It is pretty clear if you ask lots of questions few will be answered. They just don't have that much information to give out. This lack of information permeates from the highest levels. Read my e-mail exchange with Executive Diamond Distributor Louie Corrillo. Of the many questions I asked, most went unanswered. Their strategy is to get you to believe in the dream and not worry about any business details. Once you know this, you can be more observant of the information control tactics they will try to employ on you.
"No one is afraid to contact anyone. No, you're not afraid to contact people You know what you are afraid of? How to respond to them when they start asking questions."Emerald Bo Short Tape "Practice" PN1105
Observe how distributors handle your questions. Most current distributors will not lie outright, but most of the time you will never get straight answers. Normally they will answer your question by asking you a question. Much of their promotional material is vague and truly uninformative. Observe for yourself how little substance is really in their brochures, CD ROMs, and web sites. Try my business questions list on them to see for yourself how they act. You will get the picture soon enough. Site visitor responses are very clear on this.
"...I did present your business questions to a diamond, and I still have not gotten a response."
"...I was recently recruited, but strangely enough she would never tell me the name of the company."
"...A friend of mine wants me to get into Quixtar - The people I talked with were so un-straightforward"
"...I started asking lots of questions and got half-ass answers, I went to find the answers for myself and found your site. "
"Everything looked great with quixscam but I couldn't see any pricing or get to see all the products until I "bought" my membership."Site Visitors
"The plan might include effusive praise and flattery, introducing the person to another member with similar interests and background, deliberate deception about the group, and evasive maneuvering to avoid answering questions."Steven Hassan "Combating Cult Mind Control" page 49
If you ask them "Is it Amway/Quixtar" be prepared to tell them what you know about it with these answers.
Observe how IBOs answer your questions with questions. Their training materials teach many avoidance-based strategies.
"BE BRIEF-ANSWER A QUESTION WITH A QUESTION!!!!"
"I'm not qualified to answer any questions".
"If they ask a question, tell them "It's in the Ad pak""-- "Leave quickly and do not discuss the business or answer any questions if at all possible"-- Prospect:"The Ad pak didn't tell me anything" "That's ok. The Pak is pre qualification material"Scripts from Interactive Distribution Manual-DA1 pages 19, 23, 26
"..I was prospected by someone from Quixtar and politely turned them down after I instantly recognized what I had received from three years of cold-contacting training. I asked him if it was Quixtar and he readily admitted it... which showed lack of training on his part. "Answer a question with a question." was our motto. :)" Former Distributor - Site Visitor
Observe how they will answer with some factual sounding, unverifiable statistic that has nothing to do with what you asked.
"When I asked the upline how competitive they were, he said" we have no competition". That response alone I knew wasn't true"Site Visitor
Notice how many will have to "get back to you later", or tell you "get with your sponsor on that". Your sponsor has been taught to say, "I'm not qualified to answer any questions". If you are observant, you will quickly see through this routine. You will be going in circles chasing information no one will ever give you.
"... I asked to see a catalogue before signing up but conveniently no one ever had one. I was so taken away by the strength of what I had been told that I didn't push for this before signing."
"I also took with me a list of questions compiled from my own thoughts and websites. His answers were basically, "don't know, will get back to you on that, and my upline would know better than I." It's true, they just go on faith. Amazing. "Site Visitors
They even sell tapes on how to dodge the people who ask too many questions and "flush" those that are too curious.
"If she keeps asking questions ..Hey, I'm real nice. "Hey, those are great questions. Like I told you I'm really in a hurry. Don't have a lot of time to talk. uhmm...this doesn't look like it is going to work out. I've got to run. If anything changes I will give you a call.""Emerald Bo Short Tape "Practice" PN1105
If you stick around long enough, they will say all your questions will be answered at the next major function.
"It's so important to go to the convention. (Pratt Winter Leadership)...In Atlanta there is a guy named Casey Comden...after his 5th year in the business he was making $100,000/month doing this.... Why not you go and get the information from someone who is doing it?"Diamond Distributor-"Joe"-Open Meeting Charleston, SC 01/11/2001 Listen to Joe
They know that once you get to a function you will most likely forget about any questions you have about the business, and get in. Most of them will offer a money back assurance on the function ticket price if you are not happy.
