Tag Archives: multi-level marketing

They said you were Ignorance On Fire, but you were really an Untrained Social Science Experiment

They said you were Ignorance On Fire, but you were really an Untrained Social Science Experiment

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If you could do a Network Marketing, Multi-Level Marketing or home-based business and be more upfront with people, would that interest you?

Would you rather connect with people rather than close them? Is closing people something that just made you cringe? Did you have to grit your teeth while using those closing techniques on people? Did the methods of handling the most common sales objections just make you feel dishonest or ashamed of yourself?

Philosophically speaking, rather than learning annoying sales techniques which irritated your family and angered your friends, wouldn’t you rather do almost anything else? Even a 9 to 5 job sounds better than ending up that friendless and lonely doesn’t it? But don’t you still want to achieve the levels of success you had dreamed about when you first started so that you can do or have those things you had always wanted? And what if by truly connecting with people you could have more friends in the process, how would that make you feel?

Did you go to a seminar at a friend’s house or a hotel? And did you get excited? I did. They promised you the world or at least whatever your version of the great American Dream was and you fell for it. Right?

I went home from that private business reception or business briefing excited and happy and if I had fallen for anything, it was for my own dreams, my life as I wanted to lay it out for myself. I mean there were some clear drawbacks to that Network Marketing, Multi-Level Marketing or home-based business which I immediately saw, but nonetheless I was . . . excited.

And so with a whole 25 minutes training, they let me head on out and told me not to tell anyone what kind of business it was, and not to say what the company was called and basically, I should just tell my friends and family, just shut up and come and see it. Some people can do that with their friends and family, I was the other people.

I didn’t know it yet, but I was the proverbial Ignorance on Fire. Naturally, it didn’t work, neither for you, nor for me. Yet it must work for some people, right? Clearly there were many people doing great, just not me. What’s the success rate in Network Marketing anyway? One guy answered that the success rates in Multi-Level Marketing were “better than your job, what else do you want to know?” But I did want to know something else: why was it that when I told people what I did for my day job, afterwards they still wanted to be my friends but with this new business, they shunned me at church, in the park and in the grocery store. People that I knew I saw in the market and I was not going crazy, they were  there only moments earlier, and they had seen me because we made eye contact, but somehow they’d vanished like smoke leaving a cart full of unpurchased groceries in the middle of the cereal aisle.

Best as I could tell, the actual success rates for Network Marketing businesses weren’t really that much better than my job, not overall. Or, if they were, it didn’t seem to show. On the other hand, I still had my friends at my regular job, unless of course I had asked them to join the new business.

So, there I was, ignorance on fire, and off I trundled into the unknown abyss of my friends and family who apparently, and more specifically, wouldn’t look at anything without knowing more than I was told I could tell them, period. My brothers asked me about that, a simple question, and a natural one too, “why if it’s so good, can’t you just tell me what the %$&#@ it is?”

Of course and inevitably, reality settled during the next few days as I went from a sort of Gomer Pyle version of James Bond to a chatty version of Elroy Jetson but of course my people all knew me already as a slightly intellectual version of Shaggy sans Scooby and some of them knew me from my Spicoli days too. So like Dude, let me tell ya what  . . .

To my family, friends, neighbors, cousins and that guy who was my best friend in 7th grade, or at least used to be until his family moved across town, I completely spilled the beans. I told them all, every stinking little detail about the business including but not limited to the name, how long it had been in business, how great the products were, which ones tasted good and smelled bad, and how much it cost to start the business, how much you had to spend every month, and how you had to change your buying habits but you were going to buy the stuff from one store or another anyway and why not from your own store and why I wanted to do the business and how I was finally going to make all my dreams come true. In network marketing, we call this vomiting all over your family and friends.

And what did my family, friends and contacts all say or ask? Is this a scam? Is this a pyramid? Is this a get rich quick scheme? Is this Amway? I don’t have any time for that. I don’t have that kind of cash to just throw away. It’s too expensive. I can get the same products cheaper at Costco. Did you drink the Kool-Aid when you joined this cult?

