Friday, January 23, 2015

Advancing Yourself In Amway?

So many eager young people join Amway with the hopes that they will retire early, live a life of luxury and basically enjoy life with no worries. Most of the people who join Amway are very likely to be motivated, hard working and wanting more out of life. Their intentions are great but it leads to the question of why do so few people actually get anywhere in Amway and why are there so few new diamonds, at least in the US and Canada?

I think part of the problem is that the folks who recruit new prospects into Amway often imply that everyone has a chance to be a diamond and they also imply that it's not that difficult. I heard comments once that going platinum was so easy that someone's dog could do it. It's obviously not true when less than one percent of IBOs ever reach the platinum level and even those who do often are unable to maintain that level of volume.

Now let's break it down to numbers. A platinum group is often typically 100 to 150 IBOs. Of course not all of them are busy moving products or recruiting downline. A diamond group is six platinum groups plus some side volume, thus a diamond group is likely to have 750 to 1000 IBOs. Being a platinum can be compared to being the manager of a company and a diamond is like being a CEO of a big organization. In a job, you can work your way up and eventually become a manager or CEO. Some IBOs think they can never achieve those goals at work, but they mistakenly think they can surpass their sponsors in Amway so it's a better deal. But even if you earn more than your sponsor, does that mean you will eventually reach platinum or diamond? I think a better gauge of success would be those who go diamond. Diamond is often portrayed as the pinnacle of success and is the target shown in "the plan".

However, as I stated, going diamond would also be like achieving the level of CEO in a company. There is only so much room at the top. That is true. While there can be many diamonds, you would still need to have about 100 to 150 downline to achieve platinum and you would still need six platinum downline groups equating about 750 to 1000 downline IBOs to be diamond, plus your personal group. Thus a diamond is like a CEO who creates his own company. Factor in that half your group is likely to quit each year, thus you must replace hundreds of IBOs every year to maintain the minimum qualification of platinum or diamond. Add the in name "Amway" that makes some people cringe and maintaining a group is a daunting task. Imagine being a CEO of a company that loses half of their employees every year. That's what a diamond "lifestyle" includes.

It is my informed opinion that a diamond lifestyle is one of hectic schedules, constantly working to help your groups maintain volume and bringing in new IBOs, plus sponsoring and maintaining your own personal group of 2500 PV volume. If you cannot maintain 2500 PV personal volume, I believe you would not qualify for some of the bonuses paid by Amway. Also, because the rest of the workers normally works 8-5 or so, a diamond is out working the night shift and odd hours trying to keep the group intact. Also, factor in the travel to functions for speaking engagements and a constant churning of meetings and you have little time to actually work your business and spend time with family. Sadly, many people join to gain more time and money and they often end up with less time and less money because of their involvement with the constant meetings and functions.

So can someone succeed in Amway? Certainly it has been done, but I believe that many diamonds are possibly busier working odd hours than someone with a job with regular hours. The diamond lifestyle may be shown as fabulous, but I believe the reality is not as nice a picture. See my previous post about visiting with a diamond.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The CORE Program?

What is CORE? CORE is a program designed by some LOS to help you achieve higher levels in the business. But upon closer inspection, it seems that most steps are more beneficial to upline that the IBO.

Breakdown of CORE and why it doesn’t work. Here are the CORE steps. Some groups may have variations of CORE, but this is generally what many groups use:

1 - Show the Plan (10-15 per month)
2 - Retail the Products (10 customers @10 PV each)
3 – Tapes/cds
4 - Books
5 - Functions (attend all)
6 - Accountability
7 - Counsel with Upline (Be teachable!)
8 - Buy 100% of your own products
9 – Communikate

Many upline will tell you that your success is nearly 100% guaranteed if you follow these steps for 2-5 years. Some Amway enthusiasts will tell you that 6 months of this activity will nearly assure you of a platinum level business. Certain steps are within the IBO’s control, such as reading every day and listening to cds, and attending functions. It is also easy enough to be accountable, counsel with upline, buy your own products, and use KATE (voicemail).

Here’s where an IBO’s efforts will break down. Showing the plan and retailing products. And remember, if you cannot do these steps then you are not considered “CORE” and your upline will likely tell you that it is your own fault and that you simply haven’t been CORE, therefore you did not achieve success. There is some truth in this but let me expose the system in a different angle.

