The Truth about MLM- Network Marketing
Choosing a Home Based Business Opportunity
In the movie, Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise played a high powered sports agent who was fed up with the underhanded tactics of his fellow agents and his industry in general. One night, inspired, he wrote an exposé thinking he might motivate his firm and fellow agents to become totally ethical. The exposé got Jerry fired. But in the end good triumphed over evil and he found success, love, and fulfillment. This is my “Jerry Maguire” exposé, but here I’m talking about the Network Marketing world- MLM. I write this without fear, for I already have success, love, and fulfillment- and after nearly 30 years in the industry I’ve finally found a company that has none of the issues I am about to reveal- more on that company later.
My wife, Kim, and I have been involved in one Network Marketing program or another for 3 decades. We’ve been full time for close to half of those years; we’ve made millions of dollars with MLM companies. There are many things I love about what they offer- and many more things that I don’t, things you need to watch out for. Let me explain.
Through those 30 years, the idea of being in on the ground floor always had great appeal to us. “Get in early and reap the rewards,” or “Join us in Pre-Launch and own the world,” and “Imagine where you would be now if you could have gotten involved with Microsoft or Google right at their beginning.” Those are just some of the enticing mantras we all hear.
Kim and I got started with Eureka Foods right at their beginning. They were going to be huge. We got in on the ground floor- and that’s where we stayed. It never went anywhere; the company folded. More about Eureka later.
Lumé looked well established, though it had just launched. It was full in-home nail care for women. We discovered that many women want to be pampered at the salon rather than doing it all themselves, despite the savings. We got a call from a customer and she said, “My nails have a dark blotchy look at the nail bed. What do I do?” When the patented application proved to promote mold growth, a dark blotchy looking mold, the company folded.
We joined a start-up in 1997. Their name ended with “International.” Guess what. After 16 years, they never got beyond the USA. International? The owners even paid a world renowned celebrity to license his name. We were all told it was a partner relationship. “We partnered with this icon,” they told us. I can see why they embellished. It was far more motivating to think that this icon would be leading the crusade to promote our company every chance he got rather than just selling his name and never promoting us in public, and it proved to be a debilitating disappointment when we all discovered the truth. Beware of the company with the noted authority or celebrity name where the authority or celebrity is not truly invested in the company and its success. The name draws you in, but a company needs solid management, quality and unique products properly priced with mass appeal, a competitive and aggressive compensation plan, and a realistic business plan for growth and expansion. A big name doesn’t make up for blatant inadequacies. Two years after that name license agreement the company closed.
The point is, in each case we got caught up in their stories of hypothetical success, their vision of what they hoped would happen, but never did. Most start ups never make it. The failure rate is over 80% in the first 5 years.
But the allure of being there on the ground floor is so compelling. “You can be a founding member and set yourself up for life,” is what they tell you. “We’re gonna’ do this, and we’re gonna’ do that, and then we’re gonna’ do more.” It sounds so exciting. But the reality is that joining in pre-launch is more likely to set you up for failure. It’s statistically true. Over 80% of the “Gonna’-Do’s” actually Never Do!
Timing is Critical
Just as there is danger in start-ups, there is failure waiting for you if you are too late. Years ago a good friend called and told Kim and me about Excel Telecommunications, a long distance telephone service provider. There was a local meeting that we needed to attend. It was a trusted friend, so we went.
We arrived on time. The parking lot of Ruth Eckerd Hall, a well known venue in Clearwater, Florida, was already packed. People were walking toward the entrance from everywhere. It looked just like folks going to a rock concert. There were easily 1,000 chairs in the room, most of them filled with excited people. The guest speaker, who we were told was earning over a million dollars a month, was introduced and the crowd roared as they leapt to their feet to celebrate this superstar. When we saw him, we couldn’t believe it. I thought the guy who came on stage must be there to adjust the microphone or something. He was wearing khaki shorts, an un-tucked hula shirt, beat up deck shoes, and he looked like he hadn’t shaved or combed his hair in days. It was him- the superstar! As he talked I couldn’t stop thinking, “If he can do this, we certainly can.”
