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7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Joining Any Multi-level Marketing (MLM) Business

We all see these decisive testimonies of our kababayans who are into multi-level marketing (MLM) networking business:

  • Driving their own cars
  • Cheerfully living in their own dream house
  • Paid their almost lifelong debts
  • Traveling into different places
  • Paid their tuition fees
  • Freedom from sickness
  • Millionaires

Most of these accomplishments are true. That is why we are attracted to it. And why not?

I recently joined an MLM. It took me a year to come into a decision and see if it can really help me in my financial resources. I am still learning though.

I am still waiting for the return of the investment. I know it will never come unless I work for it. MLM is not a magical path to take. It is not a system where you join, sit, and wait for the money to come. No. One should work for it just like any other businesses.

If you are planning to join an MLM business, please consider the list here. Ask yourself these questions and see if you have positive answers to most of it. If so, then MLM is probably for you.

1. Is It Ethical?

Think of this scenario:

MLMer: Do you want to experience financial freedom?
You: Of course, yes!
MLMer: Then give me your money. Me, my up-line, and the company will divide your money to ourselves. And here is a set of products in return for that money. The products are legit, tested, and approved by the government. It is really helpful.
You: Sure, the products are indeed good. But how can I be richer if you are taking away my money?
MLMer: Well, find another person and do the same what I did to you. Don’t worry our team will help you recover your money, and even triples it.

The conversation might be exaggerated but still MLM is like that. And some people will find the practice unethical, but some are okay with it. This is where you will study the company’s strategies and decide for yourself. Most MLMs are working in this manner.

Just a note: not all MLMs will ask your 4-digit hard-earned money when you join. Some are relying on the selling of various products. The products are intentionally overpriced to compensate the shares of the uplines, but the membership is reasonably low.

2. Do You Have The Charisma?

Do not take this lightly. This is really important. Consider this as “if you cannot hit a note then don’t aim for the American Idol, unless you want to be a stunt”.

MLM is about recruiting members for your team–people that will fill in your downlines–plus the products being sold. It is about your marketing skills. Some people talk as they breathe. Some are naturally not gifted with this type of skill. Do you have that gift of persistently persuading your prospects? Do you have that patience in counteracting the ‘negative vibes’ and still be friendly with the critics?

The good news for introverts like me who still want to push through with MLM is that the ‘talking’ can be done online. (I was recruited through a Facebook chat by a trusted friend, by the way). Also, this ‘charisma’ can be learned, just like in singing. Some are naturally born timid but through persistence and training they can be successful. This also works for MLM where words and talking are the most efficient capital.

If this is not your nature then you will have to reconsider your course. Look for other investments that suit your personality. Try Philippine stock market, perhaps. In stock market, you do not need to recruit or convince anyone of the products. Now, back to MLM.

3. Do You Have The Target People To Join Your Team?

Look at your Friend Lists. Who among your friends, and your friends’ friends, you think are able to join your team? Who are not yet into MLM of the same company and possibly will consider joining you? If you cannot pinpoint two or more strong individuals from your friends then stay away from MLM. Your account will be stagnant and useless. Your money may be worth for something.

May I also suggest that you avoid recruiting people that do not have yet the financial capacity to get started, unless you want to lend them the money and let them pay whenever they are able. Asking them to loan money or bring their valuables for mortgage so that they can get started is ridiculous.

Also, please do not force your friend(s) to join your team if you can see that they do not have the innate ability to do it. Don’t give them hope that is impossible or really hard for them to do. What is easy for you might be difficult for some. If you really wanted to help them let them see in themselves the natural gifts that they have, and help them to maximize it. Be considerate. You won’t lose your friendship by following this humble advice.

4. Do You Have The Time To Convince Them?

It is natural for humans to appreciate the cuteness of domestic animals especially if they are doing those lovely tricks. Whether it’s a bird, dog, cat, gold fish, or chipmunks I like them all. I like to watch them and learn their ways. But will I consider bringing a puppy home and raise him as my own? No. Why? Because I do not have time. The puppy’s life will be miserable under my care (or the lack of it).

Most MLM recruiters will tell you that this business should be your part time, a sideline, as though it won’t take much of your time. But as mentioned above, you need time for MLM. You need to work for it. Otherwise, other MLMers will take your prospects as their downlines. My MLM right now is dead since I am not working on it, simply because I do not have the time. Fortunately, my upline is finding ways to help me.

You need to plan for your marketing strategies. You may copy approaches from others that are consistently excelling, or you can make your own methods. Some are learning through seminars and presentations. Some are doing one-on-one, personal approaches. Whatever your methodologies are, the most important is to backup your marketing with real data. Evidences must be truthful. Do not fake it.

Again, do you have the time to do these?

5. Is There A Pressure On You To Invest More In The Company?

It is the product that should be the lifeblood of the company, not you being pressured to invest more to the company. Product sales should be the main source of the income, not the recruitment of members alone. If it is the other way around then this means that the product is not commendable nor sale-able. You will have hard time convincing others if that is the case.

6. What Is Your Assessment Of The Product?

Try the product first before convincing others to try it. Remember that if your marketing focus is only to recruit individuals without presenting much about the products, then that’s pyramiding scam and it is illegal.

Also, be aware that there are products that are completely friendly to others but not to you–and it doesn’t mean that those products are bogus nor the testimonies are fake. Likewise, there are products that are undesirable to others but is favorable to you. Take a shampoo as an example. A specific variant of Pantene may work for others but not for me. That’s exactly the same with any non-prescriptive products where most MLM companies are offering. Just because someone largely benefited from an MLM product does not mean that it will work for everyone. A testimony of someone could be true in that person’s case, but it doesn’t mean that it will give the same result for others.

What I am saying is be fair and truthful with your marketing talks.

First impression lasts. We cannot ask a friend to try again the products for two more weeks or one more month since most of the MLM products are overpriced. If the product is good, then the product will do the marketing for you.

7. Where Will You Get The Money To Start With?

If the money will come from the credit card, debt, mortgages, or diverted from your basic needs, then pause. Stop. Wait until you get enough extra money of your own. Yes, it should be your extra money. This is to ensure that you are not broke after months from joining. Aside from realizing that MLM is not for you and thus you cannot gain money, some MLM companies will not allow you to encash whatever you have in your account without reaching a certain amount.

So if you are decided to join an MLM, then use only the money from your extra savings.

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And there it is. After passing through all the items above and you still consider joining an MLM business then go for it. You will be successful especially if you have positive answers for numbers 1-6.

If most of your answers to the list are negative then do not put your hard-earned money with MLM. You will be happy that you used it for some alternative investment that works with your personality. I hope this helps.

Are you still contemplating in joining the MLM business? Are you into it now? Share your thoughts through the comments below.

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About Jess Tura

Jess is a Computer Teacher at Wells International School. He is also into photography and web designing. He promised himself to be a vegetarian but still could not resist burgers, pizza, and grilled fish.