Tools or products?

As to the whole networking issue of selling products or tools, which refers to the CD’s and books? The answer is that a good network needs both. While there are some companies that boast a good payout on product sales, their leaders will not retain their networks if they have no system in place, no CD’s and functions to encourage and teach. Their people will come in the front door and walk out the back.

Below are some responses to my ongoing correspondence with Tex. It touches on this subject. If you are new to this series you should start at the begining, Doug Wead Amway Adventure, and then work your way back to this point.

This means you are no longer an IBO, or you are still an IBO, but inactive?

I am no longer an IBO. My whole life in recent years has been studying and writing about American history. As far as netwokring goes, I am just someone who enjoys some of the more remarkable rags to riches stories. And enjoys learning about networking and what works and what doesn’t.

[Referring to those who operate at a loss at the pre-Platinum levels because they have decided that they cannot sell the product at retail, or they don’t want to.] – You need to define “they.” Is it the upline or the new IBO? Many prospects are told they don’t have to retail, and most people, by nature, don’t want to be a “salesperson.”

It is clearly defined as written. “They are operating at the pre-Platinum levels.” “They” would be anyone who is pre-Platiunm, that is, a person who has not yet reached the Platiunm level. The fact that they do not want to be a “salesperson” is not the fault of the tool business. The company likely knows this and still lays out its plan and sets its prices as it choses.

[This is the problem that Eric Scheibeler raises, saying that the likely incomes at these entry levels are wrong.] – I don’t understand what you’re getting at, please expand.

Well, Eric can speak for himself, but the issue raised, as I understand it, is that the price of the products, combined with the compensation plan and the rules, corporate and governmental, make it difficult for one in Amway to make a profit at these lower levels. If this is the case then it has nothing to do with the tools and is a separate issue for the company to address. It is not your upline’s fault.

But lack of retail is DEFINITELY the fault of the tool business (or more accurately, the people who profit from the tool systems)… Customers don’t buy tools, IBO’s do. Why would your upline want you to “waste” your valuable time with selling to customers, which make THEM pennies? The upline would much rather you use your limited time to sponsor new IBO’s, as they make FAR more money when those IBO’s buy the tools.

And why do you see this as a fault of your upline? Some might argue that this was a fault with the company as it functioned a few years ago and a fault that it has been addressing and correcting both from the corporate and the field but it is not a fault of your upline.

If you, Tex, were a successful upline in those days and your dearest friend came to you and wanted to get in, you would pull him aside and say to him something similar to what your despised upline told you. Namely, it is in your interest to build a big network as quickly as possible. You would likely say this to your friend, not because you saw your friend as fodder for the tool business, but because you knew, and you would openly tell him, that there is more money with the tools. You would want him to fullfill all the sales requirements but to move on as quickly as possible.

Perhaps you are angry at your upline for hiding his tape income from you and you felt used when you discovered it and perhaps your upline was a bad person, a selfish jerk and greedy and someone who didn’t care about you but what he was teaching you was not only apparently in HIS inerest it was also in YOURS. At least it seemed to be at the time. It is probably what you would have told your own brother or dearest friend. The only difference is that you would have told your brother “why” and your upline didn’t do that for you.

And, of course, if your brother said, “No, I don’t care, I want to sell.” You would have supported his decision.

Now, some of this is a moot point since the company is remaking itself to allow for easier retail. (You can look at Jim Dornan and Network 21 to see how streamlined and effective the new retailing can be.)

I am not against the tool CONTENT, I am against the distorted and false profit model the current prices and practices with tools create. And tapes are only PART of the equation, there are also books (remember the 80% discount you mentioned?), various meetings, voice mail, websites, etc.

Good point. I agree. My solution was to tell everything to the people I was sponsoring. This was in the 1970’s, long before Al Gore invented the internet. But it just seemed stupid to hide this from people.

Did you ever try to get the required support, by rule, without using the tools? I did, and went from “best buddy” to TOTALLY ignored after going off standing order tools. People are TAUGHT not to help those not “feeding the beast” the tool scam represents. There is some sense to this approach, as those looking to learn new things are easier to train. However, it is CLEARLY against the Amway written rules.

Dex was pretty patient with me. He did not force the tapes on me. I picked it up from watching other groups grow and hearing new diamonds rave about how they helped.

But after experiencing my own growth I remember having that sense myself. Why waste time with someone who isn’t listening to the tapes because if they aren’t willing to invest that much time and expense, why should I have to take the time to tell them everything? This gets especially tough when your group grows. You run out of time and depend on the tapes.

