After years of losing touch you slid into my Facebook DM’s exclaiming: “girl, it’s been way too long” and that you “really want to catch up.” You asked about my family and work life and I was excited to meet you for lunch.
Half way through chatting, you dropped the bomb. Your life has become so much better since you started selling [blank] and you brought me some samples to try because you think I’d love the product and be an amazing addition to your team.
As soon as it slipped out of your mouth my stomach dropped. I didn’t realize you had an ulterior motive when you wanted to catch up. I wanted to tell you I wasn’t interested but couldn’t think of a polite way so I accepted your samples. I tried to wrap up your pre-meditated sales pitch up and get out of there as tactfully as possible.
While we hugged goodbye I said a simple “I’m sorry, I’ll try the product, but I have a lot on my plate right now.” In all honesty, I felt used.
We had exchanged phone numbers and now you were texting me every few days. Finally after a few weeks my husband told me it was time to be blunt. The sugar-coated rejections weren’t working.
Guess what happened the second I said I wouldn’t ever be interested in joining her team? She told me it was no problem and we should meet for a coffee the week after. I’ve never heard from her again.
I’ve been stopped by a stranger while grocery shopping with my son and they started up a conversation just to end with their sales pitch. They HAD to talk to me because they could “sense my energy” and that I’d be the perfect fit they were looking for. This has now happened a few times in different scenarios and my big question is, does this honestly feel sincere to either of us?
I’ve personally purchased products from MLM companies and there have been multiple times that before I’ve received my order or tried the product I’ve been asked to join the company and become a sales rep. How does that make any sense? I respect a hustle but I can clearly see you’re luring me on false pretenses for your personal gain. I would never want to recommend a product I’ve never used. Ugh.
A friend and I were recently having this very discussion. She’s struggled on and off with her weight (especially after having kids) and out of the blue had an old acquaintance reach out. They were selling a diet drink that’s helped them lose weight and thought it may help her too. Um, excuse me? That is so offensive. Did you really just try to jump in and “help” by taking what you presumed would be her insecurity and try to turn it into a business opportunity? She’s never talked about her weight publicly and felt embarrassed and hurt. This leads to the problem.
I have friends that work in MLM and even a few that are high up and KILLING it doing their boss babe thing. I don’t hate MLM sales at all. I’ve purchased from Partylite, Norwex, Beach Body, Rodan + Field’s, Valentus, Epicure, MaryKay and Young Living (to name more than a few). There have been products I LOVE and still use (Norwex, Young Living, Epicure – my personal favorites) and many MLM women I am truly inspired by, especially in Beach Body.
However, I believe that being passionate goes a long way. You can showcase a product you love without being aggressive or in-genuine. The most successful MLM’s I know are so authentic and truly care about what they’re promoting that people come to them!
Buying a product does not mean I want to sell it. I’m now weary when I get a message from anyone involved in an MLM because I fear I’ll have to be uncomfortable by rejecting their “join my team” pitch or being aggressively sold something I really didn’t want.
I think it’s best to talk about your story and how it’s changed your life and finish with a simple “if you’re ever interested let me know.” I feel no pressure or manipulation that way. If I like the product (and didn’t feel you had to “sell” it to me), I’ll order from you forever. If I’m passionate and need the extra income I know I can come to you because I’m aware you extended the offer. I trust you and I know you DO have my best interest at heart.
This goes for us all, MLM or not. Let’s stop being deceptive in the name of the hustle. We can do better!
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