The Problem With The ‘Friends And Family’ Approach

brotheryellingtosister_artur84-fdp.net

Image: Artur84 @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ah…the classic “make a list of 50 (or 100) of your friends and family” strategy.

This is what we’ve all been told about how to properly grow your business by the leaders of the company and your upline.

After all…why would they tell you different? Your success is their success.

Right?

And when you think about it, the whole idea of ‘duplication’ through people you already know sounds pretty easy, too, doesn’t it?

All you have to do is…find 3 people, and then help them find 3 people, and teach them to do the same and… voila!

Well, much to most people’s delight, there are 4 major reasons why this is the “less than ideal” approach to build your downline.

The “Duplication” Model Requires People To Be, Well…Non-Human

You see, the majority of people simply are not leaders.

People want to be led.

If you’ve been in this industry for any length of time, you already know that *most* of the people you recruit just won’t work the business like you wish (hope?) they would. Why this happens is a very complicated discussion in psychology I won’t go into here, but regardless of the reason…it’s just a fact, and the sooner you accept that *most* will not work the business, the sooner you’ll start making serious progress.

So, regardless of your approach, if you’re expecting every person you recruit (or even most) to work the business like a superstar…you’re in for a big disappointment.

The bottom line is: If you want to be successful in this business, YOU are going to have to build this business yourself.

Yes, it is likely you will find a superstar here or there, and that will be a very nice bonus, but they’re not very common and I don’t recommend betting your financial future on some kind of “hope” or “maybe” marketing. There are far better ways to lose sleep at night.

You Can’t Scale It Up

Assuming you are one of the lucky few to be blessed with more than 50 friends and family you have great influence over, this isn’t even the start of any real numbers.

First, even if you actually COULD meet with each one of those people in person, and if you got your presentation down to just 60 minutes…the MOST you could do is 24 people in a day (that’s if you don’t stop to eat, sleep, or anything else).

To build any successful business you need to expose your message with numbers…BIG numbers.

We’re talking 100’s of people per day …and the more the better.

PLUS…as your business and skills grow, you’re going to need to expand your numbers even more.

So, even if you could fill a conference room with 20 people every hour, on the hour for 10 hours a day…that’s still only 200 people per day that you’re reaching.

Yes, that would be some nice numbers, but it’s sure a LOT of work and there are much easier ways to hit those numbers while lying around in bed until 1:00PM in the afternoon (ask me how I know!).

Sure, there are some who will say, “Well, I just started and already recruited 15 people from my circle and I’m going strong.”

That’s great, but there are two problems: A.) You’ll eventually run out of your circle …and B.) Even if you don’t, the people you bring in don’t have your circle of influence or your recruiting superpowers, which brings us back to the first point about nobody else will work the business like you (if they work it at all) simply because they don’t have your skills and resources.

Do you REALLY want a whole downline of people… who do nothing?

Of course not.

“Positioning” Strategies Are Ineffective

Positioning is the single most powerful marketing strategy…bar none.

This is where you are perceived as an expert and the better choice among the competition.

Positioning strategies have created more millionaires and billionaires than any other business approach.

Period.

This is the exact strategy used by Wal-Mart, Proctor & Gamble, KRAFT, Nike, Apple…the list goes on and on. They know how to be perceived as the ‘better choice’ in the mind of millions of consumers.

Even your network marketing company is using positioning (they’re just not telling you about it).

Consider this: How can you suddenly be perceived as an expert about something you’ve never done in the eyes of someone who’s known you for many years and knows you just started your venture?

You can’t.

However, you can easily position yourself as an expert in the eyes of thousands and thousands who’ve never met you.

Remember how I said: People want to be led?

Guess what…they want to be led by someone they perceive is an expert (hint – hint!).

And finally…

It’s Hard On Those Relationships

Sadly, I’ve seen good friends quickly become distant over this.

You know what I’m talking about.

They don’t hang out together anymore or answer the phone…maybe you KNOW someone this has happened to…?

In the worst cases, I’ve seen things become very ugly…divorces, bankruptcy, loss of a home…all because one person’s blind faith and hope that the ONLY way to build their business was to badger everyone they know about their “fabulous” business opportunity.

It makes me sick to my stomach every time I hear another one of these tragic stories…all because the person had an undying belief in what is predominantly poor strategy.

There are the select few who have built successful businesses using this model (and will send me hate-email for this post)…and that’s great for them.  But this model just doesn’t work for the majority of people out there.

You need a better plan…one that works for EVERYBODY.

Reach out to me and I’ll show it to you.

brotheryellingtosister_artur84-fdp.net

Image: Artur84 @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ah…the classic “make a list of 50 (or 100) of your friends and family” strategy.

