Network Marketers. Business People, Enormous Boobs Or Social Parasites?


mlm network marketing nightmare

Is this you?

We’ve all been to that networking lunch or social event when some idiot shoves his business card in your hand and proudly states “You need to call me, I’m gonna save your life” or words to that effect.

You’ve also made the mistake of giving him your business card and so for the next six months, he calls you every second week to invite you to coffee.

Of course, he can’t tell you about this amazing business system that is going to change the world as it’s too complex to share over the phone but apparently it’s simple enough to share over a coffee.

Network Marketing or Multi Level Marketing (MLM) is an incredibly valid method of getting goods and services into the market place. In an era where more and more people are disgruntled with the old corporate model and are looking to get out on their own without the overheads of traditional business.

Unfortunately, the low barriers to entry that make Direct Selling models, such as Network Marketing, so attractive to many is also the reason why you get all kinds of people participating.

From Truck Drivers to Farmers and School Teachers to all manner of white collar professionals, there are very few careers that aren’t represented at the upper echelons of success in this industry.

So, clearly it works, we’d just prefer that you dropped the cloak and dagger stuff. If you’re still using the curiosity approach to build your business in this day and age, you’re either: a) naive about how easy it is to find information about you b) you think i’m an idiot, c) no faith in your self, product or up line or d) you have no idea about social media despite the fact that you keep telling everyone it’s going to change the world.

Here are the 3 main types of network marketing experiences that we, your prospects, come into contact with and therefore judge you by.

The Good – Network Marketing’s Business People

One of my favourite all time mlm experiences I’ve ever had was a Thai lady I met at a networking lunch. She simply walked up to me, smiled, stuck out her hand and said Hi, my name’s Oi, I’m an Amway distributor, who are you?

I loved it, it was simple, it was honest. There was no hiding behind a business opportunity, there was no sneaky invitation to coffee. She was proud of her business and the opportunity it afforded her family.

I knew who she was, I knew what she did and even more importantly when she asked about me, she was genuinely interested in me. She wasn’t looking for chance to get a plug in, she wanted to know about me and I felt it.

More networkers should be like Oi, who just happens to have a very strong business by the way.

The Bad – The Enormous Boobs

We’ve all met these guys and to be honest we’ve all been these people in our careers, irrespective of what you do. They’re the newbies, It’s the beginning of your career and you’re learning everything you can to make you better but you still do some really dumb stuff.

The unfortunate thing for network marketers, their experience comes at the hand of facing the public in a way they may not be familiar with and with names backing them that everyone knows. We’ve all got an Amway story and new distributors know it, compounding their fear and therefore their ham fisted approach to you.

Whether you grow into a business person or parasite is up to you. Only one of these has a future.

The Ugly – Unlovable Social Parasites

For anyone actively building a network marketing business, these are the people we most compare you to. No, it’s not fair because only a very small percentage of people in any career are like this but they tarnish the reputation of everyone else. I should know, I’m a Financial Planner.

You, might think that parasite is too harsh a word to be thrown around in this context but seriously. I know people who’ve not attended social gatherings because they know ‘a certain someone’ is going to be there and they’re not in the mood to deal with someone that won’t take No for an answer.

That’s not persistence, that’s making an ass of yourself and tells everyone that you’re not as successful as you want us to think you are. For if you truly had an endless list of new prospects signing up, you would be too busy helping them to even consider hounding me.

And on the social media front, stop spamming your opportunity all over every group you’re in and start participating to the online discussion in an intelligent manner. You’ll actually build respect rather than tearing it down and we’ll actually welcome your approach.

What about you? Have you had an experience with a Network Marketer worth writing about. Share it in the comments section below. I’d love to hear all about it.

24 thoughts on “Network Marketers. Business People, Enormous Boobs Or Social Parasites?

  1. Krishna_Everson (@KrishnaEverson)

    Mention anything MLM to me and my bullshit detector goes into high alert. I have been involved with a number in the past…. Amway, Nuskin, Melaleuca. They are great products. I fall in love with the product, but not the recruitment bit. I admire people that are good at that. The reality is there must be time invested in MLM to be successful. The high level achievers get there through dedication and commitment. I honour that. But, if you make out that you don’t need to do much to get a good return (B.S.) or don’t offer good upline support (irritating), or friggen spam me in a group that has nothing to do with MLM (makes me wild), or keep persisting when I have said no (arrgghhhh!!), or send me emails I couldn’t give a shit about and then try to justify it, or try and sell me something I don’t want, without identifying my needs first. Most people are boobs (they don’t last), Social media and email spammers are parasites. At the end of the day, it works for the company, but not the individual.

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Yeah, what she said. especially the SM Spammers. I love network marketing but there’s so many people that do it so badly.

