The HUGE problem with all of this response

Long laundry list of problems actually is that you are responding as if you were HIRED to be an EMPLOYEE.
That is totally wrong. No, the you are not hired. You an independent contractor….that is the big LIE of MLM haters – that you are an employee that is hired and therefore you deserve some kind of ‘favors’ as it were.

And for the record. NO, this was not a sales pitch and NO I am not talking about training materials at all. But rather the right people to learn from that are doing it correctly. It’s a paradigm shift.

You guys are so set that this is a ‘sales pitch’ and that I am PRO-MLM that you are only twisting around my words and coming to your own conclusions that fit you way of thinking. Thanks for that. Maybe you should try asking instead of assuming….and we all know what assuming does, right?

As I said, I’m not trying to be cold or unfeeling

I’ve seen a lot of problems like this, including dealing with an alcoholic in my own family who didn’t “wake up” until literally waking up one morning in a psych ward in an area of town she thought was the local ghetto (actually, it has some nice houses there, including some pre-Civil War historical sites that I managed as a landlord at one point and it’s also not far from St. John’s Church where some guy gave some speech about liberty or death). The key point was waking up in a perceived ghetto and realizing she was being treated like everyone else in the ward.

The sad truth is people in addictive situations or who are in some form of denial, as is the case with your son, just have to hit bottom before they change. Bottom is different things for different people. For my relative, it was waking up in what she thought was the ghetto. The more trouble your son has financially while in QS, the faster he’ll be likely to hit bottom. If he has to come back to you, then he’s ready to listen to you. Just don’t take an “I told you so” attitude and use questions to get him to realize what’s going on instead of telling him.

For example, if he loses his apartment, ask, “But what about your friends? You’ve told me that they’re completely behind you. Don’t they believe in you and QS enough to let you rent from them for the time it’ll take before you can afford your own place?

An excellent point

There are many of us here who say all MLMs are bad, some think a few are okay, like Pampered Chef or maybe Avon (and I do know some here who have sent me links about bad situations in Avon), or maybe one or two others. Deb, who is someone I know I respect and whom many of us do respect and hold in high regard, has told us often about her Grandfather and how he was in Amway when the recruiting point was that if you could sell some of the products, you could earn a few extra bucks a month. It wasn’t about getting rich, but about adding something to your income. At one time Amway was actually a functional MLM.

The point is that there are people here of broad opinions, but the email from iam_tam was definitely one-sided. I know the author (is Tam a man or woman?) thinks his/her point of view is balanced, but it isn’t.
There were many comments and thought patterns in that email that are a dead give-away about the author’s point of view. It’s an example of denial. “You guys are one sided because you don’t like what I say,” but the truth is that Tam’s email is quite one sided and I would hope Tam would pay attention to what has been said in response. I asked others to speak without malice, and I tried to, because my hope would be that this person, who has been in MLMs for 20 years but can’t cite any significant success, would read our comments and just possibly consider them and not consider us all “against” him/her.

I hope, but don’t know, if Tam is capable of stepping back and taking a balanced view of this topic.

This is an interesting point that I’ve discussed with friends on this board:

work and work ethic. Dawn, my ex-gf, was scared to death of working in a 9-5 job for over 40 years of her life. In her case, I think a lot of it had to do with lack of self confidence and the feeling that she would never be able to get a good job that she’d enjoy. I notice a dichotomy with MLMs (okay, I notice many dichotomies in MLMs, but this is one in particular) where they talk about how willing they are to work hard, but on the flip side, these same drones talk about how they’re doing it so they won’t have to work any more.

It’s as if a good work ethic is repulsive to them and their entire point, as drones, is to reach a point where they don’t have to work. It’s an odd work-is-bad-but-my-work-is-good attitude.

Honestly, what is so bad about working in a nine-to-fiver if you have the skill of finding a job that you enjoy? What is so bad about doing some hard work? It’s as if work is a bad thing. I cringe when I meet people who have that attitude.

