Amway? A friend of mine tried that, it doesn’t work!

A friend of mine has been an Amway IBO for about 4 years. Β She’s recently decided to stop with her goal to be Diamond, instead pursuing goals related to environmental change. That’s fine, people’s lives and ambitions change. The thing is, in that four years she was regularly attending major and minor seminars, weekly “open plans”, training sessions, team phone sessions, buying CDs and books. She was “plugged in”. Thousands of dollars spent, hundreds or thousands of hours. She never got past the 6% level. I’ve no doubt a large number of her friends and family have now formed the opinion, based on what they believe to be “evidence” that the Amway business doesn’t work. This friend spent so much time on it! And never made any money! It cost her thousands!

But is that really the truth?

Well yes, it actually is the truth – at least the part about her spending a lot of time and making no money –Β but it’s also not the whole story. In the group she was affiliated with, for her market, their “system” recommends that if you want to build a profitable Amway business in a reasonable amount of time you need to expose the business plan and/or products to, ideally, at least 15 people/month. This is maybe 30 or 40hrs/mth of work, done properly. Less than you’d need to spend starting up most traditional businesses. The barest minimum you should be doing is 8 “exposures” a month. If you don’t, then it’s very unlikely you can build a profitable business. This “system” also recommends that you take advantage of having an upline team, and sit down at least once a month and go through your business figures. How many “exposures” you’re doing, how many customers you have, how many people you’ve sponsored, how many of them are actively building a business, how much sales volume you’re creating, etc etc. Essentially the kind of monthly business review any successful business is doing.

While she was putting a lot of time and money in to her “business”, she wasn’t doing this last part. And she admitted to me why. Everyone, including her upline, thought she was working hard and was puzzled by her lack of success. She sat down and went through her diary for the previous year and counted up the amount of “exposures” she’d done. 15. Not 15 per month. 15 total. The whole year. What business in the world would be profitable if you only spoke to 15 potential customers in a whole year?

What my friend was doing was being engaged in what’s called “busy work“. Busy work doesn’t have to be time wasting – indeed it can be stuff that is useful, even necessary, towards reaching some goal. Everyone observing, looking on, sees that you’re working hard and spending a lot of time on your project – you look busy. But you’ll never get anywhere. It’s like hopping on a stationary exercise bike when what you want to do is cycle down to the store. It doesn’t matter how much of a sweat you get up, you’re never going to get to the store.

My friend knows why she didn’t succeed with Amway (or at least hasn’t yet, she may come back to it in the future). She knows what she needed to do, and she knows she didn’t do it. She still loves Amway and Amway products. Her friends and family though? “Amway? A friend of mine tried that, it doesn’t work!”

53 thoughts on “Amway? A friend of mine tried that, it doesn’t work!”

  1. Well show me a real profit and loss statement! I bet very few involved in Amway have a P & L. And what I would like to see, is the overall amount spent in gas, training materials bought, tapes, books, etc. compared to what they actually bring in! That is the only way to prove they ARE making money.

    I don’t care about so called growing by 9% then 20 %, that’s usually in reference to their “network”, NOT true Profit, which is Revenue – Expenses!!! SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

    If you reply, to say yes it works, then be prepared to SHOW it with a proper P & L statement. I don’t care about HYPE, SHOW ME THE MONEY!!

    Former Corporate Controller here, so P & L’s are reality.

  2. Rare as chicken teeth? Lol 8 month into business I’m at 18% and two of my downline are at 9% and they’ve been in 3 and 7 months … Don’t say it doesn’t work in a general statement because IT’S NOT TRUE, she obviously didn’t do something right professionally. Say what you want to that but if it didn’t work I wouldnt be making 1000$ a month neither would my downline and their downline in less than a year.

    It’s so sad when something doesn’t work out for someone and then all of a sudden it becomes a general statement and a scam. Whatever, I’m still making $$$ and more to come while you are here fooling yourself into thinking the business doesn’t work πŸ™‚ no hate!

