The Deal Culture

A few months ago a company contacted me.  They wanted to send a private jet to bring me to their corporate HQ.  They also let me know that they were willing to fly in some of my top leaders, give me a spot at the top of their structure, and provide deals for my people.

I did what I always do…

I could have told them they were idiots and would drive their business into the ground.  But I knew they wouldn’t believe me anyway.  So I politely thanked them for thinking of me, but said I wasn’t sponsorable, being happy where I am.  (Not to mention the fact, that I am proud of building my business from the ground up, with no deal.)  They seemed shocked that I didn’t at least want to hear their offer.  But why would I?  Or why would you?

If you’re in a solid company that does business with integrity, they pay you on time, and the product has value, you shouldn’t be shopping around.

Now some would argue with me.  They say check out all the offers, see where the best deal is.  Those guys probably want to sleep with different women to make sure they want to stay with their wife too.

Anyway, I never gave that company another thought again, until this week, when I learned they had shut down.

Will people never learn?

Don’t they understand that anyone they can buy away from another company can be bought off again, just as easily?  There is such a culture of whores and deal making happening now, it’s ruining it for real builders.

People have figured out that if you join a company, do the rah-rah thing and qualify for a high rank one time – even if you buy your way in – then you can shop around for a deal.  And there is always some naive company that thinks they will short cut success buying these people.

Companies that open with this strategy always implode.

It’s one thing to give a deal to someone who had their company go out of business.  If you do some kind of a bridge or top up program.  But hunt mercenaries and all you end up with is mercenaries.

I’d rather get a housewife who loves the products and is teachable than a “heavy hitter” who’s shopping for his tenth company.

What do you think?  Have the deals gotten out of hand?  Is it threatening the integrity of the business?

-RG

66 thoughts on “The Deal Culture

  1. Thank YOU Randy. For having, showing & maitaining your integrity. We had some team members with us at our last company convention & one of the company’s top leaders stood on stage & told 12,000 people how happy he was & he was (insert company name here) for life. Well he must have passed away a week later, because he’s now with another company.

    So explained it so well in your Network Marketing Revolution ebook & I’m so glad I read it, just like this post.

    Thanks for all your insights from the top!

    Derrick

    1. thank you sir once again ……..i wish i could met you in person ..when are you coming to INDIA ? tell me Sir if i can be of any help to you………..

    2. Amazing! I saw the same thing in September at our convention. Wonder if it was the same guy? BTW, he didn’t end up on top at his new company, as he thought.

  2. Randy, your blog today is a leaders post. It is refreshing to see top produces express the truth about the prostitution that seems to have become the norm in our industry. Thank you for being brutally honest about a sensitive subject for some.

  3. Wow Randy! I love the candid take you have on this. Several months back I wrote the following blog post. I’ve reposted here because it is my same view today, much in alignment with yours I believe 🙂

    “I believe we have a huge concern in the profession today that till now nobody has really faced head-on. And I’m not sure why. While many have alluded to this issue and hinted that it must be controlled in some manner, nobody has really come out and said it needs to be investigated. Of course, I am talking about the ‘buying’ of top income earners in other companies in order to grow another. Personally I believe it has become a farce and huge blight on the MLM industry as a whole.

    Consider this: Should the ‘purchasing’ of top income earners by another company be made ‘illegal’ in MLM? Should financial inducement to join another organization be disallowed when leaders begin doing their shopping around?

    Because if something is not done about it soon, this profession, with all the ground it has made in the last few years is about to take one huge backward step…and possibly never recover.

    This is the very scenario that is being played more and more often today; a company that is struggling decides to ‘purchase’ a proven networker to help them grow. They then go on to offer other deals to other networker’s in different companies, with the belief that buying leadership rather than growing it within is a faster road to success. Some leaders are not ‘paid’ but offered ‘bridging income’ and help with travel expenses to help while building their business. This company goes on to grow so fast that other company owners began to wonder whether this is a better approach to building a business than the other method…having a great product, great culture, and growing leaders from within the organization who enter on an equal playing field.

