Home     |     About Mel     |     MLM Consulting     |     Speaking & Training     |     Articles     |     Projects     |     Personal

What MLM Pro's hate Most
A guide to transitioning from one MLM to the next

As a Distributor, Corporate Consultant, and MLM Trainer I can tell you that things change... companies change... people change. There is a popular saying, "There is nothing more constant than change."  In the case of the MLM world that saying is consistently manifesting itself.  Companies are run by humans and humans aren't perfect.

From time to time a company ends up changing a compensation plan around, modifying a product line, changing management or even more dramatic could be they go out of business or are faced with charges by an Attorney Generals office or by the FTC, SEC, FDA... etc.  (or any number of three letter Federal governmental agencies.)  Life changes.  While this might be a difficult topic to discuss, no one likes this topic, it is a fact that most who look forward to a career in Direct Sales or Network Marketing will most likely be faced with some time during their career.

If you intend to be a full time networker, get use to the idea that sooner or later you'll be forced to start over.

Two major thoughts about this:

--- #1 ---  Protect yourself with "Multiple Streams of Income"

While I am not a major fan of Robert Allen, one thing is for sure, he hit it right on the head when he wrote "Multiple Streams of Income". Now, don't get what I am saying wrong. I am not telling you to work 2 MLM's at the same time. That is mostly harmful and nearly impossible for the average person. They will find themselves failing at both, typically.

What I suggest is developing an MLM, and one or two other streams of income. As your MLM business develops and starts to produce a nice level of extra income, maintain your day job, and leverage that extra income into another business of some type, selling information (eBooks), selling your skills (consulting), or selling/reselling products (ebay). Find a niche... find something that suits who you are. Find that "something" that allows you to leverage yourself into a secondary income. [ http://www.melatwood.com/article_3.html ]

Work to make it self sufficient. When it no longer requires your income from your MLM business you now have two viable entities earning you a cash-flow. If for some reason you run into a situation like you find yourself in: company is less ethical than you would like, company or management has changed the rules to the game, or for whatever reason that you are no longer comfortable with expanding your MLM... you have a back up income that you can now leverage back into another MLM of your choice.

--- #2 --- What do I do with my current downline?

Choosing an MLM to start with is always a task that should be undertaken with care. However, a transition to a different MLM can be far more treacherous. Not only do you need to be careful choosing the next right company for yourself, you have be sure the company you choose will add to your credibility as a leader.  Keep in mind, you're probably not just picking a company for yourself, you're also picking a company for a new downline, and possibly your old downline.
The company you pick will speak volumes to your friends, associates, and current downline.

The Challenge: Those friends and family members who trusted you the first time around now depend on you for support in the MLM you now want to back away from. This presents a moral challenge of your own.

a- You can cut all ties, refer all assistance required by your downline to you upline, and simply walk away.
b- You can just "become busy" in other areas and provide basic support while relying on your upline to pick up the slack.

Your choice will depend on the situation. I have been in both situations and neither is a simple choice.

How you handle this issue is a call only you can make. However, let me put a career in networking into perspective. Building long term relationships that transcend a particular MLM business is Critical to your success. You will be at this same cross roads in your career several times, if you have always maintained your honesty and integrity you can also walk away with your credibility (for the most part).  If you lose your credibility in this industry, you've lost everything.

I know many full time networkers (including myself) who have created huge incomes in MLM. Many who have repeatedly created $5,000 - $10,000 - and even $50,000 or more monthly in different companies (but rarely is this done simultaneously.  Again it takes a rare person to be able to build in two MLM's successfully at the same time.  I would advise you not to try it.  Stay focused on one MLM at a time.)

Here are a few keys from the Pro's if you're thinking about transitioning to a new MLM:

1- You have to develop a system of success or reputation that you are known for. What is it that defines you as a leader or career networker? When people use your system of success they know what to expect from you as an upline in a new company. If you provided no support, if you offer no advantage, if you provided no system of success... then what advantage do you provide as an upline and why would they want to be in your downline again in another business?

2- You have to be honest, but you must have a clear, understandable, and viable reason for moving on. It must be believable. People have to know they can trust you and that if they follow you that they wont be left high and dry. With this comes a great responsibility to have done due diligence on the new opportunity, strategically chosen your sponsor, and ensured that this new company will provide a solid ground to build a new organization for a few years at least.

3- You have to be careful not to destroy your previous downline in the process. If you have a nice check from your previous company, you're likely in a dilemma. If you recruit your downline into a new company you will see your check drop... and perhaps you might even be breaking the policy of that company. Career networkers handle this differently for every company. Some times, they will leave their downline alone and start from scratch in the new company. This is a bit more difficult, but it does leave your current income in tack while you develop a new one. OR, you could hope that your downline would feel the same as you about the current company and decide to move to the new company with you. Be sure that you are clear on your objective. Be sure you think it through clearly... however... whatever you do....

4- You should avoid burning bridges. Your downline might be upset... you could have built a level of trust with your downline, and understandably they could be upset. WHATEVER YOU DO... DO NOT BURN BRIDGES! Your relationships with your downline are the key to future success. Even if you decide to leave your downline in tact, if you are not honest, if you are prepared with #2 above, you might find yourself losing a downline anyway... and then #3 is irrelevant. In this industry relationships and credibility are the most critical tools in your arsenal.

There is no EASY or SIMPLE answer and each individuals situation is different. This is a common issue that career networkers will face, most of them... once, even twice, if not several times in their career. However, if you follow the keys I listed above you will look back in years to come and see this as just another stepping stone on your road of success. How you handle each occasion will determine how easy or hard it will be the next time. Keep in mind that Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy and that above all else you must maintain your relationships and credibility. To do otherwise will ultimately damage your chances of success in the future.

Good Luck on your Journey,
Mel Atwood

Copyright � 2004, 2005, 2006  YourSolutions.net, LLC