Three quick tests for scams — and your own vulnerability

by John Counsel on December 21, 2009

This post continues the insights that I introduced you to in my previous post, the “Morlocks of MLM.”  It lists three simple, practical ways for you to reliably and quickly evaluate whether any product, service, business or income opportunity offered to you is likely to be legitimate or a scam.

Note, though, that you have to look at TWO vital components of every offer:

  • the actual product, service or opportunity being offered
  • the packaging: the way it’s being offered to you — especially any emotional appeals being used to get you to say “yes”.

While there’s no single, definitive test that will unmask ALL scams, the following quick tests are highly reliable — especially when taken together.

Test #1: EMOTIONAL Appeal

If the real pitch is to your emotions, especially…

    fear of loss

then the seller is targeting BUYERS, not other SELLERS.

If you’re involved in network marketing, and you want to know how to SELL more, more often, to more people, for more profit, then you need to understand this critically-important truth:

    You cannot succeed as a MARKETER by thinking and acting like a BUYER when it comes to making your own BUSINESS decisions.

The REAL challenge is overcoming your own lifelong conditioning: if you grew up conditioned to be these three things, then you have some very serious obstacles to overcome:

1. An EMPLOYEE — you know how to work hard, exchange time for money, look busy, focus on activity rather than results. Obsessed with security, or at least the illusion of security. (That’s all there ever is in employment.)

(The real rewards are for activity, not for results, in most forms of employment. You get paid for the hours you work, not the results you produce. In fact, your results can be a threat to people further up the tree from you. They’ll promptly bury you in pointless activity and red tape to minimize your results and protect their own positions.)

2. A CONSUMER — you know how to buy, spot bargains, share news of good deals with other consumers. You focus on price above all else.

3. An IMITATOR — you believe that there’s safety in numbers, so you do what everyone else does, and play safe.

To be successful in network marketing — especially online, where the emotions are so volatile because of the absence of reliable indicators, such as body language and other perceptual cues — you have to be three very different things:

1. An ENTREPRENEUR — you’re a go-between, a taker of calculated, minimized risks. You find solutions for people’s problems.

2. A MARKETER — you identify needs and provide products or services to satisfy those needs. Then you persuade people to WANT what they need, using the three selling methods (advertising, visual merchandising and personal selling skills) because you understand that, no matter how much buyers NEED what you’re offering, until they WANT it, they won’t BUY it.

3. An INNOVATOR — you know how to outwit and outperform your competition. You think laterally, outside the circle or square. Especially when it comes to marketing.

If you can overcome your conditioning and learn to think and act like an ENTREPRENEUR, MARKETER and INNOVATOR when it comes to make business BUYING decisions, you’ll see past the emotional appeals of most sellers and look to the MARKETING that lies behind it.

If you find yourself continually BUYING stuff, instead of SELLING, then it’s a reliable indicator of your true position:

    You’re thinking and acting like the EMPLOYEE, CONSUMER and IMITATOR you’ve been conditioned to be!

You’re responding to powerful emotional appeals to your fear of loss, greed, laziness, ignorance, gullibility or selfishness (or all of them!)

This should tell you TWO very important things:

1. It tells you about the motives and methods of the SELLER.

2. It tells you about the conditioning and lack of business acumen of the BUYER… YOU!

    You need to think seriously about your own future as a would-be business entrepreneur and network marketer.

Test #2: The FOUR CORNERSTONES of Success

There are four cornerstones of success that are indispensable. If any of the four is missing, you CANNOT succeed.

Four Cornerstones of Success

1. VISION — the clear and compelling image of a future reality that motivates you to strive for its realization.

2. EFFORT — every vision takes a fixed investment of effort to bring it to reality. The amount of effort required can be reduced by leveraging the efforts of others, or through technology. But it can never be eliminated.

3. TIME — every vision takes a fixed investment of time to bring it to reality. The length of time required can be shortened by leveraging the time of others, or through technology. But it can never be eliminated.

(Note: In physics, work is defined as effort over distance. In business, the distance is replaced by the fourth dimension: time. So work is defined as effort over time in order to be successful.)

4. DISCIPLINE — without self-discipline, we’re unlikely to invest the required effort and time to bring our vision to reality.

Where does the discipline come from?

It comes from the big picture, the higher perspective… our clear and compelling vision.

Every scam can be identified clearly by these four hallmarks:

    A FALSE vision that requires NO effort, NO time and NO discipline.

If that’s the basis of the sales pitch, you need to walk away before your lifelong conditioning overrides your rational, objective, BUSINESS decision-making ability.


Every product or service (and every business and seller) should meet the Three Criteria of Fulfillment. If they don’t, they’ll come back to haunt you. Count on it.

1. SAFETY — there’s little or no risk involved. You won’t lose your money, your status, your possessions, your health, your job, your family or friends, etc. In fact, there’s more risk to the buyer in NOT buying!

2. EFFICACY — it does what it says it will do: it keeps its promises. It works.

3. VALUE — the benefits far outweigh ALL of the conditions that have to be met to obtain them, including the first condition: the price.

You have to give or get 3 out of 3, every time. Two of three isn’t good enough. One out of three is totally unacceptable. Yet most online buyers find that 1 or 2 out of three is about as good as they can expect — especially when it comes to Internet marketing ebooks, courses, etc.

There are other tests, of course, but if you apply these three before making any BUYING decision for your BUSINESS, your chances of being scammed and ripped off will be close to zero. This applies to all

  • products,
  • services and
  • business opportunities.

Remember… the BIG risk to you is your conditioning and your tendency to respond to emotional appeals rather than objective, rational REASON.

Hope this helps!


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

ConnyD January 14, 2010 at 10:16 am Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

I usually dont post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. Kind regards from france


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