    Eventually, some distributors leave our wonder company when they realise that there are a lot of ‘leaders’ joining who aren’t exactly there because they found it was the best one to go; it was just offering the best deal. The company eventually takes a slight hit in volume, begins to wonder what they need to do to get back and firing, so decide to get back in the ‘purchasing’ game. It worked once it will work again, right?

    So let’s see what has happened here to Joe & Jane Average, the very people we are trying to look at MLM. They see a wonderful opportunity to join, but soon find out that the ‘leaders’ on stage are there on special deals. They soon find out that their ‘upline’ who promised to be there supporting them all the way, are sniffing around other companies, wondering where to shift their team. They then find out that their upline have moved somewhere else, because they apparently discovered “issues” with the old company that they had previously never been aware of.

    Now let me ask you all this…in an industry that holds itself together through integrity, trust, and building relationships, for how much longer do you think these ‘leaders’ can continue this behaviour?

    Which so-called leader will you be able to trust, knowing that at the drop of a hat, the person on stage who has assured everyone they’re not going anywhere is later signing a new contract with the latest supposed hot deal?

    In a profession where everyone sprouts “it’s all about the relationships” we have more and more leaders willing to walk away from their MLM “family” in the hope they can rise up the ladder faster somewhere else and drive a newer and better car.

    Can you see what this is doing to those outside the industry looking in? What happens when they Google the MLM company they are looking to join and discover a whole host of infighting, deal-making and bad-mouthing going on? Is that really what they want to be a part of?

    I know most of the so-called “MLM Leaders” who are doing the jumping won’t read or take notice of this because they’re not worried about the criticism or comments made about them. Unfortunately, they’re more often sitting with their lawyers, nutting out the next deal that allows them to look like big stars in one company after another. Where they’ll stand from the stage and announce “this is the LAST company we’ll ever be part of!”

    Here’s what I know. At the end of the night, you and I have a bed to lay in and a pillow to put our heads on. And when you hear the words “I don’t know how they can sleep at night” I know that you don’t want that said about you, and I never, ever want that to be said about me.

    With Passion,

    Faouzi Daghistani
    Melbourne, Australia

    1. Faouzi Daghistani – You’ve hit the nail right on the head!

      This kind of shopping around can really ruin many businesses.

      Karen

  4. Randy … from every thing I have read about the Network Marketing business you have hit right on. Of course, you have a very big name in the business. I haven’t enrolled on person onto my team, but I am staying. The company culture fits my personality, has an excellent product and has a great opportunity for customers and distributors.
    And I am sure there others companies in the industry that are of the same quality. The key that I have always read … stay with your company, be consistent and treat others as you would want to be treated.
    Have a great week!

  5. thank you sir ..once again..i wish i could met you in person…when are you coming to INDIA?…you are helping people soo much ..tell me if i can be of any help to you …god bless u….

  6. You just can’t buy loyalty.

    But I don’t expect the idea will ever fully go away.

    I’m not being “glass half empty” I just think that with our distribution model becoming more and more popularized there will be no shortage of people starting companies who understand that mlm is a good distribution model but don’t really understand it yet and so when/if they get poor council from some “mlm expert” advising they buy a leader to get it started that’s what they’re going to try and do.

    Then they “take that class.”

    Hopefully they learn the lesson and not too many newbie distributors get hurt in the process.

    It can be a great learning experience for both the company execs and the distributors. If they decide to let it and not get bitter instead.

  7. In our business integrity is in “poll position”.
    Randy you shown us a very sensitive point, thank you again!
    I have less than 3 years in network marketing but I understood that I’ll never have results on long term with “jumpers” , even the temptation is high.
    I believe in my company and in its strategy and I prefer to built a strong foundation even it takes time.

  8. Randy, so sad this is happening. How can a leader say such glorious superlatives about a company and within a very short time jump ship. So hard to understand… Excellent post…

  9. This is the hype filled part of the profession that really turns me off.
    I understand that sometimes people move for whatever reason but I think it’s very damaging for all of us when they leave a trail of dead bodies behind them and you hear them using the same platitudes to describe their new company as they did their former one. There are some people who only enjoy the new start and can’t see things through though I guess.