Amway has a spotty reputation in the US. I don’t think anyone can dispute this fact. Therefore, for the vast majority of people, being able to show the plan 10-15 times per month is a nearly impossible task. If you are able to do this, you are a really good salesman or a good liar. In this scenario, the IBO is already successful, but not because of CORE, but simply because the IBO has the gift of being able to convince people into seeing the plan. But for many IBOs, they may contact hundreds of people and not be able to get anyone to see the plan. Even IBOs who follow upline advice on how to contact will probably not be able to show 10-15 plans per month. Thus this IBO, who is doing the work, will not be able to succeed. The system will blame the IBO, but the reality is that the IBO has too big of a disadvantage to overcome.

Secondly, with high prices (on average) and with a spotty reputation, most IBOs are unable to retail products. Amway itself has admitted that less than 4% of Amway products are sold to customers (non IBOs). Thus most IBOs are unable to sell products, therefore they are not CORE, therefore upline will blame the IBO for failure..

What if an IBO contacts 1000 people and cannot get 10 people to see the plan? Upline will claim that IBO is not CORE and therefore it is personal failure of the IBO. IMO, the only reason why upline can claim that CORE works is because in order to do the CORE steps consistently, you have to already be at a certain level of success. The vast majority of IBOs cannot and will never be able to reach that level.

That is the myth and the deception that many uplines will use to attract recruits. That each IBO can do the CORE steps. When only a fraction of 1% ever reach the level of platinum or higher, the numbers strongly support what is written here. Apologists are welcome to try and prove me wrong, but they can't.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Amway IBOs Need Motivation Because They Don't Make Money?

I believe that Amway IBOs have approximately a 50% attrition rate for the first year alone. If you look at a 5 year window, I believe the attrition rate is something like 95%. So what we're saying is that out of 100 IBOs, only 5 will be around in 5 years, or out of 1000 IBOs, 50 will remain after 5 years. This is extremely significant because if you are a business builder, you will need to replace half of your IBOs every single year. For this reason, I am very doubtful that there are IBOs who "built the business right and built it once", who no longer do Amway related work, but still collect significant residual income. I would guess that significant income could be defined as being enough to live a lifestyle in the top tax bracket (for the US) without having to report to a J-O-B.

Now I understand that some IBOs take it personally when I bring up subjects like this. It is because they have been deceived by some upline diamond or big pin who has sold them on a dream of financial prosperity for life if they will only work hard for 2-5 years. I once thought so too, but realized that there isn't a single diamond that I know of who built the business right and walked away to enjoy the beaches of the world while truckloads of money rolls in. Kinda makes you wonder why you see Crowns still working, and diamonds actually quitting or resigning. I have asked the question many times and it has never been answered. Can anyone name a few people who built their business right and built it once who is currently enjoying these lifelong residuals? Also, if that were a benefit, why doesn't Amway say so?

Instead, you have a constant and endless flow of motivation being sold to IBOs. This motivation comes in the form of cds, books, meetings, functions and other things like voicemail messages. It's sad that IBOs have to continue to pay through the nose for motivation and "teaching" about the Amway business when there are cheaper and more efficient means of communication. For example, why would you need an expensive voicemail when a facebook group account can disseminate messages to your group in seconds at no cost? It is because the uplines want to extract every possible sent from their downline. Because of the internet, I believe people are starting to figure things out and avoid the systems altogether. I hope Joecool's blog contributes to this.

All the motivation IBOs truly need is to see a net profit at the end of the month. If IBOs actually earned an extra $200 a month, or $50 a month, or $600 a month as advertised, there would be no need for motivational speeches. The IBOs would simply look at the growth in their finances and they would keep going. The poor retention rate is easy to explain. IBOs are losing money because of the system expenses and they lose their motivation to continue. If you are an IBO or a prospect, stop and think for a minute. If you are making an extra $200 a month with minimal effort, would you need functions and other materials to motivate you? Or would you have intrinsic motivation from the profit? All the motivation you will ever need is a net profit. Take that to the bank

Monday, January 19, 2015

IBOFightback - Amway Shill?

