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This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Network Marketers are Liars.

Network Marketing is powerful, use it wisely. When you are busy telling stories to your prospects who want to hear them, you’ll be tempted to tell stories that just don’t hold up. Lies. Deceptions. In his book All Marketers are Liars, Seth Godin made the points above about marketers, but does the same hold true for network marketers?

I would say that network marketing, just like other means of marketing is chuck full of liars.  It is too bad, because it is counter productive. Godin says that lying doesn’t pay off anymore in marketing.  The problem with lying is that when you “fabricate a story that just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, you get caught. Fast.” Godin is right, it seems so simple.  If we lie, people will catch on and then we are doomed. Trust breaks down, attrition gets out of control and leaders get burned out trying to maintain their past incomes. Yet so many network marketing leaders, executives and those profiting from big commissions ignore the lies when it will ultimately burn them. Why?

Let’s list a couple of the big lies: everybody can succeed in network marketing, all you have to do is sign up 3 people and you don’t need to know how to sell to succeed in network marketing. Those lies may have worked 10 years ago, but consumers are getting smarter and the reality sinks into new marketers pretty fast that you can’t make a profit just by buying a spot in a downline.

I was speaking to a marketer last month and I asked him how much money he wanted to make.  He told me $10,000 a month (I think that is what he was taught to say).  “Wow,” I thought, “I wonder how much money he makes in his job and how big was his best commission check in a year of building his business?” This great guy has never made close to $10,000 a month at his job and his biggest commission check was less than $250.  Some people may say, “Good for him, he has a big goal to get him through the discouragement.”  I say, bologna.  This guy needed help understanding to get to $10,000 a month, he needed to get to $500 a month first. If he has never made $500 a month in 12 months, how discouraged is he going to be when he realizes he may never make $10k? He’ll quit before he ever makes it at this pace.

I am going to explore the silly lies that we tell ourselves in network marketing for a few days and a better way to go about our stories.  Seth Godin says, “So, go tell a story. If it doesn’t resonate, tell a different one. When you find a story that works, live that story, make it true, authentic, and subject to scrutiny.  All marketers are storytellers.  Only losers are liars.”

Hallelujah Seth. People are joining us in network marketing, but statistically speaking MLM has not grown much faster than inflation in the past 5 years. Ouch. For such a great distribution methodology, perhaps its time we start telling a story that actually resonates.

Series NavigationNetwork Marketers are Storytellers