People Don’t Dislike Network Marketing,They Dislike Network Marketers!

network marketing: trends


It has happened again, not once, not twice, but three times, in just the past two days. I cringe at these current reminders of why people hate network marketers. It makes me want to scream out for all of you ethical, relationship-oriented network marketers out there, to stand up and demand professional standards, no different than any other industry or professional organization. That is an important step in professionalizing any emerging industry. When a code of conduct is laid out, and association standards agreed upon, the industry finally gains the credibility it deserves.


1.  The Big Guy breathing in the background

Yep, it is still happening, and it just happened to me.  I received a call from someone who claims to have a business card from me from several years ago… I don’t know her.  This is the fourth time in one year she has called me, for four different businesses, even though each time, I have made it clear I am not looking. I am not sure she remembers our previous conversations. Just before I said hello, I caught the tail-end of the conversation she was having with her “big guy” , who was on the phone waiting to jump in, I guess, if things looked promising.  But no one alerted me to the additional person on the phone. WRONG MOVE, GUYS.

2.  Spamming social networks

Signing on to a social network, thinking this will be a fast way to get thousands of people into your “pipeline” quickly and easily is a … WRONG MOVE, GUYS.  Great place to meet and build new relationships, bad place to spam. There is something called trust and honesty, and if you can’t bring that to this industry, you need to look to organized crime.

3. Spamming Twitter

I recently read a blog from someone lamenting that Twitter, the fastest growing hot thing on the Internet will likely not survive the mlmers. The meaning of which is, they anticipate network marketers who have been trained to “throw enough mud against the wall” , will step into this forum and plug it up with pitches for your business to tens of thousands of people in just one blast… sounds like a quick way to become successful? – WRONG MOVE, GUYS.

4. “A doctor has recommended this…”

Surely, I don’t even need to say… WRONG MOVE GUYS…this is soooo tired-I don’t even want to say more.

5.  “Some lady in Kansas had cancer and now she walks on water…”or variation on the theme… my doctor doesn’t know anything about this but it is an amazing cure…”

ditto as above…and, as an aside, as the mother of a surgeon who is well-aware of the rigor of the medical discipline, I find it hard to believe that someone who has a couple of hours of product pitch given to them by their company, can possibly believe they know more about the human anatomy than someone who has spent 12 -16 years of post graduate study… your doctor may not be on top of everything – nor are you …so you had best not assume you have the cures they were unable to discover in all their years of study.

6.  “It’s the best pay plan out there but we cannot post it for you to see -  I have to present it for you to understand it…”

I don’t care if it is a network marketing business – or any other plan… if you can’t give it to me in writing and encourage me to reflect on it, for whatever time I need to make the right decision for me, then I don’t want to hear about it…WRONG MOVE, GUYS.

7.  “I am calling you because you are such a sharp guy (gal)…”

You likely don’t even know me … or haven’t even bothered to talk to me in decades… sigghhhh….

8.  “The pay plan pays out more than… 60%, 75%, 80%…guaranteed…”

To the company perhaps … any plan that pays out much more than 50% per cent is not planning to stay in business.  The industry average is more like 35%. You need to know there are unethical companies setting themselves up with that express purpose… not to stay in business. After you do all your hard work, they take those profits, before having to start paying out that huge amount… and run.  BUYER BEWARE.

9.  “You don’t have to sell anything…”

It amazes me how many people will bite on this one. Maybe humans are hot-wired for greed and laziness… WRONG MOVE GUY – any business takes work, so expect to work – that is why it is called Net WORK marketing.

10.  “We will build your downline for you…”

Now, wouldn’t that be nice! Can you imagine any other industry… “hey, you can open up this franchise  – and don’t worry… you don’t even have to show up!… we do it all for you and give you ALL the money!… does anyone smell the coffee?

If you are willing to buy into any of these “pitches”, you deserve to get a call from someone from Nigeria looking to give you a million dollars… and if you are making them … well, maybe you need to move to Nigeria.


The truly successful people in this industry know it is a business and they treat it like a business.  They would never be caught picking up the “100 pound phone” and cold calling people to get into their business. They know networking is about relation-shipping. They are skilled in building relationships, both inside and outside their business, and that is how they become the huge successes they are in the industry.

Before visions of sugar plums start dancing through your head, and you lose your normal good judgment, ask yourself, “How would I like to be treated by someone seeking to share some products, services or a business with me?”

In that moment of sanity – I know you will do the right thing -  regardless of what someone may have told you to do.

Do you have a pet peeve about the way network marketers do their business?  Let us know.  Let’s start a dialogue and change this image FOREVER! The model is too good to be throwing out the “baby with the bath water”.


Organizational Behaviour Consultant
Network Marketing Consultant and Trainer
Imagine Your Soul Abundant: Attracting Success, Fulfillment and True Happiness
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15 Responses to “People Don’t Dislike Network Marketing,They Dislike Network Marketers!”

  1. JudyBerg Says:

    Thanks David. I hope we generate a lot of discussion on this "elephant" that has been sitting in the room far too long.

    The network marketers I have had the pleasure of working with are extremely people-oriented, ethical, and passionate, about making a difference in the world through their product and business opportunity. They are hard-working and dedicated to building legitimate businesses and span in professional backgrounds from aerospace engineers, to homemakers and retirees.

    Unfortunately the lack of accurate information in the public arena, and the behaviour of some people in the industry, slows down the acceptance of the industry overall. Together, we can change that.

    I am excited about providing a public forum by which we can openly discuss what network marketing is really about and why we believe the model is one of the best for the future economy… when it is conducted in the manner it was designed to be.

    I look forward to your blog from the point of view of an economist!

  2. Carol Gordon Says:

    Judy, I appreciate your clarity and brevity on this topic. With more than 17 years with one and only one Network Marketing company, I have grown to view these behaviours as signs of a person's "immaturity". From my perspective, when people do not do the personal growth required to evolve personally and professionally, these behaviours are usually present. When people grow and develop both personally and in their business knowledge and skills, they are likely to become more professional and these behaviours disappear. I am a strong advocate of personal development. Mr. Masuda, the founder of our company is quoted as saying "if the company is to grow, the people have to grow."

  3. JudyBerg Says:

    Carol, I agree that any company investing in the personal growth of its people will see growth in the bottom line…a good way to evaluate a company is to find out how much they plan to invest in your personal growth!

  4. Dennis Goff Says:

    Hi Judy…

    I’m glad to see a sensible discussion about a topic that is so misunderstood by so many.

    I like what Bob Proctor says about Network Marketing. “People tend to criticize and ridicule anything they don’t understand… and you don’t really understand Network Marketing until you can explain it to someone so they understand it.”

    The best lesson we could all learn and share would be an accurate way of defining Network marketing in terms that could be easily understood by anyone, anywhere at any time. Tough assignment… because egos get in the way of the truth and personal agendas cloud the picture.

  5. JudyBerg Says:

    Good reminder of the old adage – "first they ridicule, then they accept, and then they embrace" (not exact quote, I don't think – but along those lines:)… I think the people inside the industry can do a great deal to advance acceptance if we stop being afraid to say positive things about other companies in this industry, believing ours is the ONLY company that has got it right.

  6. David VanAmburg Says:

    Outstanding article, Judy. Thanks. You prompted me to postpone the article I was writing on loyalty marketing for today in favor of a follow-up post to yours.

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