Whether or not people can actually succeed in MLM is just one of those questions that never seems to go away. Let’s take a rational look at why you can make it in this business.
Before we go ahead and pinpoint all of the advantages of MLM, let’s evaluate the usual concepts that many like to contest. Then, let’s see if we can find a contradiction to their arguments. Here we go:
A) Success Percentages
Claim: The Numbers Are Dismal
Some sources quote that less than one percent of MLM distributors succeed. Wow, talk about a frightening number! Not only is this a horrifying statistic, which most people would consider alarmingly troublesome, but you can actually go to a casino and have a 47.37% chance of winning at the game of roulette by simply choosing red or black. But then again, this would be gambling and a game of random chance. Roulette may be fun— and you may even get lucky from time to time— but for obvious reasons, I don’t think you’d want to make a career out of it.
The point here is that your probability of success, in something like betting on either red or black in a game of Roulette, will never change. It will always be 47.37% when playing this system.
It should go without saying that MLM is not gambling, but since we’re talking about statistics and probabilities, a gambling comparison will actually clarify things nicely here.
Contradiction To: The Numbers Are Dismal
First, let’s consider the case of a real estate agent, a life insurance agent, or car salesman. What’s the attrition rate in these professions? Pretty high.
But can you safely make the assumption that the majority of people who enter these professions do so because they have the ambition and desire to earn a substantial income and achieve a high-degree of financial success? Sure, most likely.
Do the majority of these individuals achieve this outcome? No, not really. Well, why not? There can be any number of reasons. However, suffice it to say that entrepreneurialism, knowledge, skill development, applying good habits, activity, and guidance are a handful of key variables leading to the “successful/unsuccessful” outcome.
Now, it begs the question: shouldn’t these other entrepreneurial, low-overhead career paths fall under the same scrutiny as MLM? And why don’t the naysayers criticize corporate leaders for making more money than the their “employees-in-the-trenches” or from financially benefiting from the production of these employees? These two questions have pretty much just nullified any argument that MLM is unfair.
But what about the roulette comparison?
Well, in MLM, you have control. In life insurance sales, you have control. In real estate sales, you have control. In car sales, you have control. In roulette however, you have no control. For all practical purposes, skill is non-existent when playing the spinning wheel.
For arguments sake, let’s entertain the claim of an unlikely 99% failure rate in MLM. Sure, that’s a horrible statistic. But this statistic, even if it were true, would apply on a universal level, addressing the population as a whole that enters the MLM industry. This does not mean that it has to be a 99% failure rate on an individual level.
You’re personal opportunity to succeed is based upon elements that you can control: gaining knowledge, mastering skills, taking action, developing good habits, and finding the right guidance.
Without having these elements on your side, your probability of succeeding would approach zero. With having these elements on your side, you’ve just changed everything. You’ll substantially increase the likelihood of your success. Why? Because you, as an individual, have control in this business.
In real estate sales, life insurance sales, and car sales, you can easily make the argument that success is directly related to knowledge, skill, desire, action, good habits, and guidance received. MLM is no different. The only difference is that MLM gives you unparalleled leverage, which enables you to earn life-long residual income for your efforts.
Why don’t more people succeed in MLM?
While these are not the only reasons, these are three very common ones:
1. New reps are recruited into the business in a misleading way and under false pretenses, leading them to think that MLM requires very little effort or skill development
2. People are recruited into the business by upline sponsors who don’t train them, most likely because of inexperience or pure neglect
3. People were never properly qualified for MLM in the first place but were sponsored anyway
Having made the case for why MLM is fair, especially when compared to other professional career paths, there is frankly some just cause for some of the criticism that gets directed toward the industry. It comes down to the fact that whenever there’s an opportunity for someone to benefit substantially in a financial manner, it’s also going to unfortunately attract a certain amount of unscrupulous and unethical characters as well.
In particular, I’m talking about the “it’s so easy, anybody can do it” mentality and unethical recruiting tactics. The fact of the matter is that this business, just like any other profession, takes skill. Like anything worth achieving, it requires dedication— but, it’s worth it.
Yes, you should use attention-grabbing headlines, persuasive marketing, and a call to action. This is the result of skill development. It should always be done in an honest, truthful manner and never with the intent of being over-promising or hyper-exaggerated.
Claim: There won’t be enough people to market to, or people have already been exposed to your MLM product or opportunity.
Many marketing experts say it takes roughly seven times for someone to be exposed to an advertisement or marketing piece before he/she responds. For example, this means that another distributor from your company could have given a flyer to someone a month ago that ended up in his/her cat’s litter box.
Then, this person could have received a similar flyer from a different distributor in your company two days ago that ended up in a trash can a block down the road. But then today, you could have given this same prospect another similar flyer that caused him/her to turn on the computer, check out your website, and contact you.
What exactly was it that caught this person’s attention this time? Who knows? The bottom line is that circumstances change. Maybe the prospect liked your name. Maybe the prospect liked the color of your shirt. Maybe the prospect liked your personality. Maybe something happened that broke the straw on the camel’s back, causing the prospect to become ready for a change.
The Advantages of MLM
MLM is a fair business and very professional when done right. It’s not about going out and buying every training course being sold to you or stepping on all of the land mines that defy common sense and leave you with empty pockets and shattered hopes.
MLM is the most elegant business model. It’s black and white. It’s precise. It’s a level playing field. There’s zero politics. It doesn’t matter who knows who in the company. If you develop the skills and put them into action, you benefit economically— period.
If you have desire and a willingness to learn, you’ll have a very strong foundation. If you make a commitment to develop and master skills, practice good habits and take consistent action, you will become a professional. And when you become a professional, you’ll succeed in MLM!