Is That A Pyramid Scheme?
Relationship marketing, multi-level marketing, direct-selling, network marketing or whatever you call it gets a bad rap sometimes. One question I have gotten is “Is that one of those pyramid schemes?” Well, actually, as long as there is a product, NO it is not a scheme. So, let’s assume there is a product. There are many network marketing companies that have some great products. But frequently the question is more about the structure of the business payout that can look like a pyramid on paper.
How does that work? As you are building your business you get paid a small piece on all of the business from the people that you bring in who also want to sell the product. So, you sponsor someone who sponsors someone, etc. In my current company we are paid 10 levels deep on that one form of payout. One “leg” can have as many as 12,000 people. Who doesn’t want a small piece of that? And that is where the confusion about the pyramid begins.
When posed with that question I ask about their current company. What is that structure? In almost all cases there is a CEO, President, Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, and a variety of other lower level jobs. “How often does one of the lower level people become the CEO,” I ask. Almost never. Another question I ask is “How do you feel if someone working for you is better than you are? Is that threatening?” Again, almost always the answer is yes! I also ask about their advertising….how much is spent on ad campaigns, TV and print ads, etc.
Those two things make up the biggest difference in a traditional company and relationship marketing. First, in relationship marketing, we are paid to open our mouths and tell people about our product. There is no money paid to outside ad agencies or big celebrities. Next, the power of a good network marketing company is in the duplication and also in looking for and finding people who are better than you are!
I am always looking for people who are connectors, leaders and who are teachable. When I worked in corporate America I always felt a bit threatened. In this industry I love working with people that I have sponsored or who are in my down line who are dynamos. That is the key. That is a gift. In this business it is not about me. It is about empowering a lot of other people and helping them create nice incomes on the side of $1,000 a month up to $10-20,000 a month. And in the process I want to find those gems that really want to take this seriously and create a HUGE income. When they do, I benefit.
Mostly what I love about this industry is that it is truly about teamwork. It is about working with and for my team. It is about creating lasting friendships. It is about helping people dream again. If that is a pyramid scheme, then I am all over it!
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