  3. wow, 6% in 4yrs. I would have to say, was her upline helping her at all, better yet, was her downline doing anything? My wife and I have been in over a yr and are at 15%. that is because we made up in our minds ‘what do we want duplicated?’ if you are doing this by yourself, then yes you will have the results she had, but we are encouraged to do 15+ total plans ‘teamwise’ not per person. if we show 15 cool, if we show more great. i would have to say, her upline failed her and that her downline wasn’t duplicating her work ethic. It would be an honor to have a person of her drive, accountability, and her ability to be coachable on our team. We have an awesome upline and she would def exceed 6% her first month in business!! But best of luck to her and her future endeavors. Just hope her family doesn’t let something that wasn’t her fault have a bad taste in their mouths.

    1. we are growing our business steadily, making sure our group is reaching their goals. we work one person at a time and let our upline have a field day in depth. we constantly check our pulses, seeing where people are and where we can help them. is 15% where we want to be NO, but has our efforts for team building and countless hrs putting in time and money to get our downlines to where they want to be worth it…yes. if we at 25% or 3% our work ethic would still be the same. we just want our group to reach their goals. we also cant make ppl do something that they don’t want to do. Maybe ppl will realize ‘I own a business and I am going to work it’. That i think is a big one with everyone. but hey what can we do lol some ppl choose to and some don’t. but we shouldn’t let what other ppl aren’t doing keep you from building your business. Sometimes the best thing for you to do is show your team you can grow with/or without them!! Builds character lol

      1. Werrl… she wasn’t showing any plans. No matter how awesome her upline, if she wasn’t putting in the actual work (system is education, not work), not the best upline in the world could have got her from 6% to 15%. I know because that’s my story too (and my upline is really good). It takes guts to confront someone and offer them a business opportunity before it is working for you. Their first question to me was usually, “is it working for you?” A straightforward answer (“I’m working on it”) blows them out. Anything else comes across as cagey and fishy. But I’m still going to give it another go one day… I know I will; the concept is too good to pass up on.

        1. Right on! Let me add, part of the counselling a “good upline” does is encourage IBOs to turn “No” to the business opportunity into “Yes” to becoming a retail customer. Initial profit in the business comes from retail. People that make money are less likely to quit.

          A happy customer can lead to at least three new customers. They are a good source of new prospects. You may even turn that “No” into a “Yes” later on. It all depends upon how you treat people.

          Neal Maaskant, that’s the guy that sponsored Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos, when asked, “Does that business work?” would pull out his receipt book and say, “Mrs. Jones bought Double X, Mrs. Smith bought Double X…” That was all the proof he needed. He and his wife left a very profitable Founders Emerald business to their heirs.

          Key to getting a “No” prospect to become a “Yes” customer is to apply the “Golden Rule.” Treat them with the respect you expect to receive from others. Mr. and Mrs. “No” are not idiots or fools for not understanding what “the business” can do for them. If you treat them right, they will, in most cases, return the favor. Have Tact!

    2. Not sure I agree with this comment NB. You say that “her downline wasn’t duplicating her work ethic” … I think it’s a big mistake (and unfortunately a common one) to consider being a meeting groupie as “work”. The work is plan showing, followups etc. She wasn’t doing that. Upline should help (and her upline did help) but they shouldn’t do it all for you. BTW, I should also have mentioned she’s also in Europe, where the next level for her on the bonus scale, 9%, is 1200PV, double what it is in the US. While it happens, not too many IBOs exceed 1200PV in their first month πŸ™‚


  5. Been around the business for over a year. Joined at the end of July. I’m at 9%. Like the first comment just be more open about the business.

  6. It’s always important to take a look at the whole picture. There are people that fail in all kinds of business, not just Amway. And what is failure, really, if you’ve taken some time to learn from your mistakes?

  7. Listening to this guy and taking his advice is like calling numbers written on the wall of public bathrooms. If you want advice, take it from people who are in life where you want to be.

  8. Ibofightback – we are in agreement on some things – Amway is not about hard sell – far from it! As a professional salesman for 25 years I can assure people that even being a “normal” sales person doesnt help. Being relatable and a good teacher – now that is a plus! The Amway business IS a good model – you have to buy the stuff anyway and most people dont just buy the cheapest – if they did the world would be full of Best & Less and Hyundai – but we do have plenty of Myer & BMW .
    My beef is that the company has become greedy and slow to move and is not competative for “like for like” products.
    In relation to the company recognition – experience is they are published within 3 months of the award – and that is now faster with E-News. I dont know where you come up with the delayed recognition & tking a few years to show – like your “according to newspaper” claims – oou can not back this up.
    The statistics show a steady decline of new platinums – which will of course show a steady decline of higher pins ( unless they are all very concentrated). The point re founders – is that they are “old money” and not usually new growth – fact is I know of most of them and they are not the type – you described. In fact these days – those people are often re-recognised anyway.

