Apr 29, 2009
MLMs & American Idol
If you have watched any of the reality shows you know the premise. The most talented singer wins. The best dancers win. The affable MacGyver type never gets voted off the Island. However, to get to the best singer, dance and the last person standing on the Island you have to watch a bunch of wannabes with marginal talent. While some do have talent the majority don’t. When the stakes get high and the pressure is on they can’t deliver. It’s painful to watch these people who are voted off the show. They stand numbly and mumble, “I am disappointed. I am really disappointed. I have talent. I have the goods.” Strange, the rest of us don’t see the talent or the “goods.” Neither, do the millions of people who didn’t vote for them. Or , their fellow “Survivors.”
What does this have to do with MLM’s you ask. Specifically, travel MLM’s. It’s the same premise. A bunch of wannabe travel agents with no training wanting to participate in an industry where training is crucial. They may have made it this far on dumb luck, recruiting and actually made some money. But, when the pressure is on—they can’t deliver. If a client is outraged what do they do? They pass that client back to the vendor. Real travel professionals deal with customer service issues every day. That includes outraged clients. We don’t pass them off to the vendor. We deal with them oursevles. What a novel concept. And, when one of our suppliers closes their doors-we reaccomodate our clients and make sure their vacation or honeymoon isn’t interrupted. We call the hotels and the airlines to make sure payment have been received. We do a lot of work on behalf of our clients. Same with airline schedule changes, passport , visa issues, weather delays, flight cancellations, missed cruise sailings etc. What happens when someone calls you and loves Celebrity Cruise Line and is adamant that you book it? Can you plan a customized FIT of Europe? Do you know where to start? What hotels to book? Where to find that hidden little gem in Tuscany? Did you know some of us actually had clients on the planes that hit the Twin Towers? What would an MLM pseudo agent do in that case? Direct them to the vendor? It’s all in a day’s work for us. We do it because we love it. Not because of the perks, fam trips, discounts, tax write offs or getting commission off of our own travel.
MLM blogs are full of comments telling us to keep on charging service fee and leave them alone. You clearly don’t understand that we provide a service. I called my attorney the other day and asked him a couple of questions over the phone. Guess what? I received a bill for his time. All professionals charge a service fee. Your remark about putting us out of business is absurd too. I have corporate clients that will gladly pay me whatever fee I charge because they don’t want to deal with their own travel and the airlines. You don’t have a clue. One blog was actually gloating and in favor airlines charging us. I hate to break it to you but if the airlines start charging us that affects the MLMs too.
When your directors are fleeing like rat’s off a ship and your down line is leaving—you stand bewildered and mumble, “I am disappointed. I really am disappointed” Or, you point fingers and say it is everyone else’s fault not (insert) MLM name. Time for a reality check. If you truly love the travel business like we do and want to be in it there are other options that offer training & credentials without all the nasty stuff in between. Who knows you might actual be still standing at the end of the day.