Everyone wants a short cut.  And lots and lots of folks are willing to sell them to us.  Folks, it’s a new spin on the old shell game.

Fashion comes and goes, only princples endure. We’ve been pretty blessed since 1993 and growing up hustling newspapers at Fenway Park had a lot to do with us saving lots of money and time.  I guess some would say we have street smarts but I prefer to call it common sense.

Twain wrote….”Common sense isn’t so common….”  He was right.

Let’s turn the clock back so we all don’t get sucked into the latest and greatest list-building, lead-generating machine that will have ‘hot prospects’ beating down your door.  Puh-leeze.

In the mid-to-late 90s a company named “Pro-Step” introduced leads and this amazing tool to contact those leads….an auto-responder.  Loading 1000 leads in would create as many as 200 folks who would go and watch a movie and then fill in a profile.  Try that today.  The interesting thing is this…..folks joined Pro-step, got lots of prospects but their success rate was no different.  Strange?  Nope.  Not if you understand how the Shell Game works.  You know what I mean?  You are looking for the ball under one of 3 shells and the guy is moving them really slowly.  He makes it sooooo easy to follow the ball…..until you put your money down.  Seeing people win money [known as shills, who are working with the guy moving the 3 walnut shells, cups….whatever] ….DRAWS ‘marks]’ [aka suckers], over to the game.

OK, here is what happens in the Home-based-biz of networking…..and why the more folks you plug into these magic systems…..the slower your progress is in the company you are trying to build.  Our intnetion, pure as it may be, had nothing to do with a business decision.

With ZERO proof that folks used these systems of lead generation to build thier primary company…..we get dazzled by UNSUBSTANTIATED numbers and buy in.  We share it with others in our group…we don’t even know we have become the shill!  LOL……anyway….the next thing you know you and the leaders of your group are on conference calls, hearing about upsells and calling others who joined this ‘magic bullet’ and listneing to each others deals…..and…..to get their site FREE [LOL….if they are investing time, it ain’t free baby]…..they are calling folks in thier group to get them into this AMAZING program that will help them…..not even realizing they are undermining thier own leadership.

These programs are not only distractions BUT they entirely miss the point and the problem we all face.  We now have all our people interested in a program, promoting it in our organizations that has produced nothing.  MANTRA: Test something yourself BEFORE you testify to its value.

Its not about generating leads, that is not the problem………..lead system peddlers really, really want you to BELIEVE that…..because once you buy the premise what they are selling makes sense……more on this in a minute……..

How do they suck people into the ‘shell game?’ Easy.  Most people looking have burned thier warm market and/or had thier feelings hurt by a few of them…..so they want to talk to strangers…..and ……”Hot Prospects” we don’t know sounds a lot better than ‘warm market’ who critisizes us.  Yes?  Folks, that is the ‘bait’

Think about the average person, workng full time and doing an MLM deal part time…..and you suggest lead system  to him that you have sponsored a single person into your primary company with ……and now the limited time s/he has is split between your primary program and a feeder program.  WAKE UP.  Leads are not the problem.

Think about it.

****If your friends and relatives don’t like what you have to say ……. what in the world would possibly make anyone actually believe strangers will like it any better?****

Once someone knows what to say and do…..then people to talk to is never a problem……this is keeping first things first.

Back to Pro-Step for a sec……today, because of technology advancements, anyone can create a mini-prostep…..a self proclaimed lead generating, income producing machine.  Now folks want to tell you ‘old school’ is dead and old school  versus ‘new school’ analogies are all over the place…..but beware.  Examine the analogies very carefully and let me make this point from a different angle.  I know the Top Earners with 3 different companies, making the kind of money most dream about.  2 of the 3 never bought a lead in their life AND don’t know anyone of thier leaders who have.  The third, a 10 year pal, has leveraged the internet to tap poeple’s, you guessed it…..warm market.  What all the all three of these industry icons do is teach thier people ‘how to’ talk to people and obtain a postive response to looking at their biz op.

It simply cannot be said enough…..and these magic systems won’t teach you canse they don’t know how,…

****If your friends and relatives don’t like what you have to say ……. what in the world would possibly make anyone actually believe strangers will like it any better?****

Although he passed on the next world in an accident a couple year back, friend, mentor and MLM legend Bob Schmidt shared with me and others his one regret is that over the years he sponsored too many people.  And Bob did not sponsor a lot of people.  For the record Bob was a millon dollar earner annually.  For over 30 years.  So I always kind of laugh when I see these systems and books and CD series that promise to teach you ‘how to’ sponsor 10 to 20 people every month.   Most of all, Bob worked with people, like we have, and kept first things first.

