This is one of 10 lists on direct sales featured in the Spring 2015 issue of Utah Valley BusinessQ.

Can we be direct? Network marketing is here to stay.

It’s a popular topic around these parts, where downlines are the uptalk. In fact, Utah County has the highest concentration of direct sales companies in the nation, which gives our county a big piece of the $32 billion pie this industry creates in the United States.

Here are five reasons that direct sales companies get a bad rap.

1. Multi-level marketing ≠ Pyramid schemes

“The biggest myth in direct sales pertains to our business model,” says Paul Skowronek, senior VP of public affairs at the DSA. “We need to reinforce that multi-level marketing is not synonymous with pyramid schemes.”

2. Misplaced focus

“There have been companies that rely more on the ‘business opportunity’ than the products or services themselves,” says Rodney Rasmussen, director of marketing communications at Zija.

3. Relationship ruiners

People think you have to sell to friends and family. (You don’t.)

4. Pinky promise

Over-promises of earnings. (Do your homework.)

5. Liar, liar

False product claims. (Once again: homework. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.)

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