Note: This post was an email sent to a friend of mine who approached me about the Team National MLM program. In my business I have an “A-List” of clients, and I get pitched from time to time about various business ventures.
Team National is a bit different in most MLM’s in their pay structure as well as the service offered – where most MLM’s offer a specific product or group of products. For instance, I’ve been approached several times in the past about various MLM’s all the way from Excel telephone to insurance to nutritional gel supplements. TN is offering a “discount service” which is a bit unusual in the industry.
Here is the problem. I was immediately suspicous of the setup once I did some research (before the pitch meeting) and learned that the vast majority of discounts are only through the BigN.com website. This immediately struck me as a potential affilliate program deal, which is why I was questioning the guy on the phone, but I didn’t go into “prosecuting attorney mode” since I like Dawn and Travis. I was correct about the affiliate program.
Another suspect deal is the 90-day turnaround. Most affilliate programs are not on 90-day turnarounds. That means that Team National is holding the money prior to payout. That is fine since they disclose that upfront, but I can setup my own affilliate programs and turn the commission much faster.
WalMart Affiliate Program
BestBuy Affiliate Program
Citrix (GoToMeeting, etc)
Amazon Affiliate Program
Now – an affiliate program in itself is not a bad thing. I’ve made some money in the past on my own websites doing an affiliate program and am about to start back up with GoToMeeting.com, Amazon.com, and a few others. The problem that I have with Team National is that the thrust of their discount program is charging $800-$2000 for something you can do for free yourself without too much effort. There aren’t any magical deals. You can see the attached screenshot as an example.
1. Recruiting of participants is unlimited in an endless chain of recruiters recruiting recruiters.
The other thing that immediately sent my flags up (like other MLM’s) is that the focus is on recruiting others – and not the product or service. While MLM’s are certainly legal (and TN has obvoiusly paid their membership dues to the CoC’s and BBB), the roots of most MLM’s are in pyramid-type schemes. That explains why typical MLM’s have failure rates of about 90% while TN’s is actually higher – around 97%.
I’m also not a fan when when the upline and downline people are used for the sales pressure – as in the multiple telephone calls during the pitch and hook meeting.
If Dawn or Team National can provide me with a spefic list of participating vendors and the specific real discounts or commissions then I might consider buying in at the 2 year deal. However, if I try to pitch this to some of my clients (who have the money to buy in), they will see right through this. At worst they will figure out the affiliate-link deal, which would break my trust with them.
I’d also like to see the specific discounts from MSRP on vehicles, etc. As you well know, showing a car discount from MSRP is like showing a boat discount from MSRP. That is over-inflated.