First impressions of the MLM industry from the outside
As you become familiar with anything in life it’s all too easy to begin to forget that not everyone you encounter might have as an indepth a knowledge level as you.
Time and time again in life you’re going to find yourself having to explain something, be it a concept, mechanic or an entire overview of something they don’t nearly have as much experience with as yourself.
If you’re in the MLM industry, then one of these things could very easily be network marketing. From the very moment you start searching for leads, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that not everyone knows how MLM works or what’s involved in network marketing.
Let alone the intricacies between compensation plans, companies that use hybrid models or what it takes to be successful in MLM.
Last week Alexandra Cain, writing for the Age blog ‘Savvy Investor’, provided some insight into the mindset of someone who isn’t MLM savvy, when they are exposed to the increasingly elusive marketing campaigns used to market MLM opportunities today.
You’ve probably seen those posters stapled to telegraph poles that advertise working from home opportunities. You know the ones I mean – they usually say something like ‘Work from home and earn thousands every month’.
What strikes me as strange about these signs is that they never say what the business is – they usually direct people to a website.
Regardless of what the opportunity is, whether it’s legit or not or even whether it’s legal – this I believe is the biggest hurdle MLM companies face today.
If you ask them why they’re so secretive, you’re likely to get the answer that Cain received;
As to why the nature of the business is not disclosed from the outset, I was told that as soon as someone expresses interest in the business and agrees to be interviewed they are told about what the business does.
This of course doesn’t answer the question but instead provides the illusion that there isn’t anything to hide.
The real reason of course is that it’s all tied into commissions. Due to the nature of MLM and rewarding people for recruiting others, if the business information was included in the advertisement then any idiot with a pc could look it up and whoever forked out for the advertising wouldn’t receive a commission if they signed on.
Why this has to be a state secret I have no idea but it’s quite simple to deduce once you understand the mechanics of chasing down MLM leads.
To someone not familiar with this process however, congratulations, you’ve just immediately sent their cautiousness into hyperdrive which is probably the exact opposite mindset you were hoping for when pitching to them. Furthermore it doesn’t help when you tell prospects that
having a conversation with a prospect before disclosing the nature of the business allows her to gauge whether they are suitable to be part of the network.
Firstly, this kind of contradicts the first answer with regard to the whole ‘as soon as you express interest we tell you what we’re about’ mantra. Either you’re disclosing the business to anyone who enquires, or you’re assessing them first and then deciding whether or not to disclose the nature of the business.
Secondly, what you’ve effectively just told an MLM ‘outsider’ is that you’re not prepared to disclose the nature of the said business until you’ve gauged whether or not they are open to it. Keep in mind that at this point the only thing the prospects most likely knows about the business opportunity is that it’s supposedly able to make money.
To those familiar with the MLM industry, you’re canvassing a prospect and trying to ascertain whether or not it will be financially worth your time to invest in them and push their success thereby indirectly increasing your own success and bottom line.
To an outsider you’ve basically inferred that they’re a complete idiot and need you to assess whether or not their suitable for the business opportunity instead of laying out what it’s about and letting them decide if the glove fits.
suspect ultimately, all those signs on telegraph poles are selling are product-based pyramid schemes. I have no doubt the person I spoke to believes in her product and the system she’s part of.
And I’m sure if you work hard and use the right internet marketing you probably can get people to sign up to the system and earn money from it. But personally, I’d prefer to earn my living a more conventional way.
At the end of the day if you treat people like idiots and keep secrets from them they’re going to be suspicious. This isn’t the 1920’s and in today’s society if you keep something secret from someone, especially when we’re talking business opportunities they’re going to think you’re doing something shifty.
No matter how honest the work you might be doing is, secrets and business simply do not mix – especially when you’re trying to recruit people or sell them MLM.
Either lay out exactly what you’re marketing or selling and hope that whoever it is you’re marketing to has the good will to sign up under your downline, or accept the fact that most people are going to walk away shaking their heads muttering something about pyramid schemes.
A valuable insight into the mind of a prospect and one I think a lot of MLM marketers should stop to think about when deciding how to market their own business opportunities.
Less isn’t always more and certainly can be hurting your MLM business.