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     “Hey I haven’t talked to you in forever, I know this is totally random but I was wondering if you’d like to do me a huge favor. I just started my own little business selling all vegan healthy lifestyle products and need to practice in front of new people. It won’t be pushy sales, you don’t even need to bring your credit card info, just sit, listen, and have a fun girls night!”   

 

…Hey “Becky!” This is literally the outline that my uplines would force upon me to send old high school acquaintances if I wanted to be “successful”. They had me write out a list of 100 people who I knew and to message those people. If people didn’t answer me the first time or didn’t seem interested, my uplines would tell me to keep pressing, get a party booked! 

 

Sign Up Fees

     I ended up signing up two days before sign up fees were waived, so I ended up paying the hefty Become a Consultant Fee. In defense of the person selling it, the company’s higher ups do not release the info until the day of. 

     The reason they have waived sign up fees is to encourage tons of other people to join the business and sell the products. If you get people to join your team, and you sell enough products in a month, you make money off of the people on your team (red flag!). If the person you got to join, get more people to join, you also make a percentage off them too! This is primarily why they got into a lawsuit for being a pyramid scheme, which they got away with. 

     Let’s talk about pyramid schemes. They claim they are not a pyramid scheme because the sole purpose isn’t to get more people on your team, it is to sell as many products as you can to “help people change their lives”. Insert eye roll. Plain and simple, the people above you are making money off your sales and you make money off people below you, it’s in the shape of a pyramid. I fully believed that I wasn’t a part of a pyramid scheme though because they fed you all these twisted explanations.


Travel Mexico Hat Adventure
Jackie Ryan / Her Campus

Expensive Products 

     The products are outright expensive, even with a consultant discount (which helped people want to join, it’s all a part of their tactical plan to build the pyramid higher). I shamefully admit there was one month where I had to return a bulk buy I ordered when new products came out, not only could I not afford it, it tasted down right awful. I still have a bag of protein powder in my cabinet that I gag when I see. I have to say though, the difference between the company I fell for and many others was that I didn’t have to have an inventory of the products to sell, so I didn’t lose money that way. Oh and guess what, when I ran out of money to fund this protein shake diet, I gained all the weight and more back! 


stack of money
pixabay

Forceful tactics

     If they don’t say yes, try again. That’s the motto of this company. I would send screenshots of messages with people to my upline and she would respond back with what to say basically to try and manipulate them into saying yes to something they obviously didn’t want to. “They just don’t know they want to, but they do.” Reinforcing how big of a favor it would be was the basis. Then, to mention how they can get free products, little did they know in order to get those free products sales would HAVE to be made or the consultant would be paying for those products out of pocket. Another tactic was to make it sound like a fun relaxing night and get away from the fact it was a sales party. Host a spa party, use only our products and bore them with a 30 minute presentation we have on notecards for you that are proven successful! Host a healthy habits dinner, again with the boring presentation and encouraging them to try each of the products. Don’t let them leave without booking their own party to invite different people to! Once I told my upline the person didn’t even respond to my message and how I thought about just leaving it be. Her response…try voice messages so it is more personal! Push push push, but do it nicely and with a smile so they hopefully they don’t notice!


phone with social media displayed on screen
Erik Lucatero | Unsplash

Motivational prizes that would drive you to go sales crazy

     Getting updates that you are about to promote up to the next level was enough to get me to follow their forceful tactics and buy more of my own products just to rack up the points needed. If you don’t get enough in one month, you fail and have to start over. Closing Day, the end of the day in each month is crazy and usually consultants offer their own discounts to people so they can get the sales points, meaning they won’t even be profiting off of those sales made. 

     There are incentive trips, conferences, oh and don’t forget the “free” Mercedes car. Once you reached the second to top level tier they would give you a Mercedes. You’d end up paying for it though if you don’t keep the high volume of sales consistently. Seeing all the instagram photos of girls on their trips and with their new Mercedes was inspiring, makes you think “if they can do it, I can do it.”


Matthew Henry
Matthew Henry / Unsplash

Weekly Cult Meetings

I would spend a lot of my nights that honestly should have been spent on school in order to listen to all the above tactics in this article, new product launches, and motivational success stories. They would reel you back in right when you felt like dropping it completely. I ended up not attending these meetings anymore and eventually the group message chains stopped with the reminders to join in. Instead, I got encouraged to set up one on one meetings to talk about strategy and get re-motivated. I did a couple and realized it was useless and what a load of crap they were feeding me.


full conference work working meeting
Pexels / Christina Morillo

Losing Friends and Feeling Embarrassed

     Because of the forceful tactics I was encouraged and encouraged to use more, I got left on read. Old friends that I was actually starting to reconnect with before joining MLM, I quickly lost again. Current friends would also stop reading my texts and some I still don’t talk to. I made my best friend really mad because of how many times I asked. If you’re one of those people and are reading this, I am sorry. The company sells the fact that if you do this you will make so many new friends and meet new people. I didn’t, and the friends I did make through joining have stopped talking to me because I stopped selling. I am flat out embarrassed by this time in my life, trying to forget it, own up to the mistakes I made and move on. Do I think that there are a select few that can actually be successful in these types of companies, sure! You can’t deny the photos of the incentive trips and Mercedes, but the percentage that actually get there are very slim. Now I’m just one of the girls they had a lot of hope in that just happened to fall through. They will easily find another girl to prey on just like they did to me.

 

 

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