Spilling the beans on MLM

beansAndre emailed me to ask, “What are your thoughts on multi-level marketing?”

Well, methinks multi-level marketing (MLM), also called “network marketing,” attracts a whole lotta undeserved hate.

For example, here’s the so-called “definition” of MLM found at UrbanDictionary.com…

“A scheme in which a person (as a ‘seller’) buys a certain amount of product from a ‘distributor,’ and then sells for a profit. The seller must then kick back some of his profit to his distributor. In turn all the other sellers this person has recruited and distributes product to must kick back some of their profits to him.

“Amway is the prototypical MLM. Usually only the founders of a MLM profit from the scheme. Some MLM’s are blatant pyramid schemes, although one can argue all MLM’s are fraudulent. Look for MLM ads in bus shelters and on telephone poles at intersections.”


Notice the words “scheme” and “kick back” and “fraudulent”?

And how about that last line about bus shelters and telephone poles?

MLM sounds pretty sleazy, huh?

Actually, that definition is total bullshit.

Here’s the real deal.

As a distributor for, let’s say, Amway or Mary Kay (two of the largest, most reputable direct sales companies), you sell products directly to consumers through referrals and word-of-mouth. You can also be compensated for the sales of people you recruit as “downline” distributors.

It’s a very old business model and it’s totally legit.

Are there MLM scams?

Sure, the industry is filled with shady shenanigans, just like any other biz.

But the truth is that many people are VERY successful in network marketing. I’ve known quite a few, and they’re honest folks who want to take their lives into their own hands. They don’t like hovering bosses but still want some structure and support in their home-based businesses.

My tip if you’re looking into the MLM field:

Do your homework!

Don’t ask for opinions from a friend or family member who’s never worked in the industry, was burned by an unscrupulous brother-in-law, or is just crappy in direct sales.

Investigate the companies yourself. Study their histories and payment structures. Try their products — and if you don’t like them, fer kryssakes, don’t sell ’em!

Most important, scrutinize the “upline” distributor who’s recruiting you. Are they reliable and supportive? Will they provide training? Do they answer questions honestly?

Then ask YOURSELF this…

Do I have the skill sets I need to pursue a business opportunity in direct sales and recruitment?

You’ll find some help in that department right here…


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