Written by Raisinberry
Imagine my discomfort, seated among a number of friends and other invitees, complying with social distancing, to hear a “reformed” MLMer, telling his story about his direct selling experience. He sounded positive, like he was fishing for recruits, but I later found out that he just had pride in his effort. And then the bomb dropped.
Everything was going well in his business until Herbalife changed the agreement. Recruits had to sign and agree to never disparage the company after they left…. which immediately sent up red flags (hard objections, tough to overcome)…. “And you know why? There’s some anti-Mary Kay blog, Pink Something with some person named Raisinprune that has ruined multi-level marketing!”
Raisinprune? Prune. Berry. They’re both fruits, right?
I kept my mouth shut. I am not an idiot. And I wasn’t sure he was unarmed.
“Do you mean that when your new recruit would sign your agreement to join to sell products, they had to agree they would never talk about what they saw or what they knew?
“So of course, then, your recruits would wonder what they were getting into if this was an early requirement?”
“Yes. All because of that site.”
Then the aftershock. “Everybody in direct sales is talking about that Pink Site and how all those posters made direct dellers change their agreements, so nobody would talk badly after they left the sales force.”
Now you know I was bubbling up… but I had to ascertain who I was talking to.
“I know the site you are talking about…I was a Senior Director for Mary Kay.”
“Do you think now, that the site is inaccurate?”
“Oh no!” he said. “I was a Herbalife distributor and ran with the health bar avenue of income, by renting space to downline, to sell product… but over time all the claims that that site talked about became true.”
He spent the next ten minutes running his scripts, making everyone laugh, and also expressing remorse at his excited entry into an MLM cult, that pressed upon everyone attending this party. His grandma, turned to me and said, “I knew what it was… ya just have to let them learn.”
He shared how much money he lost… how much he did what they told him to do, how the first month’s sales are never repeated, how his retail location dissolved, and how none of the financial promises were ever realized.
I spent at least 20 minutes telling him, validating him, about the fact that all his experiences were typical of everyone in direct sales/multi-level marketing, and how important it is to look successful to basically scam your downline and whoever you are targeting as a new recruit. Then, of course, how you awaken and are stunned that your lost yourself in all this.
“Yeah, that’s it,” he said, “and I lost so much money.”
Well. I decided to jump off the cliff.
“I am very familiar with the predatory strategies of multi level, direct sales, and you are probably going to be shocked, with what I am going to tell you. I am so glad you saw the light and let it all go. Let me introduce myself, I am Raisinprune.”
And that, my friends, is how you really make a party interesting!