In fairness, I think the answer really depends upon the structure of the specific MLM. When a person does their "due diligence" on an MLM, the question should be asked - could this business survive if it did not rely on a "volunteer salesforce" that was asked to recruit a "volunteer salesforce?"
Is this business REALLY about the product being offered? Or, is it REALLY about "the opportunity" being offered to sell the product? If the answer is really that the business is more about the opportunity than it is about the product, just how good is the opportunity...really?
If the salesman sells the product and immediately gets a direct-deposit commission, how did that happen? Was it an advanced commission which is NOT positive cashflow, but in reality a debit that does not accrue to its actual value for an extended period of time? If that's the case, is not the salesman being deceived? He's selling a product for zero positive cashflow. How many people would voluntarily do something so illogical? I personally doubt many would. How many ARE doing it? I believe a great many people are doing it. Why? I think it is because they are unaware of what is actually transpiring.
You look at the many MLM's out there and take note that promotion-wise many have the exact same message. Do you suppose that is just a coincidence? Or, do you suppose the MLM's may be tapping into deep-seeded human needs? Whether the MLM's meets those needs or not should be a major concern. But, I am not convinced the MLM parent companies really care - one way or the other...so long their cashflow is healthy.
The message I have often heard from numerous MLM's is that being in an MLM is all about having more time to spend with your family and financial freedom. After all, who wants to work at a job that takes them away from their family's "quality time?" While this may be what most people want from an MLM experience, I am not sure that is what they get. I certainly did not. I got bankruptcy.
But, let's look at an MLM from a slightly different viewpoint - that of the MLM parent company. What does the parent company who runs the MLM want? Do they want to provide their volunteer salesforce with FREE training to sell their own products? Not usually. Do they want to provide group health insurance? Not usually. Do they want to provide a 401-k plan? Not usually. Perhaps this is all a coincidence. I personally don't think it is. I think it is all by design - and sadly the welfare of the volunteer salesforce is NOT a major concern.
Here is what I think MLM parent companies want:
1) A volunteer salesforce. If the various members of this salesforce can't do the job, no problem. There are others to replace them...at no real expense to the MLM parent company.
2) Advertising revenue from the salesforce to sell their products to the public. Everything the volunteer salesforce uses to promote itself conveniently comes from the parent company. Whether those marketing tools get the job done or not is somewhat irrelevant in terms of profit. Once the salesman purchases the marketing tools, the company has made a profit. Amazingly, you could have an MLM parent company making a profit selling its salesforce marketing tools that don't work. After all, you can always say "It's the salesman's fault."
Many MLM's have "business opportunity meetings." Is this a coincidence? No, I think it is by design. In fact, I would not be a bit surprised if the entire meeeting itself was scripted - top to bottom. The loud music, the pep rally atmosphere, even the setting of the thermostat for the meeting room's temperature is predetermined.
What is the purpose of this design for business opportunity meetings? The purpose of this design is to lessen the sales resistence to the business opportunity and recruit more salespeople. Beleive it or not, many MLM parent companies make their salesforce pay for these meetings. Wheras visitors to business opportunity meetings get in free, the salesforce has to pay a fee to be present.
Bottom line, MLM parent companies make a significant amount of money off their salesfore - whether any actual products get sold or not. MLM parent companies may be greedy, but they are definitely NOT stupid. Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly is found of saying, "Who's looking out for you?" Well, I don't think the answer is MLM's. And yes, that's my opinion. You asked for it. You got it.
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