An Honest Response To Your MLM Message

by Hannah Madonna
Originally Published: 
A girl with an afro hairstyle looking at an MLM message on her phone with a worried facial expressio...
JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty

Hi Friend,

First of all, let me say how great it is that you got my information from a friend I hadn’t talked to since high school. That’s definitely appropriate, and I mean, since I’m on Facebook anyway, I obviously don’t care about my privacy, right? So thanks for the cheery message!

And then when I ignored it, thank you for sending me three more!

You finally broke me down with the last message, so I responded against my better judgment. I have to give you credit for your persistence and your super familiar tone with someone you’ve never met. I figured if you were going to needlessly pester me, I might as well reward you for it. You started out with small talk so I would let my guard down. This was a great choice for a number of reasons. First, I love making small talk, especially with strangers. Second, I was totally not suspicious of you at all and had no idea you were using this conversation to wind up to a sales pitch. What a masterful play. You got to lead in to said sales pitch with a question, almost like it was my idea to discuss your products instead of yours! So you asked me if I wanted to get healthier, feel better, and lose weight.

It seemed like you weren’t sure what to do when I said no.

I guess I should apologize. That was rude of me. You went to all the trouble of looking at pictures of me and judging me, and here I am completely uninterested in your unsolicited opinion. And to make matters worse, I’m not even thin! There’s so much of me to judge! How dare I be happy with my body. Around half of all American women are size 14 or bigger, which is great because it means a larger customer base you can say are too fat despite their actual health or opinion of their own bodies. I’m glad you’re here to tell me how unhealthy I am, and to offer products untested by the FDA with advice from someone with no medical training. Oh, I’m sorry, you definitely read all the marketing materials? There was a webinar? Someone on your team is a nurse? Let me amend my statement. I’m so glad you’re here to offer products untested by the FDA with advice from someone with no medical training.

You then asked if I would be interested in trying a product for free. All I had to do was post a prepared message to social media. Well, I really didn’t want any of your garbage products but I immediately leapt on what I saw as a great business opportunity to start the influencer career I’ve always wanted. I gave you my rates — and how generous am I, I was definitely undercharging — but you seemed offended by it. You explained that this was your livelihood. You’re a small business owner! Didn’t I want to support a female entrepreneur, hashtag boss babe?

Wow, you really got me there. Hashtag my bad.

To underline what a huge mistake I was making, you gushed about how great you felt after using your products. You invited me to check out your recent posts about it, which I did, and I was pretty impressed with your use of bad photos, copy-and-paste posts (and seriously, Karen, can you CHILL WITH ALL THE EMOJIS), and the tactic of hiding the product name so people would have to ask about your supposedly amazing results using it. It’s a network marketing business after all, and you rely on social media to get new leads and drive your sales.

Despite my consistently negative responses, you asked if I would be interested in joining your team, selling products that I had no desire to use myself. I was flattered you thought I’d be so great at it, especially with zero sales experience and a small social media following (probably need to let go of that influencer dream after all). You corrected me immediately when I expressed concern that it was a pyramid scheme. It DEFINITELY ISN’T, you said. Your profuse assurances are great, because with the pyramid-shaped compensation structure I was worried for a minute there.

Your MLM isn’t one of the ones with the lawsuits. And you’re definitely not one of the approximately ninety nine percent of people who lose money. Those people just aren’t working hard enough, right? Unlike you, Karen, because you are constantly making social media posts and chasing leads, alienating friends and family by guilting them and accusing them of not supporting you because they don’t want to buy the overpriced stuff you’re shilling. You’re definitely working hard enough. Maybe you just need to recruit a few new team members.

Oh, and if this opportunity isn’t perfect for me, you have another! Maybe makeup. Or leggings. Or wax warmers. Books. Body wraps. Essential oils. Children’s clothes. I only need to invest a little for a starter kit, I’ll definitely make it all back — if I work hard enough (which seems to be the only metric you’re using for success here). I might even make enough to quit my job, maybe even get rich. What an amazing opportunity. It almost seems too good to be true!

So, thanks but no thanks, I think I’ll pass.

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