“It’s not selling. It’s sharing!” Great Lie #2

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“It’s not selling. It’s sharing!” Great lie #2 in an eBook written by Ann Sieg titled  “The 7 Great Lies of Network Marketing.”

I think anyone wanting to establish an internet marketing business should read this eBook. I’m hoping by sharing the book, you may be interested in getting your own free copy.

I have permission to reprint this eBook without alteration. This is #2 of the series.

Here is Lie #1 If you missed it:

Great Lie #1

Lie #2 – “It’s not selling. It’s sharing!”

This really isn’t sales. We just share products with people.

Doesn’t that just give you warm fuzzies inside?

This untruth also has a distant cousin which often takes the form of gibberish like this:

“Your family and friends should buy from you just because you’re you. I mean, why would they give their business to some large corporation when they could give it to a close friend or relative. It’s called keeping your money in close circles. People a hundred years ago used to do it.”

More about this in a minute.

First, let’s talk about the severe ramifications this whole idea of “sharing” has for people who are just getting started.

Here are the two major side effects of this lie:

Side Effect #1. There’s a huge deficiency of proper sales training because if it’s not sales, then there’s no need for sales skills. As a result, people are thrown to the wolves totally unprepared to retail their products and their opportunity.

Side Effect #2. People are set up for failure because they’re given false expectations about how easy this is going to be. Labeling this whole business as “sharing” makes it sound like child’s play. New distributors are given the impression they’re doing one thing, when in fact it’s something else entirely. They think this is going to be a cakewalk and when they find out it’s not they aren’t too likely to stick around.

When people are fed the idea that it’s simply a matter of sharing, they’re in for a very harsh reality check.

They go out and eagerly “share” their incredible product with all their family members, only to be sorely disappointed when they’re shot down. Then they’re baffled as to why it didn’t work for them.

One of the main reasons people tell this lie is because they don’t want to scare new prospects away.

They want people to get this nice, cozy feeling that all we’re doing is telling the rest of the world about our wonderful product and people will be so swept away by our enthusiasm that they’ll automatically buy.

After all, it’s common knowledge that most people hate sales. So uplines and sponsors will beat around the bush and basically sugar-coat this inconvenient and uncomfortable fact:

If You Are In Network Marketing, You Are In Sales.

Understand this: Anytime you’re asking another person to give you money in exchange for something, you’re talking about sales.

Selling is not sharing and sharing is not selling.

We’ve all heard it before. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising there is, right? Right.

What do you do when you see an incredible movie at the theatre? You tell your friends how awesome it was…how gripping the plot was…how engaging the actors were…blah, blah, blah, all that good stuff…and that they absolutely have to go see it. Same with eating out at a great restaurant or picking up your favorite artist’s new CD.

People will be very likely to go spend money on these things after hearing a glowing report from you, their trusted friend.

Here’s where the stick gets thrown into the spokes.

Your personal recommendation for all that stuff is so powerful because you have nothing to gain by “selling” them to your friends. As soon as you throw a financial interest into the mix, everything changes.

Both for you and for them.

For starters, you’re not as comfortable. You don’t feel as natural as you did with something you don’t make money off of. Now you’re forcing it and as a result, it just doesn’t “flow” the same.

It’s also different for them because they know you’re making money from the deal. It’s no longer an unbiased, “third party” opinion. People can smell an “incentivized” referral from a mile away. The whole dynamics of it has changed.

So the fact is, in network marketing you have now crossed over from the world of personal recommendation to the realm of direct sales. Don’t let anyone tell you they’re the same, because they’re not.

Once you get this you’ll understand that you do indeed need to learn effective sales skills.

It isn’t enough to just “recommend” your products to people you know.

Just Because Someone Is Your Friend Does Not Constitute A Good Enough Reason For Them To Buy From You.

It’s their hard earned money we’re talking about here. And now you need to give them real, solid and compelling reasons to buy your product instead of all the similar ones out there.

There’s a story I have to tell you that illustrates this whole issue very well.

My son has been involved with a few mlm companies throughout the years. He was actually even my sponsor at one point (figures…).

One of his upline mentors in his very first company used to give people this analogy to explain to them how to retail the products.

He said that if he were to open up a McDonald’s franchise he would darn well expect all his family and friends to eat at his McDonald’s rather than any other fast food joint in town. So therefore, just the same, all your family and friends should buy your products instead of going somewhere else.

Well isn’t that nice.

What if your brother lives 40 minutes away from your McDonald’s and he’s got a Burger King that’s 3 minutes away. Is he still expected to drive all the way over to your business every time he wants a burger and fries? Or what if he doesn’t even like McDonald’s?

