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 agree. There is Mary Kay, Amway, Herbalife, Primamerica, Youngevity and of course many more. 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 ‘Alibaba’, ‘Amazon’, ‘Ebay’ or even a ‘Craig’s List’ modification. You know what you want, you search for it, you buy it. You have something to sell you list it, and it’s sold. I believe that there will be room for several businesses of this type building on lessons learned from those (2) 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 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/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 MLM’s will join for the benefits of the product or service. But, in most 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 Pajamas and yes travel the world where and when ever you want. That has been the standard line for the majority of MLM’s.
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..!
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. But, like me, most individuals spend the majority of their time working to make a living. And, are unable to stay totally focused on the necessary techniques that ‘could’ lead to success.
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 40% of all the major MLMs since 1968. All while trying to earn a living. In 1968 I joined Amway. Went to 3 meetings in Georgetown, Washington DC. and got drafted into the Army. 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.
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 (World-venture) starts and everything seems to disintegrate. The company either goes out of business, or 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 over the years ( the first 2 time my primary job was maintaining a communications center in Los Angeles, I mainly used the products). The third time I joined 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 ( by word of mouth) becoming very powerful ‘brand-names’ many people just buy the product from a distributor without question because, it is ‘what they want’.
I joined World Ventures 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 members. I worked quite hard on this one. Brought in some family and friends. Went to 3 meeting a night each 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 near Beverly Hills, California every Sunday.
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 up-line 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 intense. World Ventures 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 (my opinion). So, I decline the offer”
A New Customer Centric Business Model
Then there is MarketHive, a ‘Customer Centric (Inbound Marketing System) Business Model that puts the needs of the customer first. The very antithesis of Multilevel Marketing. MarketHive is the vision of Thomas Prendergast (founder) based on his life experiences and Veretekk (also, an Inbound Marketing System). But, MarketHive is by no means Veretekk, it is a new and highly advanced platform in its own right.
I was a member of Veretekk (actually I had join before it became Veretekk). When Tom contacted me and others about his vision. And after hearing the details, I saw the vision and based on my experience, I joined immediately as a Founding Member. MarketHive is the model for for the future. Seeing the market-place from the customer’s point of view and responding to their needs is “the future”. “The Customer Centric Model”.
Find out more about MarketHive (seminars are available too):
All the best to you, in a changing world.
Venable Dance, Entrepreneur