Are you sick and tired of being treated like a mushroom? You know, kept in the dark and fed a load of compost. Are you even aware that you have the mushroom malady? Or do you blame yourself for your lack of success in online business ventures?
First, let me define what I mean. A definition does two things. Firstly it tells you what something is, that’s pretty obvious. The second thing it does it tell you what it is not. So, for example, this series of articles is not about the diseases that might attack mushrooms, so if you are a mushroom farmer who’s come looking for a solution as to why your last crop failed, I’m sorry, but you’re in the wrong place.
Okay then, this particular article is on The Mushroom Malady which I’d like to define for you. Malady by the way is an old fashioned word, not used very much these days that describes an unwholesome condition. The Mushroom Malady is an unwholesome condition that brings about a state of frustration experienced by business people, particularly people joining Multi Level Marketing companies that is a direct result of being kept in a stage of ignorance and expected to survive, even thrive on lies, half truths and outdated methods. In other words kept in the dark and fed BS. Prolonged exposure to this environment can lead to poor results, disillusionment and a sense of failure.
So what are these lies, half truths and outdated methods that contribute to The Mushroom Malady. Well the list is reasonably long, but I have chosen just five to share with you to help you get the picture. Firstly, I’m sure you’ve been exposed to the mantra that everyone is a potential customer or distributor. If you have been involved with MLM for more than five minutes you would have been asked the question : How many people do you know who use…followed by the products of that particular company.
So it goes something like this. “How many people do you know who use shampoo or laundry powder or vitamin supplements or a mobile phone etc etc etc? Just imagine, each one of those people is a potential customer for your business.”
“How many people do you know who could use an extra $100/250/500 per month. Each one of those people is a potential distributor. Your job is to get them on board before someone else does.”
OR How about this one.
“How would you feel if you went to share the business opportunity with your best friend only to find they were already a distributor, signed up under someone else because you hadn’t bothered to follow them up?”
Don’t you just love the guilt trip that takes you along. NOT.
The second on our list is It’s a numbers game. Every no gets you closer to a yes. Well excuse me, but where is it written that you will get one yes for every ten nos? People are not that syncronized to your expectations.
A no means that particular person is not interested in what you are offering- that’s all. If you only ever ask people who are not interested, for whatever reason, you will never get a yes, no matter how many people you approach. That is the plain and simple fact of the matter. The idea of asking until you get a yes was okay when multi level marketing was first being introduced. Then it truly was simply a matter of approaching people. But in today’s extremely cynical world people have been exposed enough to the concept of MLM that they have built up an immunity, a natural resistance…just like they have to other ‘diseases’.
Next we have the lie that it’s not really selling, it’s just sharing. This one is designed to overcome the fears of those who wouldn’t be caught selling something, if their life depended on it. Well, the truth is, whenever there is an exchange of any sort, in this case an exchange of money for a product or service a sale has taken place. The bad name that selling as an occupation has is more related to bad experiences from the past, the in-most-cases unfair reputation of salespeople as sleazy rip off merchants and thirdly the fear of rejection that you will invariably encounter in promoting your products or sharing your business opportunity.
Just a bit of a reality check here. Selling makes the world what it is today, for better or worse. If not for the squillions of sales that take place every day we would be forced to eke out a subsistence existence no more advanced than the cave dwellers. So if you would never be caught ‘selling’ then don’t.
The other quick point I want to make is that this lie is promoted as just another word of mouth experience that is natural amongst friends. Like when you see a good movie, or read a thrilling book, of course you’ll share that experience when next you get together. It can be claimed as word of mouth advertising which, we are told is the best kind there is, when the person sharing has no vested interest in whether or not the other person acts on the advice offered. In the scenario we are considering it is a blatant sales push and is a sure way to lose friends real quick.
Okay, the next sitting duck waiting to be shot down is the lie that anyone can succeed at this because the products are so good they literally sell themselves. That lie would be less blatant if there was such a thing as a level playing field, but the only people who think that are the Australian Government who use it as an excuse to drop import tariffs while virtually every other country in the world is putting them up. Another story, another time.
In case you did not already know there is no level playing field, never was, never will be. Take for example the following two hypothetical case studies. Distributor one: just lost his job at the factory, has little money in the bank, has been buying company Q’s product for a while and has recently signed up to take advantage of being able to buy product at a discounted rate. Is convinced by his upline this is the ideal opportunity for him to make a real go of it in the business
Distributor two: Young, upwardly mobile professional (In the days before people became obsessed with generations, we called them yuppies) Master’s degree in Marketing, holds down a $150,000 year job but would like to stop globe-trotting and settle down to start a family. Owns a lovely home with panoramic vistas overlooking the ocean and enjoys holding cocktail parties on a regular basis. Assuming they start on the same day, which of the two is more likely to succeed? I’ll let you decide on that one. Hint-people will run a mile if they sense you’re desperate to make a sale.
You see products don’t sell anything. They are inanimate objects. And people don’t buy products, they buy solutions to their problems. Tony Robbins, the self help guru says there are only two motivations in life. The avoidance of pain and the acquisition of pleasure. So, if you can show a customer what’s in it for them, particularly if you can show how their problems can be answered, you’ll more often than not get the sale. This is not the place to get into a discussion on features versus benefits, but that’s what it is all about.
And the last in our short list of lies, half truths and outdated methods is one that has only come into its own since the advent of the Internet. We do all the work for you. If you’ve been on the net for any time and have been checking out business opportunities you will have come across this one. Simply sign up, sit back and wait for the money to come flooding in. These are the sorts of pages that pictures of flash cars, big houses huge yachts etc. (The cynic in me wonders how much money the car dealer makes for letting people have their photo taken with the cars in his showroom. It does seem to be the same one all the time…red, sporty, you’d have to be a contortionist to get into the thing, yeah you know the one.)
Now if you translate what these people are saying into the language of the gullible and the desperate it translate something like (and this is only a rough translation) my fluency in gullible and desperate has tapered off in the past few years. But it goes like this “For no apparent reason, other than the fact that we can, we are going to let you sit back while we do all those unpleasant things that you are not prepared to do and hand over to you all the profits we make from our efforts.”
However, when you change it into Reality Speak, the language of the real world there are some marked differences, compare what I just said with “We will take your hard earned money, do what we like with it, take what we consider to be our fair share and, if there is any left over, throw you a few crumbs to stop you from questioning or complaining.”
Quite a different picture, isn’t it. Time for another reality check. 97% of people who get involved in MLM fail. How do you feel about being part of the majority? Allowing for very few exceptions, Get Rich Schemes only ever make the people who developed them rich.
Now the lies, half truths and outdated methods we have looked at in this module do two things:
(1) They work just enough to keep people using them
If you go to your upline they’ll show you their pile of receipts for paper napkins they always had on hand so they could explain the plan, drawing the circles, or was it squares and send you off to the supermarket with the name of the brand you should buy to “duplicate” their system.
(2)They place all the blame for failure at the feet of those who had their dreams shattered. Now I ask you, on the fairness scale of 1-10 where does that rate….about minus two.
Well, I’m here to tell you the Good News that it’s not your fault. You have simply been infected by the Mushroom Malady, AND you CAN turn it all around…if you choose.