This is the age old question for all businesses, how do I generate prospects to make sales to. There are hundreds of methods, but as I have learned over the years, what worked yesterday does not mean it will work today, never mind tomorrow or next year. List building, lead purchases, your social media posting, advertising, email marketing, texting, Bluetooth wireless broadcasting, there are many strategies and they all depend on your market focus. What will work for one will not work for another, so you have to focus on those who would be interested in your product or service first and foremost. 

Yet there must be something to the business model, since I see some big business icons like Donald Trump are joining in the MLM parade. I've written about these before, and I'm still looking for one that feels entrepreneurial. Who has a convincing story that will make me feel good and pure as I recommend their MLM to my best startup clients? Do you love them or hate them?
For more information, John Oliver did a fantastic segment about the horrors of MLMs. The 2016 documentary, Betting on Zero, investigates the allegations that MLMs are nothing but legal pyramid schemes. This article also does a wonderful job of breaking down the reasons why MLMs are doomed to failure. I encourage anyone who is thinking about signing up for an MLM to watch these.
The real selling point for MLMs is that distributors can make money in two different ways. The first is money made from commissions from direct selling to consumers. And the second way to make money with an MLM is from the commissions made from sales of distributors below you in the pyramid (these are sometimes referred to as recruits or downline distributors).

Recruitment is an integral part of any MLM, but it doesn’t need to be the focus. Whenever MLMs charge high startup fees, require high recruitment for a commission, do not provide sales training, or otherwise value recruitment over product, that’s a clue that it is not a good MLM to join. Network marketing companies should rely on networks to sell products, instead of only recruiting your network.
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First, Elliot, thank you for this article. Your sense of truly wanting to help comes through and it’s refreshing. Like MommyFinance, I too have suffered PTSD from previous runs at MLM but I have been looking for legitimate ways of making extra income and seems I’m being directed toward trying MLM again. Your article gave me hope that there are some good ones out there. What you said about finding the one that fits me and leaving a legacy for family really turned on a light for me and I greatly appreciate that. A wine business is not quite up my alley but I will certainly direct those who might be interested your way.

One of the reasons why direct selling tends to have a bad reputation is how much hype and deception is used by many representatives to lure recruits. This discourages many, and they end up believing that the MLM companies behind the products themselves encourage this type of behavior. If an MLM company is legitimate, it will always encourage you to be genuine with your customers and potential recruits. If you are absolutely in love with the product, then you will be better able to promote it to potential recruits. As long as you practice good business conduct, then your customers and recruits won’t feel duped. They will be more likely to stick with you that way.


Thoroughly enjoyed reading your mlm breakdowns and the comments, thank you Jeremy. Had a successful mlm business but had to make a decision to give it up or have a breakdown due to ongoing upline bullying so at a big crossroads at the minute. being an ‘older’ lady here in the north of England doesn’t bode well for conventional job hunting in the current economic climate so some serious thinking needed on my part and QUICKLY lol. Thanks again Jeremy x

6. Be a Team Builder BEFORE you have a team. Maybe you are reading this and thinking “I don’t have a team yet”. Well, you need to start acting as if you do have a team. See yourself leading calls, making shout outs to your team and start acting as if you are leading a large team. The simple act of tricking your mind into thinking you have a large team will attract new thoughts into your head that are conducive to having a team.
MLM has stretched its sticky fingers out into just about every product market out there, so it’s kinda hard to do something new nowadays. But Jamberry Nails did it. Their adhesive, custom nail designs BLEW UP when they hit the direct sales floor. They built up an army of over 100,000 consultants in the time it takes most people to get a mediocre pay raise at their 9-5.
Lead generation is important for your business to grow; as a business owner, you however need to know how effective these leads will be for your business. This can be measured in terms of returns on investment and how fast it will be.  The MLM Company should be able to give you an estimate on when they can generate these leads and instigate them for action, and when you should be able to see results.
It is almost impossible to stop the industry because of the amount of investors and lobbyists who are profiting from them. “During the Obama administration, the Federal Trade Commission made its biggest-ever effort to curb this industry when last summer it slapped nutritional supplement–seller Herbalife with a $200 million fine and, as part of a settlement with Herbalife, demanded it restructure its business so that it would “start operating legitimately,” as FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez put it.” (Slate) The current administration under President Donald Trump will be a completely different story and may very well be a boon for the MLM industry. Let’s start with Trump himself. In 2009, he licensed his name to an MLM, which eventually went bankrupt, along with many of his participants. Many in Trump’s cabinet have strong ties to MLMs as well: Betsey DeVos (whose husband is the president of Amway — by the way, DeVos family has donated $200 million to the Republican party over the years), Ben Carson, Carl Icahn (a billionaire who is also a major investor in Herbalife and holds five board seats at the company), and Charles Herbster.
Wow Collette! I’m a new Advocate with doTERRA, as is my wife. She wanted to start using oils to get our family off of medications as much as possible (and now we mostly are!) We chose doTERRA over all the other oils companies because of the process in which they farm and make their oils as well as the great culture they seem to exude. We just felt called to them.
Vayable is the way for local “insiders” to provide travelers with unique, enriching experiences in exchange for cash. Whether you are offering an off-the-beaten path bike tour or an Indian cooking class, Vayable allows you to show others what you love about where you’re from while making money. Vayable Insiders include writers, historians, musicians, tour guides, designers, bankers, architects, foodies, travel agents, students, administrative assistants, philanthropists, taxi drivers and engineers.

