Selling versus Sharing versus Marketing

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Long time followers of my work will remember the “sharing” joke I used to do at seminars.  In reality a lot of people in our business use the word share when really they are simply trying to sell.  But you have to do better…

Real success in Network Marketing comes not from selling, but marketing.  What’s the difference?

Selling is getting people to buy things they don’t want to.  Marketing is about education.  Giving people enough information for them to make the best decision for them.  That decision may be they join the business, they become a customer, or neither.  But if you’ve done your job right, whichever answer they choose is the correct one.

You’re looking for duplication, and selling techniques aren’t going to do that.  Marketing will.  So where does the sharing come in?

That’s really your mindset.  People who struggle in the business think things like, “Who am I going to sell this stuff to?” or “Who can I get to sell this stuff for me?”

Wrong questions…

The real question you want to ask yourself is, “Who can I help with my business opportunity or products?”  And once you realize the real value you have to offer, you want to share that.

And speaking of sharing, hook a brother up…

When you come by the blog and you find something of value, please retweet it on Twitter, like it on Facebook, share it on LinkedIn (See those cute little buttons up there!), or email it to your team.

This blog is a labor of love for me, and it works best when you participate and get the word out on it.  For some reason, the readers on my prosperity blog share it like crazy.  Yet here, where everybody is network marketers who are supposed to do this kind of thing for a living, there’s not much promo going on.  So show me some love people, will ya?


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51 Comments on “Selling versus Sharing versus Marketing”

  1. John Lowery says:

    Great point! Only 3% of the public like to sell, so if selling was how this industry worked most would fail miserably. I agree it’s all about MARKETING and using 3 Party Tools. Some Will, Some Won’t, So What, Who’s Next….

  2. Gina Koinski says:

    Always sharing the love Randy. You always have such good stuff – hard to keep to myself. Thanks for what you do!


  3. Douglas says:


    You know I’m your huckleberry.

    I repost on FB and retweet often. OK, I don’t just do it for you, who knows I may find someone I can help with my business opportunity or products if they read my post they may want to know me.



  4. Nam says:

    Sharing your knowledge always! Thanks Randy!!!


  5. Marlene says:

    Curious. Why do you tweet out the Prosperity blog entries — but not these? These I get via email only! Maybe that’s why these do not get retweeted as often?

    (Or I’m just not subscribed to the correct Twitter account!)

    – Marlene

  6. Marlene says:

    No, I don’t agree that sales is getting people to buy stuff they don’t want!

    I think real selling is about really listening to people and their needs. So many times, what you have to offer as a network marketer really does match the needs of the people to whom you are talking.

    I’d like to see genuine salespeople, who truly love people and love their customers, make a movement over to network marketing. I’m not talking about the “used car salesmen” of yore, but about the new breed of salespeople who do consultative selling through knowledge-based education about the products and the business opportunity. True salespeople like this do guide the customer to ask the right questions.

    I mean – your average network marketer is going to come across many objections which aren’t really objections at all. If the network marketer has zero training on sales objections, how are they supposed to get past that? How do you tell a marketer that there’s no selling when they should probably really have the sales training that says “it’s okay, you’ll get nine no’s for every yes” and “push through, because you *will* reach people that need your help if you just keep going.”

    I agree that network marketers are asking the wrong questions — but I think it’s because they aren’t looking at it from a sales perspective. Showing people how to convert the brain to say “how can I help” as opposed to “how am I going to move this product” is the key to infinitely better sales!

    Central CT, USA

  7. In my experience most people love to sell as long as people are buying. Most people are ‘afraid’ of rejection because they take it personal. It is interesting that only about 5% are willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. The rest offer plausible excuses and have something ‘better’ to do.

    I love sales and what works both in sales, mlm, network marketing is finding out what the ‘customers’ needs are first… build a relationship, worry about them and the rest will take care of itself.

  8. Maran says:

    Marlene you nailed it.

    I think its about just telling the story.
    Educating the person we are talking to.
    It’s a conversation, finding out what they need.

    Thanks for starting a great conversation Randy!

  9. Here’s the rub . . . When the focus is on being a TRUE solutions provider,the rest will take care of itself.

    It really is true , If you help enough people get what they want, you’ll automatically get what you want.

    Keep the great content coming Randy!

