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Recruiting the Under-30 Set into Your MLM Business

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Author: Eileen Silva

One thing is clear to those of us who study the industry closely: many companies who appeal only to "older crowds" (yes, those my age) are largely flat right now . . . and some are seriously waning. Let's face it; while many of you out there profess that your products are for everyone, clearly, some products have mass appeal for the teen and twenty-year-old crowds . . . and some products are clearly for geriatrics. If you are going after the under-30 crowd, you should know a few things.

There is an art to systematically recruiting young people. They like "fast food" health products like beverages (that taste good), protein bars, shakes, and services they use. They also like products that they see other teens and twenty-something's using. They have to see themselves doing the business. Also, the compensation has to be realizable.

Young recruits like to know that they could win recognition or prizes that they actually would want. A contest that offers dirt bike prizes and beach vacations would go over bigger with the under-30 set than one offering Waterford crystal vases (however lovely they might be).

In order to attract and hold large numbers of young people, your company needs to update to some technology approaches. The under-30 set loves computers, cell phones, palm pilots, automated systems, and creative approaches.

Our company, for example, has a completely automated 24/7 office-to-office system that has phenomenal capabilities - everything from order tracking to finding out exactly how you can get out of debt, from point tracking for our latest company trip to entire downline volumes.

It is very frustrating having to call in during traditional office hours and then probably wait on hold to get this information. Furthermore, if there is one thing that I have found out is a turn off to the younger set, it is feeling like we (the geriatrics) don't understand how they feel or what is important to them.

Let's take major events, for example. Many companies have a stodgy band following a set program at these events (or no music at all). A lively disc jockey who knows how to mix it up can be a real magnet for young people and even a surprising boost of energy and fun for the rest of us.

Our company, in response to a major increase in young people, has used a popular disk jockey for some of our conferences, and it has been fun for all. Also, contests have actually made a lot of younger people work hard to be able to attend the events too, because they really didn't want to miss the awards presentation. Re-design your recognition so that young people have a good shot at winning something. They certainly love recognition.

Making money-delayed gratification is generally a good thing, but you will find that twenty-year-olds like to eat regularly. You must adapt compensation so that those wanting to go "fulltime" or "big time" quickly could support themselves doing so.

Here are some guidelines to help you attract and hold the younger set in your program:

1. Be flexible;

2. Add products or services with youth appeal to your line;

3. Develop testimonials from young people to use as bait;

4. Revamp your contests with the under-30 crowd in mind;

5. Re-evaluate your prizes and trip destinations;

6. Use technology;

7. Have a very functional website with 24/7 organizational information available;

8. Have inexpensive replicating websites and a shopping cart for your distributors;

9. Re-evaluate your celebration evening at conventions to make it seem like a fun party;

10. Make sure the pay plan appeals to younger crowds;

11. Offer some recognition that young people can win during the beginning phase of a build;

12. Just love them! You have to enjoy your young distributors and make them feel welcome. A healthy goal would be to function like one big family, with every age group offering insights and wisdom.

If you re-examine your home-based opportunity with an eye toward its curb appeal for the young crowds, you just may discover a way to really expand your market position. As I conclude this, I realize something: I sure wish someone had worked to recruit me into network marketing a decade or two sooner!

Copyright (c) 2006 Dr. Eileen Silva

About the author: Eileen Silva, Ph.D., N.D. is a metabolic health balancing expert, talk show guest, and lecturer. Dr. Silva is also an individual, group, and corporate weight management consultant. Contact Dr. Silva at

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