Do the Products Matter?

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About 20 years ago, when I was just starting to make some money in the business. I attended a seminar put on by an author who had written a book on MLM.  In a private conversation, he told me that the products were really irrelevant; it was the compensation plan that drove growth.

He said we could all buy the products each month and throw them in the river. As long as everyone purchased the minimum each month, we’d all make money.  Being young and gullible, and figuring he was the expert, I took his advice to heart.

Big mistake…

At that time, I was working with a program that allowed you to buy gift certificates in lieu of a monthly product purchase. Since the monthly volume I needed to qualify was $100, I bought a gift certificate for that amount each month.

This was when I still smoked, back when you could do so in public places without getting shot or arrested. So each month, at my biggest opportunity meeting, I would light a cigarette with a gift certificate and let the audience watch it burn up.  What a showstopper!

I would explain that I had paid $100 for the gift certificate and tell them how much my check was that month (which was about $10,000). I went on to say that as long as I bought $100 worth of stuff—even if I burned up a gift certificate or bought products and threw them away—I would get a check! I thought this logic was unassailable. It was.

Except for two slight problems.

Number one, it was illegal. As you now know, any deal where people buy simply to qualify for a check is considered a pyramid—illegal in most countries around the world.

And number two is the fact that it completely diminishes the value of products. People view products simply as a means to get a bonus check, so they don’t use them or develop any affinity for them.  They miss the emotional connection so critical to long-term success.

It is this emotional connection to your company’s products that motivates people to grow and also keeps them from jumping to the next hot deal that comes along.

But I didn’t know all this back then. So I burned my gift certificates and preached the power of the profit incentive. And, of course, my frontline leaders duplicated me. Hell, even some of the nonsmokers took up the habit so they too could burn certificates at their opportunity meetings!

Everything worked great for about five or six levels down, because these people were all making, or about to make, more than their $100 monthly expense. The problems began on the lower levels, where people were not yet in profit…

The end of the month came and went, but these people never placed an order. When the bonus checks came out, their surprised and frustrated sponsor would call them up, demanding to know why they hadn’t ordered anything.

“Because I don’t have anyone under me yet” was the reply.

Well, of course, the next month those sponsors might not order, because the people under them might not be ordering, because they didn’t have volume under them. Attrition started at the bottom and began to work its way up, level by level. This organization, which had taken me more than a year of hard work to build, looked like it was going to self-destruct in a couple of months.

It took a lot of frantic scrambling to stop the bleeding. I got back to personally using the products and conducted product workshops and other activities to show the value of the products.

The products matter.  A lot.

They must be the driving catalyst for the your business.  People today are more distracted and hectic than any time in history.  They have shorter attention spans and want instant gratification.  They have a lot of things competing for both their time and money.

The best way to keep them focused is when they have a tangible product experience in a way that enhances their life.  This creates rock-solid belief, which fosters enthusiasm, which build loyalty, which then builds volume.

An interesting side note…

I came to learn that the “expert” on MLM, by whom I had been influenced, was actually just a parasite that preys on people in the business.  He used his books and seminars to raid people from other organizations. He was actually in 20 or 30 companies at a time. He would roll all his people into a new company, taking himself to the top of the pay plan within a few months.

Meanwhile, all the other distributors in this new company would be wondering how he had accomplished this growth so fast. So they’d buy his books and tapes and go to his seminars, hoping to learn his secret. They would follow the methods taught in the materials, only to find that they didn’t work. They were theories. The trainer himself never actually used these methods to build a group. He built his groups only by raiding the organizations of others.

About the time the people in this new company discovered that his methods didn’t work, our trainer was ready to move on to the next company.  So off he would go to another new deal, taking some of the people from the old one with him. And bringing his larger group to this new deal would shoot him up to the top of the pay plan once again…and he would duplicate the entire process all over again.

