The Worst Recruiting Pitch in the History of the World

Yesterday I received this message in my Facebook inbox (names covered to protect the guilty):

There are so many things wrong with this on so many levels. And I wanted to share with you what exactly is wrong with this, so you never make this mistake yourself.

Let’s start from the beginning:

  1. It came from someone I barely know.  I know she’s a direct seller, but that’s it.  We’ve never had a personal conversation.  Ever.
  2. It was sent to a group (including, I might add, several well-known trainers in the direct selling industry…and she asked what we did…)  I obviously fell in the group of J’s that she sent this to.  Nothing makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside like a form letter.  (NOT!)
  3. Punctuation, capitalization, and spelling is shaky at best.  At least run your messages through a spell and grammar check.
  4. She pitches a feature of her opportunity without having any idea if it’s one that would appeal to me.

Now I DO say that folks should send a private message when they want to present the opportunity to someone.  But not like this.  Let’s talk about the right way to do this:

  1. Get to know someone first.  Comment on their statuses.  Have personal conversations.  Build a relationship.  Find out what’s important to someone, and help them get to know you.
  2. Once you see someone express a need that you know your opportunity would meet, send them a private message asking to set up a call or Skype session.  Chat in person about the opportunity.
  3. If it MUST be done electronically, send someone a link to a recruiting video or opportunity page that your company has provided.

Recruiting is about individuals, and as such, it must be done individually.  By all means use your social media tools to make connections with new people.  But don’t spam your entire list with an opportunity pitch.  That’s as bad as doing it through a status update.  It’s inappropriate, and never OK.

I love you guys and I want you to get this right.  So make sure that you NEVER send a message like this.  OK?

13 Responses to The Worst Recruiting Pitch in the History of the World
  1. Margo
    July 5, 2010 | 1:17 pm

    Hi Jen!
    I got one of these on my wall the other day, too. But this was from someone I know and had worked with in my previous direct sales business. It *really* upset me because 1: Of course, I would love to support this person in their new business-but not if this is how they’re running it. 2:I KNOW this person has my personal email address and phone number-but instead they chose to post on my wall, where everyone can see it. That is EXACTLY what I always coach my team NOT to do. It creates such a tacky impression, not only of your company, but of direct selling in general. Thanks so much for posting this! 🙂 Margo

  2. Diane Aksten
    July 3, 2010 | 1:52 pm

    Jennifer: The only word that comes to mind is, “Yikes!!”

    All I can say is keep trying to get the word out, Jennifer, and maybe one day we can put an end to this madness!!! I’ll do my part by continuing to share these posts on Facebook…

  3. Gene Ann Duyck
    July 2, 2010 | 2:01 pm

    Actually, it reminds me of an email that I received a few months ago that was actually from a scammer trying to bilk me out of cash, buying enough of one item to amount to about $1000 (and way more of that item than one person could use). In talking to the local BBB, I discovered that there are people trying this scam with direct sell consultants with websites. The gramatical errors are typical of such emails, but it was an unnerving reminder that everthing on our website is there for anyone with internet access to see.

  4. Raylee Melton
    July 2, 2010 | 12:22 pm

    Wow! What a waste of time for everyone! Get stuff to share though..

  5. Lori Sauerwein
    July 2, 2010 | 12:12 pm

    Oh, no no noooooooooo! Another bullhorn. So hate those things.

  6. LaDonna
    July 2, 2010 | 12:09 pm

    I had this happen to me twice this week. And both of them weren’t on my friends list.
    I gave your blog address to one of them and gently let her know she could learn from you. She replied that she was a Marketing & Networking Major and that she has had great response doing it this way and that she would continue.
    I tried.
    Thank you for always giving us info to better ourselves!

    • Pascale
      July 2, 2010 | 2:00 pm

      Oh no! That’s even worse than genuinely being clueless!

  7. Heather
    July 2, 2010 | 11:39 am

    *singing in Bon Jovi’s style*

    you give direct sellers a baaaad name…

    • Jennifer Fong
      July 2, 2010 | 11:54 am

      Isn’t that the truth???

  8. Pascale
    July 2, 2010 | 11:22 am

    Loudest laugh EVER from one of your posts. The post title had me laughing the most.

    All I can think is either 1. This person was on her phone and didn’t care about typos or #2. She doesn’t speak English very well. :/

    But THANK YOU for exposing this. A step in eliminating these annoying and clueless acts of desperation.

  9. Annie
    July 2, 2010 | 10:57 am

    Oh. My. Goodness.

    It is so bad it looks like a joke.

    Sadly, it isn’t.


  10. Derek Lee
    July 2, 2010 | 8:41 am


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