You may not know this but I had a brief stint with a multi level marketing company. My youngest baby was about a year or two old and my road to the bounce back body just seemed to have one block after another.
I started seeing promotional posts for a specific fitness related MLM from friends and several people who I respected. One person in particular was LIGHTING. ME. UP. Every post was so motivating. Homegirl was spitting the truth and encouraging me daily.
I guess you could say that she inspired me, so much so that I joined the company. I wanted the community, the products, and the extra income. Although I did use the products and loved most of them, I quickly realized “coaching” was not for me. I’m not the girl who cold messages, and in this day and age, I feel that if someone messages you out of the blue...you can pretty much assume they are going to pitch you a product. Although I could handle those situations well on the receiving end, I HATED being the person doing the pitching.
The MLM world was not for me but I took my coaches coaching and applied it to starting a business that I was truly passionate about...wedding planning.
Now, if you’ve read "How Planning Weddings Made My Divorce Easier"... you know that when I started my business I was riding the financial struggle bus. I worked two jobs sometimes giving my corporate job up to 55-60 hours in a week only to turn around and spend ALL DAY Saturday at a wedding/event. I was hustlin’.
One cold winter night, I was lounging in my living room exhausted. Both my boys and my ex husband were down for the night. I popped open my Facebook app and did my nightly scroll. I landed on an old acquaintances page. She and her husband had just had a baby and were standing on the outside of their recently purchased home...IT WAS HUGE.
“Good for her.” I thought as I “hearted” her photo.
Her husband works for the same corporate company I work for, his job was easily four positions higher than mine, and my guess is that his salary tripled mine. He seemed nice and she was always super kind, so even though I was envious of her castle like home, I was legitimately happy for her.
I scrolled a bit longer and then headed to bed.
The next morning, I got up and headed to work. After clocking in and grabbing breakfast from the cafe, I went back to my desk and pulled out my phone. Checked my bank account. Called my ex to make sure he and the boys were up and headed to daycare. Emailed a bride about an appointment we were having that evening. Checked my Facebook.
What do you know, it was from my old friend, and it read...
“Hey girl! I hope you are well. I just wanted to let you know you and your boys are so precious. I love following your stories. It looks like you have your hands full.”
Not so bad right? Just wait...
“But anywho, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve started a new business venture with “blank company”. The products are amazing. I’ve been using them for a couple of weeks and I’ve decided to sign on as a presenter. I’m really trying to get home to be with my son full time and this income could help replace my current salary. Here’s a link to my site, if you have any questions or see anything that you like, please let me know. Right now we have a starter kit for $199 and it’s awesome, you should look into it! Thanks girl.”
Do you see the problem?
At first, I didn’t. I’ll admit that I went the rest of my workday unbothered, but by the time I got home to my kids, fed them, bathed them, and put them to bed, I had a big problem.
Here I was, a mom of two, working two jobs, endless hours, struggling (I think I seriously had less than $100 in my checking account at the time), and this woman had asked me to help support her dream of becoming a stay at home mom in a household that had to have been making exponentially more than mine.
The whole situation frustrated me. I felt very small. I had known this woman for years and I knew that hurting my feelings was never her intention. I also understood that she had no way of knowing what my financial situation was. But even still, in that moment I just couldn’t believe that a person who (I assumed) was doing so well had asked me to spend more money than I had in my account to help her stay home. Meanwhile, I barely spent any quality time with my children because I was working ungodly hours just to make ends meet. It all just felt so...uncomfortable...and messy.
I have since seen this person a few times and to this day she doesn’t know how much her message hurt me and I’ll never tell her because I know it was innocent and unintentional.
But I want to use this platform to encourage those in the MLM industry to be mindful of your pitch. I have had several people to add me on social media only to message me immediately and ask about my “fitness goals”. Luckily I don’t have body image issues, but if I did that could have been dangerous.
Stop that shit.
People aren’t going to buy from pushy, aggressive, or fake. They are going to buy from genuine connections. Friend request your prospect, give them awhile to see what you’re about and why you’re doing what you're doing. Make an effort to get to know a little about a prospective lead without intruding. Then and only then should you message a person.
And if you message a person,
PERFECT. YOUR DAMN. PITCH.
Revisit your company's mission statement. Think about why you love what you're selling. What's your favorite product and why? What is it about this specific product that makes you think that your prospect would LOVE it? Is there a genuine connection there or are you just seeing dollar signs?
Your pitch should be about your product and what it’s done for you. Asking another person to fund your desired lifestyle is extremely tacky, especially if you aren’t 100% clear of their financial situation.
MLM’s are not meant for those who are wanting to make a quick buck, trust me I know this. Only those who believe in the company, the mission, and the product will reach success. These are the people I buy from and will continue to support because I know that their goal is far bigger than "selling". There are a few companies that I support wholeheartedly and will continue to use because the product speaks for itself. But I WILL NEVER purchase ANYTHING from ANYONE who messages me without either knowing me personally or who seem to be more passionate about quick money vs. the product they're endorsing.
This post was not meant to take away from how wonderful MLM's can be. I am a huge "Younique" advocate because I support their mission, I love their products, and the women I purchase from are PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR COMPANY! I have never received messages from women that I did not know and most importantly they don't PUSH when I decline a product. I don't mind when Younique presenters add me on social media because they are for the most part VERY respectful and don't usually bombard my inbox.
I am 110% #TeamGirlBoss, but being a “boss” means being passionate about and at the very least being proud of your products/services. I respect hustle and for some of us, selling is a part of that. But if you can't sell from a place of integrity, then maybe this specific company is not for you. If you love your company and believe in what you're selling, then let the world know.
Hustle with integrity and sell from your soul, the support WILL follow.
"If people like you they will listen to you but if they trust you they'll do business with you."--Zig Ziglar