BIZARRE: Zeek Leaders Scold Affiliates: COO Plants Seed That, If Company Tells Members To Change Their Preference In Dispensing Toilet Paper, They Should Do It
EDITOR’S NOTE: One of multilevel marketing’s longtime problems is the observation by critics that some MLM purveyors routinely display cult-like behavior that protects the reputation of the “opportunity” at all costs while ostracizing participants who stray from the company line or ask too many questions. Zeek Rewards, which is married to a penny-auction site known as Zeekler and employs a business model that suggests an investment return of between 1 percent a 2 percent a day is possible, already has a considerable PR problem. The “opportunity” did itself no favors in a conference-call yesterday in which company leaders did nothing but reinforce the notion that MLM often is its own worst enemy . . .
UPDATED 3:27 P.M. EDT (U.S.A.) On a conference call in which the Zeek Rewards MLM scolded affiliates for everything from not pressing “*6″ to eliminate background noises (such as flushing toilets) to bypassing Zeek and calling its attorneys and vendors to get answers to their questions, Zeek COO Dawn Wright-Olivares shared a story that planted the seed Zeek reps should carry out the company’s marching orders without question — or risk public humiliation or banishment.
A recording of the call posted on Zeek’s website early this morning began with a woman delivering condescending remarks to Zeek affiliates that they had to be “coachable” or likely would remain “just over broke” despite Zeek’s efforts to help them make money through the MLM program. The post is titled “Hit *61 and Other Zeek 101 Suggested Behaviors.”
“Did you know that broke people usually don’t listen and follow their leader?” the woman ventured.
She went on to deliver a series of bromides (“If you want things in your life to change, you have to change things in your life”), and then Wright-Olivares came on the line.
That’s when an already-curious call devolved into the bizarre.
As part of an apparent bid to teach Zeek affiliates how they should behave as responsible affiliates, Wright-Olivares shared a story about a pitch she once attended from a top-ranked personal-fitness trainer seeking new clients.
The trainer, Wright-Olivares recalled, began by asking attendees if they were serious about getting in shape — and then advised prospects to go home and to carry out a task that (apparently) would demonstrate their willingness to be coached.
“If your toilet paper flips over and rolls over the top,” Wright-Olivares recalled the trainer saying, “I want you to flip it over so it comes out the bottom.”
Attendees whose toilet-paper dispensing habits were the reverse of the top-rollers were given the opposite instruction — and then everybody was sent home, Wright-Olivares said.
When the pitch resumed, the trainer asked the audience of about 50 people for a show of hands on who carried out the instructions. About 10 people raised their hands, Wright-Olivares recalled.
“Everyone with your hands raised may stay — everyone else I want you to leave,” Wright-Olivares recalled the trainer saying.
“You’re not ready, and I’m not willing to risk my career and my reputation to train you,” Wright-Olivares recalled the trainer saying, noting that the nonflippers were “disgusted” that they’d been dismissed in this fashion.
But the trainer held his ground, Wright-Olivares remembered.
“Look,” he explained, Wright-Olivares recalled. “I just want everybody to be clear: If you’re not willing to listen to me, to go home and flip over your roll of toilet paper, then you’re not going to do a damn thing I tell you to do and you are risking my company’s reputation and you are risking my reputation . . .”
Wright-Olivares then asserted Zeek affiliates were harming Zeek’s reputation by inappropriately calling Zeek’s financial vendors, a country club and attorneys.
“Guys, they’re legally not allowed to talk to you,” Wright-Olivares said of the attorneys. “They’re our attorneys. They’re not your attorneys.”
She went on to fret about the harm Zeek affiliates apparently were heaping on the company.
Is it your intention “to harass the bank so much that they don’t want to do business with our company?” she asked.
Here is the post on the Zeek News Blog, which includes a link to the recording.