"As you well know, their techniques of persuasion are good, very good, and after a short time one's suspicions & doubts slowly fade as the system of persuasion takes hold."
"Also, when you go to several functions and open meetings and still don't really grasp the full concept of what exactly "the business" is...ought to start raising some more questions."IBO Site Visitors
The functions are very powerful and persuasive emotional events. They are nothing short of uplifting religious revivals celebrating free enterprise, Christian values and limitless possibilities of wealth. The behavior at these "business meetings" is like no other business meeting I've ever seen.
"We ended up going to part of the Brad Duncan Family Reunion ( a function). It was SCARY!!! There were thousands of adults doing steps to songs by the Goads--I told my husband that I could get 2nd graders to do that, but not 7th graders! "
"Sometimes meetings are like being to your first baseball game and doing "the wave" it gets to be so many people doing it that you cannot avoid being different so you do it too."IBO Site Visitor
"A famous experiment in conformity by Dr. Solomon Asch demonstrated that people will doubt their own perceptions if they are put in a social situation where it appears the most confident people in the group are all giving the wrong answer to a question."Steven Hassan "Combating Cult Mind Control" Page 58
The functions overflow with Amway success stories. These motivational seminars as well as the tapes are the core distributor's opium. It is what keeps them pushing a hugely cost and time inefficient distribution system. Time and time again, they say that anybody who just works hard enough employing their simple techniques will one day be Diamond. I went to a function and they chanted "if you have a dream the facts just don't count". That perked my ears up, since it did not make much sense to me.
"I pointed out that 99% of all IBOs don't go diamond. Heck, 99% don't even go direct. His wife said that they'll be in the 1%. I replied, 'So...if you have a dream the facts just don't matter?' Her eyes got real big and she said, 'Exactly. Now you get it.' I said, 'No, I don't think I do. To me, the facts matter a lot.' From my side it makes sense, from theirs it doesn't. "Site Visitor
If you are observant, you will see too, that their overwhelming aim is to get every new person to a major function as soon as possible. Listen to Joe's wife promote a function Once inspired (infected?) by a function, the "dream" takes over rational and logical thought and the prospect will most often get in the business.
"...You Are A Dream Stealer...May God Put Strong Judgment on you"IBO Site Visitor
When seeking information, observe how distributors will change the subject completely, or say your question is not relevant. Watch how if confronted with the poor statistics of success, many distributors will make an analogy to other equally unsuccessful endeavors in order to rationalize the low probability of success in AmQuix.
"...When you break down the fact that the 90% of the world will fail to succeed at anything they do, in all likelihood this will just be to follow suit. Said but true. 50% of the people fail at marriage, jobs ,weight lose, college, start up business (conventional), etc."IBO Site Visitor
Unless confronted by a strong personality, they can usually push off the hard questions.
"On a trip back from a seminar I began to ask my friend's sponsor some, if not similar, questions to the ones you have on your web site. The distributor interrupted and said that he did not think the question was relevant. I told him and the meeting host, I was asking the question and I would determine its relevance."
"..I tried to ask as many questions as possible before we signed up, but got unclear/smug answers and I didn't feel encouraged to ask any other questions"IBO Site Visitors
Distributors can easily turn the table back to you and put you on the spot when you ask critical questions.
"Another thing I don't understand is why they expect hard evidence from me to contradict what they say and tell me to track down the source of the information and ask that person to prove what they say, but they have shown me nothing to support what they say unless a few bubbles on an easel count. I have not seen one financial statement proving that any of my ex-upline make what they claim."Site Visitor
Others liberally throw around business buzz words like "business-to-business transactions", B2B, "tri-digital business" or some other hyped up meaningless term. This buzzword hype is used to cover up the fact that AmQuix is nothing more than a commission based sales opportunity. The avoidance based "Am-speak" keeps them from having to discuss the not so positive net profitability issue and the perception of poor product price competitiveness. If you ask too many hard questions, most will move on to a new prospect that will be more "trainable", gullible and less inquisitive. They are in the end just "looking for lookers" who will be immediately inspired by the "dream".