    1. FP, Amway would partially agree with some of your comments. Steve Van Andel himself spoke of the problem of it becoming slow to move and react to market changes in recent decades. I think they’ve changed that in the US and major markets like China, but the back streets of Amway like Australia and Europe are still a little behind the times. I can’t comment on your pricing comparisons as I haven’t compared in Australia for a long time, all I know is that virtually every single time someone has said that and named a product and I’ve run a price comparison myself, Amway has been cheaper.

      I have a bunch of Australian newspaper articles talking about Amway Australia, the “growth” was mentioned in one of them. I don’t have the time or inspiration to dig it up sorry.

      1. I live here – joined in mid nineties – platinum in 2004 – newspapers report things like that from PR ( ive seen them – what they dont report the the massive non renewal) – i can assure you australia is in decline – and apart from a huge sales blip in 03 – 05 due to the launch of Emma page Jewelery has been shrinking for 15 years. It is sad – i loved the business – but its true –

  9. I love the euphemisms used here. “Exposing the business plan” (more accurately called “Hard selling complete strangers)

    Not doing that makes it “very unlikely you can build a profitable business”. I bet, since its hard to make money in a business that’s designed to exploit you.

    But hey, if you can exploit enough people below you, it’s possible that you’ll stop losing money! Have faith! Trust your upline! Buy Amway!

    I won’t even get into the psychological tactics employed to keep people in the system even after they’ve lost money for years.

    1. Hard selling Amway, like hard selling most of the time, doesn’t work. It ends up creating people like you. Yet Amway continues to grow, now over $9 billion in sales a year. Perhaps not everyone involved with Amway “hard sells”? Do you think that might be possible?

  10. Interesting points. Facts are you do need to share the idea 3-4 times a week minimum to get anywhere decent. Even then – I am convinced after 15 years there is some luck involved. If you dont duplicate you dont grow. in my first 10 years I did approx, 1500 presentations. it took us 3 years to silver and 8 to platinum and we personally sponsored 70. We did not find anyone who came close to duplicating. Perhaps we could have / should have targetted sharper people. Dont know but we did make some great friends.
    My traditional business now exceeds a published diamond income. AS a direct result of the system – we were in IDA.
    I dont think there is as much difference between it and N21 as people think but what did happen – well before the exodus in 2008, was that IDA and Amway lost the plot, probably due to greed. IDA needs to go back to group seminars not diamond based ones. they need to stop tweeking the plans.
    Amway needs to stop this newspaper adverts and reduce prices – there are alot of cheaper choices these days and they are left behind. Then they may have a chance

    1. From all reports Amway Australia is growing well at the moment. Why are you against the newspaper adverts? I think they’re a great idea. They don’t cost enough that dropping them and putting it in to a price drop would make much difference. Last time I checked (it’s been a while) most of the Artistry and Nutrilite brands were price competitive with products in the same categories.

      1. OH really – what reports are they? Mate it is in worse state since mid 80’s. re the newspapers – easy – like the TV ads in the late 90’s they dont work. Castle Hill marketing gets all excited about them – forgetting the real and only way to build business is directly – business has declined over the past 2 years – it doesnt work – focus on grass root not saying put that money into price drop – put it into incentives.
        Pricing is NOT competative in those two cat. and woeful in all catergories. The aussie dollar is worth usd 1.07 – a decade ago – usd 0.54 – four years ago about .80 – yet prices on usa made product have increased & recently by 3% when there was a sharp rise in exchange which should have had the opposite effect.
        want business to grow in australia – introduce zero cost membership!

        1. Newspaper reports state that sponsoring and sales are up in Australia. In my hometown what was one Open in our organisation has now split in to three due to overcrowding. (The most recent split just occurring recently).

          What evidence do you have business is declining?