We discovered that most everyone we talked to about joining the program already knew about it. They had either joined, joined and quit, or decided not to get involved in the first place. We realized it was too late. The big growth opportunity with Excel had already passed. We missed it.
Failing to properly evaluate the target market is where most people really miss the boat when they are considering joining a Network Marketing Company; I certainly have.
Here’s a bit more about Eureka Foods, our first attempt at MLM. They were using space age technology to package assorted foods with the science NASA had learned storing foods for astronauts during space travel. Eureka had all kinds of food packaging available and none of them needed to be refrigerated, and they would remain fresh and consumable for 3 years. How amazing is that? 3 Years!
Their products were perfect for someone who wanted to store foods for an expended time and didn’t have access to refrigeration. Campers, long distance travelers, people on extended trips, and maybe today’s Doomsday Preppers would love these great products, right?
The big question really is, “How many people fit into the category of those who would buy these products, consume them, and buy more?” Would there be enough people, a sizeable enough market, to build a significant sized network and grow a long term residual income? Think about it. The obvious answer is, “No!” There is no doubt that a sliver of the population might have an occasional interest, but that’s all. Most people can’t get excited about eating a 3 year old Salisbury Steak that has never been refrigerated, would you?
If you are working with a company with a very slim target market you can still succeed. There are other factors that may come into play. If they advertise, or you do, and you have a ton of leads, some of those people may join or become customers. The bottom line here is you have to sift through lots of potential contacts to find those that fit that slim target market. The slimmer the target market, the more people you are going to need to talk with to get results.
Because this is a very important element in finding Network Marketing success, let me give you another example. Right now a new company has come onto the scene with great splash and appeal. It’s a cell phone program where you get state of the art 4-G phone service, phone and all, for about $50 per month. It’s far too early to tell if this program will survive, but it’s easy to see some of their obstacles. It comes down to target market.
So, who is the target market for this service? Well first let’s look at who is excluded. It’s just a US company so international contacts are out. Obviously the 10,000,000 people expected to purchase the recent iPhone release will not be participating. And those of us who have long term contracts with our current provider will be excluded. People who get their phone as a perk from their employer won’t be interested. What about those who keep their phone use to an absolute minimum and pay less than $50 per month? They aren’t likely to want to pay more, are they?
You see where I’m going with this, I’m sure. The target market gets slimmer and slimmer as you remove the people who cannot or will be very unlikely to change their current provider.
If you are considering a company, look at their products. Do they have true mass appeal? Is it going to be easy to show lots of people why they need this product? If not, you have a tough road ahead. Be realistic. Don’t get caught up in the hype!
Duplication is Critical
Another big appeal to a Network Marketing program is leverage, and that’s a powerful concept. It’s thrilling to think that your continued success is not a direct result of only your own personal efforts, but the collective efforts of your entire team. Who wouldn’t get excited by the prospect of going to sleep and all around the world the people in your team, your downline, are building and making you money?
If you are a superstar recruiter, trainer, and motivator, and you bring in people with ease, but those you recruit cannot duplicate your results- at least a reasonable percentage of what you are able to do, you are in trouble. If the only way you can succeed is by finding superstars- forget it. The program doesn’t have to be so easy that literally everybody can do it, but the guy who is slightly above average, he must be able to succeed.
If you have the mechanization to burn through 1,000 leads to find the few nuggets of gold, but those on your team have to do that work manually and don’t have access to huge lead numbers, you will have no choice but to find another you- a superstar. That’s a problem, and here’s another perspective on that point. It goes along with the target market concept we looked at earlier, but here we are talking about your potential marketer pool, your target market for recruiting. How skilled must your team members be to expect success? If only the elite can do it, you are going to have trouble duplicating results, and if you do find that superstar, they will need to find their own superstar, and so on. It’s an uphill fight that is destined to become a losing battle.
