Talk Fusion promises the opportunity to create the lifestyle of your dreams. But what are the odds the Talk Fusion opportunity will work for you? Here’s what we found.
Is Talk Fusion a good opportunity? Because it can cost over $1500 to join Talk Fusion and because most Talk Fusion distributors fail to make money, we conclude that Talk Fusion is NOT a genuine opportunity.
As with any potential business, it is your responsibility to objectively conduct your own due diligence. This article will walk you through a detailed analysis of Talk Fusion, the company, and the opportunity.
Is Talk Fusion a Good Opportunity?
Opportunity means different things to different people, but what we’re talking about here is a business opportunity.
Talk Fusion (talkfusion.com) promises an “Opportunity for financial security, time freedom, and unlimited income potential.”
Naturally, the prospect of making money is exciting, and Talk Fusion is in an industry with a bright future.
Unfortunately, the Talk Fusion marketing model is deeply flawed and leads to failure more often than success.
Joining Talk Fusion might be an expensive mistake that may also cause you embarrassment, debt, and damaged relationships.
Here’s what you need to know.
- The Talk Fusion Opportunity costs $99 to $1,499 plus a licensing fee and a monthly fee.
- You have just 3 days to cancel and get a refund.
- You must Cancel in Writing
- If you do not make a sale in 6 months, you are automatically deactivated.
- Most Talk Fusion Independent Associates DO NOT make money.
Talk Fusion Independent Associates.
Talk Fusion refers to their salespeople as Independent Associates.
Before investing your time and money into Talk Fusion, it is wise to thoroughly investigate the company and opportunity. Although Talk Fusion is a legitimate company and a member of the Direct Selling Association, most people who try the Talk Fusion opportunity DO NOT succeed.
If you join Talk Fusion to market their products and opportunity, you will be legally considered a contract commission sales agent, otherwise known as an independent contractor.
Think Like a Businessperson.
This article will show you how much the Talk Fusion opportunity will cost, how much you can expect to earn, and what it takes to succeed.
As we continue with our evaluation of the Talk Fusion opportunity, I will show you some sobering facts about the company, the MLM industry and your chances of success.
You might be in contact with someone who is trying to talk you into joining Talk Fusion. No doubt, they are showing you all the marketing material that promises you can make a lot of money and earn exotic vacations or expensive cars.
What they won’t show you is that statistically, your chances of succeeding with Talk Fusion are practically zero.
Remember, the marketing material is designed to get you excited to join Talk Fusion before you think it through.
The more excited you become, the higher the probability that you will make the wrong choice.
Think like a businessperson. Let the facts determine if Talk Fusion is a genuine opportunity or not.
I understand how tempting the Talk Fusion opportunity might look if you’re in a desperate situation, but you must think like a businessperson and let the facts speak for themselves.
Before you commit to Talk Fusion, consult with a friend who can help you objectively look at the facts.
What Do You Hope to Achieve with the Talk Fusion Opportunity?
To determine if the Talk Fusion opportunity is right for you, you must first be crystal clear on what you hope to achieve if you join.
Do you want to earn a little extra cash each month? Replace your job? Or go for the whole enchilada and earn unlimited income as promised by Talk Fusion?
Take the time to reflect on why you want to join Talk Fusion and what you hope to achieve with the opportunity.
After you read through this article, you will know if you have a reasonable chance to succeed with Talk Fusion.
Talk Fusion Will Cost You.
Starting any kind of business has its costs. Talk Fusion is no different. And, you can never be sure if you will succeed.
If you lost everything you invested in Talk Fusion, how would it impact your life?
Given the risks, as you consider the Talk Fusion opportunity, it is critical to determine if you have a fair chance at success. Ideally, you want a better than 80% chance of success. Keep that figure in mind.
The one thing you can bet on is Talk Fusion will cost you. It might cost you a lot.
As a minimum, basic membership costs $39, but that doesn’t get you into the business.
To earn commissions and residuals, you must buy a Talk Fusion membership package. These are;
- Video Email Only ($99 plus $10 a month)
- Video Suite ($249 plus $25 a month)
- Pro (1,495 plus $50 a month)
There is a built-in incentive to buy the most expensive package because the Pro Package permits you to earn the largest commissions and residual income.
What is Talk Fusion?
Talk Fusion does not describe itself as a multi-level marketing company, although their compensation plan shows sixteen levels.
Sixteen levels are a lot of levels!
It’s revealing that Talk Fusion is a member of the Direct Selling Association. Most members of the DSA are multi-level marketing companies, and the DSA actively lobbies “against regulation of the MLM industry.”
Talk Fusion is profiled on MLMLegal.com, a legal service that assists MLM companies.
