Amway: going for the catch
November 2, 2010
This is the second part of my story on Amway. Part one, where I described the invitation, can be found here.
Friday came, and we were both on time. Like a good evangelist, he didn’t start out saying “Hi, I’m into Multi-level-marketing, and I want to recruit you”. If ever you had any evangelism training, you know that’s not how it works. Soften them up. Ask about work. Ask about life. Share something about yourself. So we played the game. I knew my coffee wasn’t being payed for so I can tell him what my first two years of church-work was like, and I was pretty sure we weren’t going to go into the detail of my studies in ethics (although even that were discussed), but I knew we had to dance the dance.
Then came the promise that he won’t be using a lot of my time, and out came the piece of paper, pen, and a small tract titled “Creating Wealth”. Still, I was unsure what he was selling, but the dance continued:
Question 1: If you and you’re wife were to have R10000-R15000 extra per month within 9 months from now, what would you be able to do with it?
Question 2: What has changed in your financial situation within the last 6 months, and what will be changing in the next 6 months?
I knew that these were the catch questions. Like any good evangelism technique, you have these questions which you can predict with 99% certainty what the answers would be, partly because everyone know what you are supposed to answer.
In this case, he just assumed that we’d want more money, and since no one in society ever says: “you know what, I’m really happy with my income and quality of life”, this is a pretty good assumption. And everybody would be able to find something which they hypothetically can do with more money, and if you can’t think of something, the “Creating Wealth” tract has some ideas (including, if all else fails: “Charity”).
My answer: We’d get rid of our study-debt. This was both true, but there is also a catch in this answer, since this imply that we don’t need more money indefinitely (like this exercise would prefer I indicate). So he pulled out some more answers from me, until he had “traveling” (which I didn’t really say, but OK, I can see how he interpreted my answers as “travel”), which was a nice one, since this would always require more money.
On the second question: Well, I said nothing changed in the past 6 months, which wasn’t really true, but for the sake of the dance we were dancing, this was the answer I was willing to give him. As for the coming 6 months? I hope I’ll have my Masters finished by that time. In response to that answer he wanted to know if that will help me financially, and I silently thought: you really don’t understand a thing do you? A masters degree costs money, is doesn’t pay, but it’s not about the money, it’s about learning, about the research, about the ability to think.
But the catch was over. He had on paper that I will have use for R10000-R15000, and that at my current rate of change I wans’t going to become rich. Assuming that I want to be rich (I mean, that’s what everybody want, isn’t it?), this established the foundation for the next step of the conversation: Teaching me about economics. You guess it: Kiyosaki.