How to politely say "no"
Many people prospected by friends have a difficult time telling their friends they don't want to get involved in the "biz". On numerous occasions I have received requests from site visitors asking how they can handle the situation.
As a little background to site visitors new to the Amway/Quixtar phenomena, your friend's introduction to Amway/Quixtar is in their mind nothing short of their ticket to financial salvation. They are told that there is a "proven system", and if they just follow it like a recipe they will retire in 2-5 years. Your involvement is twofold. Firstly, in order for your friend to be successful, they need to recruit people to the business. Secondly, they believe they will also be helping you to financial salvation when you help your friends to be successful by showing them the "biz". Listen to Crown Direct Dexter Yager comment on friends in the business. Your friend seriously believes that Amway/Quixtar is a very profitable venture. They have taken this purely on faith, without any hard data, or performing any calculations, which included expenses, for themselves.
They have been introduced to supposed millionaires, but your friend does not know the Diamonds' true income or its sources. These introductions and the forever perpetuated falsehoods like "Amway has created more millionaires than any other business", and the 2-5 year retirement plan, is their basis for their faith that the Amway products business is a great income opportunity. Sure, there are numerous Emeralds and Diamonds but it is already widely known the bulk of their income is derived from selling distributors tapes and motivational seminars. Amway could no doubt be more profitable to more distributors if more sales were made to normal customers.
Many site visitors have written me about attitude changes, and new ways of thinking by their friends.
"She did say however that people who do not understand the plan and do not want to start the business are just not bright enough to recognize the opportunity and she is not going to mess with them anymore."
"We've had other friends sucked into the Amway scam and they have turned into zombies, separating from friends and family who flat out refuse to go into business with them."
"His uplines have told him to separate himself from those who are not involved (Me and his family)."
"My former best friend and his wife disappeared into Amway almost 3 years ago"
Former distributor site visitors also relate their experiences.
"My friends and family that were critical of the business were labeled losers and I was advised to stay away from them."
"I too realized the importance of family and friends through my involvement with Amway. I realized much too late that they had warned me about Amway. I was too blinded to consider what they were trying to tell me. I didn't listen. I now realize that when someone as close to you as a family member and a close friend tries to intervene in any aspect of your life that it is important to listen. They are intervening because they have your best interests in mind. They are trying to intervene because they care. The worse thing that I did was refuse to listen to their concerns, to talk to them about their concerns, to understand the basis for their concerns. I shunned them and labeled them as ignorant. This is one of the crimes I have committed. I too listened to my upline. I realize now that the concern of an upline is there for selfish reasons. The upline wants to succeed and can only do so if those under them succeed. It is a false friendship."
"I recently got out of a relationship because my boyfriend had been bitten by that "American Dream" desire. He has been consumed with this business- making it seem like he loved the business more than me. It is funny how Quixtar promotes families and spending time with them, yet there is no way you can do that when you are "building the business.""
It is important to understand that your friend will undergone a serious change in attitude and will be convinced by the numerous tapes and motivational seminars that they have the ticket to your financial salvation. Their desire to "witness" to you about Amway/Quixtar is no less emotional and heart felt as another Christian wanting to share their faith with a friend. As evidenced by the quote from a site reader above, your Amway friend is also being "programmed" to totally focus their life's effort on their Amway/Quixtar business. Dexter Yager comments on how you need to show your good friends this business if you really care for them. Friends and family who don't see "the light" should be flushed and left by the way side as "people with a job", and "stupid losers". They are told not to waste time with people who cannot help them in their business. Anything not helping in the attainment of the goal of building a big Amway/Quixtar business should be sacrificed. In most cases your friend will drift out of your life, as more and more of their spare time is devoted to their Amway business. This experience is written about by numerous site visitors, and also in the few critical books on Amway. If you were to listen to some of their tapes in an objective, critical manner you would also observe this for yourself. The alienation of friends and family as "losers", and "broke people with jobs", are similar to cult tactics used to protect the cult mind-set as well as the distributor's self esteem/confidence from the inevitable rejection by friends and family. Amway Co-founder Rich DeVos comments on the "loser label".
Here is my list some of the arguments and logic I would use to say I was not interested in their "opportunity".
1) Selling - According to the Amway WEB site and the Amway/Quixtar Retail Sales Rule, selling to retail customers is required to earn performance bonuses. In addition simple calculations shows Amway/Quixtar to be a "negative sum game" when no one sells products to normal customers.
Here is how you can phrase it to your friends. "I did some research on the Amway WEB site and found out that in order to earn performance bonuses that I must have a certain amount of retail sales to others outside of Amway/Quixtar". I am personally not interested in selling products. Since I would not be selling retail, I would not have the extra profit margin to make my business profitable." If they say you can earn performance bonuses without selling, they are violating the Amway/Quixtar rules. (The retail sales rule is not usually actively enforced, but your sponsor cannot admit that without violating the rules) Amway Co-founder Rich DeVos comments on the "retail sales", which includes sales to Members and Clients.
