Since I've been gone for the past couple of months on our wedding and honeymoon, I got a disturbingly large amount of phone calls and e-mails from another travel company's reps trying to recruit me into their business. Starting about a year ago, I had one rep try on more than one occasion to get me to leave by comparing YTB to their travel company (let's call it "TC"), mainly the start-up fee.
I think the deluge of TC folks bombarding me with their pitches began in large part to YTB's 2007 Income Disclosure statement.
The constant flood of sales pitches over the past few months gives me no choice but to "clarify" a few things for those who may fall prey to the "TC" is better that YTB trap.
First, I want to begin by making a blanket statement for all of the other Travel Company reps out there- don't waste your time calling or e-mailing me. I am not interested in joining your company- YTB is the only travel company for me.
Now, onto the real stuff of the YTB versus TC debate...
The YTB Income Disclosure Statement
Here's what one TC Rep said:
According to the 2007 Income Disclosure Statement at YTB, only 4% will ever get to their power team. In addition, less than 1/3 of 1% will ever make it into coach's corner. There is over 246,000 reps of which 95% an average of $90.32 in yearly income
Okay, now the first OBVIOUS question to pose to the suave TC salesperson is this: "Could you please send me a copy of TC's 2007 Income Disclosure Statement". If the answer is anything but, "sure here you go" then you need to take everything they say after that point with a grain of salt.
The truth of the matter is that YTB's statistics are fairly representative of network marketing companies in general...95% make little to no money at all. I seriously doubt that TC's statistics are any better.
Let me give you a real world example- I have at least 23 Reps whom I contacted after they joined as a Rep who said that they were "just looking". 23- in just MY organization, who are nothing but "tire kickers". Multiply that by the Tens of Thousands of active Reps (i.e, non-tire kickers) and you start to see why it is that such a large percentage never make any money...THEY DON'T WORK THE BUSINESS AT ALL!
Now, if you think that people who just sign up to "look around" because it's free should be compensated by YTB, then you need to head on over to Cuba and hang with the Communist crowd! In this capitalist society, you get paid for the value you bring to the marketplace- you don't work, you don't get paid. Ask your friendly TC rep if they are just handing out checks to those who don't work the business at all, I'll bet my life they will say no.
Therefore, common sense dictates that taking the amount of commissions paid by YTB in 2007 and dividing it by the number of Reps is completely ridiculous. In reality, you have just about the same percentage of success in most any legitimate company. Your success depends in large part on YOU.
One of the things that really struck me about one particular company, is that it has become very apparent how they are marketing the business... encouraging their reps to contact current YTB reps and try to get them to leave YTB for their company. Hmmm... Questionable tactic at best. I have never once contacted someone who did not contact me first for more information, and I never once enouraged someone to leave their company to come to YTB...but that's just me.
The Price To Join
Another favorite of TC Reps is to show how much "cheaper" TC is to join. Now, if we are comparing prices on something- anything, doesn't it make sense to make sure that you are comparing apples to apples?
For example, if you are looking to buy a car- do you just look at the price? Geez, I hope not! You look at features...what car gives you the most bang for your buck? what car has the features you want?
Now, let's look at YTB. For $449.00 you get an on-line travel booking engine, the ability to book travel directly with vendors, a YTB Flowers site, a YTB Cars site, a YTB Outdoors site, a YTB golf site, and a marketing site, complete with a back office for both travel and marketing. (assuming you sign up as a Rep and an RTA). Then your monthly web-hosting fee for your travel booking engine is $49.95 per month (which is refunded if you sell 6 travel stores). As an RTA you receive 60% of the commission earned by YTB on the sale of travel.
Now, from what I understand about TC:
When you join at their "low, low rate" (which varies from $49 to $99 depending on what day of the week it is and a $49.95 monthly fee) you don't get any credentials, don't have the ability to work with travel vendors directly, and you only get a 20% commission on travel booked through you. Okay, so with the base package you pay the same monthly fee, but your products are limited (because you can't book directly through vendors) AND you get 40% LESS of the commission on all travel booked through you! If you plan to book a lot of travel on your site, the joke's on you, because while you saved $300 on the initial fee, how much commission will you lose over the next few years because you only get a 20% commission?!?
Now, if you want a sharp looking website- you'll add another $9.95 for that. Do you want to market the TC opportunity? Well, it's gonna cost you-another $19.95 a month. So, now you are paying almost $80 per month for a fraction of what YTB offers (remember, YTB has numerous product websites- YTB Flowers, YTB Cars, YTB Golf, Honeymoon Wishes, YTB Romance etc. which all come with your $449 start-up fee).
It doesn't take an accountant to figure out that after just a year, TC is actually MORE expensive than YTB for less features.
I could go through an even more thorough analysis of the differences between YTB and other travel companies(YTB is #26 on Travel Weekly's 2008 Power List (up from #36 last year), YTB is a member of the Direct Selling Association, etc, etc.) but I will leave the due diligence up to you!
Best of Luck!