What if he doesn’t like fast food at all? What if your brother doesn’t even like you?

See where I’m getting with this? Just because someone is your friend/relative does not mean they will or should spend their money with you.

Yes, your warm market is an excellent way to go for retail customers…but…just as you would need to give a stranger strong enough reasons to buy your product, you need to do the same with your friends and family. You can’t expect them to buy from you.

You know, there are families who will give each other their business no matter what. No matter how inconvenient it may be, regardless of whether they even like the product or not, they support each other in all their endeavors.

If your family is like that, great. But mine sure isn’t. And the reality is, a lot of people’s families aren’t like that.

So what it comes down to is this: Learning effective sales techniques is mandatory for success. You have to understand the sales process and what really motivates people.

For starters, know that…

When It Comes To Selling (And Therefore Network Marketing), Far Too Much Attention Is Paid To The Product And Far Too Little Attention Is Paid To The Person Doing The Buying!

Because there is one thing and one thing only that’s on your prospect’s mind…“What’s in it for me?”

And the successful salesperson is not the one who knows their product inside and out and can talk the other person’s ear off…it’s the one who can best make the connection between their prospect’s true desires and how their product/service will fulfill those desires.

Simply getting excited and telling someone about your product is not enough to consistently bring in sales.

I hope you enjoyed Lie #2 Everyone is Your Prospect  Ann is a pioneer in this industry and is the creator of the Daily Marketing Coach (DMC). If you would like your own FREE copy of The 7 Great Lies Of Network Marketing, submit your name and email on the right sidebar of my blog.  You will instantly get your copy, and receive useful, no BS information about network marketing.

You can also register to join us for a free Exclusive Live Presentation This Thursday, April 11th (9pm EST…8pm CST…7 MST…6 PST) called:

A Personal Invitation To Partner Up With Ann Sieg And Earn Up To 60% Commissions On Multiple Products And Residual Streams… Plus, Receive Daily Support , Training And Guidance Through A Unique Online Community:


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22 thoughts on ““It’s not selling. It’s sharing!” Great Lie #2

  1. Hi Raena, This reminds me of a video that I watched earlier tonight where it said People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.

    I loved tip #2. Where you say that these people who get started online are set up for failure because they are told how easy it is to just sell. Yep just share and you will make money. We both know this is a bunch of BS!!!I had to laugh when I read “They think this is going to be a cakewalk and when they find out it’s not they aren’t too likely to stick around” But of so true!!!

    Thanks for sharing, you are right Anne does know her stuff..

    Chery 🙂

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Chery,

      I am glad you are finding this series valuable. Maybe for some people, selling comes natural. But I think for most, it takes a lot of practice and there are principals that have to be learned to succeed. Also, mindset is important. Some other comments were brought up about associating selling with having a bad reputation. If we convince ourselves that we are only sharing, then it separates us from the bad association and it sounds so much easier to share than sell. The first thing we have to do is eliminate those associations and connect selling with great experiences.

      When I started, I remember “sharing” products and spending time educating people. When it got to the part of buying, that part didn’t happen. That is because I didn’t know what I was doing. Online, we have to “convert” which is the same thing as selling. The first thing is to wholeheartedly accept what you do…embrace it as a wonderful service for others. Also being transparent establishes trust and people buy from people they trust. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Raena Lynn

  2. Adrienne

    Hey Raena,

    Okay, so I never have heard that if you must know the truth but I have always been told that it’s not about selling. Over time I realized that everything is about selling. Hell, we’re even selling people on ourselves so I always hated being associated with selling.

    My Dad was a salesman and a darn good one. He wanted me to go into sales because of my outgoing and bubbly personality but it’s not what I wanted to do. But I remember every place we ever went he critiqued the sales guys. He always related the majority of them to a used car salesman because they were in your face, wouldn’t let you breath to even make a decision and their presence was just uncomfortable. They made you feel that if you didn’t buy right then and there they wouldn’t eat for a week.

    Just some of that old stuff we have from our past that when we think about this we relate to those instances. Over time I’ve learned of course this isn’t the case and we can’t put everyone in that same category because that’s just not the case. But, we are in sales if you have any type of online business and you’d be lying to yourself if you think otherwise.

    Now Ann shares how you should go about this so that’s what I appreciate about what she teaches.

    Another great one Raena and I’m enjoying reading this again. Thanks for sharing and have a great day.