A sales company I worked with ages ago had a great way of trying new products or new sales presentations. They’d first let Kent try it out. Kent was one of the smoothest talking southern gentlemen I have ever met. He oozed charm. He could sell anything to anybody. They’d give Kent that new presentation and send him out with prospects. If Kent couldn’t sell with it, it would be scrapped- abandoned- period. But if Kent had success they’d ask him what tweaks he would suggest, make those adjustments, and then give it to Rick. If I told you Rick was a bumbler, I’d be being kind. He was a good person, a likeable guy, but the day God gave out talent- Rick slept in. So, they’d give the new presentation to Rick as their second step. If he could sell with it they knew they had a winner, because if Rick could be successful with it, anybody could! They could duplicate Rick’s success all day long!
The ability to duplicate: that’s a major component of MLM success. It’s critical!
The Dreaded Autoship
Here’s a quiz: Why do companies require a monthly autoship?
Answer: Because the members would not buy all that stuff if it was not required.
That alone should tell you something.
Having been on autoships for decades and having enjoyed the volume and commissions that those autoships created, I can also tell you that the autoship is why many people quit their MLM opportunity. They get to the point where the autoship becomes a financial drain. Month after month they pay. If they cannot at least cover their autoship costs by their earnings with the company, there comes a day when they say, “I quit!”
To reduce the pain of paying for an autoship, some companies offer a free component- like, “you get 3 customers and your autoship is free.” That’s a great idea, especially if it is so simple to get customers that anybody can recruit some. But there are few companies who have a product with a huge target market and a price that is so comfortable that even if one of your 3 customers who is qualifying you for a free autoship decides to drop out, you feel little pain paying until you replace that customer.
What happens to the average person is this. They join the company thinking that everybody they know will look at the product and the opportunity with the same open mind and eager spirit that they had. Wrong. Once they realize it’s going to be more difficult to recruit others than they expected they settle in and reduce their goals. Their new goal, instead of quitting their job or the brand new car or the shopping spree they had expected, becomes getting those 3 customers so they don’t have to pay for their autoship. It’s a little goal. For some, it’s easy; for most, it’s a struggle. They listen to the team calls and watch the trainings and keep their motivation up until they get that 3rd one. “What a relief,” they think. “I finally did it!”
Then they relax. They feel they deserve it, and maybe they do, but it’s really too early to slow down. It’s like climbing a mountain and when you reach the top, just relaxing there at the very edge of the cliff. If just one of their 3 people decides to postpone their autoship, their free autoship is gone. They’re paying again. Imagine this cycle repeating over and over again. It’s this kind of frustration that drives people out of the business.
A big buzz word these days is “transfer spending.”
“You already are paying for XYZ product now- why not buy it from yourself?”
It’s not a new concept. It’s as old as Amway. But as the economy tightens it becomes more and more important to offer people an opportunity to get their MLM products and not increase their monthly out of pocket expenses. If you have products in your MLM that provide the same benefits as things people are already buying now, but at a higher quality with a similar price, that’s transfer spending.
Energy companies are using that ploy right now. “You pay for electricity, right? Why not switch and get it from yourself? And not only can you save money, you can make money when others you tell switch!” It’s a compelling argument, isn’t it? We’ll touch on technology companies a bit later- stay tuned.
And it’s not just energy- transfer spending is everywhere. Kim and I got involved with a green cleaning products company. We buy and use cleaning products all the time. The idea of buying products that are environmentally friendly is just plain responsible. It makes total sense. We got on their $50/month autoship- and were excited about transfer spending. Some of their products worked better than our old ones; others did not. But one thing for sure- it wasn’t transfer spending. Their liquid laundry detergent cost 3 times more than the product we had been using. I’m all for the environment, but 3 times?
