Like any other type of business, network marketing has both its good and bad eggs. And while they may get a bad rap along with multi-level marketing, there do exist legitimate network marketing opportunities that could change your fortunes for the better.
Whether you’re looking at car insurance providers or food products, choosing the right company can make a difference in stretching the lifespan of your investment. There are telltale signs, though, that can clue you in on whether a network marketer’s offer is the real deal or not. If you encounter any of the following personalities, proceed with caution.
The Big Talker
“Triple your salary in months!” “Be your own boss!” These are the marketers that will promise you the moon and stars just to bring you over to their side. We’ve all heard the old adage: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
If a marketer makes plenty of lofty promises, give yourself time to investigate their claims. Look for real stats and sales figures from trustworthy sources. Without the numbers to back them up, these people are all sizzle and no steak.
The High Roller
At first glance, this person will look like the Big Talker’s polar opposite. They’re the ones flaunting their brand-new car, designer duds, or swanky vacation snapshots on Instagram — all courtesy of their huge network marketing paycheck.
Be careful, though; this image of profligate spending may scream “nouveau riche” or “skewed values” rather than “effective entrepreneur.” Prudent network marketers don’t fall for the trap of aspirational spending. Instead, they should set their business priorities in the right place.
The Cold Call
Imagine this: An old high school friend or casual acquaintance calls you out of the blue, offering to take you out to lunch. Without warning or explanation, they drag you to a “free” seminar promoting this product or that investment opportunity. Congratulations! You’ve just been roped into a network marketing scheme against your will.
And for future reference: a good business should know how to operate while also respecting your personal boundaries. (That goes the same for your friend.)
The Recruitment Shark
Does the product stand on its own? Or does your success rely on how many new people you can bring into the fold? A good network marketing company should get by on the strength of the product or service it’s selling, not on how many friends or relatives you can recruit for them.
Is the company taking full advantage of its convoluted sales structure just to turn a profit? Chances are, it’s not as legitimate as it appears. Take a closer look at its business model and see whether or not it fits the textbook description of a pyramid scheme.
The Shady Operator
How many years has the company been in operation? How many name changes has it undergone? Does it possess all the necessary government certifications for an enterprise of its size and scale? Does it get consistently good press from customers and former employees?
These are just a handful of questions you should ask about any network marketer. If they make only vague claims about the company’s stability and track record, take that as a red flag. This goes double if they won’t give a straight answer to any of your queries, or even contradict themselves at certain points.
The Money Grabber
Any good network marketer should know how to conduct their business professionally. Ideally, this means exuding financial stability without extorting its own partners.
To be clear, not all network marketers that require you to pay cash upfront are bad. However, consider the image any business projects when it does this. By asking you to pay a fee before you can take part, at worst the business projects an air of desperation.
It doesn’t matter if a company is selling cosmetics or electronics; telling the genuine article apart from the scams can be a difficult process. When switching to any new product or service, doing your homework on the company’s track record can help ensure you get a good customer experience.