5 Signs Your MLM Might Be In Trouble

This is no April Fool’s… here are some potential warning signs that your MLM company could be in trouble.

Here’s how I know… because every single one of these happened to come degree to the company (companies) I promoted from 2007-2011. I say companies because the owner of the MLM repeatedly changed the name and products and I got grandfathered in (and opted in) to the new opportunities after each change.

I saw 5 companies be born..and struggle. Most failed. 2 are still officially operating but, like most things in business that could always change at any moment.

1. Your company introduces additional products or services that seemingly have nothing to do with the name or culture of your company.

It could just be diversification, which is always a potential way to generate more income..but watch out. If new things keep getting added it could also mean that your company is unable to produce enough income from its main product or service alone..which means it is struggling

2. Your company NEVER meets deadlines (i.e. they fail to follow through) This includes payment deadlines, website launch deadlines, and the like.

If your company keeps saying “XZY will be launched on such and such date” or “Direct deposits will appear at so and so time” etc and they never do, or are VERY VERY late…that’s a huge red flag that there’s trouble. Missing a deadline once is bad, but still forgivable. Missing every single deadline? Get out while you still can!

3. Your company keeps extending exclusive advance-in-rank promotions. Over and over and over. 

This means that nobody is producing the way the company expected. Or nobody is producing AT ALL. If your company extends a promotion once.. awesome. Take advantage of it. If they keep extending it..and extending it…and extending it.. that’s a big clue that the company is struggling because people are failing to advance, which means customers and reps have stopped being gathered…which means money troubles for the company itself.

4. Nobody answers the Corporate phone number and/or returns your calls/emails.

DUH! There is something amiss here! If you’re paying them a monthly fee to be a distributor and they’ve stopped responding STOP PAYING THEM because it is very likely they’re about to disappear from the face of the earth.

5.  The name of your company keeps changing with very little (or no) warning.

This is also a big BIG red flag. Rebranding is difficult but sometimes necessary in today’s market,  but if you find your company is constantly trying to reinvent itself with little or no heads up to the field of representatives promoting that company then perhaps the company itself is trying to run from something. Could be reputation problems, money troubles, bad partnerships, etc. but seriously. Trust your gut here. If it keeps happening… run.

Did I miss any red flags of company failure? Let me know!

The Thing About MLM Opportunities Is

….that eventually all things come to an end and those hardcore MLM’ers are left without a company to promote so what happens? Those people and their teams move on to other companies.

That’s just what happens.

If this has happened to you then you know how it is- all those people are now contacting you about their latest greatest comp plan, product, service, and/or company promotion.

Tip: If reps keep asking you to join and you really have no interest TELL THEM THAT. If the pitching continues then maybe you need to stop engaging in conversation with them for a while until they get the picture.

They want you to join.But should you? Well, that’s just up to you but never let yourself feel pressured to join a company just because “everybody else from the old company is doing it.”

That’s why I’ve passed on iZigg. It seems cool enough at first glance but I’m done with selling something.

I hate asking people to spend their own money to be my customer in a network marketing sales situation, which in turn earns me a commission. That just makes me feel icky. Now, some people are naturals in the selling department and there is nothing wrong with that. I just dislike how it makes me feel because I know I would be reluctant to spend my hard earned money on a product or service  that it a want rather than a need

Now, in iZigg’s case it is a tool for business owners to use so it’s less a “want” and more a need , but I personally think text-to campaigns are a bit spammy and I personally hate marketing texts to my phone.

Then there’s the Body By Vi 90 day challenge which is the MLM company ViSalus Sciences. Hulk Hogan is using and promoting their product, as well as some other celebrities. It seems to work, but here’s my beef- I already lost weight on Medifast (a non MLM product) and am in the transition phase.

I really want to avoid getting off one diet and getting on another health/diet product..and Medifast has been around since the 80’s..Vi? Not so much. I have trust issues when it comes to less established products.

I keep getting asked what I’m doing now..well, I’m waiting for something free or inexpensive that customers already use or actually need to come out that I can market in my immediate local area (that WORKS and does everything the company says it will) with proven leadership… until then, I’m finding other things to do to pass the time and earn some coin.

If you’re in one of the companies I mentioned or referred to and it’s what you want to do and you love it.. then  that’s awesome.. go you! This is just where I stand right now.

Carry on!

 

Rediscovering why I joined MLM in the first place

Today I had a really interesting conversation with a friend about network marketing during lunch that made me reflect on MLM in general.