  10. Absolutely spot on Randy! Integrity written all over your values & messaging. Right now going thru’ exactly the same here in Europe. The naivety, stupidity, greed and wrongly directed ego of the “someday” folks, doesn’t help, but distracts the genuine “everyday” folks wanting to make a greater contribution.

    Respect from a MLM European Corp Managing Director.

  11. Ouah, i just love it !
    You just said everything in that post, and your wife must be proud to have you as a husband…
    I think it’s the firts time i read a “leader” saying AND doing it.
    Thanks

  12. Just imagine the “Cancer” that will be revealed in time inside a Network Marketing Company founded and run by folks that do the same thing! (Build another company groundwork while being responsible for corporate governance at another) and then put master distributors in place by encouraging the same behavior!!

    So, the nature of this insidious practice can be fostered deeply within the actual germination of corporate culture..Lookout

  13. Right on Randy! I could not have said this any better. When a person is given a deal no matter what level they may be, you sure can’t offer the same to your downline. I believe this goes hand in hand with distributors telling people get in now you will be at the top with the Gurus. But, what happens when you can no longer offer that? Neither of these scenarios are duplicatable!!!

  14. Greetings Randy,

    Getting a leader to join your business if they find themselves out of their current company because it went out of business is one thing. Buying one is the wrong way without a doubt.

    I got into the industry to help others become successful and become a leader of leaders.
    There are millions of individuals that have never been exposed to what this industry can be for them. I would much rather sponsor someone new and help them develop to be and become the biggest potential they can be and positively affect them, than woo a so called (industry leader)

    Like you said, buy someone once they will and can be bought again……

    For me, creating a leader is a feeling of much greater value one can ever experience, over and over and over as we build with true integrity.

    GREAT POST Randy!

    Be Blessed,

    Robert “Buck” Buchholz

  15. So you’re saying character and integrity are and important component of leadership in MLM.

    It IS what I admire about the entire RG persona!

    Thank you!

  16. If the ‘deal’ is a good fit who am I to be negative. I do believe that if the system needs an offer that resembles too good to be true and no one else but me is the recipient I will fail. I will have to lie, create a story that suggests I did not have the advantage. I like beginning in the same place, with the same opportunity as everyone else. I don’t have to hide anything that way. Even better I can demonstrate exactly what must be done to succeed. Thank you Randy for being number one.

  17. Thats why I love the company and the business that I am with. Its been going since 1923. Its integrity is supreme and no one can ever buy their way to the top. Everyone has started in the same way. Some showed the business opportunity to more people and faster and got to the top ranks quicker. others move at a slower pace. Its down to each person to choose. No short cuts. Love my biz.

  18. Here, here! I was with a traditional corporation for 24 years, I’ll be with my network marketing company for at least that long. Long term vision and commitment is always the sexiest deal to me.

  19. If you’re in a solid company that does business with integrity, they pay you on time, and the product has value, you shouldn’t be shopping around.

    BRAVO!

  20. Dear Randy,

    Thanks Randy

    You are right, i am surprised one company just launched in India [ US based company ], some existing top diamonds now joined this business and building it.
    I am not disclosing the details of the companies here.
    It is impossible for me to think of another company now apart from mine, some people build business with 3 or 4 companies also together, i have never understood how they do it ?

      1. Hello Randy, it is a shame that I am in that position right now, I start MLM in a well known wellness company and I reached an executive position (half way to get Diamond). I visit a successfull friend that is Diamond in other MLM company to get advice and I join to his opportunity…I feel like the things were undone with the first one ..and even tough I start to build and join more people in this new company and the products dont compete with each other…I feel like I have to make a decision…what would you do..??