      Unfortunately some of those that do it badly are genuinely very nice people who have been given poor or inadequate training from an upline who often lack any real sales or marketing experience themselves.

      I’m no genius but there’s a fair chance that me buying $10K worth of stock will not enable it to sell itself.

      My pet hate though, is the one where a “selfless upline” runs around getting your team “promoted” only for you to realise that they’ve all bought into the idea that running up a credit card debt is a smart investment.

      I still love the industry though, I love the focus on personal development. I just wish some of those preaching it, heeded some of their own advice.

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  2. Maureen

    I recently lost a friend over her becoming a Nuskin consultant. We used to meet for coffee, go to cooking classes together and once she joined up she asked if she could practice her spiel. Yep sure. Then there was the pressure to join and please come to this meeting and look at this video and read this documentation.

    I sent her a quick email asking if she wanted to meet for breakfast one Saturday morning and she said, “Only if you’ll watch this video first.”

    We haven’t spoken since. It’s just BS.

    I think the products are great. Selling that way just isn’t me.

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Aah, she’s a boob. Don’t punish her for that Maureen. I’d suggest she’s either being coached by an ineffective upline, or she has a great one but isn’t listening to their advice.

      If networkers stopped promoting the hell out of the get rich quick type mentality and focussed on long term business viability then they’d probably actually have businesses worth bragging about.

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      1. rodneybukuya Post author

        Some people have had success with that method of business building which obviously means that we’re not going to see the end of it anytime soon.

        If everyone was as upfront as Oi, and that method was taught then I think the success rates would be higher and neither participant in the conversation would feel like they’d prefer to be somewhere else.

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  3. Amanda Foy

    LMAO on the enormous boobs. I thought you were going to talk about some scary lady turning up with her cleavage wanting to sell you insurance. Great blog. I don’t like anything that is based on trickery. People aren’t idiots and if you are like me and listen to dead people, then its easy to know who is in the enormous boob category. I am, but I’m not. #garfsnort

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      And that’s my point. There are some really great people in network marketing and there are some people who could do good things given the opportunity but the ham fisted, second hand car salesman approach kills credibility.

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  4. Bill

    I love the idea of leverage which attracted me to MLM many years ago, and yes, I have my own horror war stories. Bad management, dodgy deceitful products and pushy sales methods sadly abound in this field. Mind you they do in every other industry on the planet as well!
    My partner and I were about to trash MLM’s forever as a business model until 10 years ago we found a product and business model that matched our core values. We don’t act like predators and pounce on the unwary or stalk them until they surrender. All that behaviour gives the industry the bad name it generally has in the marketplace.
    However, if you are sincere, a good listener and problem solver, then it is a great business. For us it’s about finding people who share our values, and ultimately adding value into the world.

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Absolutely Bill, thanks for joining the conversation. Glad to see that there are networkers who are seeing the light and bring their true selves to the platform.

      Congratulations

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      It would just be nice for some uplines to take a step back and let their protege grow into their business.

      No-one likes to feel like they’re a victim of a smash and grab. Only desperate leaders push for desperate results.

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  5. Pauline

    You’ve all pretty much said it all… I would only add that the honesty and research should also apply to researching your “product”… for those who remember they actually have a product to sell. 🙂

    I’m in the business of removing poisons and toxins from peoples’ environments, and I dread actually getting up in public and telling people that because I know I’ll have at least two MLMs pounce on me (thanks Bill, that’s a great picture!! Lol) as soon as they can. That would be fantabulous, except that their products are exactly the same as the stuff in the supermarkets, they’re just being marketed differently.

    If you’ve got a genuine product that will help people – as Bill says, you’re a solutions based person and you’re genuinely interested in helping people – then I salute you! But if you’re listening to the other person speak and all you’re actually doing is skimming the conversation for words that match the marketing hype you have in your head so you can “stalk them until they surrender” (another great!) then that’s not being interested in people, solutions or in fact helping anyone.

    So many people have said it… chase the passion, help people for the sake of helping, and the money will follow. Chase the money and you’ll find out just how elusive it is. 🙂

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      I would actually love to sit in on one your seminars one day Pauline. I think that you must have some pretty scary warnings and stories to share with people.

      there’s a lot of good stuff that is sold through direct selling but if all you do is start parroting the stuff your corporate tells you (don’t kid yourself into thinking we can’t tell) then I’m gonna tune out pretty quickly.

