Though multi-level marketing companies have been around for decades, there seems to have been a boom in recent years, probably due to the various social media platforms which consultants can now use for advertising, parties, and recruiting new consultants. Social media, in some cases, has also caused MLMs to sometimes become quite annoying. It is no longer the ’80s where people were invited to an in-home Tupperware party. It sometimes seems to be an endless slew of online parties and messages from random people trying to get you to sign up.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not completely against MLMs. I am technically signed up with one purely because I love their products, but I don’t actively sell. There is also another MLM that I buy from very regularly because they have the most awesome product and my consultant is awesome. She doesn’t pressure or harass; she is just great!
Here is where my problem lies regarding MLMs.
On Instagram, almost weekly, I get a random follow request from someone, and once I look at their page, I see it is all about exercise and magical shakes. They probably find me through either one of the beauty pages I follow like Ulta, or through an exercise product page I follow. I have made the mistake in the past to allow this follow (because I thought it was someone I knew), which was then followed by a direct message. The message usually reads: “I host a virtual fit club. It’s a great group of women supporting each other on their health journey. Would you be interested in learning more?” If it ended there, that would be great. But it doesn’t. That initial message was followed up by an invitation to buy Beachbody products. I let the consultant know that I am pregnant and that I have a good postpartum routine in place that I plan on using. In response, she continued to push her products; I then found myself defending my plan and almost saying something not so nice. Now, I usually just ignore those follow requests unless I am feeling particularly feisty.
Another not cool tactic is when consultants join a particular group and to use it as a way to get a list of potential recruits or clients to message. I’ve had that happen several times on Facebook where a random lady tried to sell me something. I find that completely tacky and think it should be against any reputable MLM’s policy. The MLM I am part of has a set of ground rules on where you can post.
Thirdly, if you are a consultant having a party, it isn’t cool to message the people every day pressuring them to buy. Many of us don’t have a ton of money to drop on random things that we may not be interested in to begin with. We want to support our friends, but sometimes money is tight and we can’t. So please be intuitive about that.
I generally like MLMs. There are a lot of unique and interesting products that have come from them and I will always be happy to support my friends in their endeavors when financially possible. But consultants and companies (since it seems that certain companies encourage their consultants to cold message people), please go about it the right way. If it truly is a good product, it will sell itself. Please don’t be tacky and cold message people that you don’t know to try to get them to buy your product or sign up. That really isn’t any better than a telemarketer blindly calling and bothering someone.