Was it at someone else’s expense?
My buddy, Chuck Holmes of Online MLM Community, recently asked a question, about network marketing. Basically, he asked why is network marketing not seen as a legitimate business? I wrote up my answer and sent it to him. He was kind enough to publish it on his blog. Thank you Chuck!
I thought it was a really good question! It got me to thinking about it over the last month or so. Network marketing is seen as a scam and something that doesn’t work. Most people would stop being your friend if you talked to them about joining you in the business. If you are able to talk to one of your friends, the next time they see you they turn and walk the other way.
Considering that we have what most people say they want, this is very curious. What do we have that they want? More money and more time. Then why are people running away from us?
Our prospects can look at the industry and see that it not only works, for some people, but it can make millionaires out of some of them. Yet, they still run.
I tried explaining this to a prospect, the other day. They fought it tooth and nail. It wasn’t that they didn’t believe me. They could look up the people, the top earners in my company, and see that they were millionaires. No matter what I said, it did no good.
Then … I heard them say, “A lot of people got rich … at the expense of those under them.”
Wow! Is that the perception out there. Do people really see network marketing as a way for some people, with the right skills or the right timing, to take advantage of that to get rich off of the work of others? If you happen to be one of the lucky ones, you’ll do very well in this business and if you’re not that lucky or blessed, you’ll just make those top earners rich or richer?
Is this why the public sees us as a pyramid scheme? The few people, at the top, make it and get rich and for all of the others they are step over or stepped on. This really sucks. Not only do network marketers need to fight against their personal fears about running this type of business, they have to fight against the public perception that network marketing is only for the few. The few who have what it takes to reach the top levels of their company’s pay plan.
Is there a solution to this dilemma?
I can only think of two things that might help with this problem. The first is to have the network marketing companies offer more and better training so that more people could reach the top level. Honestly, I don’t think that this will ever happen. The MLM companies have a pretty good thing going. If they can manage to walk that thin line between scam and legitimate business, they can make a lot of money!
Apparently, having .016% of active distributors, at the top level, offers enough hope to get people to try this business.
The other solution that I came up with is to only recruit people who have never heard of network marketing. Yes, there are still a lot of people who have never heard of it. This would be a “get ’em young and raise them right” strategy. That means sign them up before they figure out that they are suppose to see this business as a pyramid scheme.
With proper training and enough activity, I believe that most people could be profitable in network marketing and I also think that more people would reach the top levels. The main problem is that most people don’t get trained properly and then most people don’t have enough activity to be successful.
All the training in the world won’t make you successful if you don’t apply what you know and talk to enough people about your business!
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