PR.com describes Talk Fusion as a privately-owned direct marketing company that promotes “video email services.”
Bob Reina started Talk Fusion in 2007. Mr. Reina owns the company, which is said to earn more than $63 million a year.
Although Talk Fusion markets video email services, Mr. Reina does not have experience or education in technology. Instead, he has an extensive background in multi-level marketing.
Mr. Reina launched Travel Reaction in 2001 and later launched Cash Card Worldwide in 2005, both are MLMs.
The point is Bob Reina was a devote MLM marketer long before he founded Talk Fusion.
There’s a reason people launch MLM companies. They are incredibly profitable for the owners of the company. Unfortunately, much of the revenue comes from distributors who often go into debt. More on that in a moment.
Talk Fusion Products.
Talk Fusion products include Video Email, Video Newsletters, Live Meetings, Video Chat, and Sign-up Forms.
It’s worth noting that Talk Fusion products do not offer anything new in digital communications, and they are more expensive than competing products, which are FREE.
The most expensive package is the Pro package for a $1,499 one-time fee, plus $50 a month. It includes all the products plus unlimited custom Video Email templates and private labeling.
The Problem with MLM.
Before you can fully understand how the odds are stacked against you when you become a Talk Fusion Independent Associate, you must understand the MLM industry and how it operates.
For the next few sections, I’m writing about the Multi-level Marketing industry in general and NOT Talk Fusion.
MLM Has an Awful Reputation.
There are several reasons why Multi-level Marketing has such an awful reputation.
MLM is known for selling false hope, for promising opportunity only to press distributors into buying expensive products with their credit card.
MLMs typically teach you can build a business by hounding family and friends into buying expensive stuff they don’t need and don’t want. Ultimately, MLM delivers little more than humiliation and debt.
Seeking Alpha, a website that monitors the heartbeat of Wall Street describes MLM like this;
MLM is a contradictory business model that requires endless chain recruiting that always produces the same outcome… the majority of the commissions wind up in the hands of the top 1%.
An article on the Vice website mentioned;
MLMs hurt families and relationships and destroy people financially.
With most MLMs, the so-called opportunity is just a ploy to hook people into handing their money over, usually by buying expensive products of dubious value.
Promising opportunity is how an MLM sells a digital service for hundreds of dollars when there are FREE alternatives online.
Once an associate is hooked on the dream of making money, they can drive themselves to financial ruin, trying to make it happen.
Failure with MLM often leaves an associate psychologically broken, alienated from friends and family, and in debt.
Most People Lose Money.
Research published in the Federal Trade Commission’s website shows that over 95% of the people who try MLM lose money. Many of them go into debt because they charged the cost of joining an MLM on their credit cards.
The same research reveals that less than 1% of all associates earn a profit.
The odds of success are better in any random casino.
A part-time, minimum wage job is a better use of your time.
Why People Lose Money with MLM.
There are several reasons why most people lose money with MLM. I’ve listed a few below.
- Associates are forced to pay for the privilege of selling the company’s products.
- Associates are forced to buy products or pay a fee each month to stay “qualified.”
- Some MLM companies front-load products onto their associates.
- MLM products are more expensive than competing products available through retail stores or online.
- MLM companies encourage associates to exploit family and friends.
- MLM is an antiquated business model that requires a tremendous amount of work for a small return.
Sneaky Product Loading Tactics.
Many MLM companies front-load their associates with products. Also known as product-loading or inventory loading, this practice burdens a new associate with excessive products and debt.
Product loading is a huge profit generator for the company. That’s why MLMs are notorious for doing it.
Here’s how product-loading works.
When an associate is first recruited, they are eager to climb up through the MLMs levels to riches. They trust the people who persuaded them to sign up.
In this charged emotional state, a new associate is easily manipulated. The MLMs know this and exploit the new associate’s vulnerability and trust.
A new associate is sold an expensive product package. It might be called a Starter Kit and cost hundreds or thousands of dollars.
The new associate will be encouraged to charge the expense to a credit card or to borrow money from family and friends. They might be told they can quickly pay off the debt when they are making money with the opportunity.
After a few months, when a new associate realizes it is far more challenging to make money with the opportunity than they thought, they begin to sober up.
Most associates quit the business after a few months, and very few stay longer than a year.
MLM companies know that most associates will quit. Product loading is how MLM companies squeeze every dime out of an associate before they drop out.
Product-loading may account for most of the revenue an MLM company earns.
The awful truth of product-loading is it typically destroys an associate’s finances and leaves them in debt.
Before you invest in an MLM opportunity, ask yourself, what else could you do with that money. Buy a car? Take a vacation? Spend it on a spouse or child? Fund an affiliate marketing business for years?
The more ethical MLM companies follow the Direct Selling Association’s Code of Ethics.
