I am not an attorney. But as a student of our industry and happy player, I am intrigued by the new regs, because I agree with their intent. But it’s gonna be tricky.
Under the revised Guides,
“Advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical, when that is not the case, will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect.
Let’s try one. Here is a typical income pitch:
“Jeff, a former waiter, made $12,500 in his first month, and you can too!”
Based on the FTC language above, this statement would not be allowed to stand alone anymore. Jeff’s experience has been featured, and unless his result is “typical”, the promiser must now ‘clearly disclose’ the income results that a prospect (consumer) “can generally expect” with that opportunity. What is typical? I’d bet that typical will likely be defined by others in the same company.
That means that you’d need to know what others in John’s company made in their first month. And disclose that. E.g. “37 others made $3 in their first month.”
The idea of this new rule is to stop the practice of making it look as if everyone is making big money, and that it’s a cinch that you can too.
Because almost nobody does.
But I wonder, how much does that fact really matter?
Some people, like me, ARE drawn to the big winners. And I don’t really care if or that no one else makes it. So what? What else is new?
Hearing or seeing the fact that almost no one else makes it, much less makes it big, would only inspire me more. Especially if I personally liked the product and thought it would do the world good.
(Couldn’t resist, sorry.) Which is why I market the ER Fat Burn program for a tiny start up and have now used the FTC regs to do it in a fun way – see here. While most everyone HAS lost weight, there are many more fun angles to market it that I like much better. Weird food that burns fat, for example.
So I for one an NOT be deterred knowing almost no one else made it in anything I’m interested in. I already know the numbers. I don’t care.
What about you? Would knowing that most people make NO money deflate you? Would you be disappointed that it is not easy, after all? Would you realize you cannot commit the time to make it work and then not have signed up?
That is the big question. And the conflict. If you wouldn’t have gotten into the business knowing how few peeps make it, the recruiters and their companies would have lost a lot of money on you. Your initial order and sign-up fee, the conventions, the upline’s leads programs, training materials, etc. Because you would have declined, knowing it’s not easy up front.
This is of course why recruiters and companies don’t want to tell the typical results up front, especially not at the rallies and conventions. They’d lose a big chunk of their income. Because fewer folks would sign up (under delusions of easy money). But the FTC has changed this. They have to tell now, if they use big income stories at all.
On the other hand, who cares that other peeps quit? I know almost no one makes it doing anything of their own. I don’t give a hoot. I wanna do it anyway and that’s the story.
What about you? How do you see the impact of having to tell the ‘typical’ income results when you tell how Jeff made $12,500 in his first month?
P.S. My recruiting stuff and customer base building stuff is all based on building without hype and promises you can’t keep. It’s what I did. And am doing.
P.P.S Use the discount code FTC today only, and get 25% recession discount. It’s at the end of the order process.
This is an interesting development. What do people really want? The money, or what the money will bring them. The money is just a means to an end. If we focus our language on the opportunities and advantages we as entrepreneurs enjoy we still have plenty to talk about. Right?
Unfortunately, our dear government in their zeal to make everything open, and I believe in that up to a point, fail to recognize that many, many people get into a business and fail due to no activity at all, or sporadic activity. Those that do what is required usually make money, but they are a minority, since most don't do much of anything and wait for the money to be delivered to them. Suddenly we are looking at averages, which in business really tells very little. Average businesses in any field usually fail. Actually, most businesses starting today, will fail within a reasonably short period of time. Does that mean the business was no good? In most cases, probably not, just poor implementation. So, how do I have any idea what the potential is, if there is a muzzle on everyone? Seems to me Congress makes plenty of promises they can't keep, why are they held to a different standard?
Isn't Trish right-on? There are plenty of benefits that the entrepreneur enjoys besides a fat bank account. Didn't I read more than once the a major reason for people launching a business of their own is just that; they want the freedom to call the shots?
The energy of conviction and the passion of purpose will bring in a bountiful harvest in due time for those that remain deligent. This is universally known and irrespective of product or service.
Like you shared Kim, just being made aware of the potential is more than enough to fire up some achievers.
When the lead was removed from the gasoline that propelled our cars; many thought the day of the "muscle" car was over. That was in the early 1970's. Look around you today. There is no shortage of horsepower under selected hoods out there.
Back to Trish's comments to close. I have been offered paid positions with various companies on a number of occasions.Know what? Even though the money looked real good, it wasn't enough to tempt me to trade in my freedom to have it.
Let's welcome the change these new FTC rules are ushering in.
Wishing You Plenty To Live,
When I was in college, I was approached about about the Amway business by the owner of a health club.
At the weekly local meetings on Monday nights, an older couple would come up to the front of the room at the end of the meeting. They were East Carolina University professors and had credibility.
They were presented as an example of someone who had reached the level of Direct Distributor in four months, just like they show in the compensation plan. This means they were now making $2,500 a month in their business, and over $25,000 a year.
As a naive, broke college student, that amount of money was enough to entice me to join the business.
It was a few years later, but one night while riding in the car with one of the local big pins in the business, he jokingly made a comment about these college professors, "I wonder if they ever managed to get rid of all those vitamin packs and vacuum cleaners."
In other words, this couple had bought their way to the Direct level. They didn't have a real business. They had a title. But the truth was not presented that way to the unwary public.
In other words, their testimony and results were not typical.
That's when I learned to ask, "What's the story behind the story?"
Live and learn.
Eat Well. Live Well.
I just returned from a meeting wherein the biggest money earner in our company was one of the key speakers. We all know what he makes. He didn't have to tell us. What we didn't know was that for the 89 people he and his wife personally sponsored, they had spoken to 2,500 people. What a wake-up call! If we marry the idea of BIG MONEY to BIG EFFORT, then, without disclosing the actual figures, we can get the point across, don't you think? Blessings on your work, Kim. You fill a need. Annie