There's no doubt that IBOFightback, AKA IBOFB, AKA Insider, AKA Icerat, AKA Insider201283, AKA David Steadson is easily the most prolific defender of Amway on the internet. Any comments about Amway send him running as if the comments are some sort of "batsignal" that prompts him into action. He literally has tens of thousands of comments all over the internet in defense of Amway, MLM and recently, Herbalife. He even went so far as to say that Karen O'Neil, the rules administrator for Amway, was wrong and that he was right. His lies and propaganda still sit on many blogs and forum. The now defunct Qblog had many of his most shameless lies, but unfortunately, I didn't save screen prints.

Now Mr. Steadson claims that he is not paid for his defense of Amway and other MLMs, but a recent site visitor here made some comments that has me thinking. He said that he was at an Amway meeting recently where the IBO leaders are encouraging IBOs and prospects to visit Mr. Steadson's website to get information about Amway and about critics so they can avoid critical websites. Now Steadson has ads on his website and the ability to accept donations. It could be possible, I suppose, that Steadson earns some income from the ads and augments that with donations from brainwashed IBOs who view him as some typs of authority figure in Amway. He would be like a Kiyosaki. Someone who isn't really building Amway (and maybe not capable of doing so) but is able to profit (directly or indirectly) by promoting Amway. If a diamond told their group to visit the website and donate a few bucks, I could see it being a fairly nice venture for the Amway shill.

What Amway IBOs and prospects do not recognize is that many of Mr. Steadson's articles are nice anecdotal stories and most of his work doesn't reflect the reality that the vast majority of IBOs are going to make nothing or lose money regardless of how hard they work. Out of those who work very hard, the vast majority, probably more than 99% lose money. Mr. Steadson also downplays the tool scam. The real business of Amway is selling cds and functions. Pretty much only those who profit from the functions make any real money in Amway. The tools and functions have a much larger profit margin and only a few qualified people share in the profits. It only makes sense that significant income is derived from the tools.

The Amway shills will have you believe that "anyone" can succeed in Amway. That is just as true as "anyone" can win the lottery. The reality is that very few, less than 1% of IBOs even reach platinum, And only a tiny fraction of platinums ever reach diamond. And those who reach diamond often canno sustain it. People are not making livable income from Amway. People are not walking away to collect residual income from Amway and the business is a near assurance of failure. That is the "Truth About Amway".

Friday, January 16, 2015

Signs Of An Amway Zombie

Sometimes it happens to the nicest of people and it oftens happens slowly and subtly. These are the signs that you are becoming indocrinated and you are likely annoying your loved ones at this point. One thing Amway uplines are good at is indoctrinating their downline. They use clever psychology and get you to agree with them on small things, building up your trust and then when a degree of trust is installed, then they toss in some of the crazy teaching. Many folks quit after seeing through the scam but some bite hard and follow blindly. My former sponsor is still in Amway after 20 years and while he was once upon a time a platinum, he is no longer close to that level. I hope this helps someone:

*You're driven to recruit everyone you know. You may even resort to deception or outright lies to get people to meetings. Before you know it, your family and friends avoid you like the plague. You do this because it's the only way to achieve "diamond" and "residual income".

*You're encouraged to develop an unreasonable, irrational zeal for the products. Even so far as to justify the quality of toilet paper or to call the products prestigious. You may even argue the quality of energy drinks or about phytonutrients, something you may not even know about. You'll justify the higher prices of Amway products by talks of concentration or some other means.

*A whole bunch of demands, promises, subtle threats of failure if you don't try hard enough are made in the promotional material and motivational seminars. i.e. If you quit, you are a loser destined to die broke and unhappy.

*Because the system is touted as the way you're going to make yourself fantastically rich, you're under pressure to drop any conflicting or competing interests such as your bowling league or golf club. Nothing else in life has importance except for the quest of financial freedom. All activities in your life must enhance your Amway business and have an affect on your financial future.

*Your upline soon becomes your most trusted friend. Your thoughts and feelings are shaped in part by the cds, meetings and functions. You ask upline permission for many personal decisions such as buying a new laptop, a new car, having kids, getting married, etc. As if someone who signed up in in Amway before you is qualified to counsel you on these decisions.

Do you recognize these behaviors? Hopefully you aren't displaying these behaviors.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Cost Of Your Amway Business?

One of the things upline leaders apparently do is to disparage people with jobs. Oh, they would say we needed people to wait on our tables and clean our toilets, but in general, jobs were put down and basically the group was told that Amway is their best chance at achieving financial freedom, giving them the ability to flush their jobs. Ironically, IBO's jobs are what funds their Amway businesses. Most IBOs would be out of business within weeks if not for their job income funding their Amway businesses.

