How to Network Market: Salesman Failure Syndrome

Don Faila’s Classic Book on How to Network Market

A few years after I was introduced to network marketing in the early 1980’s, I got my hands on a little, obviously self-published, light-blue booklet by Don Failla called The 45-Second Presentation That Will Change Your Life. This classic book that is thankfully still in print today teaches the principles of network marketing in the form of 10 “napkin presentations,” so called because they are short and simple and can easily be illustrated on a piece of paper the size of a napkin. This means they can be illustrated basically anywhere.

In my opinion, Failla’s book remains the foundation of network marketing, but many, in their rush to make a quick fortune, have forgotten one of the most important napkin presentations in the book, namely Napkin Presentation #2, ‘Salesman Failure Syndrome.’

What Is Salesman Failure Syndrome?

According to Failla, people fail at network marketing because they think it is a SALES business when, in fact, it is a TEACHING business.

Sales people focus their efforts on getting as many people as possible to purchase their products. If you approach network marketing like a sales person, you will try to get as many people as you can to join your organization as soon as you can. However, getting people to join your organization in this manner will almost certainly doom you to failure if these efforts aren’t followed up with effective training.


In order to be successful in network marketing you must DUPLICATE YOURSELF.

To duplicate yourself, you must build your organization a minimum of three levels deep, creating a solid foundation for long-term success.

A Solid Network Marketing Organization Builds DEEP, Not WIDE

Building an organization three levels deep requires that you become a teacher. If you’ve never taught before, don’t be discouraged. It’s easier than you think.

  1. Let’s say you sponsor someone into your organization named Ellen. She represents the FIRST level of your organization. Once Ellen has signed up, you commit to teach her how to sponsor people into her organization.
  2. Having trained Ellen well, she goes out and sponsors Jack into her organization. Jack represents the SECOND level of your organization.
  3. But teaching Ellen doesn’t stop here. You must also teach her how to teach Jack how to sponsor. When Jack sponsors someone into his organization, your organization has its THIRD level, and you have duplicated yourself.

If you’ve taken seriously your commitment and have explained the principle of duplication to Ellen, as well as taught her how to sponsor and how to teach her incoming members how to sponsor, she will keep the ball rolling and so will the people who follow her into your organization.

In essence, everyone you bring into your organization and everyone they sponsor and so on must learn this principle of duplication and teaching in order for everyone’s organization to keep growing.

Building Deep Means Working With A MANAGEABLE Number of People

It’s going to be very difficult to make this kind of commitment to the people you sponsor if you go out and quickly bring , say, 100 people into your organization.

This is often the approach taken by individuals who have a large list of people that they can market to. You may make some really good money really fast, but unless you teach those 100 people how to sponsor AND how to teach their people how to sponsor, your organization will fizzle, and you’ll find yourself jumping to a new program because you think something’s wrong with the one you’re in.

Unless your program’s training is truly “TURN KEY,” with self-paced instruction that teaches the 100 people on your first level how to effectively sponsor and also teaches them how to teach their people how to sponsor, then you won’t be able to duplicate yourself because it’s next to impossible to work with so many people at once.

In order to duplicate yourself, you must make a commitment to each person you sign up, and in order to make such a commitment, you can only work with a few people at a time. Failla recommends signing up no more than five people at a time – teaching them how to sponsor and how to teach their new people how to sponsor – before signing up anyone else.

Using this approach may take you a little longer to start earning a decent income, but you are building your business for sustainable, long-term success and not to get rich quick.

DUPLICATE and Experience Long-Term Network Marketing Success

Making sure your new recruits are properly trained and that they know how to train their new recruits is critical to long-term, network marketing success. Don’t be tempted to recruit more people than you can comfortably train at any given time. You may make a lot of money in the short-term, but if your recruits don’t know what to do, they’ll drop out and your organization will deflate like a punctured balloon, taking all your profits with it. Instead, DUPLICATE yourself by building your organization DEEP instead of wide.