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“Is this a Pyramid?”

Everyone encounters this question or one like it, relatively soon in their networking business. For some it’s a legitimate question and for others it’s an “I don’t know what else to call it” kind of question. Before I break it down for you and make you invincible, let me first say, that when you work the Process the right way, and your approach is as I teach, you will not get this question very often.

This is a question that is primarily asked in the approach section of The Process when you are inviting someone to learn about what you have to offer from a business perspective. It is a question that is unique to the home-business world. Even though true illegal pyramids, or Ponzi schemes, are more often found in the real estate and traditionally posed investments industries.

Anyway, if this is a question you are getting frequently, it means simply that your approaching technique is way off base. Much of the time, the real question they are asking, is “is this one of those get rich fast multi-level schemes?” and they are asking it because they have been approached before by a get-rich-quick hype driven network, and quite possibly signed up and lost money. Hype is the key thing that creates this impression. If you are talking about big money and using hype in your approach, you will invite this response.

When you make an approach that is calm, comfortable, confident, with genuine enthusiasm but no hype, people do not typically associate your contact with prior hype driven things and are much more open to learning about your program.

Let’s look at some of the possibilities of what it means when you get asked this question.

  1. It is out of ignorance– many people do not know much about business and really do think networking is a “pyramid” and not sure it’s legal.
  2. It is out of small or closed-mindedness-Some people, even though they are not successful in life, think they know it all and that this type of business doesn’t work. They are simply closed or small minded…it is exactly why they aren’t very successful in life.
  3. Don’t know what else to call it-Some people have no issue with network marketing (they don’t even know the term referral marketing), they just don’t know it by name so they call it pyramid marketing.
  4. It’s a real question-there are illegal pyramids that people get into that are purely money games with no products or services. I don’t know why anyone would permanently ruin their credibility like this but some people do.

Given these four options, and there are more, but these are the top ones, only one of these is a negative to you who is making the contact and receiving the question. Possibility number 2- If someone is closed or small minded, you are wasting your time even trying to go further. They have to cure their intellectual disease before you would want to spend time with this person business wise. In any case, do not assume the negative lens. You just have to ask a question to understand where they are coming from. The simple response and the ultimate response is “what do you mean by that?”

They have to cure their intellectual disease before you would want to spend time with this person business.

This will allow you to get more clarity about which possibility you are encountering. A common ignorance-based response is something like “you know one of those things where the person at the top makes the money…”

To which you might reply, you mean like Coca-Cola or IBM?

The ironic thing is that a pyramid is a symbol of stability. It is on the back of the dollar bill. It is a common structure for an organization. The government is a pyramid. Corporations are pyramids. The military is a pyramid. The education system is a pyramid. There is nothing inherently wrong with a pyramid structure.

The challenge is that in the pyramids I described, the person above you makes more money than you regardless of productivity. Your place in the structure limits you. You can out-work those above you but not out-earn.

A network marketing organization rarely looks like a pyramid. True, when geometric progression is shown it looks like a pyramid, but people are not geometry…they’re people….it never grows in pure pyramid fashion. Regardless of the shape though, the bigger part of the story is earning ability versus those above you in the chain of sponsorship. In a true referral and network marketing structure, if you work harder and build a bigger business than your sponsor, then you will earn more money than they will. This has been my story for many years.

In a true referral and network marketing structure, if you work harder and build a bigger business than your sponsor, then you will earn more money than they will.

In the corporate pyramid there is often fear that an underling will look better than the superior. In a network organization you WANT those you sponsor to shine and do better. There is no superior. It’s just people working together to help each other. If you are the right sponsor You’ll HELP your people out-perform you. This is unlikely in a traditional pyramid.

In a traditional pyramid, people might advance because of tenure. In network marketing, you advance based on production.

In a traditional pyramid you are limited in income typically. There is no limit in a network. The bigger you decide to build it, the more money you make.

Is that enough? If you have other topics or situations you’d like me to address, feel free to email me at tburrier@gmail.com and I will write a post regarding your topic.


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