Social Network Salespeople

There is a unique type of betrayal that seems to hit females* like myself in their 20s.  Friends join a multilevel marketing company, where they often get nominal payment for direct sales, sales by recruits, and simple outreach, and suddenly I am no longer seen and valued for my friendship or internet wit, but for the hard-earned money I will potentially give to them. Social media becomes awash in advertisement — not from a corporation, but from a friend I already follow out of interest for her life.  The exploition of my friendly attention for its sale potential is the betrayal.

I think I am being invited to hang out and have dinner, but really you have your regional director conveniently call mid-meal, and they want to know if I want to make more money. Luckily, I have yet to fall for the wine night party where the men have been sent to a ball game and you have turned your living room into a store floor.

Some of the most common groups I have come across:
Rodan + Fields (skincare)
It Works! (weight loss)
Perfectly Posh (skincare)
Juice Plus (nutritional supplements)
Genesis PURE (nutritional supplements)
CAbi (clothing)
Avon (skincare)
Premier (jewelry)
Younique (makeup)
Stella & Dot (jewelry)

While I have mad respect for a female’s right to hustle, I am given pause by the aboutface on our preeixisting friendship.

Aside from the fact that some of these organizations are barely on this side of the law of pyramid schemes, if something seems too good to be true it probably is.  And yet, these types of organizations have been around for years now, so the model obviously works for some people, both sellers and buyers.

So my advice for anyone reading this and wondering if they should start or continue working with a direct sales company: you should be truly both interested and cut out for a career in sales.  Also, continue to expand beyond your acquaintance network, and especially beyond your close friend network.  When someone I know starts hitting me up about their products, the message I cannot help receiving is, “You are not my close friend, and I am fine ensuring you never will be, since I am willing to put my sales numbers ahead of your feelings.”  Whether that is fair or not, that is how the move is perceived by those of us who do not like mixing money and friendship.

So, best of luck with your business venture, but take it as a compliment that I do not want to do business with you.

Direct sales party
Photo cred: New York Times

*If there are male parallels out there, please comment below or email the blog!

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