The Best Copycat Wins – Secret to MLM Success

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The Best Copycat Wins - Secret to MLM SuccessOkay, I know we have all been taught that being a copycat is a bad thing.  In school we were suspended for copying off of our friend’s test, received an F for plagiarizing an essay, or sentenced to detention for mimicking our teacher.

While imitation may be the best form of flattery, in the fashion world a knock-off handbag or pair of shoes will get you downgraded from the A list to the D list faster than you can say “Gucci”.

In the MLM world though, you want to be a copycat … better still, you want to be a copycat maker.

The power of the MLM strategy is that it allows you to tell a story about your product, your company, and yourself.  It is this combination of the word-of-mouth endorsements with the loyalty of its customer base that adds instant credibility that a product on a shelf or a television advertisement cannot match.

Somebody told you their story and you joined up, and somebody before that told that person, and someone before that, and so on.  The danger of relying on this storytelling method of advertising is best demonstrated by the party game telephone.

Let’s Play Telephone

In the game, the group stands in a circle then one person starts by whispering a sentence in the ear of the person on her right, and that person does the same, and this continues until the secret sentence makes its way to the person to the left of the original person.  Inevitably, the sentence has changed so much that it bears very little resemblance to the original sentence by the time it makes its way to the last person.

This same problem plagues many MLM companies and becomes a liability as their distributors begin to change the story by adding to it here via exaggerations and hype or subtracting there by failing to mention or downplaying important information.

The Best Copycat Wins - Secret to MLM Success (telephone game)Imagine if each of the people at the party had spent five minutes with the original person and listened to her tell the sentence over and over again.  This time the outcome of the game would almost certainly come close to, or even exactly match, the original sentence.  It would not make for a very fun game (or party) though – especially for the person that had to spend five minutes with everyone saying the same sentence over and over again.

What if she just picked six people and spent the five minutes with them and then had those six people do the same?  The game would have a very similar output but she would have only spent five minutes to reach forty-two people instead of the three and a half hours it took telling each person.

Recruit, Recruit, Recruit?

The MLM system is not designed for one person to recruit a ton of distributors.  As you see from the simple math of the example above, utilizing the power of multiplication is much more powerful than addition.  If you concentrate on adding more distributors personally then most of your time and effort will be spent training, encouraging, and following up with each of them.

Chances are that you joined your MLM company to create more time for yourself and your family while generating an income stream that continued to work without you having to be present to do so.  Like the lady in our telephone game, you can spend your time doing this but it isn’t going to be much of a party.

“Copy Me, Please!”

Instead, find six distributors and then say to them, “Copy me, Please!”  Take the time and effort to teach them the MLM story and the nuances of it.  Make sure that they hear you tell the story over and over again.  A great way to accomplish this is to offer to talk to their prospects with them.

You could do this in a group all at once, but doing it one at a time so your distributor has a chance to hear you tell the story to different people multiple times is much better.  In the process, you train your distributor how to tell the story and make a copy of yourself that can now go out and do the same with their six distributors, and so on, and so on.  That’s the power of multiplication!

The Best Copycat Wins

The secret about MLM is that it isn’t about selling at all, but about teaching.  Teaching your downline to become copycats helps eliminate the MLM buyer’s remorse, reduces the need to generate a huge list of people to prospect, prevents over-hyping and over-exaggerating the story, and provides more free time and financial security.  Aren’t these some of the main reasons people list for the negative reputation of the MLM industry?  Imagine if more MLM sponsors would spend more time creating copycats.

While it is true that timing and positioning are important in MLM, there are many who have got in early and did not make it big.  If you fail to properly train your downline the odds are that you and they will fail.  The early bird may get the worm in MLM, but it is the cat that gets the bird … that is, the copycat.

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Brad's Big Feet Marketing helps people on a limited budget enlarge their online footprint using blogging & social media. His other blog, Marketplace Christianity, examines faith's role in how we earn and spend money.

Brad has written 95 awesome articles for us at Bradley A Harmon

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Annemarie September 24, 2009 at 10:35 am

Hi Bradley,
..beautiful must-read blog for network marketers..duplication is the second most important word / understanding for multi-level success. The only thing I could add is make sure the copy-cat is as simple as possible without loss of critical information. I beleive we can do it in 3 Steps!


Brad Harmon September 24, 2009 at 11:35 am

Thanks Annemarie! You make an excellent point.

Simplicity not only helps ensure that there is not a loss of critical information in the copycat process, but it also encourages it by showing the ease of the transference. If your process is too complex your downline will likely abandon it or abandon you.


Brad Harmon October 20, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Thanks, when it comes to training a sales force (especially in network marketing) it's a great thing. Everywhere else though it is probably still a bad idea. ;)


kiahltan July 9, 2010 at 4:21 am

Yeah, so funny and true.


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