"People who know you well do not good business prospects make. Period." -- the Pajama Mamas

"Say what?!" you ask. "I've always been taught that the first thing you do when you sign up with a network marketing company is sit down and make a list of everyone you know so that you can talk to them about your new business venture!"

This "list" represents your "warm" market, and making it seems to have become the be-all/end-all first step in just about every network marketing organization. Why? Because for the average Joe without a lot of resources, who else is he going to talk to about his new business other than people he knows, right? WRONG! When all this started 60-or-so years ago we didn't have the internet and cell phones, conference calls and phone-messaging, so person-to-person was in fact the only way people could spread the word--about most anything. All of that has changed now and there are myriad ways to approach your market--be it warm, cold, or inbetween--so this "list" idea is just way passé. And scary as hell for most people. (Most people are not born salesmen, in case you haven't noticed.)

Is it obvious that we who are writing this article disagree with this "list" approach and flat don't think it works? We hope so. Because the reality is that this very thing--trying and failing to recruit family and close friends--is why most people get discouraged and quit network marketing during their first year. Let us spell it out even better. Here's the typical scenario:

At the prodding and prompting of your sponsor, you finally call your friend Leona, whom you haven't seen in two months, and ask her to meet you for a cup o' joe at Starbucks. She's thrilled. She's been dying to catch up, plus the two of you just need one of those much-loved, ever-bonding girlfriend sessions!

You get to Starbucks: huge hugs and kisses, high energy, excitement all around, talk about new hair, recent divorces, the kids, new career moves, family problems, whatever. But the whole time, in the back of your mind, this niggling worry-wort called network marketing is knocking on the inside of your skull telling you to get with the program and tell Leona why you really called her--to tell her about your new business and persuade her to join it with you. So you're only able to listen half-mast, and you're nervous about what will happen next.

Sure enough, disaster ensues. (Just like you expected--after all, you put out vibes for it. You hate this! Leona feels all that before you even start!) As you are struggling to act casual and finally mention that you "are-in-this-new-business-where-you-can-make-a-lot-of-money-that-only-requires-that-two-people-sign-up-two-people-a-month-and-the-products-are-really-great . . ." you watch as Leona shrinks away from you with poorly disguised horror in her eyes. She looks at her watch, mumbles something about pyramids, and says she really has to be on her way--she's late already. And that's the last time you see Leona!

The bottom line is, people who know you well do not good business prospects make. Why? Because they already have preconceived notions about you, your values, your strengths and weaknesses, your potential for success, etc. They simply do not look at you as the person who is going to bring great wealth into their life and are horrified when you try to pull the wool over their eyes by getting them into a corner and trying to talk you into doing something they don't want to do.

Some people can do this--it is their natural habitat. They can talk a cornered skunk into not spraying. Good for them! Let them plumb the depths of their warm market to their heart's content! But if this approach feels awkward and not right for you, DO NOT GO THERE.

Nothing will quell your new-found enthusiasm for your business faster than the negative opinions of your family or friends. And nothing will spark their interest in it like your independent success, achieved all on your own, without their support or participation. THEN--you can bet on it--they will want to get in on the action!

Author's Bio: 

Stephanie Yeh and Leta Worthington are the Pajama Mamas, founders of No Brainer Networking, the network marketing site for people who hate to network (and want to earn a profit in their pajamas!). The Pajama Mamas have over 2 decades of success in networking marketing. Learn more and access free home-based business resources at www.nobrainernetworking.com.