bob then asked specifically if a list of “heavy hitters” existed and how I might approach them. My response was something to the effect of “Bob, why would you want a list of people who are the least likely to want to join your opportunity?” After all, heavy hitters are people who are making huge monthly incomes (that’s why they call them heavy hitters, right?). I’d assume they like making huge monthly incomes and probably would not be too interested in walking away from it and starting over from scratch.
“But Len, think about it,” Bob persisted. “Just imagine if I could have recruited…”. Bob then reeled off the names of three major heavy hitters, all well known throughout the industry (however, we’ll just call them Mark, Jim and Ken). Bob began to fantasize about the great wealth to be had by recruiting the likes of even oneof the three mega-earners he listed.
Well, I happen to know Mark, Jim and Ken personally, to varying degrees, and I know their story. Ironically, all three of these men claim to have once had a strong skepticism towards network marketing and at one time felt it was something they would never consider being involved in. Yet today, they are three of the richest, most successful network marketers in the country — as are their uplines!
“Exactly!,” Bob exclaimed. “So how do we sign up people like that?”
Mark, Jim and Ken were, at one time, not network marketers. Obviously. The lucky folks who personally sponsored these three didnot do so by scrolling though existing heavy hitter lists. They worked hard on opening the minds of people who they thought had a lot of potential, got them to consider network marketing, and today they are set for life.
You see, there are about 5 million people involved in MLM in this country today. There are about 285 million who are not. This means there are literally thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of Marks, Jims and Kens roaming around this country who, right now, are very skeptical of network marketing who think they’ll never be involved in it — who’ll someday make somebody a million dollar income! Thousands of them!
Personally, I think the very best network marketers are not involved in network marketing yet. Mark, Jim and Ken are only the best out of the 5 million who are involved. The odds are there are many people among the 285 million who are not that are far betternetwork marketers then even they are!
Today, there is a constant ebb and flow of distributors from company to company — those who migrate like Gypsies from program to program always looking for the better deal. And this segment of the MLM population is huge. The result is that many companies increase in sales volume and distributor count each month, but it’s usually at the expense of another MLM program. There are a number of examples of companies that experienced growth in 1995 that came primarily from the fall out of another MLM company. The People’s Network grows — Quorum shrinks. Pre-Paid Legal grows at the expense of The People’s Network. When Matol saw huge defections a few years ago, most went to New Vision, which is where all the Natural World distributors were just merged into as well. Usana grows, Växa shrinks. Likewise with Life Plus’s growth in 1994, which came at the expense of Kaire and Sterling Health. Gold Unlimited goes away, a dozen other gold and silver programs get a jump start. The examples are endless.
Really, no company has experienced legitimate momentum in the last five years. Not like Herbalife in 1983, or NSA in 1987-88, or Nu Skin in 1991. Or, to a lesser extent, Quorum and Melaleuca in ’92 and ’93. The point here is that these companies created this momentum by bringing in massive amounts of new distributors from outside the industry. And as a result, the industry grew as well.
But not today, at least not like in the eighties and very early nineties. Today, everybody seems to be into retreading existing distributors over and over and dreaming about landing the big heavy hitter. The industry has become a sluggish, lazy one filled with a lot of spoiled opportunist looking for something for as close to nothing as possible. And the opportunities available to them have exploited and perpetuated this to no end. Where there was once an industry made up of merit based opportunities that rewarded those who worked hard, retailed, and actually trained and supported their downline, there is now an industry full of fluff programs with token products that will basically sell you the farm for a small monthly personal purchase. Again, the point being that recruiting “outer circle” people (those not involved in MLM) is hard work, and so few MLMers today are into working hard.
Why is it so hard? Because outer circle recruitment involves a two, and usually three phase process — and the first two steps are very tough ones.
Step one is to open the mind of your prospect as to the possibility of just starting a home based business. Based on surveys performed by MarketWave in 1989-91, 85% of all Americans who do not own their own business do have the desire to be entrepreneurs. When polled as to the reasons why they do not pursue this desire, the four most common reasons were: Takes too much money, takes too much time, too much risk, I don’t know how. Understand, this means that over 200 million people in this country want to be self employed who are not — and for reasons that do not apply to network marketing! Nonetheless, these are powerful objections and ones that must be overcome before an outer circle prospect would even consider your opportunity.
Once the prospect has excepted at least the possibility that there might be a type of business which overcomes all of their concerns, you must then “confess,” if you will, that it is called network, or multilevel, marketing. At this point, you will very likely have to address the stigma that surrounds this industry and/or at the very least, educate the prospect on what MLM is and how it addresses their entrepreneurial concerns. The greatest challenge here will likely be that what you are proposing will sound too good to be true! This may actually create even more skepticism regarding MLM in general. So step two is to legitimize the industry as a whole.
(Gratuitous plug: These first two steps are the basis for my Case Closed! cassette tape. See below.)
So to recruit outer-circle prospects, the first step is to open their mind to starting their own business, the second step is to remove all the garbage about MLM that may be in their, and the third step is to then pour new information in — by finally presenting your specific opportunity. And as I said, steps one and two may be the most difficult to complete. So, wouldn’t it be so much easier to just find folks who are already involved in MLM, who’ve gotten past steps one and two, and just convince them that your products are better and your compensation plan will pay them more? I mean, why go through all the trouble of taking them through steps one and two when someone else has already done the tough part for you?
Because — if you don’t, this industry will not grow, your downline will be forever turning over as these transient MLMers move on to the next “better” deal, and — you will never recruit a heavy hitter!
There are thousands of them out there. Get out there and recruit one! Or, recruit three!!!