South of Jewfish Creek,
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
What I am about to write, I should have
written a long time ago.
You know, hardly a day goes by
that I don't get one or more requests to help someone with
some sort of multi-level or "network" marketing
scheme. Anymore, I don't even return the telephone calls or
answer the letters. In fact, my staff has instructions to
automatically destroy all communications from people who want
my help in these areas and to not even tell me about their
In *one of my recent seminars, there was a
couple of guys who didn't tell me they were involved in
multi-level marketing until they got up on the "hot
seat." Everything they were involved in was a total scam.
Well, I let them and the audience talk for a while and then...
I let them have it. I've never behaved that way or used that
kind of language at a seminar before and, I hope I never do
After the hot seat, we threw them out of the
Now look, just in case there is any remaining
doubt in anybody's mind about how I feel on this subject,
please underline the following sentence in your mind:
It sucks big time. It's dorky, it's dangerous,
it's sleazy and it's stupid. It is a magnet for slime. It is
true that not every product sold by multi-level marketing is
inferior. It is also true not every person involved in this
nonsense is unethical. I must admit their are some (very few)
good products and some (very few) good people involved in this
insanity. However, even though it sometimes involves good
products and good people...
Multi-Level Marketing Is
The "rap" on one recent multi-level
scam is that, some time ago, there was a product developed
which enhances gas mileage by 30% or more. However, until
recently, this product was not put on the market because it
was too bulky and, therefore, difficult and expensive to ship.
But now, lo and behold, modern technology has enabled
scientists to "concentrate" this product down into
something called a "green bean"... and... all you
have to do is pop one of these little dudes into your gas tank
and you can cut your fuel bills by a huge percentage.
What a joke. If all this were true, you
certainly wouldn't have to peddle this little miracle by
multi-level. Actually, you wouldn't even need to do any kind
of conventional marketing. No way. If all this were
true, all you'd need was...
A Press Conference!
What you'd do is, you'd stand in front of a
group of reporters and say, "Look,
I know you're all skeptical and I don't blame you. However,
this little green bean really does work and we are going to
pass several of them out to each of you. All I want you to do
is plop one of them into your gas tank the next time you fill
up and then, keep a careful record of your gas mileage. After
you do this for a couple of weeks, the results will speak for
What would happen then, if this green bean
really worked? It's simple; you'd have a nationwide sensation
on your hands. Individuals and organizations would be beating
down your door. You'd be all over the evening news in a flash.
You'd be on *Jay Leno, Oprah and all the rest. But, alas, the
"green bean" cannot be promoted like this because...
It's A Fraud!
Just like all the multi-level cosmetics and
vitamins that are going to give you back your youth. Just like
that stupid "gold scam" where you buy "right to
purchase more" certificates you are then supposed to go
out and sell to other people who are just as gullible as you.
But what about the legitimate products being sold via
multi-level? Consider this: There was a nice man who came to
my seminar in Los Angeles at the Century Plaza who had an
entire catalog of good stuff to sell. He wanted my help on
focusing down on which product he should concentrate on
selling. One of his products was an oriental weight-loss plan
and I suggested he concentrate on that. He said fine and would
I teach him how to build a huge "downline" to sell
Reluctantly, I said I would but only if first,
he would give me a chance to talk him out of it. Then I told
him that currently, one of my clients was mailing a
weight-loss promotion to the tune of 125,000 first-class
letters per day! Then, I
asked him, "How
many people would you have to have in your downline to achieve
the sales my client is getting in just one single week?"
The point is this: If you have something good
to sell, sell it! Don't
sell somebody else on the idea of selling somebody else to
sell somebody else to sell somebody else, etc., etc., etc.
One of the current dumb MLM ideas is based on
a telephone deal that will lower a person's telephone bill.
Assuming this deal is legitimate, wouldn't it be faster, more
profitable and less hassle to sell this by direct mail? All
you'd have to do is get one of the big compilers to rent you a
mailing list which included phone numbers (there are tens of millions
of such names) and then mail a letter that starts out
something like this:
June 6, 1991
7496 Caleb Street
Lorimar, CA 33099
You and I have never met but I know three
things about you:
1. You live on Caleb Street in Lorimar,
2. Your telephone number is (907) 489-1633.
3. Your telephone bills are way too
How do I know all this? Well, #1 and #2 are
simply a matter of public record. And, as far as #3 is
conceerned, I've recently learned that nearly everybody's
phone bill in Lorimar is way too high!