  10. The nugget within this post is not about sales. It’s about how we frame questions. Who can I help?

    The profession is called Network Marketing & the professionals understand marketing.

    Learn marketing & change your business in 2011.

  11. Eddy Chai says:

    MLM is a business where we sponsor many people and all distributors must have the responsibility to look after 10 to 20 customers every month. This is what I learnt in my Amway days. Now you know why they are so big.

  12. Greetings,

    You bring in a Great Topic for understanding how to be successful in ANY profession.

    Simply put: I can get ANYONE to do or buy ANYTHING — THEY choose to do or buy.

    I then must create the VALUE so THEY decide what THEY want.

    How does one do that?

    Ask enough questions and LISTEN to their answers and you will have the information to build the Value they need to see.

    A lot of great info here on this blog Randy.

    Be Blessed,


  13. Hi Randy,

    I think that many people are afraid that you are sponsoring their friends if they share your content here about Network Marketing.

    Why I know this?

    I had the same thought first.

    But this is not how MLM is working.

    I realized that better education of my small team through Randy, who has a big team, makes my team growing consistently.

    And yes, this works now.

    Thank you Randy for your help on building my team!

    Best regards


  14. Hi, every body
    I have some sentence shaired to you

    ” Golden sentence….

    1.I known how you feel……
    2.I felt the same way befor……..
    3.but you known what i found ……..(” Just now XXXX is the best opportunity in the world ”)

    Lady &Gentlemen ,Pls believe me It work al the time….


  15. rene says:

    Funny, I have been having this discussion with our managment just a few weeks ago. I told them we are in Network MARKETING

    • rene says:

      Something went wrong here. The full text should be:
      Funny, I have been having this discussion with our managment just a few weeks ago. I told them we are in Network MARKETING not in Network SELLING. All we need to do is to make sure the people we talk to (everybody) have enough information so they can make an INFORMED decision. Be that a NO, that’s ok; be that a YES, that’s fine too. Talking to your prospects this way avoids the pain as whatever the answer is, as long as you have been able to show them their choices, you have done fine.
      I will forward this article to them and my entire team.

  16. Sean Breslin says:

    Ok Randy…. Good lesson and I’m sharing the luv…. and retweeting.

    Happy New Year to you and yours…

    From Sean.

  17. Imran says:

    Hi Randy,
    I think the word “Selling” just gives people a bad feeling because we have all been on the bad end of a hard sell by the street vendor or the cold call.

    The key to selling is to become a person who someone would like to buy from.  We all love to buy, when we look to buy do we ever notice the ‘Sales’ people?  Isn’t that interesting?  The only ‘Sales’ people we notice are the ones who stand out, provide value, offer discount and offer great service.  If you can think of selling to be this instead of bashing people over the head with your offer then you can really make a difference in Network Marketing.

  18. Dena says:

    Randy, Thank you for ASKING for what you wanted. Let this be a lesson to us all. Sometimes we have to ASK.
    I’m off to hit the share button.

  19. Michael Ngurukie says:

    Randy,thanks the far that i have come your blog have reary assisted me to grow and also understand our business more better remember you are an inspiration to many and i admire the size of your business……….


  20. Jose Jacobs says:

    I like what you say and has made me look at things in adiferent way I think I know where I am going wrong. I was also interested in the many comment
    Very thought provoking and educational

  21. Eric Janssen says:

    I agree with you most of the time, but this is BS!

    In my opinion you make a completely wrong and judgemental statement about selling/sales. Bad salesmanship is indeed selling someone something he/she doesnt want. Sales is an honourable profession if you do it right.

    Why do you put all the sales people in our business (and the world) down? (btw i am not a sales person). That’s like judgeing a profession as a whole by looking at the people who do it wrong. And we all hate it when people judge the networking profession by the people who do it wrong. (the piramid guys) So why do the same with sales/selling?

    Marketing is only partly education. Will you teach the prospect all about all the competing products there are? Will you tell people everything there is to know about your company? I mean everything! No.. you tell them what you think they need to know. And you will always be biassed towards what you are marketing/selling. There is nothing wrong with that.

    Your “Escape the Rat Race” audio is a also “sales” pitch. If you only give people information, why “sell” them on how bad their current situation is? You use the sales techniques you despise yourself on this tape.

    Why give all the people in our profession the wrong attitude towards the sales profession? Why not educate them on how its done right? There is no marketing without sales. And there can be sales without the “techniques”.

