network marketing business, #mnminsights

What A “No” Truly Means | Network Marketing Business

It's not very surprising to hear when you are building a network marketing business, “No” is heard on average 20 times more than the word “Yes”.   

Why is that?

There are so many reasons it’s hard to list it all in one blog post, but I will list the main ones. 

Of course a no could just mean plain and simply they are not interested.  I applaud people who just come right out and say that.  I’m only looking for people who are looking for me.


I was searching through network marketing groups looking for ideas to write a blog post when I came across a post from Tom “Big Al” Schreiter asking people about the variety of ways they’ve heard “no” from potential prospects or customers.

There was one that had me laughing so hard I was in tears.

One person actually said to one network marketer, “Vet says my pregnant pet mouse is due for delivery on Wed, so I am unable to attend your opp meeting as I have to standby to rush her to the vet when she goes into labor.”

Obviously, this was a little crazy. But why do people feel the need to say no in different ways instead of just saying the actual word “no”?

Most people don’t want to hurt the feelings of others. They feel uncomfortable saying no, so they feel they need to make up a reason (excuse) or come up with creative ways to say it.

Lack of Belief

It could be a lack of belief in you.  They may not believe the product/service is as great as you say it is.

We are exposed to thousands of ads every day. We are used to hearing the over-the-top claims. So why should they believe yours is the best?  This is where real testimonials come into play.

It can also be a lack of belief in themselves. They don’t think they would be able to do what you’re doing, i.e. talking to strangers, “selling” to people, engaging in small talk, etc.

Whatever it is, lack of belief in the product or themselves or both, lack of belief is the main reason most people say no.

Examples of “noes” you will hear when there is lack of belief:

  • “Let me see how you do first.”
  • “Do you have anything I can look over?”
  • “Let me ask my big brother.”
  • “I need to do my research.”
  • “Is there a website I can go to?”
  • “The products are very expensive.”
  • “My aunt has done this before. Let me ask her.”
  • “I’m not a sales person.”
  • “I’m very shy.”

[bctt tweet="Lack of belief in the product or themselves or both is the main reason most people say no." username="Mark_n_Michelle"]

Lack of Trust

Let’s be honest. Would you trust someone you just met either on the street or on the internet?

I know you’ve heard it said that people buy from people they know, like, and trust. Therefore, we need to build relationships with people before we ask them to buy into anything.

Trust is a huge issue with a lot of people, and every network marketer gets that yucky feeling when they get a message from someone new. “Are they going to try to prospect me?”

When building your network marketing business, being the person who builds the relationship and does NOT try to recruit them the first few times you chat exponentially increases trust.

I’ve been asked, “When is the best time to transition to THE business talk?” My answer is always: “Once they have told you what problem or struggle they are having that your product/service/opportunity can solve.”

Sometimes this happens quickly in the same string of chats. Other times it takes a week or more to get someone to trust you enough to open up to you about their struggles.

But again, the secret word here is TRUST.

Examples of “noes” you will hear when there is lack of trust:

  • “I’m skeptical.”
  • “You don’t possibly expect me to do this without talking to my husband, do you?”
  • “How much have you made?”
  • “It’s nothing against you. I just want to sign up with someone else.”
  • “I don’t have the money.”
  • “I don’t have a credit card.”
  • “I’m too busy at work.”
  • “I was looking for a job, not a business opportunity.”

Lack of Belief in the Network Marketing Industry

This is a big one. I’m sure you’ve heard at one time or another, “Is this another MLM?” or “Is this one of those pyramid things?”

There’s such a stigma in the industry put there by dishonest, pushy, spammy people in the past and, unfortunately, in the present.

Coming back with "If only we can get people to understand the true pyramid, the corporation..." does not help either.  People with this  mindset will very rarely see your point.

A better response, if you were looking for one, is explaining the fact that network marketing companies save money by paying a commission to average, ordinary people to sell their products or services for them instead of blowing $5 million on a Super Bowl commercial.

Believe it or not, a lot of people have been in a network marketing business in the past or know someone who was.

They (or the person they know) could have had a bad experience, terrible support from an upline, lack of training or they have a self-image problem. Either way, it caused them to quit, and now they have a block about the industry.

I see it all the time.

I have a friend who started selling essential oils. We were talking one day and I told her I was a network marketing business coach.

No joke, she said, “Oh, one of those MLM things? I would never do that.” I had to break it to her that she was currently in a network marketing business, but she could choose not to build a team.

Examples of “noes” you will hear when there is lack of belief in the network marketing industry:

  • “It sounds like a pyramid scheme to me.”
  • “I don’t know what it is, but something doesn’t seem right.”
  • “Don’t call me. I’ll call you.”
  • “It’s not my thing.”
  • “I don’t care.”

[bctt tweet="Network Marketing pays you $$$ to spread the word & it saves them money on ads." username="Mark_n_Michelle"]

Society Beliefs

network marketing business, #mnminsights

Oh, the pressure from society. When will owning a home business become acceptable in society?  

I truly believe that when the Millennial Generation grow just a little older the shift will happen.

Why? Because that generation wants freedom to do what they want, when they want.  They don’t want to be told what to do and when they have to do it like when they have a J O B.

The Millennial Generation will be our saving grace.

Now of course society’s beliefs about this industry have improved slightly in the last 5-10 years, mainly because all the people who were laid off or lost their jobs had to support their family somehow.

But you’re only considered “normal” if you take the college-career track and work yourself into the grave.