My final question is to ask WHY you are here

You’ve read the blog description and new member rules…you KNOW why WE are here. Why then did YOU seek this blog out to defend MLMs?

Its been mentioned before at pro MLM posts, that what you are doing is similar to attending AA meetings to convince the folks there that they have it all wrong and that alcohol is really not so bad for them if they do it the right way. Or the same as attending a PETA meeting to extol the virtues of meat.

I’m just wondering why there is always that assumption that anyone against MLM’s

isn’t prepared to work hard? Just my interpretation of the comments made. Actually, I KNOW why – it is SOP for distributors to promote that old “anyone who fails at MLMs, just didn’t work hard enough, think positively enough, didn’t want it bad enough”, etc.. As if we all haven’t heard it a thousand and one times before.

Honestly, its so very typical of drone behavior – those that have been assimilated, that there’s NO way the term “neutral” can come into play..

Actually, it is accurate, unless of course you don’t want to be confused with the facts. And don’t be mislead by the statistics put out by most MLM companies. You need to look at the fine print as it is stated that the commissions paid numbers do NOT include ANYONE who has dropped out.
Kinda skews the numbers, ey?

As others have pointed out, completely false. And even if it were true, its still a MUCH higher success rate than MLMs.

Oh please.

So all those that fail at MLM are either A) not business saavy enough or B) have work ethic issues and expect hand outs? If you had spent any REAL time on this list, you would know that quite a number of people here were successful at MLMs and WALKED AWAY (some from 6 figure incomes) once they learned the truth about how MLMs work.

One truth is that MLMs can not work without that 98+% failure rate. MLM commissions are paid from those loyal drones who buy product monthly and do not receive any commission. These MLM “failures” are needed to make the commission structure work. Without them, MLMs would fail. If even 20% were successful, my guess is that the industry would crumble.

I would love for someone more saavy with numbers than I, to do a statistical study/projection on it.

I’m sure whatever new stuff that’s going on there

I’ll find out about this week. My “upline” is at Winter Conference this weekend. They always come back and tell me how much and what I missed. You know I can’t avoid them because I work my day job with them. I’ll let you all know if I hear anything. Now for the lowering of prices… there are a few things I found out about like the ladies skin care that they changed and supposedly lowered prices on. Their thought pattern was to really make that more competitive with the other brands out there… I personally wonder if this whole thing is hanging on by a thin thread. So many people are starting to jump ship. But I’m sure those big pins at the conference will reinforce everyone to “just listen to your upline, they know what’s best for you.” Wonder how long that will work..

By this logic

if I work in an electronics store and sell, say, GPS units, I am only qualified to sell the brand that I use, not the one that might be best suited for each particular customer I encounter?

I cannot have used or tried them all. It’s not possible for one store to stock them all. However, I should have studied the specifications and reviews of those that I sell, and I should be aware of how they compare to one another. That will be sufficient.

The problem with many MLMs is that they only deal in one product line that provides any sort of profit margin for the IBO. Any others they carry often have very little profit associated with them and virtually no credit toward business volume. So the best you, as an IBO, can hope for is a decent price at the “discounted” IBO cost.

But then you aren’t really selling anything, are you? You can’t generate a profit if you only sell to yourself.

I just had a talk with my mom today

She was originally in the True North leg of AmQuix. Now it appears all the higher ups are bailing on Quixtar/Amway. Their new thing, according to Mark Crawford, their leader, is going to be strictly promoting and selling leadership materials, books and cd’s. Now they are not even going to try to hide behind Amway to sell their garbage. The funniest part was hearing how her upline diamonds were soooo mad that quixtar was going back to Amway without consulting the ibo’s and the fact that quixtar was not interested in lowering prices so that distributors could sell the product, as it is overpriced and always has been. It’s almost like they are not business owners but are merely employees without any say in what happens in their business. That is a direct quote BTW. Any one else hear what is happening.

