MLM Deception: Common Deceptive MLM Recruiting Techniques

In today’s post, I’m going to discuss MLM Deception. I’ll review common Deceptive MLM Recruiting Techniques. The purpose of this post is to educate new and inexperienced network marketers on the RIGHT WAY to share their business and products with others.

I love the network marketing industry and I am doing my best to help improve the reputation of our industry via training and education.

Many new and inexperienced reps do shady and questionable things to promote their business and products, normally out of ignorance or greed. In most cases, they simply don’t know what they don’t know, and more often than not, the person training them what to do doesn’t know what they are doing either. It’s like the blind leading the blind.

Being honest, open, transparent, nice, and professional are VITAL if you want to succeed in network marketing for the long-term.

Read that again so it sinks in! Sure, some shady things might work temporarily. But they will eventually implode, damaging your reputation, the company’s reputation, and the industry’s reputation.

I believe the # 1 reason our industry gets a bad name is because of the deceptive recruiting techniques so many MLM Reps use. Here are some examples of what I consider Deceptive MLM Recruiting Techniques, so we have a mutual understanding.

MLM Deception

MLM Deception: Common MLM Deceptive Recruiting Techniques

# 1: Posting Your MLM Opportunity as a Job

First off, your network marketing business is a business opportunity not an employment position. If you are offering people your opportunity as a part-time job or advertising your business as a job, please stop immediately.

It’s fine to use classified ads in local newspapers or websites like Craigslist or different resume websites to advertise your business (read their policies first). Just make sure you put a disclaimer in the posting that it is a 1099, independent contractor position, not a W-2 employee position. If you do that, you’re good to go.

# 2: Product Claims

Product claims get a lot of companies in trouble with the Food & Drug Administration (and other government agencies). Uneducated, inexperienced, or greedy reps make unsubstantiated product claims saying their product cures cancer, COVID, HIV, or something to that effect.

Or they discuss the benefits of the product without giving their prospect the standard FDA disclosure, which is:

These products are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Individual results will vary. Please consult with your doctor before trying any new supplement.

Before you talk to anyone about your company’s products, find out what you can and can’t say (legally). Get documentation to support anything you tell your prospect. Run your materials and testimonials through your company’s compliance department first.

Once you find out what is allowed and what isn’t allowed, educate your team members so they know what to do.

# 3: Bait & Switch

I can think of two Deceptive MLM Recruiting Strategies many reps do with this method.

The first example is to act interested in another MLM Rep’s business, only to bait and switch them on your business. Don’t do that. It’s unethical and makes you look like an ass!

The second way people do this is to invite someone over to their house for a BBQ or party, only to do a business meeting instead. Your friends and family think they are coming over for food or fun, only to be forced into some type of meeting.

Avoid doing these two things, no matter what!

pressuring prospects

# 4: False Promises 

Here are a few examples of false promises:

  • Promising people something for nothing.
  • Telling your prospect all they need to do is sign up and the money will just start rolling in.
  • Lying to your prospect about much money you earn in the business.
  • Talking about the big numbers in the industry without revealing the average distributor earnings disclaimer, or talking about what it takes to make it big.

There is NEVER a good reason to LIE to your prospects. EVER. The truth is always more than good enough.

Never lie about how much money you are making in the business. Never lie by saying your business is easy to do. Never lie and say your prospect will get something, even if they do nothing.

Tell people the truth. The truth is good enough. Once you start lying to people, you lose your credibility. Even worse, you must remember what lies you told to who.

Don’t go down this road. Instead, be open and honest with your prospects. Be a person of impeccable integrity and character. If you share the truth with them and they don’t see it, or they aren’t a good prospect, you don’t WANT or NEED them in your business.

Be honest when presenting your compensation plan to prospects. Inform them that an MLM business takes time to build and that it’s best to work it part time while still employed before committing to full-time involvement in MLM. Offer to help your prospects when they join. MLM is a business of people helping people. Just as you may have a sponsor who helps you close prospects, offer the same services to your recruits. Give them free leads to work, and make time for three-way calls between your recruits and their prospects. Source: Chron

False promises are bad. I had a mentor once teach me that it’s better to under promise and over deliver than to over promise and under deliver. That is the strategy I try to follow in my network marketing business.

# 5: Pressure

I’ll start this section out by sharing a fictional story.

Imagine this for a moment. You and your spouse visit a used car lot. You’ve been thinking about upgrading your vehicle to something better. As soon as you drive onto the lot and exit your vehicle, you are approached by a slick salesman.

He has bad breath, is wearing cheap cologne, an outdated sports coat, and he immediately starts talking about the most expensive vehicle on the lot. He says he’s got a deal for you, even though he never took the time to figure out what you are looking for.

