Practicing MLM Self Defense

Earlier this year, after a brief telephone conversation, I sent a medical colleague an email introducing my network marketing company. During our phone call she never shared with me the fact that she held a negative viewpoint of network marketing and therefore, by default, my company.

Here’s an abbreviated recap of our communication.

How would you have handled this situation?

“Hi Gary. I get the impression this is a multi-level marketing company? In that case I am not interested, thank you, as my knowledge of MLM is that the 3% at the top of the company live off the struggle of the 97% trying to make it and who eventually give up.”

Important: Note in her communication she states ‘as my knowledge’. It appears she has not personally been involved in network marketing but rather has formed an opinion based upon what she has heard from others.

This was my response:

“Hi Doc.

Yes, the company I am associated with is a network marketing company.

Our opinions on MLM differ dramatically. I see it as the ideal business model. I respect your right to your opinion, but I don’t feel it is an accurate one. Please allow me to explain why.

As in life, those who quit (or quit too soon) do not succeed. Those who work hard do. This applies to all business models and all people. When things don’t work out, most are quick to blame the company, the business model, and other people – but somehow never themselves.

I personally work very hard to help the people on my team achieve their goals. If they choose to quit that’s on them – not on me.

The vast majority of people who start any business fail at it within their first year or less, sometimes including franchises which may have been purchased for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. The stats are that 25% of business start ups won’t make it past their first year, and 55% won’t make it past year five (source: Forbes magazine). What does that tell you? In any company or industry, only a small percentage of people rise to the top. For that they are highly rewarded. They get to earn a generous income and enjoy a comfortable life. Why? Because they worked harder and were more dedicated than others in the company. Plus, they were probably receptive to receiving advice from others and remained teachable throughout their journey.

Please don’t allow your impression of an entire industry to be jaded because someone who likely failed at it (or was improperly mentored) told you it doesn’t work.

Consider this: how would you feel if a patient who didn’t fully benefit under your care categorically stated to everyone they knew ‘it didn’t work for me, therefore it doesn’t work’. Would not such a blanket statement unfairly malign everyone else who practices our medical art? That would be nothing short of guilt by association.

I’d like to offer to help you better understand the network marketing industry. I’m still very willing to speak with you about my company, if you are interested.”

P.S. I never received a response to my reply, but perhaps my comparative gave her pause for reflection and reminded her that there are always two sides to every story.

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