This is a piece submitted by a woman who worked in MLM that was not Mary Kay. But they were selling products to women, and the numbers are really no different than MK. Take a look at how dismal the recruiting prospects are, and how nearly impossible it is to make it to National Sales Director. Of course, it’s possible to get to NSD…. but with just over 200 NSD and millions of women who have gone through MK’s doors in the last decade or two, you can see that almost no one does it.
As an award winning top personal recruiter in another multi-level marketing company, this was my experience.
For every SEVEN new customers I added to my customer base: I signed only ONE new recruit. (I know, I know… make-up MLM is an easier sell. You all kicked my butt at recruiting!)
For every TEN qualified consultants I recruited (who placed a first inventory order): FOUR would quit before the end of the year.
For that same TEN consultants I recruited on my team: Only FOUR would duplicate themselves by accidentally, or with my help, recruiting someone else
Those FOUR out of TEN consultants who recruited someone else would end up being glorified personal use consultants who only worked “sometimes” and they would never have more than 2-3 on their team during their career–and never the same 2! So in MK speak… always gunning for Red Jacket!
I had to personally sign about TWENTY new recruits to find that ONE really sharp woman who would be interested in consistently doing the actual work of selling and recruiting it takes to “go to the top” (it’s like panning for gold!) and even they would burn out so very fast!!! But I never knew who would last so I really believed in each and every one! I was always disappointed. *sigh*
SO it actually worked out that for every THIRTY recruits I personally signed up, only ONE would actually became a seasoned enough recruiter to make it through a “Qualification” period to promote within one year of becoming a consultant (Like DIQ)
And sadly, in our MLM, for every TWO bona fide Director-types who promoted, ONE would not maintain enough minimum group production or minimum number of active consultants to keep her title beyond that first year and they would wash out. That is a 50% attrition rate for new director-types!!!!
I had always been told of the attrition rate of CONSULTANTS… but when I discovered the truth about the attrition rate of “DIRECTOR-TYPES” at the corporate sponsored “New Director-type Training” we had to attend… I really got to thinking what I was up against in order to claw my way to the top of the pyramid!!!
[Note: I walked away from all MLM at about this point after promoting an Offspring and working like hell to do it again. I figured out that moving up in an MLM truly WAS as I was told by a NSD-type, “Like running up the down escalator… hard to get ahead, and you will end up back on the ground floor if you stay in one place.” And it is soooo true that you are not compensated for your time and hard work until the very, tippy top. And only 1% ever gets that far. ]
So stay with me now… In order to get to the top of the ladder (like NSD) by having 20-30+ “Director-types” (or whatever the MLM calls for) on board at the same time, I figured I would have to:
- Find 4,200+ new customers in a hurry so that I could
- Recruit 600+ new consultants in order to “pan for gold” and work real hard to
- Develop 20+ solid “Director-types” before they all got discouraged and quit!
… and then I would have to be sure to replace the 240 consultants who will QUIT within a year (much more would quit in MK!) by making sure my team found 1,680 new customers (that’s a lot of women to say “yes” when stalked at Target)
… and be simultaneously developing at least 10 new Director-types (lots of DIQs waiting in the wings!) to replace the 10 Director-types who will not maintain their status by this time next year…
And THAT is just barely enough to skate by, qualify, and MAINTAIN a tippy-top Director position!
And in reality you know there are NSDs who have WAY MORE than 600 people in their units… it takes THOUSANDS to build a really strong business!!!
So… I would have to be an EXCELLENT motivator to convince as many of my hapless team members as possible go out and sell and recruit to maintain the pyramid… mostly by shifting all of the work to mid-level Director-types who will work their tails off to maintain their tiny pyramids within my bigger pyramid…
They say in MK to “do it fast” because attrition is always nipping at your heels… over 70% instead of the 40% I was used to in my MLM… because the bottom of the pyramid is always crumbling away… and it is not possible do all the work all by yourself if you are playing by the rules to grow your teams.