I've been debating with some IBOs about retail sales to customers. While many IBOs claim to have real customers and to teach retail, the reality seems to paint a different picture. Even an Amway corporate blogger at one time wrote a piece stating that sales to non IBOs were 3.4% of Amway (Quixtar) sales some years back. Apologists will say that many IBOs are actually customers who only buy stuff and do not build the business. While there might be some IBO customers, I highly doubt that the majority of IBOs are paying renewal fees just to buy soap and overpriced vitamins.
I know some groups have their schtick down. They will say they "teach" their IBOs to have sales to about 20 customers which gives them a monthly income and allows them to qualify for a PV bonus. It certainly sounds great, but I would bet that IBOs with 20 actual regular customers are about as common as a founder's diamond. In many groups, the IBOs are taught to "buy from themselves" primarily. Thus the income generated for the diamonds simply comes out of the pockets of their downline IBOs. Sadly, "serious" IBOs often wind up paying their upline (via tool sales) to learn that this sham is a good idea.
I can prove right here that IBOs are not focused on selling products. The focus is on selling the opportunity. How can I prove it? Very simple. Every single time I have seen or heard about the Amway business, there was talk about the economy, inflation, etc. The speaker talks about his easy lifestyle, and how he made it big by capitalizing on an opportunity, the Amway oportunity. Then the 6-4-2 plan or some similar variation is shown to the audience. It is shown as "simple", "reasonable" and "doable". The plan is about making money, typically six figures at the diamond level and a decent income at the platinum level. There is little mention about having to sell products, and little or no mention about the actual products that Amway carries. The hype in the meetings is to sell the opportunity. Sure, after the plan is over, a prospect might be given some samples and such, but the emphasis is still on the business opportunity. The products are usually a side note in the presentation.
While IBOs might talk a good game about selling products, the reality is that many active IBOs have very few actual customers. It is my informed opinion that even the few real customers are often sympathetic friends and family of the IBO, rather then people who are genuinely seeking Amway good and services. I wonder if anyone in Amway has ever "shown the plan" by starting out with product presentations and samples? When you really think about it, unless the business has real customers, all you are doing is exploiting those you sponsor for their personal consumption, which might benefit your business a bit, but won't benefit your downline unless they can dupe others into joining them.
So take a real look at your business. Are you actually selling goods to outside customers are are you engaged in a personal consumption game? My understanding is that an IBO does not qualify for a bonus without sales to actual customers. Are you legit or not?