Due Diligence in the 21st Century

Due Diligence in the 21st Century

Due Diligence in the 21st Century… get your facts straight, first.

by Dave Cottrell

Due diligence is one of the most important things you can do before you start working with any affiliate or mlm organization.

Ponzi circa 1920

Ponzi circa 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Any so-called business can make any outrageous claim they want on a website. While some are blatantly obvious thrown together sites filled with typos, bad copy and erroneous statements, there are thousands of very slick, well-written, professional-looking sites.  The crooks and con artists know how to fool people!

The common thread between an honest business site and a con artist’s site is that BOTH are involved in sales.  They are both trying to convince you that your life will improve if you take them up on their offer. Depending on the skill of the copy writer, they can be very convincing.

You, as a reader, need to be aware that one of the key skills in writing good copy is to be able to appeal to the emotions of the reader.  If the copy is properly written, your mind will tell you that if you take the deal, you’ll feel better, live longer, make more money, have a happier life, get more visitors, or many other things too numerous to mention.

It doesn’t matter if the information you’re reading is false.  Your mind will believe it, because it wants to believe it.  The “fact” that it’s going to solve your problems and make your life better has great emotional appeal!

You, as a savvy business person, need to set your emotions aside and do something you’ve likely heard of many times before, called DUE DILIGENCE.  What that means is, you immediately start digging to find out all you can about the company behind the website.  Use the search engines and Whois to find out all you can.  Follow the links on forums.  (Note that forums are often deceiving in themselves, because the writers will often post links that when followed prove their assertion to be false.)

Don’t be satisfied with Page One information on the search sites! Many promoters flood the first few pages with cooked up “reviews” and “scam reports” that are really just advertising for the product or company you are checking up on. You really need to dig a lot deeper.

Look for proper contact information on the website and use it to ask questions about the company.  If you get no reply, or can’t find the information, stay away from that company!

Don’t let a friend’s excitement cloud your decision!  Just because a company has a history of paying doesn’t mean it will continue to pay.  One of the classic tricks used in Ponzi and pyramid schemes is to start out paying on time and regularly.  Then, when a certain point is reached – often right before the company would collapse anyway, the owners take the money and run, leaving YOU broke, angry and… sad.

Make sure there really is a product or service that has real value.

Some companies actually have NO product or service at all, but simply sell the so-called plan, which you in turn try to sell to someone else. Stay away from companies like this. Also, stay away from companies whose product is something you can get somewhere else at no cost. Never mind that they say theirs is somehow better and therefore worth paying for. Chill the emotions and see what you’re really paying for, because that’s what you’re going to be trying to sell.

Avoid pre-launches that give you no information about the coming business venture!  They are used to hype up the “venture” before it comes on line, to drive up the emotions in advance of the launch.  It is a trick that works well with products or services that are basically very boring, difficult to understand, poor quality, expensive, or all of the above.

By steadily building up excitement during the prelaunch, the sales team is priming you to jump as soon as the PAY NOW button appears.   They constantly publish the numbers of people joining during prelaunch and strongly suggest that it’s so popular that anyone who jumps in and pays as soon as it launches will be guaranteed to get wealthy.

NOT SO!!

I’ve been involved in sales and networking for 35 years and have never seen someone get rich from taking part in a hyped-up pre-launch.  I HAVE seen a lot of people lose their savings on junk “businesses,” and I HAVE seen a lot of con-artists get indicted. I’ve also seen a lot of people make a lot of money from choosing a really good company and working really hard to make it work.

So, if you’re SERIOUS about building a long term, profitable, paying business, start looking for a real business and do your due diligence. Visit the forums, blogs and websites of people who deal in solid facts and learn from them.  Stay away from all the hype artists that promise you a million dollar income with practically no effort or money.  Take a serious look before you leap! You’ll succeed much faster by slowing down first.  Get your facts straight!

Dave Cottrell is the affiliate manager for Adlandpro.com.  Find out more on http://about.me/davecottrell

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10 comments

  • Pingback: Due Diligence in the 21st Century « Bogdan Fiedur

    • You nailed it, Chuck. If people would take some time to really think about what they are seeing and do a little research, they could save a lot of money and/or wasted effort. There are some really good business opportunities on the internet. One of the best, that offers a virtually endless supply of products and services is the affiliate business. You can be an affiliate of as many companies as you want, although you really need to know your products/services to properly sell them. There is virtually no overhead, other than a computer and internet connection, and there is also no magic bullet for success (although plenty of con artists are trying to sell such useless things). Elbow grease and steady application are still effective ways to build a business, online or off.
      Dave Cottrell recently posted…How to Make Traffic Exchanges Work For YouMy Profile

      Reply
  • I sometimes feel that people will join something because someone has talked them into it using such phrases as “it’s free”, “it cant do you any harm” or “what do you have to lose”, all emotionally packed trigger words and sometimes I think people will join something…just because and then can land in boiling water!
    You really have given some great advise Dave and I really appreciate it.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Diane. Yes, emotional trigger words have been used very successfully by the con artists throughout the history of mankind. Today is no different, although the internet has added to the arsenal with things such as countdown clocks and exit pages that promise and even better deal than the previous page. I wonder how many people click off a page, get hit with a half price deal on the exit page, and actually take the time to ask themselves how valuable the product or service really is that the seller would go to almost any means to make a buck on it.
      Dave Cottrell recently posted…How to Make Traffic Exchanges Work For YouMy Profile

      Reply
  • This is a very very essential article for the newbie in online money making arena. I wish I read this article 3 years back. then I would not waste few of my hard earned online money!!

    Dave has enumerate every thing in this article. What the sites doing, how they are attracting the emotionally liable person and making them fool! He is 100% right that they are (site owners) are very much successful in taking away people’s money by ’emotional blackmail’. And I am personally victims in good number of time. I didn’t searched properly if they are still paying or not. I was really amazed seeing their offer or ‘hope’ they show me. I think, not only me, a good number of newbies are victim.

    I strongly recommend this article for every online marketers to read properly to putting their money on any site.

    Reply
    • Exactly! good point Dave! Waiting for at least 24 hours before taking decision. Taking some times for searching on web, asking some experience marketers about that site before taking decision can really save money.

      Reply
  • Thank you Dave for this great article on “Due Diligence.”

    I would say that it is as important to do your “due diligence” in programs that you find to be of great value as it is to discover those which are not. There are a lot of great programs available to all of us every day. Of course you can not do them all. It is as bad to sign up for every good program that comes along so that you are over loaded and can not possibly do what it takes to be successful at any of them, as it is to focus on one that is full of hype and has no product or service.

    Find a few programs with a good product or service, focus on them, click on every link and every page, to learn as much as you can while taking action that is required to be successful in them. If you find a good program and you do your due diligence you will be successful. Treat it like a business, not a hobby. Make an investment in your business with time and money. Think big! If you can dream it you can achieve it.

    Even the best program is not going to be a walk in the park. It is going to take work and time. It is not going to happen overnight or by itself. Success will come with consistent effort, setting a lot of short term achievable goals, working towards a long term goal of getting to the top. There will be setbacks along the way. You may get knocked down but get back up and move forward.

    Reply
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