Hi Dane. I ran into an old friend last week who was pitching a new business that he’s working on. It’s one of those multi-level marketing things. He is super excited and obviously he wants me to buy stuff from him, but even more, he wants me to join the business. I have absolutely no interest in doing either. I like him, but now he keeps calling and emailing with more pitches for his business. How can I get him to leave me alone? Sign me, I-SAID-NO.
We’ve all been there, and some of us have been on his side of the conversation. You’ve walked into the network marketing trap. Network marketing is called that because it is dependent upon everyone who joins, recruiting everyone else that they can from their own “personal network.”
It works like this: if I recruit five friends, and they each recruit five friends, and they each recruit five friends, I now have a 155 people beneath me. Five in the first level, twenty five in the second level and 125 in the third. For every sale that each of those people make, I get a cut, and the company has recruited hundreds of sales people with basically no effort on their part.
Unfortunately, if you’re a member of someone’s “personal network,” or heaven-forbid, a member of multiple people’s network of friends and aquiantances, you’re propositioned into joining. Your friend isn’t asking to be nice. He isn’t asking to bother you. He’s pitching you because that’s how the business works.
So, what do you do if you want no part in it?
In sales training, you’re taught that often when a prospective customer says “no,” they can mean any number of things: “not right now”, “I don’t know if what you’re offering is exactly right”, “I’m not sure yet”, etc. In sales, these are called objections. And if sales is about anything, it’s about overcoming objections. As long as you continue to offer objections, in the mind of the salesperson, you haven’t really said no.
This is why avoiding a network marketer’s call is such a bad idea. If they can’t get ahold of you, you haven’t said no, it’s just that your inability to answer the phone is an objection.
You have to be direct and 100% crystal-clear. You can tell your friend that you are happy for him and his business, but you’re not interested. You will not be purchasing anything from him, or joining his business. Wish him luck, and say goodbye. Do not promise him anything, and if he continues to contact you, do not respond.