The Religion of Amway Sales
The Religion of Amway Sales
First published November 3rd 2006 01:24
Every so often my tranquil life is invaded by someone who has a great idea that will give me the ‘lifestyle’ I have always dreamed of. I am told that I deserve more and my family deserves more than I can provide them with. Sure I could get a better job and work longer hours but will that really give me the ‘lifestyle’ I want. I am told that earning more only makes you spend more because: ‘you’ll buy a better car; have a larger mortgage and spend more of your disposable income’. All this time you are working harder and finding less time to enjoy yourself. The solution is to change your lifestyle so that it gives you what you want. All you have to do is come to a special and exclusive wealth creation seminar to hear how.
Against my better judgment I am convinced by a work mate that I be would foolish not to attend and learn the secrets of success. A path that would make my well dressed workmate into the ‘winner’ that is heading toward his own ‘personal goals’. I am encouraged to bring my wife as this is a part of her success too and so out of politeness or stupidity I am taken to the venue. Free coffee and biscuits tempt me before I am given a seat close to the front of the audience of around 100 hundred interested listeners. The speakers start with heart breaking stories about how they were complete losers until they learned the secrets of success and financial goal setting. I am there for nearly twenty minutes before the magic name of Amway is presented on the screen. Instantly the alarm bells go off in my head but I am forced to listen to the rest of the Amway doctrine before I am able to escape. My ride into the venue is my only escape and he is a total Amway convert. Everywhere I turn I see Amway converts staring at the leader like he has been ordained by God to deliver the message of ‘Networks’ and ‘Lifestyle’. They believe, they really believe that there are only a few levels up to find the success ladder to achieve the holiness of the ‘Lifestyle You Always Dreamed Of.’ They see themselves as the chosen few who have heard the message and are willing to give their time to make it happen. People who fail to heed the message are just losers and will always be negative. ‘Negative’ about the Amway message will lead to doom and self destruction.
Suddenly selling tooth paste and soap powder is to be looked upon as a step in the right direction. The Amway converts are encouraged to purchase their own products and wear the fashionable clothes that are offered. (To me the Ties sold by Amway look insanely different from current fashions, but that is a matter of taste.) What is more important than selling products is building up your own ‘sales team’ so that you can make more ‘Lifestyle’ from their commissions. (Notice how the word money is rarely mentioned.) This sales team will find another sales team and another, always increasing your commissions until one day you can be the ultimate Amway saint called a ‘diamond’ or something. (I was lost when they started calling people ‘rubies’). Now before I am able to raise the question as to whether this is pyramid selling I am shown how the distribution force and layering is drawn sideways and pyramid go upwards. Who am I to question their logic? That would be ‘loser talk’.
Hours go by and like all tired people you can become susceptible to suggestion. Motivational tapes and books are all across table at the back of the room. My workmate buys number 6 in series of talks about wealth creation. I presume he has purchased the preceding tapes and listens to them in his car. He introduces me to the leader, sorry ‘area manager’, who tries his best win me over with his charm and promises of real positive lifestyle changes. I had just seen a video about someone driving expensive cars and living in giant houses as a direct result of Amway. It was never about the money, only about ‘lifestyle’. He explains that a ‘triple ruby’ is coming to Australia next month for the first time. That means the ‘Triple Ruby’ guy will be able to give someone his large distribution network here. If I sign up tonight for he can virtually guarantee that I will be introduced to him favourably. My workmate nodded and smiles as if he has heard that we just won the lottery. It takes me several minute to explain in polite terms that I would like to think about this for a day.
As my workmate drives us home I am exhausted and paranoid. My wife is so tired from being politely nagged by Amway converts that she is pretending to be asleep to avoid further questions. The newly purchased motivational tape plays softly for a few minutes to ensure that he continued his habits. He stopped the tape then asked me what I think of the Amway plan.
Here I am going to leave my answer blank but I will give you some my impressions that influence my answer. My workmate did not tell me that I was going to an Amway sales pitch. The night was long and very boring with a focus entirely upon getting rich quick. Amway will vigorously fight any accusation that they are pyramid selling, but for me the difference between pyramid selling and Amway was not that clear. Out of the entire product they had I only found a handful that was worth purchasing. The fashions were not my style and I could not image whose style they were, other than Amway converts that is. No matter how I looked at their business plan I could not see how I could make the vast some of money that they claimed that I could. I did not want to spend the rest of my life selling tooth paste, soap and bad neckties to my friends. I certainly did not want to spend my life trying to convince or trick friends into joining Amway.
So what do you think I said?