I have been a part of two MLM companies. I thought they were all pretty much the same. They may be structured the same when it comes to the basic business model, but one company can still be extremely different from another. After a very bad experience, I was extremely hesitant about having anything to do with that type of business model.
Here are some differences I’ve noticed since becoming a member of another MLM company.
The Pushy Upline
With the first company, I had an extremely pushy upline. I joined with a friend, and we were constantly pushed to hold events, sign people up, and buy inventory. Many of us in the same office at work joined. It got so bad at the office that a memo was sent out that no brochures or products were allowed.
Our Director for our group was only concerned with meeting her sales goals in order to move up another rank. It was made very apparent how badly she wanted it and how much she needed us to help.
With the company I’m involved with now, it’s nowhere near as bad as that was. We are offered encouragement and support (and sometimes incentives) for holding classes to educate friends and family on the products, lifestyle, and member benefits. I have not been pushed or harassed to hold a certain number of events or buy inventory.
Feeling pushed to sell, sell, sell all the time is one of the reasons MLM companies get such a bad rap.
(Additional note: Sometimes you’ll come across people who are only focused on growing the business instead of promoting the lifestyle. With either company, the type of upline you have can make a huge difference.)
With the first company distributors were pushed to have inventory, and there were incentives for buying a certain level of inventory. I knew a few who bought more inventory than they could afford and ended up selling it back to the company at a loss. Luckily, I didn’t buy that much and was able to make back what I had spent.
With this company, I don’t keep inventory on hand. Actually, most of us don’t. This company is set up to where both customers and members get shipments directly from the company. You can keep some inventory on hand if you wish, but it’s not encouraged.
That has been such a perk this time! I’m not going around collecting orders or delivering orders. If one of my customers wants something, they simply order online, and I get a small commission for it.
Product vs Lifestyle
With the first company, it was all about pushing those products, whether you used them or not. We knew very little about the products or what was in them. When asked what was in a facial product, a sales director answered, “As long as it works, I don’t care what’s in it!”
Um, what????? That was a huge red flag to me. At the time I wasn’t as concerned about what was in my skincare products as I am now, but her response really hit me. Not caring at all or saying that just to sell a product…Um, that just doesn’t sit well with me.
When I joined this company, it wasn’t to sell products. It was a lifestyle change. I was searching for something healthier. I was searching for safe and natural alternatives for the harmful products I wanted to kick out of my home.
So, when I tell others about products now, it’s not because I just want them to buy the product for me to make a buck. It’s because I want to educate others about healthier and happier alternatives. Do I like getting a commission? Of course, who wouldn’t? But, if they stopped paying us tomorrow, I would still be using these products and sharing the benefits of them with others. To me, that’s the big difference.
Whatever your current opinion is of MLM companies, I just want you to realize that they are not all the same, and they are not all schemes like they so often get accused of being.
It’s okay to be a part of one if you believe in the product and that company’s values. It can be what you choose for it to be. If you don’t want to be sellsy, then don’t. If you just want to enjoy the member benefits, then do just that.
It’s okay to be a customer too. Don’t automatically shun a product just because of the type of business structure the company uses. There are plenty of MLM companies that produce great quality products. And generally, your purchase helps a friend, family member, or stay-at-home mom. Remember that next time you consider buying the lower quality item from the big chain store because it’s cheaper.
If you stuck through all of this, thanks!