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Champagne Wishes And Caviar Dreams

When comparing MLMs, incentive programs can be the difference between the drab and the dazzling.

Like your favorite game shows, some network marketing companies offer fabulous prizes and vacations. Called incentives, these fur coats, cars and trips aren't awarded according to the turn of a wheel, but rather by merit--to terrific sellers and sharp recruiters.

Although incentives are fun (who wouldn't want a free trip or a diamond ring?), think of incentives as the icing on the cake. Liking the company and its products is more important than what they award top sellers and recruiters. Of course, if you've narrowed your choice down to two or three companies, looking at their incentive programs might make your final decision a little easier.

Incentives are used by many companies as a motivational tool to increase their employees' productivity. Although all types of companies use incentives, network marketing companies are known for their extensive award programs. With its system of independent selling and recruiting, network marketing and incentives work well together. Prizes, like cars, china and jewelry, encourage top sellers and recruiters to continue their efforts, and group incentives, like discounted product, reward everyone for just being part of the company.

"Incentives show that a company is behind their employees," says Jennifer Jurgens, editor of Incentive, a trade magazine that covers the incentive industry. "Prizes, like a free vacation, encourage employees toward better performance."

The incentives companies offer vary. Some reward their top sellers only. Some offer awards every quarter; others, just annually. So if you're a go-getter and want to be rewarded for that, you'll want a company that offers incentives for sales and recruitment. If you're a small seller, you might benefit more from a company that offers more general incentives.

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This article was originally published in the October 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Champagne Wishes And Caviar Dreams.

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