It made me realize why I joined network marketing in the first place- it was to help PEOPLE. The thing that appealed to me was the fact I could impact so many people’s lives in a positive way just by being a leader and helping them reach their own goals.

“But what about the money?” Yeah. What about it? The money will come if you do right by other people. If you treat other people well and help however you can then the income will grow.

Network marking should be less about the company, the top earners, the products, the comp plan, the rah-rah meetings, or the promotions and more about helping people and learning life lessons!

With the epic crash and burn of a company I promoted heavily in 2009 I became a little jaded and had forgotten my real why. My why is about myself and my family, sure, only that is just a result of my REAL primary why- to help PEOPLE reach their goals and find the leader inside themselves.

So. Am I done with network marketing?

At this exact second I honestly am unable to answer that. If all the elements are right then I might choose to promote another company in the future. However, I’m too busy with our out-of-state military move to even give starting a new MLM a second thought.  Maybe after we get settled in to our new lives…

Have you ever become jaded about something, only to rediscover what you loved about it in the first place?

 

4 Valuable Prospecting Tips

My husband and I were discussing sales, customer relationships, and why sales is so often considered a bad word and here are just some of the conclusions we came to.

1. The relationship with the customer is the most important thing. If you can make them feel good (and I encourage people to be GENUINE here) about their decision then they will buy and will buy from you again. This equals potential customer referrals, as well, which is always a plus.

2. In sales if you can get the customer to come to you your job is 1/2 way done. They are interested. They are looking to buy, price, evaluate, etc.

3. It is getting customers to come to you that most people struggle with because it’s a combination of skill, luck, BRAVERY, and timing. If you get your feelings hurt easily you’ll never make it. If you let rejection linger you’ll never make it. You have to remember that sales is a numbers game. Most will say no but a FEW will say yes. All any salesperson (or self employed business owner!)  needs is a few yes’s ever so often to meet their personal goals!

4. There is a way to create a sense of urgency without being pushy. For instance, in car sales: someone calls on the phone about a car you have in your online inventory. At the end you say “when are you ready to come test drive it? “When would be a good time for you to come down here and give it a spin?” etc. That requires an answer besides a yes or no on their part. See how that works?

Here is a personal example of taking  I had a totally random stranger send me an email through one of my business websites asking to get together and that she was very interested. I emailed her back that next business day. NO response for other a week. So I sent her this today:

Hi, XXXXXXXXX

You had emailed me last week asking about information about Ampegy. I emailed you back that next day. I just wanted to let you  know there is a huge momentum going on in your area (I checked based on your phone area code).

If you want more information be on this call tonight at 8pm central (6 pm pacific I believe)
1-605-475-4486, access code 62269

This will be my last attempt to reach you. If you’re interested, let’s rock and roll and make you some money!

————————————————————————-

I got a response back that same hour saying they would be on the call tonight and that they wanted to follow up with me afterwards. Now is this a guaranteed hot lead? No. It’s never a guarantee until they act, buy, join, etc.

But it’s a hotter lead than had I never tried to contact them a second time OR had I phrased it differently like “I’d like for you to see this but if you don’t like it that’s okay it’s not for everyone” etc.

 

The Evils Of At Home Product Parties

Have you ever seen people, usually women, post on facebook “I’m having a (spa party, girls night out party, passion party, scentsy party, jewelry party) please come it will be so much fun!” or “I’m looking to book a party please message me”?

Do you know what that’s about?  Well, my friend, they are trying to get you to attend their network marketing at home product party.

Yes. It’s true. Here’s how it goes. There is a rep or consultant. There is a host who opens their home to guests. Then there are the guests.

People come to the party, the rep starts showing the products and people start getting themselves excited about the products they are seeing. Then they buy like crazy.

This is called a high peer pressure situation. All the other guests are happily whipping out their cash and credit cards to give their info to a sales rep they just met and everybody feels the urge to spend.

What this does is make people spend money on non-necessity items like cookware, vibrators, makeup, candle wax warmers, and the like which makes that customer’s own monthly budget tight.

How do I know this? I saw it first hand. I made the mistake once of saying “sure you can host a party at my house” and I saw co-workers spend money on outrageously priced adult items like they were going out of style.

One co-worker even complained later that week that she was unable to pay all the electric bill because of the large purchase she had made at that party. Why did they do that? Because of peer pressure, pure and simple.

Those companies who purposely disquise their marketing plans as parties cause nothing but harm to the American pocketbook because they invite guests under the guise of a low key social event, corner them into listening to a sales pitch, then put them in a high pressure and high peer pressure buying sales situation.

