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Saturday, October 18, 2014

107. MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) – Part 2 of 3 – What I learned

Let me re-emphasize we have friends who are involved in MLM businesses and have done quite well with this business model. Some make tens of thousands of dollars a year or more, get bonuses, have earned fancy new cars, earn free vacations, etc. 

On the other hand others, the vast majority of those of us who get involved with MLMs, seem to spend a lot of time and effort for a couple hundred a month at best. A majority of those who get involved with a MLM business model will never make a profit. 

I tried this business model three times and pretty much fell into the second category. 

Please check out Part 1 on my experience with MLMs and part 3 questions to ask yourself & your potential recruiter or "Up-line."

After being involved in 3 MLMs: a travel agency company, a greeting card company, and an energy company I can honestly say I’m not cut out for MLMs. I was in sales for about a decade with my “day job”. These three opportunities were coupled with my sales experience were enough for me to realize that I didn’t want to be in MLM sales or recruiting the rest of my life. 

I’ve learned this is true for several reasons:

1. I like my day job. I like my work starting at a certain time and ending at a certain time. When I come home I leave the office behind. I don’t typically take phone calls or have conference calls when I’m not at the office. Unless of course something is really pressing and needs extra attention. 

2. I don’t like bugging my family and friends. I don’t like selling stuff to or recruiting my relatives or friends. I’ve made lists of people I knew with contact information. I’ve called, sent texts, or sent Facebook messages to people I knew. Friends and family is a good place to start sure. But most families have had experience in one form or another with MLMs. And I don’t mean in the positive sense. There's always "that" relative or friend. 

3. I don’t enjoy recruiting people to “start and own their own business.” Most people do not have some combination of the following to be successful at MLMs: A) the personality, B) the motivation, C) the human network, D) the patience, E) the endurance, F) the right timing to “start and own their own business.” 

4. I don’t enjoy selling stuff to or recruiting strangers. I’ve had business cards in the past. I’ve done the whole thing of talking to people I meet and using social media to try and recruit others for a “great opportunity.” 

5. I don’t like cold calling. I think this speaks for itself. Most people don’t like to call someone they don’t’ know to solicit business the other party may or may likely not want. I don’t like my life being interrupted. I don’t like interrupting someone else’s life. I don’t like getting hung up on. I don’t like rude people. The list goes on but you get the idea. 

6. I generally don’t like using social media to promote MLM opportunities. There are very few MLM companies which I don’t mind using social media to promote products or services. One of those is Jamberry. Its nails and its fun. It’s also cheaper than getting nails done at a regular beauty shop. The other would be essential oils – great for a person’s general well-being. That said I don’t like friends or acquaintances private messaging me to promote the latest sale or gadget. Pitch it to me once. Maybe twice and then let it be. You don’t want to be “that person”, “that guy”, “that girl”, or “that couple” right? I don't want to. 

7. I don't like attending webinars, teleconferences, or sales pitch meetings. All MLM seem to have lot's of training opportunities. Or, if you're not familiar enough with your product, get someone else to help sell or recruit for your team. I'm simply not into that kind of thing. 

8. In my experience there’s always a catch. See the previous post Part 1 on this subject and my experience with MLMs. There’s always something: an upfront cost, there’s typically a monthly maintenance fee, often you have to buy a certain amount of product each month, the product is not the quality or value it was pitched to you, the market is saturated with other distributors, or there’s usually hidden fees. This beyond the fact that most people don’t stick with the program or make money at the program. 

What has been your experience with MLMs? Has the MLM business model worked for you?

Please check out Part 1 on my experience with MLMs and part 3 questions to ask yourself & your potential recruiter or "Up-line."


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