The Questions I Ask (and the Criteria I Use) To Judge a Network Marketing Company 


       Be careful: when it is said that a particular program pays "5 levels deep", for example, it may only mean 5 levels of individuals, while in another program it may mean 5 levels of leaders (and generations of groups) -- no matter how far down line the first 5 may appear -- and this could easily turn out to be 30 individuals deep. It's mostly the matrix programs which refer only to individuals when they indicate depth, and the breakaway programs which refer to leaders and groups. 

       It's amazing how different programs attract entirely different types of people. Often enough, the deeper a program pays, the higher the quality of people you're likely going to be working with (and are going to be able to attract to it) over time. The best people want to work only with others who exemplify high integrity, great goals, and far-sighted vision.

       Deep-pay programs tend to have real products with real benefits, real markets to serve, and a real company run by dedicated people -- people who know that anyone can recruit a bunch of get-rich-quickers or flashes-in-the pan, but it takes a special kind of person to find and develop real producers, which is a lot harder. They'll know that to build a solid, long-lived company they must attract people who have a grasp of reality, a long-term vision, a perspective of time, a consistent work ethic, and stickability -- with a deep pay program which results in enormous financial rewards for LOADS of dedicated WORK.. Incentives count.

       Shallow-pay programs may pay out more at first, but of necessity the maximum payout MUST level off at MUCH lower levels (There are only 100 pennies in a dollar, Vern). So your best people will leave eventually, and THEN who've you got? No one interested in (or capable of) driving a line deep, that's for sure. Shallow-pay programs have too few upline leaders (and almost none with real vision) who have an overlapping, vested interest in training, motivating and overseeing any one particular distributor. Thus higher (that's right, Fern, not lower!) attrition rates, mistakes, misrepresentation, and especially, misdirection crop up way too often. Then the network unravels from the bottom up.

       Certainly, deep-pay programs usually take more real work over longer periods of time to achieve the big checks, but once achieved, they tend to be perpetual. The get-rich-quickers avoid this kind of (WORK?!!) program like the plague -- and that's a blessing in and of itself. While shallow-pay programs may be fine for part-time retailers, the deep-pay programs offer the only realistic prospects for richly rewarding those who work with dedication and persistence for years. 

Copyright 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 Richard Gaber    All rights reserved.

       Besides, it isn't worth doing a shallow-pay program as a partnership, while in certain deep-pay programs, partnerships of people who complement each other synergistically can often go twice as far in half the time and earn ten times as much as if they went in separately.

       Programs that pay on 3 or 4 leaders deep are usually better than those that pay on 6 or 7 individuals deep, and programs that can pay 4-5% -- down 5 or 6 levels of leaders (and on their groups, of course) could turn out to be the best opportunities in the long run. There are exceptions to this rule, and those would be deep-pay programs which have little or no continuing group volume requirements for maintaining leadership status, have boring products, declining or uneven override payouts (and therefore, lopsided oversight incentives), or violate any of the other criteria. In the cases of little or no continuing group volume requirements, your volumes WILL fade away as most "leaders" need only rest on their laurels. This is a very serious problem with such programs because it's so very hard to see. Remember this well: one (seemingly) exciting company which did $520 million fell to $91 million 7 years later, so slowly that noone believed it had to keep worsening except for those few who recognized the booby trap: the tiny ("easy!") group volume requirements.

       The standards for leadership maintenance requirements which work have been established by the oldest, most successful, still-growing companies as being in the $3-$11,000 per month range (at wholesale). After all, it would take 2,000 $500/month groups to equal the production of just 200 $5,000/month groups! Even being pessimistic, figure out how many supervisor-groups you could have after say, 12 years of development, on a mature 6th level. You'll see that that generation can produce 83% of your total volume! We know of one veteran who'd be making $700,000 a month instead of his $30,000 if only his program paid 5% evenly down 5 levels instead of uneven rates down only 3!

       Now for the bottom line: Most programs are lucrative only in theory. Very few are lucrative in fact. So find out how many people have reached (and are still reaching) the top achievement levels and how much they really earn. CAUTION! In programs where the leaders have to pay their downlines they habitually talk about what they gross, not what they net. Be highly skeptical of those making most of their money selling sales aids and, especially, of those enticed from other companies and/or subsidized. So forget the "top producers"; find out what the average earnings are for the highest level with AT LEAST 100 distributors in it. It should be over $500,000 a year to be competitive today. 

Copyright 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997 R.Gaber

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