We’ve all heard it – network marketing and MLM are all multi level marketing scams.
There are countless videos on YouTube and everywhere you look online warning people not to get caught up in MLMs or anything resembling them.
I’ve even seen multiple videos coaching people on how to deal with a family member that joined an MLM opportunity, as if they had to somehow “coach them back down to reality” or some other such nonsense.
And indeed there has been a lot of rampant corruption in the industry and a lot of not-so-well-meaning people causing that corruption.
But this has driven the entire network marketing industry to change…and change for the better and not the worse.
Here’s what I mean…
First of all, DON’T PANIC!
I’m not here to tear down the multi level marketing industry or add more of a bad name to network marketing companies everywhere…in fact, quite the opposite.
I know. I know. I’m going to receive a lot of backlash over this, but it’s time to stand back and take note of the changes we’re seeing in this industry and how those are actually GOOD changes for everyone and not necessarily bad changes.
See, somewhere along the line people started getting it into their heads that since the word “marketing” was used it meant “selling”
And with the weird ways people have always tended to think of salespeople (in general), they also assumed that the “don’t take ‘no’ for an answer” motto used by so many salespeople in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s was something that needed to be adopted in the MLM industry, too.
This was the 1st and Biggest Mistake.
The casual “make a list of everyone you know and show this to them” quickly morphed into “wear your friends and family down like a jack-hammer until they give in and join you or else” psychosis.
Here’s where the rubber hits the road…THAT DOESN’T WORK!
And it has single-handedly given the entire industry (and opportunity) a bad name.
For multi level marketing to function correctly, all of the wheels have to turn smoothly, and everyone that’s in your opportunity or company has to be there because they WANT to be. Not because they were “forced” to out of some sense of guilt or shame.
Do you see the difference?
When everyone in your company or opportunity is there because:
…you have a well-oiled machine that is compensating people for their hard work, as any business should.
But when you have people joining because they were guilted into it and/or worse because they fell into a cult mentality about the company or opportunity and started acting brain-washed (not listening to loving family or friends just try to talk to them like normal people)… you’ve got a problem.
“The backlash – which I may get some of here – is to be expected.”
This is why I’m seeing a lot of videos, articles and posts online about “how to get your family member or friend out of multi level marketing scams” and those making the videos, articles and posts are as serious as they can be.
It’s almost as if their family member joined a “cult” or started doing drugs and the family and friends are trying to carry out some sort of weird intervention.
But it doesn’t have to be like this!
Here’s where I say something like the famous insurance commercial,”That’s not how this works. That’s not how ANY of this works!”
Those are the things Terrible Networkers do! You don’t want to be terrible…you want to be Terrific! Am I Right?
To clear it all up, I wanted to list the 5 Signs that the company or opportunity may be an actual scam rather than a legit network marketing opportunity, to let you make that determination:
I didn’t want to end this post with the empty feeling that “there are no legitimate opportunities in network marketing” because there most definitely are!
Most multi level marketing companies are structured correctly, are on the up-and-up and are tailored and structured from the outset to have only the people that want to join them joining them and becoming representatives.
Let me add to that by saying most successful people in these ventures got there by being ethical in the way they built their organizations and promoted their products and services.
“In fact, very few (if any) unethical people ever achieve any level of success in MLM.”
Although the bad practices and hard sales tactics have been way over-used through the years by people in just about every company, those bad tactics have taught us what DOESN’T work…and shown us what legitimately DOES work.
By using the correct skills and having the right mindset, multi level marketing offers the average individual the ability to achieve more in life, much easier than starting a traditional business.
No doubt about that.
Here’s where I’ll say,”Judge the messenger more than you actually judge the message (or the opportunity).”
If someone joins a company and starts using unethical methods combined with high-pressure sales tactics on friends, family and colleagues while acting cultic about their opportunity, they probably won’t last long in the business.
Consequently they won’t see much in the way of success, either.
By their very actions, you’ll be able to tell that they don’t have the skills or correct skills to succeed.
Good news is: These weird and sometimes unethical practices are forcing a change on the entire industry. But again, that change is a good change. It makes the industry work correctly the way it’s designed to, instead of becoming a labyrinth of low to no ethics.
“I know from personal experience that there is money to be made and success to be had if you do things correctly in this industry.”
It also helps more people understand the difference between a bad company and a bad individual <– You’re even better when you can personally spot the difference yourself.
Have you dealt with any of the unethical practices or actual multi level marketing scams (at company or individual level)?
If so, feel free to comment below and let me know.
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Mistake #4 in this series is elusive and is an easier mistake to make in network marketing than with anything else you do in life.
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Clint is a consultant, blogger and online marketer that lives in Texas with his family.