RUN AWAY, QUICKLY BEFORE THE MLM FAIRY TURNS YOU INTO AN MLM DRONE/PUMPKIN

All kidding aside, stay away from these clowns because if there is no retailing, I believe it is illegal and not only that, if 40.00 per person is the base of their model, how many thousands of people do you have to recruit to make any money. Smells like fish left out for two weeks. Phew 🙂

Its not really that complicated

I am going to be courteous because Hal suggested we should be 🙂 Since all you good MLMers insist on comparing MLMs to traditional businesses, let me just say – In traditional “brick and mortar” operations the money always flows into the organization from outside – ALWAYS! More of this money goes to the top, but it does trickle down in a pre-negotiated fashion.

In MLM, the money always flows from the bottom of the pyramid to the top – ALWAYS! You HAVE TO do your bit to participate. There is very little (if any) money coming in from outside. Most of the revenue comes from the distributors (The churn at the bottom is by design). The model is DESIGNED to make 99% fail (They are just temporary customers –
tricked into thinking it will lead to enormous wealth). Also, the idea that purchasing product for personal use somehow constitutes an “investment” is ludicrous to say the least.

Thats all I have the patience for ;). Hats off to Hal for de-constructing your arguments with more patience than I can muster.

I hate this analogy and would like to respond to it

When a person is hired at a company they are not expected to go out and find as many employees as they can and hire them. The company just hired a new engineer and he has not been asked to hire a bunch of engineers to come in and find even more engineers. We just needed one because that is all the work there is to be done. MLM’s need you to recruit as many people as possible even if the market is saturated. That right there makes no sense what so ever.

Now when it comes to franchising. McD’s and others do not have another one right across the street. There are territories, and if the market can handle it you will see another one a mile or 2 away.

No problem PW, thank you

Thanks Hal for all your suggestions and everyone. It’s alot of info to go thru, but I got it. I had my hair dresser and my contractor on my case about the arbonne mlm to,lol. No one led up on me:) So everyone helped out, even people I didn’t expect.

I will call my friend who still goes to that spa so she can give them the ideas. The spa is in a plaza type situation so I am sure they have rent a cops. The funny thing is the spa has plenty of their own retail products to boot and that doesn’t fade the arbonne lady. Amazing.

The only thing I can see why beauty mlm’s popped up is that there is a gap in my industry where lots of skin care lines make you buy in bulk with an average of $500 minimum in products, or have a 1 product only spa which limits your clientele in my opinion. However, with so much on the Internet today, we can buy stuff wherever we want. I added the numbers up and an mlmer’s dream via arbonne eventually was to get $500 out of one person. So it never added up being a savings at all, as they said, it would be since most spa beauty lines make you pay $500 right off the bat.

You are, IMHO, totally correct

In fact I think there is one more step to this. People who were the most involved, worked the hardest put themselves and their families through unbelievable stress may well come out of it suffering from PTSD. One of the things we have learned on the list I run for ex members of Scientology’s inner “core” is that a lot of us ran into PTSD without ever realizing what it was until much later.

If you have the camcorder display the date and time, that’ll help

After a few days, someone can take the tapes and edit them to show her arriving each morning and staying all day. You can also include snips of her approaching people. It’d be great if she says the same thing over and over. Then you include a montage of her saying it to a number of different people. Set up a monitor on some surface and when this woman starts her pitch to someone, play the tape (or DVD). It’ll speak for itself.

That’s a bit complex, so they may not want to do that, but the advantage of taping her is that this is a public place so she has no expectation of privacy and no grounds for complaint if she is taped. Playing a tape provides an objective display of her performance.

On the other end, if they can keep someone in the waiting room where she stays so when she starts her speech to a customer, they can recite it along with her. Or, for a week or so, you can make sure she’s watched and when she starts approaching people, an employee can say, “I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but this woman is part of a multi-level marketing system, sometimes called a pyramid scheme. We invite all the public in, so we can’t kick her out, but she solicits all our customers with payday loans no credit check and tries to get them to buy her products, which we’ve tested and compared to ours and found them to be inferior. She also tries to recruit people. You’re free to do what you wish, but we apologize for her soliciting you. We are powerless to stop her.”

