MLM with Golden Chemical Products 1974
The leaflet on my car was one of the ways in which Golden Chemical Products attracted and grew its “sales force”: meetings were organised in smart hotels, and a presentation was given to outline the product (basically soap) and the sales opportunities arising, particularly if you were successful in assembling a sales team of your own.
The USP (unique selling point) was that the various soap or detergent products – covering household and commercial use – were made from non-toxic chemicals and were therefore environmentally friendly. This was a concept that was a little ahead of its time – there was not the same public perception towards the hazards of pollution, and the powerful Green Lobby, as there is today.
The hotel meeting was professionally done, and to join Golden Chemical Products (GCP) there were three “levels” of distributorship available to purchase – namely Local (£25) Area (£200) and General (£1100). Each distributor received product to the value of his/her “investment” and more importantly, had the right to build a sales team and benefit from a percentage of all sales made by the team. The sales structure was described by others as a Pyramid Selling or Multi Level Marketing scheme.
GCP was looking to compete with the giant multinational chemical companies – such as Procter & Gamble – who used and still use conventional sales outlets for their products, namely shops and supermarkets, and who spent fortunes on brand awareness and advertising. I am not aware whether or not GCP ever made significant inroads into the actual sales achieved by the multinationals, but GCP did become the subject of political lobbying, and was finally closed down in 1976 after being castigated as a Pyramid Selling Scheme.
My own view – some forty years on – is that GCP did nothing wrong, and that the product worked and was environmaentally friendly: the bad publicity arose through stories of large amounts of money being earnt by individuals at the top of the sales “tree” and – allegedly – unfortunate individuals having a “garage full of soap” that they could not sell.
In my case, I handed over £200 to become an area distributor, used the product myself, and sold the product – not the most easy of tasks in the middle of farming country in Norfolk! I also built a small local sales team and did enough over six months to become a General Distributor.
However, the most important benefit was to come – and that was attending GCPs main sales convention in London in late 1974, where I met and listened to various speakers and top salesmen and women who had been in the company far longer than I had. Amongst the people I met were John Golding and Robin Fielder: John held the key to the next phase of my business life.