Need to sell that couch you inherited from Grandma that’s not quite your style? AptDeco allows you to easily sell your furniture and household decor. AptDeco offers pick up and delivery, handles secure payments, and makes the process seamless. Payments are processed to your bank account within 24-48 hours of pick-up. AptDeco takes 14-19% from your earnings, and all sales are final, unless the item is damaged, wrong, missing or not as described.
When you hit over a billy in annual sales, that’s reason enough to be on the shortlist. On top of that, they’ve been in the MLM game for over two decades, and they’re now the “largest online wellness shopping club” (basically just sounds like a fancy way of saying they sell a lot of miracle diet pills…for our rankings of the best women diet pills are here).
MLMs are also criticized for being unable to fulfill their promises for the majority of participants due to basic conflicts with Western cultural norms.[57] There are even claims that the success rate for breaking even or even making money are far worse than other types of businesses:[58] "The vast majority of MLMs are recruiting MLMs, in which participants must recruit aggressively to profit. Based on available data from the companies themselves, the loss rate for recruiting MLMs is approximately 99.9%; i.e., 99.9% of participants lose money after subtracting all expenses, including purchases from the company."[58] In part, this is because encouraging recruits to further "recruit people to compete with [them]"[4] leads to "market saturation."[22] It has also been claimed "(b)y its very nature, MLM is completely devoid of any scientific foundations."[59]
Not all MLM companies are created equal. Many see an initial burst of success followed by a gradual tapering off of profits, causing them to collapse and go out of business. MLM companies that succeed have sound business models, both for those who run the company and for those who sell product and recruit new sales agents. There are many sites devoted to MLM rankings, creating lists of companies likely to provide a return on investment to sales agents interested in the industry.
1. Be coachable. MLM is a business of duplication. Those who've already been successful will share their secrets to success, and all you need to do is listen and then do what they tell you. Unfortunately, I wasn't very coachable in the beginning. I was successful in traditional business and figured I could do the same things and be successful in network marketing. Boy, was I wrong! Because I didn't listen to my upline leaders, I didn't make any money at first. Successful MLMers have been there, done that--and have the paycheck to prove it--so be coachable, and duplicate their success.
I’m torn. I use Rodan+Fields but never considered being a distributor. Then a friend of mine introduced me to Jeunesse and got me fired up to be part of his team. I said “yes”. But now I’m wondering if the company is right for me because a) I read some negative stuff online about the company, the products, lawsuits, however the team is amazing! b) I actually really like what R+F has done for my skin therefore I feel I connect with the company more.

Tons of great tips, John. What holds most people back is their mindset. I had to go through almost thirteen years of personal development to really get my thinking right. I was my own worst enemy. I also think it’s important to pick one company, find a mentor, develop a game plan, work every day, and stay with one company for 10+ years. Just my two cents. What do you think?
A very key point in this business is to invest as much of your time on those you sponsor as you do on your own business. If you fully understand that unless everyone you sponsor is successful you won’t be. This is why you must become a teacher in the most basic way. Be honest and be very logical. Take whatever you learn from your leadership and pass it down. Do not become a free spirit and begin doing your own thing.
1. Never assume the people you recruit are going to take building your network marketing business as serious as you do. This is a very common mistake. Ask them why they joined and what they hoped to gain and act accordingly. You should be happy as heck with anyone who wants to just stay on as a customer instead of trying to push them into something they don’t want to do which will just make them quick. There will always be more people using the product and not building than those building.
I have been looking over your sites and viewing the many videos. It sounds appealing however there are many many . . . many lead generators out there, some that are well established (and very good at what they do) and so my question is why would I pay you to train me for 5 weeks and think I could compete (let alone generate income) in the short period you mention?

