Next Level Negotiation

“Thanks for coming,” Mark said. He pulled a chair from a nearby table and sat next to his friend, Eddie. He invited Eddie to meet in the chain coffee shop and talk about how to increase their survivability scores.

“No problem,” Eddie shrugged. “I’m still sitting even today. There’re worse places to die than coffee with a friend,” he smiled.

“I’m up to 80% today, I’m feeling confident,” Mark replied.

“80? Damn, how’d you get that high?”

“Well that’s why you’re here,” Mark was interrupted by a jingling bell. Another customer came in, and Mark turned to see who it was. “And that’s why he’s here too,” he said. Mark pointed to the tall man in a dark suit that walked in. The man noticed Mark and headed to their table. He pulled up another seat and joined Mark and Eddie at the small round table.

“Eddie this is Max. Max, my friend Eddie.” The two strangers shook hands once Mark introduced them. Then Max set his briefcase on the table and opened it to pull out a notepad and pen.

“How ya doin’ Eddie? Mark tells me you’re at 50% more often than not,” his face contorted into a fake, overly-friendly smile. Eddie nodded, unsure what else he could say. “You know, I was just like you. But this morning I woke up to 100% survivability.” He smiled when Eddie’s eyes widened.

“I taught Mark how, and he’s at, what..?”

“80,” Mark replied.

“See that? 80 percent, he’s moving up in the world. How fast he gets up to 100 is up to him, but I’m proof that it’s possible,” Max said.

“Okay,” Eddie nodded. “How?” Max’s smile somehow grew larger. He slid the notepad and pen across the table to Eddie.

“First, write the names of 10 family or friends, minus Mark.” Eddie grabbed the pen, but he gave Mark a confused look. Mark nodded and smiled to reassure him, so he wrote a list. After he completed it he pushed the notepad back toward Max.

“No, no. That’s for you. That’s your starting point. You’re going to ask everyone on that list to give you five percent every day,” Max said. Eddie shook his head

“No way. I’m not taking a single percent from my parents And my sister?” he glared at Mark. “C’mon man.”

“You didn’t let him finish,” Mark said. Max was quick to jump in.

“It’s called a ‘Downline’,” Max used air quotes for effect. “It’s super simple. If they agree to give you five percent a day, you provide support and help them make their own Downlines. If you do it right, they’ll have so much, the five percent is nothing. It would be a waste if they didn’t give it to you.”

“So that’s why I’m here? You want me to be part of your downline?” Eddie asked Mark. He gave a sheepish shrug along with a half nod.

“You’re missing the bigger picture!” Max did not give up. “With these ten names you’ll be up 10%, and another percent for anyone else you get.”

“Why only 10%? At five percent a name I should be up 50.”

“Well, it doesn’t work like that. If you’re part of the downline, you’ve got to pay it upward. Out of that five percent you keep one, and the other four go up the line. If you joined Mark’s team, your four percent would go to him, but he only keeps one of that, and the other three go to me. I keep one of that, and so on.”

“Why? Why can’t I just keep the five percent for myself?”

“Because it doesn’t work like that,” Max chuckled.

“And what am I getting for my four percent?”

“Mark’s help. He’ll be your mentor like I’m his. He’ll help you recruit people to your downline. And you get the support of our organization. We can help you find leads that’ll increase your downline.” Eddie nodded.

“Right, so I get nothing. Assuming I could even get the people needed.. there’s no real incentive to pay it upward. Right?”

“If you don’t pay your dues we kick you out,” Max said.

“Uhuh. Okay. I’m leaving, you can pretend I’m thinking about it.  Mark, don’t bother me with this MLM crap again.”

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