It's the first time I've browsed this particular topic sub forum of MMG and couldn't help noticing how many programs were being announced/promoted yet how few discussions existed to help those in the industry. So............. lets get some discussion going!
To get it started I'll repeat my answer to a question on another forum and see what degree and depth of discussion results.
The question was about the very low retention rates in MLM - as follows:
But that can be controlled. I think the biggest obstacle with any MLM is retaining your downline. Problems with myself, my attitude, my whatever, I can fix -- how do I hold onto my downline once I get them?
I guess I'm a little out of date (I was in the top 2% of all MLM earners internationally a few years back) but I doubt the retention problem has changed significantly.
You will have heard of 'the leaky bucket' syndrome that's endemic across the MLM industry - the need to keep pouring water (new recruits) into the bucket faster the water leaks out. Let's agree on one thing? The turnover of entrants to MLM far exceeds that of other industries, be they offline or online.
So why is it? My (considerable?) experience indicates the causes lie in the following:
1) Human nature; the great majority of people do not have the mindset of an entrepreneur
. They are trapped in the mindset of people around them, which is that mediocrity is as good as it gets.
2) Lack of, and unwillingness to learn, the attitudes and skills of a business person
. Employee skills are nowhere near good enough to run a successful MLM business.
3) Lack of commitment to an ongoing program of personal development;
Yes, you may get people to the seminar and/or listening to tapes, but that's primarily motivation, not personal development, and it's short term. Personal development requires a commitment to books and taking action (consciously first - then unconsciously as it takes hold) to change your thinking, your self image and your self worth.
4) Lack of personal self discipline;
It's related to 3) above. I shudder to recall the number of times that people traveled many costly miles to sit down with me for one-on-one counseling, committed to some action or series of steps - and completely failed to follow through.
4) MLM companies (and their distributors) completely overselling both the financial potential of the opportunity and the value of their products;
One of the things I quickly discovered as I moved out of MLM to multi-tier affiliate marketing (usually 2, sometimes 2 tier programs) was that the real money lay in 'selling the shovels, not digging for gold', promoting the training and online tools that all online marketers really have to have to succeed. Low hype, high value and excellent retention.
5) Doubtful ethics (and making excuses for them.
The so called 'professional approach' (not being upfront about the company, or that you're offering a MLM opportunity) is continuing to blight the reputation of MLM in general - and it's killing off new recruits in droves because you cant successfully teach people and get duplication (in terms of making appointments) when the newbie knows they are being deceptive.
When you combine the 5 effects above it's understandable why retention is so low throughout the industry. (and yes, I know I'll get flamed by people now who claim their company is 'not like that' that it's 'special', that it's products are 'exceptional' etc etc - but to them I ask, if you're MLM is so different, why aren't you successful?, why aren't you free?)