    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Adrienne,

      I just responded to Clint Butler’s post and I almost said the same thing about “used car salesman.” When we were growing up, that’s how they used to be. They were obnoxious and in your face. I remember hating to go to a car lot because it felt like being swooped upon and cornered. We obviously had similar experiences that caused us to associate selling as bad. I think a lot of people did, which gave selling a bad reputation. Most of that type of selling was prevalent when I was growing up. Years later, as an adult I remember I was in the market for a new car, so of course I had no choice but to face the music. I remember one dealer I visited. I was immediately approached by the first one. I said, “I’m just looking.” (we all say that). He left, but in a few minutes I was approached one by one by 6 different salesman! Since then, I think car dealerships have changed a lot in the way they approach customers. It is much more subtle, and I’ve been to lots where they actually wait until the customer approaches them. So times have changed, and they’ve come to their senses. It still doesn’t erase our childhood scenarios!

      You nailed it. “We are in sales if you have any type of online business and you’d be lying to yourself if you think otherwise.” Sweet and to the point. I’m glad you are enjoying the series. I appreciate your insightful comments.

      Raena Lynn

  3. Sue Price

    Hi Raena

    I love it! I used to almost throw up listening to people say it is not about selling. Geez give me a break!

    I love listing to a really good sales person, people like Mark Hoverson. They are brilliant. So I am at a loss to hear all these network marketers say it is sharing.

    When I was with the organization that promoted Robert Kiyosaki and others out here in Australia we were exploring having a couple of our books published for Network Marketers. We had a couple for Robert and one of the guys who was published under the Rich Dad brand named Blair Singer has a book called “Sales Dogs”.
    Blair and I met with the publisher in the US and he said we would have to change the name and all reference to sales- because networkers do not like to think they are selling!! So we let it go.

    Can you imagine a book called “Sharing Dogs” ?

    A great share Raena I am glad Ann has agreed for you do this. Such an important message.


    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Sue,

      I missed your post. Sorry about that! You always have such great stories to share about your profession. I agree with you completely about listening to a great sales person. I’m sure we both have heard many of them in this business! They are masters and they have the ability to want to buy whatever is being offered.

      Network marketers have to come to grips that they are “sales people” not “sharing people.” Thanks for your great comments!

      Raena Lynn

  4. Michael Shook

    So very, very true, Raena, It is selling. And there is nothing wrong with that. F&F is definitely not the way to go to build a business that lasts. It works for the upline sponsors because they are getting overrrides on the aggregate sales volume.

    But for individuals trying to make enough sales to live well and to succeed the way it shows in all the videos and the way it is testified about in the meetings, it just doesn’t work that way.

    That’s why so many of these organizations need a steady supply of raw recruits t buy their marketing kits or to show they love the product by getting the super duper sized autoship. Way better off to say right up front you are selling great stuff and then go do that. Thank you Raena, this is an excellent article about this subject.

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Michael,

      I agree. So many people think selling is wrong. That doesn’t make any sense. Commerce is among us daily and it is an essential part of our lives. When someone finds something they want or love or provides a solution to a problem, they don’t think it is wrong. They are happy and appreciative.

      I like the way you get to the point. “Way better off to say right up front you are selling great stuff and then go do that.”

      I understand exactly what you are saying. I remember the good old “autoship” days! I appreciate your wisdom.

      Raena Lynn

  5. Clint Butler

    I can’t tell you how many people I know that have fallen for this little play on words. even I have myself. “Don’t worry you don’t have to sell, all you have to do is get them on the phone with me!”

    Of course they leave out the hard part, getting them on the phone in the first place.

    Selling is the key to any successful business. Whether your selling acorns or xylophones you are still selling. If you plan on being successful in your endeavors you have to realize that. You also have to realize that its not personal, its business. So leave your emotions out of your business and your selling if you can. Life will be easier for you and those around you.

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Clint,

      I had to laugh when you said, “Of course they leave out the hard part, getting them on the phone in the first place.” Isn’t that the truth!

      It took me awhile to grasp the idea that we are selling. I think I was in denial at first because when I grew up, when I think of “sales” the first thing that usually pops up is a “used car salesman.” Some were annoying, aggressive and fake…hoping to make that big commission. Unfortunately the behavior created a generalization of greed and desperation. Who wants to do that?

      Sharing doesn’t generate money. Selling does. No selling means no business. It really is that simple. Thanks for your great comment!

      Raena Lynn

  6. When I first got into network marketing I heard this over and over and over again “you’re not selling, you’re sharing”…. Yes it is a BS lie and yes if you’re exchanging money you’re selling.

    What I learn through the years is to learn how to sort by asking good questions. Find out what they really want and if they have been looking for it. If not, if there’s no desire there, then what’s the point in trying to “share” your opportunity.

    Let’s be real and get some actual selling skills! Thanks for sharing Raena!

