Friends, Family and MLM: What You Should Know

Today, I want to talk to you about friends, family and MLM.  This is one of those subjects that has a lot of controversy in our industry.

You can read all sorts of horror stories online about people who are part of the No Friends Left Club.  Their families want nothing to do with them and avoid them like the plague, because of the way they promote their MLM Business.

NOTE: It has nothing to do with the company itself and everything to do with how they present it to others (pressure, hype, deception, etc.)

On the other hand, many successful leaders in our industry built their business (almost entirely) by working with their friends and family.  So it does work, if you do it right!

Some folks swear by it and others hate it!

Personally, I have not approached my warm market yet, other than my wife and mom, but most of my successful friends have.  I chose to build my business online instead.

Most companies and top earners teach their new team members to get started by working with their warm market.  For most folks, I can see the merits in doing this.  Most folks already know at least 200 to 500 people in their immediate sphere of influence.  And if they approach these folks the right way they are bound to find SOME folks to join their team or become a customer.

I believe it’s smart to talk to the people that you know, IF you do it the right way.  That is the key factor.  It’s HOW you approach your friends and family about your products and business opportunity that will ultimately determine whether or not it positively or negatively impacts your relationships with them.

You should never use hype or pressure.  You should never lie to others and tell them what you think they want to hear.  You should never chase, sell, bug, annoy, or try to convince others to work with you. You should never invite people over for a BBQ and then do a business presentation.

Whenever you do any of these things you will definitely strain you relationships with your family and limit your odds of EVER having them work with you.

Here is what I suggest you do.  First and foremost, if you really believe in your company and products you SHOULD share it with people you know.  You should contact everyone on your warm market list to INFORM them of what you are doing, not to try and recruit them or sell them.  Your goal is simply to NOTIFY everyone about what you are doing.

When you notify people about what you are doing AND they express and interest to learn more, ONLY THEN do you go into greater detail, or set up an appointment with them.

Does that make sense?  Not everyone you notify will be interested.  For example, if you ask someone if they are open to new ways of making money and they immediately change the subject, you know they are not interested.  With these folks, just file their information away in your database and follow up with them in another six months.

If you tell someone what you are doing and then start asking a bunch of questions NOW you have their permission to go in greater detail.  Does that make sense?

By all means, call everyone your list and say “Hey Uncle Jim.  It’s me Chuck.  I’m calling you today because I recently decided to take control of my health.  I’ve been taking some new products that give me energy throughout the day and help me feel better.  I’m really excited.”

If he says “tell me more”, then tell him more.  If he immediately changes the subject and asks you about your favorite sports team, than don’t try to sell or pitch him.

If you are talking about the business, you could say something like this.  “Hi Uncle Jim.  It’s me Chuck.  I’m calling today because I recently started a Plan B in my life.  I knew my day job wouldn’t provide me the lifestyle I desire, so I decided to start a home business specializing in the wellness industry to supplement my income.  I’m really excited.”

If he says “tell me more”, then tell him more.  On the other hand, if he immediately changes the subject and asks you about the weather, than don’t try to sell or pitch him.

Does that make sense?

Once again, here are the big NO-NOs:

  • No pitching
  • No selling
  • No tricking or deception
  • No pressure
  • No guilt trips
  • No hype
  • No lying
  • No annoying
  • No chasing people

As a final point, I should tell you that it’s smart to work with your warm market.  If you found something really good, of course you would want to share it with the people you know.  That’s how I feel.

At the end of the day, it’s really HOW you approach your friends and family that will determine whether they avoid you at the next Family Reunion or not!  Just remember that it’s simply your job to notify them, not to sell or convince them!  You are looking for people who are looking.   Just food for thought.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to approach your warm market, you will have to venture off into the cold market.  That’s going to be tough for most people, but it is possible.

What do you think?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  Let us know how your family and friends reacted when you got in the industry. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.

chuck holmes


Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional (since 2002)
Author, Blogger, & Entrepreneur

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10 thoughts on “Friends, Family and MLM: What You Should Know”

  1. I believe this all goes back to using the products yourself. When friends and family visit, they see that you are using the products, and you may want to share samples with them without pressure to join. As you said, if they start asking you questions, or show genuine interest, you can move further. I believe that if your second sense tells you they don’t want to know about it, just change the subject.

    No matter what the business, it just isn’t worth alienating or losing friends or family. There are other people that will be interested, so use common sense and be a good friend or family member.

  2. So many network marketers alienate friends and family. I love your approach. If a person genuinely wants to know more, they will ask.

    Personally, it is my opinion that we should use this approach with everyone, not just friends and family. High pressure sales techniques went out of style quite awhile ago.

    I believe that when we are showing friends and family, samples are a great thing. When Aunt Dorothy gives you a batch of her homemade preserves, you give her a sample of the laundry detergent your MLM handles.

    Very good post Chuck. This is a subject that needed to be covered.

  3. Approach is everything. Applying too much pressure is the quickest way to turn people off. I know I’ve come into contact with family members and acquaintances that were so aggressive in their approach that the product didn’t even matter to me. When consulting my own friends and family members I have found that a blend of information, personal testimony, and space has worked. Boasting about the product and why I use and believe in it followed by giving them information to digest on their own time makes people much more receptive.

  4. You’re covering a topic here that I rarely see addressed. The impact of network marketing on friends and family is far too often overlooked. The approach you take to presenting to your warm market is paramount, as it can affect both your work life and personal life. More so with friends and family than with any other customers, you aren’t trying to force sales by aggressive means. You’re presenting a product, a business, and a vision, and by doing so hoping your family and friends will also take interest and join on your journey, whether they become customers or distributors.

    1. One of the biggest reasons our industry gets a bad reputation is people get in hype mode and then try to pressure, sell and convince their warm market. It’s crazy. I think it’s wise to be a professional and approach them with posture. Let them know what you do. If they express an interest give them more information. But don’t annoy, chase, bug, or pressure the people in your sphere of influence. It’s not worth ruining a friendship or relationship over any business.

  5. Mixing friends and business – any business, not just MLM – is tricky. This is great advice, especially for someone just starting out in marketing or those who have hit a wall when trying to gather new business. Ideally, your passion and the quality of the product should be what hooks your warm market.

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