A while back a friend of mine sent out a message to a group on Facebook. That message prompted several people to ask a tough question. "How do you know when you should leave a Network Marketing Company?"
There are many reasons WHY distributors would be asking this question and want to quit. Some distributors are even LOOKING for reasons. The "Any Excuse will do" group.
If we come in through the "No Friends Left Club" invite , also known as the make a list of your friends and family method, we expect that this person has done their homework and done a bit of research on the company and the company management team. Another method of joining an opportunity would be surfing the net looking for an MLM opportunity. In this case we typically join because we fall in love with the product and think EVERYONE else will LOVE it and want it too. Unfortunately that is wrong.
Most people, including myself, come into a Network Marketing or a MLM opportunity with two things in common: zero to little understanding of the industry and zero to little skills to operate a successful business.
There’s been a lot of discussion on blogs and Facebook about being "All In". It is true; if we’re not all in, then quitting looks like the only possible solution. However; what if we are "all in" and are still asking "How do you know when you should leave a Network Marketing Company?"
I can’t answer the question for you, I can tell you WHY a friend of mine left 4 different companies and why my husband and I left 3. These may be reasons that would be good indicators on when the timing is right for you to leave a company.
For my friend, in all 4 instances it boiled down to: Integrity, character and the moral ethics of the companies she was involved with.
In one company she was being told to contact people offering them a ‘free widget or product’. All the person had to do was pay shipping. Not the whole truth in this case. If you wanted the ‘free widget’, you had to agree to sign up for 3 months autoship, first. (Integrity!)
You might say that is no big deal, just tell people the truth…you can get this free widget if…she agreed; however, the biggest issue she had was (I do too) this is what management, the leaders of the opportunity were promoting. She felt they lacked the integrity she was looking for. If they thought it was all right to market through deception like this then where is the integrity that most companies are bragging and boasting about. “Integrity” in many cases is just a catch phrase to hook you on the deal.
It was pretty easy for her to quit another company once she found out that they weren’t even operating within the legal boundaries. There was no real product or service, just a money game. If you are making payments through pay-pal, Alert Pay or another payment processor, to another individual rather than directly to the company, chances are huge that you are not in a legitimate business opportunity. (Yeah we got caught in one of these scams too, “Adventures4U” and yes we left that company very quickly. Honesty and integrity are very important to us.)
It was easy to quit another company when she received no support other than, "Call these leads and if you can’t close them, get me on the line and I will close the deal". When she asked for more training, she was referred back to the script with the same reply. When she asked if there was a different way to do this business, she was told, "Is there something wrong with you? Use the script". She felt that she could not follow someone who cared so little about her success. She felt that her ethics would not allow her to bring anyone else into a business if this technique was the only solution she could offer her prospects.
It was easy to quit the 4th company once she made a few discoveries one her own. The company denied being a MLM opportunity although the compensation plan/pay plan was plainly multi-level. For her it meant being in a position to have to lie when asked if this was a MLM business. Her up-line called it "deflecting" the question. Second, after ploughing through her friends and family list she was encouraged to buy leads from a ‘recommended source’. The company was getting a “kick back” from the ‘recommended source’.Now you may feel that this is no big deal and acceptable. It is not acceptable for a company to be making money not only from the products purchased, but off the website you and I are encouraged to buy the leads from. By the way she was not making a dime, but the company was on everything she did, especially buying leads from them and the lead generation system to boot.
This was not the worst of it for her. The company was making extra money in profit from the sales of the leads, yet not putting it back into the compensation plan so that the distributors would benefit as well. She then found herself trusting the integrity of her up-line and joined a lead co-op with her. She was told, and I am sure you have heard this same scenario when we get sucked into the lead buying scam, that these leads are opportunity seekers. In truth, as my friend discovered a few months down the road, the leader of the co-op was surfing job sites such as “Monster” and selling her downline a list of people and their contact information who were looking for a 9 –5 type job, not an online MLM opportunity. In reality the leader of the co-op was actually making a bigger income from this scam than she was in building her MLM business opportunity.
Lets look at the above reasons for my friend to leave/quit her MLM companies. I think that you will feel the same when questioning right vs. wrong, heart vs. gut. What this really boils down to is doing research and knowing where to start. Start by reading your companies policies and procedures. Which by the way had better be readily available to you before you join any opportunity. Having a full understanding of just what you are expected to do will be crucial to you actually getting a check. Knowing and being able to work you compensation plan is another place to start. Find an expert/mentor who has an understanding of these concepts.
My friend found that the promise of being able to retire and just live off the residuals was not entirely true if she stayed with these companies. The whole idea behind a network marketing opportunity is to be able to retire and live off of the residual income. However when your company policies and procedures have clauses that state you are required to have "ongoing" recruiting, "ongoing" sales, "ongoing" contact with your downline, retirement will not happen as we planned. Once you stop doing any of the “ongoing” requirements mentioned above, that may or may not be found in your policies (contract), your residual income ends too.
Like my friend, I got involved in Network Marketing because I was looking to find a way out of the 9 – 5 deal and to pay back my debt I owed to my credit cards. I was not looking to pile more dept. on my credit card to purchase leads that are a dead end. Besides the concept of leverage made sense. For myself and my friend, it all boils down to the integrity, character, morals and ethics of those in leadership. Of course there are other things to be considered such as fair compensation, (which in my opinion is not 2% to 10% of sales generated for the company), a proven method for success, support, products/services that are available for purchase at a reasonable price. Most importantly for us is Integrity and Character. These qualities have to come first, apparently for my friend Jennifer as well. I am betting that most of you live by these virtues as well. So why not find a company that also mimics your values.
These are all good reasons, and not excuses to leave a company. These should indicate to you when it is time. But I can not make those decisions for you.
I had a couple of advantages going for me that many don’t. Other than one opportunity which I joined through the friends and family method (but could not duplicate), I got myself into the other opportunities. There was no relationship built and I was not in love with the product(s)/service(s). When my gut started screaming at me that this opportunity was wrong for me, that my integrity and character did not align with those I was supposed to be following, there was no loyalty to create a battle between my heart and my gut. ~ Jennifer
My friend, if the network marketing opportunity you are involved with right this minute causes you sleepless nights and a battle between your heart and your gut, don’t ignore your gut. It may be time to sit down and shut down. Put your heart felt reasons aside and take a clear closer look at what the pit of your stomach is telling you.
You will never find the success you want and deserve while battling with inner conflict. Resolve the conflict and the answer to "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?" will be revealed.
For myself and my husband after searching, joining and feeling not quit right in the pit of our gut about 3 business opportunities, 2 of which were illegal, we have found a company that does provide fair compensation, has a proven method for success, has support and products/services that are available for purchase at a reasonable price. BUT most importantly this company has integrity beyond measure. Not just hype about their character.
Please note that we are not currently nor will we be a prospect for you and your opportunity. We are giving you some guidelines for you to be able to make a decision if and when you ever find yourself wondering "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?"
"You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself." — Galileo
To Your Success
Dave and Darlene Mills
Leadership with a vision