Multi-Level Marketing Realities – Part 9
In part 8 I wrote about the summer of 1998 and how the MLM company ran completely out of their popular dietary supplement. We were better off than most distributors because we had product on hand that carried us into this period. Unfortunately, we could not prevent running out of stock. I had also talked about how the company decided not to accept any new distributors during this summer.
We were starting to really get a flood of people asking for information about becoming a distributor and we were sending it out, but then the MLM company decided, for some reason, that they weren’t going to accept any new distributors and sent out a notice. Since this was the first time this happened, we didn’t know if they would ever allow new distributors to be signed, but we sent out a notice with our information saying that the company was not allowing new distributors at this time but to go ahead and send in their applications anyway.
Before the summer of 1998, Wayne Farmer had signed up underneith us and was a wonderful distributor. He helped us through a busy period of our business by helping us answer our phone and mailing our orders out. Dom Cavalere (sp) had also signed up during the same period of time. He lived in our neighborhood and our boys were friends, so he had popped over for some reason one day and saw the disaster that was our townhouse while we were trying to get materials together. My mom had also signed up and somebody that knew my brother-in-law, but these were our only personal contacts that became our distributors, all others were from our web site.
Wayne, Dom, and one other distributor helped us answer our phone after we got our telephone system, although we had varying degrees of success doing this. Ultimately we depended upon Wayne because he made zero errors and could work with our customers when they called. Dom and Debbie (his wife) ended up opening a store in Barrington to sell the product.
I mentioned pricing in a previous post but I had not gone into much detail. We sold for $37 per bottle plus a flat $3 for shipping when a random customer ordered one bottle. We shipped by priority mail and offered a 6 month money-back guarantee. If a customer ordered 5 or more bottles, we dropped the price to $32 per bottle. We also had a monthly subscription program where customers could get how ever many bottles they wanted per month for $32 per bottle plus $3 shipping, and we would mail their order on the same day every month. This also helped to keep the telephone volume down and give us a regular base of orders.
Our commissions, that were based on sales to distributors below us, were growing quickly although I was very impatient. We may have been up to $5000 per month by September 1998 and over $10,000 by the winter. Our plateau was around $15,000 as we only ever topped it once. We did this amount for nearly a year.
It is hard to believe that I have not even written about a full year yet and I am up to part 9. In part 10, I will write about the period of our business beginning in the fall of 1998.