"When I confronted the emerald couple about their income from tools they said they made enough to cover travel expenses. By this time they were getting frustrated about the whole situation. They then said they didn't want to waste their time on someone who had no faith in the business and that my sponsor was a gift from God because his time is so valuable and he spends it with me."Site Visitor
Be skeptical when they expound some "fact" about the 2200 Amway millionaires, 20% of all millionaires came from Amway, 2000 Diamond distributors, 98% of people retiring need assistance, save 30%, 95% of small business fail in 5 years, the Harvard Business School teaches MLM, or Quixtar is #5 web site, ask them to show you exactly where they found these "facts". When challenged they cannot show you the exact source. They are just parroting rumors they heard. The ruthlessly efficient Amway rumor mill is full of untruths.
"P&G's lawsuit claimed Amway distributor Randy Haugen (Diamond Distributor - Yager line) of Ogden used Amway 's electronic voice-mail system to spread a false rumor that P&G's president had appeared on a talk show and announced "he was coming out of the closet about his association with the church of Satan.".....The Salt Lake Tribune
"Those individuals did nothing more than the thousands of other people who innocently talked about a rumor that they did not know at the time to be false,"Mike Mohr, Amway general counsel . 08/25/2000 KRTBN Knight-Ridder Tribune Business News: The Salt Lake Tribune More on the Satan rumor
IBOs quietly accept these untruths, lest they be labeled "negative" if they challenged the validity of these rumors and statements to their upline. Their command and control system is explicit. It demands that they accept what their upline tells them.
"No negative downline or crossline. No negative downline or crossline. Let me say that one more time. No negative downline or crossline."Diamond Distributor - Rocky Covington - Tape: "Platinum to Diamond" BPB-201
"My biggest complaint was always that we were chastised for questioning anything or thinking for ourselves. It was always "follow the system" "If you don't agree with the system you'll never succeed". You have to be willing to be a mindless robot if you want to feel comfortable among the groupies. And groupies they are!"Former Distributor - Site Visitor
Site visitor comments also suggest that uplines justify their behavior when prospects do not ask the right questions or do not maintain an appropriate level of skepticism when doing their research. If you do not ask, they will not volunteer extra information.
"...I have had higher level people in the Amway business tell me, "If people are totally ignorant about this situation (money made off 'The System'), that is their problem." The point is people shouldn't be so stupid and not business minded to see what is going on."Former distributor
You will need to be aware that many distributors will give you the impression you are questioning their credibility if you ask detailed personal questions, especially financial ones. Don't let this bother you. They want to use the uncomfortable atmosphere to repel your question. They don't want to admit they have no facts. They might be a successful high PV distributor while at the same time being financially unsuccessful in the business. If their net profits were truly good, why should they want to hide it? In e-mail debates they are especially good at not backing up their claims.
"Just like any smart shopper you can get 100pv for under $200."Q: Please show me your monthly shopping list which allows 100 PV for $200. A:"...I have nothing to prove to you, because you are just a pawn. IBO Site Visitor debate.
Many times they state a true fact but they have nothing else as a comparison measure. In most cases this information is meaningless unless one can compare it to something else. For example, you might be impressed if someone told you Amway had $5 billion in "estimated" sales. What does this really mean? How big are they compared to Wal-Mart? ($180 billion) Would you be so impressed if they also told you two years earlier they had "estimated" sales of $7 billion? Quixtar did $250 million in 200 days. What can this be compared to? How much would Amway have moved in North America in the same time period if sales weren't cannibalized by Quixtar? $700 Million is my estimate. Be sure to ask for a measure, a relative comparison, or growth rate before being impressed with single data point.
So why not ask all the hard business questions now? If they cannot answer good business related questions, do you really want to go into business with people who know so little factual data about their own business? If they will not answer your questions, do you really want to go into business with those types of people? Remember Ronald Reagan and the Soviets? "Trust yet verify"!
'If they want to retaliate against the negativity of your site, then it would be more helpful to those of us with questions to use financial facts and truths to spur us into action."Prospect Site Visitor
"I began to ask my friends sponsor some questions.... I have been accused of being closed minded and somewhat paranoid, and also like you, a "dream" buster."IBO Site Visitor