For the purposes of the article I am defining Multi-level Marketing as any business that has a downline. Meaning members earn a percentage of the earnings of those they recruit.
I currently have family members in MLMs, some friends in MLMs, have been recruited by Primerica and many others, and my wife even sold Stella and Dot for a while. My point in all this is that though I haven’t joined any, I am well acquainted with them.
While I am not going to argue for or against the merits of MLMs, there is one practice that I have witnessed over and over with MLM members that has broken my heart and many others who have been recruited.
If you are in a MLM and fall into this trap, please take this to heart and consider adjusting your recruiting strategy.
Please don’t trade your friendships for your downline
I have had multiple friends who began selling MLM products and because most MLMs encourage you to start by selling to friends and family to build up your network, they came to me with an “opportunity”.
I love chatting about business and could do so for hours with about anyone, but I don’t want to be mislead.
Please don’t ask me to get together because we haven’t hung out in months, when your true intention is to recruit me.
The problem is that when you begin leveraging your relationship with your family and friends to corner them with your “opportunity”, you quickly erode the relationship.
As Warren Buffett has said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
So it is with relationships. All the trust that took years or decades to build can quickly diminish when your friends feel manipulated by you.
Please remember that friends should be straight with each other.
We have been through so much together and I am not giving up on you, so please don’t give up on me because I didn’t join your MLM.
To be clear, I don’t at all have a problem chatting with you about the MLM, but just be honest with me and say that’s why you want to get together.
Just don’t tell me that it is because you miss spending time together.
When all’s said and done I don’t care how amazing the product is.
I don’t care how much money there is to be made.
I don’t care how it is revolutionizing the world.
I just want you to be my friend.
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