The trick is to keep the wording non-aggressive and to not say anything that she could consider slander or libel.

Or you might do a search on the web, find valid articles and statements about Arbonne, copy the appropriate text of them and put them together in a flier, including links to the cited articles, and give that flier to each person she solicits along with appropriate comments.

Or post a sign saying, “We do not allow solicitation of our customers but are limited legally in how we can enforce that. We have had some people try to repeatedly convince our customers to buy products from a multi-level marketing company or to try to recruit people to join it.
We ask her to leave every day when she comes in, but she refuses. She has said she is successful in this project, yet she spends all day sitting here, waiting to solicit our customers.” I would think if the behavior is documented, either by employees logging when she arrives and when she talks with customers and when she leaves, or on video, even if she claimed libel or slander, then the spa would be able to prove her wrong.

That’s a number of possible ideas. I think I’d start with trying to make sure someone was always watching the waiting room who would interpose themselves whenever she started her pitch, and say something short like, “Mrs. Smith, we have a no solicitation policy, as posted on this sign. I’m going to have to ask you again, as I did when you came in this morning, and as I have every day this past week to please stop soliciting our customers. Please leave this customer alone and leave our shop, as we’ve asked you to do many times.”

This may not discourage her, but it will likely kill any chance of success when she talks with the customer. You can also try something longer like, “Excuse me, but this woman has been here since 9 am this morning and arrives at 9 am every morning and stays until we close.
We’ve asked her to not solicit our customers to buy her products or join her multi-level marketing plan, yet she comes back everyday and does this. We’ve compared our products to hers and found our prices better and our product better, yet she claims otherwise. She spends all her days here, at least 8 hours a day, yet has not been able to gain enough customers to so she can spend her time otherwise. We’ve asked her to leave, but she refuses, so we apologize for any inconvenience she causes.”

Another point is that if she is interfering with how they conduct business or reducing repeat business, then they can take legal action.
A spa is a place for relaxation. If she is interfering with the atmosphere they create, she is interfering with the business.

Is it possible to reconfigure the waiting room or to have some type of gatekeeper for a while? When someone comes in, have the gatekeeper, which could be any employee, ask them when their appointment is, then admit them to the waiting room. That way those without an appointment or who are not meeting someone with an appointment are not admitted.
If they’re in the mall, a simple podium just outside the door with a chair for a person to stay may do. Otherwise, if you can somehow put up a barricade so real customers wait on one side and she’s blocked out, that would work.

Some of these ideas are creative, some far out, some kind of kooky, but it seems to me that if the shop had truly wanted her out, they would have either talked to a lawyer or the local police or mall security or someone to see what they can do. If it comes down to the point that they have but she can’t be removed unless she’s committing a crime, then they should be ready to counter her sales pitch even as she just starts it. It’ll take extra time and effort on the part of the employees (or perhaps one employee has a relative who can come in for a week to help them out with this), but if it’s done consistently so this woman knows she’s going to be blocked, eventually she’ll get frustrated.

Remember, she’s not leaving because it’s easy now. She really believes Arbonne will make her rich. She’s studied the situation and thinks the best way to recruit is to stay there and pitch to everyone that comes in. At this point, she believes that all she has to do is come in every day and sit and catch a few victims and she’ll be rich. She doesn’t want to leave because then she has to work to find prospects.
She will resist them unless she’s forced to leave because she thinks all she has to do is go and sit there each day and wait and soon she’ll be rich. If she leaves there, then she will have to actually work to find prospects.

I wish you lived in this area. I’d be more than willing to try a few subtle ideas I have and get rid of her for them just for the experience.

Is the spa taking suggestions?

It doesn’t sound like the are.

