I’ve heard him called The White Knight of Network Marketing.
Good grief. Gag me with a spoon. I knew the man before he became "St. Michael."
We have strong disagreements. It’s not personal. I’ve known Michael since 1997. In person, away from business, he’s a charming, lovable character. Fun … almost cartoon-like. Many people are drawn to him. Me? Michael Dlouhy often rubs me the wrong way. Let me tell you some things.
1. Michael spends 7-10 hours a week teaching his own network marketing COMPETITORS every secret he knows. He gives them FREE every tool he uses. His phone calls & e-book show them EXACTLY, step-by-step, how to take business away from him (if they can) … and then he doesn’t even charge them for the training! (You’ll learn his reasoning for this in a couple minutes.)
Reminds me of the guy at the intersection with his spray bottle, dashing out at red lights, washing your windshield. Michael would probably do THAT for free, too. You don’t see any other MLM "Heavy Hitter" ignore the time-tested "profit rules" of direct marketing. They’d go bankrupt. But Michael does it … and his business and income get bigger anyway.
2. Michael’s income comes from his MLM business. Yet on his conference calls, he NEVER mentions the company name. He NEVER says a product name. He trains his people to NEVER close a sale. He trains them to NEVER recruit. He tells them to NEVER promote to friends & family. And yet they move a TON of product, and they build like crazy! That can’t possibly work, can it? You sure wouldn’t think so. But it does.
Michael tells his motivation, how he was abused as a kid. His Aunt Honey rescued him and loved him. Connect the dots, and you realize he wants to be Aunt Honey to all these abused network marketers. Oh, brother! Wouldn’t Dr. Phil have a field day with this?
If you liked "The Brady Bunch", you’ll love Michael. Bright and cheery 99% of the time. Only when the subject turns to MLM "Heavy Hitters," THAT is when his blood boils. In "Success In 10 Steps", Michael catalogs every lie they’ve ever told. He’s driven to help those who’ve dreamed entrepreneurial dreams, and then been fleeced & abused by the evildoers. So when he gives everything away … it’s an "in-your-face" to the Heavy Hitters.
And this leads people to picture Michael riding his white horse across the countryside, The White Knight of Network Marketing, Sir Michael of MLM.
Gag me with a spoon.
3. Michael leaves profitable MLM marketing systems on the curb if he can’t use them to build others. People instantly relate to him, trust him. They’re loyal. He makes relationship-building look way too easy. And he trains his people to use his e-book do the same thing.
It’s great to care about people. Any reasonable person does. But the numbers say, most people fail in network marketing. The numbers say, if you bet everything on your people and they fail, then YOU are down the tubes. People are unpredictable.
But to Michael, it’s all about relationships. The game wouldn’t be fun to him if that wasn’t his focus.
4. First time I met Michael, a few years ago, he called to ask if he could drop by. He lives 250 miles away. He’d been in my downline for years. I figured I was in for some hard sell. Instead, I got a warm, engaging storyteller. No hard sell.
Michael is an animal on the phone. He can talk from dawn to dark. However … he’s also a very good listener. That unusual combination makes him a lot of fun to talk to.
5. But he still annoyed me. He emailed and called and dropped by from time to time, letting me know that it was perfectly OK if I wanted to work with him … OR NOT!
So it’s OK if I work with him. And it’s OK if I don’t. That’s just wonderful.
I didn’t need the aggravation. Really. I didn’t give a rat’s ass about Michael Dlouhy. Why the heck should he care about me? And right there, THERE is my problem. I’m very curious.
Several people have told me they lost money in MLM for years before connecting with Michael. Now, they’re profitable. Despite his craziness. How can that be? How can you give everything away and make a profit? I called him up. We talked for a long time. It was the start of a business relationship that has greatly benefitted both of us. I discovered there is a fascinating method to his madness.
You’ve heard of Plan A and Plan B? The business a person is working now is Plan A. The fallback position, if Plan A fizzles out, is Plan B. Most people don’t have a Plan B.
I call what Michael does, "Plan B Recruiting". When he talks to a prospect who doesn’t have a business, Michael wants to be Plan A. When he talks to a prospect who already has a business, Michael wants to be Plan B.
Michael gives away so many great, useful, business-building resources because he knows this industry. MLM companies come, go and change like crazy. When Michael builds trust with people, he’s sowing the seeds for working together some day. Just because a person is in love with their Plan A company today doesn’t mean they’ll feel the same a month or a year or 5 years from now.