In another company, they had shampoo, another transfer spending opportunity. It was healthier, according to them, without phosphates. Okay, but it too was 3 times what I used to pay for my old favorite. That’s not transfer spending either. With both the green products and the shampoo I felt misled. Things like that contribute to the bad taste in the mouths of many people regarding the entire MLM industry. Go ahead and put a positive “spin” on what you tell people- but do not lie!
The Price of the Products
Lots of MLM companies have good products. Most are high-priced to support the commissions they pay. Most MLM leaders, if they are being honest, will admit that in general MLM prices are very high.
How about a protein shake powder that offers 20 grams of protein per serving and with shipping costs about $4 for that one serving? Would you call that high priced? But it does satisfy the monthly volume requirement. Maybe you have vitamin pills tailored to your needs. Does $100 per month per person seem reasonable? Some people just can’t swallow pills- pun intended- so they are captivated by the idea of a magic elixir and discover that it takes 3 of those bottles of juice at $40 per bottle to have the recommended serving each and every day. Doesn’t that seem a bit over the top on price?
Could people find comparable quality products on the open market instead of buying them from Network Marketing companies? Absolutely. You don’t think the largest and most powerful companies of our age are too inept to create products that are equal in quality and value to those sold by MLM companies, do you?
The company Kim and I have found doesn’t have products. You buy the same things you buy now from many of the same places you shop now at the same prices you pay now, and you get paid to do that. They don’t have to mandate anything. The system provides you with adequate incentive without twisting your arm.
BV or CV
This is an easy one to miss if you are relatively new to MLM. You would think that a commission percentage is just that, a commission based on what people buy. Well, it is, and it isn’t. Companies will shout from the rooftops, “We pay the highest percentage in the industry.” Then you find out that the 60% they say they divide up and pay through their overall compensation plan is based on BV. A BV number is assigned to every product, and your commissions are not based on the actual dollar spent, but on that BV amount. If, for example, the BV assigned for a $100 product is 70BV, your actual commissions total is really 42% of dollars spent- not the 60% they boast about.
MLM comp plans are generally complicated. Until you actually see what you are going to be paid commission calculation is often an educated guess at best. Your group does “X” in volume, and you calculate the published percentage of say 7%, and then you figure you are about to get a check of say $500. You might start thinking what you will do with that $500. They’ve told you that every now and then, when you reach a goal or a milestone, you should treat yourself. Maybe it’s a new gadget, maybe a shopping spree, or just getting that bill off of your back. Whatever it is, when you check online to see exactly what you have made and realize when you calculated your earnings you forgot to factor in the BV, it’s a disappointment. MLM companies need to be careful. Those little disappointments can add up and collectively demoralize their troops.
I was Vice President of a mid-sized window manufacturing company many years back. My function was primarily sales and marketing. We bought glass by the crate. Breakage was inevitable, and we hated it. In Network Marketing, breakage is a major source of income for the company.
If your company pays a bonus or commission when you reach Ruby, for example, but you just miss qualifying for Ruby, they don’t have to give you that bonus. They may not have to give that money to anybody. If they keep it, it’s called breakage, unearned commissions that roll to the company. It’s part of the financial plan for the company; they expect and rely on breakage to pay everybody and hang on to a healthy profit.
Breakage is not necessarily a bad thing, but it can become a revenue source that the company will battle to keep. It’s all about incentives. Rather than having an incentive to help you grow and earn that money, they have an incentive to make sure you don’t get it so they can keep it themselves. Look at your plan and see if you don’t find breakage going directly to the company.
Your Monthly Back Office Expense
Kim and I have paid $19.95 a month for our back office for years. Do you know how much it costs a good sized company to provide self replicated web sites and back office support? It’s typically less than $2 per month per marketer. Marketers need back office support. Companies who make that a profit center can give their members the feeling that they are being nickel and dimed every chance the company gets. It’s another of those negatives that can add up.
Some companies go even further and make you pay another $20 a month or more for their “online lead generation system.” If that’s what it cost them and it’s optional, I applaud them for making it available. It becomes a negative if they pad the price and use it as another profit center.