BTW, if you were wiling and wanting to go out and sell product, you were very special indeed. In those days it was pretty hard to find someone willing to do what you were willing to do. I wouldn’t call them cowardly, lying uplines, I would call then “stupid,” cowardly, lying uplines. But there are two sides to every story and I don’t know how they would explain what happended.

Last in the seris. Amway diamonds and their tools.

Даг Вид

9 Responses to Tools or products?

  1. […] post in this series? Tools or products. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)On Tapes and CDsAmway Testimonials – Current and […]

  2. tex2 says:

    As to the whole networking issue of selling products or tools, which refers to the CD’s and books? The answer is that a good network needs both. While there are some companies that boast a good payout on product sales, their leaders will not retain their networks if they have no system in place, no CD’s and functions to encourage and teach. Their people will come in the front door and walk out the back. —- I have no issue with having tools, the question is whether the tools are primarily for training or primarily for profit. Rich DeVos defined this is 1983, have you read/listened to the “Directly Speaking” recordings online?

    I am no longer an IBO. My whole life in recent years has been studying and writing about American history. —- You could have stayed in and continued to profit from your work, even though you were inactive. After all, the tools are designed for “walk away” income, right? Unless your entire downline dropped out, this sounds fishy to me.

    As far as netwokring goes, I am just someone who enjoys some of the more remarkable rags to riches stories. And enjoys learning about networking and what works and what doesn’t. —- I find the stories “remarkable” as well, obviously using a different meaning of the word. And the tool scam can only “work” if it is kept largely secret. That time is OVER.

    [Referring to those who operate at a loss at the pre-Platinum levels because they have decided that they cannot sell the product at retail, or they don’t want to.] – You need to define “they.” Is it the upline or the new IBO? Many prospects are told they don’t have to retail, and most people, by nature, don’t want to be a “salesperson.” – It is clearly defined as written. “They are operating at the pre-Platinum levels.” “They” would be anyone who is pre-Platiunm, that is, a person who has not yet reached the Platiunm level. The fact that they do not want to be a “salesperson” is not the fault of the tool business. The company likely knows this and still lays out its plan and sets its prices as it choses. —- If the upline tells a prospect and IBO’s they don’t have to sell, and the tool system supports this idea, how can it NOT be the fault of the tool business? I agree the company knows a lot they don’t like to discuss, especially when it comes to tool profits. The FACT is there are several products that are retailable, although I agree there are others that are not.

    [This is the problem that Eric Scheibeler raises, saying that the likely incomes at these entry levels are wrong.] – I don’t understand what you’re getting at, please expand. – Well, Eric can speak for himself, but the issue raised, as I understand it, is that the price of the products, combined with the compensation plan and the rules, corporate and governmental, make it difficult for one in Amway to make a profit at these lower levels. —- An IBO shouldn’t expect a net profit at entry levels. A large profit is not shown by the marketing plan at the entry levels. However, I don’t consider everything below Platinum to be either a “lower” or “entry” level.

    If this is the case then it has nothing to do with the tools and is a separate issue for the company to address. It is not your upline’s fault. —- If the upline is responsible for taking the Amway gross income and making most of their profit from it, leaving most pre-Platinum IBOs with a negative or zero net profit, it is DEFINITELY the uplines’ fault. This is the EXACT issue the UK legal system recently had as well, where ZERO tool profit is now allowed.

    But lack of retail is DEFINITELY the fault of the tool business (or more accurately, the people who profit from the tool systems)… Customers don’t buy tools, IBO’s do. Why would your upline want you to “waste” your valuable time with selling to customers, which make THEM pennies? The upline would much rather you use your limited time to sponsor new IBO’s, as they make FAR more money when those IBO’s buy the tools. – And why do you see this as a fault of your upline? —- Because they are lying about the business model.

    Some might argue that this was a fault with the company as it functioned a few years ago and a fault that it has been addressing and correcting both from the corporate and the field but it is not a fault of your upline. —- How has it been addressed in the U.S.?

    If you, Tex, were a successful upline in those days and your dearest friend came to you and wanted to get in, you would pull him aside and say to him something similar to what your despised upline told you. —- No, I wouldn’t. Don’t try to tell me what I would say.

    Namely, it is in your interest to build a big network as quickly as possible. —- Of course it is, this is a straw man argument. The question is WHERE does the profit from the big network come from, tools or Amway?