First, this woman is a great example to use. When she sits there all day, she’s claiming to be successful, but spends all day in the spa doing nothing but waiting. Do others want to do that? Is that what a successful person does?

I used to do market surveys. Some stores got ticked off because I’d go in with a clipboard and record prices, but (at least in VA) the point was that they were inviting the public into their store and couldn’t invite just some of the public. I heard about that coming to a court case somewhere. A chain store found the manager of a competing small store in one section, writing down prices and kicked him out. I don’t know how many times that happened, but he sued to be allowed in and won. Half an hour after the court case ended, he was back in there, with his clipboard, writing down their prices.

I would think they could post “No soliciting” notices and make it clear that their policy prohibits soliciting their customers to sell products or services or memberships or business opportunities. They can include that wording in a smaller lettering on the sign. If they’re part of a mall or strip mall that has any security people, they can find out if they can escort a person off their premises for violating store policy.
If so, then they should have the rent-a-cops escort her out. She may make a scene, but if she’s escorted out every time she shows up, she’ll give up sooner or later. If she does make a scene or refuse to be escorted, she’s doing herself in because that’s the perfect chance to call the police. Especially if she causes a disturbance.

If they aren’t in a location with rent-a-cops, they can rent their own. Call a local agency, preferably one that uses off-duty officers. I’m guessing they’d cost more, but that way they’re getting someone who should know the law. Work out a deal to hire them for a week. Let the woman in. After all, she might be a customer. The first time she approaches someone, he can point out the “No Soliciting” sign and ask her to stop.

They can also check with the police and ask if they can have the police remove a person in the store who is violating their store policies.

There are some more, slightly subversive tactics they can do. They could set up a security camera, which could be any kind of camcorder set up in a hidden location. Tape can be expensive, so what I’ve done is connect the camcorder output to a regular VCR, put in a extra length tape (some do 8 hours in the slow mode), and record on the VCR tape instead of the camcorder tape. Or you can use shorter tapes for better quality, since VCR tapes are cheap and it’ll be easier to get to the VCR to change a tape than to a hidden camcorder.

All you pro-MLM lurkers:

Please read this quote five times. And then read it five MORE times. It’s extraordinary, and precisely on the mark.

We care. The members here may vary in method and tone, but the goal is the same. And this quote is the key – to what we’re after and to what it will probably feel like to you.

We’re on your side, but you have to give something up in order to realize it. That’s what Janine did, and that’s how she realized we care.

Thanks, Lucya, for what you’ve given to everyone here.

I knew you had to bring up the Star Trek analogy sometime soon, lol

That’s okay my husband who is also a techie said that a “drone” was a good word. Randy saw me headed in that direction and he was starting to get on my nerves and I realized he was trying to bring me back from drone ville now. I am not mad at him any more for doing what he did. He was saving me. I had half my family on my case. Even the ones I thought didn’t care. So just goes to show you how you can connect with people on different levels once you find out what they are concerned about. I used to think this group was a bit on the rough side, but I realized they where trying to get thru to me so I do not have any hard feelings.

Btw, my former arbonne upline is still trying to sell arbonne at a spa where she said she quit doing massage a year ago. She sits and waits in the reception area waiting for people to give a demo to. The spa doesn’t want her there and they have asked her to leave many times. The deal was once she left, arbonne left to. That just goes to show you how brain washed mlm’s can get you. I think they should send the cops over and kick her ass out and put a restraining order on this woman. She was already out of it before she joined arbonne. This woman needs meds and some serious help. People are just feeling sorry for her.
Any suggestions for the spa?

The use of drone is quite intentional

As I mentioned in a previous post, I won’t be using the names I love to use for these companies (like Quackstar or Scamway) and instead use rather easily understood abbreviations (like QS or QX for the former and AW for the latter) because a point comes across much better if you’re not using weird names. I do tend to still use terms like upslime and drones when appropriate. Upslime fits if you’re describing certain types of people and drone is often appropriate.

