Selling vs. Consulting in Network Marketing

Today, I want to take a few moments and clarify the difference between consulting and selling in network marketing.  One of the biggest objections you will hear from prospects is “I don’t like to sell.”  When many people think about our industry they think of high pressure sales, such as the used car salesman who turns up the pressure because he is trying to make his end-of-month quota.

To most people, selling means high pressure, where you try to convince someone to buy something they don’t want or don’t need to buy.  If that’s the definition of selling, I don’t want to do it either!

How you treat your prospect will determine how they feel about your business and products. If you act like a salesperson they will think they need to be a salesperson to be successful.

My mentor, who has a team of about one million people, tells me that 95% or more of the population doesn’t like to sell.  From personal experience, I have to agree.  If everyone you are talking to tells you that “they don’t like sales” I can assure you that you are building the business the wrong way.

Rather than be a salesperson, I think the most successful network marketers act like consultants.  They focus on educating their prospects.  They take the time to find out what their prospect’s problems are and IF their products or business opportunity are a good fit, they can offer it as a solution.  However, they don’t try to sell something the person doesn’t want or need.

If you get nothing else out of this article, remember that.  Your job is simply to ask questions and identify a problem that your prospect has, and IF your products or business opportunity are a good solution to that problem, ask them to buy.   If it’s not a good fit, let them go!  This will save you time and money and also protect your reputation.

If more network marketers took this approach, our industry would have a better reputation.  I also believe that network marketers would get better results if they took their eyes off themselves and focused on their prospect’s needs.

It’s true; people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Trust me, your prospects know when you are only talking to them because you want to make a quick dollar. After all, how do you feel when someone treats you that way?

From this day forward, be a consultant, not a salesperson.  Get good at asking questions and listening.  Know the benefits of your products and business opportunity.  Find out what other people want and show them how what you have to offer can help them get it.

Do that and the business will become fun!  Don’t do it and you will continue to struggle in your business.

What are your thoughts?  What do you think about selling in our industry?  Do you think it’s better to have the consultant approach or the salesperson approach?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes


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

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7 thoughts on “Selling vs. Consulting in Network Marketing”

  1. I just love your system of describing this. It is true that probably upwards of 95% of people hate the term selling. While the ultimate goal is to sell, if we do it in a consultation method, educating instead of “pushing,” we will have much better results. When we use high pressure sales techniques, many people may buy but cancel; or will try to avoid us at all costs. When we consult, they will want to be near us to learn more.

    Very good post!

  2. I agree! Especially here in my country. Almost all of the distributors here focus more on hype and convincing. Rarely do I see true network marketers that act as educators and provide tons of value that meets their prospects and customers needs. Thank you Chuck for reinforcing my belief in this. Yes, I agree. We should act more as consultants and educate rather than JUST focus on a sale or sign-up. It works for me and I’ve had a great time with it.

    1. This should give you a strong advantage in your network marketing business Peter. If, in your country, the network marketers are using a high pressure sales technique, and you come along with the educating technique, people will be drawn to you. No matter what country a person is in, people do not like high pressure sales. In the U.S. high pressure is on the way out because consumers are sick of it.

  3. This is so true! I love what you said about educating your potential customers and prospects(clients) about what you have to offer them and how it will benefit them and fit in their lives. It is all about helping others, when you come at this process from a place of giving rather than focusing on what you will get out of it, you have the potential to change someone’s life for the better.

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