Did you know what to say or how to answer? Of course not, and how did that make you feel? Embarrassed? Awkward? Stupid? I felt them all at the same time, and for a pretty low key introvert who I was back then, that was pretty harsh.

So, of course, immediately and promptly, none of them showed up to my first house meeting, business briefing, private business reception, private franchising opportunity or whatever it was you were instructed to call it. How did yours go? About the same? And then none of them showed up to your hotel meeting either, just like happened to me. And none of them even bought a mouthwash or hand cleanser or a box of vitamins from me. How about you? Did that feel good or what? They want to borrow $20 last Saturday at the bar but they won’t buy a shampoo and support your business. You can bet I stopped lending to my friends quick.

So what did your upline business partners do for you? The wanted to help, they wanted you to be successful. Do you remember all those sales techniques you were taught about overcoming objections? Did they work? Or did sales techniques embodied in overcoming objections just make you feel worse? Did you start to sound like Danny Devito wearing a checkered sport coat selling used cars?

What if you could have been more upfront in the first place, without all the vomiting, without being annoying, without losing your friends and without speaking to people in a way that causes them to bring up all the objections in the first place? Would that have left you feeling better about yourself and what you were doing?

What if at the end of a conversation you already knew if they probably would have said yes or no and you could decide to invite based on that instead? As an attorney, I have long conversations with my clients to see if I can help them and sometimes it’s to see if I want to. If with some instruction and practice you could learn a new way of speaking to people, a way of connecting, a way to making new friends and strengthening the old ones rather than losing the ones you’ve got, and at the same time find people you can help, would that interest you?

And what did your upline say when no one showed up? Answer: They didn’t see it the same way you did, did they? What’s that supposed to mean? I asked. Did I tell you all about the business before you showed up? No, I answered. So, you do the same.

Frankly to this day, I hate inviting people that way. It’s kind of creepy. Very few people respond to it, and I guess that they were counting on only building the business on those sorts, which meant you had to literally sort through a lot of people before you found the ones who would respond to that kind of invitation. For the rest of us, you tell your best friend, hey look at this business with me, but I can’t tell you what it is. It’s always struck me as dishonest. And quite literally, not one of them showed up without more of an explanation than that. Did you experience it that way too?

Philosophically speaking, rather than learning annoying sales techniques which irritated your family and angered your friends, wouldn’t you rather do almost anything else? Even a 9 to 5 job sounds better than ending up that friendless and lonely doesn’t it? But don’t you still want to achieve the levels of success you had dreamed about when you first started in Multi-Level Marketing so that you can do or have those things you had always wanted?

Would you rather connect with people rather than close them? Is closing people something that just made you cringe? Did you have to grit your teeth while using those closing techniques on people? Did the methods of handling the most common sales objections just make you feel dishonest or ashamed of yourself?

Give me a call if you’d like to discuss, I’m a poor a wayfaring man on the same journey you are, but I’ve taken the time to study and learn and I believe that you can do it too. But you don’t have to do it the way you’re being told is the right way, the only way, especially when it just doesn’t fit with who you are.

My number is 951-322-5998, call now between 9am and 8pm Pacific Standard Time.

The place I started my journey to success was with so many books, seminars, tapes, and cds, but the teacher who helped me by far the most was Michael Oliver and his Natural Selling courses and second, experience.  His website and courses can give you the insights and a new way to communicating with others which will allow you to keep your friends and help a few of them to help others as well. Because truly if they win, you will. But if they don’t, you won’t. Go to NaturalSelling.com now.

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Disclaimer: All opinions contained in this website and or in this post or page are solely my own. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. I could tell you who the other companies were but then you’d have to go into witness protection. The companies I mention above are composites of companies the way characters in your dreams are composites of people you’ve met or known. All are for illustration only. No event, person or company mentioned is real, and all similarities to real persons, companies or events are purely coincidental.