People promoting old school MLM opportunities will tell you that success in network marketing comes from selling a good product at a good price, and from good old fashioned hard work. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple…

Allow me to explain:

Firstly, an “old school” MLM opportunity is one that doesn’t provide you with online tools for promoting and recruiting.

There are still a number of them around – the companies who believe “it has always worked for them, and will continue to work for them”. They refuse to change with the times, and prefer to build their businesses on their old but good reputations.

So what’s wrong with that?

1. Old school network marketing makes it difficult for you. If you don’t have access to online promotional materials, you either have to do without, or you have to pay to have your own created.

And when you have your own created, you usually have to have it approved by head office. And if people can’t sign up online, that means you have to visit them, physically, and present them with the physical signup forms.

What happens if your prospect lives in another town or another province? You either have to send the forms by post or courier, and talk on Skype or the phone to explain everything, or you have to lose the recruit.

2. Marketing materials and signup documents are usually costly. You have to pay for brochures and pamphlets as supplied by the old school MLM company, and they want to make a profit on those as well. Not to mention the fact that they may have been imported from another country, and the price is inflated by transport costs.

This often creates a barrier to entry for new recruits. Many people looking for network marketing opportunities don’t have much money, so they cannot afford to simply keep throwing more and more money into their business. That means you will be less likely to sign people up if you promote and old school MLM.

3. You will lose a higher (than normal) percentage of your recruits – because of the difficulties involved in an old school MLM. Your recruits will face the same challenges as you – but most of them are probably people with little or no experience in network marketing or direct selling. Some of them will struggle more than they would with newer opportunities, and just give up.

And all the time and money you invested in acquiring that recruit, and training him or her, will be lost.

4. You will lose potential recruits. Some of your prospects who have some experience in network marketing will be able to recognize the potential difficulties, and they will refuse to join you. Some of them will possible be people who have already tried promoting an old school MLM, and failed.

5. It makes it difficult for people in smaller towns and remote areas. If you are able to promote and recruit on the internet, it doesn’t matter where you live. But if you have to recruit people by signing physical paperwork…

That means that you are more or less limited to the community around you. If that community is small, it means that you can recruit only so many people before you all run out of prospects. As the saying goes, if you fish in a small pond, there are only so many fishes you can catch.

In conclusion:

Old school MLM opportunities may seem like good, solid opportunities. The products are often great, with good prices and backup service. But your problem isn’t the product – it’s the marketing mechanism.

You are, after all, a marketer. A network marketer. Don’t make it any more difficult than it needs to be – because you will be the one who loses money, or doesn’t make any. 

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