The key selling point appears to be the 2-5 years of part time work rather than working a job for 30 - 40 years and then retiring on social security which may or may not be there when you retire. This plants a fear in people about the future and then the Amway opportunity is presented in a positive light because the Amway opportunity comes with a low start up cost. What uplines do not mention is how the opportunity can become a money pit as the monthly defacto 100 PV quota starts to add up. It is my guess that if people only bought items they truly needed, these IBOs would likely move 100 PV every three months, unless they are actively selling goods to non IBO customers.

When an IBO finally agrees to register, it is then that the hidden costs are revealed. Many uplines will introduce standing orders and functions and present these tools as vital to IBO success. Most new IBOs don't know better and feel subtle pressure to conform and give it a try. Some upline may loan some tools to downline in the beginning but evemtually, the IBO will be encouraged to be a "serious" business owner who should be purchasing their own tools to loan to their downline and the cycle goes on.

If you examine some version of the Amway recruitment plan, you will see that most IBOs are at the 100 PV level, which will reward you with a monthly bonus of about $10or so. If that same IBO subscribes to the tools system, than IBO will likely be losing over $100 a month not including the product purchases. And because many IBOs have been convinced that working a job is so horrible, that they can be convinced that this condition of losing money is temporary and that untold wealth is right around the corner. Sadly, for most, this condition is the norm and even the sponsorship of a few downline, the losses continue to mount. Yet many are convinced that this is better than a job.

Ironically, a job allows people to pay their monthly bills, feed their families and many people enjoy their work and co workers. While upline leaders may convince you otherwise, it is this very same excuse upline leaders use when asked why they are still working instead of walking the beaches of the world collecting massive amounts of residual income. I would encourage IBOs to truly analyze their efforts in Amway and determine if it is beneficial to your finances. In most cases, your Amway efforts ONLY benefits your upline's finances. For most who get involved, the Amway opportunity is not better than a job.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Making Progress In Amway?

I send this message to inform IBOs tha they should be aware of their circumstances in this business. What I mean is when you are a new IBO, it is common for you to buy/sell your 100 PV, and perhaps listen to some cds. If you basically did what your sponsor or upline advised, you made your 100 PV bonus level and you will receive a bonus from Amway for about $10. If you did as advised by your upline/sponsor, then you likely made a namelist and started contacting some potential business partners aka prospects. You're probably a bit excited because things are going as you expected. You did your part and a bonus is on it's way to your doorstep. Heck, you may have even sponsored a friend or relative because of your newly found excitement and enthusiasm.

But what happens after a few months? If you are still doing 100 PV and have no downline, then what are the chances that you will ever achieve anything? Your excitement is wearing off and now the Amway opportunity is becoming "work". You are also starting to notice that it is starting to get expensive to continue to purchase products, many of which you never purchased before. For example, were you buying cases of energy drinks and "high end" vitamins before Amway? Did you buy $50 cases of bottled water before Amway? Supposedly their laundry soap and other cleaners are highly concentrated, therefore your consumables are the nutrition/vitamin products.

Even if you managed to find some downline, are they duplicating what you do? Are they also moving volume and sponsoring downline? If not, what are your chances of fulfilling the 6-4-2 plan or some similar version of it. When I saw the plan, I thought it was reasonable and I was on my way to platinum. What I discovered though, is that as you progress, upline has greater expectations of you and that includes more tool purchases. (I was in WWDB). In the end, my recommended tool purchases ate up any profits I had and at the 4000 level, I was just about breaking even, which means I was at a loss when factoring in my time spent and other miscellaneous expenses such as gas money.

Where are you at? If you're been in for more than a year, are you on schedule to become platinum or are you at 200 PV with one downline? Maybe you have a small group with 600 PV? You still aren't close to a net profit. For the vast majority of people, success is not right around the corner. What's around the corner for most is more time lost, more money expended, and no progress. If your group is not growing each and every month, you are sliding backwards. If you don't constantly have new IBOs coming into the group, you are probably stagnant. With about half of IBOs dropping out each year, keeping a group together is a tremendous task.

IBOs, where are you at after a few months? Where are you at after a year? If you haven't gone platinum, it is nearly a certainty that it will never happen, despite what your upline might say. The facts are there, it's a matter of whether you want to believe it or not.