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Home > Editorial

Don’t Be Misinformed By the Super Salesman!
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 business card.

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 “Buy natural.”

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 remission.

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.


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