The DSA Code of Ethics protect associates from product loading by requiring member MLMs to buy back excess inventory any time during the associate’s first year in the business.
The DSA also provides a mediation service to associates who may have been wronged by their MLM.
However, the DSA buy-back requirement is not iron-clad. Many MLMs that are members of DSA have found sneaky ways around.
In a moment, we’ll look at Talk Fusion’s policy and how it might impact your finances.
Maybe you remember this story. In Twain’s novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom talks his friends into paying him for the privilege of whitewashing a fence.
Paying someone for the privilege of doing their chores is nonsensical, and that’s why it’s funny in the novel.
Unfortunately, Tom Sawyer’s whitewashing story is a lot like what MLMs expect of you.
Every MLM I know, promises an opportunity but then charges their associates for the privilege of making money for the company. This is nonsense.
No other industry does this. Charging associates for the privilege of selling the company’s products siphons money out of the pockets of the sales associates and into the coffers of the owner and the 1% at the top.
It’s also why most associates lose money on the so-called opportunity.
Paying to play usually takes the form of buying a “license” to sell the products, and then each month purchasing a minimum number of products or paying a fee to “qualify.”
In a moment, I’ll show you how Talk Fusion charges its associates for the privilege of selling its services.
For now, just know, there is no logical reason to pay an MLM for the privilege of selling their products. Most companies will happily pay YOU to sell their products.
This crazy requirement of MLM is a glaring example of the difference between MLM’s inefficient and labor-intensive business model of the last century and the highly efficient business model of the 21st Century, affiliate marketing.
Is There an Ethical MLM?
Because the dream of financial independence MLMs pitch is so seductive, some associates might believe if they just found an ethical MLM, they could be successful.
Unfortunately, the MLM business model is designed to exploit people with the promise of opportunity. For this reason, critics of the industry argue there is no such thing as an ethical MLM.
The critics may be right.
However, some MLMs are more transparent and publish the information required to make an informed decision.
Specifically, we need the following;
- Talk Fusion’s Income Disclosure
- Talk Fusion’s Compensation Plan
- Talk Fusion’s Policies and Procedures Document
- Talk Fusion’s Buy-Back Policy.
To the company’s credit, Talk Fusion does include the information we need to make an informed decision. In a moment, we’ll see how it measures up.
A Closer Look at Talk Fusion.
Now that we know some of MLMs dirty tricks let’s take a closer look at Talk Fusion.
Talk Fusion’s Reputation.
Talk Fusion is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but the BBB does give it an A+ rating.
There are four reviews on the BBB Talk Fusion profile and an overall rating of three stars. Two of the comments are from the same person Pat M. She gave Talk Fusion one-star twice and complained about difficulties using the software.
There are several reviews online that praise Talk Fusion, but there are also some complaints.
On glassdoor.com, I found two complaints which I edited for brevity and posted below;
“This company is horrible…nobody is trained to sell products; they are trained to recruit people…What a joke of a company.”
“…Talk Fusion is an MLM company with a video email and video meeting product no one wants… better products are available for free.”
In December of 2014, two former Independent Associates with Talk Fusion filed a lawsuit against Talk Fusion, alleging they were wrongfully terminated and that Talk Fusion is a pyramid scheme.
In December of 2015, a second pyramid scheme lawsuit was filed by a Talk Fusion Independent Associate alleging Talk Fusion was a pyramid scheme.
Both lawsuits were dismissed.
Because of the nature of MLM, it is not unusual to see complaints online about specific companies accusing them of being a pyramid scheme.
Is Talk Fusion a Pyramid Scheme
Talk Fusion is not a pyramid scheme. It is a privately-owned Multi-level Marketing company that offers email video products and a business opportunity. However, most Talk Fusion Independent Associates do not earn a profit.
Does Talk Fusion Provide the Information We Need?
As a member of the DSA, Talk Fusion is obliged to adhere to the DSA Code of Ethics. A link to the DSA Code of Ethics is in the footer of the Talk Fusion website.
The DSA Code of Ethics states;
…prospective independent salespeople must be provided sufficient information to enable a reasonable evaluation of the opportunity.
Talk Fusion DOES provide the necessary information.
Specifically, we need to know how much the opportunity will cost you, how much you can expect to earn, and if they have a buy-back policy.
Talk Fusion provides this information in the company Income Disclosure, Pricing Tables, and Compensation Plan, and Refund Cancellation Policy.
Does Talk Fusion Load Independent Associates with Products?
Product loading is a violation of the DSA Code of Ethics. On the surface, it appears that Talk Fusion does not load Independent Associates with products.
However, Talk Fusion has some policies which come very close to product loading.
