Network Marketing and Women

Did you know that the network marketing industry is mainly made up of women?

Women make up the bulk of the the industry at 74.4% and the remaining 25.6% are men, as stated by the D.S.A. (Direct Selling Association).

50% of all people who join NM fail in their first year. This means the bulk of the people who join and fail in their first year are women. Why is this and how can we change it?

Clearly, with these numbers women are desiring something different. One segment of the female population I work with are mothers. They are often motivated to join a NM company because they want to help  their families and their children.  Most are desiring to stay home with their children instead of going back into the work force.

They want to have the time freedom to be present in their children lives by staying home but also have the ability to make their own money. The NM industry is a fantastic model for this desire, but the training available is not geared specifically for women. NM typically trains from a male perspective that makes it harder for women to succeed and be comfortable.

The statistics support that the current training model is ineffective and not offering women the skills they will need to succeed in NM. The challenge is how will we train women to be successful in the industry from a female perspective. I want to acknowledge the spectrum, we all fall within the curve. My point is that the starting point for women in NM, starts from a distinctly male point of view.

We all know men and women communicate differently and have different social needs. We all learned this from our earliest relationships. Further research by Harvard Business Review supports that we process and communicate information differently in the workplace.

Network marketing trains in a hunter/prey style of sales.

When women are joining NM, they are trained to be hunters. This can uncomfortable for women because we are not by nature hunters. When we are taught to hunt in our social circle we become uncomfortable. In the NM industry, this is explained as women “needing to get out of their comfort zones” to succeed. Women generally feel like they are doing something wrong if they are not succeeding. This stems from stepping outside normal social cues.

My solution in response to the hunter mentality, is for women to work with their inherent strengths. We tend toward collaborative approaches when faced with choices and decisions and we are more apt to share our vulnerabilities. So I suggest not to hunt down your girlfriends, talk to them about what you are doing.

Why do you love this product or service. You lost the baby weight? Your skin is glowing? You energy is up? Your products or services have improved your life _____.

Why are you doing it? To own your own business? To be able to stay home with your children? To pay for something for your kids? Pay bills? Save for a vacation? To retire a spouse? Have your own money?

Be yourself and talk to your friends as you normally would. Your not hunting your friends down, you are having a conversation and looking for collaboration and support for your new business.

Take your girlfriends off the hook. You are not hunting. They now know what you do and why you do it, ask them for a referral.  Ask them who do they know that would like this type of product? Who do they know who is entrepreneurial? They will naturally opt themselves ‘in’ to what you have if it is a match for them.

You are looking to socially network in your circle. You are looking for people who are the right match for your product/service or business opportunity. It will not be everyone. In fact it will be a very select few. But your social network can support your business if you do not hunt it down.

Asking for support for your goals is effective. When you explain how the product has helped you and why you are starting your own business, it allows for a collaborative environment.  You are looking to communicate in a helpful way.

The goal is not to hunt down your list of friends, family and neighbors. It is to maximize your social circle, gain a larger audience of people who have interest in your business or type of product.

Collaborating instead of hunting.



  1. Collaborating versus hunting. . .great visual terms to bring home the point. I’ve been marketing my business nationally and not really engaging those closer to me. Thanks for the reminder that when I make it a conversation, if it’s the right fit, they will opt themselves in. That is something I can do! :)

  2. It definitely feels like hunter/prey. I used to me in NM and this was one of the elements in the training I hated.

    Everyone is a prospect and to treat them like that. If they have a heart beat go after them.

    It is refreshing to see a new approach. Fantastic!

  3. I suspect you hit upon the key distinction that most people in MLM are unaware of. The marketing was designed from a male perspective. Women are social, nurturers, helpful and love to talk. The gals I know who are very successful in MLM found their groove and comfort level as you have.

  4. Love the shift from hunting to collaborating. It truly is about building relationships, which involves trust. Hard to trust someone who’s always at you to buy, buy, buy. What you’re doing is providing solutions to clients’ problems. Boom. Done!

  5. I’ve been in network marketing myself and HATED the hunter style of getting members or downline! or even customers! It really played with my self esteem! But when I landed on being able to help others – from my heart to theirs – it didn’t hurt so much and they listened! Great message to continually teach Network Marketers! Tx

  6. Huh, I never thought of MLM’s of having a male only perspective.. but any rate, I do love the way you hashed it out. I had no doubts that the larger population of MLM is women is because we can multitask and because we are the default to stay at home with the kids, almost always, so just makes sense.

  7. Hi Krista.

    How are you?

    Not at all into network marketing
    But like to come to your blog
    And get some tips from you.

    Wow, did not know that the
    Marketing industry is
    Mainly made up of women
    Thought it was a
    Male oriented domain.

    Great tips you have posted
    Thanks for sharing.

    Enjoy your week.
    Best wishes and regards.

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