Team National Review: Discount memberships
Team National is ‘a multi-million dollar, debt free, direct sales company’ operating out of the US state of Florida.
Team National was founded by Richard (Dick) Loehr in 1997 and eventually launched as a standalone MLM company in 1999, selling discount memberships.
Sadly after battling cancer for a decade, Loehr passed away in 2008, however company ownership was retained by the Loehr family.
Today Team National is managed by his daughter, Angela Loehr Chrysler (photo right), who serves as the company’s CEO and President. Loehr’s husband, Phil Chrysler serves as Team National’s Executive Vice-President.
Loehr Chrysler’s background is in medical and automotive sales (non-MLM), which she then left in 2000 to work with her father at Team National.
Angela left medical sales in September 2000, to work with Team National and was instrumental in launching National Travel Services, which she ran for two years.
In the next several years, she became more involved with all aspects of marketing and launching products and services for the Team National membership.
In 2002, Angela became Executive Vice President of Team National. She worked closely with her father, Dick Loehr.
In October 2005, Angela became President of Team National. Angela worked closely with the sales field committees and began overseeing operations with Dick mentoring her.
In October 2007, Dick stepped back from overseeing the company; he passed the torch to Angela, making her CEO.
Loehr Chrysler also holds positions in the Direct Selling Association’s Communications and Strategic Planning Committees and Family Owned Council.
Read on for a full review of the Team National MLM business opportunity.
The Team National Product Line
Team National market no retailable products and services themselves, but rather sell what they refer to as a “discount membership”.
The Team National/National Companies product is savings.
This discount membership provides access to discounts on products and services ‘in 20 different industries‘.
Team National’s discount membership is sold in options:
- Premium/Business Membership is $2195 once off and covers a household (parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren), as well as a business and 5 employees
- Standard Membership is $795 for two years and covers a single household (as above)
Affiliates do appear to be able to buy a selection of branded Team National products to qualify themselves for Product Bonus commissions, however no further information on these products are provided on the Team National website.
The Team National Compensation Plan
The Team National compensation plan revolves around the sale of their discount memberships
Commission and Bonus Qualification
In order to qualify for commission and bonuses earnt via the Team National compensation plan, an affiliate must make at least two new membership sales per year.
Note that membership renewals do not count as new membership sales. Also note that cancellations of membership do not affect this quota.
Direct Discount Membership Commissions
On the sale of either a Premium/Business or Standard discount membership, Team National pay the following commission:
- Premium/Business Membership (cash) – $100
- Premium/Business Membership (EFT or credit card) – $50
- Standard Membership (cash) – $50
- Standard Membership (EFT or credit card) – $25
If a member elects to pay for their membership fees on finance (provided by Team National), the company pays out either a $25 or $50 commission.
Note that these commissions are not paid out until an affiliate has sold two membership packages (commissions are paid on the third sale).
Residual Discount Membership Commissions
Residual commissions in Team National are managed via a binary compensation structure.
A binary compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of structure, with two legs branching out directly under them.
These two legs form the start of two sides of the binary (left and right). In Team National a point is awarded each time a discount membership package is sold.
Points are tallied up weekly, and when an affiliate has 5 matching points on their left and right binary sides, they are paid $500.
If 10 points are matched the affiliate earns $1500.
Points can be generated on the personal sales of an affiliate or those of their downlines.
Note that points do not carry over and are flushed at the end of each weekly pay cycle.
Finally, if 10 points are matched a “hosting bonus” of $1000 is also paid out. In order to qualify for this hosting bonus an affiliate must have two of their downline qualified for commissions (2 new membership sales every 12 mths).
Initial hosting bonus qualification lasts 12 months, with affiliates required to sell at least one new discount membership every 12 months to maintain it (re-qualification of commissions by once qualified affiliates does not count).
Upon achieving and maintaining hosting qualification, a Team National affiliate also qualifies as a Presidential affiliate.
Presidential affiliates can generate more points per membership sold with five levels of Presidential affiliate membership rank.
- Presidential – qualify for hosting bonuses
- Presidential Director (generate three 10:10 matching bonuses in your binary) – generate an additional point per membership sold
- Bronze Presidential Director (have 2 Presidential Directors in your downline) – generate 2 additional point per membership sold
- Silver Presidential Director (have four Presidential Directors in your downline) – generate 3 additional point per membership sold
- Gold Presidential Director (have six Presidential Directors in your downline) – generate 4 additional point per membership sold
- Platinum Presidential Director (have ten Presidential Directors in your downline) – generate 5 additional point per membership sold
Note that only personally recruited affiliates count towards the above qualification criteria.