Believe it or not, there are actually so many start-up companies always popping up and closing down that he’s done this for over 20 years. He’s made millions selling training materials and seminars to unsuspecting souls.

That works for him because he’s “mining the miners.’  It won’t work for you.  To build a long-term business, make sure it’s grounded in product use.  Build that culture and you’ll build a strong business.

For more on what kind of products work best in Network Marketing, read the chapter on how to select the right company in my book, How to Build a Multi-Level Money Machine.

I’m doing a Science of Duplication workshop this weekend in Sofia, Bulgaria.  Looking forward to meeting some of you there.  Everyone else, have a great week!

- RG

 


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26 Comments on “Do the Products Matter?”


  1. THIS is why Randy Gage is the #1 Trainer in the Network Marketing industry!

    Being in the industry for 5+ years myself, I’ve found time and time again that there are many people who dont know what they don’t know BUT with so many resources and mentors, like Mr. Gage, there are no excuses for being ignorant of the truth.

    Bravo Randy, keep speaking the truth!

    PS – I’m coming for that #1 spot ;-)

  2. KEMI AJANAKU says:

    Thank you Randy, for this revelation it is nothing but the truth since I made it my
    goal to use all my company’s product I am feeling better about my self,my business,and I have more confidence talking to people about my opportunity and the product.
    I am no longer an hypocrite selling my product to customers and am not a user
    I have build confidence and belief to start duplicating this culture in my organisation.

    just keep on telling us the truth and God will continue to bless you.
    KEMI.

  3. Thank you, Randy. It all comes down to You, yes? And this is the kind of behavior that has caused this industry a lot of its challenges…

  4. If it were not for the products in our company, I would have never gotten involved in Network Marketing. The products were helping my entire family so much, that I really didn’t have a choice. Fast forward one year later, I love network marketing. My presentations are very product heavy because I’m so darn proud to sell them and tell people about them. Because of that, I am able to honestly say to people “I don’t care if you get them retail, preferred or wholesale, just get them!” My confidence in the products and what you call “rock solid belief” are the only things that have allowed me to grow my team.

  5. so I go to read about the best products for MLM, and he wants me to buy the book, along with promoting a lot of other ” training” materials. ???

  6. Suzanne says:

    Hi Randy,

    Am enjoying the

  7. Christina says:

    Yes it’s the products that keep things moving. People don’t have time nor do they care about comp plans. ( at first) once they fall in love with the product, comp plan and everything else falls into place for them.
    I love our products and I use and share whenever/wherever.

  8. Esther B says:

    Hi Randy

    Love it.. the product is one of the most important elements of the business.
    I can tell, with pride, I am in love with my Business products. The product save my live.. Good job, Randy. please keep teaching your good business strategies.

    Thank you

  9. Vicki says:

    Hi Randy! I remember when I started back in 1987, hearing the same thing from the FOUNDER of the companny I was with! Even thought the products were great. I never felt comfortable with this and even felt ashamed of what I was doing and moved on to find a company that was really interested in SELLING and giving their customers the best value for money as well as compensating their distributors.
    Great to hear this from you as is confirms my gut feelings and explains logically what I knew even back then.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Lea Sedan says:

    Hey Randy,
    There is a saying of Abraham Lincolen,like this,you
    can’t foll all the people one time,ore one of the people
    all the time.People join to the people in the organization,
    because of relationship,not because of the company ot
    the product.

  11. Enrique says:

    he’s done this for over 20 years. He’s made millions selling training materials and seminars to unsuspecting souls

  12. Jackie Ulmer says:

    Randy,

    I love how you are always real and authentic in sharing the blunders you made in the beginning! This is such a growth business. Thanks for sharing how important the products REALLY are!

    EXPECT Success!

    Jackie Ulmer

  13. Yitagesu from Ethiopia says:

    Hi Randy!
    Before few years a go there was this
    Kind of preaching when we ask the what the benefit of the product, the answer they teach us is like this “focus on the business we didnt join the company because of the products but because of the business opportunity” we sing like objection handling method. After few
    Months the society reject the company, the distributers & even the name of the industry. Still many people are not willing to hear about mlm. So Randy I accept all what you say. Be blessed.

