"My issue with mlm is that, even if you fail, it is likely someone else will have profited from your efforts."
Why is this such a bad thing? And why do people act like it is unique to MLM??
When I worked in retail, I was in management. I earned a commission on my sales, plus a commission on the sales of my team. My supervisors earned these commissions, plus bonuses for things like reaching goals, increase in sales over last year, low inventory shrinkage, etc.
My supervisors and I had quite a different point of view, and that may be due to how our checks were earned.
You see, I trained my people to ask questions and meet needs. They told my people to push the higher ticket items. Period. (This was in different types of retail - not just one store, BTW.)
Bonuses for meeting certain goals are pretty standard in any type of sales - oriented industry. Some of them will do anything to reach said goals. All in the name of profit.
Sales-oriented companies aren't going to change the way they do business and reward their employees. It is a profitable system for them, and it rewards results. They don't necessarily care how the results are achieved, either. As long as there are no laws broken or tons of customer complaints, they really don't care. (Trust me - I have been to enough "rah rah" sessions and have heard this in more than one corporate event.)
So, what does this have to do with Mary Kay?
- While IBC's are not employees, the structure that MK has in place to reward their people is not evil. Or unique. To give a percentage to an IBC or Director is not out of line.
- Abuse of the system happens. It happens in retail. It happens in MK. It happens in every business known to the free world. There are not-so-nice people everywhere. It doesn't mean the system is flawed - it means that flawed people are in the system.
- The key to getting rid of the bad apples is speaking up. I don't mean whining on a message board or blog. I mean a real, signed-with-your-name complaint to Corporate. Then follow up with it. (There is nothing wrong with wanting to know what has become of your complaint!) And keep in mind that one complaint will probably not have much effect (unless laws have clearly been violated), but a lot of complaints by different people will have an effect.
- My ex-mother-in-law has a saying that I still use to this day: "When in doubt, don't." If your Director or anyone else is telling you to do something and it feels "hinky," trust your instincts. Take some time to think about it. I can't tell you the number of times that I have had supervisors ask me to do something shady in order to boost sales or increase profit margins. It is not always easy to say, "No," when it might cost you your job (and it did, more than once), but you sleep better at night.
- Learn about the MK system. Learn how it works. Learn how you get paid - both on your sales and those of your team - and then do your business the right way. Be an example.
MK has not come up with some off-the-wall way of paying people. They have taken a system that was already in place (remember that Mary Kay was in commission sales for so many years?) and then adapted it to suit the MK company.