Laurel (my wife and business partner) and I have been “connected” to the MLM industry for a long time, either as customers, as business builders or as trainers. We love the industry, almost all of the products and services it offers, and most of the companies in it.

But we disagree with much of the training. We think the training – or lack thereof – is the Achilles’ heel of MLM. It’s why, in our opinion, the vast majority of the well-meaning and hardworking distributors fail. Miserably. For one thing, it doesn’t teach distributors what to say and do to REALLY get people’s attention – and without attention, there’s no interest, no reaction, and no action.

And we’ve observed their failure to communicate properly – that’s what it comes down to – everywhere distributors market and advertise their products or opportunity: at networking events (especially), with their Web site, their capture page, business cards, sizzle cards, flyers, ads, emails, etc. Everywhere.

Let me share with you the best tip we gave people when we used to do live or telephone training sessions: Imagine, from now on, that every person you meet – online or offline – is a four-drawer filing cabinet. Your simple job – we didn’t say easy – is to get them to open a “mental drawer” to take in your information in order to make a decision about your products and business opportunity, with the hope that in the end, they will discriminate in your favor.

The only two questions in your mind at this point should be: “What does he mean by ‘opening a mental drawer’?” and “How do you do that?”. Great questions. Let’s answer them one at a time.

Imagine that everyone is a filing cabinet with legs, feet, arms and hands, neck and head. As you probably suspect – just look at your own life – this “filing cabinet” is bombarded daily with hundreds, perhaps thousands of messages, from the outside – come to this event, register for this course, buy this brand of car, this house in this part of town, this shampoo, eat these cereals, eat at this restaurant, go there for your holidays, send your daughter to this school, use our credit card, our cellphone package, etc.

There are also a lot of messages coming from the inside – gotta renew my membership this week, gotta call the accountant, gotta order more checks from the bank, gotta change the batteries in the smoke detector, gotta get the oil changed on the SUV, gotta do this, gotta go here, gotta buy that…

Here’s what uninformed MLMers too often do: they bombard the poor soul with worthless words that just bounce off the sides of the filing cabinet and pile up at the bottom, words that will never be read, heard or referred to ever. Let me lift a corner of the veil and reveal why these words are worthless: these words speak of features and particulars. I’ll elaborate on this in a minute.

Let me share with you a very wise observation from a marketing genius named Michel Neray: “If you’re like most people, you try to tell as much as you can, as quickly as you can, in order to give your prospect as much information as possible in the hopes that something will trigger some interest. After all, you’ve got excellent credentials to describe great case studies, impressive expertise and a gazillion years of experience, and you really, really know what you’re talking about, right? If you never seem to get people as interested as you had hoped they would be, here’s why: the person you’re talking to simply can’t process all the information you’re overwhelming him with, and consequently, he just tunes out.”

They tune out. They tune out because you give them too much information, yes, but more important, they tune out because you give them the WRONG information. I’ll address that in the answer to your second question.

Your mission, when you are marketing and advertising your wonderful MLM opportunity and your fantastic products or services, is to get the person you are communicating with to pull open one of the drawers to receive and store your information – the information they’ll need later to make a decision.

Bluntly put, if you don’t get them interested enough – if you don’t get their ATTENTION – for them to open that mental drawer, you are SOL. Finished. Kaput. Sayonara. Va con dios amigo!

If they don’t open the drawer, they will NOT visit your Web site, they will NOT keep your business card or sizzle card, they will NOT read your flyer, ad or email. Consequently, they will NOT buy your amazing products and will certainly NOT join your business opportunity. EVER!

Now, your second question was (should have been) “How do you do that?” Here’s how: first, you start my remembering that the most listened-to radio station anywhere on the planet is WIII-FM – What Is In It For Me. Then, you tell the person what is in it for him or her if they buy your products or join your business.

Give them the BENEFITS, first. Not the features, not the particulars, not how many years the company has been around, the fact that they’re in 12 countries already, that your upline makes 10 grand a month, that you’ve signed up 16 people in the last week, that if they buy now, they get two for one and free shipping, or the fact that you can re-insert yourself in your own leg by buying extra positions. WHO CARES?

I’ll tell you who cares: someone who has just taken in, tasted, chewed and digested a fantastic benefit for them. Someone who has asked – verbally or in their head – the question “How do you do that?“ or maybe “Can you tell me more?” When they ask one of those two questions – consciously or subconsciously – they’ve now open a drawer and they are ready and willing (eager even if the benefit is huge) to take in your info and read it, watch it, listen to it, ponder it, study it attentively later. You’re “in”! You’re on first base!

Features tell, benefits sell! Features make the “filing cabinet” airtight, benefits open up drawers. Don’t get me wrong, people will need the features, the particulars, the details to make a decision – LATER! But they FIRST need to see the benefits, or all the other stuff will be of no interest, no value. And what do people do – what do YOU do? – with things that are valueless? You discard them.

One more thing about benefits and features: you need to know the difference.

This is a serious problem I observe daily in MLM campaigns everywhere: most MLMers, it seems, don’t know the difference between the two. Let me shed some light on this. A feature is what something IS or HAS (a compensation plan with an auto-ship) while a benefit is what something DOES (it guarantees your income from month to month). And even better if you can express the benefit(s) in terms of what that thing does FOR me, the prospect (What Is In It For ME!!!).

For example, which one of the following two approaches do you think has a better chance of enticing Bob to open up a drawer and store your information for future consideration?:

“One thing I like about our comp plan, Bob, is that the customers get their products via auto-ship.” (Bob thinking: “Who cares?”)

“You know Bob, because your customers get their product via auto-ship, your income is guaranteed every month, even if you spend half the time away from the office, doing what you really like to do…”
(Bob dreaming: “… like fly-fishing, playing golf, building the cottage…”)

In conclusion, people lead busy lives. They pay attention only to things that they consider of value, to THEM (WIII-FM…). Benefits represent value, features don’t – not until there is a benefit. If you want to get people’s attention, give them a good reason for action – aka the right information. That’s the only way to get them to open their mental drawer. When you get enough people to do that, sky’s the limit.

I wish you ALL the business success you desire and deserve. Remember that the success you desire is function of your ambition, but the success you deserve is function of your ACTION!

Daniel G. St-Jean
BizzBooster, and The Sparkplug of Personal Development
Author of 7 Simple Keys To Spark Change In Your Life Now!
Co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life – volume 2

Author's Bio: 

Daniel G. St-Jean is half of The BizzBoosters Inc. He and his partner Laurel Simmons have produced a powerful new Special Report entitled Discover How You Can Easily Avoid the Biggest Marketing Mistake Made by 97% of Businesspeople—Even Gurus—That’s Costing Them Thousands of Customers and Millions in Sales! Go get your complimentary copy NOW at