Occasionally you’re going to run into one of those kinds of believers. That’s okay. Let them continue to believe what they believe while you move on to the next person.

Examples of “noes” you will hear when it goes against society norms:

  • “I want to think about it.”
  • “I’m on the fence.”
  • “I can see why this is good for other people.”
  • “It’s not for me.”
  • “I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.”
  • “I’m not saying no. I’m just not saying yes.”
  • “Next year would be a better time.”

They Want to be Polite

People don’t want to say no to your face, so they get creative or, as Tom “Big Al” Schreiter says, they say no in “code”.

And that’s okay. I understand that. I have a hard time saying no to someone too.

But if you have had numerous conversations with them, gotten them to open about their struggles, presented your product/service/opportunity as the solution, and they still say no, it’s okay.

Listen, you’re not in the convincing business. You're in the network marketing business.  You don’t want to have to drag someone into your opportunity because then you’ll be dragging them along until they either “get it” or quit.

Examples of “noes” you will hear when they just want to be polite:

  • “Let me get back to you.”
  • “I don’t have the time.”
  • “Do you have anything I can look over?”
  • “I need to talk to my wife.”
  • “I get paid in two weeks. I’ll call you then.”
  • “I’m excited to do this. I’ll let you know when I’m ready.”
  • “I need to mull it over.”
  • “I’m almost ready.”

[bctt tweet="Don't drag someone into your biz opp or you'll be dragging them all the way until they quit." username="Mark_n_Michelle"]

You Sound Too Spammy or Salesy

This is another big one. There are way too many outrageous claims out there. And if you’re making claims that cannot be backed up by proof, lots of proof by lots of different people, you deserve to be told no.

I was once reading a social media post about John Stamos in a fat suit. There were hundreds of comments that I was reading through when smack dab in the middle was a spam ad for a business opportunity.


That’s what pisses people off about this industry. Please, please, do not be one of those people. You need to learn better ways to market your product/opportunity. Contact me.

There is so much I can say about this subject, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Examples of “noes” you will hear when you’re too spammy or salesy:

  • “How much have you made? Prove it.”
  • “I don’t believe you.”
  • “Let me check out the company website.”
  • “It’s not my thing.”
  • “I don’t care.”
  • “I need to do my due diligence.”

You Did Not Touch on Their Pain/Problem

Wow, this is an important one.

If your conversations have not led them to talk about their problems or struggles, you’re not able to frame your product/service/opportunity as a solution.

If you can’t frame it as a solution to a problem they’ve identified, they’re not going to see a need for it.

Trying to sell someone a weight loss product who doesn’t see themselves needing it is not going to get you a sale.

But if you’ve had conversations with them where they’ve mentioned lack of energy or getting swimsuit ready, they’ve identified a problem and now you have the solution.

They must know there’s a problem and acknowledge it. Only then will they see the value in what you have.

Identified Problem = Sales

No Problem = No Sale

Examples of “noes” you will hear when you have not touched on their pain/problem:

  • “I can’t because…”
  • “I don’t have the money.”
  • “The products are too expensive.”
  • “I don’t want to go on autoship.”
  • “I have kids.”
  • “I need to think about it.”
  • “I just can’t decide.”
  • “Yeah, I still don’t want to do it.”

[bctt tweet="They must know there’s a problem. Only then will they see the value in what you have. This is so important." username="Mark_n_Michelle"]

You Did Not Talk to the Right Person

network marketing business, #mnminsights

Perhaps the person you were speaking with just wasn’t your target market. Not everyone is.

People who sell skin care think anyone with skin is their target market. That’s just not the case.

Maybe your skin care product is beneficial to all kinds of skin, but you’re better off talking a segment of people on specific benefits of your product/service as opposed to everyone. 

This segment of people would know they want smoother skin, tighter skin, lighter skin, clearer skin, etc.  (They already know there’s a problem they want a solution for.)

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one.”

That’s so true.

Think of it this way.

A real estate agent can’t sell everyone the same house.

A doctor can’t treat everyone for diabetes.

A specific prescription medication can’t be taken by everyone.

Not everyone, not even every female could benefit from the maxi pad MLM out there (no, I’m not kidding).

You must narrow down who you’re talking to and talk only to them. There will always be other people who will be interested in what you offer because they are on the sidelines watching and listening. We call them the fringe benefits.

You want people to feel like you’re talking directly to them, to their pain, to their problems, to their struggles, and you can only do that by honing in on a specific market of people.

Examples of “noes” you will hear when you’re not talking to the right people:

  • “It’s not for me.”
  • “I don’t know about this.”
  • “I don’t need that.”
  • “Why are you asking me?”
  • “I’m not….”
  • “The products are very expensive.”

Wrapping Up

If you always make sure to root out their pain or their struggles, you will know exactly how to frame your pitch as a solution.

If you still get a no, it’s okay. It just wasn’t for them.

And sometimes a no is not a no but a “not right now”. Timing is everything.  We need to get very good at reading between the lines.


Here are some other great resources we have found to help you be more successful when you are prospecting in network marketing.

We recommend the book Go For No.  They explain why you SHOULD go for no when you are prospecting.

An oldie but a goodie – article from Entrepreneur Magazine – Prospecting for Network Marketing Diamonds.  Definitely worth checking out!

We appreciate you taking the time to read our post.  Don't forget to grab one of our Free Resources before you go.

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Mark ‘n Michelle Eaves, 
Online Marketing Business Coaches
and Blogging Expert Divi Diva (Michelle, not Mark, LOL)
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