It is my opinion the MLM business approach has long since seen it’s hay days. Of course one might say that there are many example of successful MLM and I would whole heartedly agree. There is Mary Kay, Amway, Herbalife, Primamerica, Youngevity and of course many more and maybe a few more to come ( which one ?). And by the way, I have been a distributor in all aforementioned, except Mary Kay, plus many more. Eventually the internet will provide the ultimate method for consumers to buy and sell what they need or want through a very efficient hybrid of ‘Amazon’ or ‘Ebay’ now Alibaba and more. You know what you want, you search for it, you buy it. If you have something to sell you list it, and it’s sold (sometimes not so fast but, you get the point ). I believe that there will be room for several businesses of this type building on lessons learned from those mentioned above and others.
People in general feel safe and comfortable in a community and environment that they know, and are familiar with the comings and goings of their friends and neighbors. They will trust and take advice from their friends and recognized leaders. Before answering an unsolicited phone call or email (spam) we will hesitate, ignore or delete them. We all have experienced it: you get an unknown phone call, the person or recording starts and, before they can say three or four more words, you have hung up. And, emails you don’t know, well, straight into the spam or trash folder. You just don’t have the time to answer or respond to every communication that you receive. Besides, you never know which one is a virus (email) or a scam.
Ok, back to MLM / vs a new marketing model. The majority of Americans don’t trust MLM’s, but they do buy MLM products and services. This has been true for decades now. They will buy from friends and family, they will even sign up as a customer (and buy). The ones that do join MLMs will join for the benefits of the product or service. But, in many cases it is the overwhelming lure of the money highlighted in nearly every advertising, meeting and commission plan. Always you are told to follow a particular process and eventually you will be able to afford a new home, a new car, work at home in your PJs and yes travel the world where and when ever you want. Those have been the standard line for the majority of MLMs.
MLM members are greatly encouraged to sign up, bring in family and friends. This is were the growth occurs. And those new members are encourage to do the same. And eventually the excitement starts to fade as you run out new signups because people you don’t know, don’t trust you and, don’t trust MLMs. And, now you find yourself calling (unsolicited) and emailing (spamming). And then, you ask yourself how much money have I spent over the last 3 or more months on monthly maintenance orders that are filling up needed space around my home? You began to realize that it’s not all you thought it would be..! Surprise..!
There are those individuals who are successful in MLMs and these tend to be those individuals who are able to devote the majority of their time to promoting and growing their business using “any” marketing strategy that works for them. But, like me, most individuals spend the majority of their time working ( in a full-time JOB ) to make a living. And, are unable to stay totally focused on the necessary techniques that ‘could’ lead to success ( it takes time and much effort ).
I had decided back in 2011 to no longer participate in MLM programs. I told this to someone who was insisting that I join a new ‘Travel’ MLM. What I relayed was basically this:
” I have probably join most of the major MLMs. All while trying to earn a living Working full-time jobs. In 1968 I joined Amway. Went to 3 meetings in Georgetown, Washington DC. and got drafted into the Army the next month. I guess you can say; ‘that was one, of the originals and, the good one that got away (I joined it again in 1994 or about, just to buy the products). Because it is still here and doing very well and I liked the products.
My point is this, current MLMs all seem to operate the same way. Lots of excitement, lots of time and money spent in one-direction ( to the company ). Members start seeing less and less good new recruits, the company began hammering harder and harder on the need to get out there and make that extra effort. In-fighting slowly but, assuredly boiled openly among the top leaders. The company (WorldVentures) affairs and things started to disintegrate. In these situations the company either goes out of business, is brought-out, or changes it’s name and start over with the same promises. All the while, those at the top are making good money. The leaders keep recycling the company as long as they can, with a so called ‘new vision’ but with the same foundation and leaders profiting at the top.
I joined Herbalife 3 times ( mainly in the late 1980’s ), When I joined the first 2 times, my primary “job” was operations manager, maintaining a communications center in Los Angeles, I mainly used the products ( no time to promote them ). The third time I joined ( Herbalife ) as the office manager for George Patton. I handled all of his paper-work, contacted his down line, shipped products, delivered products locally (Sherman Oaks, California and surrounding areas). George, is the father of Lori, who was married to John Tartol (I believe the founder of Business Solutions). John Tartol was the right hand-man to Mark Hughes, the founder of Herbalife. George had over 250,000+ members under him and made at the time over $50,000+ per/month (watching TV). So, from that prospective, I really learned how the system works. Herbalife like Amway have survived the slings and arrows of the market-place ( because of the products, word-of-mouth-marketing and their brand ). As mentioned many people just buy the product from a distributor without question because, it is ‘the product’ they want.
I joined WorldVentures in 2008. Became a member under an individual I met through my son (my son, was not a member). This person became the team leader of me and 4 other individuals. I worked quite hard on this one. Brought in some family, friends as well those through coop efforts. Went to 3 meeting a night every week at restaurants, homes, conventions…etc. The team-leader (my sponsor) and I set-up a tent and computer at the swap meet near Melrose and Fairfax in Los Angeles, California every Sunday.
( Swapmeet Booth at Melrose and Fairfax, Los Angeles, Ca – 2008 WorldVentures recruiting )
As a team effort new members were to be shared. Members were being recruited through our combined efforts but, I and other team member realized we were not getting any new recruits place under us. We became concerned, to say the least. To make a long story short, our team-leader was putting all new members under himself (separate down line) and his mother.
Many of my upline were from the Hollywood actor crowd, got to know many of them at the time. Again, to make this short. A lot of them were making really good money but, left the company because of the in-fighting became so intense. WorldVentures did not work for those that I knew below top leadership/management and I don’t personally believe it will change, no matter what name it calls itself or reconstitute itself (my opinion). ”
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