  21. In Hindu mythology,the author of the great epic RAMAYANA was VALMIKI, who in his early years were a thief and a decoit.He then became enlightened and wrote the EPIC RAMAYANA..Just like that ,our RANDY who were a delinquent prison in early years,now become a GREAT MLM GURU with brutal honesty and integrity. On reading your eye -opener-post.I think the hackers and the hacked( the so called MLM company and the ‘heavy hitters’)are not Multy Level Marketers; they are Money Luring Malpracticers.I like your mentoring.
    LONG LIVE RANDY

  22. Hey Randy,
    Someone said that everyone has his price, so we can buy everyone.This saing isn’t true about you,because you are a person of personal integrity,who is dedicated to the company and the organization.Because of this you are a trusted
    A MLM Leader.

  23. Dude,

    You rock! I got tears in my eyes reading this. I don’t know why. It’s not even emotional. I think it’s because your integrity is so cool. It overflows. THANKS for the stand you take.

  24. Randy, I enjoy reading your work as much today as I did 15 years ago. As 2011 winds down I’m sending you positive thoughts and positive energy. I hope 2012 is your best year eva!

    Keep leading wisely,

    David

  25. Thank you Randy,
    It is the first time that “somebody” declared about his integrity exactly the way I wanted to here during my most interesting and powering journey in the business.
    We noticed people coming and going but I and a group of determined people from Israel- we believe in the Company, we believe in the products, we believe in ourselves and we are sure that in 2012 we shall build Israeli market bigger than it was at the end of 2008.
    Things are starting to move and we shall come to our convention with many new and exciting people.
    We shall build the Israeli market strong and big with integrity beacuse this is the way we want to do our business
    See yu soon in Israel…..

  26. I never even knew deals existed in network marketing until I started getting offers myself. Personally, I think it would be tough for anyone to turn down a deal if their financial house is not in order, but instant gratification, doesn’t mean the company will be around for a long time. Unfortunately, today network marketing has turned into the NFL and most leaders can be bought. If you give a guy a bunch of money to join your business who’s to say he will even do anything. I’ve seen people in this industry get deals and in 2 months they are off to another company or worse yet, they take money and don’t do a damn thing.

  27. I think there’s to much deal making going on and it’s hurting this profession. We had a few heavy hitters in the company i’m involved in that left for another company that offered them a deal. I hope by know they realize that this not only hurts the profession, it hurts the people who look up to them and showed loyalty to the company. It also confuses people who are in their organization.

    I believe if the company is stable, and as you mentioned have products that add tremendous value, they shouldn’t be bouncing around.

    The ironic thing is that these are the same people that talk about adding value to others, but yet they’re more concerned about they’re next big payout with another company and adding value to themselves, then they are abou the ramifications of their action.

  28. Much respect to you Randy, and thank you for writing such a gutsy piece. You are a giant among us!

    I must however add another dimension to the comments. I am a top level leader in the industry and have received so called “DEALS” from MLM companies.
    I think it is perfectly fine for a company to invest in it’s own marketing and expansion. You guys talk of money and deals as if they are un-American. People have a right to earn income in any way that falls within the boundaries of the law. Especially when you consider the fact that we are “INDEPENDENT” distributors.
    All the rest of the marketing profession allows a person to create a marketing firm. This firm can raise it’s prices based on it’s track record for getting it’s client’s message to it’s target.

    The biggest problem though, is that old school MLMers believe in being loyal to a company. And the company takes ownership of distributors and their lists. But why? We’re in business for ourselves and the company can shut down your ability to earn from your organization any time they want.

    Proven leaders in EVERY profession can work deals and receive no whipping. But you guys want to kick us out the game for negotiating in behalf of our own families?

    I shall remain pro distributor rather than pro company.

    Thanks!!

    In

  29. Raymond

    December 2, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    This is a great lesson to learn from,as always.
    But this post goes a mile further by highlighting
    some of the ills found in some network marketing
    companies,which network marketers need to take
    cognizant of.

    The end of that company depicts the type of foundation
    on which it was founded,

    Thanks.
    Raymond.