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Sherman,

      Thank you for taking the time to visit again! You sound like you are skilled in the art of selling. Your professionalism and wisdom shines through! First we have to realize we are selling and not sharing. As you said, that idea is BS. If money is exchanged, a sales transaction has occurred…not a share transaction!

      Asking good questions and listening is the key to a successful sale. Selling is a skill. In fact, I think it’s an art! Some people are naturally great at it, but most people have to be trained and they need to practice. Unfortunately that can be painful, but there are necessary steps we have to go through to get to a point we are comfortable and realizing it is all about what they want, not what we want. If our offer appeals to them and solves their problem or situation, there will be a sale. Thanks for your comment!

      Raena Lynn

  7. Hi Raena ,

    Well said, it is so important for people to understand it is a business and sales need to be earned with target customers.

    Many thanks for writing this post.

    Take care Rosemary

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Rosemary,

      You summarized the concept in one sentence! This is part two from Ann Sieg, and I will be posting Lie #3 next week. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it!

      Raena Lynn

      1. Raena,

        You are very welcome and you post for next week sound very interesting.


  8. I agree with Clint — keep your emotions out of it when telling someone about your products. When a waitress offers coffee to a patron, and the patron says no thank you, the waitress doesn’t cry about it or take the refusal personally. The patron isn’t rejecting her — he just doesn’t want coffee. No biggie. And in network marketing it’s the same thing. We offer, and always hope the person will buy, but if not, it’s no biggie… just move on and find someone who will. There are plenty of people out there who want what you’ve got.


    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Willena,

      I think your analogy is perfect explaining rejection. If true attraction marketing is implemented, the “patron” is already interested in your offer and has come to you to help them with whatever problem they are seeking to solve. If they change their mind, or reject, the best thing to do is move on. You are right. There are plenty of people out there who want what you’ve got. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

      Raena Lynn

  9. Very interesting post Raena Lynn;)
    I come from a commercial background working in fashion for more than 15 years.
    Since I have entered into coaching I realize that it’s not about selling it is about being authentic to who we are, connected to our hearts and always thinking about the other person’s interest first.
    it is an ego thing to be obsessed about “what there is in for me here”.
    Of course we need to be focused on our goals but this needs to be the background in the way we communicate with others not the number 1 focus.
    To me it has been a huge paradigm shift to learn to be totally authentic and transparent 1st before thinking of converting clients.
    Thanks for sharing I really enjoyed your post!

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Patricia,

      You said it perfectly, “it is about being authentic to who we are, connected to our hearts and always thinking about the other person’s interest first.” I agree with you. It takes a paradigm shift to implement this approach rather than the “what is in it for me.” People can sense your intentions. Thanks for your comment…appreciate it!

      Raena Lynn

  10. Viola Tam

    Hi Raena,

    I enjoyed reading this lie and the comments made by your readers. This is indeed a big fat lie that have tricked many people (me included) to believe that it is so easy to build a huge network marketing business because of the ‘duplication’ factor.

    “If You Are In Network Marketing, You Are In Sales.” This is spot on! Even though most of us do not want to be in sales, when we are in network marketing, we are in sales! How are we going to compromise our love for ‘sharing’ then? What about sharing and caring (I call this ‘serving’)?

    Our team focuses a great deal on sharing PROFESSIONALLY. That is, every new team member has to go through some basic communication, sales and marketing training. Only prospects who wish to explore more will be given additional information. Using a lot of third party tools like CDs and websites, this kind of selling is not like the hard sales that most people detest. The dynamics is different. Non-prospects do not feel pressured. Prospects feel being well served. Win-Win indeed 🙂

    Viola Tam – The Business Mum

    1. Raena Lynn

      Hi Viola,

      Although I’ve heard certain offers claim how easy it is to duplicate their systems, I think duplication is very difficult. There are so many factors to take into consideration because we are dealing with people. The “cookie cutter” approach works differently for every person because each person is unique. I like your system because it offers basic training to your members and provides additional information for those who want to explore further. I like the fact that “Non-prospects do not feel pressured. Prospects feel being well served.” It sounds like an effective way to train your team members. Thanks for sharing.

      Raena Lynn

  11. Yorinda

    Hi Raena,
    you did do a great job ‘demystifying’ this saying.

    One of thhe companies I joined for health reasons as well as financial hopes did do a variety of trainings around finding out what people need and whether there is a match, but it was only a small percentage of the teaching.

    Your sentence ‘the one who can best make the connection between their prospect’s true desires and how their product/service will fulfill those desires’ is really one of the most important areas people would need to be educated in, when, or preferably before they join an MLM company.

    Thank you for shining a light onto this subject!

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