          As for pricing and the aussie dollar, I think that’s a legitimate complaint, but it’s a difficult one for Amway. I used to own an international business and we marketed the same service to different countries at different currencies. Initially the costs were based on our costs, a margin, and exchange rates. As exchange rates changed everything changed (including costs!) It’s simply not sensible to constantly adjust pricing based on temporary fluctuations.

          Having said that, the USD/AUD changes have been dramatic and can no longer be considered “temporary”. As you’re no doubt aware a lot of retailers in Australia are struggling with this issue and international internet price comparisons. One of these days I’ll launch a website for trying to track this for Amway products, and put some pressure on them to adjust where necessary πŸ™‚

          1. likewise i have dealt with importing products for 20 years. 1. There is a long term revaluation over a number of years. 2. The products are simply not competative as they once were.
            Diamonds have tried to get them to be competative

            What newspaper reports state those figures?
            Evidence that business in decline.
            Reduced recognition of silver and above pins
            Reduced numbers at events like FEC
            The large organization that i was a member of had gone from 3 open meetings in the city to half
            In any case open numbers are not a real indicator – the new young ibos are joining but not spending in the same volume as those did 7 or 8 years ago

          2. FP, I’m not disagreeing with you on the pricing issue. It’s a challenge for all Australian companies. The hard part is judging whether increased volume for decreased prices is actually going to mean increased profit. The organisation I work with has increased numbers at the FEC equivalent, and increased Opens. One organisation (even a group within an organisation) can be growing, and others shrinking. I think you said you were part of IDA? They were badly hit by association with the TEAM debacle a few years ago, including having some significant Australian leadership dismissed from the company. That is of course going to effect things greatly.

          3. Amway australia website.
            Recognitions jan-july.
            2011 Platinums 5, Emeralds 1
            2010 Platinums 14, Emerald/Saphire 2
            2009 Platinums 19, Emeralds/Saphire 3,

            Founders platinums are exsisting Platinums so not counted.
            When we went to Platinums forum in 2004 there were approx. 60 for the full year, which would = about double the 2009 figure

          4. Why would you exclude founders platinums? I know a guy who went platinum 2 decades ago. He hasn’t been at that level, or even close, for 15 years. He recently got recognized as a new Founders Platinum. As you also know, publication schedules in Amagrams do not necessarily reflect qualifications. Sometimes it just reflect when photography happens. Even so, every business has ups and downs, and in Amway, higher recognitions normally take at least a couple of years before they reflect things are on the way up.

  11. There are 2 aspects of the business in most line of sponsorships.
    1. Actual business actions
    2. Business meeting and material purchases (System)

    Most IBO who remain in the business active for sometime, spend most of their “business time” and expenses ion “system” and they do not reach goals at the end of period.

    We can put the whole blame of their failure on lack of their desire/work ethics etc, but part of it also falls on their mentors, who put more emphasis in plugging in the system and making them believe that system will take care of them.

    Instead of this if their mentors tells them that it is more about action than the system, it will be easier for people to know where to focus more. Problem is people who know what will yield more business, are also making money through system, so from their perspective a new person will help them in making money either way, so they put emphasis on both. And since spending time in system is easier, people fall in that trap of being busy doing nothing concrete.

    1. The problem with this idea is that AFAIK there isn’t a single Amway affiliated system that doesn’t have “action” as one of, if not the, most important part of the system.

      It makes no sense to simultaneously claim emphasis on the system rather than emphasis on action when the system includes and emphasizes action.

      I would agree though that the single biggest contributor to a lack of success is the failure to implement this part of the system.

  12. Similar things do happens to IBOs here in Malaysia… whatever it is “Plan your WORK & WORK your Plan”. Dreams without action is just a dream only. There must be a reason for Success & reason for failure. Afterall.. it’s a PEOPLE business! With or without AMWAY, you still seing people anywhere… anytime… Enjoy the journey anyway!

