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True stories in network marketing: Who to help, who to let go


Reba was letting her network marketing business droop. She’d started off with plenty of enthusiasm, but, when the inevitable bumps hit her a bit too hard, she lagged. I gave her a call, saying I hadn’t heard from or seen her in a while, and asked what was going on.

“Well, she answered, “we moved, and now it’s Halloween, and the kids have birthdays coming up. There’s just not much time for network marketing.”

I said that I had heard from her network marketing sponsor, and was informed that she put someone under Reba, and she hadn’t contacted them. “Yes,” she confirmed. “I just haven’t had the time.”

I told her I understood, and concluded my call with this: “If you decide you ever want to do the network marketing business again, let us know.”

I’m not unfeeling or cruel. It’s taken me years to learn that I have limited time. Now I only work with those who want to do the network marketing business and prove to me that they do. They prove that by calling me, going to meetings, giving meetings, and doing what needs to be done for the sake of network marketing. If someone sincerely wants to make it, I’ll work with them until we either win or both tip over trying.

Sometimes it’s hard to know who to work with, or how much. One woman in my network marketing group bought 11 cases of product, then stopped working when she was just one case short of becoming a manager. Periodically she revives, pulls the straw out of her hair, and says, “Now, I’m really getting serious this time!” She buys a few more cases, and disappears again.

I worked on another lady, Carol, for five months. Finally, she signed into the network marketing business, but she still wouldn’t do anything. I knew she could be sensational, so I kept after her. I waited through her trip to India. I waited until her daughter left for college. I waited until her husband was out of work. I waited until I had worn her down. She’s now one of my best people. You just never know. Be careful about prejudging people. Their circumstances change.

All this, of course, leaves you wondering, “So how do you tell the difference between a Reba and a Carol?”

I realize that Reba said she wanted to build a network marketing business, but her actions showed me otherwise. She made a lot of promises that she rarely kept. Carol, on the other hand, never said she wanted to do the network marketing business. In fact, she begged me to leave her alone. But I knew that she could be successful in network marketing — and would be successful in this network marketing business — so I kept after her.

If, after she’d signed and committed, she didn’t follow through, I’d have eventually dropped her, too. If you have a gut feeling about a person, follow it, either way.

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