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Somewhere on the Internet, you’ve likely stumbled across the phrase multi-level marketing (or MLM).
While MLM businesses come in all shapes and sizes, in a nutshell this business model has two guiding elements. First, the product is sold by representatives in exchange for commission. Second, reps are encouraged to recruit others to sell on their behalf.
Beachbody is one famous example, but there’s a huge range of multi-level marketing businesses out there, selling everything from cleaning products to cosmetics.
The appeal of these types of opportunities is probably pretty self-explanatory. You get to be your own boss. No pesky office politics to deal with. It’s all down to you, your determination, and your ability to make a sale.
Does an MLM Work?
But does it work?
Should you think about joining multi-level marketing company like Amway or World Wide Dream Builders or is it just a big white elephant? While there’s no single, clean answer to this question, there are four important questions you’ll need to ask yourself before deciding if joining an MLM will work for you.
Let’s take a wander through each.
Are Your Income Expectations Reasonable?
This really boils down to the age-old wisdom grandfathers like to tell the young’uns: “Never trust a get-rich-quick scheme.”
This is as true (actually maybe even more true) of multi-level money-making as any other business idea you’ll stumble across. You just don’t make money fast through multi-level marketing.
Therefore, if you are thinking of getting out there and selling a product as the quick solution to be swimming in money, joining an MLM won’t work for you.
That said, you absolutely can make money this way. People achieve this all the time and some even build it up into a substantial income.
But to get there, you’ll need to work. It won’t be easy.
Have You Done Your Research?
Still reading? Congratulations! You’ve officially hit possibly the most important point to absorb in deciding if working with an MLM makes sense for you.
Every MLM Is Different
One MLM you look at could be disastrous for you, but another might be a brilliant opportunity. The only way to tell the difference is to do real research into every multi-level opportunity you’re seriously considering.
They will all offer varying rates of commission. Each will have their own unique perks and rewards. And, sadly, many will be built around financial traps for the unwary.
To really grasp if you can make this kind of plan work for you, you need to know things like what your opening outlay will be, how many hours you’re going to need to invest before you begin to see profit, whether you’ll receive training and support and who your target demographic will be.
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The fly in the ointment here is that, for the most part, you’re not going to get a realistic assessment for any of these questions from the MLM site itself.
It just stands to reason. They’re going to give you the rosiest possible view of how much money you can make. That’s all well and good but the reality is going to be not quite so amazing.
There is good news, though. There are sites out there which provide robust, objective analysis of network marketing pros and cons. These sites give you a solid head start in gathering the information you need.
Does MLM Work Suit Your Personality?
It’s one thing to be sure in theory that you can make good money through a particular MLM. But how suited are you to MLM work in temperament? Before taking the leap, it’s probably good to do an honest gut check on a few important touchy feely considerations.
You’ll Need to Be an Extrovert
Multi-level opportunities are about sealing a deal and making a sale. No shrinking violet ever did well working for an MLM enterprise.
You’ll need to be someone who is energized and excited by the challenge of putting yourself way, way out there. You’ll need to meet with prospective customers all the time, finding fresh and fun ways to convince them that what you’re selling is cool.
In short, you’ll probably need to be a classic extrovert type, or at least an introvert who is capable of setting that natural reserve aside while you’re busy making money.
It Will Require Unusual Hours
It sounds brilliant to be rid of those oppressive office working hours, but there’s a downside.
Your best work times are likely to be precisely when everyone with office work is having some down time. We’re talking evenings and weekends.
Now, if you’re a “my vocation is my vacation” kind of person this is not likely to be a deal breaker. If you like your lazy Sunday Netflix binges, though, this could well be a factor to think seriously about.
Your Social Circle Will Become a Business Opportunity
There’s no delicate way of putting this. MLMs work (at least in the early stages) by recruiting friends and family to buy your stuff and sell for you.
You’ll probably soon hit that point of needing to reach out to friends to put the hard word on them.
Can it be done in a fun and easy way? Sure! You can even make a joke out of it. But it doesn’t change the fact that you’ll likely feel some pressure to approach your social circle differently.
If this very idea makes you squirm, that may be a red flag that MLM work isn’t going to fit that well for you.
Do You Truly Believe in the Product?
Even though the point of an MLM is to turn a profit, people tend to do better at that when they’re genuinely passionate about the product.
A big reason for this is that a lot of people out there actively dislike the hard sell, especially by a “salesy” person.
The disarming X factor is if you can exude an indefinable genuineness. And seeming genuine is a lot easier if you actually are genuine!
So before signing on the dotted line, take the time to decide whether you actually care about what the MLM is selling.
If the product makes you shrug, or worse, if you wouldn’t be caught dead using it, you’re probably staring down the barrel of a big mistake.
So, Should You Join an MLM?
Let’s get back to the original question then. Is working for an MLM a good idea?
Well, it depends. If you have reasonable expectations and have dug deep into extensive research, that’s a really good start. And there are those who have made millions from MLM opportunities.
The harder question to ask is whether you have that winning combination of a sales personality combined with genuine, diehard conviction.
If you can sell the product with your gut, heart, and mind all in it for the long haul, there’s a good chance an MLM is going to work for you.