& Scams 101
We'll Build Your Downline For You
I am one who believes that MLM (aka Multilevel Marketing) (aka Network Marketing) can work.... in VERY RARE CASES. So don't brush off what I have to say by assuming that I'm just another anti-MLM fanatic. I'm not. Honest. But I also believe it's for real go-getters.... the kind of person who can recruit, train, and most of all, motivate. You know.... "People People." But most of them don't tell you that. They tell you there's "no personal selling," "no phone calls," "no recruiting," and "no personal contact."
I have two friends who got into well-established Multilevel Marketing companies -- one 100% legitimate and the other I'm not so sure, but I know that he believed in it with all his heart. Both of these men are "people people." Both of these men were HIGHLY motivated. Both of these men did their homework and WORKED the business.
And now they're rich.... right?
One finally went back to a full-time job because "my upline seemed to frown on it when I was more interested in retailing the products than building my downline," and the other one has moved on to other things because "the sales really slowed down" -- the people who bought the product from him were all thrilled with it, but he just couldn't convert them to distributors, and in MLM, recruiting is the name of the game.
The REALLY BAD Multilevel Marketing companies outnumber the good by about a gazillion to one, but I don't dispute the fact that there are some good ones out there. I would have to be a special kind of idiot not to see the two pink Mary Kay Cadillacs driving around my neighborhood.... which are, of course, a testament to some MLMer's success.
But even with the BEST company.... your chances of succeeding big-time are slim at best. And also consider that there are a LOT of people to pay. That means the prices have to be inflated, which means the products are never easy to sell. And consider the fact that because it is SO hard to succeed.... and it's generally SO long before you see any real money.... the vast majority of your downline will drop out or become inactive almost as fast as you can recruit them.
And don't forget the stigma that goes along with Multilevel Marketing. Look in any opportunity magazine and see how many ads say, "Not MLM!" They do that, of course, because so many people are rabid MLM-haters.
And then there's the thing they call "The Three-Foot Rule." That's where you make it a point to talk about your opportunity to everyone who comes within three feet of you. It's a great way to alienate people.
The riskiest MLMs are "Ground Floor Opportunities" and "Pre-Launch." Generally that means they need your money to build their company. Most of the ones I invested in were long gone within a couple of months. Thank God I was terrible at recruiting or I'd have a lot of people on my conscience.
In Multilevel Marketing, only one thing is 100 percent certain....
The people at the tippy-top ALWAYS win.
I plucked this right out of an AD, if you can believe that.... a guy selling a complete course on how to start your own MLM company. And make no mistake about it.... that really IS a way to "get rich quick" (quick and dirty maybe, but quick nonetheless). Here's what he had to say (the caps and italics are his, not mine):....
"The Multilevel Company always makes money. ALWAYS! No matter if not a single distributor makes money, the company ALWAYS MAKES MONEY!. That's because the company is in the top position. Every distributor sale is dollars in your pocket! .... The beauty of MLM is the fantastic amounts of money that can be made offering almost any viable product or service. People are eager to join MLM programs. Some people are involved in dozens! All are willing to spend their money advertising and marketing your products! That's the beauty of having your own MLM company. You can start for peanuts -- let other people finance your enterprise..... I reasoned that if I were ever going to make money, multilevel offered the quickest and best chance to score big-time. I also knew it can take years to make money as a distributor for another company."
Kinda sounds like the distributor gets the short end of the stick, doesn't it??
I don't know about you, but I don't like being used.
Now, about the ones that say, "We'll build your downline for you"....
There are a gazillion MLMs out there that make this claim.... rattling on and on about how THEY do all the recruiting -- or that your downline will fill from "SPILLOVER" and "all you have to do is mail postcards."
Take it from somebody who lost thousands in these "programs." It doesn't happen.
I bought the lists.
I licked the stamps and mailed the postcards.
And what happened?
I lost my shirt on every single one.
If you get any spillover.... and that's a very BIG "if".... it will very quickly spill out. To be an MLM success, you have meetings, you recruit, and you motivate. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. And if you don't do those things, at the very least, you need to sell-sell-sell the product (if there is one).... and if that's your plan, then you might as well be selling something where you profit from your own efforts instead of a downline.
Think about it. If THEY really do all the work, what do they need you for??
They don't need you. They need your M-O-N-E-Y.
You pay for their printing. You pay for their postage. You pay for their ads. In a lot of programs, you're even the one buying all the products!
That's what you do.... you PAY, PAY PAY.
Like the man said.... YOU finance THEIR enterprise for them.
Here's an EXCELLENT article called The Truth About MLM. I highly recommend you read it before you make your decision. (Like most of our links, this one will open a second browser window, so you can look around all you like without getting lost; just close the window when you're ready to come back here.)
And here's an even better article by the nicest self-made multimillionaire you'll ever meet... one Mr. Jim Straw: Multi-Level Marketing: What it was. What it became. What it is today.
Still not convinced? Okey dokey....
Then you'll want to read "The Great MLM Wars" in the FIB Archives. You can't right now, because the archives are broken, but I'll get this linked back up as soon as I can. It's great fun really.... you can watch zealots on both sides peck each other's eyes out and see how the MLMer who thought he'd use MaaMaw's Place as his Own Private Recruiting Depot but claimed he didn't.... (recruiting isn't the most important thing, don'tcha know?).... ended up going full circle and telling MaaMaw herself that her biggest boo-boo was getting involved in an MLM that didn't put enough emphasis on recruiting, but I digress (again).
Getting involved with a shady MLM company won't do anything to promote your financial independence, but it will do wonders for theirs. And if you're in the mood to feel pukey, sit and think how much of YOUR money they pocket before you realize you're being ripped off.
Will getting involved with a top-notch MLM company do anything to promote your financial independence?
It could. It does for some people. But I think it's safe to say the odds are NOT in your favor, so go in with your eyes wide open.
Oh, there's one last thing.
After losing bigtime, I devised my own little system that allows me to skip right over all this high-finance mumbo-jumbo that causes my eyeballs to throb painfully:....
If trying to decipher "the compensation plan" threatens to make my head explode, I shriek, "Stop the world, I wanna get off!" and head for the door, right in front of everybody.
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