He talks a lot. He asks you a few questions, but he always interrupts you and never lets you finish. After a few minutes of conversation, he rushes you into his office to work out a deal.

He brings you into a quiet room. The temperature in the room is much warmer than it should be. You and your spouse start to sweat. He offers you a cup of coffee.

As he rushes out of the room to get your coffee, it feels like forever. You feel like you are in an interrogation room. You sit there and wait. And wait. After he brings you your coffee, he leaves again to work out a deal with the sales manager.

Hours go by. It feels like WEEKS. He ends up spending HOURS trying to pressure you into paying too much for a vehicle you don’t want and can’t afford. Obviously, he does not have YOUR best interest at heart. Instead, he’s just trying to close out the month strong and meet his sales quota.

After hours of going back and forth, you and your spouse have had enough. You leave the dealership vowing that you will never return.

You then go home and share your experience on Facebook. You tell everyone you know NOT to do business with that dealership.

Have you ever experienced anything like this? If so, you know EXACTLY how your MLM Prospect feels when you PRESSURE them.

NO ONE wants to be pressured. Your prospect KNOWS when you have their best interest at heart AND they also know when you are just trying to make a quick dollar.

My best advice is to treat every prospect you talk with as well as you would your own best friend. Always ask for the sale, but NEVER pressure anyone to buy or join. Your job is to LEAD people to a decision that is most beneficial to them, not you. Always be a professional. Act like a lamb and you will sell like a lion!

When customers feel pressure, they feel that demands are being placed on them. Pressure violates customers’ trust when the salesperson doesn’t show respect for their ideas and opinions. Creating demand and force doesn’t work. Patience, respect and understanding do. When you’re able to turn pressure around, you become elevated to a level far above your competition. When you truly want to serve your customers, they know it.

Source: ResourcefulSelling

# 6: Other MLM Deception Strategies

Here are a few other shady things I’ve seen happen in our industry.

  • Promoting multiple opportunities to your team.
  • Pitching people on the business or products before you’ve pre-qualified them and gotten permission to do so.
  • Sending out a massive amount of SPAM emails to people you don’t know and people who DID NOT give you permission to contact them, in hopes of finding that one HOT prospect.

If you are doing ANY of these things to promote your network marketing business, I would encourage you to stop it immediately! You’re doing more harm than good.

hunting for prospects

What You Should Be Doing Instead

If you want to level up in your business, you need to transition away from the MLM Deception and become a network marketing professional instead! Here are some simple ways to make that happen.

# 1: Be Honest, Open, & Transparent

Keep it real with your prospect. Don’t overinflate the company, compensation, or products. What you have is good enough.

# 2: No Hype, Pressure, or Lies

Be calm, cool, and collected. No one wants to work with the “hype” man anyway. There’s no reason to lie about the company, the products, or industry.

# 3: Pre-Qualify Prospects & Take the Focus Off of You

Before you start pitching someone on your products or business, pre-qualify them first by asking them a few questions. Only share the products or opportunity if they express an interest (or have a need).

# 4: Provide Value

The # 1 way to grow your check is to grow your value. The # 1 way to grow your value is to learn new skills. This means you must read books, attend events, and enroll in auto university. It means you learn everything you can about your company, its products, and the industry.

Remember, people join people not companies. Be someone worth joining. Be the type of person you want to sponsor and be the type of sponsor you wish you had.

# 5: Be a Professional

Be a professional. Think of your business as anything but a side hustle or little “part-time” thing. Pretend you have one million dollars invested in your network marketing business, and act accordingly. Have the same mindset about your business that a doctor, lawyer, or accountant has about their business.

be honest with your prospects

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, MLM Deception needs to stop. If you’re using outdated, unethical, or deceptive MLM Recruiting Techniques, please stop now. Make the decision to become a Network Marketing Professional. This is the key to building a lasting, long-term residual income via network marketing.

What are your thoughts? What do you think about MLM Deception? What are some common MLM Deceptive Recruiting Techniques you’ve experienced in your career? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:
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  3. Daily Routine Tips for MLM Reps
  4. LinkedIn Recruiting Tips
  5. MLM Success Tips
chuck holmes


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

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2 thoughts on “MLM Deception: Common Deceptive MLM Recruiting Techniques”

  1. You are very correct about what some unprofessional Networkers are doing to get prospects to join their teams . In my opinion I think this is as a result of lack of experience in this industry.

    1. Lack of experience, ignorance, greed, or just selfishness. It’s sad. Hopefully, companies in our industry will do a better job policing this. It’s also a good idea for all successful reps to train their peeps and set a good example.

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