Network marketing has its perks.

We talked about that in the last post.

Despite all the things I like, I also have some bad practices that I don’t like with network marketing.

Here are a few at the top of my head.

You can’t handle the truth mindset:

Tom Cruise: I want the truth. Jack Nicholson: You want the truth? Well guess what? You can’t handle the truth!

1. You can’t talk about the business over the phone

We are taught that the less the person knows about the opportunity, the better.

When you invite a friend or prospect to take a look, give them enough to let them be excited but don’t give them any details.

(If you have to give your friend/prospect any details it has to be vague, generic or jargon).

Which brings us to the next step.

2. You can only talk about the business in person.

That’s right. It’s true.

When closing a deal or transaction or setting up a partnership the activity is best done in person.

The thing is, in my experience, it is generally disrespectful to do so without giving someone an agenda for the meeting.

By agenda, I don’t mean just some vague/jargon/general business description and a schedule.

Some network marketers kidnap their friends and prospects.

3. You can’t send emails.

Prospect: I’m busy right now but I’d like to evaluate your offer when I can. Can you send me an email?

Network marketer: It’s a big opportunity, I tell ya. It’s so big, I don’t discuss the details online. In fact if I send you an email the content will fill up your Gmail inbox.

Prospect: Oh okay. Could you at least give me a quick overview.

Network Marketer: The opportunity’s so big if we talk on the phone it might take three to four hours.

Prospect: That long huh? Can we have our meeting over Skype or Google hangouts? I know there’s a presentation or screen sharing feature there you could use if you want to share some slides.

Network Marketer: That’s a great idea. But I don’t know how to use that stuff and we’re not allowed to share our stuff on the internet to be fair to all the top earners who are not computer literate.

Prospect: I see. Well if you can’t give me an idea I guess I’ll have to pass for now.

Network Marketer: Are you seriously happy with your current job and would like to stay there forever?

Prospect: It’s pretty okay. It pays the bills and I get to travel regularly so I guess it’s good enough for me. The prospect of more money is tempting but to give myself enough free time I made it a policy not to spend a few hours on a meeting without a clear agenda.

Network Marketer: Have a happy life then. I’ll call you again for future opportunities.

Prospect: Sure, thanks. (Hangs up)

Prospect: Google’s whatever network marketer said. Oooh. Nu Skin. Googles Nu Skin. Hey these are the product I’m looking for. My mom has wrinkles as long as the Nile river and I have acne scars like the craters of the Moon. I’ve been looking for this for a while. Good thing he reminded me. (Buys from online shopping cart)

4. Everything has to be top secret until after you meet or after you’ve been trained or whatever.

Given, several network market companies sell products that are not in the mainstream market but it doesn’t have to be super top secret. When you sign up for the business. Your sponsor tells you not to talk to people until you’ve been trained.

5. Can’t talk about your business with others aside from your upline.

If I was considering a business I would do my due diligence. This involves asking customers, and other franchise owners. Apparently there’s a system in place to avoid this. Everyone is trained to answer ““ask your sponsor or upline.”” He is more qualified to answer your questions. In fact:

Only your upline has good plans for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. If you listen to him you’ll have a bright future. - Everyone in network marketing’s answer

The rationale is that the upline has vested interest in your success.

This does however not answer my question. If I’m doing research I want the good, the bad and the ugly.

I would like to know other people’s experience.

Not some vague answer that leads to ask your sponsor or upline.

6. Whether you’re making money or not the business is doing great.

No matter what. So when someone asks the answer is you’re business is doing great thanks for asking.

Fake it until you make it.

On a different school of thought I learned that improvements can only be made as soon as you acknowledge facts.

Prospect: Is this sales or sales related?

Network Marketer: Do you like sales?

Prospect: Answers.

Network Marketer: (If no) That’s great. This is bigger than that. Let’s meet in person.

(If yes) That’s great you have an advantage. Let’s meet in person.

In fact we’ve been avoiding the word sales. Maybe that’s why I built up a somewhat elusive attitude with sales.

A wake up call happened when I called a prospect asked about what I was selling and when I proceeded with the spiel told me not to waste his time and hung up. If you claim to have a business why don’t I have a clear answer on what I’m selling?

You are  to turn off your brain:

8. Creativity is discouraged

We don’t discourage creativity but we already have a tried and tested proven system that you have to follow - Your upline

This answer is somehow alienating.

Because we depend on following scripts, process and protocol, we lose our ability to adapt when thrown a curve ball.

9. Follow the system

(Follow your upline only). It’s my way (the system) or the highway.

The system is simple. Don’t talk to anyone about the business.

Bring the prospects to the presentation (By hook or by crook).

Listen only to your upline. He know’s what’s best for you.

Do not think and just follow the system.

When things don’t go well think about how to follow the system.

10. Can’t use the internet

When you get home from this opportunity meeting. Don’t Google our company. There’s a lot of bad people out there saying bad things about our company. So better not read them. Just focus on your goals and why you have to be successful. Don’t tell anyone about this business until after you’ve been trained. Tomorrow we begin working on your goals. - Upline

Uhuh. That’s what we tell our new signups. It made sense back in 2005 but not today.

People are more connected now than ever. When we recommend Google searches we recommend searching for clinical studies and success stories and ignore the rest.

Okay. Okay. I said ten but as I was editing this I realized that there’s more.

Outdated Business Practices:

11. Super Long Presentations.

Wow it took them three hours just to tell me the company name, the products, the activities and compensation.

Rumor has it that a person is more agreeable the longer they stay in a sales pitch and more likely to say yes if they’re tired.

This presentation doesn’t work. If you have a hundred page presentation be sure that each slide’s discussion is not longer than a tweet.

People have shorter attention spans today than ever. We’re more prone to walking out on you than ever before. I know you can present everything in less than 15 minutes.

You’ve been around for 30-50 years. Why aren’t you?

12. We keep the prospect longer than we should.

We spend 30 minutes to an hour talking about their goals then put them in an oppotunity meeting for 2 hours or more then we discuss things.

Possibly over late dinner. The prospect thinks.

If I do this business it will take me 4 or more hours just to present to one prospect? How troublesome. I’ll just sell kamote.

13. Late Night Meetings

The business offers spare money and time but until you’re making big money.

You give up whatever spare time you have to make the business work.

If you have a family it seems that you have to drop that to make things work.

Opportunity meetings, training, goal setting, plannings etc happen at night since most people are employed and are only free after work.

14. Fixed Method of Entry

If I want to be a customer I can buy the smallest package and get my membership for free.

If I want to do the business I have to buy what?

And you’re telling me that if I want to do the business seriously I have to buy what?!! Nuff said.

15. Tickets to Seminars , Books and Audio Training Materials

This is the additional cost nobody tells you about. This is a bit costly.

You have to fly to this convention and so on and so forth. What sucks is you have to do this regularly.

Bring your team.

Bring your family.

Pay for them.

Then there’s the if you’re not in this training your business is doomed to fail.

You also have lots of book to buy.

Everyone has to pay for their copies.

It has to be in print or CD or DVD format and no sharing. Sharing isn’t really prohibited but highly discouraged.

This practice somehow makes me think that maybe this is how money is really made in network marketing.

This post is inspired by Russel’s Amway post and personal experience.