    You would likely say this to your friend, not because you saw your friend as fodder for the tool business, but because you knew, and you would openly tell him, that there is more money with the tools. —- Then why do most uplines say Amway prohibits them from saying this?

    You would want him to fullfill all the sales requirements but to move on as quickly as possible. —- No, I would explain the rules to him, and allow him to decide whether he wants a retail only business, one that is grown by depth, then width, or width, then depth.

    Perhaps you are angry at your upline for hiding his tape income from you and you felt used when you discovered it and perhaps your upline was a bad person, a selfish jerk and greedy and someone who didn’t care about you but what he was teaching you was not only apparently in HIS inerest it was also in YOURS. —- If it was so much in my interest, why was it kept hidden? Plus, it’s not just the tape income, it’s all the other sources as well.

    At least it seemed to be at the time. It is probably what you would have told your own brother or dearest friend. —- There you go again….

    The only difference is that you would have told your brother “why” and your upline didn’t do that for you. —- Wrong again, see above. Why you would treat one person this differently from another is beyond my capacity to fathom.

    And, of course, if your brother said, “No, I don’t care, I want to sell.” You would have supported his decision. —- Yes, see above. However, I believe this is not in the best interest of the tool scam business, as it would make the upline and crossline IBOs wonder why the retail person seems to be making money and they aren’t. This could bring the whole tool scam tumbling down.

    Now, some of this is a moot point since the company is remaking itself to allow for easier retail. (You can look at Jim Dornan and Network 21 to see how streamlined and effective the new retailing can be.) —- Where is this information available? Plus, if you don’t drastically reduce tool prices at the same time, all you’ve done is put a few more dollars in an IBO’s pocket that can be spent on tools so the IBO can “take it to the next level.” In this scenario, the tool scam problem actually gets WORSE, not better.

    I am not against the tool CONTENT, I am against the distorted and false profit model the current prices and practices with tools create. And tapes are only PART of the equation, there are also books (remember the 80% discount you mentioned?), various meetings, voice mail, websites, etc. – Good point. I agree. My solution was to tell everything to the people I was sponsoring. This was in the 1970’s, long before Al Gore invented the internet. But it just seemed stupid to hide this from people. —- In this case, there’s a lot of stupid people out there.

    Did you ever try to get the required support, by rule, without using the tools? I did, and went from “best buddy” to TOTALLY ignored after going off standing order tools. People are TAUGHT not to help those not “feeding the beast” the tool scam represents. There is some sense to this approach, as those looking to learn new things are easier to train. However, it is CLEARLY against the Amway written rules. – Dex was pretty patient with me. He did not force the tapes on me. I picked it up from watching other groups grow and hearing new diamonds rave about how they helped. —- Yes, I’m sure it “worked” in more ways than one.

    But after experiencing my own growth I remember having that sense myself. Why waste time with someone who isn’t listening to the tapes because if they aren’t willing to invest that much time and expense, why should I have to take the time to tell them everything? This gets especially tough when your group grows. You run out of time and depend on the tapes. —- Actually, you are only required to support your personally sponsored front line, and they are required to support theirs. When you get to Platinum, you have additional responsibilities, but Amway told me the same thing, your time would be spread too thin, and the tools meet the need to fulfill this requirement. So, it gets to be a bit of circular logic, but if you get to Platinum without using the upline’s tools, you should be able to continue growing without them. The trick is getting to Platinum in the first place.

    BTW, if you were wiling and wanting to go out and sell product, you were very special indeed. —- I couldn’t tell you if I was willing or not, because I was taught no selling is required to begin with.

    In those days it was pretty hard to find someone willing to do what you were willing to do. —- See above.

    I wouldn’t call them cowardly, lying uplines, I would call then “stupid,” cowardly, lying uplines. But there are two sides to every story and I don’t know how they would explain what happended. —- SLCK, I like it. Sounds more like “slick”, doesn’t it? Perhaps adding “idiot” in the middle would finish off the “title.”

  3. michman1 says:

    *************************

    Q: But lack of retail is DEFINITELY the fault of the tool business (or more accurately, the people who profit from the tool systems)…

    Doug Wead: And why do you see this as a fault of your upline?

    *************************

    Doug, on one hand you promote the idea that the Diamonds have a proven system for success.

    But on the other hand you blame rank and file IBOs for not developing a profitable customer base, even though they were not taught to do that to any extent?

