Can I and should I join multiple companies and establish multiple downlines?
© 2013, Jeffrey Babener
Many companies allow distributors to hold downlines in multiple companies at one time; yet, is it a good idea?
Distributors that hold multiple downlines across several companies are commonly labeled “MLM Junkies,” according
to industry leaders. Consulting for more than one company at once can be burdensome, as explained by Attorney
"…most companies do restrict their distributors’ activities in promoting other companies’ opportunities and
products. The most common policy allows distributors to introduce other opportunities only to individuals that they
have already personally sponsored. In addition, most companies won’t let their distributors promote other
opportunities or products at any company-sponsored events or activities.
Irrespective of a direct selling company's position on distributors selling for multiple companies, of significant
importance is that virtually every direct selling company has adopted an absolute prohibition against distributors
soliciting other fellow company distributors to the products or opportunities of another direct selling company. Most
companies have adopted a zero tolerance policy on 'raiding,' and an offending distributor is typically 'at risk' for
Establishing and maintaining a successful downline is difficult as it is without having to manage several downlines at
one time, industry leaders agree. Distributors who maintain one downline with a single company that they have
researched and value can be more financially successful in the long term, and direct selling companies prefer
consultants who invest in long-term relationships. (More information on “MLM Junkies” is available in Attorney Jeff
Babener’s book Network Marketing: What you should know.)
Some consultants argue that spreading your resources, that is your time, energy, recruitment, and finances across
several companies can protect you from a single company’s legality issues – if there were to be any – and would
enable you to offer your customers a greater variety of products or products that are related but aren’t offered
through a single company. Unfortunately, this method often leads to failure rather than success. Although there are
some distributors who are successful in navigating multiple downlines, more often than not spreading your
resources broadly and thinly leads to watered-down profits. Less is more.
If you decide you’d still like to participate in multiple companies be sure to check with the company’s policies and
procedures. A significant list of direct selling companies organized alphabetically and categorically is located here.
Visit www.mlmlegal.com for vast amounts of direct selling industry information.
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