No, actually, they don't.
Robert Kiyosaki (author, Rich Dad, Poor Dad) actually encourages entrepeneurs to join Multi-Level Marketing programs (or MLMs) for their invaluable experience.
More than likely, you've spent a bit of time selling Avon, or Mary Kay, or Amway, or one of the other countless companies who depend on Direct (aka Relationship) Marketing. If so, you are more likely understand the point of this post a bit more easily.
"I'd NEVER do anything like Direct selling"
To you, I say this - you do it every day. You just don't get paid for it 85-90% of the time.
Every day you sell yourself (for lack of a better phrase). You sell who you are and what you are capable of doing, to your boss and co-workers at your job. You sell it to your friends and acquaintances. You sell it to perfect strangers. If you are a banker in a branch, or behind the concession stand at a movie theater - people will listen to what you have to say about the products and services you are selling before they say yes or no.
When people ask for your opinion on something, or you offer your advice, you've just engaged in Direct Marketing. Yes. You have.
The same principle works with MLM. The only difference is that now you are making connections with people that you might not have made connections with before. And you are doing it with intent.
The simple fact is that when it comes to MLM companies, many of them leave a bad taste in your mouth because THEY fail YOU. The product may be great, but the support and training system may be horrible. Or the compensation structure is too complicated or unattainable. Or everything may be great except the product itself - and you spend your time trying to convince people that they really NEED those massaging toe muffs.
Those are just pyramid schemes!
Well...pyramid schemes are illegal. MLMs (I can't speak for them all) are not. and I'll tell ya...people love calling MLMs pyramid schemes, but don't label their own jobs as pyramid schemes. Would you rather be paid over and over again for a relationship that you started once under an MLM? Or would you rather have to work hour after hour duplicating and exceeding what you just did last week so that you can get paid ONCE at your job?
John Rockefeller said "I'd rather make 1% of the efforts of 100 people, than 100% of my own efforts." This makes sense. 1% of the efforts of 100 people will always amount to more than 100% of your own efforts, even a bunch of those 100 will not lift a finger.
"Well I don't want to have to talk to anybody!/I don't know alot of people."
1. You already talk to MANY more people than you realize.
2. If you don't want to talk to people, then owning your own business is not for you.
Yes, you read correctly. Whether the business is a MLM or your own brick and mortar business, in order for your business to exist YOU NEED TO TALK TO PEOPLE. You NEED to engage them in Direct (Relationship) Marketing in order for them to choose your product/service over someone else's. Do not make the mistake in thinking that they will find you. Some may. Many won't. And if you want to survive longer than 6-12 months, you are going to need to do some serious talking.
So who do you talk to? Always start with the basics and then work your way out.
- Your family. Yes, even distant ones you see every 10 years.
- Your friends. Yes, even distant ones you see every 10 years.
- Your colleagues/coworkers/bosses. This can be tricky and even work against you, so use discretion here.
- Past colleagues/coworkers/bosses.
- Your past and current Network of people
- Your local business owners. Your doctor, your hair stylist, your grocery store clerk, your mailman, etc.
- Your local community spots. The library, local organizations, both entrepeneurial and social.
- Local businesses you don't already associate with
- Perfect Strangers.
And last, but not least....All of the people that anyone in the above list know, and all the organizations they are all a part of!
So get out there and start practicing some Relationship Marketing! In other words...Network! You'll be glad you did.