Cleaning up the network marketing industry


Is network marketing a legitimate business or is it a scam?


is network marketing legitimate


There are several network marketing gurus out there that a have started a campaign to clean up the network marketing industry. While I applaud their efforts, I wonder how much change they can bring about. Can these gurus be the Rosa Parks of network marketing?


Most people look for top-down solutions to the problems they face. However, most change occurs from the bottom up. I’d like nothing better than to have changes trickle down from the gurus to the masses, but I’m not really sure that it’s possible to have that happen.


Their fighting human nature which is never an easy task. Most people want to follow the path of least resistance. The path of least resistance is rarely the path to success.


What do we do with an industry that is fraught with problems? Is there an easy solution to those problems? Are there any answers to the problems that that network marketing has?


What are the main problems in network marketing?


The main problem is that the industry skates along the edges of legality. We’ve seen several very high profile cases brought against some of the largest network marketing companies in the world. These include Amway, Herbalife, and Vemma. It seems that every few years, the FTC, tries to bring down a network marketing company or two. These are sometimes multi-million or even multi-billion dollar companies that use very high priced lawyers to try to continue to operate in whatever gray area they can find in the law.


When these companies get shut down or are fined and told to change how they operate their businesses, they give the entire industry a bad reputation. The public, at large, hears these stories and they conclude that network marketing is a scam. Why else would the government be after those companies?


When the average network marketer tells their prospects that it is network marketing, what will their prospect’s reaction be?


Another problem that the network marketing industry faces is that the companies don’t offer very much in the way of training for their distributors. The average, new distributor is basically left to their own devices to figure out how to run their business. They can ask their upline for help, but they are more than likely asking someone who doesn’t have any idea how to run their business either.


The companies have created a space that is being filled by the network marketing gurus. If the new distributor needs education on any subject, I’m sure that there is a guru who is more than happy to sell them a product. This creates another problem. Which product does the new distributor buy? A network marketer may buy 2, 3, 4 or more courses trying to figure out how to run their business. This could be hundreds, if not thousands of dollars spent on educational products that might help and might not help.


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Those are a couple of the problems that have been caused by the network marketing companies, themselves. This isn’t to say that the distributors didn’t have a hand in making the problems that the industry has now.


What problems have the distributors caused?


You can make a lot of money in network marketing. You can, but it’s not easy. That’s where the distributors have made it difficult for themselves and for the industry.


Network marketers will tell their prospects that this business is easy to run and it’s easy to make big money. They’ll tell them that the products sell themselves and that everyone will want them. They make it sound like network marketing is a get rich quick scheme. Even if those network marketers are able to recruit other people into their business, this way, how long are they going to last? If the new recruit isn’t rich in 6 months, they’ll quit the business and tell everyone they know that network marketing is a scam.


Can these problems be solved?


If the companies or the government really wanted to clean up the industry, I believe they could. There needs to be an independent oversight board. For the most part, the industry is left to police itself. Until they make a change in how the industry is monitored, there will always be problems.


If the companies offered more and better training, maybe there would be higher success numbers or at least lower failure numbers. Ultimately, it does come down to the distributor. It’s up to them to build a successful business, but we don’t expect a surgeon to figure out how to perform surgery on their own. Why should we think that it’s any different for a business owner?


network marketing has a lot of problems


The most difficult problem to solve will be to try to get the distributors to stop telling their prospects anything other than the business is difficult and that it will take a lot of work in order to be successful. Most people want network marketing to be a get rich quick thing. They want it to be easy and they’d like to avoid hard work as much as possible. The distributors don’t seem to mind that they hurt the industry by telling people how easy this business is. They don’t mind because they aren’t going to be around long enough to suffer the consequences of their actions. The rest of us are, though.


Network marketing needs to be seen as a legitimate business. It’s not just for the few and the lucky who are successful. It can be the solution to the problems that most people have. I don’t know that the gurus can make this happen, at least not on their own.


If everyone involved in network marketing would hold themselves to a higher standard then we could start to clean up this industry!



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