Integrity in the Network Marketing Industry
Integrity: You either have it or you don’t. When it is time to exercise integrity, you either will or you won’t.
Integrity is black and white, there is no gray area when it come to integrity. Having integrity is ingrained in the essence of your being. It is your guiding compass that instantly tell you what to do or what not to do. There is never any hesitation as to what to do or how to behave. You instinctively know what to do without question. Having integrity is not a decision, it is a CHOICE. (Learn how you can develop integrity at the end of this article.)
Integrity in Network Marketing is what will allow our Industry to succeed. Integrity is what will preserve the sacredness of the lines of sponsorship that assure you of the potential for long range reliable residual earnings from your company’s compensation plan. Amway set the example of Integrity through its code of ethics. If you had prospected someone and they mentioned that anther Amway distributor had spoken to them in the last 30 days, you were not allowed to prospect them any further until thirty days had passed. We respected other distributors contacts and morally and ethically let existing relationships develop without proselytizing
The Industry exploded, and people went from being loyal to one company and being in for the long haul to jumping from one company to another and joining many companies all at the same time. Loyalty to a single company went out the window. Loyalty to one’s sponsor and upline evaporated. Today the Industry has become like the wild west. Leaders are raiding other downlines from the same company. Cross-group sponsoring is rampant. Integrity went out the window with loyalty and respect and now what was once considered an ethical violation has become acceptable, at least acceptable to those who have no integrity. A distributor prospects someone who may say they are already in your business sponsored by someone else. The temptation is to say, “Well have your spouse enroll under me.” Or “just buy product for cash from me until you are considered inactive by the company and then enroll under me.” This is wrong. This is unethical. A person with INTEGRITY would never even think of doing this, yet it has become commonplace in our world today.
It is time we got back to the old fashion ethics and morality of our parents and grandparents. We need to go back to the days where we all trusted each other and had mutual respect one for the other.
What goes around comes around. Call it karma, call it the law of sowing and reaping, but if you do something unethical to others you will find others doing things unethically to you.
The dream of every Network Marketer is to work a program for a period of 5 to 10 years and be in a position to retire and have residual earnings coming in month after month for the rest of your life and have these earnings pass on to your children. This was the original American Dream perpetuated by Amway back in the 1960’s. It is a dream that many still foster today, but for this dream to become a reality, we must bring INTEGRITY back to this industry.
Integrity cannot be legislated and cannot be demanded or required. One can be punished for not exercising integrity by termination and having earnings stopped and getting kicked out of a company, yet integrity can only be created by a conscious effort by the person who chose to behave in that manner.
Integrity is pretty much the result of a philosophy of life that is based on operating on solid sound scriptural principles. Integrity is really fostered by an adherence to the Golden Rule of treating others in the manner that you would like to be treated.
In life there seems to be a pendulum that swings to the left and then swings back to the right and then again swings back in the other direction. It is time the pendulum of integrity swung back to where is was in the old Amway days. By observation, some of us who have been around long enough have seen what happened when we took God out of the public schools and realize that the point in time when we began to see a decline of integrity in our society. This decline in integrity has since pervaded our industry. Since it unlikely we will ever see God get back in our public schools it is incumbent on each of us to restore integrity in our industry. Where does it all start? It starts with each one of us making a commitment to doing the right thing all the time. Making sure our words and deeds and all that we do is always above reproach and that everything we do is a model behavior of God fearing, honest decent people striving to be the perfect lady or gentleman.
Integrity of a company begins right at the top with the owners and trickles down to the leaders and then to the distributors and even to the customers. Many companies that have run afoul of the FDA, FTC or SEC are companies that were operating without integrity. In some cases, it was distributors operating without integrity that got the company in trouble.
Integrity is NOT front-end loading a new distributor with more product than they need.
Integrity is not enrolling them unless you are willing to help them succeed by teaching and training them or connecting them with someone in your upline who will.
Integrity is always telling the truth and not implying that a product or service will do or produce something that it won’t.
I have always maintained a policy of offering a 100% money back guarantee with anyone I have ever enrolled in this industry for my entire 50 years. I challenge everyone reading this article to do the same. It forces one to operate with integrity and will cause your prospect to trust you and be willing to enroll with you in your program, because you are removing the risk of them losing money. Guaranteeing them their money back causes the following…
If you know you will have to give them their money back because you promised you would, then you are not going sell them more than you think they can use or sell.
It establishes the fact that you believe they can and will build the business, and it indicates to them that you are willing to help them move the product and build their business, so that you will not have to purchase it back.
It creates a strong incentive for you to help them build their business as quickly as possible.
So, the next time someone desires to enroll you in their program, ask them if they will guarantee you that if it does not work out that they will purchase your product back. If they say no, then do not enroll with them, or at least only purchase product that you know you will be able to use yourself. Likewise, be willing to make the same offer to everyone you enroll in your business. And if it does not work out for them, for whatever reason, OFFER THEM THEIR MONEY BACK. If you are not willing to do that, then don’t enroll them. There are too many people running around complaining they lost money in MLM and it is hurting our industry.
Once you have treated your distributors with integrity, you will have established credibility with them. Once you have credibility with them the following happens:
they will trust you,
have confidence in you and
be willing to follow you anywhere.
Lose that trust and you have lost your following, and greatly diminished the potential for creating your legacy.
It is time to take our industry to the next level, a level of ethical behavior where everyone is operating with integrity. If we fail to do this, our very future is at stake. The dream of long range, reliable, residual earnings may never materialize.
“God said to build a better world, but I said. “How?”
“The world is such a cold dark place and so complicated now,
and me, I’m so young (or old) and useless, there is surely nothing I can do.”
But God in all his wisdom said, “Just BUILD A BETTER YOU!”
Live your life and conduct yourself in such a manner that if your children are ever asked for the definition of integrity, they will think of you! When you behave with integrity, you will set an example for those with whom you associate to also behave with integrity and they in turn will influence their friends and family who will in turn influence their friends and family.
Wisdom is knowing the right thing to do, integrity is actually doing the right thing, (even if no one is looking!)
It all BEGINS WITH EACH ONE OF US.
We should each ask ourselves,
“What kind of a world would this world be, if all of its inhabitants were just like me?”
So, for the sake of your children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the future of this industry (and our country) make a commitment right now to “up our game” to the highest level of integrity and become the shinning example to all our friends, relatives and distributors, of what ethical behavior is all about.
Bonus: For those who know they need to up their game and establish their integrity, here are a few tips.
Before making any comment or statement, ask yourself, “Is this a comment that will edify, encourage or uplift the people listening and anyone who may be named of affected by this comment?” If this would disparage anyone or make yourself look any less than a lady or gentleman with morals and character, then DON’T SAY IT!
When you are about to DO something, to take an action or exhibit a behavior, stop and ask yourself, “Will this behavior have a positive effect on that witnessing it or affected by it?” If the answer is no, then don’t do it.
Another exercise is to select someone you greatly admire and know to have uncompromising ethics and morals, and ask yourself, “How would they handle this?”
The acid is test is to use the leader of your particular faith. Christian’s can always ask, “What would Jesus do?” Many even wear jewelry, key chains, or rubber bracelets that bear the letters, WWJD.
Integrity is a choice that becomes an ingrained habit that pervades your philosophy of life and shapes who you have become and are constantly becoming.
Make that choice now. Be vigilant. Stay the course. Let your example be a beacon of light in a dark world that needs modern day heroes to be a positive influence on the youth of today and generations to come.
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