Yes, Rob and Scott. It seems some of us old-timers have been busy reflecting on what is wrong with this industry these days! I see a common theme in these type threads. We talk about how it was 'back in the day'. Hmmm, that day would appear to be pre-internet. I know the mid-90s was when I built my biggest group, and not one distributor or customer came from online efforts (I did not own a computer at the time). It was belly to belly, one on one, weekly meetings, direct mailings, phone calls, etc. The product worked and the methods worked. Remember the ole cassette tapes? They flat out got results. People tried the products and became hooked, then told others. It grew, momentum was built, meetings provided validation through testimonials, newbies wanted a part of this thing called network marketing. Where has all this gone?
I believe people are now hiding behind computer screens. They chase the latest shiny object, then try to hype as many folks as possible into the super-duper pre-launch, then simply hope once it launches that someone will do something! Rarely happens. So they're on to the next big thing, repeating the cycle. Sadly, most never even speak to anyone on the phone, much less in person. The process is very impersonal and creates zero loyalty. I see the internet as a double edged sword with vast marketing potential, yet sadly lacking at fostering personal relationships that sustain a thriving network marketing organization. Most will only repeat this cycle a few times before they're gone from the industry. Sad but very common.
Perhaps leaders in our industry need to step up and reincarnate some of the methods used way back when. I actually enjoy meeting people one on one; since retiring from the hospital last year, I've done a lot more of this. It brings back memories of how it was in the heyday! Try it, you may be surprised
Bottom line, technology has certainly changed the industry. Perhaps we have not adapted well as distributors. Maybe the internet should be a backup or support tool, not the main marketing method. I don't know. But it's good to have these types of discussion. But it's definitely weighing on a lot of our minds these days. (I even started a thread early in the year about NM being at a crossroads) http://mlm.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=50685
In closing, I like what Rob said about the industry being a vehicle for people to earn an extra few hundred dollars a month. In my most successful years, I had a ton of people in my organization doing just that! Maybe there's just too much emphasis on the big money. I heard a leader recently ask the rhetorical question 'are you money driven or purpose driven'? If network marketers would latch on to a cause, a higher purpose, some positive experience rather than focusing on $$, then the industry may start to grow again.
Look forward to reading others thoughts on this important subject....