The Pyramid Question (Objection)
I was talking with a very smart, relatively new networker yesterday and we were discussing how he was going to present his business to cold market prospects (internet generated leads) on the phone. I was helping him come up with his script.
He’d already been beat up by his family and a few friends and he was ready to start to talking to some people he didn’t know. His friends and family had hit him with the ‘pyramid’ question and he wanted some help knowing how to handle that when it came up.
Here are a few things that might be helpful if you’re asked that question in any one of the many forms it gets asked in.
First of all, when someone asks: Is this a pyramid? Or comments: That sounds like a pyramid or something along those line… Here’s the best thing to do. Ask them: what do you mean? Then be quiet and listen. People will tell you all kinds of things. Usually along the lines of: oh, yeah, that’s when one guy gets in at the top and gets all these people under him and makes money on all of them and leaves the guy at the bottom hanging.
That is true – in a pyramid scheme! Not in a legitimate network marketing business.
Or, someone might say: Oh, yeah, that’s where you have to talk to all your friends and family about buying stuff they don’t want or need.
Or: Oh, that’s when someone gets other people to sell stuff for them and they get paid on all that person does and so you work really hard to make someone else money.
So, here’s the deal. I listen to what they say, and in 99% of all cases my answer is: Well, this is nothing like that. This is a solid legitimate business. But let me address the pyramid question for a moment if that’s OK with you.
A pyramid is one of the most inherently stable structures – there’s even one on the back of the dollar bill. In fact, most organizations are structured as pyramids. Take the corporate structure for example. CEO at the top, President(s) next, then Vice-Presidents, then middle managers, then the ‘regular’ workers, and then there are usually some people a bit lower on the totem pole, the ones that provide services to all the rest, but are employed by the company too. Educational institutions use the same model.
In our business model it’s a bit different. Primarily because in the corporate structure, there’s only room for one top dog. And, because I don’t want you to take my job, it creates a competitive, and sometimes less than helpful environment. Here, we can all be CEOs, it’s essentially up to each individual. You can be successful, I can be equally successful – IF – and this is a big IF – I work as hard as you do. It’s about what you decide you are capable of and want to take on. Not what some boss decides you’re worth.
And, I might take another question from them at this point. And, I might go on to say : That’s why I call this cooperative capitalism. If you see this and it makes sense to you like it does to me, and you decide to build a business, and you do well, I’ll do well. But – I have to help you – teach you what I know, spend time working on your behalf. And, if you do better than me, good on you! This business works for those who like getting ahead, but like doing it by seeing other people succeed, better yet, helping them to succeed. Instead of dog-eat-dog, it’s a dog-help-dog world.
Does that make sense to you? You must ask that in a very non-threatening way – no tone of sarcasm or impatience. You’re genuinely trying to educate them about what this is so they can see why it might make sense AND be a fit for them.
Once you’ve had this conversation and they get it, it’s time to ask: Now, would you like to know a little about what has me so excited about this company?