The call was unexpected. "Hello, This is ..., a colleague of your uncle. He had told me that you are looking out for a business proposal, can I come and meet you?". At the outset, he sounded like someone I must avoid. I have been invited to a few MLM meetings and I have always refused. But having just read about the MLM guys in Lazy Geek's blog, I decided to go ahead and see how the process worked.
So the two guys landed up at my place on a Sunday evening. One who had spoken to me was a little bit nervous, probably his first call. The other guy had a vacant look, the kind that people who talk without bothering about the listeners have. He started off with the regular question of asking about my profile, how much time I spend at work, etc. Then he said "Imagine you had Rs. 50,000.00 deposited at your bank every month without you having to work for it, how would you feel?". I smiled at him and said "I will feel nice". He pressed on, "What would you do with it?". I actually wanted to say "I would buy lots of books", but simply said "I would relax a bit at work". That answer didn't satisfy him, "What would you do with the money?". He was trying to get me greedy, and I was not falling for it and he lost the plot. He went through the works, how much you get for buying our product, how much money you get by getting your friends to buy our products, you can become a emerald, diamond, blah blah blah.
Once he finished the first guy started. "Along with the products, you can buy our marketing tools. These will help you be a better salesman. Without this you will be like a doctor without a stethoscopr". They both smiled at their analogy. Band analogy mate. These are like medical books, not stethoscope. I didn't know at that time, but I was being sold a pyramid scheme and a shadow pyramid scheme at one shot. I was getting value for money :-). I kept nodding at them and politely led them out of the door. For me it was just fun, getting to know how these people worked. Yeah, I am weird sometimes.
I was still thinking that all this is harmless nuisance as I googled about the schemes. Only after reading through them did I get to understand that these guys are nothing short of predators. There are lots of horror stories out there in the web.
What's wrong with MLM?
Shaking the Money Tree
The MLM File
In India, MLM is still new, and the horrors are yet to be felt. So in case you know any one who is into MLM, get them read these articles and decide for themselves.
One unexpected side benefit I got while googling was to learn about Robert Kiyosaki. His book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" was a fad few seasons back, and I used to think that his ideas were great. After reading through this detailed analysis I learnt what a gullible fool I had been. If you too have read his book, this is a compulsory read to detox yourself.