  13. I have got to say good post. Todays Amway is completely New and exciting. If people have not seen the business in the last years they have no idea what they are talking about. Thank you Amway for the hard changes but things are growing because to many things people complained about were fixed. Now is it still perfect no. Nothing is, but I have to say this if you want to do work and enjoy people and relationship. Nothing can provide for you like this can. So excited about the future of this business. If you are reading this site and blog make sure to do real research and study the people who have fruit on there tree. The business is very different that the old stories posted years ago that do not relate to today. If it was the best business back then, then today it really is the best opportunity for someone that is willing to be honest with themselves and do work. Retail product, Share the plan, and be honest. Love Amway and the opportunity it has give to my family.

    1. Funny one can have a different perspective. After 15 years my observation is that in Australia at least both Amway & IDA have lost the plot. & I suspect N21 too. One only needs to follow the level of recognitions ( or lack of them)

    2. I agree Chris. My husband and I started this business after rejecting it for 4-5 times before when people didnt show it with honesty. We turned down our sponsors for this opportunity but they are great people and gave us better understanding of the business. I am excited about products and what it is going to bring for us and our children. We started with 3% and in 5th month, we are going to be at 15%. We already got $250 FastTrack bonus on top of monthly bonus. I have spent money on seminar, function and CDs but it was optional and it made us strong against negative that we hear about this business because someone didn’t build it right.

      1. Good on you guys for giving it a go after that many previous offers. The system may be optional but its essential. Follow the pattern and watch where you spend your $$ to get PV.

  14. I had a great upline — They were with me every step of the way. I did everything I was taught — attended meetings — talkecd to everyone I met about the business —-

    One day I was talking to the owner of a local store. He told me what I (probably) already knew.

    He Said “Dorothy, you are not a sales person.” I went home and thought that one over. He was right — sales was not my strong point.

    AMWAY has great products — I stilll purchas them —
    and I’m still friends with my upline.

    They tried, I tried, but I am not a salesperson.
    No matteer how hard I try.

    1. I honestly believe that everyone can learn the skills necessary to succeed in Amway. For some people it’s a lot harder than for others though. Even then it’s not for everyone. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do in life!

  15. As long as someone wants to attend a function, listen to a cd, or read a book, they should be able to do it. Let people make their own decisions own what to do next. Nobody forces anyone else to do anything.

  16. This is a common case but as the upline you never want to steal someones hope of a better future so you let them grow in the system. We can’t take credit for their failure but we also can’t take credit for their success, we are just the messengers. Great post.

  17. Stuff like that happening also here in Indonesia…. People looks ‘busy’ attending seminars, business preview just because they like it (we called them ‘lovers’), everyone around this people thinks they are an active IBO’. They never reach higher level, simply because they sponsored only few people and not doing exactly what the system told them to do…

    In more extrem side, there is a group which we called “ZOMBIES”. Similar with “LOVERS”, the difference is ZOMBIES are used to reach pin level (silver producer,platinum) .. πŸ˜€

    1. Use google translate pls.

      To : Pransky

      saya juga dari Indonesia, dan saya setuju dengan komentar anda. Hanya menurut saya apa yang disebut “Sistem” justru rumit dari pada usaha konvensional umumnya.

      Sebaiknya kembali ke hakikat bisnis dan bila akan dibuat pemasaran jaringan dapat meniru pola BO/Franchise yang tidak bertele – tele dengan alat-alat bantu tetapi fokus pada penjualan produk.

      Sukses !

  18. All I’m going to say about that is that she didn’t even try. And neither did her sponsor. There are so many things wrong with that scenario and it literally happens over and over countless times a day. That is one of the things that is wrong with the “systems” groups–even when the upline sees no results, they keep encouraging people to stay “plugged-in” by attending functions and buying tools. It is ridiculous and sickening. I call it “Success by osmosis.” Only problem is, it doesn’t work.

    I’m the opposite. I find out how much they want to make, when they want to make it by, what they would like to do with it, what kind of time commitment they’ll make, ask if they’re willing to meet with me weekly to review their progress, and start their list of names, before I’ve ever drawn one circle. If they can’t pass that test, they never even see the plan because it would be pointless.

    If someone has gone to two major functions and they are not at 12% or 15% with at least six to ten frontline, 15 to 30 or more IBOs in depth, and a 400 PV personal circle, they shouldn’t even go to the next major function because they’re not serious.

