Go on, admit it, when you’ve bumped in to a Utility Warehouse distributor or an Aloe Vera fanatic at a networking meeting you have turned your nose up.  You considered your business more complex, more entrepreneurial, more successful – a proper business; after all these people have been dissolutioned by nothing more than a new variety of pyramid scheme, right?

 

Missing a trick?

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or Network Marketing is a huge industry that is here to stay.  Company’s embrace the extremely effective and efficient way MLM gets products or services to the end user.  This creates higher margins that these ‘simple’ structures carefully distribute to everyone involved.

MLM businesses can be run on your own, or with your partner, full time, part time or in the ‘nooks and crannies’ of life.  It can provide you with an escape from your day to day life, a chance to meet lots of new friends and access to a huge amount of business training, but most of all MLM can provide you with an opportunity to take control.

My observations

  1. MLM participants are highly motivated, sociable and generally happy, contented people.
  2. Although you are running your own business on your own terms (subject to some guidelines set out by the MLM organisation you have chosen) you are never on your own.  The amount of support, training, friendship, storytelling and sharing of techniques is amazing.
  3. People who have not succeeded in MLM have not had the vision (dream, goals etc) to motivate themselves to plan and then put consistent effort in to generating opportunities.  Consistent could mean as little as 10 minutes a day – a ‘phone call, a blog post, a coffee with a potential team member.  How much time you devote is a personal decision, but consistency is key to momentum.  The other problem is unrealistic ideas about how quickly MLM can change lives, as with many things in life, MLM is a marathon not a sprint.
  4. Some serious amounts of money are being generated by people that are accessible to everyone.  MLM is not a corporate environment with a ‘fat cat’ board, the high earners in this industry understand that sharing experiences, coaching and encouraging participants helps everyone to achieve more.  The basic principles of leverage and synergy.

Embracing MLM

Next time you meet a MLM participant, remember that they have drive, passion, self-discipline and the spirit to take their destiny in to their own hands.  They are highly motivated team players who bend over backwards to help others and spend countless hours honing their skills.  Isn’t that person someone you would like to get to know?  Or perhaps someone you would like to work with?

The information provided in this blog illustrates my opinions and experiences, it does not constitute advice and I do not accept responsibility for any actions taken or refrained from as a result of reading this post.

9 Comments

  1. Mark Barton says:

    Hi Toni

    I couldn’t agree more, but then I have been involved in networking marketing for a while now. Even Robert Kiyosaki now says that if he was starting in business now it would be in network marketing. He has been associated with Amway for several years.

    There is a way that you can fail at network marketing. You can do no work and quit.

    If we had not started network marketing we would have fewer book cases, but we would still be employees with Jenny working in the public sector wondering what her pension will be like.

    Keep reading, keep growing, and keep on enjoying life.

    Mark Barton

  2. Mark Hibbitts says:

    Hi Toni,

    This is a great post and I agree with all you say. More and more companies will be looking at this method of distribution for the reasons you mention above, yet even now there are still those people who believe it’s illegal or unethical (or both!).

    I believe that’s usually down to a lack of understanding. People have often lumped pyramid schemes and MLM together, when in fact they are not the same thing. However, I don’t think the pyramid argument is a difficult one to get around. If someone wants to listen we can usually explain how the business model works and where the differences are (ie there is a product that we all pay the same price for, and the compensation for the main part, comes from the sale of that product, not from ‘signing up’ bonuses). If someone is closed minded and has to be ‘right’ then don’t waste your breath. As T Harv Eker says ‘you can be right or you can be rich, but you can’t be both’

    The real problem we face is the attitude problem you mentioned in your introduction, and in the past we (network marketers) can consider ourselves somewhat to blame for that. Unprofessional MLMers pitching everyone who came within 3 feet of them used to be the norm. People handing out business cards and spouting ‘residual income’ and ‘additional part-time income streams’ to everyone at a networking meeting, whether they wanted to listen or not didn’t help much either. These days, with the advent of some great generic training resources such as http://www.networkmarketingpro.com I’d like to think we are becoming more professional in our approaches.

    We know we have a better way of doing business, but until everyone operates in a professional manner, not hassling people, building meaningful relationships, and showing those who want to hear our message how it can help them, we can’t expect people to listen to that message with an open mind.

    One thing is for sure though. The economy/job market/workplace has changed forever and in a few years people will be doing MLM as a necessity to get by rather than as a lifestyle choice. Best get involved now I say!

    Regards,

    Mark Hibbitts

  3. Toni says:

    Thank you Mark and Mark, your input is appreciated and your comments heard loud and clear. “Onwards and Upwards” my lovely MLM friends.

  4. Judith Morgan says:

    Hi Toni
    I also agree with you. This is a brilliant way for most newly self-employed folks to get going with their own business. We look down our noses here in the UK but not so in the USA. I know lots of people making excellent life-changing sums of money in MLM and I couldnt be more pleased for them. I hope we are successful in changing the culture here too soon. Many excellent role models e.g. Jim Rohn (do get his excellent audio CD from Amazon for only a couple of quid, he’s funny AND inspirational) and Robert Kiyosaki says its a business for those of us who like helping people.
    Hooray for MLM and I look forward to the days when the UK really embraces this and there’s no stigma attaching to it.
    Although I admit I have crossed the road to avoid the swivel-eyed convert in my times!
    Judith

  5. Toni says:

    To read Mark’s MLM story click http://markhibbitts.wordpress.com/marks-story/

  6. Marie Lucchetta says:

    Hi Toni,
    I agree, MLMers can be highly motivated, very brave and hard-working and truly inspirational. But not all MLM companies are the same, and some do not provide the sales training that would help young or new MLMers. My daughter worked incredibly hard at setting up her own company a year and a half ago, and the only training provided was about the products which she memorised in a couple of weeks and in the end actually knew better than the trainers themselves! But the very important sales training she should have received from her upline never materialised, and she lost a lot of money and self-esteem. So my advice to MLM candidates, is: choose your MLM very carefully and do some serious networking with established MLMers to find out which company will support you best in your endeavours to become an independent business owner.

  7. Toni says:

    I completely agree Marie, all business opportunities must be researched.
    MLM is also known as Team Marketing, and it is those who work as a team, leveraging effort and expertise that become successful. It is just as important to choose your upline as it is to choose your MLM company. I am in the fortunate position of being part of both a good quality, sound company and a great team and feel sad that your daughter didn’t have the same rewarding and exciting experience.

  8. julie buck says:

    Marie/Toni, I know I may be biased (!) but as Toni has suggested, choose your MLM company wisely…do your homework…does it adhere to the DSA rules/regs? Is it accredited through IiP? This is an indication of whether or not you’ll receive the best training from the compnay. Can YOU imagine becoming passionate about the company’s services/products? If all these answers are a resounding YES, then you may have found the right company for YOU.
    I feel MASSIVELY grateful to FLP and am SO pleased that I found them before finding any other MLM company!
    Good Luck to everyone in Network Marketing…

  9. Marie Lucchetta says:

    Hi Julie, Hi Toni,
    I wish my daughter had indeed chosen FLP. About team marketing, every FLP member I know speaks very highly of the company. The training I hear is outstanding, and the opportunities, numerous. Good on you Julie.
    On the client side of things, I am a client of FLP and I could not recommend highly enough my provider of aloe vera gel for his wonderful support and superb quality of service. :o)

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