I believe we all have heard about Network Marketing, or what is often called as Multi Level Marketing (MLM), and some of us might have even got offered to join one (or more). What I found is that many people are somehow irritated to the word MLM, and avoid around friends or relatives who work at such business, because they are reluctant to get offered to become a member. I was one of those people as well back then.
One of the popular objections is “I’m not a sales person.”
Well, the way I see it now, everyone is a sales person. What about that day you ask your friends to watch a new movie with you; or that moment when you recommend them a dentist or a new restaurant; or the way you refer your single girlfriend to your single boyfriend? We sell all the time, and Network Marketing is one of the ways to get paid when we do.
In fact, even a successful billionaire like Warren Buffet endorses the business model of Network Marketing (and also owns some of such companies). Also, quoted from Entrepreneur, Fortune magazine stated that direct selling (of which network marketing is the largest segment) "the best kept secret in the business world”, that it has experienced 91-percent growth in the last 10 years with annual sales in excess of $100 billion worldwide.
The other objection is “I don’t have time/money to do it.”
My view on this statement would be, if we didn’t have time nor money 1 year ago, and we still don’t have it now, are we going to stuck in that condition forever or are we going to do something about it, so that in another 2 or 3 years, we would have more time and savings for ourselves and our families?
One other popular objection would be “I think MLM is a scam.”
I have to admit that yes, some of them are money games. However, I found that if we looked further, some (if not many) others are actually legit and indeed offer an opportunity for us to be our own boss with a smaller capital (for joining fee, admin fee), rather than having to start up a company, which would cost us quite a fortune. Starting a business is not an easy case with all the nitty-gritty that includes the product and market and competitor research, resources management, as well as supply and distribution arrangement; while Network Marketing usually provides a system and trainings that would give you guidance on how to run the business.
Hence, I do believe that, should any of your friends or relatives called you to meet up for an offer to join Network Marketing, it would be wise not to say no straightaway, but instead do listen to what they’ve got on the plate before you decide. It might be what you’ve been looking for, a way out from your clock-in-clock-out day job that keeps you from spending more time with your friend and family; you’ll never know.
To keep you safe from scam or from a company that is actually not for you, here are the things you need to investigate before you decide to whether or not sign up to a Network Marketing company:
1. The Company
How long has the corporation (or the larger company backing it up) been running? Some reps would force you to sign up now although the company has only been established last year or even few months ago, with a defense that you have to join before the market is saturated. From my point of view, we would want to know if the company was stable and sustainable, for maybe at least 5 years, so that we would be able to find out if it was capable and indeed demonstrated the commitment to grow, to serve a proper recognition to its distributors/members, and to provide reputable products and services to its customers.
To find if the company was legit, you can see Direct Selling News (DSN) Global 100, which listed the rank of top direct selling companies. Here is their 2016 list (based on top revenue-generating).
2. The Products
You will hardly find it enjoyable to sell things that you don’t believe (although some people might be able to). Hence, you might want to do some research on the products that the company has to offer, like if the products were safe. I mean, you don’t want to sell something that would harm the people who use it, as it would definitely ruin your credibility. Apart from that, maybe you would want to ask yourself: Are you going to use the product? If you were, then of course it would be easier to sell the product.
Imagine a conversation in which you say things like,
“Hey, have you heard about xxx lipstick? People said that its texture is very creamy, and very transfer proof.”
Then your friend asks you, “Really? Have you tried it?”
And you said, “Uhm… No, because I have my own preference of lipstick.”
Got what I’m saying?
3. The Scheme
Some of Network Marketing companies make money using illegal pyramid schemes. In such scheme, the corporation invites people to become a member by paying some amount of money that the company promises to grow; and the membership would allow the members to obtain a share of the money from every additional member who joins under their recruitments. No product, just recruit and you’ll get paid, and your investment will also increase. Guess what, few months later, the company gets disappeared, along with your money – and all your down lines’ money.
This is one of the cases that have made a lot of people getting paranoid only by hearing the word “MLM”. That’s why I do think that the companies that would sustain are those that actually sell (qualified) products. If it looks too good to be true, more often than not, it indeed is.
So… Is Network Marketing for you? The answer depends on you. Are you ready to replace the daily early-morning alarms and stressful traffic jam with the privilege of deciding when and where you want to work? Also, are you willing to work for it? Let’s highlight the word “work for it” here, because if you were not willing to, it’s simply not for you. Remember, if something guaranteed you to get paid without doing anything, it’s most probably a scam. There are no shortcuts to success. However, if you get yourself into the right Network Marketing with the right attitude, it’s not impossible for you to reach the prosperity level that you could have never dreamed of by working at a corporate office.