    Does Dexter’s Eight Step Pattern for Success include the step “Develop A Profitable Retail Customer Base”?

    Is it part of Tim Foley’s Daily Dozen?

    Were there a large percentage of recordings made in these systems that encouraged developing a large and profitable retail base? Is there a “Standing Order Retail Tape”? Is there special recognition at functions for people who were large retailers? Special seating? Snazzy lapel pins? Special invites to meetings after the meetings in the Diamond’s suite?

    If Amway planned a Product Expo that conflicted with a major function, would the Diamond organization encourage IBOs to skip the function and attend the Amway event?

    Also, your title leads me to believe you don’t understand the thrust of some of the critics.

    Tools or products? Ha. The tools ARE the products.

  4. michman1 says:

    also…

    Doug, if there is (or was) a “system” for generating retail customers, please let us know what that system entailed.

    And I hope that there is more to the system you describe than the occaisional flipant remark from stage…. “You can’t afford the next function? We have 10,000 products. SELL SOMETHING!”

    That is NOT a system.

  5. tex2 says:

    Mr. Michman1,

    Details, details. Haven’t you visited Miss Beth’s blog today, to learn the secrets of happiness? Be sure to leave a nice comment, as I did. They like happy comments. In fact, this is the first place I’ve sent the rules to live by, just like I said I would!

    http://amwayglobalinsider.opportunityzone.com/2009/04/27/10-Rules-for-Happiness.aspx

    1) Make up your mind to be happy. “You can think yourself happy or you can think yourself miserable.” —- Why can’t you just think, and decide to be happy? Remember, money can’t buy happiness, so why do you want to keep your money, when your upline would be happy to lighten your burden? Happy is free.

    2) Make the best of your lot. “There is not a single human being who hasn’t plenty to cry over, and the trick is to make the laughs outweigh the tears.” —- So what if you don’t make a profit until you reach Platinum, just make the best of the situation. After all, if YOU went Platinum, the several dozen IBOs in your group who are all losing money until they can find several dozen new IBOs of their own, interested in losing money until THEY reach Platinum, etc., can do the same as you, right?

    3) Don’t take yourself too seriously. “We are never happy until we learn to laugh at ourselves.” —- See how easy it is? All you have to do is pay for your CDs, books, Open meetings, monthly Seminars, Major Functions, voice mail, web sites, and the associated travel, hotels, airfare, meals, etc., so your upline can earn several times more from tools than Amway, and laugh at yourself. See how easy it is?

    4) Don’t take other people too seriously. “They are not so much, anyway.” —- This does NOT apply to your upline, that would be de-edification, BIG TIME. Hey, there’s exceptions to everything, so this must be the one. But, you are still able to not take your downline seriously, especially when they “whine” about not making money (see #3, above).

    5) Don’t borrow trouble. “You have to pay compound interest on that and it will bankrupt you in the end.” —- Yes, it makes FAR more sense to borrow against your credit cards. The credit card companies will be glad to take care of the compound interest and bankruptcy for you.

    6) Don’t cherish enmities and grudges. “Hate is a dreadful chemical that we distill in our own hearts, that poisons our own souls.” —- Yes, how could you possibly hate someone for ripping you off? After all, Jesus NEVER showed any anger, right?

    7) Keep in circulation. “Have hosts of friends. This is the way to keep yourself cheerful and jolly and thinking that this is the best of all possible worlds.” —- Just be sure your friends are upline or downline, we don’t want to crossline, do we? And forget about anyone who doesn’t get in your business, including friends and relatives. You can make new friends by following the pattern described in #3, above. That’s what friends are for….

    8) Don’t hold post-mortems. “What’s done is done and cannot be changed, but you can have your whole future life in which to make good.” —- Another gem. We should NEVER try to learn from our experiences, how else could we possibly keep being taken advantage of, and helping others be taken advantage of as well?

    9) Do something for somebody less fortunate than yourself. “Happiness is a coin that we keep only when we give it away.” —- Who could be less fortunate than anyone who isn’t an IBO? You have a lot of coins you can give away, so buy the “latest and greatest” contacting materials from your upline and get going!

    10) Keep busy. “That is the sovereign remedy for unhappiness.” —- Whatever you do, don’t slow down enough to think.

    See Mr. Michman1, life is quite simple when you know the “secrets.”

    http://texsquixtarblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/amway-shoots-across-bow.html

  6. tex2 says:

    Look, the number 8 with the parentheses turned into a smiley face with sunglasses, all by itself. See how easy it is to be happy?