Look for a company that provides a stellar back office, and gives it to you absolutely free, the way it should be.
Technology Companies Scare Me Too
I told you about Excel. The reason it came into being in the first place was the deregulation of the phone companies by the US government. That opened up huge opportunities, like Excel. When companies like ATT and Sprint realized that small companies were eating into their profits, they bought those customers back.
Kim and I found some people we were able to convince to switch their phone service and go with us in Excel. Our close friends and relatives were loyal customers because of their loyalty to us. Once we got beyond our circle of influence we found different results. People would think nothing of dropping the service and switching if a better deal came along. We contacted those who cancelled their Excel phone service and asked why they switched.
“Was it the service,” we asked.
“No, we got a coupon from ATT paying us $100 to switch back, so we did,” was the answer we wound up hearing more than once.
Remember the Network Marketing company, ACN? They are still around, but like many companies, they have had to adapt or face almost certain failure. Here’s one reason why. ACN was the proud promoter of their revolutionary video phone where you could see the people you had on a call and they could see you too if both parties were using the ACN equipment. It was not cheap either- many hundreds of dollars. Then remember Apple making Facetime a free feature, even on later iPhones? You have heard of Skype, right? Thinking about using the Airtime app? Technology is really a moving target.
The deregulation of energy has lots of people buzzing. More than a half dozen MLMs are offering energy, even though you need a huge customer base or big commercial accounts to create a strong residual income. To keep those customers requires customer loyalty. Will your energy customer stay with you when companies like Delta Airlines promote their energy source and go after your customers with sweet travel deals? Who else will try to seduce your customers away from you?
And right now there are more energy companies opening up all over. One of them is starting to give $50 as an incentive for people to switch to their service. Then pretty soon another will follow suit and match that. Not to be outdone, still a third is likely to up the ante and give $75 or $100. Pretty soon they will have eroded the system so badly that they will have to drop the commissions they pay to the marketers- the dreaded compensation plan change.
A small MLM, or even a big one, is much smaller than “big energy” or “big phone company” or “big video company,” right? That’s why technology companies scare me. Besides, a slight change in those government regulations that created the opportunity in the first place, and oops, gone.
The Quick Hit versus Long Term Sustainability
This is one of the unspoken secrets in MLM. There are two distinctly different schools of thought here.
Some MLM leaders go from one current hot deal to the next. They shoot for a quick score and then move to another program. What makes that possible is over time they build a huge list of top earner contacts. When they find what they believe is the next fast buck, they call those contacts and a percentage will jump in with them. While they are with the new company they seek out other leaders that they have yet to meet and attempt to build relationships so they can add the new contacts to their list. It works. They join a company, bring their core leaders, get big results fast, meet new leaders who are impressed with those results, and then take as much of that group as they can to their next deal.
I don’t like that approach. It reminds me of the rape and pillage of the dark ages when barbarians would attack a town, destroy everything, and leave with all the assets- food, valuables, and slaves. Maybe that’s a little over the top- but the gypsies of Network Marketing come into a company and assemble a team made up of their other gypsy leaders- but they also bring in regular people like you and me. When they leave for their next hot deal, it’s the regular people who are left holding the empty bag.
What I look for is long term sustainability. I evaluate all the indicators. Do I believe a company’s model will survive long term? Will I still be able to look a prospect in the eye in 5 years or 10 and tell them I know they have a future with me in that company? I refuse to lie to people just to recruit them. I despise those who exploit people for their own personal gain. I just won’t do it. So I need a program that I believe has longevity.
There’s a skin care company right now that is in vogue. They launched it by paying big money to key industry leaders as a signing bonus, and those people reached out to their rolodex of leaders and are frantically building. The program has a lot of appeal, some great before and after testimonials, an exciting comp plan, and a “get your customers and it’s free” component. It’s just skin care.
