Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Seriously. What is "Network Marketing"

It's a scam. It's a pyramid scheme. Its overpriced products. It's a "get rich quick" scheme. They just want to sell you a garage full of stuff and cut you lose.The products are usually either bogus or are available somewhere else to the public at the same or lesser prices. The idea is recruiting new people to either buy into the program or else to buy products that are grossly overpriced.

Everyone has an opinion about multi-level marketing (MLM). Are there MLM companies out there guilty of all of the above and more? You bet there are. But there are plenty of dishonest traditional companies out there too. Like any other business or financial venture, you have to do your research before getting involved - whether its an MLM, a franchise, a corporation or a mom and pop sole proprietorship. But that's a topic for another post.

What, really, is a multi-level marketing (or network marketing or direct selling) organization?

Here is my take on it, as someone who has been actively involved in MLM for almost 3 years and from my conversations with many business and marketing professionals.

Network Marketing is a non-traditional method of marketing, selling and distributing a product or service in which the salesforce is paid not only for their own sales, but also for the sales of the network of distributors that they recruit, train and support.

That's it, I think. It is simply a method for selling and distributing a product. Whether or not any particular MLM company represents a real opportunity or gives you a reason to run fast and far is an important, but separate question. One we'll look into in a future post.

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