Here's my best advice: Find a mentor. While your mentor may be your direct sponsor or part of your upline, he or she may also be an independent advisor who's in no way connected with your MLM company. Some, such as a consultant, may charge you a small fee and help you evaluate various business opportunities in order to select the right one for your special talents. Others may mentor you for free and possibly guide you to opportunities they feel good about. It's part of their job to earn your confidence and respect. You may choose to be sponsored by them in one of their favorite companies, but don't feel obligated. Don't forget to check their references and dig into their credentials.


Don’t get overly caught up in the numbers game online. It’s great to max out your 5,000 connections on Facebook, but only if those connections are the right ones. In addition to people you want to connect with personally, you will want to make sure that you are only connecting with people who have the potential to do the following three things for your network marketing business.

As a Postmate, you may deliver food from a restaurant, a Frappuccino from Starbucks, or someone’s dry cleaning. Set your own schedule and earn up to $25/hour. To work, you must be over 18 and own a bike, car, truck, scooter, or motorcycle. Postmates receive 80% of the delivery fee and 100% of any tips they make; money is deposited into couriers’ accounts weekly.


I agree with you that much of the industry is flawed, but what about an MLM that has a service rather than a product such as electricity. It’s not like that could go out of style or that once you buy it you don’t need it again or that your monthly supply is too much and you’re going to stop the monthly subscriptions. I can honestly say that I cannot stand most MLM companies because regardless what you believe or how much you like the product, if you have to try to convince someone else to use it then inevitably the system is flawed and eventually your residuals will dry up. Electricity though, that’s different in my opinion, no one has to convince me to use it, it just comes by default. Find me an MLM that is not selling so much as showing someone an alternative to what they already have to pay and I’d be interested.

MaryAnne, I would recommend finding a product that you LOVE, a product that you feel can benefit the people around you and who you feel integrity with. You want to find their products useful so that you will feel good about buying them every month and want to share them with other. It is a business, but you also want to be able to have fun with it too
Any readers on this page who haven’t gotten started, I encourage you to find a company and get going. I’m partial to mine, but Charles is in a great company as well. If you’re not familiar with him, I can tell you that even though we are in different companies he is truly a leader with an abundance mindset. He’s always been supportive of me from the beginning and willing to add value to my life.

Many companies suggest making a list of 100 people you know, and while that's not wrong, you should consider that most successful MLMers have very few people from their original list of 100 people in their business. In most cases, friends and family who are in the business often come AFTER seeing the MLMer's success. Success in MLM comes from treating it like any other business in which you focus on the people who want what you have to offer. That means deciding who the target market is for your products/services, as well as the business opportunity.
They’re sliding, though. Revenue is falling in North America and their sales force is shrinking. Revenue slid 19% in 2013 and 7% in Mexico. Skip ahead to July 2015 and revenue is still spiraling downward, with a 17% drop (5). Analysts blame Avon’s failure to maintain a strong identity for its products as well as the strong dollar. Lesson: Always re-create yourself.
Here is how they mostly work: You sign up and pay the buy-in fee to receive your startup kit, and then you start clogging everyone’s social media feeds about your new venture and beg your friends and family to join you on your “journey to financial success”. You host a bunch of fake parties and wine tastings or worse, you meet up one-on-one to catch up and the whole thing turns out to be nothing more than a demo and sales pitch where you guilt your friends into buying stuff they don’t want or need. After you subject them to that, you then try to recruit them to join your team of consultants, or whatever term your particular MLM uses.
Not all MLM companies are created equal. Many see an initial burst of success followed by a gradual tapering off of profits, causing them to collapse and go out of business. MLM companies that succeed have sound business models, both for those who run the company and for those who sell product and recruit new sales agents. There are many sites devoted to MLM rankings, creating lists of companies likely to provide a return on investment to sales agents interested in the industry.
A company that cares more about recruitment than it does about selling products will not invest much in training resources for its distributors. Pyramid schemes are designated as such by their focus on leveraging your network to buy their products through recruitment, under the guise of “startup costs” and “startup packages.” Extensive training programs that focus on teaching you how to sell products instead of how to recruit more will be an important clue in your research.

Making friends and build relations with people is too important in the network marketing business, it helps you to understand people’s psychology and mentality. Join groups and start to talk with people, share your hobbies and make relationships with them. You can also make a profile on social media like twitter, linked in, facebook and start to communicate and makes your relationship with them.
7. Teach to Teach and You can go to the Beach. This might be the biggest of all the Network Marketing tips I can offer you. Yes this is a people business but it is still a BUSINESS. If YOU are the only one that can answer questions, lead webinars, etc, you aren’t teaching your team how to operate in your abscence. Teaching to teach means you answer questions in a way that the person asking the question can then tell any reps they recruit where to also get those answers. HINT: If each time a teammate asks you a question has you on the phone for 45 minutes vs pointing them to an existing training, you gots some work to do!
Make a decision that you will master this and not give up. Make up your mind to learn and develop the skills to be able to recruit. Make up your mind to pass your fear of talking to people and come out of your shell. Your decisions should be bigger than your fears and insecurities. Even if you are an introvert, make up your mind to make it a priority and do it whenever you choose.

