The actual words you use to attract prospects to you are critical. If you are still prospecting with the language that has been taught for the last 50 years, you are probably using language that is overused and over hyped. When network marketers use trite language to approach a prospect, the prospect begins to consciously and subconsciously discount (and reject) what is being said. The reason is that it sounds like the same stuff they've heard before.

In this article I'm going to point out to you what NOT to say while prospecting. I'm also going to suggest some replacement language that will make you (and your offer) come across as more interesting and attractive.


This is probably the most overused word in network marketing. This is especially true when used as a "business opportunity." Try to never say "opportunity" again.

Instead, try these words:

"Project, proposal, enterprise, venture, proposition..."

If you would like to add the "business" word to it, no problem. ("Business project, business enterprise, business venture, etc.")


People hate going to meetings. When you invite someone to a "meeting," they immediately get their guard up. They know it's going to be a sales pitch.

Instead, use replacement language like this:

"A group get-together, an informal gathering, introduce you to some people..."


How many times have you heard that one? It's been used so often, frankly, I think it's viewed as BS.

Try this:

"One special person, someone that can meet my requirements, a business associate..."


Again, this is overused language that triggers negative images of network marketing in the mind of the prospect.

Instead, you might say:

"Something has been brought to my attention, crossed my path, crossed my desk..."


Sorry folks, but this is hyped, pushy, aggressive overselling. When you say something is "fantastic," remember, it's YOUR opinion...not theirs. Let your prospects decide for themselves.

This is better language:

"Interesting, attractive, great potential, meaningful to me, intriguing..."


I hope you're not still using that one. When you tell someone that you're involved in a fantastic business opportunity and they could get rich with it, you can almost see the blood drain from their face. It sounds so phony; they can't wait to get rid of you.

It's more believable to say:

"An attractive income stream, a substantial income, leveraged income, get paid what you're worth..."


This type of assumptive language is an insult to most intelligent people. It makes prospects feel they're being manipulated. Even if they ARE perfect for network marketing, these are not the words to use to get their attention.

These words will get their attention:

"This may or may not be for you; you may already have the skills for this; this may be something you could fit into, I'm not sure..."


Prospects don't care what you'd like to do. They want to do what THEY'D like to do.

Give them that power by saying it this way:

"With your permission...; may I make a suggestion...; if it's okay with you..."


Yeah, right. Only your prospect can decide what a treat is. Making decisions in advance for your prospects will viewed be as pushy, aggressive selling.

You can avoid that problem with this language:

"If you're like most people, you'll appreciate this program; may I get your feedback on this; I would welcome your appraisal..."


I've never understood that one. How can a prospect, all of a sudden, open his or her mind? What happens is, they usually SHUT their minds because they feel they're about to be sucked into something that benefits you more than them.

Let the prospect know that they are always in control with:

"See if this meets with your approval; decide this for yourself; you get to decide if you would be comfortable with this; your objective opinion would be appreciated..."

Let's look at some examples of old, out-of-date, overused language and then, a new way.

Old Language:

"I'm involved with a fantastic business opportunity that has changed my life. I'm expanding the business and looking for a few key people who want to get rich. You'd be perfect for this and what I'd like to do is invite you to a meeting to meet some awesome people. All you have to do is keep an open mind and you'll be in for an unbelievable treat."

The NEW Language of Professional Network Marketing:

"I'm working on an interesting business project and need a associate that can meet some business requirements. This may or may not be something that you would be interested in or even fit into. My question is...would you be receptive to looking at an attractive business venture outside of what you're doing now?"

HILTON JOHNSON is the co-founder of MLM University, a virtual sales training and coaching organization for "Network Marketers Who Hate Selling." Hilton has been in direct sales for over 40 years and conducted over 500 sales workshops across North America. He has been training and coaching salespeople, managers, professionals and business owners for over 30 years. He is also the co-creator, with Steve Spaulding, of the audio training system Start Right Now.