This is a long post – but worth the read, if you are looking at the likes of forever living, utility warehouse or another Network Marketing business.
Here is what we will cover:
- What Network Marketing Is (and some familiar companies doing it)
- The recruitment process (I’ll show you the pattern, you’ll be surprised how recognisable it is!)
- How to say No
- The reality of working in multi layer marketing
- Why it doesn’t make your friends bad people for giving it a go.
So if you’ve seen lot’s of Facebook status’s from overly excited friends about achieving dreams. Stick with me and see why it’s all rubbish!
What is Network Marketing?
Network Marketing or Multi Level Marketing business’s recruit people to sell their products. They then ask those people to recruit their friends to do the same, paying them a commission. They then recruit their friends and the person at the tops continues to earn a commission on that.
If you’re reading this because you’ve been approached recently by a friend who ‘want’s to help you out’ by sharing their ‘exciting new business’, please read this!
Hopefully I will save you some cash or at least assist you so can go in with your eyes wide open.
These companies don’t often refer to themselves as ‘multi layer marketing’ companies or ‘network marketers’ – it’s just not sexy enough!
So here are some of the more popular ones that I am aware of:
- Utility Warehouse
- Forever Living
(Help me build this list!)
I can’t tell you not to do it!
It’s likely you have already been told by the recruiter that you will be told by all your friends and family not to give it a try. Followed up with a story about how they were told the same and if you look at them now they’re having the last laugh!
It’s a common strategy.
Network marketers generally use the same clever marketing tricks to get you involved!
So if I tell you not to do it. I will reinforce their story.
I say do it – they win!
I say don’t do it – they win!
The Recruitment Process
How much of this do you recognise? It’s the most common network marketing approach!
- You meet and old friend (often a really old friend!), either in the street or they approach you on Facebook.
- They ask you how your life is going, you tell them. You return the question, the response follows something like this;
“Life if AMAZING! I’m doing so well with my new business.”
- Now whether you want to know or not. They WILL tell you! Either way the response is usually along these lines;
“Thanks for asking/ Let me tell you [Delete as appliacable!] – I have my OWN business now. Its great, I can chose when I work, where I work and it’s really changed my life!”
Usually this is said with such infectious energy even the most pesimistic struggle not to become interested.
“If you are interested maybe we could meet up and I’ll show you the opportunity”
- You agree – they make sure they pin you down to a meeting!
Presenting the ‘Opportunity’
Usually the initial meeting has very little detail in it! This is because they want you to leave interested. Often in something that isn’t that exciting. They are relying on this second meeting to wow you.
This next bit can happen in one of two ways. A face to face meeting with your friend (normally reserved for the more experienced recruiter) or you’ll go to a presentation.
Lets go through how the presentation work to gently convince you that this will be the most exciting thing you ever do!
- You go to a local hotel or conference center. If it’s well organised (and these guys usually are), it’s full! Full of friendly faces and smiles, energetic types!
- You sit down and the presentation begins! And be prepared, its going to be good!
- You are introduced to normal people – just like you! But there’s one difference, they signed up to the opportunity. You will hear a couple of great success stories. Cleverly worded, to make you feel they aren’t desperate to get you on board. Expect a picture of their fancy new car – they’ll explain it is thanks to the ‘opportunity’ they have it!
- This may be followed diagrams and other well worded anecdotes about how you can earn lots as you progress through the plan.
- There isn’t much detail about the compensation scheme itself, it’s all ‘big picture’ stuff. They want to get you dreaming of a much better life.
- After the meeting, it’s down to the ‘recruiter’ to isolate you.
It’s Hard To Say No!
You are isolated and in your friends hands! They are going to start asking you lots of questions. Questions were the most likely answer is ‘Yes’, and I mean lots. They want to get you used to it for when they ask the final closing question,
“So do you think that is something you might be interested in?”
By this point you’ve forgotten the word No!
(expect a drawing or two in this isolation phase – it’s another neat trick to engage you more)
How do you get out of it?
If you’ve already signed those papers but you know you want out it’s okay! You get two weeks usually as a cooling off period.
But that’s not the issue, you probably don’t want to let down your friend. But look at it this way:
If they are a genuine close friend, they won’t mind if your not interested.
However they are most likely an acquaintance, someone you haven’t seen in ages. They will be so wrapped up in their ‘business’ they will have no other interest. Don’t let there desire to succeed play on your emotions.
Just say No!
If you have signed up – write to the company, tell them it’s not for you. If you haven’t but your getting relentless follow up calls, you have to be firm.
Tell your friend that you are not interested. Do not make an excuse, they often have a well rehearsed follow up to an excuse.
Just say NO! Not maybe, not later and definitely not ‘I can’t afford it this month’, because they will come back!
The Reality of Network Marketing
How do I know all this? It’s because I signed up to ‘Utility Warehouse’ years ago. Why? I liked the idea of it, I was sold the dream of a passive income!
Here is what I found out:
- Not many people succeed and only a tiny percentage ever achieve the ‘financial freedom’ dream you have been sold.
- You are trained to talk about your dreams, to ‘fake it until you make it’.
- You are trained to respond to people in ways that may get them interested in the product. Friends, old friends and strangers – to all of them you have to make sure they know you life is great (even if it isnt)
- You have to put in long hours. They aren’t flexible (you have to work at the times you can sell the product).
- This isn’t ‘your own business’ – you don’t have freedom to do it your way. You must follow the company policies and rules.
- It is your own business when it comes to tax! That’s right, you usually have to deal with all your own tax payments on your earnings.
- Unless you eat, sleep, drink & breath the product you wont succeed.
- It can feel very uneasy selling to your friends.
- The person above you usually wasn’t doing as well as you thought. They needed new recruits to hit there targets.
- If you have a break from the business, you often see reduction in commission because you haven’t signed up or sold anything new.
- You have to hit very high targets in order to see the big money.
- Everyone around you is fake.
- If you do embrace the business, you will go on so much about it, people will start to avoid you in the street.
I could do on and on! I really could.
Yes you can succeed, but to do so requires absolute dedication to that business. If you succeed with it, you most likely will succeed at anything you try and with better results again.
And if you succeed you’ll often do so at the expense of your friends.
I won’t tell you not to do it. I learned all this stuff, so I don’t regret giving it ago. But if money is tight an the initial money to get going is a stretch – just bare in mind you may not get it back.
If you do give it a go – good luck! (and no, I’m not interested in joining you.)
OH! And the final bit
Here’s Why Your Friends Aren’t Bad People
So I have told you about all the tricks these companies employ to get you on board. It all seems a bit sinister.
But your friends will genuinely believe the hype – at least for a time. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in it all and they often genuinely believe they are going to help you out! Give them time, they will either become so boring you’ll not want to hang around with them any more. Or they’ll realise they made a mistake and probably feel a little silly!
This article is based on my experiences and observations of network marketing. It may not represent every company so do your own research!