That question used to stop us dead in our tracks. We had no idea how wrong it was to ask it, and worse, we had no way to answer it with confidence.

When you are made uncomfortable by a question, there may be several things going wrong.  Perhaps you SHOULD have the answer, as in a final exam you are not prepared for.  Perhaps the asker is basing the question on a false premise, as in Philosophy 101’s famous “Are you still beating your wife?”  Or perhaps, you feel a misplaced obligation to reveal something that might be nobody’s business, as in “How did you get along with your father?”

Here’s a roughly chronological list of our answers over the past twelve years. We hope they have improved, and we hope you will find a couple of useful responses to “How much money are YOU making?”

  • Um, ah, not much so far, uh, oh-oh, let me talk to my sponsor. She’s making a lot of money and there were a lot of nice suits and cardboard checks at the convention and uh …

Non-answers like that show we have no clue.  Gradually we learn some stock replies from other reps …

  • It doesn’t matter what I’m making, because in network marketing, you can always earn more than your sponsor.
  • Your success lies within you, not within me.
  • My check is irrelevant. The only one that matters is the one coming to YOUR mailbox.

Then we get brave enough to become a little flippant …

  • More and more every month!
  • I’m working on my first million. Wanna join me?
  • Somewhere between beer money and mortgage money.
  • I don’t have a total yet because I’m still making it.

Occasionally, the rudeness of the question gets the best of us and we snap …

  • None of your damn business!
  • Would you put that question to your dentist or your mechanic or your insurance agent or anyone else you’ve just met?
  • Why do you ask?  You can’t spend MY check!
  • Are you new to network marketing?  Nobody asks that if they’ve been doing this for more than twenty minutes.

Questions, rude or not, provide an opportunity for a little teaching …

  • It doesn’t matter what I’m making, as the opportunity I’m showing you is the same whether I’ve been in the business twenty minutes or twenty years.  I could be making zillions or zero – the opportunity is the same.
  • You could be shown this business by a dynamo or a dud.  It doesn’t matter who shows it to you.  It’s all up to you, right?

Sometimes, it’s best to turn it back to them.  The person asking the question is in control of the conversation …

  • How will my answer affect your decision?
  • Do you plan to be limited by my success?
  • Which of your decisions will be affected by my answer?
  • Do you need to know that for your decision? 
  • Is my check on your list of criteria for choosing a company?
  • If you can find “Bob and Anna’s Check” among the five pillars, we’ll be happy to show it to you.

Our latest favorites are the easiest too …

  • We can’t tell you.  It’s illegal.  Showing checks is called ‘enticement’ and can get you and your company into trouble.
  • If we told you, we’d be violating our company policies and procedures.  Did you want us to break our contract?
  • Do you want us to teach that it’s okay to violate policies and procedures?
  • If we answered that question, we’d be teaching you that it’s a good one to ask.

If someone persists, we will occasionally lapse back into (and enjoy) smartalec replies like …

  • Do you walk to work or take your lunch?  [Pause for comment]  Of course that’s a silly question.  I thought that’s what we were doing.
  • How much SHOULD I be earning?  Hold on … I’ll photoshop you a check.

And sometimes they will persist even more, with something like, “Yeah, yeah, I understand all that.  I’m just asking for a ballpark figure.”  Our reply …

  • Yankee Stadium.  Diamond.

A cocky prospect once told us that he only joined successful people making over $5000 per month, to which we replied …

  • How fast can you run?  We only sponsor people who can run the 100 metres in under 10 seconds.

Just stop and think of the logic (or lack) here.  If you only join top earners, wouldn’t you expect the same of your new partners too?  If so, you are doomed.  You will never be able to sponsor your first person, because until s/he joins, you are making zero.  By your own standards, no one will ever join you!

You can learn MLM Skills from Tom ‘Big Al’ Schreiter, i.e. what to say to prospects so the question never comes up.  To find the people to say those magic words to, you’ll need a good duplicatable system for generating MLM leads.

PS  We have another answer in the article “Is A Cadillac A Good Car?”

Bob and Anna Bassett

Tom ‘Big Al’ Schreiter’s 25 Skills
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