2) Product Line Competitiveness - There are many price studies on the WEB that show some prices are better from Amway/Quixtar but that the majority of items are more expensive. Since most IBO's have not gone to the trouble to do a study for themselves, you can use this to your and their advantage. Amway/Quixtar would not be a bad thing if the products were competitively priced. If you can show people they can save money, then people will buy the stuff. So ask your potential sponsor the following: "I have heard that the Amway/Quixtar prices are not so competitive. Do you have a personal price study that you have done for our town against the local discount stores and the store brands of that store? If there is data to support I can save money over where I now shop it might be a viable business; at least I might want to shop there for personal use. I will look at your data if you have it, but until then don't bother me until you have proof that it is a good deal. I do not want to see any Amway/Quixtar sponsored price studies, but one from our area and our local stores." This question is helpful in three ways. Should the prices be lower in your area, you might be able to benefit from Amway/Quixtar. Secondly if the prices are not better and the IBO knows this, they will not give you a study. Then, you can always fall back on "well you never gave me your price study as I asked". Thirdly, your friend might actually go to the trouble of doing one and discover for himself what the truth is. The truth is good. Either Amway/Quixtar is a better deal or it is not. If it's not, why do it?. Will it grow if it is not a better deal or people are willing to pay up for the "Quality"?
3) 2-5 Year Plan - Many new IBOs think that the Amway/Quixtar 2-5 year plan is an actual and realistic plan. In reality there are few people who have achieved a "retirement" status after 2-5 years of Amway. Anyone, who only does Amway, is in fact still building the business on a full time basis since legs constantly fall off as groups come and go. One way to handle this selling point is the following: "I have heard talk of the 2-5 year plan. Can you give me any data to show me what percentage of the distributors who start out actually "retire" in 2-5 years? I'm sure in a very few cases this is possible, but most likely not probable." The surest way to knock out a persistent IBO is to request factual data. Make your interest in the "opportunity" contingent on relevant data, which they have no probability of supplying.
4) Income - Many IBOs speak of how profitable the business is, but they themselves are reporting losses due to their business. You might use this tactic. "I really want to make money in this opportunity. If you are going to teach me how to do this, I would like to see what NET profit you are making now so that I know if I reproduce at least what you have done, then I will know I can make some money in this deal. Please tell me your net performance bonuses from Amway/Quixtar and retail sales profits as well as what you spent on the business last year. If you made money selling tapes and seminars please let me know that as well." This is good for two reasons. Firstly, if they are making money at it you should at least know how they are doing it. There is no good reason to turn your back on a verifiable profit opportunity. Secondly, if they are losing money then why should you reproduce their method and the losses they have? Of all the site visitors I have questioned, only those with very significant retail sales, to non-distributors have told me they made money. No other site visitors have admitted to any actual net profit from just a "networking only" business model. As their business expands, so does their overhead costs. All former distributors who have answered my questions, all admitted to losing money in the "opportunity".
5) Profitability - "In order to be successful, I have heard there is a "system". Plug into the "system" and it will help you grow your business. Plug others into the system so that they can also reproduce the "winning and time proven business model". I have heard the system might cost anywhere from $1,000-$3,800/year depending upon what extent one uses the system. Additionally, since retail sales are not stressed nor enforced in many lines of sponsorship, the "buy from yourself" business model is employed. A typical distributor buying $200/month, will generate at most $50/month, or $600/year in gross profit using the most profitable products, and the highest performance bonus of 25%. It appears then to me that on average people are spending $1,000-$3,800/year per person to try to split up at most $600/year per person in bonuses. This doesn't make sense to me. It sounds like a few people can make money, but most will lose money since people on average spend more than they can make without having a lot of outside sales to non-distributors. Given that the highest bonus is 25% of sales, this means I need at least 4 times my overhead costs in sales, with no retail profit, just to break even on average." Amway Co-founder Rich DeVos comments on the "systems".
6) System Investment - In order to be successful in Amway/Quixtar people are told to plug into the "system". It is commonly said that "the system is 100% optional, but so is success", or "tools are 100% optional but 100% necessary", or "no one has grown a good business without the system" All of this is ammunition you can use to say no. Many people do not have the extra money to be able to spend $1,000-$3,800/year on the system. You can say this to your sponsor: "I have researched the business and frankly to be successful, one must buy and use the "system". Our family cannot afford the normal and customary expenses that the system entails. The business is just too expensive for us to do it properly". Of course your sponsor will invent ways to solve this problem like loaning you tapes or buying you tickets to seminars. Don't accept any of this. Their losses will only be higher and they are violating cardinal rules of duplicating the "system" by accommodating your needs. They will try to say you will save money with Amway products, which could be used to finance the system. Don't be convinced you will save money purchasing Amway products unless you do your own price study.
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Site Visitor Response:
I don't know if this would work or not. It's a strategy for breaking a friend out of Amway - it would require an investment of your time. Here it is:
"Friend, I am not interested in the business. I have a job and some investments and I am happy with that. However, I understand that Amway is about selling product, so I'd be happy to buy off you if the goods are genuinely cheaper."
Now who knows, maybe you will find something you like. Maybe by not being hostile you will be able to keep a friend.
But if you are feeling proactive. then during the course of their trying to sell you an Amway water purification system etc, you can throw in: "This is genuinely cheaper at the supermarket." (or some other local source)
"Yes, your Amway product is higher quality, but I am happy with the economy version and have no reason to pay a premium".
"Why not sell it to me at your cost price? This is supposed to be *your* business, isn't it? Even if you make no direct profit, you get the points for it, don't you?"
"Friend, to be brutally honest, you are not really much of a salesperson. Are you sure you are going to be able to make money doing this?"
"How much of your time and money did you just spend to sell me this breath freshener?"
In other words, demonstrate the illegitimacy of the business by showing that it cannot sell product to a customer, or is not going to "sell itself", as your upline would like you to believe.
"You have tried to sell a bunch of stuff to me this evening, but it's terribly overpriced and I'm just not interested. I don't think anyone could sell this stuff at these prices. How can the Amway business possibly be legit, when there is no money flowing *into* it from *outside* - from customers?"