    Maybe it is time to reconsider your attitude towards sales, like you did with your opinion about Tony Robbins ;-)

    Keep up the good work.

    Best wishes to all, Eric

    • Randy Gage says:

      Actually I would agree with you. I should have stated that what I was describing is the negative way I see selling done so much of the time (car lots, time shares, etc). But as you correctly point out, when it is done the right way, it is about meeting needs.

      I’m overly sensitive about the topic because I see so many MLM companies bring in sales trainers teaching manipulative techniques. Thanks for calling me on this.


  22. wencel says:

    Hi Randy,

    of course, is the best when the buyer convinces himself that the product offered will buy , but we need to deliver him “ammunition”.
    I am still convinced that everything has a buyer, the question is how to find him.
    Each of us every day something sell , our job, products, ideas, but you Randy share optimism, good humor and faith in everyone of us, and itsn`t something lying on the counter !

    Thanks Randy.

  23. Steve says:

    Hey Randy,

    I have been full time in networking for 20 years. I have been successful in networking for the last 15 of those 20. The key for me turned when I really started having an interest in the other person and started asking questions to find out what they are looking for to see if we have a match.

    Earlier this year, my sister died and it left me with a hard choice. My sister worked for my dad in his used car business. Her death left a huge whole, not only in our family, but in his business. Because of the freedom of my MLM business, I was able to step in and help him at his car lot. I had always said I would NEVER be a car salesman. But I took the skills I have learned in MLM and applied them to the car business and I have found that I really enjoy it. If done right, the principles in the used car business are the same is MLM. You find a prospect, discover what they want, and then see if you have what they are looking for. You are correct, it’s all about asking the right questions. How do you find the right questions? Simply by asking all questions you can think of and then constantly refining your questions. In the beginning, I was asking so many questions that people felt interrogated. I have learned over the years to ask better questions.

    Thank you for all you do in our industry to make it a profession.

  24. Lea Sedan says:

    Hey Randy/

    People likes to buy, but they don’t likes when any seller trys to sell them, because
    sometimes sales is getting people to buy stuff they don’t want.
    Marketing is better, because in the marketing process you give the people information, values, and don’t try to cnvince anyone to by any stuff which he
    don’t wants to buy.

  25. Nadia says:

    Ok, Randy. I hear what you’re saying: people are reluctant to re-tweet or “share” (lol) these posts on FB.

    Here is my theory and it has to do with sales.

    When new distributors join a company, they are unfortunately brainwashed. Their products are the biggest, the best, the most fantastic ones and nobody can beat what they have to offer, oooops… to “share”. (Unfortunately my phone company or my grocer has never shared anything with me…)

    So, very often the new distributor starts with the false impression that everybody is going to jump on their products and their opportunity. After all, it’s what they did, no? And they are not stupid people, they don’t have stupid friends and acquaintances. They saw the possibilities in that business. So everybody in their circle of influence will see the same thing. (Am I wrong? lol)

    But reality hits: the dream breakers are just around the corner, the “no’s” are coming in, they have to face rejection. And that is hard. Very hard.
    So, they start to doubt. Doubt the products, doubt the compensation plan, doubt their own ability to be successful. Silently, but they do.
    They approach people the wrong way because they expect a no, a rejection. They almost provoke it themselves. And they give up. Most of them do and we know that.

    I agree, this is all due to bad training and too much hype (necessary to some extend but not to the extend of stupidity).

    As a result, the vast majority of ML Marketers have a hard time to tell straight in the face of someone in which industry they are because they cannot stand the rejection anymore. They are not proud of being in MLM.

    Raise your hand here if you dare tell me that you never have wanted to quit, that you have never doubted and that you can take rejection as if it were a candy bar.

    On FB or Twitter it’s easy to share or re-tweet positive quotes and thinking. It’s politically correct and in trend. Hence the nice publicity you get on your prosperity blog.

    Talking about MLM is evil, comes across as greedy and we could be rejected by our friends (the real ones and the ones on FB) and our family.
    Why would we take such a risk?

    I must admit that I like what you say, I like tough love (ask ppl around me…) and I apply 90% of your training. (sorry for the 10%, but I gotta get to own something lol).