I never used the term drone much until the Borg showed up on Star Trek:
The Next Generation. It wasn’t long after that I got a call from the head of a writer’s agency saying that one of the exec producers at Trek had read and loved a spec script I sent in. Unfortunately, it paralleled some stories they had in development. (It was about the Captain’s half-Romulan daughter and they were doing a story about a dead crew members half-Romulan daughter.) I did get invited to pitch stories to them and that only ended when they shut the door on all freelance writers. I had a few stories that tangentially involved the Borg, so I had to do a lot of thinking about them.

For those who haven’t seen the show, the Borg are cyborgs: mostly human (or some kind of alien) but with so many computer implants in them that there is no individual thought. The Borg is a collective and if one member comes at you and you kill them, the next one, without any fear and especially without any independent thought, will turn and come after you as well. Eventually you’ll be overwhelmed by them since killing one doesn’t stop the others. These people that have been “Borged” are controlled by the hive Queen (or whatever Borg controls that ship), so they don’t think. They do exactly what they are told. Their thoughts are those of the collective. If they are separated, they do not know how to behave and their first thought is to return to the collective.

To me, that’s a perfect description of a blog members. They are drones and I realized that as I watched my then-girlfriend who was literally a genius learn their ways and forget how to think independently.

And for any blog members reading this who say that’s not true, who decides what is on sale? Who decides what your business plan should be? Who tells you how to present your plan? Who tells you how to recruit? Who tells you how to sell? What decisions do you make? Can you decide to go or not to go to an event? If you decide not to go, will they put pressure on you to go? (If you think they won’t, then decide not to go to one just to test it out and don’t go — see what kind of support you get then. If you think I’m wrong, prove it!) Do you decide what products your business will carry or are you told? What actual independent choices do you make where you are not actually following your upline?

Yes, that’s why I call blog members drones. Wake up and smell the freedom of independent thought!

My son, who is clinically depressed

Will not take his meds, his $75 a month vitamins are good enough and OCD, has become increasingly more anxious over the time he has been involved in Quixtar. Interestingly, Hal, you use the term “drones” a lot. My son is becoming more and more drone-like. I see him shutting down emotionally. I believe this is his sub-conscious defense for the depression and anxiousness. And also a product of the brain-washing. He used to be a empathetic person, unusually so for his age. I can’t find a drop of that in him anymore.

Don’t know about the specific symptoms you mention

but I believe my AmQuix sister has in the past suffered from severe cognitive dissonance, which must have caused her great stress. Apparently she used to get stomachaches before coming to visit the rest of the family. While with us, she would be REALLY tense, I believe because she was supposed to espouse religious/political/business beliefs that are quite different from how we were raised.

I also have beliefs that differ significantly from my parents, but I came to them on my own, so I feel quite comfortable with them. My sister, on the other hand, has been told to believe these things that I think go against who she really is. Because of this inner turmoil, she has in the past gotten really upset when she feels we are challenging those beliefs. We’ve had to be careful to avoid going anywhere near religious/political/business topics in her presence.

Things seem to be improving, though. At our last family get-together, everything seemed fine. The event only lasted a few hours, but it was a good start. There are signs that she is getting out of the business, though her husband is still half-heartedly in.

I was discussing something with another blog members and thought I’d bring it up here

In MLMs there is, as we know, a high level of denial, but there is also a high level of stress. Put the two together and there’s literally a high level of hidden stress. MLM drones are in an MLM, doing what they’re told and feel they should be making a lot of money but aren’t.
At the same time they’re supposed to act like they’re doing well and, as just mentioned, they aren’t.

This hiding the stress and saying one thing will experiencing another can cause a high level of stress, which is not good for a person’s body.

Has anyone noticed many signs of stress in MLM members they know? Any need for more sleep, depression (which they’ll try to mask), or unexplained and chronic aches or pains or a higher than normal occurrence sicknesses?

Just curious about this, but if there are any patterns it might be interesting to see what comes up.