OMG!!! Is It A Pyramid Scheme?

By: Jef Welch
How do you respond to this question?

I walked into a restaurant in Orlando in one of the convention center hotel lobbies, sat down by myself thinking I would just get away from the crowd for a short time. At the table next to me was two ladies who were obviously at the same event I was attending, the ANMP (Association of Network Marketing Professionals). Yes I overheard them talking about the event, and knowing they were young newbys in the Network Marketing business, I decided to play a little trick on them. 
I acted oblivious. I asked them, "Are you here for a convention or something?" Their enthusiastic response was both of them talking over each other saying an overwhelming "yes." Then I came back with the line...... "Isn't that one of those pyramid schemes?" You should have seen the look on their faces change from enthusiastic to slightly nervous, mumbling answers from both of them and neither of them were giving me the same answer as the other one. It was exactly the response I expected. 
Most people in an MLM business have faced with this objective response and it's not the easiest thing to rebut. They had no clue who I was and that I had spent a great part of my life in the profession of Network Marketing, and yes I played along to see how deep they would dig the hole. Then my good friend, Tom Chenault walked up and told the two ladies, "Don't let that guy fool you, he's a superstar in this industry." I looked at Tom in the eye and smiled as the two ladies knew they had been suckered in by one of my role-playing mentor lessons that I pull on people all the time. 
pyramid scheme
The assumption or presumption that the business of Network Marketing is a pyramid scheme is not a correct perception or fact. In fact, most of the time people are programmed to think these things when they say those things. Remember..... most of the time when people say something, it's "why they're saying it" not "what they're saying" that you need to address. So here is how I respond. 
Prospect: "Isn't that one of those pyramid schemes?"
Me: "No, but might I ask why you would assume that?"
Prospect: "I don't know. It just sounds like one of them."
Me: "Yeah, I understand. I know some people are careful who they do business with and they should. I'm glad our company is licensed, has products which are approved in every country we go into, and has corporate attorneys to assure our company and all it's representatives have a legitimate business model that doesn't do anything to break any laws."
Prospect: "That sounds good. I just don't want to be part of a scam."
Me: "I don't either. I have my own reputation to protect. Me and you are on the same page. I appreciate you asking that question by the way. There are scam artists in every type of business out there. Look what happened with Enron, and many of the banks just a few years ago. By the way, when you get involved in this business with me, I'll help you understand it better so you will be good at it."
Prospect: (Feels your empathy) "I appreciate that...."
Now notice how I immediately respond with a question when asked a question. Why is this important with this subject? Because most people who ask this question, "Is that one of those pyramid schemes?," is basically programmed to ask that and they don't even know what a pyramid scheme is. They have a perception and perception becomes reality to people in their programming. 
There is such a thing as a pyramid scheme. It is a legal term relating to laws which have been created to describe an illegal act and structure within the way a company operates outside the legal boundaries, usually seen as a money-game. Most all companies that attempt to get by with this are based outside the USA in third world countries and spread their schemes around the globe as quickly as they can. The USA has strict laws to adhere by and most companies that attempt such illegal activity in the USA will be sited by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) immediately and are placed under a sanction by the Attorney General of whichever state they are charged with first. 
(Share this with someone who could use this to help them understand this simple lesson on how to respond to the question, "Is that one of those pyramid schemes?")

Categories: March 2016