If you are reading this there is a good chance you are looking to get involved in multilevel marketing (MLM), or you already are. I do realize many people reading this could be a friend, family member, or just someone interested in reading about MLM. Either way, I believe you will find that I analyze information and give a fair and balanced review. Today I am going to look at a couple of books written by someone that claims to be proficient in the field of MLM. Her name is Kim Thompson-Pinder, and she appears to be an Avon distributor.
I could have picked anyone, such as Danny McDaniel (ex Advocare distributor that helps his wife sell products and uses God as a means to lure people in). But I thought I would see if other MLM professionals share the same type of deceptive and misleading tactics. The reason I selected Kim is because I have been encouraging people to take advantage of Amazons free books, and Kim’s book was one of them. Not to mention the book had something to do with MLM. So last night, I downloaded the free Amazon Kindle App, and the free book titled “10 Things You Absolutely Must Know Before Joining A MLM or Home Based Business”. I am not going to say that it was a complete waste of time, but her motives appeared to be less than genuine. But not everything was bad.
The author offered some good advice that I believe many people would find intuitive, but that is not always the case. For example, she advises anyone that decides to join MLM to save money to cover the cost of the starter kit instead of using a credit card. She also encourages the reader to choose the right MLM based on your interest and the actual demand of the products. I would have to agree with her thoughts, although I am not sure if anyone really has to read her short book to come to that realization. It seems intuitive that selling something that is in demand would be better than selling something that is not. Also, selling something that runs out and needs to be replenished would be a must. For example, would you be better off selling vitamins or a poster of Motley Crue? I am going to go with the vitamins. She also brings awareness to monthly auto-ship. Some companies require a guaranteed monthly order to be set on auto-ship. Others, similar to Advocare, do not promote auto-ship. They just require a monthly quota to qualify for commission bonuses. Of course, towards the end she not only brought in God, she included a prayer. Unfortunately, by now, that just does not surprise me. But what did the reader really learn from the author?
Well, to tell you the truth, I did not see much other than the three or four things I pointed out in the beginning. If you were looking to understand why or how direct marketing works, or what compensation plans are the best to work with. You probably closed the book thinking thank God I did not pay for this. Sure, she offers a little insight about the types of pyramids associated with MLM such as unilevel, breakaway, forced matrix, and binary. Sorry, it is a force of habit to use the term, pyramid. The aforementioned links will give you a better idea of what each plan has to offer. But I assure you, none of what she talks about should be first on the list. Making the decision to enter MLM in the first place is the real important decision. Not what MLM you should join and what person you should join under. Taking advice from someone that really wants you to join under her, and pretending she did not put a connection to herself in that book is probably a little misleading. But, that was an intuitive conjecture, and something I promised I would stay away from. What is clear, she is involved in MLM and that creates a conflict of interest. It would be like asking a barber what barbershop should you get your hair cut, his/hers, or the competing shop next-door. Somehow I think you get the point.
The reason why you want to avoid accepting information from someone that is in an MLM is because most of them do everything possible to circumvent the truth. At the end of the book the author tells the reader that she did not put her information in the book because she gave up her spot for someone else. All throughout the book she presents information from people she refers to as “Featured Spotlight”. For instance, Stephanie Dooley claims to be a successful distributor for a fortune 500 global beauty company. What Stephanie is really trying to tell you is that she is an Avon sales representative, and that she is probably associated with the authors Avon Group. If you go to her website I just provided, you will see the phone number matches the one in the book. If you read the book, you would know that makes three Avon representatives used as “Featured Spotlights”. Unfortunately the deception does not stop there.
The author indicated that the age and credibility of the company as being number 2 out of 10. She then goes on to tell the reader that 95% of all new companies fail in their first 5 years. I am here to tell you that out of all the deceptions used, that one takes the cake. Putting MLM companies on the same level as any alternative business in my opinion, is intentional deception. Anyone that participates in companies such as Advocare, Market America, Avon, or any other MLM company you can think of knows already what I am about to tell you. All of them have a 99% yearly failure rate, not 5 years. You do not have to take my word for it. Tracy Coenen is a well know forensic accountant that has been studying MLM failure rates for a long time, and has compiled a bunch of income statements for your convenience. I also have a guest article I wrote with a co-author somewhere lingering around Tracy’s Website, although I really did not get any credit for it. Comparing MLM to a real business is ridiculous. With that, the actual failure rate for a equivalent small business is actually around 50-60% after 5 years, not 95%. But her unrealistic brainwashing does not stop there.