    So, I commit to re-tweet or share on FB the posts I’ll like in 2011 and be proud of being a ML Marketer. As we say in French: broom at your doorstep before you look at the dust at the neighbor’s doorstep.

    I wish you and all the readers of this blog the best for 2011.

  26. Rania says:

    That is very true Randy. I always market my company and services and I have seen positive results in my organization. Thank you for the post! I love your energy and bulletproof mindset…:)

  27. […] Selling versus Sharing versus Marketing […]

  28. Izabella Sfair says:

    Because you´ve been sharing your experience we can grow a little every single day! Thanks a lot…Izabella

  29. cliff boxer says:

    Randy one of your most memorable lines to me from the early days…we’re not selling we’re just S-H-A-R-I-N-G. I can hear it as clearly as when you said it. In networking we don’t want to sell anybody anything they dont want. What we want to do is to say or convey look what I found. Then we show the product or the opportunity. That of course is another debate on what to lead with. Today especially, and in most cases the opportunity should be your lead.

  30. Maggie Lancy says:

    Excellent point Randy!

    It is those who see the bigger picture and the possibilities are those that are successful!
    Who can I help today!

  31. Jack LaCava says:

    Good post Randy. I don’t usually disagree with you but I have to take issue with you here. I’ve been in outsidie business to business sales for 34 years. Your statement: ” Selling is getting people to buy things they don’t want to” is completly untrue. While there are unprofessional salespeople that will try to get us to make a purchase we don’t want to make, a true sales professional knows that he/she takes the time to listen to the prospects needs and offer a solution. If I don’t have the solution for a prospect, I refer them to someone who can better serve them but I will continue to follow-up for future opportunities. Although that is the simple way of putting it, it is basically what transpires. Follow-up is also a key component in sales and unfortunately one that is overlooked by too many in sales including network marketing.

    Marketing is not selling or sharing. I agree with your definition marketing but in order for your prospect to purchase you need to sell them. Educating our prospects is overlooked and such an important step in the process of bringing in a new customer or distributor. For the record, if you’re exchanging a product or service for money, you are selling and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. If anyone hates to sell it’s because they don’t know how and haven’t taken the time to learn. JL

  32. Hi Randy,

    In my mind “selling” carries the connotation that we are manipulating the consumer, selling to them instead of allowing them to purchase from us.

    I keep the word “offering” in mind. It’s worked for my attraction marketing policies. Here’s what I do, here’s the benefit it provides my target audience, either it works for them or it doesn’t, but I didn’t force anybody to do anything or use smoke and mirrors because these tactics always backfire down the road. Force negates.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.


  33. Hi Randy

    “Marketing is about education. Giving people enough information for them to make the best decision for them.”

    This is definitely the best way to promote your MLM.


  34. dawn says:

    You have been retweeted and liked. I’ll help “market” the love! Thanks for all you and helping me stay on track!

  35. Ian Belanger says:

    Hey Randy, great post and don’t worry I will share it with everyone I can. I would appreciate if you could check my blog out as well and comment with any tips that you might have for me. You are an inspiration to all of us Network Marketers, Thanks and keep it up!!

  36. I love the idea of SHARING this my help to enthusiasm people to do the business.

    Thanks for sharing you knowledge.

  37. Carol says:

    I agree with Marlene and Eric.
    I have been in sales over 20 years. I am a successful salesman. I have
    never sold anything to a person that he/she didn’t want to buy.
    Thank you very much for all you share with us. I appreciate you.

  38. Cynthia says:

    Randy, thank you for clearly defining the difference among the three concepts (selling, marketing, sharing). Your definitions are very helpful to me.

  39. Sulaiman says:

    Whether network marketing or any other business, the purpose is to make money. Now, in order to make money in any business, service must be rendered. It can be call selling or marketing. D difference in mlm is that we look for who to help with what we have. Therefore my colleague in network marketing, let us create genuine relationship with people, identify their needs and provide solution. When we aproach it this way, people will see us as a consultant rather than sales people. Thank Randy for this topic. SULAIMAN, NIGERIA.

  40. wole adeniji says:

    i believe you can sell without marketing but you cant market without selling.Therefore,learn marketing and you will sell naturally.Thanx RG n others.

  41. […] a great response to yesterday’s post on selling versus sharing versus marketing. And thanks to you all for sharing and spreading the word.  I appreciate the love!  And there was […]

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