Six Things to Consider Before Joining a Multi-Level Marketing Company

Plus your recruiter interview worksheet!

So, you are considering joining a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company. Maybe a friend told you about the opportunity, maybe you were at a party and thought, “Hey, why can’t I do this?” maybe you even read my post: The Truth about MLM: From Someone Who’s Not Trying to Recruit You. MLM’s can be a great side hustle, but before you jump in there are a few things to consider. It’s important to know what to expect before getting into any business; which is why I created a Free Recruiter Interview Worksheet to help you make an informed decision.

1. The Product

obviously working for an MLM (or Network Marketing as they are sometimes called) means that you will be selling some sort of product. Whether its jewelry, skincare, books, or healthcare products it should be something you really care about. Although the consultants usually say, “The products sell themselves!” The truth is if you’re selling jewelry and you don’t wear it regularly you may find it very difficult to sell the products. People can sense when your heart isn’t into it.

Some questions to ask about the product:

  • What is it?
  • Is it easy and convenient to use?
  • Is this a product I am passionate about and will use every day?
  • Can a potential client easily buy this from a store?
  • Why might a potential client prefer to purchase this particular product over a similar product at a retail store?
  • What is special about this product? (Does it help others? Is it vegan? Is it more ethical than similar products?)

2. The Company

Another thing to consider is the actual company. Some companies have been around for a long time. And for a good reason! It’s because they really do care about their products and their consultants. Now, this doesn’t mean that a good company doesn’t have consultants that fail. It means that they go out of their way to help you succeed. A good company has ethical business practices and a good reputation. You may even want to check with the Better Business Bureau.

Questions to Ask about the company?

  • What is their reputation like?
  • How will they help me succeed?
  • What kind of advertising do they allow?

3. The Initial Investment

Joining an MLM is similar to buying into a franchise. Just like a franchise, it requires an initial investment. In return, you are given access to the products, a website, and training to help you sell the products from your home. Unlike a franchise, the initial investment is usually fairly small. Many companies allow you to get started for under $100! However, often this advertised investment isn’t the true amount it costs to join. Buying inventory or paying extra fees for websites and other products you need to be successful need to be accounted for.

Questions to ask about your investment:

  • How much do I need to get started?
  • Am I required to buy inventory?
  • Are there other fees for websites or other products I need to get started?
  • How much do I need to sell in order to make back my initial investment?
  • Am I required to meet a sales quota? (Just a note here! Any requirement that involves placing a certain number of orders IS a sales quota.)

4. Making Money

Now we get to the part that I’m sure you are most interested in. Making money! That is the whole point of all this, isn’t it? This is important because it can affect how you sell your products. If the company sends you a commission check you may only be able to sell your products for the amount the company requires. This means that if you want to give a hostess discount (or a VIP/Friends and Family discount) you can only give discounts when the company approves it. However, if you pay the company the wholesale price of the product you have more control. For example, If you sell a lipstick for $20, you would have to give the company $10 (the wholesale price of the product) then you pocket the extra $10 as profit. This gives you the freedom to run your own specials and sell the product for less, should you choose.

Even more important than how YOU make money is how your up-line makes money. Usually, multi-level marketing works like this, for every amount that you make, your up-line makes a percentage of that. Now, a credible MLM company will pay your up-line out of the company’s pocket. If at any time YOU are required to give up your own money to pay someone else it is a scam.

Questions about making money:

  • How do I make money from my sales?
  • Are there other ways to make money in this company?
  • How much commission would I make?
  • How does my up-line make money?

 

5. Community

One of the best things about joining an MLM is that you don’t have to do it alone. As they say, “You’re in business for yourself but not by yourself.” So when you are deciding on embracing the business opportunity remember you will also be embracing a community too. For this reason, I recommend asking about training and area meetings that would be available to you as a consultant. Most recruiters will even allow you to attend a meeting before joining so you can see what it is like. This is a good opportunity to meet others involved in the company and ask them some questions about their success and how they feel about the work involved.

Questions about the community of consultants

  •  Does this area have success meetings or training?
  • How often do they take place?
  • Can I attend a meeting before making a decision to join?

 

6. Do You Have What it Takes?

Finally, and probably the most important consideration is something you need to ask yourself. Do you have what it takes? In order to be successful in MLM businesses you have to be passionate, borderline obsessive, about the products and you have to be persistent, or maybe even stubborn. And you definitely need a thick skin. Although many consultants like to say that the products sell themselves, the successful consultants will tell you that they had to hear a lot of, “No’s” before getting a “yes.”

 

One Last Thing

Remember this is YOUR business. If you don’t feel passionate about a particular product line or you don’t feel a certain company is right for you, don’t be afraid to say no. It is perfectly acceptable to shop around for your ideal MLM company.

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