Recruiting Advice from an Industry Expert – The MLM Fairytale “Network Marketing and Frogs”

Hello, I’m Jeff Babener and welcome to our blog at I want to talk to you a little bit about frogs and networking, but you’ll have to indulge me a short time while I explain the connection.

We’ve been the advisor to hundreds of network marketing companies. They’ve been billion dollar companies that are household names and they’ve been mom and pop businesses that you’ve never heard of before. What sustains all of them is obviously sales, but what fuels their success is the ability of their distributors to recruit. And, at the foundation of all recruiting is good communication and person-to-person bonding. Technology is changing the game. But don’t sell short the old-fashioned hug or handshake as the best bonding and recruiting machine yet to be invented.

So what’s the impact of the high-tech tools like the Internet on your success in recruiting? Well, our experience suggests that we definitely have a step forward in communication, but not necessarily in closing the sale or recruit. There’s no substitute for what is often referred to as “pressing the flesh.” This is a “people business” and human contact is the necessity that cements the bond.

With the advent of television, a famous media observer, Marshall McLuhan, coined an interesting observation. He said, “The medium is the message.” Unless you are a university professor, that one may leave you puzzled.

What he was probably saying was that the way in which you say something may be as important as what you say. So when you send your message by spam, or by automated telephone device, or when your recruits respond to your ad and are greeted by a voicemail, or when you answer their email with an autoresponder, is it any surprise that you lose the recruit and/or the sale? You could have just lost someone who might have been pivotal in helping build your sales organization.

This is not to say that numbers are not important. The rule in the sales world has always been that you have to expect a lot of NO’S if you’re expecting to get a YES. In other words, you have to kiss a lot of frogs if you’re going to marry a prince. One ingenious networker applied the frog-kissing principle to network marketing.

The message is that network marketing is hands-on, and this old MLM fairy tale is entitled Network Marketing and Frogs. The tale goes something like this:

You’ve gotta kiss a lot of frogs to meet a prince. That’s the job and you’ve gotta kiss ’em. You can’t mail them a kiss. You can’t stay in the office and wait for them to hop in and kiss you. You can’t let advertising change them into princes. You can’t ask your secretary to kiss them. You can’t kiss the same one 40 times. You can’t spend all your time in kissin’ school.

You’ve gotta spend time with the frogs, and you’ll find them out there on the marshes, then when you find one you’ve gotta make contact. Remember kissing is a contact sport, that is, if you really want to meet a prince.

In other words, in a high-tech, high-touch world, in-person contact wins out over technology every time. Another industry expert likes to say that “although the follow-up on decisions are often driven by logic, people make decisions based on emotions.” Think about it for a second. He’s right.

Eminem doesn’t say play the music, he says lose yourself in the music. In other words, connect your soul. Computers, internets, answering machines, emails can’t do this. People don’t lose themselves in emails or auto-responders. People make the decision to commit based on visceral instincts. When they say reach out and touch someone, it resonates. Reach out and send an electronic message does not resonate.

All the studies done on why distributors join and stay with network marketing companies point to the top factors as being personal and emotional; bonding with company leadership, bonding with field leadership, bonding with company vision, and bonding with the product itself. All of these connections are visceral and personal. So use all those new high-tech tools for great communication.

But, don’t kid yourself. There’s no substitute for the personal connection if you intend to be successful in recruiting and network marketing.

For additional information on recruiting in the competitive world of network marketing, visit the following links:

Recruiting Advice from an Industry Expert – Companion video to this blog post

Learn What is Needed to Recruit Top-Selling Distributors – Video

How Important Is Recruiting to MLM Company Success? – Video

MLM Recruiting and Leads Resources

MLM Consulting: How to Build a Successful Direct Selling Company

Or, read some of our other blog posts on success in network marketing, MLM, direct selling, and party plan:

The Nine Basics You Need to Understand in Order to Succeed in MLM – Interview with Jeff Babener

Are you Starting a MLM Company?

An Interview with Industry Expert and Advocate, Jeffrey Babener

The Top Two Reasons Why MLM Companies Fail

What Differentiates a Legitimate Direct Selling/Network Marketing Company from an Illegal Pyramid Scheme?

What Factors Make MLM Executives and MLM Companies Successful – Video

Learn What is Needed to Recruit Top-Selling Distributors for Your MLM Company

Passion, Patience, Persistence – Attitude in Direct Selling

NEW PRESS RELEASE – 63rd Annual MLM Startup Conference!

Paying Commissions on Sales Tools, Sales Kits, and Training Materials……No!

Explaining Your MLM Company to the Public: Answering the Hard Questions

Make sure to visit our blogs for the latest information on the direct selling industry: MLMLegal Blog Home and MLM Attorney Blog Home

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And, as always, visit, the best MLM resource on the web.The next Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference is quickly approaching! On February 21st and 22nd, 2013 we are hosting the MLM Conference for the 25th year! This is now our 63nd annual conference (held almost consistently three times per year over the last 24 years). All executives/owners of MLM, direct selling, network marking, and party plan companies are welcome to attend. This is the original MLM Startup Conference, hosted and perfected by direct selling industry expert, MLM Attorney Jeff Babener. Call 503-226-6600 or 800-231-2162 to register. (Can’t make this event? Keep an eye out for our May and October conferences as well.)

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