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  6. Selina Shapland

    Great Blog! I have SO had that horrible Megatrends experience with an ‘ex-friend’ in the past and I have to say, I will skirt around anyone who tells me that ‘you need to get in on this because you’ll be sorry when I’m a millionaire and you’re living on the streets…’ kind of thing. It irks me so much.
    I have only just discovered the benefits of networking and one of the most important things I have learned and am continuing to learn is to chat with and listen to the other person. To truly want to know who they are and what they are about because that builds trust, positive regard and friendships. That is the type of interaction I want to be involved in and I am doing my best to be that person too.
    Thank you so much for this blog entry. It was great to read and I really identified with what you are saying. Keep it up!
    Selina Shapland

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      you’re welcome Selina, sounds like you’re already a better networker.

      Network Marketing is the only legal profession I’ve ever heard of that encourages it’s participants to lie about what they do.
      Some call it the curiosity approach, I call it deception.

      If you’re truly adding value to someone’s life and possibly setting them up financially, why the hell would you lie about that.

      The honesty approach might also help new people get the courage to prospect proactively. The insistence that people will run away if you’re honest is a crock of horse shit and is patronizing to the highest order.

      Good luck making a difference Selina

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  7. Karen Buttery

    A great subject Rodney. I totally agree with everyones comments and I hate that people feel they have to hide what they do as if it is the worst thing in the world. I have no hesitation in telling people I refer people to shop with melaleuca showing them how they can get better products than the supermarkets without the harmful toxins at a better value. I am a mum of 4 small children and healthwise we noticed such a difference so this really inspired me to help other families. You definately have to have a belief in the products. I looked at approaching it in a totally different way when I teamed up with The Life2 Project, Generational Change Foundation and the Ripple Affect. We now have a not for profit side and it became very personal having been through domestic violence I could help Jane Leach from the Life2 Project helping women healing from domestic violence and also working to break the cycle of domestic violence.

    We looked at a complete opportunity of giving back simply by getting support of people who wanted to switch stores and get better safer products. Everytime someone washes their hair, brushes their teeth, does laundry etc, they would know that they are contributing to 5-10 women healing that month from domestic violence and getting back on their feet. We also wanted to be able help the women if they are interested by giving them a business opportunity where they would be mentored and trained by a team of 5 of us who all have different business skills and they would also know that they in turn are giving back to the project which helped them. My aim is doing something that will make a difference in the world and if by referring Melaleuca I can create this for something bigger, then I feel truly blessed with what I do.

    I think the focus has to change focusing more on how you can help other individuals and groups of people with what you do, rather than all this BS about not wanting to tell people the company you are promoting. If you love a product and believe in it you will tell everyone and give them the opportunity to take a look. If it’s not for them not a problem, but you need to be sincere and have a genuine desire to help others.

    I also totally agree with Pauline – some great comments there.

    Karen

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Hi Karen, there’s so much positive change that can be created from people taking control of their financial destiny.

      We all have different opinions of network marketing, it’s just a shame that many people have only negative experience because of distribuitors who seem to change personalities when they put on their mlm hat.

      I really liked the value you added to this discussion in your blog also.

      Enjoy the journey

      regards

      Rod

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  8. Embrace Ordinary

    I WON a book at a networking event a few weeks ago. I stupidly assumed it was a prize with no strings…. the person who gave it came over introduced herself and told me how much i would love the book it had changed her life. She then called me the next working day to ask how much i liked it and also offering other ebooks and …… i cut her off then saying i was at work and phone reception was bad, she called back and as i had saved the number i knew it was her and didn’t answer. I am sure she will try again you don’t escape that easily from a network marketer… And this was send out cards too not one of the more well known pushy MLM’s

    I wrote a blog on MLM a while ago. Here is my 2 cents http://www.embraceordinary.com/28/05/2012/smell-mlm-miles-run/

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Hey Jen,

      I think one of the great things about Send Out Cards is the fact that it’s been built in a different era to some of the bigger older businesses like Amway for example.

      As a result, there’s a lot of sharing and teaching that guides it’s business builders and you’re right, Send Out Cards does not come across as pushy.

      I actually signed us up to Send Out Cards back in March 2009 because I went looking for a tool to keep in regular contact with my clients and prospects. For a person that’s really bad with remembering birthdays, it’s been handy for that too.

      Your story is a nice reminder that, it is people that build network marketing businesses and a business of this type is also very good at revealing what sort of person an individual is.

      People new to network marketing can become business professionals or social parasites. the choice is ultimately up to the individual.

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  9. ceinie

    Wonderful Blog, oh do I have some MLM stories to tell, and yes my BS detector does go on high alert. About 20 years ago I bought into Amway twice and did nothing with it (about $100 at the time), just to get my so called friends off my back. Never again, I’m older and a lot wiser. Thankyou again Rodney xo

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    1. rodneybukuya Post author

      Unfortunately Ceinie, some of those people still exist in amway and other mlm’s.

      never say never though, there’s some really good networkers out there, running great ethical businesses. It’s just a shame that there’s lots of people with your experience.

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