The essential idea is that the mark, Mr. X, makes only one payment.

To start earning, Mr. X has to recruit others like him who will also make one payment each.

Mr. X gets paid out of receipts from those new recruits. They then go on to recruit others.

As each new recruit makes a payment, Mr. X gets a cut. He is thus promised exponential benefits as the “business” expands.

-Wikipedia’s definition of a successful pyramid scheme model

One of the fine lines that a lot of MLM companies struggle to walk on is the balance between retail selling and recruiting.

Naturally in order for the business to grow new members, associates or distributors must be recruited but in order to sustain this growth there also needs to be strong sales.

These sales need to be independent of product purchases from within the company’s member base.

Failure to ensure this usually results in the eventual collapse of the business, that is if the authorities don’t catch up with the company first.

This should be common knowledge to anyone running a multi-level marketing company.

Let alone somebody who’s been in the industry for nearly a decade.

Listening in on a recent Avant back office call I was therefore quite surprised at the level of blatant recruitment pushing going on.

The following call is part of the automated recruitment system made available to Avant members to assist them in recruiting new business associates to the company.

Automated systems are all the rage these days and the idea is that you simply get people onto these calls and they get all the information they need.

This replaces the effort you’d otherwise put into each and every new prospect that comes your way when you’re explaining the company to them.

Avant is by no means unique in this aspect but a listen in of their current back office call certainly raised some concerns.

The following is taken directly from the recording itself, all I’ve done is edit out some of the testimonial fluff between the various segments.

Have a listen.

The first part of the call is about Avant’s leadership bonus. This is a direct monetary reward for recruiting people to Avant.

Under the Wikipedia definition of a pyramid scheme model, the requirement to purchase Elevate (Avant’s $1495 personal development course) can be seen as the ‘required payment‘.

The call then goes into the ‘residual override compensation program’.

This program rewards people with a monetary payment if they recruit 5 people who purchase Elevate.

If those recruited 5 people recruit another 5 people who purchase Elevate, you get paid again.

This payment goes 4 levels deep and all that’s required is the recruitment of Avant associates and a once off purchase of Elevate.

Brent Payne then goes on to urge listeners to ‘share this opportunity with as many people as you can’ and to ‘talk to everyone you come into contact with‘.

Then comes the emotional guilt trip;

if you care about others…I feel you have a responsibility to show them this life changing opportunity.

Following this Payne goes for blunt and actually sets a task for listeners to go out and recruit five people into Avant and purchase Elevate ‘and help them duplicate your efforts‘.

No longer is recruiting optional or a reward for those willing, instead it’s a direct order from the CEO himself.

Payne then closes by stating that you don’t even have to understand the Avant’s compensation plan to make money.

All you have to do is go out and recruit five people to Avant and get them to purchase Elevate.

Then help them duplicate your efforts, help the members they recruit duplicate their efforts and so on and so forth.

See where this going?

After all the controversy that surrounded the marketing efforts of Liberty League when it was in its prime its massively disappointing to see Avant being marketed this way.

Last night Avant came out of prelaunch and is now fully operational.

Hopefully there’s a change in how the Avant business opportunity is currently being marketed, otherwise I fail to see how the business will be sustainable in the long term.

Whether the hard emphasis on new member duplication was just a prelaunch phase or how Avant will be long term marketed remains to be seen.