Network Marketing: HYPE or REALITY?

Hype: publicize in an exaggerated and often misleading manner

Many over the years have often wondered from the outside how much substance there really is in network marketing. A few years ago, I dimly remember attending a ‘typical’ MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) Business Opportunity Meeting, I think the company was involved in the long distance deregulation. Lots of energy in the room, dynamic, energetic speakers and all that stuff. The guest speaker was a young guy (in his early twenties) from out of town. He was very much glorified and applauded for his success, and how much money he was making. I remember leaving the meeting that evening, wondering what the meeting had been about. There had been so much energy and noise, they had lost me.

The hype in MLM is real. Too often, distributors or presenters over-exaggerate in the hope of capturing their listeners’ attention, impressing them and winning them over. It is common for numbers to be inflated, for people to make untrue claims of income they are making and for distributors to over-edify a speaker. It happens and it happens pretty regularly. That to me is ‘traditional or old school network marketing’. They have been trained and groomed to be that way. The Ivy League smooth talking speaker, who can sell ice in Alaska even in winter.

Then there’s the other group. Speakers I have come to respect, whose job it is to give their listeners enough information to make a business decision, NOT to convince them. In my journey in this industry, I was groomed by a system that makes listeners or guests feel unthreatened and relaxed, not feel like someone is trying to shove something down their throats. I have realized that people will do business with you if they like you, trust you and see an opportunity in what you have to offer.  ‘Modern-day network marketing leaders’ avoid using pressure tactics of any form.

Folks that are ‘hyped’ and ‘tricked’ into joining an MLM business usually fall out just as quickly (although it is not uncommon for folks who quit to sometimes attribute it to having been tricked into joining even when that wasn’t the case).


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