How long would you think a skin care company can run, now with information at our finger tips constantly from the internet? Ever hear of Clinique, Lancôme, Shiseido, Channel, Este Lauder, Dior, and more? If those little Network Marketing skin care companies start to erode market shares of the big guys, do you think those big guys will just sit there and take it? Do you figure that the R&D departments of those big guys are inferior to those of the Network Marketing companies?
In order for this new skin care company to continue long term they will have to constantly innovate. They will need to continue releasing new, state of the art, proprietary products to have a chance at longevity. Maybe this new company will pass the tests of time, but you can certainly see the challenges they will face. If you are one who is content to move from program to program, maybe they are a great choice. If you want long term sustainability, maybe you should look further.
Choose wisely. Look for long term sustainability and maybe you can build one massive team and one thriving business and have it continue to grow and sustain you for years.
They Make Shipping Another Profit Center
I know shipping is expensive. But I absolutely hate when a company tacks on a couple bucks every time I order something. I hate when I order two things and they ship them separately and charge me twice for shipping. I have paid fees for companies to mail my commission check; I’ve worked in companies that pay using an eWallet and I get hit with another fee to get my money out. Little things like that add up and become a big negative. If a company can factor their shipping costs into the price of the product without overpricing it, they should. Then shipping becomes a positive. “We have free shipping on all our products.” Wouldn’t you love to tell your potential customers and marketers something like that?
Their General Terms and Conditions- and Absurd Restrictions
Aside from most Terms and Conditions Documents spelling out absurdities like the company has no obligation to pay you and that you don’t actually own anything, many companies, especially ones with older systems and antiquated attitudes, prohibit you from working in another direct sales organization, another MLM, while with their company. They may even prevent your spouse or any member of your household from working in another program. Some companies have been known to kick out a marketer just hearing that they attended a competing company’s meeting. Most people who have operated in the MLM industry for many years either have personally lived through this type of devastation, or know others who have. There is no shortage of these horror stories.
It could be as innocent as the marketer wanting to see what the competition was up to so they attend a meeting, and bang, someone reports them, their account is frozen, checks cease to be sent, and the downline rolls up to the upline. All the results from the work of building an organization are lost. I have a number of friends from different companies who have lived through such ridiculous and painful losses. One guy was in the view of a camera lens, and the picture found its way to his company home office- terminated for one picture- no notice, nothing.
If the opportunity provided by a company is truly valuable, they should have nothing to fear. Sure, the “grass is greener” attitude will cause some erosion. It’s natural, especially if the person joined the company because of misleading promises of getting rich quick. If you are recruiting someone and you are able to be honest about your opportunity, there is no reason that person would be susceptible to being seduced away. If they are happy, if they see the vision of a bright future, if they have hope- they won’t quit.
Typically when you first hear about a company their story is inspiring, they are presented it the finest light, and you are drawn in by the promise of a bright future and, if you really follow the correct path, it leads to the life of your dreams. If the opportunity offered by a company is unmatched anywhere, they should have nothing to fear. They shouldn’t have to bind you with restrictions. Why should they? If it’s as good as what they tell you it is, there’s really no other company or opportunity that can even hope to compete, right?
MLM Members are Not Employees- They are Volunteers
It’s been proven time after time that “fear of loss” is a powerful motivator, much more powerful than “potential for gain.” If you are afraid you might lose something, money, opportunity, or something you value greatly, chances are you will take immediate decisive action to prevent the loss. Fear of loss in an integral component of Network Marketing. It’s the antidote for indecision, and I have no problem with that.
But I do have a problem with the way some MLM companies choose to use manipulation to motivate and control their volunteer members. As leaders in a company, we have been pitted against other leaders and their teams more than once. That’s great when a wholesome contest is presented and everybody locks arms and races to the finish line. Healthy competition is one thing, manipulation quite another.
I remember sitting down with upline members and even company owners trying to have heart to heart discussions as a fellow businessman about a slump in our team’s production. I’m a big boy. I can handle reality. I wasn’t whining either. My concern was that this might be a down trend felt by the entire company and we should put our heads together and come up with solutions to deal with it and turn things around.
