I have to warn you, this is going to be one of the strangest articles on Amway you have ever read.
You see, I was an Amway IBO for 2-1/2 years and while I made no money…I still had the time of my life! Honestly, I think it’s some of the best team building, positive attitude, focused energy training a person can receive. Plus, Amway is a just a fantastic business for a bunch of other reasons, which I’ll go over in a minute.
So, you may be asking yourself,
At the end of this post I’ll tell you the 3 main reason why I quit and won’t likely return unless some MAJOR things change.
Here’s the deal (in case you didn’t know), Amway is the grand-daddy of network marketing companies. Anyone who knocks Amway needs to get their head examined. The company has been around for more than 50 years, achieved $10.9 Billion in sales in 2011 (yes, that’s a B…billion), and operates in over 80 countries world-wide. Still think it’s a scam that hasn’t been found by the government? Rrrright!
Now, I know a lot of people who can’t stand to hear the name Amway. Even if you are in some other company people will often ask, “Is this Amway?” with a very condescending tone. It brings up bad memories of being forced to pitch family and friends and endless hotel meetings and conferences. And while I hated some of that stuff too, the pluses outweighed the minuses.
Like I mentioned above, I stayed in for 2-1/2 years without making a dime (that’s a lie…I think my largest check was $100 or something like that). Why is that awesome? Well, because in most network marketing companies people quit if they haven’t made money in 30 days.
Seriously! At first they skeptically ask, “Is this some sort of get-rich-quick scheme?”, then after joining they apparently want it to be one. Come on, did you really think you would be a millionaire in 30 days?
And that’s where Amway shines. They drill into your head that this is a long term business. It’s a 2 to 4 year plan that is to be worked consistently 5 days a week, by prospecting (looking for new reps), attending your teams weekly hotel meeting, and going to all major functions.
Plus the team camaraderie is fantastic. They are incredibly effective at encouraging the right behavior by edifying team members who brought a guest or hit any other goal. They pull this person up in front of the team at the “meeting after the meeting” and really pour on the positive affirmation. Which is brilliant.
It creates an atmosphere where people WANT to do the desired actions because they crave the positive affirmation. And lets be honest, it’s not like most of us get that kind of praise elsewhere in our lives…do you get that at your job?
My Amway team also was tremendous at getting people used to, and effective at speaking in front of large groups of people. Something that terrifies most people. They do this by doing what I mentioned above in varying degrees. First it’s just a question and answer thing.
“Ryan, I heard you had 3 guests here tonight. That’s fantastic! Tell us how you did it.” and then “What’s your driving force behind why you invited these guests here tonight? I know you want to make money, but I’m guessing you have a bigger dream than just money. What’s your big ‘why’?”
And this brings me to possibly the best thing Amway does to keep people in.
They “build the dream”.
You see, just making money isn’t a big enough reason to keep people from quitting. It needs to be a heartfelt, deep down desire that they are willing to move heaven and earth to make happen. Maybe they want to pay off a mountain of debt, or make it so their wife can quit work to spend more time with the kids, or maybe their tired of living in a crappy little apartment.
These types of dreams evoke an emotional response. And when you keep hearing that all you have to do is work “the plan”, you start to believe it.
You find yourself in a very positive environment with other driven, goal oriented people who are pursuing a big dream. This is VERY alluring!
I actually moved to another State at the same time I quit Amway. Would I have done it otherwise? Probably.
At some point you have to look at how effective the opportunity you are in is at creating your desired outcome. If I was basing my decision only on team atmosphere, I never would have quit. It was fantastic.
However there was this other little goal I had…making money!!!
Okay, so here are my complaints with Amway (I’m sure they have reasons for not changing these issues, but they still cause problems):
#1 – No Online Traffic Generation Techniques Taught Or Allowed – When you join Amway, you are taught to make a list of your family, friends and acquaintances. The next step is to sit down with your upline and call all of these people to check their interest…to see if they “keep their options open for making money on the side”. First of all, has anyone ever asked you that who wasn’t in Amway?
There are two main problems with this: First, people HATE to pitch their friends and family. And no, HATE is not too strong of a word. People don’t want to be embarassed in front of their friends an family as “that weirdo” whose doing that pyramid scheme. The second problem is that after you blow through this “warm market” list, you have no other real options. My upline encouraged Cold Contacting. It’s an Amway term that means putting on a suit and wandering around malls and bookstores trying to strike up conversations with strangers to ask them if…you guessed it…”if they keep their options open for making money on the side”. Haha. I have to laugh at that. You may think I’m joking about this, but I routinely did this! I would look for upwardly mobile people at Barnes & Noble at least once a week.
Want to know how many of those people I recruited? Dang, how did you know???? The answer is ZERO!!
The reason this is so bad is that there IS a great way to recruit people without having to go through all of this. You can learn to attract people online who are already looking for information on how to make money from home. This is where attraction marketing came from.
You see, I know that if you and I got on the phone right now I could tell you about my opportunity and you wouldn’t ask me if it was a pyramid scheme.
Why? Because you came to me. I didn’t pursue you. It’s a different dynamic.
I’ve recruited over 300 people this year…all online. Cool, right?
Well, this is what Amway would do well to teach it’s reps. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t contact your warm market. Because that does work. But after that has been tried, you have to have a viable way for people to market their businesses.
#2 The Products Are Danged Expensive!! – Okay, I know I’m probably going to catch some flack for this one, but it’s true. It’s hard to get customers to buy your $80/month vitamins. Yes, the Double X vitamins are awesome (and make you pee a cool neon yellow color), but $80? Wow.
And that’s just one of the products that is very expensive. Part of the idea when you join Amway is that you’re supposed to change your buying habits and now buy all the stuff (laundry soap, meal replacement bars, energy drinks, toilet paper, etc.) from your own business.
The problem with that is that it costs 2 to 3 times what it would cost if you go to the store! Save your super-concentrated arguments for someone else. Customers don’t really care about this. And to get to 300 points a month in PV, you do need customers.
Imagine if you had a product that was priced competitively in the marketplace. Click Here to see what a difference that can make.
The argument FOR these expensive products is that this is where the money comes from to pay the reps. No expensive products…no moolah.
#3 Expensive Business Support Materials and Training – While I loved the tape/CD of the week, the book of the month, the weekly hotel meetings and the quarterly conferences…they add up to a lot of money for someone who has yet to turn a profit in their business.
As a top income earner in this industry, I would much rather provide much of this information for free or at-cost and have them put their extra money towards advertising. Doesn’t that make more sense?
Plus, these support materials have been a point of contention for many teams. Why? Because they are another profit center for the leaders. While I don’t have any problem with this, it does need more transparency. Most downlines have no idea that their upline is making money off of these highly recommended materials. So, when they find out some get pissed.
Again, I have no problem in making money off of something I recommend to my team…as long as its truly valuable and applicable to their business. AND…as long as I’ve disclosed that I make money off this recommendation.
Honesty is the best policy, right?
Well, only you can answer that question. It’s a great company with a lot of positives. The only recommendation I can give you is to research the team you will be joining before you do so. You can’t switch after you join and you want to be on a fast growing team with good training and support.
But, you should also realize that there are other opportunities out there besides Amway. Ones that embrace the Internet and marketing online, but still have the same team atmosphere that is so crucial.
If you want to see how I’ve gone from struggling with Amway to now making over $21,000 in a single month, then click on the banner at the top of this page. Oh, and leave a comment below with your thoughts.