Amway: My Brush with the Great Pyramid
Introductions to exciting and rather ambiguous business opportunities have been offered to me at least twice in my life. The first time this happened I was a student, and therefore an easy target for the friend who brought the proposal to my door. They wouldnt tell me what it was just that it involved no selling. If I kept an open mind and came along to an introductory meeting, all would become clear. The fact that there was to be no selling made it tempting. I have never been a salesperson, nor would I want to be. Frankly, I needed the money, and I wanted to find something flexible to help me get my hands on some additional revenue.
I soon found out that the no selling line was, as far as I could determine, a little further from the truth than I would have liked. On the evening of the introductory meeting, my friend and his wife drove me to a hotel with conferencing facilities. Many other people were arriving at the same time, and it was easy to spot the ones who didnt really know why they were there. They looked as bemused as me. The Amway IBOs (Independent Business Owners) like my friend were eagerly looking around for the familiar faces of those who had joined at the same time as themselves. People were over-friendly and excited, which I must confess, built up a feeling of eager anticipation in me. I began to want to be convinced by the product (whatever it was) so I could join the club. At this stage I still had no idea it was an Amway meeting. I found out soon enough.
We were all seated in a large hall and the show began. It was a well organised and well-rehearsed presentation. Films were shown on the large screen, focussing on the successes of the company. Normal people talked about how their lives had been transformed by the vast sums of money they had made in a relatively short period of time. We were shown images of stables, sports cars and swimming pools, and reminded that once the money started coming in, it never stopped, whether we wanted it to or not! An energetic host bombarded us with positive statements, and stroked our egos by telling us that we were already half way there because we had the business sense to turn up! All we had to do was buy a kit and start selling to our friends and family. No cold calling! Many were convinced and coughed up there and then. I felt rather awkward about not buying a kit on the spot, because if I had my friend would have gone up a notch on the earning scale by introducing me.
Thats the hook. Thats why the family and friends thing works so well. If you offer stuff to a stranger, they feel almost obliged to turn you down if you are cold calling. No sale. If you go to a friend or relative, they may feel more awkward about saying no. Sale. Additionally, if a friend or relative attempts to introduce you to Amway, they are instructed to recite the tried and tested phrases; just enough to convince you to go along to an initial meeting. By the time you find out what is involved you feel almost obliged to sign up because they have had to sit through the whole thing with you and you dont want to let them down.
Amway is one of the largest and most successful pyramid schemes, and it is true that it has worked for many people. However, I get the impression that the most successful people are salespeople at heart; or they have no scruples about selling to their friends, who in turn must be successful in their sales activities. If anyone ever asks you if you are interested in a business opportunity that involves no selling, but they wont be drawn on the details, youre probably about to be talked into going to an Amway meeting.
You can explore the Amway opportunity and decide for yourselves, by visiting http://www.amway.com/, where the company invites you to examine and compare what makes Amway one of the best business opportunities in the world.
Pros: You can make money from your family and friends.
Cons: You are encouraged to make money from your family and friends on a regular basis, unless you fancy cold-calling on doorsteps. Both prospects leave a rather bitter taste in my mouth.
© Copyright 2003 Max Barclay
Max Barclay is the editor of I NEED SOME SPACE.com. He has worked as a graphic designer in the South of England for thirteen years, and is a Director of Tinstar Design Ltd.
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