Secret #11 – Pick Your MLM Company Carefully!

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Picking the right MLM company to join depends on many factors. In the end, it must feel right for you. If the company you are evaluating seems too good to be true or you see lots of gold watches and chains, fancy cars, and hard-core sales techniques, run, don’t walk, in the opposite direction!

One thing to mention is that ALL of the factors in this chapter must be met, or passive income will not be there in the long run. So, pick your company, carefully!

I’m Too Late… You’re Already In!

I suspect that most people reading this blog probably are already in an MLM so this particular post might be a bit late. But, if you find yourself in a company that is not working out for you, read this chapter and see if any of the warning signs are there that could explain why it isn’t working out. It is never too late to re-evaluate your decision until you are already making the big money. At that point, you have already proven it can work, so it doesn’t matter.

If, however, the “rules have changed” for your company to the point where it is much harder for new people joining to be successful, then read this blog post because the writing may be on the wall that your own income may disappear.

MLMs depend on new distributors coming in and being successful or the entire “pyramid” collapses. Hundreds of MLMs disappear each year leaving high earners with zero monthly income overnight from them. This can be a real challenge if they have started to develop a higher lifestyle that depends on those checks coming in every month.

Golden Advice: As you reach higher bonus levels, take the money you earn from your MLM above what you need to survive and invest it into something else. Then, use the income earned from that investment to live on. That way, if your MLM disappears, you will not have to sell everything to survive because you are already living within your means.

More MLM Company Evaluation Factors

In Secret #10, I discussed compensation plans and how you get paid, which is important. In this blog post, I’ll discuss other factors which are also important to think about when evaluating MLM companies:

  • Product Breadth and Demand
  • Founder Experience and Agenda
  • Training Tools and Systems
  • Motivation of Upline Leaders
  • Personal Fit to Company Culture

Product Breadth and Demand

This is a critical cornerstone of the long-term survivability of a network marketing company. If you want customers to keep coming back to you for more, then products must be:

  • Uniquely available from your company
  • Effective to solve a customer problem
  • Priced fairly
  • Have a no-hassle return policy

In addition, if distributors are required to buy them to earn bonuses, there must be a nice variety of products or they will start piling up in the garage, just so the distributor gets paid. One can only drink so much juice, eat so many vitamin pills, or use so much soap. You get the picture.

I am still finding soap in my bathroom cabinet from one MLM over 25 years ago. Great soap, but seriously, how much does a person need?

The most important thing is that the customers must like your MLM company products enough to buy them regardless of the “MLM money-making” opportunity that encourages distributors to buy them to earn their bonuses.

Founder Experience and Agenda

The reason your MLM company exists should be clear from the founder’s mission statement. Did they start the company to change the world… or add to their wallet?

MLMs come and go each year and many founders are serial MLM company starters.  They really don’t care about the products, tools, training, etc.  Their focus is to make as much money as they can before the company goes out of business.

You’ll recognize some of the signs like hiring famous sports figures or celebrities to push the products, wearing expensive watches, driving fancy cars, and doing massive presentations, like Hollywood events.  Everyone jumps in for a chance to meet this cool person and gets sucked into the hype, not even caring what the products are. Flashing red lights for these MLMs! These companies would be lucky to last 5 years. Then the owners are off to start another one all over again after they have made their fast money.

On the other hand, if the founders of your company want to change the world and leave a legacy for their kids, not flashing Rolex watches, and driving fancy cars, but are normal “folks” then their company may have a chance. Why? Because they will do everything possible to make sure the company survives in spite of the inevitable ups and downs of the business. They are the ones who will go without pay if they must so that distributors receive their earned bonuses and promised products. They are not full-of-hype salespeople.

In other words, the founders are looking out for you, instead of themselves.  Of course, they want to make money too. That’s why they started a business rather than a charity. But you can tell they are heart-centered people who want YOU to be successful because they know that if you are successful, they will also be over time.

Training Tools and Systems

It is critical to include training tools and systems to help new distributors get started quickly. Without them, the excitement of a new distributor will wane as they become frustrated burning through all their friends. I’m sure you have heard the objections: (also see Secret #7)

  • This is a pyramid scheme
  • It’s too expensive
  • I don’t have time
  • “What did you get hooked into, this time?”

A good company (or at least top distributors) will provide tools like:

  • A web-based back office to track your business
  • Training videos and courses to teach the basics
  • Large group events like conventions to excite and educate
  • Special events for top performers to teach leadership
  • Recognition events for top performers and leaders to motivate them (and their team)
  • Social media tools to make it easier to “spread the word”
  • App-based tools to make it easier to build their business when distributors are mobile

Systems should also be in place to help distributors duplicate their upline. Duplication is the key element for a successful network marketing business. Without it, distributors will more than likely try their own approach without success, burn out, and disappear.

