"I'd like your advice on this new business I'm starting."
We get this question at least twice a week. It must be the first line in the MLM (Multi Level Marketing) textbook.
"you don't want to tell them it's MLM. It scares people. No business person can resist helping someone else who asks them business advice though, so that's your best angle..."
But if you really, really want our advice on your new business, read on...
Is it Worth Losing Friends Over?
No matter how good they tell you the product is, and no matter how many people they tell say you can "get over the line," remember that it comes with a cost.
To be successful, you have to nag and hassle your family and friends.
And that's understandable. You'll have likely just invested to get the super-kick-starter sales-champion-world-domination-kit. You'll need to make that money back before your spouse finds out how much you spent.
Time to bust your ass, get on FB and post cryptic posts about your "amazing 3 day detox... message me for details."
Start doing some hard core exercise so you look less shabby. "People will ask you what you're doing, so you just tell them... it's that easy!"
As soon as that first subtle sales post hits facebook, the "block" button gets a flogging.
Word will get around that you're part of a "scam". You'll be treated like a criminal. Behind your back, news will spread of your "obvious desperation for cash." The housewife telegraph will be buzzing. "Maybe they are having marital trouble"
People will stop inviting you to stuff. It's not because they don't like you, it's because your friends are your prospects. People want to relax, they don't want you telling them how many times you now take a crap and how amazing your skin feels.
They want to talk to you about you. You are not the product you're selling.
Is It For Life?
Most "detox" drinks work. That's why MLM companies are built on them. But that's not because they are amazing products, its because they are better than the crap most people have been eating.
Usually, the detox drink is a catalyst for overall change. More than likely the amazing feeling you're getting is because of your overall changes, like more exercise, a better attitude to life, more water etc.
You're feeling great because of you, not because of a product.
After the first 3 weeks of using a product, your body should be back to optimal. You will no longer need it.
Remember that if your MLM product is a detox, detoxes end. Once you have finished your detox, you no longer need it.
But that doesn't make good business sense. The greedy fat cats at the top know that you will continue using (buying) it, if there is a financial incentive for you.
Even sponsored athletes get their sponsors product for free!
What Does "Supplement" Mean?
Remember that it's a supplement.
A supplement is meant to supplement parts of a lacking diet. If you need more protein in your diet because you just cannot ingest enough through your regular food, you supplement with a protein powder.
If you don't get enough antioxidants in your diet because you can't eat enough greens, you supplement with a green powder.
But a supplement is a poor substitute for the real thing.
Your supplement should not be thought of as a staple. No supplement can replace a well rounded, calorie controlled, macro balanced diet.
It's actually much cheaper to eat real food. Especially when you consider the true cost of MLM supplements (coming next, but first:)
Why Can't I Buy it In The Supermarket?
Did you know that Tupperware used to have stores?
The reason they pulled their stores after trying them was because they were FAR more successful at selling their usual way.
It's easy to say "no thanks, just browsing" to the store attendant.
It's a lot harder to say "no" to a friend or relative, after they've brought you into their home. Your MLM knows this. That's the number one reason they chose the MLM business model. Not because the product is good. It's because of the business model.
Which brings us to our next question:
Would You Still Try As Hard To Convince Your Friends And Family If There Was No Financial Incentive?
It's a pretty simple question. Would you do it for free? Would you really?
What Is The Competition?
Not just competitive products. What we mean is what competes for that same dollar?
People are lazy. If we can buy a competitor to your product from the supermarket, at a cheaper price, we'll do it.
Waiting for something to be delivered is inconvenient, especially if it's expensive.
You'll also have to factor the annoyance into the cost.
"It's about the same price at Woolies, and If I buy it from Woolies, I won't have to listen to Amy's annoying fucking speeches about what a wise decision I've made or how I can start earning money."
People will say this.
If your product is truly unique and is cheaper than the supermarket or health food store, it might be worth looking into.
And by unique, it needs to be truly unique. Digestive enzymes aren't unique. Green powder isn't unique. The "proprietary blend" isn't unique enough.
The Best Business Advice Ever
Don't try to convince someone to buy something they don't need. Find something people are looking for. Go where they are looking, then stand in front of them with that product.
Is Your MLM Worth The Time Investment?
The people we know who are successful in MLM do it as a full time job. The hours are just as bad as a real estate agents hours. Do not be fooled into thinking you're going to get to diamond level without a SHIT-TON of HARD WORK and pissing people off.
MLM is sales, it is degrading, gruelling work. People automatically hate you for the company you represent, your friends avoid you. People won't buy as much as you hope, because it's just easier or cheaper to buy it from the supermarket or supplement store.
To get people to consistently buy enough to make you money, you have to consistently visit them, call them and email them. Add up how many hours you will really put into the business and weigh it up against the return.
What Is The True Cost of your MLM?
A study by MLM expert Robert Fitzpatrick found that 99% of MLM salespeople actually lose money. Doing well means you may earn less per hour than the minimum wage. Are you better off working more hours at your job.
What we mean is "if I make 10 sales, then I basically get mine for free." This doesn't mean you get your product for free. What it means is that you have to make 10 sales to earn enough money to pay for your product. 10 sales might take 10 hours.
For a $30 "saving" you're working for 10 hours.
Are you better off working a job for 3 hours at $10 per hour to pay for your product.
Are You Ready To Jump Ship?
The people making the most money out of MLM are at the top of the pyramid. The people who first bring it into an area. Years ago, business moved slowly, so you could hold an area for a long time.
Nowdays, a new product comes out each month. Chances are if you're looking for a better paying MLM, your upline AND downline are doing the same thing. People who LOVED one product suddenly become huge fans of another, subsequently trying to get everyone to switch.
Are you ready to jump ship?
Do You Trust The Creators of your MLM?
I've always been amazed at how many MLM businesses are closed down because of dodgy shit. I feel so sorry for the mums and dads who sold out their friends for this product, only to find it shut down for fraud or illegal practices.
Are you prepared to have your clients (family) turn on you?
MLM is basically a pyramid scheme, except that it's still legal (for now) because there is a product that gets sold, not just a "business opportunity." You could say that MLM is like laundering for pyramid schemes.
Think back to your first intro to the MLM, was it about a product, or was it about a business opportunity?
And come on, if your job relies on you to convert your customers into your competitors, you're setting yourself up for failure.
Most people who get into MLM are great people, loved by many. It's why they're told they will be good at it. That's probably why you think you'll be good at it. But just like any business startup, you need to look at the potential downsides as well as the potential upsides.
We've seen too many wonderful people end up losing a lot of friends for the tiny amount of money they make from a product.
If you know someone that might need to just ask themselves these questions, please share!
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