Carl Rehnborg is credited as having started the multi-level marketing industry back in the 1930s. After learning about the benefits of dietary supplements in China, Rehnborg came back to the United States and started a company called The California Vitamin Company, which was later rebranded to Nutrilite. Six years after that rebranding, Rehnborg reorganized the company’s structure and the way it sold products into what we know as MLM today.
I know there are a few companies, like Mary Kay and Lia Sophia, who have a generally positive image, but there are many more, often built around some investment scheme, which continue to give this sector a bad image. If you scan the Internet, you will find dozens of negative articles, like "What's Wrong With Multi-Level Marketing?", but very few singing their praises.
To understand better, let’s employ the word “Network Marketing,” which is the most common used term that points out to the same marketing strategy. As you have heard many times, there are thousands of Network Marketing companies that exist today and all of them are applying the MLM principle which is very effective and powerful in spreading the word out to the marketplace than any paid media advertising.

You absolutely need to set boundaries or you’re going to get burned out before you ever discover your true potential. What does this look like? Maybe you limit yourself to spending one weeknight and one weekend morning on your business. Sure, there will be exceptions, but you need to schedule in time where you’re not in “business mode” so you can enjoy hobbies, self care, and of course, your loved ones without your mind being elsewhere.
Other than that, great info, but I’d have to respectfully disagree with the logic behind not being a part of an MLM. It’s one business model. And whether you want to make it your full time job or just dabble, so long as you find a product and company you love, it can be a great way to diversify your income streams. $5000 a year (or $5) is more than most people make on their 401K, savings or any other conventional ways of investing. It’s an investment, and for those that chose to continue through the plateau, it results in residual income. Don’t like sales? Some of the companies are moving away from the door to door type sales models and putting a lot more emphasis on team building and adding value. And many companies are also discouraging distributors from spamming on social media- again- it comes down to the individual and their own business acumen. We can spend our lives blaming they systems or we can just own ourselves and be grateful for whatever we’ve learned from, and created out of each opportunity presented to us. It’s the choice of the individual at the end of the day but one thing I can say with certainty is that someone who blames MLM for their lack of success is lacking responsibility for themselves in other areas of their life too.
The binary compensation plan has recently gained popularity because of its simplicity and the growth opportunities involved. Unfortunately, the plan has been so misused that it has been hit with many state and federal regulations. Government actions against such companies have been very public, resulting in bad press for the companies and a bad reputation for MLMs using the binary compensation plan.

Selecting a competent MLM sponsor is as important as selecting the right company. Choose your sponsor just as you would choose an employee to hire. Interview them. What can they do for you to assure your future success? You don't have to join an opportunity under the first person who tries to sign you up. Today, savvy opportunity seekers make potential sponsors meet qualifications in the same way they do with the business opportunity itself.
The major defining difference between other companies and MLM, is that they don’t mass market themselves, spending millions of dollars on television, radio and internet ads, but instead allocate that portion of their budget to pay hard working distributors who pound the pavement, form personal al relationships with clients, advocate their product, and hence donthe “marketing” for them.
“One of the best sales advice that I truly believe in is you always have to listen to your potential customer and their needs, that way you'll see if your product is a fit for them or not. The ultimate goal of an entrepreneur is to provide solutions to the marketplace. That's why we always have to listen more and speak less. We are given two ears and one mouth for a reason, so we have to use them accordingly.” -  Jelena Ostrovska

As one of the industry's best-known MLM consultants, Mike and the Sheffield team have assisted more than 300 national and international company start-ups. Mike is also a recognized leader in MLM product research and development. He and his team of experts design, reformulate and evaluate product lines for clients worldwide. Millions of readers have relied on Mike's popular "Product Of The Month" column in Money Maker's Monthly to help them evaluate MLM products and services. He also serves as product editor for Wealth Building magazine and is a regular writer for the Direct Sales Journal. In addition, he has educated more than 200,000 independent MLM distributors through his seminars and his 16-cassette-tape MLM training course, "Putting The Pieces Together." Contact Mike at 1805 N. Scottsdale Rd., #7, Tempe, AZ 85281; (480) 968-6199; fax (480) 968-6306; http://www.sheffieldnet.com.

You should be and share all the stories involved in your business with your prospects. The more stories you share about your company with people, the more you expose your business opportunity to the world and able to attract more people. MLM Recruiting stars in network marketing are good storytellers, and you should tell good stories to be able to recruit people to your business.

Great article and you nailed it regarding purchasing leads. I tried a few times talking with various people over the phone but none committed. I often wonder how the greats like Dexter Yager and Bill Britt (both amway reps) built their businesses to such a large magnitude without the use of social media. I certainly believe social media has made building network marketing businesses much easier than back in the day.
At the other end of the spectrum is buying leads. This is also not the best option since it can be very expensive and may result in leads that may not actually be interested in your products or business. These are not great leads, either. The best leads will always be the ones you generate yourself—people who have shown some sort of interest in what you have to offer.
A good network marketing company rewards leadership, just like any structured business.  Most businesses have a pyramid structure where the people at the top, ie. CEOs, SVPs, VPs, are the highest paid people in the company.  The unique opportunity you have with a Network Marketing   business is that you START at the top of your business, and your income will be dependent on how large of a team you build “below” you. 

At the other end of the spectrum is buying leads. This is also not the best option since it can be very expensive and may result in leads that may not actually be interested in your products or business. These are not great leads, either. The best leads will always be the ones you generate yourself—people who have shown some sort of interest in what you have to offer. 

Before approaching the prospects, you need to target your audience. One of the biggest mistakes new MLMers make is looking at everyone as a potential customer. This is an area where the MLM  industry gets wrong. Like any other business, you’re going to have greater success and efficiency if you identify your target market or audience and focus your marketing efforts at them.

The question of how to be successful in network marketing haunts every beginner and even the moderately experienced ones. People have turned it into some kind of a myth and are going crazy figuring out just how to be successful in multilevel marketing or network marketing business. I have taken it upon myself to help everyone who is perplexed by this and debunk this myth.


I’ve heard all the arguments. “How can it be a pyramid scheme if it’s legal?” Through some crafty loopholes. The fact that there is an actual product to sell allows them to operate and give the appearance of legitimacy. “You just haven’t found a good MLM yet.” Wrong. A good MLM is an oxymoron. “But how is this any different from any other major corporation where the CEO makes the most money?” Because the people below the CEO at legit companies get paid salaries and have actual benefits. They don’t depend on endless chains of recruiting new members.
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