The Truth about MLM's
Hi! My name is Kristin and I love sales. I own and operate a group fitness studio in Jacksonville, Florida and not too long ago someone asked me, "If you weren't in the fitness industry, what would you do?" Easy, I would be in sales. Even though technically, I'm already in sales, in addition to selling the hardest thing EVER, a lifestyle change, I also rep for several, yep you read that right, I rep for several MLM's. Don't worry, I am not going to ask you to join my team at the end of this post, so please read on.
The other day while we were anxiously awaiting Hurricane Dorian, I was scrolling one of my Facebook groups (like any good Floridian LOL) and one of the members asked if anyone knew of any stay at home jobs and then immediately said a real job, not an MLM. This mindset has me confused. Since when is sales not a "real job". I don't think anyone would tell a real estate agent to go get a real job, or a car salesman or a pharmaceutical rep. The truth is every single person who works is either in sales or supports someone in sales. It is just true. I don't care what it is. My husband is an IT manager for Johnson & Johnson and J&J is definitely selling stuff and he supports them. So if every job boils down to sales, why do MLM's get a bad rap? After being a part of several different companies for several years, I think I have a pretty good insiders look. So I thought it would be fun to take a look at couple of the biggest misconceptions about MLM's.
The first and biggest assumption people make is all MLM's are pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes are illegal and direct sales companies are under constant review and if they are found to be a pyramid scheme they either have change their pay structure and organizational structure or close down. It is illegal for a company to make majority of their income from reps or distributors. If it is found that reps are buying all the products which is inflating sales and the up-line is making profits off of people stocking inventory and going broke to do so, this is a pyramid scheme. A company can start out legit and without certain policies in place can find them selves slowly turning into a pyramid scheme. Not all companies are pyramid schemes and if you have found a product you LOVE and you are thinking of repping for the company, do your due diligence and make sure the company has a good solid reputation. GTS (Google That Shit)
Second assumption people make is that it is not a real job. Being a part of an MLM is definitely a real job. Not only is it real, it's real hard. You will not get rich quick. But what I think people mean by "real" job is a "normal" job. One where you show up and get paid regardless of your actual work output. MLM's/direct sales are not for everyone, but they are most certainly a real job. Someone at the top of an MLM worked their face off to get there. I assure you it is not easy and it did not happen over night. They have networked and followed up and networked and followed up until they were blue in the face. Again, this job isn't for everyone, but don't call it fake. Not all work looks the same.
This one might be my favorite, MLM's don't work, ummmm yes they do. They just aren't for everyone. Not everyone was meant to be a front end sales person or an entrepreneur. Some people need to be told what to do and when to do it. To really be successful in an MLM you have to be willing to put in some serious work. You have to be willing to be made fun of, be told that you don't have a real job, that the company you work for is a scam and still get up tomorrow and believe in it so hard that you are willing to do it all over again. Plain and simple, most people cannot. Most people get told no once and decide it's not for them. Seriously, people try, find it hard, quit, and then instead of just saying that shit is hard, they claim it was a scam and didn't work.
I hear this one all the time, only the people at the top make the money. I actually don't disagree here. I just think it is the intent with which it is said. This is true in every single job every where. PERIOD. If you have ever worked for any corporation, I would put money on the fact the CEO was making WAY more than you. And I would also argue that they have been at it longer, have a larger skill set, they bid on the promotion while others were scared to go after it. But I hear people and what I think they mean is, you can't pass the people at the top and you will never get there. Not true. In a legit MLM, if you out work your up-line, you can pass them. Read that again, IF YOU OUT WORK THEM you can pass them. There is plenty of room at the top and no market is over saturated. It's not too late to join your favorite MLM the same way it's not to late to start building your Instagram following.
This last one is kinda dangerous, a little tricky and I also think this is ultimately what happens. People invest money and they never see a return on the investment. Ever heard the saying, it takes money to make money? No risk, no reward. I believe these to be true, but you gotta be smart. You can't go broke and if you aren't making any money then you should not be buying products that YOU WILL NOT USE. If they are for your personal use, buy them and use them up. But when people are told to stock inventory or that they just need to buy this amount to to earn this, that is where you should really take a step back and look at the organization, its pay structure, and its compensation plans. This right here is probably the biggest thing that gives good MLM's bad names. There are and have been MLM's that have reps with rooms full of products and nobody buying them. This is not a good situation for anyone. Please do not be this person, the rep pushing someone to buy something, or a rep trying to hold onto something you know is not working. Again, I think this is where it gets hard. We all so badly want to be successful and we think it is just on the other side, "if I could just", but know when to say no. Be smart about you invest and spend your money.
Like I said in the beginning, I am a rep for several companies and have several tips for you if you are thinking of joining an MLM. First and foremost, do it because you love the products and you want to share them with the world. If you don't believe in it, neither will anyone else. Secondly, as I mentioned before, do your research and not just about the company but also about the team you are going to join. I know your friend Sally just joined and you really want to support her and that is cool, but research her upline and her support system. If your friend Sally really wants you to be successful she would tell you join another team instead of hers (ps I have done this). I don't want you to do what I ended up doing, I left a company and rejoined under another team. It's that important. Can you do it without a supportive and strong upline, you can, it's just hard. Properly aligning yourself with the right people is a game changer. Finally, be prepared to hear NO a lot. Like way more than you think. There are actual sales tracking sheets "called go for NO" where you try to get to 100 no's. Chances are you will find at least 1 yes along the way. Don't be afraid to share and ask for the sale, but for the love off all things good, please do not be obnoxious, slimy, or fake. Reps like that are the reason I have to write a blog post like this.