  7. tex2 says:

    Oops! I forgot I can’t put links in Mr. Wead’s blog without quotation marks.

    Mr. Michman1,

    Details, details. Haven’t you visited Miss Beth’s blog today, to learn the secrets of happiness? Be sure to leave a nice comment, as I did. They like happy comments. In fact, this is the first place I’ve sent the rules to live by, just like I said I would!

    “http://amwayglobalinsider.opportunityzone.com/2009/04/27/10-Rules-for-Happiness.aspx”

    1) Make up your mind to be happy. “You can think yourself happy or you can think yourself miserable.” —- Why can’t you just think, and decide to be happy? Remember, money can’t buy happiness, so why do you want to keep your money, when your upline would be happy to lighten your burden? Happy is free.

    2) Make the best of your lot. “There is not a single human being who hasn’t plenty to cry over, and the trick is to make the laughs outweigh the tears.” —- So what if you don’t make a profit until you reach Platinum, just make the best of the situation. After all, if YOU went Platinum, the several dozen IBOs in your group who are all losing money until they can find several dozen new IBOs of their own, interested in losing money until THEY reach Platinum, etc., can do the same as you, right?

    3) Don’t take yourself too seriously. “We are never happy until we learn to laugh at ourselves.” —- See how easy it is? All you have to do is pay for your CDs, books, Open meetings, monthly Seminars, Major Functions, voice mail, web sites, and the associated travel, hotels, airfare, meals, etc., so your upline can earn several times more from tools than Amway, and laugh at yourself. See how easy it is?

    4) Don’t take other people too seriously. “They are not so much, anyway.” —- This does NOT apply to your upline, that would be de-edification, BIG TIME. Hey, there’s exceptions to everything, so this must be the one. But, you are still able to not take your downline seriously, especially when they “whine” about not making money (see #3, above).

    5) Don’t borrow trouble. “You have to pay compound interest on that and it will bankrupt you in the end.” —- Yes, it makes FAR more sense to borrow against your credit cards. The credit card companies will be glad to take care of the compound interest and bankruptcy for you.

    6) Don’t cherish enmities and grudges. “Hate is a dreadful chemical that we distill in our own hearts, that poisons our own souls.” —- Yes, how could you possibly hate someone for ripping you off? After all, Jesus NEVER showed any anger, right?

    7) Keep in circulation. “Have hosts of friends. This is the way to keep yourself cheerful and jolly and thinking that this is the best of all possible worlds.” —- Just be sure your friends are upline or downline, we don’t want to crossline, do we? And forget about anyone who doesn’t get in your business, including friends and relatives. You can make new friends by following the pattern described in #3, above. That’s what friends are for….

    Don’t hold post-mortems. “What’s done is done and cannot be changed, but you can have your whole future life in which to make good.” —- Another gem. We should NEVER try to learn from our experiences, how else could we possibly keep being taken advantage of, and helping others be taken advantage of as well?

    9) Do something for somebody less fortunate than yourself. “Happiness is a coin that we keep only when we give it away.” —- Who could be less fortunate than anyone who isn’t an IBO? You have a lot of coins you can give away, so buy the “latest and greatest” contacting materials from your upline and get going!

    10) Keep busy. “That is the sovereign remedy for unhappiness.” —- Whatever you do, don’t slow down enough to think.

    See Mr. Michman1, life is quite simple when you know the “secrets.”

    “http://texsquixtarblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/amway-shoots-across-bow.html”

  8. tex2 says:

    Now the “8)” is missing, here’s the real deal, the smiley face should show up now:

    8) Don’t hold post-mortems. “What’s done is done and cannot be changed, but you can have your whole future life in which to make good.” —- Another gem. We should NEVER try to learn from our experiences, how else could we possibly keep being taken advantage of, and helping others be taken advantage of as well?

  9. veganmark says:

    Doug,

    I was just reading your blog and I hope you don’t mind me making a slight correction to a statement you made. Unfortunately, it’s a mistake that many people make. What I’m referring to is your comment about Al Gore creating the internet. The truth is… he didn’t and never claimed to have created the internet.

    Here’s a post about who the “power players” responsible for the internet are.

    http://www.boutell.com/newfaq/history/inventednet.html

    The information on the link above provides more factual information, with regard to the internet.

    Mark

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