Parking Panda is the #1 solution for online parking reservations. Are you a parking garage operator? Parking Panda can help increase traffic to your garage by providing you with serious internet visibility, and it allows you to change rates based on special events and peak hours, gather detailed reporting, and improve customer experience.Own a private space you’re not using all the time? Post a free listing with ParkingPanda and earn immediate cash when someone books your spot. Set your own price and schedule, and you’re ready to start making money!

With so many of the fastest growing MLM companies pushing to have you join, it can get confusing when you’re looking at MLM products, compensation plans, where to get leads, marketing tips, and most of all – can I really make money with this? What you need to remember, is that the best MLM to join in your situation is going to come down to one thing – finding a product and a business you are excited about sharing!


I don’t know much about World Ventures, Greg. I do have some very respected friends in the business who build that business and I do trust them. In ANY network marketing business, it more often comes down to what the independent business owner is putting IN to their business. Are they following the plan religiously? There is no company out there that can legitimately promise a get-rich-quick plan. You have to assume MLM is a 4+ year build – and only then when you’re going full-out. Most people don’t have the stamina for that – but if they do or can learn it, people can make a lot of money in many different companies.
Great listing and especially the honest look at what being in an MLM means. Direct sales is a hard business, especially if you’re not passionately using the product daily. You see too many people who join thinking it will be a get rich quick scheme and don’t actually care about the product or their customers. Genuine lasts and is successful, companies like Avon and Mary Kay have been around for generations because people love their products.

Appreciate the hard work studying this… Im apart of the #1 company on there Advocare… have been for 7 years and one of the higher paid single guys in the nation… I just have to disagree with “over priced Products” comment. There is a mark up on every product in the world… Our products actually work which is why those endorsers you mentioned turn down high level incomes with other companies to endorse us for a stipend of products per month. Advocare has numerous people making a great profit and even more just enjoying a product they would pay double what they do for to feel the way they do. Success rate isnt low my friend… Its just the quit rate is through the roof. Highly recommend everyone seeing this and you sir to watch “Rise of the Entrepreneur” by Eric Worre on Itunes to get some serious facts about the MLM industry. Thanks for all the research and blessings!

Writing and commenting in MLM niche forums is yet again another great way to generate free MLM leads. Network marketers hang out on forums reading, writing and asking questions. When a new expert shows up on the forum answering specific questions, the regular readers will go investigating to find out who they are, and a new relationship will start to form.


98. People today want to be understood. They wan to feel like they matter. And the greatest 2 words you can say, are "I understand." Agree with them in part, by jumping over to their side of the fence, and seeing it from their perspective. You may not totally agree with their view, but you can understand it, and that will go a long way to connecting you to that prospect. Understand first, then take a stand second, with that in mind.
Ray, This is awesome, so awesome, I decided to schedule a webinar on it tomorrow night for my affiliates in my system. I know I say this to you all the time but you are what I call a TRUE 21st century MLM Team Builder. One that truly help people become successful, not just sell product or just recruit for the sake of recruiting but for the sake of truly helping people which in turn creates longer lasting income. Like you said on a blog a while back. Do you want to be a top recruiter or a top money earner? Your blog is my resource of powerful nuggets.
You need to learn this: People do NOT care about your MLM Success, it is ALL ABOUT THEIR Potential Success. Yes, you need a good personal testimonial, but down play it and make your Success a STRONG possibility for your prospect or new leader, and then show them that you will work hard to help them achieve it. It is NOT about You, but all about THEM. If an ego needs stroking, stroke their ego, not yours.
2. Develop your dreams, goals and objectives. Studies have shown that very few people have written dreams and goals, yet those who do achieve high levels of success. Identify your dreams first. As yourself, if time and money weren't inhibitors, what would your life look like? Describe your dream house in great detail. Likewise, get a mental image of your dream cars, vacations, wardrobe, lifestyle and so on.
90. This little tip works like crazy. When you are calling someone back, have the focus that you are simply reconnecting that prospect to the dream they shared with you. "I really enjoyed our last conversation about the new home you were dreaming about. What a beautiful home that would be. I saw one similar yesterday in a homes magazine." This will get them focused BACK and RECONNECTED to the Emotion that their dream carries. THEN you are back to where you need to be to talk further.
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