I guess they always thought that weak production could be solved by changing my attitude and getting me to work harder.
“John’s group is killing it, Phil. You need to get your team moving, and catch up with John’s group. You’re lagging behind. You are losing ground. Company volume is up- way up. It’s you. That’s where the problem is.”
I’ve heard that or something similar far too often. I had that same discussion with upline and corporate people numerous times over a year before the demise and failure of the health company where we had been top earners since they opened. They didn’t listen. They tried to manipulate us. The numbers were bad. John’s group was suffering too. Funny, they used us to manipulate him with the same line. They told him we were killing it and his team’s slump was his fault. We were taught not to communicate cross line about our volumes and production. You see, there was no transparency. No one truly knew what the others were doing. It was all cloaked in secrecy. The company kept it that way so their manipulative tactics could be effective. And the owners learned that way of operating in their previous company so they were only duplicating what they knew as common practice. Duplication can be critical in recruiting, but not all that duplicates is positive; this kind can be very destructive.
Look for transparency. Find a company that lets you peek in and see the truth. Look for leaders who are open about their results, and are willing to give you the facts. If reality isn’t good enough, neither is the company.
MLM is a “Recruit Faster than People Can Quit” Business
Many years ago I accepted the fact that Kim and I have no responsibility for the success or failure of others. We have a responsibility to them- to support, to coach, to guide, to teach, to motivate- but they are the ones who need to take that guidance and perform. We have always felt that in the final analysis, they have the same opportunity we have, period.
We also have accepted the fact that many people find they actually spend more money than they earn in their Network Marketing opportunity, despite our best efforts to support them. Most people don’t achieve the results they were hoping for in MLM. How many people start off with the dream of becoming a Doctor or Lawyer and don’t reach their dream? The numbers are crazy. Years ago I lived near Yale New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, and spent a lot more time there than I would have liked- another story for another time- and they told me that of 10,000 who started taking courses in college that could lead to a medical degree, only 1 actually became a credentialed M.D. One! It is just reality, like death and taxes. Most people don’t reach their original goals. They compromise- or just give up.
To deal with people leaving, we realized that we needed to help our team recruit at a faster pace than people would quit. If we could do that, our organization would eventually build to the point of stability.
One thing we learned: every organization we ever built was in a constant state of flux- either growing or shrinking; it never stayed the same. A feeling of confidence and consistent earnings are found by keeping the team in the growth phase.
It’s important to understand why people quit. We talked about the autoship. If the cost of the autoship feels like it outweighs the value and becomes a burden, they quit. If they are lied to and discover the deception, they quit. If they are struggling on their own and look for support but find none, they quit. If they try and try but fail to get acceptable results, they quit. If they are treated like employees and are given orders by the company or their upline, they quit. If they get distracted by life’s trials and no longer have the will or the time to devote, they quit. If there are too many requirements and too many rules and not enough rewards, they quit. It’s the nature of the industry.
Guess what; our new discovery doesn’t have that issue. Once someone is a member, there are no requirements. They have the opportunity to make money- lots of it, but they don’t have quotas or autoships or back office charges. Nothing. So, why would they quit? There is enough incentive built into the program to keep people shopping.
Yep- It’s Just Shopping
This company we are so excited about has millions of members worldwide, but is just getting started in the US; it’s proven, but with a ton of opportunity for growth ahead. They are in multiple countries around the world, represented in 6 continents, and are growing dramatically.
Their online TV channel is hot too.
Yes- it’s a shopping community. Though they do offer online shopping opportunities, it is geared toward brick and mortar locations. In most of the world it is not even considered to be an MLM, and that’s exciting. MLM is outlawed in countries where our company is thriving. Does that speak volumes?
Do you shop, or have you already purchased all you’ll ever need?
