My post on the Arbonne business has continued to generate a great deal of interest. So I’ve decided to post my take on multi-level marketing in general here to start a new thread.
What are the problems with Multi-Level marketing?
1) Most people are not mature enough to work the business truly looking out for other people. Greed is a huge motivator in MLM. There is the facade of “I have something to tell you about that will change your life”, but beneath the surface many MLMers are really just hoping to change their own lives.
2) I HATE the “warm market” principle. The first thing you are told to do is to tell your family and friends. AAARGH! I had a friend call and invite me to a meeting a couple weeks ago. It put me in a position of having to say “no”. I don’t want to go to meetings. I don’t want to hear about the latest pill to make me look like Sean Connery. I don’t want to hear hype. And I don’t want to be in a business where it will depend on me to pump up others. Been there, done that. MLM can change the way you view family and friends. Be careful.
3) Most people don’t have the skill set to do MLM. It is easy to get excited about world-changing product and incremental revenue graphically displayed on the white board. It’s another to actually get out there and DO IT. People skils. Sales skills. Marketing skills. There is much more to MLM than meets the eye.
4) I have a business. If I can dabble in something on the side and make a few $$$, I’m all for it. But so many MLMers make MLM their lives. Suddenly, all their friends are in the same business. If you aren’t in the business, you simply aren’t with the “in” crowd.
5) There is usually an enticement to build inventory. In order to succeed with an MLM, you have to sell product. Most MLMers will encourage you to BUY an inventory of product when you first sign up. The reason? It will help you get to a higher commission level faster. This is true, but it is also indicative that the MLM wants you to promote to higher levels because it promotes the people above you to higher levels. Thus, the focus is taken away from retailing product to interetested parties to moving product for the sake of moving product. Again, good product will move itself anyhow, but even in Arbonne, the new recruit it encouraged to spend money to “fast track” their business.
Again, this is not an indictment of Arbonne. It is simply some truthfull observations regarding the MLM industry. Granted, there ARE people who CAN handle MLM. I like to think I know some of them. But the fact is that it is only for a minority of people, but it operates on the backs of the majority in order to survive.
But isn’t that what the free market is all about, anyhow?