Does Network Marketing Work?

Frustrated: Does network marketing work?

Q: Does network marketing work?
A: Rarely.

Most network marketers never create a profit, the vast majority lose money. Don’t expect to hear about the massive numbers who have failed. After all, why would anyone want to know about “the losers”? Instead, expect overexposure to impressive, financial-success stories told by a tiny number of the world’s top, network marketing professionals. Although some of these enticing yarns may be truthful, they don’t always, fully, describe how the individual earned her fortune. Let’s call it the ‘Big Money’ backstory. It can be important:

  • how many years has she/he been in the network marketing profession
  • how long did it take her/him to succeed
  • how many companies
  • is he still paid by former companies
  • did the owners pay him a signing bonus
  • did he bring distributor lists
  • is he getting help from ownership that is not available to all distributors (examples: free leads and/or rags to riches stories in a magazine or online)
  • does he receive ongoing funding from ownership above and beyond the compensation plan
  • does he have unnamed financial backers/investors
  • does he own a telemarketing company
  • does he own an online firm that specializes in social media
  • does he have experience with surreptitious bulk email
  • has he been co-oping ads for decades
  • does he earn income selling motivational, training and marketing tools to distributors?
    The bottom line is, don’t accept ‘Big Money’ stories at face value. Although we all love optimists, it’s almost impossible for a newbie to earn $100,000 per month in the network marketing profession. When was the last time you earned $100,000 a month?

Have you ever wondered why you always hear the same names on opportunity calls? Flimflamery is a skill set most people don’t posses. If you listen to a live, or recorded, opportunity call today, jot down the ‘Big Money’ earner’s names and tuck the note away for later. Then, a year from now, listen to another call, you’ll hear the same names again. If that isn’t the case, it’s probably because the top distributor is now schilling for a different company.

Once upon a time there was an argument about business-building strategy. What’s the best way to earn ‘Big Money’? Do you lead with the product or the opportunity? Every top earner I’ve met admitted that they always led with income potential. Most prospects are looking for a way to make a lot of money in a hurry. Example: A top earner asked, “If you knew for sure that it was possible to earn $100,000 per month and retire in three years, would you be interested in learning more?” These days our laws make it clear that you’re always expected to lead with your product. All company owners proclaim their companies are product sales focused. That said, no one believes the top guys and gals have stopped drawing circles on the board to explain the income earning potential of their compensation plan.

MLM (Multi Level Marketing)/network marketing has been around for about fifty years. For over five decades we have been hearing about an “amazing” way to earn a fortune and yet, we’re still talking about one guy’s, Dexter Yager’s, fortune? Are the income-potential circles drawn on the board credible? If so, decades later, tens of millions of people, worldwide, would be network marketing multi-millionaires. Clearly, that’s not the case. Why is that? Most people run out of money long before they succeed. That plus, in my opinion, many network marketing companies run a con that has a limited shelf life. The beginning is always hopeful. Down the road, it becomes increasingly difficult to find new people. Distributor attrition increases. It becomes obvious the momentum phase of the growth cycle is out of reach; hope fades, even after adding new products and new countries. MLM-junkies search for a new opportunity. Owners, oftentimes, start a new company and begin manufacturing excitement all over again.

It’s going to be interesting to see what happens as network marketing has to be more and more product-sales focused. Network marketing owners and leaders have always waxed lyrical about ‘Big Dreams’. How many people dream about sales? In the old days, top earners would circulate images of their recent cheques/checks. Some company owners made a practice of parading oversized check images on stage at their meetings and conventions. These days using big money as an inducement isn’t just frowned upon, my understanding is, it’s illegal, or soon will be. The FTC might be watching.

What lies ahead? There will be less and less financial inducement. Unfortunately, that forebodes exaggerated, often-ridiculous, life-changing, life-saving product stories. If that happens, will new laws will force the FDA oversee and regulate dietary supplements. Imagine what that would look like. All health claims would have to be scientifically proven. That would mean lengthy, expensive clinical studies. Thousands of products would disappear.

My advice, read ‘Network Marketing Heads Up’ and then explore more reliable ways to earn a steady, extra income. Tip: Your credit card bills will become more manageable the minute you cancel your monthly autoship, product order.