This is what we’ve all been told about how to properly grow your business by the leaders of the company and your upline.

After all…why would they tell you different.

And when you think about it, the whole idea of ‘duplication’ through people you already know sounds great on paper, too, doesn’t it?

All you have to do is…find 3 people, and then help them find 3 people, and teach them to do the same and… voila!

Well, much to most people’s delight, there are 4 major reasons why this is the “less than ideal” approach to build your downline.

The “Duplication” Model Requires People To Be, Well…Non-Human

You see, the majority of people simply are not leaders.

People want to be led.

If you’ve been in this industry for any length of time, you already know that *most* of the people you recruit just won’t work the business like you wish (hope?) they would. Why this happens is a very complicated discussion in psychology I won’t go into here, but regardless of the reason…it’s just a fact, and the sooner you accept that *most* will not work the business, the sooner you’ll start making serious progress.

So, regardless of your approach, if you’re expecting every person you recruit (or even most) to work the business like a superstar…you’re in for a big disappointment.

The bottom line is: If you want to be successful in this business, YOU are going to have to build this business yourself.

Yes, it is likely you will find a superstar here or there, and that will be a very nice bonus, but they’re not very common and I don’t recommend betting your financial future on some kind of “hope” or “maybe” marketing. There are far better ways to lose sleep at night.

You Can’t Scale It Up

Assuming you are one of the lucky few to be blessed with more than 50 friends and family you have great influence over, this isn’t even the start of any real numbers.

First, even if you actually COULD meet with each one of those people in person, and if you got your presentation down to just 60 minutes…the MOST you could do is 24 people in a day (that’s if you don’t stop to eat, sleep, or anything else).

To build any successful business you need to expose your message with numbers…BIG numbers.

We’re talking 100’s of people per day …and the more the better.

PLUS…as your business and skills grow, you’re going to need to expand your numbers even more.

So, even if you could fill a conference room with 20 people every hour, on the hour for 10 hours a day…that’s still only 200 people per day that you’re reaching.

Yes, that would be some nice numbers, but it’s sure a LOT of work and there are much easier ways to hit those numbers while lying around in bed until 1:00PM in the afternoon (ask me how I know!).

Sure, there are some who will say, “Well, I just started and already recruited 15 people from my circle and I’m going strong.”

That’s great, but there are two problems: A.) You’ll eventually run out of your circle …and B.) Even if you don’t, the people you bring in don’t have your circle of influence or your recruiting superpowers, which brings us back to the first point about nobody else will work the business like you (if they work it at all) simply because they don’t have your skills and resources.

Do you REALLY want a whole downline of people… who do nothing?

Of course not.

“Positioning” Strategies Are Ineffective

Positioning is the single most powerful marketing strategy…bar none.

This is where you are perceived as an expert and the better choice among the competition.

Positioning strategies have created more millionaires and billionaires than any other business approach.

Period.

This is the exact strategy used by Wal-Mart, Proctor & Gamble, KRAFT, Nike, Apple…the list goes on and on.

Even your network marketing company is using positioning (they’re just not telling you about it).

Consider this: How can you suddenly be perceived as an expert about something in the eyes of someone who’s known you for many years and knows you just started your venture?

You can’t.

However, you can easily position yourself as an expert in the eyes of thousands and thousands who’ve never met you.

Remember how I said people want to be led?

Guess what…they want to be led by someone they perceive is an expert (hint – hint!).

And finally…

It’s Hard On Those Relationships

Sadly, I’ve seen good friends quickly become distant over this.

You know what I’m talking about.

They don’t hang out together anymore or answer the phone…maybe you KNOW someone this has happened to…?

In the worst cases, I’ve seen things become very ugly…divorces, bankruptcy, loss of a home…all because one person’s blind faith and hope that the ONLY way to build their business was to badger everyone they know about their “fabulous” business opportunity.

It makes me sick to my stomach every time I hear another one of these tragic stories…all because the person had an undying belief in what is predominantly poor strategy.

There are the select few who have built successful businesses using this model (and will send me hate-email for this post)…and that’s great for them.  But this model just doesn’t work for the majority of people out there.

You need a better plan…one that works for EVERYBODY.

Reach out to me and I’ll show it to you.