Presidential Directors and above ranked affiliates also receive an additional bonus on the sale of discount membership made by themselves or their downlines:
- Presidential Director – $10 on Standard Membership and $20 on Platinum Membership
- Bronze Presidential – $20 on Standard Membership and $40 on Platinum Membership
- Silver Presidential – $30 on Standard Membership and $50 on Platinum Membership
- Gold Presidential – $40 on Standard Membership and $80 on Platinum Membership
- Platinum Presidential – $50 on Standard Membership and $100 on Platinum Membership
The override commission (sales made by an affiliates downline) is $5 on Standard Membership and $10 on Platinum Membership.
Product Bonus Points Commissions
Similar to the discount membership binary points system, there is apparently a products bonus point commission paid out as well.
This was extremely poorly presented in the compensation plan material but I believe equates to a $150 commission paid out on the matching of 10 product points in an affiliates left and right binary teams.
A $100 hosting bonus is also paid out, either to the affiliate if they are hosting qualified or to the first hosting qualified affiliates in their upline.
In order to qualify for bonus point commissions, an affiliate must personally purchase $50 worth of products from Team National:
To become bonus qualified for the product program, your product orders must have a retail value of $50.
Joining Team National
Affiliate membership to Team National is $25 a year, taken out of an affiliate’s first commission check.
An additional expenses to consider include genealogy “information on demand” reporting (viewing your downline), which costs $99 a year or $9 a month.
Affiliates are also able to purchase a replicated storefront from Team National, through which the affiliate can sell third-party affiliate products and services for a commission (that has nothing to do with Team National).
The Big N Marketplace is an affiliate program, it is not part of the Team National membership savings, and the participating companies do not offer special savings to Team National members
The cost for a replicated “Big N” website is $7 per month or $75 per year for an affiliate who has purchased a discount membership, or $495 a year for affiliates who haven’t.
Team National state in their IMD handbook (given to all new affiliates) that’owning a website is a vital part of your business‘.
I’m going to preface my conclusion of the Team National MLM business opportunity by stating that the Team National website is a nightmare to navigate through for specific information on the opportunity itself, Team National’s products and their compensation plan.
This is vital information required by anyone looking to join the company as an affiliate or purchase a discount membership, yet is absent from the main website.
Through extensive searching and considerable effort I was able to piece together what I believe is an accurate explanation of Team National’s compensation plan, but that was only after sifting through four individual documents and piecing together what I could (none provided a “complete picture” of the business).
Even then, the information I found was extremely poorly formatted and non-specific, as well as being extremely difficult to understand.
I am still not 100% sure on the whole binary points thing and have no idea why there’s no mention of tangible products on Team National’s website (or how the product points work.
I am by no means an MLM compensation plan expert but I have reviewed hundreds of them since starting BehindMLM. Team National falls into the category of being one of the worst compensation plans I’ve had to try to work out.
In the Team National IMD handbook provided to all new affiliates the company states upfront thatt:
Understanding what Team National sells is important for an IMD (Independent Marketing Director)
It could literally take months to share everything that Team National has to offer, so realize selling the package is not in the details it’s in selling the CONCEPT.
Although this appears to be an attempt to simplify the business, I suspect the reason this is mentioned at the beginning of the handbook is because Team National do such a crappy job themselves explaining their business model and compensation structure.
For a fifteen year old company this just simply isn’t good enough. An overhaul of Team National website, the information provided on it and all compensation plan material are all in desperate need of a re-write.
With that out of the way I’ll make my analysis short and succinct: The legitimacy of the Team National opportunity hinges primarily on whether or not they have more discount membership customers than affiliates who have purchased discount memberships.
Despite proclaiming “a commitment to transparency” in their marketing videos, this information is not provided anywhere on the Team National website.
I’m going to ignore the in-house product line because there’s no information on it on the Team National website. The discount membership would normally be a red flag however Team National do proclaim exclusivity and customers who buy the membership are unable to earn money unless they sign up as an affiliate.
Affiliates have to pay $25 and are under no obligation to buy a discount card membership:
The term of this Agreement is one (1) year from the date of my signature; that this agreement is automatically renewed annually, subject to review and acceptance by Team National; there is a yearly $25.00 renewal fee to cover the costs of administration and ongoing sales support.
I see this as a huge grey area (access to discounts as an MLM product), however do believe that if there are more retail customers with a discount membership than affiliates with a discount membership they would be able to argue genuine value in their discount membership product.
One thing I will mention though is that given the $25 affiliate fee above, it is disingenious at best to state in the Team National “consumer explanation letter” (a lengthy document written to convince people that Team national is not a pyramid scheme), that
independent sales representatives do not pay anything to be a distributor.
Whether the fee is taken out of earnt commissions or not, as per Team National documentation, all independant sales representatives are charged $25 annually.
As a prospective affiliate I’d strongly recommend checking with your potential upline as to what their customer vs. affiliate with discount membership ratio is. Anything less than 51% of their discount membership holders being customers only (not being affiliates) might indicate a membership that is unsellable without the attached Team National income opportunity.
On paper the idea seems to be to maintain a healthy ratio of retail discount membership customers and affiliates, however (for obvious reasons) the reality might be quite different.