Here's the scoop. Etc., etc., etc., blah, blah,
blah, and so forth...
Think about this, dear subscriber: It would
only cost you a few hundred smackers to test such a letter
and, if it worked, you could easily "snowball" this
thing until you were mailing over 100,000 letters per week...
Assuming you were getting say a 5% response
from your letter, you'd be taking in about 1,000 orders every
working day. Now, I ask you, how many DD's ("Downline
Dorks") would it take you to equal that kind of action?
What if, for example, when I created the famous coat-of-arms
promotion, I decided to sell those family crest reports by MLM?
How well would I have done? Well, by selling them by direct
mail, we sometimes took in 20,000 checks per day. Tell me, how
many DD's would you have to have to equal that?
The whole idea of MLM is stupid. It's also
depressing. What's more, MLM has something in common with a
pretty woman, which is...
Both Of Them Can
Lower Your I.Q.!
Ever try to talk rationally to a guy who is in
love? You're wasting your time. The object of his affection
could be an ax murderess and he'd still see nothing but good
So it is with MLM. Take a super smart guy like
Howard Ruff, get him on the subject of MLM and there, right
before your eyes, you'll see his eyes glaze over and his brain
begin to melt. He will become unreachable and unteachable.
Burn him once and he'll come back for more. Because, as they
say, "It's not the
concept that was bad, it was the people."
Wrong. Everything about MLM is bad. MLM is not
inherently evil but it does (nearly always) attract inherently
evil people. Even if you start out with good products, good
intentions and good people, you will eventually, if you grow a
little, attract a massive amount of human scum into your
operation. And, even if this were not true, the whole
idea is still stupid. When you shuck right down to the
cob, MLM is simply a magnet for lazy people who are looking
for a way to sell without selling.
The whole thing sucks.
Now, let me save some of you some time and
energy. Many people are going to read what I've just written
and they are going to want to explain to me where I've missed
the boat. They'll say, "Yes, what you say is normally true, but this deal is
different. We've got the greatest product in the world and
it's totally backed up by unbiased scientific research. Not
only that, some of the finest people in America are in our
organization. We've got lawyers, judges, doctors,
millionaires, clergymen, and so on. Yes Gary, what you say is usually
right but us... we're different."
I don't care. What you're doing is still
stupid and, as far as I'm concerned, you can take your
"green beans," your Nu-Skin, your wonder vitamins,
your gold certificates, etc. and...
Stuff 'Em Where
The Sun Don't Shine!
I wonder, could there be anyone out there
still confused about how I feel about MLM? Yes, I'm sure there
are since, in my opinion, MLM is an I.Q. lowering drug that
should probably be regulated by the FDA. Therefore, for those
of you reading this who want to write or phone me about MLM,
you'll be wasting your time. My staff has been told they can
be fired just for giving me a
message from someone who is writing or phoning about MLM.
If you are involved in MLM, I don't want you at my seminars, I
don't want to hear your voice on the phone, I don't want to
read your letters, I don't want to meet you in person and
I Don't Even Want
To Know Of Your Existence!
Now look, there's nothing wrong with looking
for an easy way to make a buck as long as it's legal,
slime-free and ethical. So, after having trashed MLM, I feel I
owe it to you to reveal unto you a genuine "magic
way" to make some money. I am looking at you right now in
my mind's eye. You're sitting there reading this letter and
you're saying to yourself, "Gosh,
Gary's right about MLM but I sure wish he'd give me a
fool-proof, can't-fail plan that will pull in fungolas like
crazy. Something that will work anywhere. Something I can do
all by myself. Something that will work over and over and has
an unlimited potential."
Am I right? Isn't that what you're thinking?
What's that? You say I'm not right? You say you have no
interest in an ethical new way to rake in huge piles of cash?
OK fine, then I'll write about something else.
Did I ever tell you about the time I was in a bar in Germany
when this girl came over to me and...
KIDDING! JUST KIDDING! I will tell you. I swear.
I'll do it right now.