Now are these victims able to say no? Yes. They have a choice but I have never seen someone at an at home product party say “no, I really can’t afford it this month. I will buy next time” without the rep saying “oh, darn-well you should know these will go really fast,” “you deserve it- just be tighten on your budget next month,” etc.

Mary Kay, Passion Parties, Partylite, Avon, Pampered Chef, Scentsy- I’m talking to you. Stop deceiving consumers and luring them into high pressure sales situations! There are hundreds of other guilty companies. Too many to name, sadly.

Have you ever been a witness or victim of a high peer pressure buying situation disguised as an at home party? Please share your experiences with me!

Awakenings: Learning From Our Mistakes

How many awakenings will one experience in their lifetime? Growing up I just assumed that everyone only had maybe 1 or 2 in their life but that’s out the window now because I have had 2 major awakenings in the last 3 years so I imagine that the average self aware adult has the potential to have at least a dozen different eye-opening experiences in the span of their life.

The first awakening I can remember was about 6 months after my closest friend passed away unexpectedly.  After he died I went into auto-pilot. I truthfully have no idea how I completed tasks at my corporate home-office job or around the house for those 6 months.

Anyway- I distinctly remember sitting at my desk one morning at work and it was as if someone had removed a veil from my eyes. I looked around. Looked down at my desk and realized I HATED MY JOB. LOATHED IT. I am sure that I would have quit earlier had I not been mourning my friend those 6 months. I was promoting a travel company then on the side and shortly after that day I resigned to pursue the travel referral business full time. This travel company later morphed into what caused my second awakening.

The second major awakening happened just recently and is still in the process of happening. I started promoting a web-based shopping rewards company in 2009 and due to the bad press that one  blogger who specialized in SEO started it crashed and burned right after launch. I fought every day to publish positive content on 2 self-funded blogs about the company, and endured just about every other hardship you can imagine.  I, along with about 30 others who were just as dedicated as I was really shouldered a heavy burden that included the loss of friends and loss of credibility.

I only just recently started realizing that this ship may be unable to continue sailing. I could be wrong. It may have an awesome comeback, and I hope it does. This is beside the point. The awakening was this: I sold out. I sold out to a company (that I honestly believed in) when you’re really only supposed to sell out to your team and yourself in this industry.

Companies come and go. Trends change but teams- if successful teams stick together then they will make money in any company!

In this awakening I have a mixture of feelings- heightened maturity as I look back  but also some slight embarrassment and disbelief that I really acted that young and naive at ages 23-26. While I really WAS young and fairly naive I still thought that I would find my niche just by throwing myself into it because that’s how I achieved other things before.

I knew nothing about business, business relationships, or the network marketing industry and I never recommend approaching a business by totally immersing yourself blindly. That was a bad idea so I hope you learn from my mistakes!

While I have learned a LOT I also failed at A LOT. I will try to take that experience and move forward because you can only get really GOOD at something after you’ve sucked at it.

Remember- it is about the team. It is about sticking together. It is about making mistakes and learning from them.

What major awakenings have you experienced? Feel free to share!

 

Team Building 101

Here are some more tips on team building based on my own wins and losses since September 2007. They are in no particular order (except for the first one!) They are all important and I hope you can learn from my mistakes!

  • MOST IMPORTANT. As soon as someone enrolls work on getting them their required customers to trigger the fast start bonus.
  • Avoid focus on their domain name (if they choose to buy one), their dream board, etc. until they’ve got their customers!!!!!

Get them their customers. THEN roll up your sleeves and help them with the dream board, the strategy, the domain name, the sizzle cards, the business cards, etc.

  • Consider making a new rep’s sizzle cards for them or get together and make and cut the cards together so they learn how but NEVER keep supplying them with cards because that does nothing for their growth. It keeps them infants in their business. Show them once then put the rest in their hands.
  • Do just a few one-on-one presentations for your teammate’s leads and have them be a positive “back up” to the points you make in the presentation. Then switch roles from then on.  Requiring them to do their own presentations fosters growth and builds their confidence which also builds leaders.

So to be company-specific here’s the general guidelines to helping a new Ampegy independent representative get started:

1. First-help the new Representative get their required customers to trigger the fast start bonus

2. Get them to make a list of potential customers and reps

3. Make sure they have accessed their back office, set up their direct deposit, etc.

4. Help them with a dream board or dream list of some kind

5. Make sure they know the webinar/call times. Remind them the first 2 weeks- (tell them you’ll remind them just the first 2 weeks)

Got any team building tips you’ve learned along the way? Please share them by leaving a comment!