The Difference Between Prospecting and Marketing in Your MLM Business

I should have written this post a long time ago.  Well, better late than never.

Let’s face it PROSPECTING SUCKS.  Most people would agree with that statement.  I think there was even a book written with that quote for the title!

Contrary to what you might have been told network marketing really is a PROSPECTING BUSINESS or MARKETING BUSINESS (more on that in a moment).  Yes, the products are important.  Yes, the company is important.  Yes, systems are important.  Yes, the compensation plan is important. Yes, it’s a people business.  Yes, it’s a leadership business.

But none of those things are relative if you don’t know how to prospect people or generate leads. Without a constant flow of new leads you will FAIL in this industry. I guarantee it.

Quite perhaps the biggest reason for failure in our industry is people don’t have prospects to share their business opportunity or products with.  Most people are not natural sales people and they are absolutely scared of talking to people about what they have to offer.

This really has nothing to do with network marketing itself.  Most careers that involve any aspect of selling also have to deal with prospecting. That is why there is such a high personnel turnover in the sales profession.

At the end of the day, most people will not initiate conversations with strangers, meet new people, or call their leads.  Most people will not even contact their warm market.  Most people are so scared of REJECTION (or the fear of the unknown) that they would rather stay home and do busy work, to make themselves think they are doing something productive in their business, rather than do what they know they should be doing:  PROSPECTING AND CONTACTING people.

Sadly, most people who suck at prospecting end up quitting the business because they don’t realize there are any other alternatives.

What if there was a better way?  What if there was a more efficient use of your time? What if there was a second strategy you could follow?

Lucky for you, there is a better way.  That way is called MARKETING.

In case you haven’t noticed, the word MARKETING is part of the word NETWORK MARKETING.  I think it’s there for a good reason.  It’s there because marketing is vitally important.

The major difference between prospecting and marketing is actually quite simple.  Prospecting is when you contact othersMarketing is when you get people to contact you first.

Marketing is fun.  Prospecting sucks.  Agree?

Marketing gives you leverage and allows you to work smart.  Marketing makes building the business fun.  Marketing gets your phone to ring so you can have great conversations with people who call you first!

For my first 10 years in this industry I did PROSPECTING.  I got okay results, but it wasn’t much fun.  It was tiring and often frustrating.  For the past two years I have exclusively used marketing to build my network marketing business.

I haven’t contacted anyone.  I haven’t even called anyone.  What do I do to build my business?  I use good marketing and then wait for people to CALL ME.

How does that sound?  Isn’t that like a breath of fresh air?

Wouldn’t you like to have one to five prospects call YOU every day to learn more about what you are doing?  Wouldn’t that make building the business enjoyable?

That might sound crazy to some of y’all, but some of you are saying HECK YES.

I define marketing as “anything you do to get someone to contact you about your business or products.”  It might include advertising, posting videos or blog posts, doing joint ventures, handing out drop cards, or creating an email campaign.  The options are endless.

By all means, I’m not telling you to STOP prospecting people.  You can still do that, especially if you are good at it or enjoy it.  But why not combine it with marketing so you can get even better results?

If you want to learn marketing, the best person you can study is Dan Kennedy.  No, he is not a network marketer.  No, I don’t get paid to recommend him.  However, he is the world’s most prominent direct marketer and I see it, and just about every other successful marketer in the world is one of his students!

He is my # 1 business mentor and he has taught me EVERYTHING I know about marketing.  I am eternally grateful for his mentorship.  Order all of his books on Amazon and study them.  His two books “No B.S. Selling” and “No B.S. Direct Marketing” are must reads.

If you don’t want to study Dan, you can also read other books about marketing.  Watch YouTube videos about marketing.  Attend marketing workshops and seminars.  Commit to at least 30 minutes of marketing education every single day and you can improve your skills in no time flat!

As I see it, it’s one of the best strategies you can follow.

Remember, prospecting SUCKS.  Marketing is fun.  When people you call you first, the business is enjoyable, and much easier. When you chase, bug, pressure or annoy people, the business is miserable.

What are your thoughts about this subject?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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Chuck Holmes


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6 thoughts on “The Difference Between Prospecting and Marketing in Your MLM Business

  1. Greg Boudonck

    I too am a huge fan of marketing over prospecting. In my opinion, marketing consists of educating people in a short and concise means. Just giving them enough that their mouth will be watering to the point that they have to contact you to know more.

    Marketing is much more fun and exciting to me than prospecting. Some people are good at prospecting, and love doing it, but for those of us who detest prospecting, marketing is a much better method.

    This was a great post, because so many people assume that prospecting and marketing are the same, when they are actually quite different.

  2. Diamond Grant

    Marketing is the easier and I think the smarter of the options. It increases your reach with much less effort on your part. Also, with marketing you are able to target a group or groups that you know are going to respond best to your marketing, which means your chances of making a real connection that sticks are much greater.

  3. Mickiyas

    This is probably one of the biggest reasons people quit and fail.

    Even if you’re passionate about the business, and love prospecting (or think you’re good at it), you need an alternative. You’re busy, but you’re not productive. At the end of you’ll realize that you’ve spent countless hours and worked hard, with little to show for it. You burn out and quit.

    But by teaching yourself marketing, and applying it on your business, you can succeed more easily.


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