Monday, February 2, 2015

You Amway Upline Is Just A Salesman?

When I saw the Amway plan, it made perfect sense at the time, because the diamond who made the presentation made everything seem sensible. Make money and/or save money. On the surface, you would have to be nuts to not want to make or save some money. But it is the reality that is the problem. The reality is for business building IBOs is financial damage or financial disaster from the ongoing costs of the system expenses. I saw crosslines go bankrupt and more than one couple lost their homes to foreclosure by "doing whatever it takes" to get to the next function.

Our group (WWDB) edified people who bought extraordinary amounts of extra tapes/cds, extra function tickets and made superhuman efforts to get to functions. Looking back, I remember an IBO who was edified for coming all the way to a family reunion function in Portland Oregon when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The speaker said he could have been miserable spending time at home but here he was making a difference in people's lives. WTF? I wrote a post earlier this month about how IBOs think they are saving the world and helping people when in reality, the masses of IBOs are only "helping" their diamonds to attain material wealth by purchasing function tickets, voicemail, standing orders and other materials.

I would agree that some training and information can be helpful for new IBOs but I do not see any value in a neverending supply of cds and and endless number of meetings and functions. The very thing (support materials) that uplines claim is your key to success is the very thing that nearly guarantees business building IBOs to financial struggles. Our upline wanted IBOs to be out of debt, which is good, but they would also say in the same breath that it was okay to go into hock if it was to attend functions or to purchase additional support materials. WTH? Sadly, many IBOs do not see through this self serving advice.

Most people, including myself are very wary when we deal with car salesmen. We are wary because we know that the salesman is out to make money off of us and will try to sell us every option in the book. Thus we negotiate and reject the car options that we don't really need to or. Guess what? Your uplines are like car salesmen except that they sell you different options such as premier club, standing order, book of the month, function tickets, voicemail, open meeting tickets. Just like a car buying customer, taking all the options maximizes the car salesman's commission and the car dealer's profit. Buying all the support materials increases your upline's profits. Imagine the car saleman telling you that the extended warranty was vital to owning the car. You'd think twice about it, yet uplines will tell you that functions are vital to your Amway business and many IBOs buy it hook line and sinker. I hope this analogy will encourage IBOs to think of support materials as options on the car. You don't need any options to make the car work. Just as you don't really need support materials to buy and sell Amway products, and to get some downline to do the same.

We are wary of car salesmen. In my opinion, downline and prospects should be just as wary of uplines who promote tools as "vital" to your success in Amway. Keep in mind that a sponsor is obligated to help train any downline, regardless of whether they are on the system or not.


Anonymous said...

Joe, I like your blog. I was taken in years ago by a different MLM scam. Different name, different "product" but the same methodology. Once you get suckered in you quickly realize the overpriced product doesn't sell retail (thousands of distributors with their garages full of boxes of product they cannot sell doesn't count). The product HAS to be overpriced because layers of upline commission are added to the cost of the product without adding to the worth of the product. I know I probably can't help convince anybody to cut their losses who is currently under that mind control spell but I hope I might save someone else who is now being or may be "prospected". Look at the cars they drive. True, some might drive nice cars but virtually all of them bought that car with income not from the MLM they are hustling for. Ask them how much money they are making NET. RIGHT NOW. Not how much product they've moved, bonuses they've gotten or the millions they expect to be making. Warning: they will either lie to you or tap dance the question. Fred Astaire has nothing on these people. To be fair, many of them are nice decent people who have come to actually believe what they are saying. Ask yourself this simple question: "Do I enjoy cold selling to strangers?" Because that is what you will be doing after you have tried prospecting your friends. If you survive your MLM experience you will appreciate those who are still your friends. Trust me.
I finally busted out after I just couldn't afford it anymore. I then got a job, learned a trade and today live in a nice house on a hill in a fairly affluent neighborhood. And I didn't have to screw anybody to get here. Shortly after I left I was invited to a class action meeting seeking legal redress. SURPRISE! There I saw some of the same people who had been our "top sales leaders". One of them even had his picture in the monthly magazine we got every month as the "Round Table Top Money Maker". And there he was with the rest of us, trying to get his money back LOL. I still have the magazine today. Finally, I had the sad experience of running into my own direct upline sponsor some months later. He was still trolling for recruits on the streets to desperately try to rescue his own investment in the "business". I still bore a resentment toward him then because he had blatantly lied to me to suck me into buying in so I felt pleasure telling him "Give it up Dave". But then I felt bad when I saw what a broken man he had become. He had quit his job, sold his house, lost his best friend (by luring him into the business, which was another disaster), strained his marriage with his incredibly loyal wife and all but abandoned his kids. He had his old car parked around the corner and was still wearing the same old suit jacket that he always kept meticulously clean because he didn't have two nickels left to rub together to pay to get it dry cleaned. I then realized that he was basically a decent man who just wanted to do better for his family but got in too deep to admit defeat. In my own way I have prayed for that man ever since. MLM can be an insidious business.

Joecool said...

Thanks for the comments. What many people do not realize that Amway and some other MLMs are two businesses. The MLM is one business but for many, the REAL business is in selling tools and functions. They hype the MLM business by showing sports cars and talking about early retirement and then they turn around and tell you the only way to achieve the wealth is to buy the tools and functions. Most people figure it out quickly and get out, but some folks get sucked in for a long long time and lose tens of thousands of dollars and more.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe, me again. I know it's late but yeah, I was being pressured to pay for these ridiculously priced seminars. They start out being nice to you and then turn the screws once they set the hook. MLM is for most a very painful experience once you realize how gullible you were. My longtime friends (God bless them) never mention it to me. Here is an example of how a straight up pyramid works, sans the "product", which is really just a front designed to make the pyramid (barely) legal: Years ago my tax man won $16,000 in a wildly popular pyramid going around. Being a CPA and knowing money and simple math he didn't pay a dime to get into it. He and fifteen others got together, drew lots for their level in the pyramid, and then went looking for suckers to actually pay money to join it. Anybody with average intelligence who takes the time to learn how pyramids work would never join any pyramid that involves paying money upline.

Joecool said...

The diamonds are very clever in how they hook you. They'll make smack talk and get you to agree with small things. For example, we pay too much in taxes. That financial freedom is better than working full time until you turn 60, etc. When a degree of trust is built, then they turn into ruthless businessmen and hard sell the functions and tools. "A real business owner" would be serious and invest in tools. A carpenter can't build a home without a hammer. Of course a carpenter doesn't need to buy a new hammer each week.

Then once you are in and buying tools, it can be hard to quit because you would need to face the reality that you wasted time and money, not to mention the diamonds are teaching you that you only fail if you quit. It's very clever but effective.