As network marketing professionals in India’s thriving direct selling industry, most of you, if not all, have come across people who think you are involved in a scam. No other legitimate business opportunity has perhaps been more misunderstood and demonised than this business. This is unfortunate because if people took the time and effort to get past the old attitudes and
This is unfortunate because if people took the time and effort to get past the old attitudes and misconceptions, and understand how the business works, it will become clear that network marketing is a viable way to start a part-time/full-time business.
The ambition of many young college graduates today is to land a cushy corporate job. Here is what the structure of any corporate organization looks like.
Myth 1: Network Marketing is an illegal pyramid
Truth: The shape of an organization does not determine legality. If it did, most businesses and organizations including the government would be illegal because they are structured like a pyramid. An illegal pyramid scheme provides no real products or services, and pays according to the number of recruits. Legal network marketing programs offer useful, high quality products or services and pay commissions based on the volume of sales.
Myth 2: Only the guy at the top makes money
Truth: This argument more accurately describes a “job”. How often does a minimum wage worker become the CEO? In any corporate structure, it is a given that the guy at the top makes the most money. In good network marketing companies, a person can make any amount regardless of where they are in the organization. Income is related to effort, not position.
Myth 3: Network marketing uses people
Truth: Success in network marketing comes from helping others reach their goals. A person cannot earn income off the efforts of their recruits without investing time in helping them earn income, as well. Admittedly, some network marketers see potential recruits as dollar signs, but those people are not as successful as those who are genuine in their effort to help their recruits do well.
Myth 4: Eventually the program will get saturated
Truth: Saturation is impossible because there is never a finite number of people. Everyday new people are born or turn 18 thereby adding new potential network marketers to the pool. Tim Sales, in Zig Ziglar’s Network Marketing for Dummies, offers the best argument against the saturation myth. He asks, “Do you know anyone who doesn’t have a refrigerator? No? That doesn’t stop GE from selling more of them.”
Myth 5: Network marketing doesn’t work
Truth: According to the World Federation of Direct Selling Association, in 2014 the direct sales industry grossed $182 billion globally. In India, the direct selling industry is estimated to be Rs.74 billion (2014-15) with the potential to reach a size of Rs.645 billion by 2025, according to a recent KPMG report.
These numbers indicate that this business can and does work. Success or failure has less to do with network marketing itself and instead is determined by the amount effort one puts into the business. Many bloggers, eBayers and other home business owners don’t do well or quit too, but you don’t hear people saying blogging and eBay don’t work.
Myth 6: No one really gets rich in network marketing
Truth: It’s true that not everyone succeeds in network marketing. The 2-10% of network marketers earning big money are the same 2-10% who work consistently on their businesses. But getting rich shouldn’t be how network marketing is judged. If getting rich is the measure of success, then the majority of employees in traditional jobs are big failures. Instead, network marketing should be measured by the number of people who reach their goals. Many people in network marketing find success when they earn enough to stay home with the kids or pay off debt.
Myth 7: Network marketing is a cult
Truth: If you have attended a network marketing training event or a major corporate event organized by your company, it is true that the passion and energy exhibited by many people can seem almost fanatic to an outsider. But fanatics exist everywhere. The truth is that network marketing companies don’t require fanaticism. Most legitimate companies such as QNET work hard to keep our representatives grounded in facts and figures.
We don’t deny that network marketing has its issues, but when you analyse them you realise most of them hinge around false and misleading information. Billionaire Warren Buffet, after purchasing a network marketing company, called it the best investment he’d ever made. Fortune magazine called direct selling (of which network marketing is the largest segment) “the best-kept secret in the business world.” Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence, calls it the first truly revolutionary shift in marketing in the last 50 years.
Nevertheless, misconceptions and myths persist. Don’t let these false beliefs stop you from considering a network marketing business. You can achieve success in a network marketing venture if you gain a solid understanding of the industry, choose a company carefully, find a quality sponsor, and commit time and effort to your business.
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about” – Wayne Dyer