Is Multi Level Marketing (MLM) A Legitimate Business Opportunity Or Not?

I will preface the following by stating that I am not an MLM’er but many of my colleagues are, and in the current climate of financial uncertainty it is an option many are looking at.

I have tried to give a simple unbiased opinion of the pro’s and cons of the industry so that you can draw your own conclusions.

Is MLM legitimate?

The recent global recession has not coincidentally corresponded to resurgence in some previously uncool forms of marketing, such as Multi-Level Marketing, Party Plan and Home Based Internet Marketing. Companies such as Amway, Tupperware, Mary Kay Cosmetics and such like are having significant successes in their recent recruitment drives.

Multi-Level Marketing has a stigma attached to it for decades, with polarizing attitudes that have contributed to family tensions and damaged friendships. Some people would be more supportive if you announced that you had joined a new age cult. The legitimacy or otherwise of these direct selling organizations is an issue of both legal and moral standing.

What exactly is Multi-Level Marketing? (MLM)

It is a marketing strategy to sell goods or services through a network of independent distributors.
Income is derived from the sales derived from the network of personally recruited members, usually as a result of personal sales and over-rides on the teams’ volume.

Legal Legitimacy.

Countries have individual laws that define the legality of sales and marketing techniques. There is a Grey area that many companies need to navigate which is regarding the issue of definition.

The biggest compliance issue is that concerning pyramid selling, which is usually considered illegal. Most contemporary MLM companies are able to comply and adhere to local legislation, but often walk a fine line, as interpretations can vary.

Moral Legitimacy.

Prior to the Internet, recruitment was conducted with an almost evangelical zeal, with many organizations using huge motivational rallies and sales techniques that were frowned upon by many non-believers.

Some criticism and stigma has come from the perception that many of the bigger organizations inculcate members by indoctrination. Mass direct marketing to friends relatives and anyone with a pulse, many of whom have no interest in joining often alienates and causes relationship fractures and residual bitterness.

In recent years there has been a quite a shift in credibility and professionalism. Well-respected authors and entrepreneurs have started to endorse MLM. Robert Kiyosaki and Donald Trump are two that come to mind. Internet marketing allows members to strategically attract like-minded people into their network. Training is more streamlined and success is less dependent on the cult of charisma, and perhaps more equitable

Financial Legitimacy.

The compensation plans vary from company to company, and are a tool for soliciting new recruits. The power of compounding numbers can suggest that massive incomes can be earned simply from sponsoring a few people who do the same ad infinitum. Pick a number and double it ten times over and then imagine that number represented your network of distributors, who all sell and consume the companies’ lotions and potions. The lure of over-ride commissions for very little work can attract many naive members, who subsequently depart disillusioned, weeks, months or years later.
Conclusion.

As a vehicle to create passive income there are many benefits to investing the time, energy and money to create a solid passive income. Like most things in life however, there is rarely a free lunch, and those that succeed will be those that combine ambition with a verifiable action plan and under the umbrella of a stable and trustworthy organization.

Direct Mail Advertising – Tips And Tricks to Success

Chances are you’ll probably end up using direct mail marketing to advertise your business. This form of marketing can also be effective but also expensive, especially if you don’t know how to make it work. That said, it’s strongly advised that you know the ins and outs about direct mail marketing before you begin.

Here are some things to remember.

Tips On How To Do Direct Mail Advertising

  • Usually, it takes around three to five pieces of direct mail to be sent before you can get a response from clients. Sometimes it even needs more mailing. To be able to get a higher response rate you should have a good list of clients that have a track record of buying products in your industry or whom you know have and existing interest on your products.
  • One tip in order to get a highly targeted direct mail advertising lists is to rent from a reputable broker and the list should have common elements like industry, occupation, location, etc..
  • When you already have a highly targeted list, start making your advertisement. See to it that the headline that you will use will hit the interest of your targeted clients. If you have good copy and a good headline, possibilities of getting 3% to 5% response rate will be achieved from a standard response rate of 1%.
  • Before you send your mail advertisement, do a poll or research to check on the things that are really appealing to your recipients. When you’re doing this the first time, this will be a trial and error process, but soon you’ll finally find out what your target audience would be most interested in.
  • In direct mail advertising it is recommended to use postcards rather than letters. With postcards you can send them easier, you will have the pleasure to writing less, you will also save money on printing. Postcards postage charges are also cheaper than letters so you can send them more often.
  • You should set up a tracking system for you to measure your response rate and to know every single inquiry on the mailer. With this system you will be able to determine whether the inquiries are coming from the first piece of mail advertisement, second piece, so on and so forth.
  • There should be a two-step sales process involved. This is by getting them first to ask questions by making an inquiry and from there, you should take over and drive them to close the sale.
  • Make sure that your direct mail advertisement is date sensitive. This means that you have to make your prospects to respond as soon as possible. Using promos with specific dates or discount coupons with expiry dates are some ways you can make them respond immediately.
  • Start the mail advertisement with just 500-1000 piece in order to give you a feel of the whole process. With this sample, you will know if there are things that need changes like your advertising copy or the list itself. If you are now happy with your response rate, go for bigger investment and more copies should be sent.

Direct mail advertising is an effective tool that you can use for advertising your products. You just have to learn how to maximize your returns and be smart enough in dealing with any issues that arise. By using the tips mentioned above, you’ll be better equipped to get the results you’re after.

Direct Sales Recruiting: 7 Tips For Turning a Cold Prospect Into a Hot One

Create a positive mental attitude before you get on the phone or meet with your prospect in person. Always be prepared and professional but warm and engaging. Selling is just one aspect of direct selling.

Recruiting and building a large team of direct sellers is the way to earn a residual income in direct sales. Effective recruiting requires understanding human psychology. You’re a matchmaker – matching your prospect with your opportunity.

Start by asking questions and forming a connection first. Find out what your prospect is looking for. What is the gap where she is now and where she wants to be?

There are many reasons why your prospect wants to start a business. From earning more money, to staying home to raise her children, or having a more flexible schedule… you won’t know unless you ask and listen carefully.

Share stories instead of selling. Tell your prospect how the extra money you’re earning have made a difference in your life. Maybe it has allowed you to quit your job, have more time with your family, or more money to splurge on dinners and vacations.

By sharing your success story, it’s a powerful way to connect with your prospect and appeal to her emotions. Your story will inspire her to move from where she’s at to where she wants to be. You want your prospect to think if she can do it, so can I. Your goal is to help her make a decision that is right for her.

Don’t talk about your products or company right away. Recruiting is about forming a connection and building the like and trust factor. Have your company brochures available and send her home with those. In this internet era, chances are your prospect would have already looked at your company info online before meeting with you in person.

At the end of the recruiting process, whatever your prospect’s decision is, always be gracious and never make your prospect feel bad about not joining your business. Ask to stay in touch by email and who knows, maybe she will be interested in the future. But make a bad impression and you’ll never get another chance.

Remember: selling and recruiting is never about you. It’s always about your prospect. Your prospect is making a decision that’s best for her and not for you.

Do your best to leave your ego out of the conversation which will help you to stay calm during the process. This will actually put you in a better light instead of being defensive and making a case if there’s an objection to the business opportunity.

Selling directly never works because no one likes to be sold to. When it comes to recruiting, provide enough information to help your prospect make a decision.

To get more recruiting tips and start attracting the right prospects to your business – be sure to get my FREE tips.