Most of us have had the experience of being pestered by a sales person
from a multilevel marketing or direct marketing company trying to
convince you to buy his products. Only they are are not known as
salesman but “manager” and they have this position printed on their
I am writing this to provide guidance to readers who are not familiar with
their sales tactics. The next time when you take that multivitamin pill,
please stop and think whether you really need it. Although I am not a
nutritionist, I believe that if you eat a daily balanced diet, your body
will received all the required nutrients.
The fact is your friend who “works” for the direct marketing or multilevel
marketing company is a super salesman. Their opening line is always,
“I want to share the goodness of such and such products with you” and
never, “I want to sell you this product.” I am sure you will instantly
be alert and become cautious if the second phrase is used.
What happens after that is you end up listening to him explaining the
benefits of his company products, being shown the product brochures and
the process of relating who are now taking his products (preferably
well known people) and cured of their ailments. In short, he is
thick-skinned and irritating. Either he fails to read the bored expression
on your face or he chooses to ignore it as you cannot do anything about
it as he is your friend!
You cannot blame him for wasting your time as he is only trying to earn
a living and you are a potential source of income. The products that he
sells include water purifiers, multivitamins, stress relieving formula,
cholesterol-lowering teas, magnets etc., an endless supply of merchandise.
I am not saying all these products do not work and your friend is a
fraud but the reality is more and more of such companies are cropping
up each day. A lot of such “imported” products do not have the authority
approval in their own countries of origin, usually advanced countries,
thus they end up in developing or third world countries.
As for your friend, he might be genuine and sincerely wants to help you.
He might even believe in the effectiveness of his products, courtesy of
the training he receives from his upline. If this is the case, he has
been misinformed and become unwitting victims who share misinformation
and personal experiences with others. Most of such people do not possess
sound knowledge of their products and have been taught by their seniors
on what to say. A good example would be a friend from such a company who
tried to persuade me to buy her company toothpaste claiming that it did
not contain fluoride as this substance was not good for your teeth. I
guess most of us know that fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay and
most toothpastes in the market contain such substance with the approval
of the Malaysian Dental Association. She was a good friend and I was
sure she had no intention of cheating me but was misinformed herself.
The end result of their continued training in sales tactics and product
“knowledge” is they appeared well-versed by applying scientific terms
and quote (or misquote) scientific references. At the end of the day,
what sells is not the quality of their products but their ability to
influence their audience. To those in pain, they promise relief while
those who have incurable disease, they are offered new hope. As for
the nutrition-conscious, their advice is, ”Make sure you have enough”
and to those who are worried about pollution, their advice is
Usually people who end up buying products of multilevel and direct
marketing companies, especially health related products, do so because
they have been persuaded by their friends, relatives and neighbours who
have tried them and found them to be effective. In such cases, the
customers have become indirect sales people and what is more powerful
than advertising by word of mouth. Normally such people are motivated
by a sincere wish to help their fellow humans by recommending the use
of such products.
The testimonies of the effectiveness of such products from the customers
of multilevel or direct marketing companies are not scientific proofs.
In order for a product to be approved by the relevant authority it has
to go through numerous tests with their results collected and studied,
providing us with statistics and data.
The success that customers of such products are
experiencing could be due to two reasons :
spontaneous remission and the placebo effect.
Most ailments have a limited period of infliction and
will improve with time regardless of treatment. For
instance, it is commonly said that if you treat a
cold, it will disappear in a week but if you leave it
alone, it will last for seven days. What is being
experienced by the patient in this case is spontaneous
The placebo effect involves the power of suggestion and there are
some people who are susceptible, possessing a psycho logic predisposition
to respond positively especially if the sales personnel from such a
company has a dominant or persuasive personality and the ability to
create confidence. For example, there are some of us who feel better
when a doctor walks into a room.
Hopefully, after reading this article, the next time when someone
approaches you to explain the benefits of his products, you will be
more aware of his selling tactics. Don’t waste your time and money,
just tell him sincerely that you have nothing against him or his
products but you just do not need them as you do not believe in them.
To end, I believe in science and if you should counter me by saying
that, ”Science doesn’t have all the answers, ”I would admit that you
are right but at least science does not claim to have them.