When I interacted with few senior journalists in order to make them understand about Direct Selling industry, they were all found to be confused about everything related to Direct Selling and Multi Level Marketing. They said that every person they had come across given a different perspective including meanings and vocabulary. “People involved in Investment schemes offering fast money also says that they are in MLM. People who work with good product sales oriented companies also stay that they are in MLM. How will the journalists or the regulators differentiate this?” asked one journalist. I said the key differentiator is whether there is any Direct selling of products to the Customers happen or not? “Ok, that means you guys are in Direct Selling of Products, not in MLM?” he asked in a confused tone. I said, “Yes, you are correct. We are in Direct selling of Products using Multi Level Marketing business model.” The immediate question from him was that why haven’t we told this in this way in our communications to media and to regulators.
Direct Selling can be done using different marketing models; e-commerce, party plan, single level marketing, multi level marketing etc. Companies which are in Direct Selling choose one of the marketing models for developing the marketing plan. So, those who are working with Product Based Direct Selling companies should start saying, “We are in Direct Selling of Products using Multi level marketing model.”
This may be one of the many mistakes, which we have created in the market through unprofessional way of communication. I think it is not enough that the distributors of one company use the right language and vocabulary. The language, vocabulary etc need to be uniform amongst all the distributors of all the companies. One more reason for having a professional body, which can bind the people involved in this industry, be it distributors or employees.
Once we have a Professional Body with clear-cut guidelines for the conduct and behavior of the people involved in this industry, we will see uniformity and also professionalism. This is the only way we can enhance professionalism in this industry and create a sense of pride among the people who are part of this industry.