I don't mean to outright scare you, but since we're colleagues I feel it's only right that I take a few minutes and warn you about an evil you will eventually encounter in promoting your freelancing business (if you haven't already)!
Now if you're out there promoting your business through networking in the local business community (and you should be), you're eventually going to run into the most feared, most aggressive networking entity known to man. I'm talking about a hideous beast with an insatiable hunger to devour as many victims as it can - I am talking about the networking professional that peddles a multi-level marketing product (Amway, Melaluca, Juice Plus, etc...)
DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to run or hide from these people. I've seen them reach speeds up to 25 MPH in short distances in order to catch their prey. Playing dead won't help you, and becoming aggressive has left many freelancers maimed and helpless.
I know you're thinking, "So what can I do to avoid being a victim and having to either purchase this person's crappy products or become a distributor like them!?!?!" I have figured out a way to get around these hard line sales people with some bulletproof excuses that will keep you, your wallet and your sanity safe (so you can focus on networking your freelancing business instead of always having to deal with these people's sales pressure).
- MLM networker sells beauty products - say you have sensitive skin, it's taken you years to find products that work & feel good, and you're not going to switch.
- MLM networker sells food or drink products - say you have a sensitive stomach that gets aggravated easily (for me this is true). Say you've been to see the gastroenterologist and that she/he has recommended you steer clear of these types of products because the tend to aggravate your heartburn or queasiness.
- MLM networker sells cleaning products - say that you're happy with the cleaning products you have because they don't cause any allergic/negative effects with your pets, children or family members who often visit you. Say you have a friend that often visits that's overly sensitive to products and that the products are using now are working fine so there's no need to try something new.
Well, the list can go on and on, and I am sure you're starting to see a pattern with each example. The key in this working is to have a well-planned out reason why trying the new product isn't in your or your friends/family's best interest. Saying, "I am not sure", "I kind of like what I have now", or "Well, let me think about it" is only going to make these MLM salespeople more aggressive.
Before you join a new networking group have an idea of what types of MLM products are popular (check the web), and take a few moments to think of how to gently tell these people that it wouldn’t make sense to try their product. If you don't, you'll find yourself more occupied with how to avoid these people rather than focusing on promoting your freelancing business.