<<<Its not about how many leads you have if you don’t know how to get 90+% or more to look at what you have.>>>

Learning what to say so you hear the word ‘yes’ all day long is far more valueable than getting more people to talk to buying the big lie that makes bottom-feeders money….”Its a numbers game”

It sure is a numbers game for folks playing the Shell game…….but not for serious builders who realize “if my own brother wouldn;t take a look, why would a stranger…..hnnnnm, maybe  I am saying the wrong thing and need to learn what to say”

Think about it before buying stuff……..the internet is a stunning tool…..but can be an astonsihing vampire of your groups time and money.  As friend and 15 year MLM success Gary Rogers likes to say…”the proff is in the printout’…….and, I like to add…..’if they can’t show you who they built with and are currently making big bucks they simplly are not for real’


mark j

world’s laziest networker

About the Author

  • Hey Mark, you hit it spot on!

    Ask the owners of lead companies this question: If you can actually produce quality leads that have the money and want to join an mlm, why aren’t YOU using those leads to build your OWN residual income in mlm?

    They will always answer: I have to stay neutral to best serve the industry.

    Like Mark said, common sense is dead. You can bet your last dollar, if they were really generating quality leads, they would use them themselves…and…would not be selling them!

    I bought leads for years, trained people how to call them for years, even OWNED a leads company for a couple years…I regret it. Take it from someone who knows. Mark J is right. Learn the skills to generate your own. Most times that equals very low cost, if not even free, exclusive leads that have not filled out 15 forms at 2am and then been sold 50 times!

    And if you don’t believe the above…I have some SUPER HOT leads I will sell you!!!


  • It is very hard to buy a good lead. It is much smarter to share in the results of a good advertising campaign. Don’t confuse an advertising campaign with a cheap lead source. Advertising is group prospecting to a new market. Prospecting is essential and with advertising you can to a certain extent filter down to people who have an interest in your endeavor.

    Good advertsing is not cheap, but it is valuable. It is also not easy to do. You can easily waste your money. But if you know what you are doing and are consistent with a sound strategy you can find it very productive. I have seen it create very sound businesses. It should always be a part of well rounded marketing strategy that focuses on warm market. An advertising program is not a replacement for your own warm market and personal contacts. Certainly any business person in any industry should always keep an eye open for new business where ever they go.

    With an ad campaign you never know how many leads you are going to get, but they are there because you sparked an interest in talking. Even then some people respond and immediately forget they even submitted their name. That is just the way some people are.

    If you are going to advertise you should have a set budget that you spend every month as a traditional business does. Don’t borrow money to advertise, just set a budget that you can afford each month and stick with it. If you do, over the long run you with find it works.

    If you plan to do your own advertising be prepared for some limited immediate success and then a long and expensive education. However, as proven by Wal-Mart, McDonalds, etc. advertising does work. It is a very powerful tool. I believe it is more productive to learn how to work your warm market than it is to learn how to properly advertise. Buy the advertising from somebody who knows what they are doing.

    I spent 25 years in the advertising business before I got into networking. I have used that education to enhance my networking business and it has been very successful for me and many of those who have joined my ad co-ops. My ad co-ops (www.promisecoop.com) have helped many grow their businesses and find leaders. I don’t sell leads, I run ad campaigns, there is a big difference. To my knowledge I have the only ad co-op that Mark J ever endorsed.

  • Andy makes a great point. Knowing him personally, I know he used his coops to build HIS business and to help others in THAT program build THEIR businesses.

    So he just underscores my point: Andy was not generating leads to profit from the leads!

    Andy had a vested interest in the leads because they were HIS leads to build HIS and HIS downline’s businesses.


  • Mark,

    You are so right. About a year ago, I briefly fell for it. It didn’t take me long…lets say long enough to let a few dollars fly away to remember what Bob Schmidt said. I have gone back to the days of old, and now teach the days of old, that one does not have to sponsor the world to succeed. I am now doing much better, and I have quality people coming into my organization. I quickly jumped off the affliate shell game cold turkey. Of course you know the names of some that have cashed in, but they are few and far between contrary to what is said in the spam I now receive.

    Thanks for the article. I am looking forward to more.

  • Yep!

    Leads do not a Leader make.

    All the leads “Leaders” I once followed are,…
    interestingly,….no longer in the business of legitimate
    network marketing. They’ve moved on to the new shell game
    of “social media” LEAD GENERATION “Secrets”.


  • Thank you for sharing this thought and truth to the game…. I believe I’ll attract the right talent into my life which shared shall multiply for the good of mankind.

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