USR partners with Mannatech for school fundraiser
Mannatech is a multi-level marketing business that sells health and beauty aids on a multi-national scale. It has survived several entanglements with the Texas attorney general and has never completely bounced back to its former status.
USR just recently landed a sponsorship deal with Mannatech in light of a new fundraising campaign. Here’s what Mannatech is all about:
Sign Up Cost: The company has some 300 employees and over 200,000 independent sales associates promoting their products globally. The sign up cost for an associate is $10 but members are strongly encouraged to buy product packages ranging from $50 – $1000 each. If the products are bought the $10 fee is waved.
Global Revenue: The average yearly revenue for Mannetech is roughly 190 million dollars. It focuses on scientific research that will enable them to promote safe and desirable products that are an improvement on a person’s quality of life. At present they have a total of 95 patents on such products.
The Good: The company’s founder, Samuel Caster is clearly business savvy, known for his ever ready smile and passion for growth.
The Bad: At present he is banned from inside leadership but remains in a consultative position.
There are multiple products that have been scientifically developed and tested for nutrition, skin care and beauty aids. The main product is a food supplement sold in capsule, tablet or powder form. Ambrotose is very popular with people who suffer from serious illnesses such as cancer since the supplement is suppose to have the “power” to cure the illnesses by strengthening the immune system.
There are opportunities for growth for the individual associate as well as the upper echelon of the company . The territory that is covered and the diversity of tastes and needs world wide provide a market ripe for growth. There are opportunities to climb the ladder of success by rising to a higher level and there are generous discounts that are offered to those who care to invest in the products. In turn, these products can be sold at retail value for a profit. The real opportunity is marketed to new associates as having the ability to allow them to change their quality of life.
There are several positive points that one can point to if trying to promote the company. The first is its mission of wanting to eliminate large-scale malnutrition.
The goal is to match 5000 consumers with 5000 malnourished children globally. This provides a positive promotional benefit. Who, after all, does not want to help the malnourished of the world? The goal is being achieved with the use of a vitamin nutrient in powder form that is added to the daily food of school children. The ultimate aim is to strengthen the immune system of the individuals who use this product.
Mannatech has developed a training support system that can be downloaded or purchased by its associates. There are videos that demonstrate sales tactics and product sheets that give all the information needed to promote their products. Another training aid is the recorded trainings on online modules (Digital Altitude offers more extensive training, you can learn more about them by clicking here). There are also weekly conference calls offered by the company. Lastly, as an independent sales agent, one can perform at a much higher level with a personal web page which, when requested, is provided for free by the company.
Due to the nature of this type of business, it is advantageous to associates to advance to the next “level”. This can be done with much greater facility due to the training aids as well as the Success Tracker provided to its associates.
Mannatech’s training organization is well developed but its website for sales needs considerable improvement. The company would benefit from having a direct line to the customer. However, it has chosen the indirect route through the associates. This could be very difficult if the shopper does not know a sales associate. The tactic helps the bottom line of the associate but no doubt loses many sales in the process. If their mission of helping the malnourished were primary in their mind, they would make haste to change this approach.
Although the sign up cost is minimal, associates are strongly urged to purchase packages of products on a monthly basis. This can be a very costly endeavor. True, this practice provides a good discount but this line of thinking resembles the practice of buying something simply because it is on sale. If you don’t need it, you are still wasting money.
In brief, the practice sounds better than the reality.
It is extremely difficult to determine whether the supplements help the individuals since there are so many factors that are involved in a serious illness. Almost anyone can be made to believe that time will heal all illness because, in truth, everyone wants to have something to hope for and believe in. There is little scientific proof that any of the products are any better than the other supplements (like prohormones or probiotics) on the shelves of a grocery store or pharmacy.
In 2005, after being in business for some 12 successful years, the founder and CEO of the company, Sam Caster, became entangled with the Texas Attorney General’s office for false claims of his products(1). The company never admitted to wrong doing but did settle out of court to prevent a long court battle that would hurt the company’s bottom line with negative publicity.
A year later the Attorney General became involved again for similar accusations. The company paid a heavy fine and promised to act in accord with state law as well as to follow Federal statutes in their practice of sales.
In 2007 when the Attorney General was brought in a third time, for the same offense, the company was fined heavily again and the Founder, Sam Caster, was forbidden to be involved in any form of leadership within its ranks for a period of 5 years. He maintains a consultative role and has an office with an assistant in the central office.
Sadly, although the mission is very noble, the founder and his team do not seem to follow suit. The company, though well organized, is clearly one that fosters products that are not scientifically backed. There is no guarantee that said products will deliver what is promised. Dealing in good faith with a company whose founder was thrice found guilty of deception, says a great deal about the character of the company.