So Monday’s sometimes makes me a little philosophical, and yesterday morning I was thinking about the several calls I got last week where people who were still totally immersed in the MLM business philosophy of traditional MLM building called and tried to prospect me.

There is always the discussion of the game changing product of course and then the description of the company’s latest success stories, and how ordinary people finally hit it big time just by sharing this great Network Marketing opportunity.

Get in now!

Now in the early days of my MLM business career, I might have bit, but I found instead that I was totally immune to the pitches thanks in part to what I have learned over the years as I studied MLM marketing and found that the real opportunity is not so much in the deal as it is in the marketing (MLM Success-The Tyranny of The Deal Blog Post).

Now if you look closely at the business models that are used in a traditional MLM building process and then compare it to people that instead build their business using MLM online marketing you will see there is really a huge philosophical difference.

Traditional MLM business philosophy is that you need to build a huge group through the process of recruiting and duplication.

It pretty common knowledge in the industry that entire MLM organizations can be split up into 3 groups.

The 80% Percenters, the 20% Percenters, and the 1% Percenters.

Now the ultimate goal of is of course to find the 1% Percenter, you know, that’s the person who comes into your Network Marketing organization and just explodes it overnight. The Japanese refer to it as “Lightning Striking”.

Now sometimes they are a MLM industry leader who already has a following, but sometimes they are a nobody who was never successful in MLM before, but this time something unique happened, a totally random occurrence.

Then there are what I like to refer to as the “Naturals”.

A “Natural” is someone who is either a major center of influence, (knows lots of powerful people), or maybe someone who just got really excited and was a natural networker.

1% Percenters come in all shapes and sizes but they are in fact the pivotal factor for your success in the MLM universe especially if you are working in a Standard MLM (as opposed to a Top Tier MLM).

Now the standard MLM building process is to sift through the prospects to find your distributors, then sift through the distributors to find the 20% Percenters, and then with enough 20% Percenters working in your group, you should surface a 1% Percenter somewhere in your organization.

Now of course if you are in a unilevel Network Marketing compensation program, then you hope the 1% Percenter is near the top of your organization rather than somewhere downline out of your pay levels.

MLM Binary comp plans of course are much more forgiving of a power player who comes in deep in your organization.

The analogy I would sometimes use when I did MLM trainings to explain this building process was to visualize yourself on a big beach in Washington State, the kind that has those rocks all over the place, and you are out there picking up each rock looking underneath it for gold.

Now there are thousands of rocks on that beach and it’s going to take you a while, so you need to develop the skills of focus, determination, and persistence.

I used to call it the “Blue Diamond” mindset.

Now once you have sponsored your first 20% Percenter, now there are two of you picking up rocks and so on.

Once you have twenty or thirty 20% Percenters in your Network Marketing group and each of them has a few hundred people in their group, you now have a small army picking up those rocks looking for the gold.

That’s the way it works, with a large enough organization, you just can’t miss.

Of course that just gets you there, there are numerous other factors that can make or break your MLM success such as product longevity, company viability, competition, and of course that nasty word, attrition.

However those are all factors for another discussion.

Now the goal of MLM online marketing involves that same process, it’s just that we can push more people into the equation much quicker, but it’s still the same basic model.

So at this point there is no divergence of the business model.

However the philosophy of how you get there differs dramatically and this is what I refer to as

“The Truth and The Illusion of Network Marketing”.

The truth of Network Marketing is that to find the people who are really serious and committed you need to be able to go through a large number of prospects to get to the gold.

Another truth is that every approach to MLM prospecting and lead generation works to some extent, although some are painfully slow.

The “Illusion of Network Marketing” is what we see when we go to company events and they parade the latest success story up on the stage who says:

“I just talked to 4 of my friends and they talked to a few people they know, and all of a sudden I have 10,000 people in my group and I am making $40K a month and this business is so easy and so much fun!”

Now let’s be truthful here, you know it just kind of ticks you off when someone else succeeds big time and you don’t.

So let’s see, our first thought is to go out to the parking lot and cut the tires on their car (just joking), and the next one is to go back to our warm market again and try to beat them into submission, there has to be gold in there somewhere.

Now the truth is, it was pure luck that they found that much gold that easily from just a few prospects.

The sad part of this truth is that there are so many people out there trying to build a successful Network Marketing business based on luck.

They are out there every day hoping to stumble into success by just by taking to a few people here and there.

Sorry, that’s a total illusion.

Network Marketing is a business and just like any other business you need treat it like one and learn how to market.

Now there are many MLM marketing approaches that can get you there but your success will be based on volume, the more people you can get information in front of the luckier you get.

Now as I pointed out in a recent training webinar I did on blending traditional MLM marketing approaches with the online world there are lots of really good ways to generate high lead flows other than just doing it online, but of course online is the most powerful.

Now the traditional MLM building philosophy at this point starts to stress things like bonding the distributor to the company, having lots of events and recognition (“Hey team, Bob just made his first sale and it only took him 2 years….. way to go Bob!).

Now the entire culture is designed to form kind of a self reinforcing social cult, (yes I did call it a cult).

Now if done properly, you now find yourself in a social group where you would never think about leaving even if you are not making money.

The MLM company realizes that with enough foot soldiers on the ground, promoting the company, someone is going to hit “pay dirt” and they will succeed.

They just have to keep everyone in place. (This of course is the same philosophy your upline uses).

So what do you hear when you go to MLM company events….

Stories of perseverance, persistence, and luck.

Funny story here, I talked to a prospect recently that was really excited when I called. She told me that she knew my story and so did everyone in her upline, and they all loved the story.

Then she went on to tell me about a story where I had joined an MLM and then after 6 mo got frustrated and then just stopped working, but of course stayed active.

Then a year later my MLM organization had exploded and there I was making over a million a year because my organization went on without me, and also because I stayed active on autoship.

Now of course you can sense the moral of this fictitious story, don’t ever quit, and even if you do, be sure to keep your autoship active because you never know what you might leave behind.

Now she was a little surprised to learn the real story, which was that I did indeed get frustrated in my early days and probably quit 5 times just in the first 6 months, but then I discovered marketing and developed a high volume lead strategy using newspaper advertising.

I then sponsored 250 dead serious people into my MLM group in about 2 years and I hit so much gold I couldn’t miss.

Totally different story.

I guess the thing that really ticks me off about the traditional MLM low volume building approach is that it kind of uses people.

Now not that basing your life on persistence hope and trust is bad, on the contrary those are great principles to base you life on, but not your MLM business.

As online marketers our philosophy is very different, we understand that success is volume related.

You see…. we have this magic fast forward button we can hit and shorten the growth curve by years.

The average person in MLM usually brings in about 1 to 3 people per month. What are their chances of finding a 1% Percenter?

Slim to none.

With MLM online marketing mastered, you can push 10+ people into your deal per month and surface the key players with much more ease.

It also gives you the ability to use that fast forward button to stress test the company’s business model and see if it actually delivers as promised.

Now using this accelerated building process, I have learned that if I can’t get a company business model to sing and dance in 6 mo it’s probably not going to happen.


Because of this bottom line business orientation, online marketers are both powerful and dangerous in a MLM environment.

I wrote about this recently in a blog post called the “MLM Success-Why Your Upline Hates Online MLM Marketing”.

MLM Online marketers slowly learn what entrepreneurs have always known, time is the limiting factor.

They realize that there are many Network Marketing opportunities out there that they could focus their attention on, and also that it can be almost impossible to predict in advance which companies will fly and which will die.