Because Talk Fusion markets a digital service and not a physical product, the practice of product loading is different, but the money trail and net effect are the same.
A new Talk Fusion Independent Association could easily be persuaded to purchase the most expensive package, the Pro Package for a $1,499 one-time fee, plus $50 a month.
Talk Fusion has incentives to encourage every recruit to purchase the most expensive package. The Pro Package offers Independent Associates the opportunity to earn at the highest commissions.
Because Talk Fusion has a 3-DAY refund policy, a new Independent Associate does not have time to thoroughly evaluate what they have purchased.
Incidentally, Talk Fusion’s 3-Day refund policy conflicts with the DSA Code of Ethics. The DSA requires a 12-month refund policy.
How Much Does the Talk Fusion Opportunity Cost?
Talk Fusion charges a non-refundable $39 one-time fee, plus the cost of a product package, plus a monthly fee.
Because Talk Fusion has incentives to buy the highest product package when you join, we will assume that most Independent Associates will purchase the Pro Package.
For the sake of example, assume it will cost you $1,538 ($1,499 Pro Package+$39 Independent Associate Fee) to join Talk Fusion as an Independent Associate, plus $50 a month to continue as an associate.
How Much Can You Expect to Earn?
According to the Talk Fusion 2018 Income Disclosure Statement, 58.9% of Associates made NOTHING.
37.1% earned less than $1000 for the year.
In other words, when you factor in the cost of the Talk Fusion opportunity, 96% of all Talk Fusion associates lost money in 2018.
Is Talk Fusion a Scam?
Because Talk Fusion openly publishes all the information needed to properly evaluate the company and opportunity, it cannot be considered a scam.
Is Talk Fusion Right for You?
As I’ve shown in this article, most people who try the Talk Fusion opportunity lose money. However, a few people do make money with the Talk Fusion and a tiny number makes a lot of money.
As the 2018 Talk Fusion Income Disclosure shows, the top .1% of all distributors earned more than $30,000 that year. An article on BehindMLM.com reported that Talk Fusion Associates Minh Ho and Julie Campagna made millions with Talk Fusion before 2014.
It takes a ton of energy to succeed with MLM. It also takes extraordinary recruiting, leadership and management skills.
In my opinion, the people who succeed with an opportunity like Talk Fusion are not intimidated by the dismal chance of success.
They naturally know how to read people and how sell them the dream of financial independence. They don’t hesitate to push someone to charge their credit card to the max. At the same time, they know that most of the people they recruit will fail.
Success with Talk Fusion requires a relentless drive to recruit large numbers of people into the business.
To grow, you must build at a faster pace than people are dropping out.
At the bottom of the Talk Fusion Income Disclosure Statement, it says;
“Success with Talk Fusion results only from successful sales efforts, which require hard work, diligence, skill, persistence, competence, and leadership. Your success will depend upon how well you exercise these qualities.”
If you don’t already possess recruiting, leadership and management skills, you will need to learn them.
In addition to the above skills, I think success with MLM requires relentless drive and a disturbing lack of empathy.
The Last Word on Talk Fusion.
Talk Fusion generates over $63 million in revenue a year. This money comes from people signing up for the opportunity and paying $99 to $1,495 plus a one-time licensing fee and an ongoing monthly fee.
We’ve seen that most of these people will never make a dime of profit but will instead suffer a financial loss.
Multi-level Marketing is an antiquated business model that was created in the 1940s. Back then, the most common form of communication was face to face.
MLM has never worked for most people, but back in the 1940s, direct person-to-person marketing kind of made sense.
However, over the decades, some MLMs became more aggressive. They created compensation plans with insane rank levels that exploited the salesforce.
The more levels an MLM has, the more it channels commissions from the associates in the lower ranks to the owner and top 1%.
Talk Fusion has 16 levels. The most I’ve ever seen in an MLM.
Talk Fusion is a particularly aggressive MLM. It has high entrance fees, an extremely brief refund period, and a dismal rate of success.
A Better Option for You.
We are well into the 21st Century. Businesses are moving online.
The internet IS the greatest opportunity of all time. It gives everyone the chance to earn a genuinely unlimited income.
You can trade your time for money with a job. Or, you can try to build a sales organization with Talk Fusion or some other MLM. Or, you can learn to leverage the internet to your advantage.
Websites never sleep and can make money 24/7. The risks are small, and the earning potential unlimited.
Once you know a few necessary skills, there are countless ways to earn money through the internet.
I recommend you start with affiliate marketing. It’s a great place to learn the skills you need, plus it’s cheap and easy to get started.
See for yourself, read Why Affiliate Marketing is Better than MLM.
If you found this article about Talk Fusion helpful and would like to contribute to the conversation, please leave a comment below.