The Pain Points of MLM
What's Wrong With MLM?
Let's face it, we've all heard the nay Sayers and their skepticism of Network Marketing, or MLM. The myriads of misconceptions and outright untruths boggle the mind. Pyramid scam, Ponzi scheme, rip off, we've heard them all. But, the hard truth of the matter is, there's a lot of negatives to overcome in MLM. I'll try to be kind listing them, because there are likely many of us who still use some of these tactics to try to pique the interest of a prospect. Hopefully, we are all being honest with our prospects about everything. But, that sadly is not the norm in this industry.
The following are a list of things that I have either personally experienced, or have heard about by close friends and other associates in the MLM industry. While not an exhaustive list, these problems are precisely why many honest and hard-working people are met with such resistance when someone discovers you're trying to interest them in a great new business opportunity. Let's try to be honest. These tactics need to stop if we're going to grow as an industry. And, there are many people trying to make this industry worthy of respect and honor as a legitimate business distribution method. If I start to name the names of the greats in the industry, this article would be far too long. But the notables are (in no particular order): Fraser Brookes, Eric Worre, Ray Higdon, Todd Falcone, Richard Bliss Brooke, Jim Rohne, Dale Calvert and Tom "Big Al" Schreiter. I know I have missed many in this list, and there are many more of us who have been on the front lines sharing our opportunities and our amazing products with the world. I commend you all, truly. We are a breed of people who care deeply about people and in trying to make an honest living helping others achieve The American Dream too. Though this list is not long, it could be much longer if I had the time and space to devote to this subject. I think the points will be sufficient enough to make us all think. Because it is up to us to try to not do the things listed below. I would welcome any others that I may have missed if you are inclined to comment below.
Reasons Why MLM Has Received a Bad Reputation With Many People
- Prospects are not told the truth about the company, the products, or the opportunity
- The expectations are elevated by new recruits due to unrealistic income projections
- New associates are not trained by experienced marketers
- Most MLMers do not know how to develop rapport with a potential new customer/associate
- Most upline do not take the time to actually help new distributors develop the skills they need to succeed.
- Most companies do not provide enough tools to help every person in the organization
- Many upline will push invitees to hard to try to "make the sale" without knowing them
- Many new recruits will become overwhelmed by the amount of things they do not know
- Most new recruits do not know precisely what to do and how to do it
- Most companies do not have an adequate sales funnel or system for their sales force
- Most companies do not have any automated follow up system in place for their reps
- Many companies have little to no curated content to share on social media
- Some unethical people will do anything to get a customer or distributor, including poaching their own downlines friends on their social media accounts
- There's very little training on marketing and too much emphasis on sales (yes, there's a difference)
- The comp plan is impossible to understand for most people
- Most people do not earn money in the business, and those that do, do not earn enough quickly enough to retain them in the business on a sustained basis
- Customers are not incentivized to provide referrals by the company.
I could go on, but I think you can understand why a lot of potentially great customers and associates would be turned-off about MLM. Companies that can solve some of these pain points (or all of them) will be doing very well in the future. Automated email drip campaigns for prospects, a decent CRM for every representative, a high converting landing page with a lead magnet, would all be wonderful things for most people in the industry. There are many companies who are working hard to provide resources for their sales force. Sadly there aren't many. There are many new opportunities for great companies to provide a way for everyone to be on a level playing field when it comes to support for their biggest assets, namely you.
I am hopeful that the MLM industry will be showing leadership when it comes to providing the tools needed for success in any MLM business. It will be incredibly important in the future. Upline support needs to be there to offer guidance, encouragement and training where the corporate office drops the ball. I am also hopeful that the kinds of opportunities will be many in the near and distant future. I believe that many people who have become displaced or discouraged by the ongoing rules for compliance in the work place will seek opportunities elsewhere, where they can call all the shots by being their own boss. It will be up to all of us to be there for them with a smile and a pat on the back as they take those baby steps in owning their own business for the first time.