Many of the con artist that find success in MLM use a company’s years in business as a means to show stability and strength. Advocare is a fine example. Danny McDaniel uses that tactic all the time, as does many other distributors. So allow me to be the one person to tell you the truth. Advocare has been in business for a long time, I will concede to that. So have other MLM companies such as Avon. Unfortunately, making your decision based on the years a company has been in service will not make your MLM career any easier, nor will it ensure success. The majority of people that decide to take the plunge, drown every single year. That is a cold hard fact, and unfortunately will not change regardless of how much you believe you can do it. I know people like Kim Thompson-Pinder want you to believe that if you only trusted yourself and did everything right, you will succeed. The same can be said about Danny McDaniel. I wish I could tell you that MLM companies can be successful for everyone. Advocare has been around for more than 20 years and every year only 99 percent succeed. That means around 1% are successful. People like Kim need to come across as if they have good intentions, and all the answers. They practice every day on how to intentionally deceive people, and it works. Then they incorporate one of the most irritating aspects of MLM.
It is one thing to use deception to lure people into a business you know or should know they will most likely fail. But to use intentional deception and portray oneself as religious is beyond repulsive. How, on one had do you confess your love to God, and then intentionally deceive one of his children with the other hand? I know, they will tell you they believe the system works and it is proven. Then they will point to the length the company has been in business, and to some scientific medical advisory board. Neither of which support their claim. Or they will give you success stories from the 1 or 2% that have succeeded. The reason why many of these companies are still in business is because of well crafted con artist. Here is the cold hard truth. They know that if you truly believe in their faith in God, you will trust them and join. Why would someone that believes in Jesus Christ tell you a lie? Well, I will leave that up to you to decide. Then I read Kim’s other book titled “How to Have 100 Recruits on Your Team in 6 Months”, and things did not get any better. Please, allow me to explain.
Do not worry, this is going to be much shorter than the other book because there really is nothing worth reading. She starts the book off with a disclaimer indicating your success will depend on your ability to sell the product, your effort, and your personality among other things. Of course she does not guarantee your success. Then on the next paragraph she tell you that she wrote the book because she does not want you to have to struggle like she did for 12 years. I probably could stop right there, right? So let me get to the math that in her opinion will allow you or me to recruit 100 people in 6 months.
Kim goes on to say that in order to recruit 100 people you have to talk to 1680 people. Then she goes on to say “I promise to tell you the truth”. So this is the math she uses in her book.
1. Talk to 5 people every day= 25 people a week= 100 people a month
2. Do events where you can meet around 15 leads a month and 10 people join (she used 9) 10 people * 6 Months = 60 (She assumed 9 would join each month and in 6 months she would have 58 new members) 9*6= 58 ? Hmm
3. Teach and train the recruits to recruit the rest of the 100.
This is where I tell you that I am really confused. If you talk to 100 people for 6 months you would have spoken with 600 people. If you speak with another 15 a month you would have spoken to another 90. Correct me if I am wrong but 600+90 equals 690, right? If my math is correct she is one thousand short. I will assume she was exaggerating, and stop being so critical. Unfortunately, that is it folks. Nothing new was presenting, and I wish I could tell you something different. Then she goes back into the same hogwash she used in her other book.
The reason why she was not successful is because of self doubt and other issues that prevented her from success. She was essentially hindering her ability to make it in the MLM industry. She tells the reader to kick aside the self doubts and the procrastination and believe in oneself and others will follow. I have to admit, others will follow, but that will not change the fact that most that do will fail regardless of personal issues. So let me sum this up.
Neither of Kim’s books would be worth any amount of money. If you are serious about joining MLM I believe you would be better off asking me for advice because I will not lie to you. Yes you can make money selling products. But Kim does not talk about selling, she talks about recruiting. All the MLM companies talk about recruiting. Some companies force you to recruit two and sell to customers. But they also promote helping your recruits in recruiting. Others like Advocare promote recruiting wide and three levels deep, opening the opportunity to earn overrides and bonuses. Each level can go as wide to eternity.
This is the truth folks. MLM for the past 50 years has seen a 90% failure rate every year. Either way, if you decide you want to join MLM you know the chances of making money and that is the truth. I have nothing to gain or lose by telling you the facts. I am not telling you not to use their products. If you want to pay the ridiculous price, then that is on you. But do not tell me you signed on for the discount while you are out trying to sell the product to other people. Worst of all, please do not claim to be religious while you are using rhetoric you know or should know is false.
If you have read the book and want to share your thoughts I look forward to reading your comments below.