  14. Randy,

    Of course the products matter…. and I take a couple products daily and have for nearly three decades. I won’t work the company program however.

    McDonald’s makes the best hamburger in the world …. or not. They do make a better one here in Colombia than I have ever tasted in the US however. BUT they are the largest most successful hamburger chain on the planet and it is NOT because of their product.

    There is a ‘secret’ in there somewhere.

    Michael

  15. Lea Sedan says:

    McDonald’s hamburger makes the best McDonald’sbecause they have a system that is duplicated,in every one of iheir branch all over the world.The McDonald’s hamburger isn’t the most tasteful,delicious food.The McDonald’s hamburger is foodstuffcary common and “sold like hot cakes “,because it’s simple fast and
    nutrient food in a fair price/

  16. Hey RG-

    Solid info as usual. My dad was a professional salesman, he won all the awards, went on all the company vacations, we lived well in a big house and my brother & I went to great schools and saw a lot of this country. When he “retired” His boredom took him to selling cars. He went to work at a Toyota dealership, at the time he owned a Honda. I noticed this seemed to be the case with all his co-workers, the product doesn’t matter to sales professionsla, because they sell features & benefits. Our business however is based on the recommedation of one friend to another…sharing, not selling

  17. Avi Hecht says:

    i never sell a product . i sell only benefits…and it works for me over 15 years…

  18. Randy! Randy! Randy!

    This post came at a right time for recently I was referring new prospect in my presentations to ads on tv.

    Your post made me to realize that my company has been just advertising their products on tv for past 20 years.

    As a presenter I hold keys in my hands to unlock a better explanation to our prospects on how our products can benefit us & our love ones.

    Thus there are no multi leveled earnings if products are not bought.

    Products come first before people or relationships in company. They are important

  19. Joanna Glade says:

    If you truly want to be successful in Network Marketing, then use and believe in the products. Also, develop a culture. If you don’t do this, you will only be a grinder in this business and make little to no money. Everybody deserves abundance. Go and help others get theirs, so you can get yours!

  20. Richard Bony says:

    Hi Randy,
    This is a lesson I will keep in the back of my mind. I was attracted in Network Marketing by people like you who are talking their minds. But I have come to learn that where good people are, crooks always come and pretend. The great things about this industry is that you can find morally irreproachable around.

    Have a great day

  21. Kristen says:

    Thank you, Randy. It all comes down to You, yes? And this is the kind of behavior that has caused this industry a lot of its challenges

  22. Randy,

    Thank you for sharing this. I too agree that you should use your products or at least have a product that others will use. It’s just a win win all the way around.

    Louann Cormier

  23. Toader says:

    Thank you Randy,

    For this magnificent article is very true, tha product or the service still counts and matter a lot.

    A cordial greeting. Toader

  24. Jared Brown says:

    Products never matter. Its all about marketing. McDonalds is the perfect example. Their burgers are not the best but because of their marketing it is the most popular food place in the world.

  25. Gary Johnson says:

    I don’t believe the product matters that much. The product does have to have some sort of value. You can have a great product and if no one knows about it,it wont sale. Marketing is the main key in succeeding in your business.

  26. khan Habib says:

    Well, its a great article from Randy, no doubt1

    So far I can realise that product is the prime concern and then how you market it. For example, if you have some products thos are “great” in respect of its quality in particular but it will not move until a great marketing is done describing its benefit (health and wealth, etc.). Therefore, in the first hand you should have good quality products and then good marketing plan to get the best out of it.Very rarely you get good sales if the products are not of good quality. PRODUCT is important at the first hand.

    We are learning a lot from Rany, keep it up, great leader in the MLM industry, I like you, your give aways to the MLM industry.

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