Motivation of Upline Leaders

The distributor who signs you up can greatly influence your business success. If you sign up with a distributor who signed up two days ago from one of their friends who signed up the same night as one of their other friends, chances are they won’t know how to take you under their wing and guide you to your personal success.

On the other hand, if you sign up with an intergalactic diamond who is just cashing $25,000 monthly checks from a business they built 20 years ago, you might also struggle since they may not be very motivated to spend the time required to help you get started properly.

If you sign up with someone who is actively building their business and has achieved perhaps a lower leadership level, then you might be the perfect person to help them reach the next level they are looking to achieve. Expect lots of help from them to quickly build your business!

The team you enroll with can either help or hurt the speed of your business growth. Make sure to ask them questions about their goals. Find out if they are excited you joined their team and how they will help you build quickly. Ask them what tools and systems they duplicate as they build their business. Done properly, you will duplicate their success and you will all grow together, as a team, to the higher ranks and bonuses!

Personal Fit with Company Culture

Even if the products are great, the training is top notch, compensation plan has something for everyone, the founders are in it for the right reason, and your sponsor is amazing, if you don’t resonate with the culture of the company, you’ll lose steam.

For example, if you’re a guy who is afraid to do presentations and your company plan does home parties selling cosmetics, it might not be the best fit. Maybe you are gal who is excited about clothing and the MLM is focused on financial services. Again, maybe not the best fit.

Not to say it is impossible, it is just harder. Remember that I’m the electrical engineer who was selling essential oils. Truly not my first calling, but I had to make money and I knew this was a path that could get me there. So, it IS possible. When you find something that rings true with all the above factors, you will probably have a winner for yourself.

All the Factors Mentioned Must Be Perfect!

As I mentioned at the start of this chapter, all the factors I discussed in this chapter must be checked off and perfect. This seems like a bold statement, so let me explain.

It’s like a relationship with your significant partner. You have hard requirements that must be met, or the relationship will eventually end. Things like honesty, integrity, monogamy, etc. It is true that everyone has different requirements, but you have yours, and if they are violated, the relationship is doomed.

This is also true with MLM businesses. Here are each of the cases:

Example 1: Compensation Plan sucks

  • Compensation plan sucks
  • Product breadth and demand great
  • Founder experience and agenda great
  • Training tools and systems great
  • Motivation of upline leaders great
  • Personal fit to company culture great

All is great except the comp plan. There’s no way to ever make the kind of money you want. Would you stay and work hard to build with this company?

Example 2: Product Breadth and Demand sucks

  • Compensation plan great
  • Product breadth and demand sucks
  • Founder experience and agenda great
  • Training tools and systems great
  • Motivation of upline leaders great
  • Personal Fit to company culture great

All is great except the products suck. Nobody would continue to buy the products. Would you stay there?

Example 3: Founder Experience and Agenda sucks

  • Compensation plan great
  • Product breadth and demand great
  • Founder experience and agenda sucks
  • Training tools and systems great
  • Motivation of upline leaders great
  • Personal fit to company culture great

All is great except the founders are serial MLM starters. They will probably close the company within 3 to 5 years. Would you stay there for long-term passive income?

Example 4: Training Tools and Systems sucks

  • Compensation plan great
  • Product breadth and demand great
  • Founder experience and agenda great
  • Training tools and systems sucks
  • Motivation of upline leaders great
  • Personal fit to company culture great

All is great except the training tools and systems suck. You never learn how to build the business and can’t duplicate to your team. Would you stay there if you are working all the time and don’t make much money?

Example 5: Upline leaders aren’t there for you

  • Compensation plan great
  • Product breadth and demand great
  • Founder experience and agenda great
  • Training tools and systems great
  • Motivation of upline leaders sucks
  • Personal fit to company culture great

All is great except the upline leaders. They’ve made their money and don’t have time to help you succeed or you are on one of their strong legs and they are focused on one of their weaker legs. You never learn how to build the business and can’t duplicate to your team. Would you stay there if you don’t make much money?

Example 6: Personal Fit to Company Culture sucks

  • Compensation plan great
  • Product breadth and demand great
  • Founder experience and agenda great
  • Training tools and systems great
  • Motivation of upline leaders great
  • Personal fit to company culture sucks

All is great except you don’t fit in. You’re a guy who is just not into home parties selling cosmetics and the company uses a home party plan bonus structure. How long would you stick around?

So, It Really Must Be Perfect!

See what I mean about everything having to be perfect. If any of them are missing, then the long-term “relationship” between you and the company will eventually end and your business will die.

So while you are thinking about your perfect MLM company, would you like to review Secret #10 – Understand How You Get Paid or go to Secret #12 What NOT to Do to Build Fast?

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