Before you scoff, set aside your preconceived notions. Go on, get it out of your system.
Party Plan, MLM, Pyramid Scheme, SCAM!
Okay now let’s talk.
- Network Marketing a.k.a. Direct Selling is not a scam, it’s commerce. Certain businesses in the past gave this industry a bad name, and certain people today still do. But why throw the baby out with the bathwater? If “A” has a product that “B” wants, “B” will buy it. Why does it matter if “A” is for Avon or Apple? Are Apple’s corporate executives more deserving of that annual bonus than pound-paving direct sellers? By definition, network marketing is a marketing strategy in which sales representatives of a company recruit other salespeople and earn commissions on their own sales and the sales made by their team. Not such a foreign concept is it?
- A good product by any other name is still a good product. If you like the product, buy it. You don’t have to be a multi-level marketer to purchase products from a multi-level marketer. It’s not like it’s going to rub off on you. But if you could have a dime for every cup of Starbucks you drink, why wouldn’t you?
- You’ll never get the kind of personal service and attention from a mainstream brand than you do from your independent distributor. Why do you feel more comfortable buying products from gigantic, faceless corporations that outsource goods, manufacturing and even customer service from god knows where, than from someone you know?
- There’s nothing wrong with sharing good things. If you find a product you really love, why wouldn’t you want to share it with your friends?
- There’s nothing wrong with earning a living from something you love. If you share something you love, what on earth is wrong with making a profit from it?
- Authenticity is the new advertising. Social media is making brands more accountable than ever. People still buy people. They buy referrals, recommendations, reviews and ratings. If I want a product and have the choice of buying it from my friend or a stranger, I’ll buy it from my friend. Who wouldn’t?
- You will never find a more passionate (if not a little wacko) brand advocate than an independent distributor. I kind of love them for it. It would be amazing if mainstream brands could marry their business models. I love Dunkin Donuts, but if I earned a dime for every cup of coffee I bought from Starbucks, and a nickel for everyone who bought a cup of coffee from Starbucks after I referred them, I’m fairly certain I’d be a Starbucks customer for life. Imagine the possibilities.
It just doesn’t make any sense to keep vilifying network marketing. No, the profession isn’t for me, but then again, neither is podiatry. Someone asking me to try their product doesn’t annoy me any more than a pop-up ad or a zillion promotional emails. At least if I tell them no, I only have to do it once.
Contributed by Katrina Turner, Creative Copywriter