5 Comments on “The Problem With The ‘Friends And Family’ Approach”

  1. I sold [MLM co] years ago and failed miserably. I was taught to do things the old way of chasing down family and friends. I had amazing health results with the [MLM co] product line and it still wasn’t enough to convince anyone. I came in not knowing how to run a business like this and my millionaire upline did things the old way. I remember doing a 3 way call with him when I had a lead who was really interested. I was so embarrassed by the end of the call and my lead wanted absolutely nothing to do with [MLM co] as my upline insulted her career and put her down for working as a radiologist in an attempt to build up [MLM co]. I still believe in the product with all my heart, but I know the business building strategies are completely broken. Now that I am wanting to jump back in I know I have to do my research and learn to run my business on my own without the damaging “help” of my upline. As I read through the things you have to teach my eyes are opened just a little more to what I need to do. I have so much more to learn still and refuse to start my business until I am fully educated. I don’t want to set myself up for failure ever again.

    1. Afternoon Lindsey: I read your informative letter through Mike Lewitz. Can I ask which company you were promoting and what business you were trying to start up.

      Myself I switched stores by buying from [MLM co] and I truly love the products and want to continue using them. I did purchase the conversion pack and got rid of all the toxins in the house, love those products. I started on their wellness program and it is helping me lose some weight and I am honestly feeling oh so much better since being on their vitamins!. I am trying to talk to people about what a great product I am using and how it could benefit them and I am just getting not interested or if I want to know about a product I will go looking or it myself and these are friends and family, wow the people we are suppose to trust the most and faith in. I would never mislead anyone if I did not think this company and what they have to offer will truly help them without driving all over the city to get the products they need and want, you get them all in one place, what a great idea and money saving as well. I did check and compare prices from where I live to this companies prices and it gets delivered right to your door. I have no idea how to set up a business on line and I am asking if it is really complicated to do. I have basic computer skills and for now that is all I have to work with. I use to be a Personal Support Worker but my health got the better of me and I eventually had to quit and with no other job lined up and with only one income and that is a job where he is on call,,so he only makes money if they call him. He hurt himself many years ago, so he is on disability pension and with no benefits and my $300.00 a month for prescriptions, I need to do something soon and I thought with some help I could do this and at the same time show people that the products they are getting, that if they did not re-order I would be shocked because it is that good!. Do you have any advice? Thanks a million Lindsey and have an amazing day! Rachelle Proulx

  2. Hello Mike I have been reading your lessons and they make perfect sense, I am doing the following in building my [MLM co] business
    1. Creating an [relevant niche] Service Brand
    2. I am building a website for the service with links to the supplier
    3. I am organanizing regular meetings in my neighborhood informing them of benefits of the service
    4. I am creating some marketing material to be distributed and handed out.
    5. I am signing up for Trade Show presentations
    6. I am participating in various community organizations and leading in some.

    I would like to know what steps I need to take to achieve substantial results.

  3. This is a very interesting point. Making a name list is a simple way to get started, although I have not made a name list yet in my company. I personally feel that if most people can’t sponsor anyone in their warm market they will have difficulty sponsoring anyone in their cold market. I also agree that this is a numbers game and you can only rely on yourself. As you sponsor a lot of people you are bound to come across some leaders who go on to build it big. But most people will do very little, if anything at all to consistently grow their business. Just my two cents.
    Chuck

    1. Thank you for your response, Chuck.

      I believe making a name list is straight up a VERY POOR and ineffective way to get started. Positioning is the most effective marketing strategy. Period. If it wasn’t, the most successful Fortune 100 companies wouldn’t use it. That’s how they got there. I teach this exact same strategy…and it’s precisely what every MLM company is doing (refer your prospect to the “most successful” person in your upline).

      Why do they teach you this? Simple: Positioning.

      You can NOT be positioned with someone who’s known you for many years. They know you’re not an expert in (health/energy/communications/weight loss/etc)____ fill in the blank with whatever result your product/service promises. It’s MUCH easier to position yourself as an expert to the cold market…people who don’t know you. I’ve been in online marketing for over 10 years and, yet, my closest friends and family still do not really understand what it is that I do. On the flip side, I defy anyone to show me a multi-million dollar earner to show me his or her original list of 100 friends & family (those elusive business builders who are supposed to be found there) and show me EXACTLY where all those people are now in their downline and how much ‘amazing’ money they’re earning. (I won’t be holding my breath.)

      Saying MLM is a numbers game is like saying basketball is a shooting game. Yes, the more times you shoot the ball to the hoop the more opportunities you’ll have to make a basket…but there is a LOT more to it than that. The HOW in working those numbers is a completely different ball game…so to speak.

      The reason why most people will do very little is because: “The confused mind does nothing.” I get countless people email me DAILY…intuitively, the whole ‘friends and family’ approach doesn’t make sense. It’s a bad strategy for a dozen reasons. Success in any business is about attracting qualified prospects…and just “because you know someone” doesn’t make them a qualified prospect.

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