[Elle:] Introducing Foxy (not her real name), a new guest writer.
Here, she has produced a list of ready-made retorts for anyone who encounters a multi-level marketing recruitment attempt in the wild. You can adjust and adapt the answers depending on your country of residence, and the MLM in question. Some are lighthearted, some are more brutally honest – I am sure there will be something for everyone.
Before reading Foxy’s article, please remind yourself that all views presented in this blog are as told to us by the authors, and simply reflect their own opinions. Your own personal experiences with MLM companies and products may differ, negatively or positively.
I’ll now hand you over to Foxy.
[Foxy:] Thanks to Elle for inviting me to write a guest post.
Like most people, I’ve seen a few good friends turn from fun women with individual characters who pride themselves at not following the crowd into Younique ‘hunbots’ overnight, right before my eyes on Facebook:
- Their excitement at their “new business opportunity” and initial belief in the products.
- Their daily selfies with magical claims of make up that changes lives followed by inspirational #bossbabe lifestyle memes.
- Déjà vu–like posts about “orders flooding in” and “taking my make up off and going to bed to get beauty sleep” and increasingly standardised language, with the sickening change to calling everyone who comments on their posts “hun”.
I’ve resisted unfollowing friends while they went through this phase, and luckily the makeup hard sell has eventually phased out.
Being someone who’s very committed to buying cruelty-free products, I’ve also had my fair share of exchanges with MLM presenters (that I don’t know personally) who post on Facebook groups where someone asks for a lipstick recommendation, for example, and they jump at the chance to tell them about the new range “we” have at X or Y brand, and offer to “help you find your perfect shade” followed by the inevitable claim that their products are “not tested on animals.” My links to articles on their brand by reputable cruelty-free organisations showing their claims are false, invariably ignored as they claim some conspiracy by the Chinese government to “test their products without their company’s consent“.
Last year I came across Elle’s #Poonique tale and found a kindred spirit in her wish to call out the too-good-to-be-true claims of MLM presenters, their shady business practices and superficial over-friendly language.
So fast forward to yesterday, when I received a direct message on Instagram. I’m new to Instagram, being a bit of a technology dinosaur, and though I’ve quickly picked up the art of posting beautifully staged photos of what I’m eating or wearing, I hadn’t yet noticed the private message option.
I didn’t initially spot this correspondence from someone who had recently followed me and ‘liked’ and commented on a few of my photos. The message instantly raised a red flag for me, with it’s sickly attempt at flattery and suspiciously vague mention of some sort of opportunity I’d be “amazing” at.
My reply preempted the probable attempt to recruit me to MLM selling, and I politely declined before the invite could be given.
I then went back on the home page on Instagram and saw a post she had made selling Younique, and promptly decided to unfollow her (I’d followed her in response to her following me probably less than 24 hours before.)
After a while I saw she had responded to the private message, so I checked out her reply. Respect given to this woman that she actually didn’t attempt argue with me about Younique being an MLM, and was polite. But here’s the point of my post here; she then asked me if I’d mind explaining why.
Well that to me was an invitation I couldn’t refuse. 😏 So, as I didn’t want to leave out any of the myriad of reasons for not accepting a request to get involved in an MLM company, I posted on Elle’s Facebook page inviting her followers to help me have a little fun in compiling a list.
A few people told me to ignore the message that there was no need to respond…
…or assumed I mistakenly felt that I needed to justify myself. I didn’t at all. 😆
So with lots of my own points, and help from Elle’s followers, I compiled a list of reasons why I would never become a Younique presenter. Here follows that list.
- Because I wouldn’t support or want to be associated with a company that deceives people that their products are cruelty-free/ not tested on animals yet cannot bother prioritising any kind of certification (and I review cruelty free cosmetics on a not-for-profit page, so be prepared for me to refute any claims to the contrary)
- Because I would be selling worse make up than Poundland, for sky-high prices.
- Because there are much better make up products which are not tested on animals and only cost a few quid, so why would I pay any more, never mind asking someone else to?
- Because nobody wants to buy Younique products except for Younique representatives.
- Because Younique expects promoters to pay out of their own money for their samples, making them out of pocket. Any decent business wouldn’t expect their staff to get into debt and if the products were saleable, this wouldn’t be necessary.
- Because I disagree with using emotional manipulation techniques, lies and tricks to recruit, to get promoters to spend their own cash and to in turn use the same techniques upon their
- Because apparently to succeed MLMers need to ditch any friends and family that are negative and disagree with the uplines’ sales spiel. Almost like what happens in an abusive relationship, hey?
- Because I can’t take a company seriously that sells products called “Conceited”, “Pretentious”, “Vain” etc, and believes they are inspirational names.
- Because it’s a predatory business model in which vulnerable people are conned into believing they are running their own business.
- Because promoters use a veiled attempt to exploit friends by trying to appear they are doing them a favour by offering a ‘business opportunity.’
- Because a six-year-old child’s lemonade stand has a more sustainable business model (and profit margin).
- Because I can recognise an MLM recruitment message from the sickly sweet flattery in the initial contact message, and I don’t want to be so predictable.
- Because I like my friends to be friends, and not have to prey on my Facebook contact list and alienate everyone I know by treating them like cash cows.
- Because I don’t want to be messaging random people all day out of desperation.
- Because I would like to retain my self respect and dignity.
- Because I don’t want to promote for a company with scary cult-like techniques and language.
- Because the terms ‘hun’ and ‘#bossbabe‘ make me want to pour hot lava in my ears and gouge my eyes out with a rusty old nail.
I had to make a screenshot photo to send the list over Instagram as I discovered it’s not the platform for long messages.
Again I give the women respect that she replied in a polite manner even though she has the obvious blind faith of someone brainwashed by MLM.
She is quite right that I’m not interested in discussing my missed opportunity further. I did have lots of fun compiling the list and reading others suggestions though (especially the final one 😆) and I will be saving my list for if anyone misjudges me to be a potentially “amazing” recruitment candidate in future.
Feel free to copy my list and use/adapt it yourself should you encounter a MLM recruiter of your own!
[Elle:] Big thanks to Foxy for sharing her template of retorts with us. I hope that this list will help anyone who needs some quickfire answers at the ready. Feel free to add your own suggestions, or any questions for Foxy below.
Do you want to write a guest post of your MLM experience, or would you like to produce anti-MLM articles with the coalition? Be our guest and check out our submission guidelines – we would love to hear from you.
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