There’s the key. You have to shop. You must buy groceries, gas, and everything else; you have no choice but to shop. It’s the same for most people around the world.
Yes, we have finally found it, a program with a huge target market- anyone who pays for their own gas and groceries, a program where they cannot fail, as long as they shop in the system. We enjoy the knowledge that a piece of our shopping contributes to international charities run by the company helping children and families here and in countries around the world, and even supporting a green environment.
Kim shakes her head and says, “Until we got involved with this irresistible program I had no idea how hard what we’ve been doing actually was.” She’s having fun. Helping people you introduce to an opportunity and seeing them getting great results- that’s fun.
There’s a lot more to this. We’d love to tell you about it. We plan to build the largest team of our lives here, and are well on our way. Want something irresistible? Want to join something that is a win, win, win for everyone involved? Want to be part of something that is already making the world a better place? Just ask.
Programs with Illegal Components are Out There Too
There are plenty of other dangers to watch for when considering a home based business. If there’s a large upfront fee but the company isn’t offering anything tangible in exchange, and you find that most of what you pay to join is divided up as bonuses to the person who signed you in and their upline, that’s not legal. It happens all the time, especially in smaller companies that operate under the radar of regulators. Then there are gifting programs where money flows without products or services being exchanged. These don’t last long; they are illegal too. A huge ponzi scheme was just closed where people were making huge investments and getting windfalls, ridiculous amounts of money, in a program where those payouts were being financed by the entry fees of new members. These types of scams are usually easy to spot, but greed often clouds the vision of those looking for a get rich quick program. If you want a get rich quick program, don’t look to the home based business arena. Try lotto.
Is the MLM Model Broken?
I don’t believe it’s broken, but it is damaged. There are too many promises that are never kept. There are too many people who are enticed with grand expectations that are totally unrealistic. There are too many people who wind up with closets filled with products that they will never sell and never use, but did get them qualified for a higher pay rank or satisfied the mandatory autoship. There are product claims that cannot be true.
Does it make any sense that the huge drug companies like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and a host of other behemoth pharmaceutical companies would stand by and watch Network Marketing companies develop medical breakthroughs that cure cancer or reverse aging? Yet those are claims I have heard more than once just in the last year.
Then too there are reputable companies with cutting edge products that are fairly priced, and compensation plans that allow anyone to win. Some have been around for decades and will be for many more. They offer opportunity for those who understand that they must be consistent and eagerly pay the price of success.
Remember: If you do choose a great program, you must not only have defined goals and a solid plan; you must be willing to put in the work.
Choose Wisely and You Can Win
Do your homework. And don’t take the advice of the unknown bloggers and talking heads, those self proclaimed experts who thrive on controversy. All they want is traffic to their site so they can benefit by their advertising and affiliate programs. Look for credible sources.
Kim and I have made a great living in this industry, and have helped hundreds if not thousands do the same. We raised our children, put them through college, and were there to teach and support them rather than sending them to after school care programs. We went with them to the dance classes and soccer practice and even international tournaments. We stayed in the best hotels. We rode the theme park rides. We travelled to show them freedom. We taught them that life does not have to be filled with barriers. They watched us tenaciously overcome the obstacles that life inevitably puts in our paths. They saw the example of people who live as they choose, call their own shots, and shape their own destiny- their parents- us.
We’ve both grown tremendously through our experiences in Network Marketing; Kim and I have rejoiced in the ability to take this journey together. We have learned the power and reaped the rewards of relationship building. We have witnessed people we have coached blossom into self confident and self reliant superstars. With the freedom to do what we choose and the time to experiment, we have dominated aspects of internet marketing and benefitted from the power of a properly set up attraction marketing system. This industry has honed our skills, given us new ones, and led us down a path where personal development never ends. We are more valuable today than we were yesterday, and we know we will again improve tomorrow. Our cup runneth over!
As I stated in the very beginning, there are things I love, beautiful things in Network Marketing. We will forever treasure the beautiful things the industry has given us.