  30. Hello Randy,
    You have recently started following me on Twitter and this article was featured in one of your tweets a couple of days ago.
    I am going to go against the grain of your and everyone else’s comments. In your case, yes, you made the right decision. But in reality, not all MLM’s are created equal.
    If you are privy to the history of an MLM’s history, it can make a big difference in your decision process. Granted, most who get involved in MLM’S do so based more on an emotional rather than a business decision, and that is at their peril, but it sounds like most here are slamming MLM’S for the sake of slamming. Where’s the Beef?
    Personally, I should consider you as a prospect for my business. But, hey, I have not done my due diligence on you yet, and you do not know me from Eve. My take is that the company in your example, irrespective of them folding, did not do that research, and your decision placed you where you did not have to do any on them either.
    But if you or anyone is even minded, you really have to seek out the details on any company you attach yourself to.
    Donald Trump is not everyone’s cup of tea but you have to give him one thing, he is successful, and he endorses our company. Research it, see if he endorses any other MLM. See if he endorses anything else that he does not own.
    If you can find a MLM with a good track record which includes uppermost integrity, why not align with them?
    If you want more, invite me on LinkedIn, or contact me thru my website.

  31. You have to join a company for the right reasons. A business has to have a product/service that I feel passionate about. I will not sell anything that I don’t believe is a benefit to myself, my community and this planet.

    There are 1000s of small businesses in my community and yours, that you nor I know about. This is changing. Enter Groupon, Living Social and The Customer Advantage. These companies are making these small businesses known. They recognize the benefit of supporting local businesses. Local businesses employ 68% of employed people.

    Technical and Social Media is changing everything. Look at Groupon. Groupon’s membership grew to 40 Million in just two years. Groupon was able to get in front of a trend and is the fastest growing business in the history of business! Faster than Google, faster than Amazon, faster than any company you can think of. There business is so successful they recently turned down a $6 Billion dollar buy out from Google!

    Look at Facebook, how it developed, Mark Zukerberg didn’t have any idea what he was creating when he started Facebook. It was a change that was going to happen with or without him. He was able to get in front of the change. Now look at where he is.

    There are 1000s of great Network Marketing companies out there that offer people a way to GET AHEAD OF THE A TREND; Trends that Technical and Social Medias are making happen.

    Follow these 8 steps, then when your satisfied, Jump In! The water is great!

    Find — and study — the company’s track record.
    Learn about the product
    Ask questions
    Understand any restrictions
    Talk to other distributors (beware shills)
    Consider using a friend or adviser as a neutral sounding board or for a gut check.
    Take your time.
    Think about whether this plan suits your talents and goals[34]

    Have fun!

  32. Character, Integrity, and Leadership Development is what MLM companies should stand for. If we truly believe our industry is the answer for today’s economic challenges, we should be leading the way by example.

    Bad for the integrity of the industry? Yes

    Your reputation, character & integrity are more important than money!

    Thanks for your example!

  33. Oh, so refreshing. Thank you for being the MAN! Very much enjoy your views and gumption to say what people are already thinking!!! Keep on Rocking!! Enjoyed your take on the Political climate of the 2012 election too!

  34. “If you’re in a solid company that does business with integrity.” That then depends on how that company defines integrity which then may or may not affect how you (the distibutor) defines integrity!

  35. Mr. Gage:

    What can I say that I haven’t told you and heard gazillion times. One thing is to have what it takes, another is to get there and another is to live by it. You have proven all three many times over.

    I am grateful to have you in my life and learn from the best.

    Jorge Meléndez

  36. Deals in mlm is not the issue
    At the root of this debate is can we fault anyone for changing companies?

    Loyalty to a company is extreme because at the end of the day
    business is the name of the game

    Other professions compensate for proven and unproven talent.
    The key for this trend in our industry is transparency and clarity of the deals offered. I feel it will legitimize the process if we knew about the deal so average people are not duped into following big shot mlmer to the new company.
    In sports its common and the coach/athlete leaves one team for another and praises and speaks highly of wherever they end up

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