OK, to begin with, here is what should be one
of the most exciting sentences you will ever read:
Of All Business Owners In
America Have Never Written A Sales
Letter To Their Customers!"
what this means! It means there are millions and millions
of fungolas just laying around out there waiting for someone
to pick them up. This is a
jackpot situation! Here's how to exploit this baby:
Cut out all ads of local business
owners in the yellow pages of your telephone book.
||Cut out all ads of local
business owners that have ran in your local newspaper
in the last week or so.
||Write a personal letter to 100 of
these business owners and tell each one you saw his ad
recently and you have a proven idea he can use (at no
cost to him) that will generate a lot of profit for
his business in the next two weeks.
||Send out all 100 of these letters by
Federal Express. (Don't economize here. Don't use
first-class mail, certified mail, UPS, Express Mail or
anything else.) Dammit, use
||Wait 1-day and then call each of these
business owners and ask if he got your Fed Ex letter
and chat him up a bit and ask him if you can have a
five minute personal meeting with him.
||Go to all your appointments and
interview each business owner. What you want to find
out is (1) Does he seem like an OK guy you could work
with, and if so, (2) How many names are there on his
customer list, and (3) What product or service does he
have that has a large profit margin that is already
a good seller.
OK, that's the first half of what you do. Now,
just for the heck of it, let's say one of the guys you are
talking with is the owner of an art gallery and he has just
received a shipment of original oil paintings done by a famous
artist. During the course of your interview you discover these
oil paintings are priced in the $12,000 to $15,000 range which
is a 50% mark-up over dealer's cost. What you do next is, you
tell the gallery owner you want to take a shot at selling
those paintings for him for an average of $2,000 more
than he was going to sell them for and that extra $2,000 will
be your "commission." Tell him you are going to
write a sales letter to all of his customers which will make
many of them come to his gallery with checkbook in hand.
He'll either agree or he won't. Don't waste a
lot of time trying to convince him. If he's not a savvy,
fair-minded guy, simply go to the next person on your list.
This is simply a game of percentages. What you are doing is fishing.
You're trying to locate a savvy guy, an honest guy, a guy with
a good sense of humor, an easy-to-work-with likeable
guy who will be happy to allow you to increase his sales on a
basis that is risk-free to him.
Work this plan and you will find such
people. Once you do, you then shake hands on a deal and you
proceed as follows:
||Write a sales
letter about those oil paintings. Tell how they just arrived, how
they are in limited supply, how they represent a good
investment potential, how beautiful they are, etc.
Then, invite the reader to a private
viewing of those paintings.
||Send out 100
of these letters via Federal Express.
||Wait 1-day and
then call each of these customers, ask if he got your
Federal Express letter and chat him up a bit and
"nudge" him to come to the private viewing.
||Go to to the
private viewing yourself, help the owner pull off this
shindig and collect your commissions... and then...
Work This Same Plan (And
Variations Of It) Over And Over
And Over With Various Business Owners!
Summed up, this plan is very simple: Locate
business owners who sell high mark-up goods who have a healthy
customer list to whom they have never mailed a sales letter
and then you write sales letters to those customers and
take a cut of all sales that result.
A few fine points: (A) Do not approach
these business owners as a marketing consultant or an
advertising expert. Approach them as an investor. (B) Don't
use the owner's money even if he wants you to. Use your own.
This is very important because it will immediately establish
the "tone" of your relationship. (C) Don't
"sell" these business owners very hard. You are
looking for the "gold" among these guys and you'll
wear yourself out if you run around trying to turn sow's ears
into silk purses. Deal only with those who are eager
for your proposition. (D) Value yourself. Don't act as though
anybody is doing you a favor by granting you the interview. If
anything, it's you that's doing the favor. (E) And
finally... stop worrying about whether or not you are going to
be cheated in one of the deals. You will be. That's
part of life. Just keep moving, holding on to the quality,
discarding the trash... and... someday, you'll have an
extended family of clients, friends, lovers, associates,
employees and so on who are "human gems" that add
sparkle, quality, laughter, support and love to your life.
People like all the neat folks in my
Gary C. Halbert
do not misinterpret what I wrote about Howard Ruff.
He's a very intelligent, very savvy, moral man. I
suspect his I.Q. is far higher than mine and I've
learned a lot from him. I read his letter, listen to
his lectures and I have enormous respect for him. It's
just that when he's "on" MLM he, like
everybody else, loses his ability to think straight.
of like me, when I was on the beach in Cannes and I
saw all those... ah, forget it.
am now in the process of sending a personal thank you
note to everyone who made a contribution to the
Domestic Abuse Shelter. Not only that, those of you
who responded are about to be let in on one of the
hottest ways to make money I have come across in the
last 10 years!
you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Copyright © 2003 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights