Fear of the MLM Snob Factor

Guest Post by Stephanie

Running Into MLM Snobs?

I just got off the phone with a good friend who is joining our MLM group. He’s in a really tricky place right now, and I sympathize with him a lot. He’s torn between excitement about the huge possibilities of this new opportunity and his fear of the “MLM snob factor.” That is, he’s afraid that his friends and family will look down on him for joining the MLM crowd.

My friend still works in the traditional corporate world. He isn’t quitting his job, but he is going to start working his new MLM business. His major concern is whether he will be able to tell any of his friends and business acquaintances about his new MLM business. Some of them might really want to take advantage of MLM, but he has to get past the “MLM snob factor” first.

The MLM Snob Factor and the Cashflow Quadrants

Robert Kiyosaki, of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” fame, knows exactly what my friend is going through. Robert writes about experiencing the “snob” issue when he left the corporate world to start his own business. In effect, he moved from one cashflow quadrant to another. If you haven’t read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad,” here’s a quick rundown of each quadrant, and the values held by the people in each quadrant.

E – Employee – Employed by others, and value a safe, secure job with benefits. Risk averse.

S – Self-Employed – Small business owners, specialists, and consultants who value freedom. Want to be the best in their field. Not afraid of risk.

B – Business Owner – Business owners who can walk away from their business and still get paid. Value great teamwork, and working with and serving as many people as possible. Want to work with the best in their field. Not afraid of risk.

I – Investor – Invest in growth opportunities. Value financial freedom. Not afraid of risk.

What happens to most people who join an MLM business is that, over time, they move from the E quadrant to the B quadrant. Changing quadrants also means changing values. Those who really intend to move to the B quadrant with an MLM business go from wanting job security and benefits to building an independent income stream that leads to financial freedom. It’s a change that entails a definite increase in risk – a risk that those in the E quadrant don’t understand.

Dealing with the MLM Snob Factor

“So what should I do?” asked my friend? Good question. There are a couple of ways to deal with the MLM snob factor, and it depends on the sensitivity of your current position. My friend works in a very small and tightly-knit business community, where everyone always knows what everyone else is doing. He doesn’t feel comfortable prospecting the people with whom he works because he is afraid it may impact the security of current job, and he’s not ready to do MLM full time. We decided he should just avoid the MLM snob factor altogether.

Instead, we worked out a plan where he has several marketing options, none of which impact his current job. These options work for anyone new to MLM and facing the same situation.

Market to Friends Outside the Business Circle
My friend attends a yoga class three times a week, and the people in the class run in completely different circles than his business friends. He will start by prospecting these people, who are likely to be open to more “alternative” income sources than his business friends. The yoga group will be his first warm market.

Buy Voice Leads
As one cold-market option, my friend will also buy some voice leads every month from a reputable company. The leads from this company express an interest in running a home-based business, and even state the reason they should be “chosen” for the business. These pre-qualified leads give my friend a good place to practice his prospecting. These people have already asked to be prospected, so the chances of him getting the cold shoulder are greatly reduced.

Online MLM Marketing
As a third option, my friend will also ease into online MLM marketing. He’s going to start by blogging, getting a company-sponsored duplicated site, and submitting articles to a select number of article directories. His plan is to blog 3 times a week about his experiences and his “lessons learned.” This will help him establish an online presence should he decide that he likes online MLM marketing best.

Are you running into the MLM snob factor with your family friends? If so, you might just avoid the whole problem by going with some of the above options. They allow you to transition into the B quadrant gracefully. Once you have established a successful income stream, you might consider prospecting your friends and family. You’ll be less likely to encounter the snob factor at that point.

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