In case you haven’t noticed, entrepreneurship is booming in the United States lately and nowhere more than in the multi-level marketing (MLM) world. Even if you know you are interested in the products or services being offered (WBO – what’s being offered), how do you know whether and where to invest your time and money as a customer or even as an entrepreneur yourself?
There are many online resources offering statistics and opinions on the quality and value of the leadership, research, products, services, solvency, prospects, and so forth of MLM businesses. Internet access and library reference sections allow you to research the “numbers”, reports, and press releases to your heart’s content.
My purpose this week is to suggest some other considerations, things that only the uniquely human YOU can weigh:
AS A CUSTOMER
1. Do you need WBO?
The answer to this question may be tricky because you may not even want it and may not yet understand – if this is the case – that you actually do need it. My advice is to LISTEN with an open mind and do your own research if questions remain once you have heard the initial presentation.
2. Are there reasons why you should not get WBO?
We consumers are prone to habitual reactions. Up to 20% of people are “early adopters” and tend to be willing to try something at least once if it seems at all good or helpful. A similar percentage will simply stick with what they know until it is no longer available and they have to change. And everyone else wants to figure out where the line is between safe and missed-the-boat. If the information the people in the middle receive initially is overwhelming in its detail or seems not to be tailored to individual needs, the normal reaction is to object: it costs too much, maybe later, my spouse will say no,…
If you are presented with an offer and don’t have an immediate Yes or No reaction, my suggestion is that you don’t automatically default to No. Keep listening with an open mind. Perhaps there is a value proposition that you had not figured into your personal decision equation.
3. Do you like the person offering WBO?
Would you be interested in getting to know this person regardless of WBO? If no, the WBO doesn’t really matter, however much you may want or need it, unless you are certain that you cannot obtain it by any other means. If yes, then take advantage of the connection that has been offered. Include a purchase of WBO if you’d like. Even if you don’t purchase anything, find out how you can support and encourage the person offering WBO as a thank-you for investing his or her time in educating you.
4. Do you trust the person offering WBO?
If no, then the result should be the same as under #3. If yes, then you may want to give even deeper consideration to WBO – for yourself and for others in your circle of influence.
Let’s say that you answered yes to #1 and #3 (yes to #4 is a bonus) and that you have resolved any yes answers to #2. If that’s the case, you will probably become a customer.
AS A BUSINESS OWNER
In the standard ethical MLM business model, a customer usually has the opportunity to become an independent business owner who is able to use the products in a unique business that he or she owns. They may be used in the performance of the owner’s existing business (massage therapist, chiropractor, veterinarian, beauty salon, and many, many other business types, depending on the product or service), and/or sold or resold as the focus of a new business. Creators or producers who choose to offer WBO through the MLM model usually choose this model for one of the following reasons:
- Type 1 – To make money by enrolling customers/members (the enrollees are told that they can also make money by enrolling others, with less attention paid to the benefits of the product or service).
- Type 2 – To make money by selling WBO (basically a retail strategy whether there is a brick and mortar store, online store, or “party” format).
- Type 3 – To make money by selling the ongoing (and improved) lifestyle available by using/consuming WBO on a regular basis over and over for many years and developing an ever deepening relationship with the original presenter and probably others over time.
If the MLM you are considering is:
- Type 1 – There is usually little potential value to you unless you started the company or joined very early in the process.
- Type 2 – You can choose to buy WBO for yourself, and you can decide whether you would enjoy the need to seek new customers constantly to maintain volume (jewelry and cookware are familiar examples).
- Type 3 – You want to consider whether you know, like, and trust the person who registered you as a customer, others in the organization, and the company producing WBO – and that you trust the quality and longevity of the product line(s) – enough to be in a long-term business relationship.
In all three types, find out what the customer retention rate is. The more that customers are satisfied with the product, service, and relationships, the higher the retention rate will be. And the higher the retention rate, the more likely it is that you will be able to reach your own personal goals if you put in the necessary work.
I have been a customer and a business partner in Type 3 MLM business models for more than 30 years as well as a manager, leader, or owner/principal in traditional and sole proprietor businesses. Wellness Made Simple offers education; unique and proven world-class products; and customized strategies and solutions that are tailored to your unique needs now and over the months and years to come.
We know how to get you where YOU want to go.
THAT is our difference.