    I’m an approved provider because Rules Administration has approved my Presentation and Training Manual that I wrote. It’s 14 pages long and contains, step-by-step, everything anyone needs to know–AND DO–to get off to a profitable start from the first month and build a Platinum business and beyond. If they need anything beyond that, there is literally hundreds of hours of training on Amway’s website.

    If someone doesn’t have a burning desire to have, do, or be something that they cannot get any other way, it simply won’t work. And if an upline has someone that IS serious, but doesn’t give them the PROPER training by personally working with them and giving them everything they need to know–free of charge–then that upline has failed them.

    I’m not saying that all tools and functions are wrong. I’m just saying that it’s wrong to spend hundred or thousands of dollars and have no results to show for it. It’s also wrong for Diamonds to allow it to happen day-in and day-out and not feel guilty about it.

    1. Jeffrey, you are so far wrong on this post it’s ridiculous. Not surprisingly, I know the sponsor. They did all of the things you suggested. What should they have done then? Stood at the door to seminars, physically restrained them and taken their tickets off them (tickets bought directly, not through upline, note) Refused to let them come to (free) group training sessions?

      Really? Is that how you think “independent” business owners should be treated? Like children?

      It’s *their* choice. Nobody else’s. No sponsor nor Diamond nor anyone else really has the right to stop them. It’s their choice, only they know what they feel in their heart. It’s a cliche I know, but she may very well have gone to a seminar next weekend and suddenly, for whatever reason, everything clicked and she goes platinum in 6 months. One month bonuses and all her expenses would have been covered.

      I’d also note (and you’re response to this is probably much like mine) that in Europe, where this lady is, you have to be EDC or above to submit material to Amway for approval for use. In her market Amway doesn’t even have a “plan” you can use, so this effectively means you *have* to be connected to an EDC or above group or you can’t even show the business to people.

        1. Jeffrey, don’t argue it’s worthless…people keep thinking that theory works…what works is the actions. They think that just by going to the seminars and reading a book the magic will happen. I just started the business on May 27 and I already reached a 9% and I’m sure this month I’ll be on 12% and I’ve only read a book I borrowed from my upline and gone to a meeting last week, in one weekend I’ve talked to everyone I know and more, I got to front lines and about 6 customers, bit I didn’t sit to wait for my fairy godmother to wave her magic wand…that’s all I have to say…IT DOES WORK!!!

        2. Jeff, seems like you hit a raw nerve. From what I read, the woman David referred to is in his downline. He seems to be taking responsibility for what is happening. He shouldn’t.

          IBOFB had no idea who he was responding to. Perhaps you should have introduced yourself. Perhaps not. He was addressing the issue from a European point of view; even though he is an Aussie. You are a very successful U.S. IBO. I have heard you speak and totally agree with you. If you are reading this, I hope you will consider participating in future discussions. Your insights would be invaluable.

          David, your friend was presented with a business opportunity. What she chose to do with it was her choice. You and her sponsor are there to support and encourage her. Nothing more. You can take a horse to water but cannot make it drink.

          Success is a choice. The tools and tickets she choses to buy are her choice. If she choses to be around positive people, all the more power to her. If she gets nothing out of the business except becoming a better person, that should be seen as success. That is priceless. If she has no sense of urgency, then she will continue on as she has. You can’t give her that sense. It has to come from within.

          David, perhaps you should go back and re-read what “Jeffrey” wrote, two or three times. I did.

          “Success is the pursuit of a worthwhile goal or dream!”
          “Never, never, quit!”

  19. Like the post you did here. In this case a very accurate representation of the old “I had a friend who did that, it didn’t work”. Our system teaches show 10 people a month and when we actually show 10 people consitently (consistently is the big word here) it works. Why does it work? Because people are looking (
    You just need to OPEN YOUR MOUTH about your business and TELL PEOPLE about it. Obviously your not talking to every single person and telling them about it but if you actually start paying attention to people and connecting with them, listening to what they have to say you’ll pick up on the very obvious clues that they are looking for an opportunity.

    Again great post and bang on.

    1. Well that is funny because I got in March of this year and I am dedicated to BUILD IT my first month 3%, second month 9%, And the 3rd month I posted a 21% month if you follow what is taught it always works, if you are not being taught you need a better teacher.

      BUILD IT!!!!

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