And whenever they’re ready for Plan B, Michael is ready for them. Ask yourself one question: how many people do you know who stay with one MLM company their whole career?
I can’t name one. Which makes this a brilliant plan. Very productive. You should use it yourself. It means – and this is really key – you NEVER argue with anyone about whose company is better. If someone is in a company, you never talk to them about yours. You just help them and help them and help them … and you are the first person they think of when they need a Plan B … which is almost certain to happen.
I’ve come to believe Michael is a networking genius. He is to relationship-building and network marketing what Muhammed Ali was to boxing, what Elvis was to rock ‘n roll, what Bill Gates is to the personal computer. These kinds of people don’t do things the way they’re supposed to. Rules just get in the way of their creativity and obsession with their work.
It took me years to realize what annoys me about Michael. It’s EXACTLY what makes him unique. Michael does not follow anyone else’s rules. He’s almost like a Mother Teresa, searching through the network marketing woods, looking for the orphaned, injured baby MLMer. He takes it in, bottle-feeds it and nurses it to health. In some ways, Michael is still 6 years old. He thinks every network marketer out there is Bambi, and he’s got to protect them from the Hunter.
6. There have been days (I swear this is true) Michael called at 9 am to talk about some marketing idea. I can’t reach him in the afternoon, because he’s on the phone for an hour and a half doing a 3-way call with someone on his 74th level, who he just MUST help. At 8 pm, he’s doing his nightly 1-hour training call (or 2 or 3 hours, depending on how much help his people – AND his competitors! – need). And then he emails me at 3 a.m. When the heck does he sleep?
I once asked Linda Dlouhy when her husband sleeps.
THIS one is personal. Why should I feel guilty about getting a good night’s sleep? I don’t. But some nights when I lay my head down at 1 a.m., I know that Michael is still on the phone, doing a 3-way call for someone in Singapore who has a new prospect in Australia. I do a lot of work. I get a lot done. But Michael never seems to stop. That pisses me off.
7. Michael Dlouhy couldn’t legitimately "market" his way out of a paper bag. I know a thing or two about direct marketing. I was in marketing guru Jay Abraham’s "Protégé" group, back in 1989. In 1990, I worked briefly with direct mail geniuses Gary Halbert & John Carlton, writing sales letters for some of Halbert’s client.
In 1993, I got a call from Dr. Joel Wallach at the old "Eagle Investments" MLM. Doc asked me to help him promote his "colloidal mineral" product. I took one of Doc’s old seminar audiotapes gathering dust in his closet, titled it, "Dead Doctors Don’t Lie," and began promoting it. Eventually, over 250 million "Dead Doctors" tapes were circulated. It’s still the benchmark against which all other network marketing promotions are measured.
In 1996, I wrote the full-page ad, "I REALLY Expected To Be Dead By Now!" This ad appeared in numerous national magazines and many direct mail packages … along with my book, "The Strangest Nutritional Secret!" These pieces brought us a couple million dollars net over the next few years.
Michael, on the other hand, has never created ANYTHING like these pieces. All he does is call up people who have downloaded his ebook and build relationships with them. For a few, he’s Plan A. For most, he’s Plan B. And then he teaches them to do the same.
"Build people. People will build your business." Michael says that a lot. So instead of some mile-wide, inch-thick marketing thingy, he builds tight relationships with hundreds of people who would follow him anywhere. It’s NOT direct marketing. But man! In an industry where people change companies so often, Michael understands his market and what they want better than anyone else in this business. His "Plan B" plan is the smartest thing I’ve ever seen anyone in MLM do.
8. Using direct marketing, I built a couple huge & profitable downlines in the 1990s. But I never built relationships. I would never, ever shoot Bambi. But I’d never give her my phone number, either. Let alone go out in the woods and search for her.
And then those companies disappeared. So did my income. I’ve learned a lot from Michael … but nothing more critical than how to talk with a new person, quickly spot which of the 4 personality types that person is, and bond with them. It’s an incredible skill that we now teach to everyone in Mentoring For Free.
What I have learned from Michael is that to build an MLM income that lasts, you MUST build relationships. You MUST build people. As Michael says, people join people, not companies. If your focus is on a company, or on a compensation plan, or on products, then your focus is wrong. To build a lasting long-term network marketing income, your must focus on building relationships.
Hope it doesn’t take you as long to learn that lesson as it took me.