The “mistake” of mixing product offer with recruitment is one of the prime reasons why a downline fails. It doesn’t work, it’s never worked, and it never will work. The cynic in me says that the reason it’s taught that way is that the product is so overpriced that the MLM company fully realizes the only people who’ll buy it is recruits at “wholesale” price. In truth, there is no true consumer market for these products. There are a whole bundle of practices that many MLM companies teach that are counter-productive to survival, let alone to success. And I have to say that even though 95% of mainstream small business fails, it still provides better strategies than MLM teaches. I fervently believe that mainstream strategies sell a lot more product, and that out of those customers you can select committed “product-o-philes” who will form a high-performing, sustainable downline. In fact most times they’ll identify themselves to you. The “pull” method of marketing instead of the “push” method. The “in your face” (or even subtle) sales pitches of MLM simply repel people. So people in network marketing really need to study how professional sales people go about networking, prospecting, and selling, and move in that direction. Most countries have a government department which is dedicated to supporting small business and provide low-cost or free business and marketing training (e.g. Small Business Administration in the US). That can be a great place to start when you’re doing your best to figure out what works, and what is basically BS. You hear pure internet marketers talking about “the list” and “the gold is in the list”. The “list” or “data base” is a list of people who’ve given you permission to stay in touch with them. These are people who visit your web site for instance, and click on a form to leave their name and email address with you, specifically giving permission to email them in future. Of course they’re only going to do that if you present them with an irresistible offer, which will usually be a free information product that you’ve done enough research on to know that your target audience would just about walk over broken glass to get hold of. From then on you email regularly, each time giving them more snippets of great information, demonstrating expertise, earning trust and respect, and in fact building a solid relationship with your target market. These people are far more likely to take up offers on particular products that you might recommend. If you’re sending out a newsletter, they’re far more likely to click on links that take them to your web site for more information, or to actually purchase product. The people who actually purchase from you would go on a special separate data base also, because you want to intensify your relationship with them – take it to the next level. Some of them will put themselves forward as possible recruits – perhaps not blatantly, but by writing to you with a fantastic testimonial for instance. So the steps are: 1 Build the relationship 2 Convert some of those to sales 3 Convert some of those to recruits (and of course these recruits are more likely to have “stickability” than someone you’ve chosen merely because they had a pulse and $50 or whatever to sign up with). End result: you sell a lot more product in the long run, you enjoy your target market a lot more, you build real relationships with potential recruits, and you get to pick out people who really do have the ability, the passion for the product, and the commitment to build the business. Best of all, you’ve already been training them in a strategy that works because they’ve been part of the process from the beginning. So you’re going to build downlines that have a chance at not just surviving, but thriving. You might see fellow network marketers building fast downlines with “hundreds” or claiming that, but in fact it’s all BS. Most of those downlines fail right from the start. It’s a lot better to build your downlines slowly and solidly, so they’re sustainable and provide true ongoing passive income.