business womanWe have all heard the following claims in the zeal of promotion and recruitment.

  1. Multi-level marketing (MLM) classes are taught at Harvard Business School.
  2. Network marketing has produced more millionaires than any other type of business.
  3. MLM will dominate the economy in the 21st century.

Unfortunately, these statements are “urban” MLM myths that are over the top and damage the credibility of distributors and companies, as they promote the truly positive opportunities of direct selling.

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Many network marketing companies are rightfully concerned about consultants making unauthorized medical and earnings claims on their own websites, as well as creating keyword confusion in the search engines. Therefore, many leading MLM companies provide authorized replicated websites for their consultants and actually prohibit individually-created websites. Therefore, if you’re a consultant, chances are high that you will not be allowed to purchase, design or build your own website. Instead, you’ll be given access to your own replicated website, provided by the company, which is a website that looks much like the company’s main website, but has a unique URL that you can send your customers to so that they can order products through you.

The primary reasons why companies don’t allow consultants to host their own websites are:

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It depends on which hat you are wearing that day as to whether they are to be considered MLM professionals or MLM junkies.

It depends on which hat you are wearing that day as to whether they are to be considered MLM professionals or MLM junkies.

The answer here is somewhat “tongue and cheek” and should be taken with a “grain of salt.” This question is often asked of people who are starting network marketing companies. The majority, if not all of them, respond that they want to recruit MLM professionals to their companies. An industry observer once commented wryly that, too often, “junkies” and “professionals” are merely flip sides of a coin. The commentator said, “A MLM junkie is someone who will raid your distributors and take them to another company while a MLM professional is someone who leaves their company, raids the distributors and brings them to your company!” It depends on which hat you are wearing that day as to whether they are to be considered MLM professionals or MLM junkies.

In all seriousness, the above comment too often contains more than a kernel of truth.

Lastly, companies that pay people to bring recruits with them to the new company are not conducting good business strategy. They will often claim to recruit thousands of individuals and only bring a few, yet still get their money. Unfortunately, this happens time and again and it is not an ethical way to do business.

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A full room of entrepreneurs listen to industry experts at the MLM Startup Conference in Las Vegas.

The next Starting and Running the Successful MLM Company Conference is already scheduled! On May 15th & 16th, 2014 we are hosting the MLM Conference for the 27th year! This is now our 67th annual conference (held almost consistently three times per year over the last 27 years). All executives/owners of MLM, direct selling, network marking, and party plan companies are welcome to attend. This is the original MLM Startup Conference, hosted and perfected by direct selling industry expert, MLM Attorney Jeff Babener.

WHO?

Direct Selling Attorney, Jeff Babener, Founder of Babener & Associates and Sponsor of the MLM Startup Conference, has over 25 years of experience in the industry, representing companies such as Avon, Nikken, Melaleuca, Discovery Toys, Usana, and NuSkin.

MLM Industry Consultant, Mike Sheffield, with The Sheffield Group and Co-Sponsor of the MLM Startup Conference, has helped launch over 800 companies over the last 27 years.

Over the course of two days, you will hear from many leaders in the direct selling industry, who include:

Jeffrey A. Babener, of Portland, Oregon, Conference Chair and Sponsor, www.mlmlegal.com, is the principal attorney in the law firm of Babener & Associates. He represents leading U.S. and foreign companies in the direct selling industry. He has been advisor to such companies as Avon, Discovery Toys, Nikken, Shaklee NuSkin, Excel, Usana, Fuller Brush, Cell Tech, Kaire, Sunrider, Melaleuca, etc. He is a frequent lecturer and has been interviewed on the industry, and published, in such publications as Money, Inc., Atlantic Monthly, Success, Entrepreneur, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, Home Office Computing, Business Start-Ups, Wealth Builders and Money Maker’s Monthly. He is editor of the industry publication, Direct Sales Legaline. Mr. Babener is also the author of the books, Tax Guide for MLM/Direct Selling Distributors, Network Marketer’s Guide to Success, The MLM Corporate Handbook, Network Marketing: Window of Opportunity and Network Marketing: What You Should Know. He is editor of one of most frequented network marketing educational web sites, www.mlmlegal.com.

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You should invest your time and effort in recruiting where it will pay off.

MLM attrition is high. This is a fact of life. All of those distributors, who you have signed up, have competing demands on their time. So, if they go passive, it is not your fault. If that happens, you should give it a good shot to urge them to reengage. However, after a few attempts, you should realize that you may be wasting your time. Hopefully, the value and quality and service proposition of your company’s products will allow you to convince the passive distributor to remain as a “preferred customer.”

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What’s the difference between MLM, network marketing, party plan, and direct sales?

Actually, they all fall under the general umbrella of “direct sales.” Historically, direct selling only involved direct person-to-person sales, often door-to-door. In the 1950’s companies such as Amway, Shaklee and Mary Kay introduced to the direct seller the ability to sponsor other sellers, to build a sales organization, and to receive an override commission on the sales in their sales organization at multiple levels. This is the origin of MLM, multilevel marketing and network marketing, which are all the same thing; i.e., direct sales with a multiple-level

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A number of states have multilevel distribution statutes that require registration. States such as Massachusetts, Georgia, Louisiana, Wyoming, and Montana require MLM registration. Other states with MLM statutes, such as Texas, Washington, Idaho, Indiana, South Dakota, etc., do not require actual registration.

No state approves MLMs and there are no advisory opinions to be sought in the U.S. on MLM. I.e. there is no approving of MLMs in all 50 states.

In regards to registering as “doing business,” states generally do not regard selling through independent sales representatives as “doing business,” requiring registration to do business. MLM companies resist this classification, which is

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