Friday, 22 June 2012

Newsletter Issue 219, June 2012

Sam Young Newsletter

Issue 219, June 2012
Hi guys,
How much do you know about MLMs & Leveraging Your Networks? Read on, below.
Carol Kinsey Goman is writing a new book on the lies we tell. To find out how You Can Aid Workplace Research, read on.
Don't forget, if you want to be taken off my mailing list, click here to send me a reply e-mail and I will remove your name.

MLMs & Leveraging Your Networks

MLM. Multi-Level Marketing. What a pearl that is.
Sometimes known as pyramid schemes, direct selling and network marketing, MLM is a type of marketing strategy where salespeople are paid for sales they make personally, AND for a cut on the sales made by those salespeople whom they have recruited. This "downline of distributors" leads to a tangled layer-cake of compensation levels.
MLM organisations include some staggeringly big companies such as Alticor, which owns the Amway, Quixtar & Access Business Group brands. Alticor turns over a staggering amount of dosh each year, at USD$10.9bn in 2011 (PR Newswire, 23 Feb 2012), with the average Amway - now known as Quixtar - global salesperson only earning $115 a month in 2005 (, n.d.).
There are also companies of lesser hard-sell repute, such as Tupperware, MonaVie, Avon, the Fuller Brush Company, HerbalLife, Mary Kay and Usana.
Additionally, MLMs often use shills. A shill is a person who looks like an independent advocate, but is actually closely linked to the organisation in question. Many times over the years I have been approached by people who tell me they have heard of a great business deal that they would like to share with me (I must look dumb!), but never admit their involvement with the company that usually turns out to be Alticor in one or other of its incarnations.
Most MLMs require salespeople to recruit aggressively in order to make money. Bloch (1996) finds that 99.9% of participants in recruiting-focused MLMs lose money after their expenses. Carroll (2003) feels this is because encouraging salespeople to recruit more and more people from their own networks, who in turn then compete for the same dollar leads to market saturation. However, MLMs also thrive on margin. Relatively cheaply produced goods are sold with a very high margin, where there is room for all the participants to take their cut. Once these businesses thrived in small towns and regions where goods supply and range was limited. However, these days there is the added complication and competition of the internet, where the price of goods can be compared quickly and a very broad range of products is easily available.
Carl (2004, p. 92-93) said that "MLM organizations have been described by some as cults (Butterfield, 1985), pyramid schemes (Fitzpatrick & Reynolds, 1997), or organizations rife with misleading, deceptive, and unethical behavior (Carter, 1999), such as the questionable use of evangelical discourse to promote the business (Hopfl & Maddrell, 1996), and the exploitation of personal relationships for financial gain (Fitzpatrick & Reynolds, 1997)". Carl also suggested that MLM salespeople join because they want to be seen as entrepreneurs: this is a western "cultural ideal rooted in capitalism and the Protestant work ethic" (2004, p. 95). Enticement to become an MLM 'business owner' plays on our human vanity and permeates MLM PR materials.
What MLMs really sell is hope. The rest is manipulation and our own stupidity in believing we can get something for nothing.

You Can Aid Workplace Research!

Carol Kinsey Goman has a survey out on the lies we tell. She has asked me if I can spread the word, which I am more than happy to do. She says:
Human beings are born liars. We tell inconsequential lies, substantive lies, little lies, big lies, social lies and mean lies. We tell lies of omission, lies that obscure facts, and lies that are blatant misrepresentations of the truth.
Lying in the workplace happens every day. Some lies - social lies - smooth the way for workplace interactions (“That’s a nice tie you’re wearing”). Some "white lies" are good for business (“I’d be happy to serve on your committee.”) But other lies -- destructive lies -- poison business relationships, destroy employee engagement, and kill workplace productivity.
My new book will look at the high cost of workplace deception (for individuals and for organizations), why people tell lies, and why we tend to believe some liars over others. It will examine the role that our own motives, biases and rationalizations play in allowing ourselves to be duped. It will also cover the verbal and nonverbal cues that you can use to spot deception at work and it will help you be aware of your own behaviors, so that feeling anxious, introverted, or shy doesn’t inadvertently signal untrustworthiness. It will end with insights on how to build trust and integrity in the workplace.
But it will be so much better if it includes your experiences and insights! Here is a short questionnaire ( ). If you can take a few minutes to help me, I'd be most grateful.
Thanks so much.

Carol Carol Kinsey Goman, Ph.D.
Keynote speaker and leadership communications coach. Leadership blogger for Forbes, expert contributor for the Washington Post's "On Leadership" column, business body language columnist for "the Market" magazine, and author of "The Nonverbal Advantage: Secrets and Science of Body Language at Work" and "The Silent Language of Leaders: How Body Language Can Help - or Hurt - How You Lead." 

Fast & Dirty: Filling in a Scanned Form in Word

TechRepublic had an awesome tip on how to fill in a hardcopy form & email it, providing you had access to a scanner. It is so simple, I don't know why I didn't think of it before myself!
  1. Scan your form, and save it as a jpg.
  2. Open Word.
  3. Open the Header/Footer area.
  4. Insert your jpg into the Header.
  5. Enlarge the image using the fill handles so it covers the entire page.
  6. Close Header/Footer (your image will dim to background, which is not a problem).
  7. Now in the Word doc, type the information you want to fill in. You may have to jig around with spacing, or use tables to get your alignment just right, but you can fill in the form
  8. Then either email the Word doc to the recipient, or pdf and email; whichever suits you.
So, so easy :-)

TLAs for SMEs

Here are this newsletter's TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) for you:
  • MLM, Multi-Level Marketing (aka "affiliate marketing" or "home-based business franchising"). More or less a euphemism for what we used to term pyramid selling, but with some of the illegality filed off.
Please feel free to email me with any TLAs that you want to get the bottom (meaning!) of.

Tips, Short+Hot Keys
In this newsletter, we look at all you can do in Help, using the spacebar:
  • Access "Show the program icon menu (on the program title bar), display the Control menu while working from Help menu or Open the menu of the leftmost icon on the main toolbar bar of the active window" Alt & Spacebar
  • Excel "To enlarge the Help window to fill the screen" Alt & Spacebar, Then X
  • PowerPoint "Show the Assistant in a wizard, or turn off Help with the wizard" Tab To Select Microsoft Powerpoint Help , And Then Press The Spacebar To Show The Assistant Or Turn Off Help With The Wizard.
  • Word "Display the Control menu while working from Help menu, or open the menu of the leftmost icon on the main toolbar bar of the active window" Alt & Spacebar
  • Word "Display the Office Assistant in a wizard, or turn off Help with the wizard" Tab then Spacebar

Hot Linx
Help those who have lost their work mojo change their focus. Read what CNN's Money writer, Elaine Pofeldt, has to say at
Have you thought about what happens when the brand you created is no longer fashionable? David Aaker has some answers to keeping your offer relevant at
Whether you are looking for a first position after graduation, or looking for the next step on your career ladder, CareerFAQs have a great reminder of what to brush up on at
How good is your recognition and use of homophones? No idea what one is? Then check out what the OED have to say about them at

                                Catch you again soon!! E-mail your suggestions to me here

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