Preparation pays off in business. It pays to have a system that gets you ready for any situation.
Business presentations go nowhere if they don’t show people the wisdom of the opportunity. And numerous casual conversations contain some degree of convincing the other person to see your point of view.
Jason Nazar, the CEO of Docstoc, wrote a powerful article on the Forbes website called “The 21 Principles of Persuasion.” The piece is well worth the read, but several of his points are especially relevant to network marketing.
Persuasion is not Manipulation – Manipulation is coercion through force to get someone to do something that is not in their own interest. Persuasion is the art of getting people to do things that are in their own best interest that also benefit you.
Network marketers sometimes think that they need to almost trick people into joining their company. People who are manipulated into signing up will never be valuable to your business. You want people who see your opportunity for the value it gives them.
Persistence Pays – The person who is willing to keep asking for what they want, and keeps demonstrating value, is ultimately the most persuasive. The way that so many historical figures have ultimately persuaded masses of people is by staying persistent in their endeavors and message.
Many network marketers give up on prospects at the first hint of rejection. If someone isn’t interested now, keep in mind that a year from now, or perhaps even a month from now, they could be looking for just the opportunity that you’re offering. Don’t bug people, but don’t bail on them either.
Images Matter – What we see is more potent that what we hear. It may be why pharma companies are now so forthcoming with the potentially horrible side effects of their drugs, when set to a background of folks enjoying a sunset in Hawaii. Perfect your first impressions. And master the ability to paint an image for others, in their minds eye, of a future experience you can provide for them.
Tom “Big Al” Schreiter, one of the top MLM trainers in the profession, stresses the importance of telling stories in presentations. This allows the person hearing the story to form an image in their mind’s eye.
One of my favorite stories from Big Al asks the prospect to take his next paycheck, hold it up and ask himself, “Is this really all I’m worth?” The person will immediately imagine his paycheck and the dollar figure on it.
Confidence and Certainty – There is no quality as compelling, intoxicating and attractive as certainty. It is the person who has an unbridled sense of certainty that will always be able to persuade others. If you really believe in what you do, you will always be able to persuade others to do what’s right for them, while getting what you want in return.
This is the downfall of many unsuccessful networkers. For whatever reason, they are hesitant to share their business with other people. Perhaps they have friends who hold them down. Or maybe something in their past is keeping them from having the confidence they need.
No matter what it is, the reason is certainly bogus. The thing that is holding you back is you. The great news is that you can change that anytime you want.
Persuade yourself that you will be successful. You’ll be well on your way to persuading others.
One of my mentors recently summed up the network marketing profession this way: “We get paid to talk to people.”
1. Find people to talk to.
2. Talk to them.
Keep in mind, of course, that simple does not necessarily mean easy. Talking to people is easier for some people than others. But the great thing is anybody can do it, and everybody can learn to do it better.
So where do you find people to talk to? You have two choices: people you know and people you don’t know.
Many new network marketing professionals eagerly talk to everyone they know. Most quickly discover, however, that a good number of their friends and family don’t want to hear about their “business opportunity.”
Many find that people they know even actively discourage involvement. They have either had a bad experience or just have a negative view of anything new.
This has led me to generally advise people who are new to MLM to avoid talking to people they know. I have adjusted that belief for a couple of reasons.
First, network marketers should be proud of what they do. They are building businesses that can change their lives.
The MLM business model is the best opportunity for nearly everyone in the working world to get ahead in life. We should proudly offer it to anyone who wants to move forward.
Second, people generally join people they know, like and trust. It’s easier to convince someone who already knows, likes and trusts you to look at your business than it is to get someone who will look at your business to know, like and trust you.
Third, you want to be in business with people you like. You already like your friends (or at least you should), so why not ask them to become your business partners.
Of course, you also should talk to other people. Any conversation about your business will, at the very least, help you become better at talking to people about your opportunity.
So, what do you say to people once you find them? Simple, tell them a story. Don’t vomit statistics and facts about your product or service on them. Just tell them about a great experience that you or someone you know has had.
Here’s a example of what I say to people.
“My brother weighed more than 335 pounds. He was miserably overweight to the point that he couldn’t even play with his four-year-old son. He found a system that helped him lose more than 20 pounds in less than a month and he’s still losing. He told me he feels better than he’s felt in years.
“Now he wants to help other people have that same feeling. Do you know anyone who wants to lose some fat or have more energy?”
Then, I listen to their response and go from there. Nearly everyone knows someone in that situation. Many say, “Me.”
Every conversation doesn’t go perfectly, but that’s OK. Every time I talk to someone, I’ve done my job.
So that’s my simple, two-step recruiting system. Find people. Talk to them.
One of my mentors in network marketing, Tom “Big Al” Shreiter, taught me that the network marketing professional’s job is to help people make a decision.
Once you understand that it’s OK if the decision is no, that takes a lot of the pressure off during your presentation. After all, network marketing isn’t for everyone. If so, everyone would be doing it, right?
My friend, John Milton Fogg, shared a video on Facebook that shows a great way to help folk make a decision. The video Eric Worre is a seven-minute seminar on “Closing in MLM.” I’m not crazy about the term “closing” because it makes me think of high pressure closing tactics, but Eric’s strategy is low-key.
One of the things I like about this approach is its emphasis on asking questions. The first question, which asks the person to rate their interest on a scale of 1 to 10, is a straightforward way to find out where the conversation stands.
The next three questions simply identify how much money the person wants or needs to make each month, how much time the person is willing to commit each week, and how many months he or she would be willing to spend to make it happen.
The final question asks the person if he or she is ready to go forward if you can show them how to make that happen.
These questions might not be right for you. Perhaps you’d prefer to find out why the person wants or needs money. Then you could connect your business opportunity to their dreams.
But whatever questions you ask, the important thing is to ask questions. When you ask relevant questions, you’ll find out about the person to whom you are talking.
And don’t just ask questions because it will help you “close” people. That is not a strategy for long-term success.
After you ask a question, listen intently to the answer. Ask another question based on that answer. Learn about the person.
The process is simple. Find out what the person wants, and show them how you can help them get it.
It might turn out that you can’t help them get what they want. If so, let them know. They might be looking for something other than what you are offering. If so, you’ve helped them make a decision. That’s your job.
One evening last weekend, my daughter wanted me to go jogging along the beach with her. I had taken a long walk with my wife and son that morning, but I was still up for a nice relaxing run.
Unfortunately, a storm came up before we started. So we decided to jog the next morning instead.
Bright and early, we headed out on the sand. It was beautiful.
We had barely got started when I told my daughter we should go till we were even with the next beach house and turn around. I thought she knew I was joking.
A couple of minutes later, she said we could run about three more houses down and turn around. I knew she hadn’t been feeling very well, so I figured she wasn’t up for much of a run that morning.
I said, “OK,” and a couple of minutes later we turned around to head back.
Later, back in the room, she said something about not running very far. I said that we could have run further.
Eventually, I figured out that she thought I was serious about stopping shortly after we started.
It made me realize the value of clear communication. I should have let her know I was joking. I didn’t. As a result and pleasant Sunday morning run along the beach was cut short.
Communication is key in business and in life.
In business, relationships are vital. Miscommunication or too little communication can make it difficult to make those connections.
Here’s a few tips to help you communicate:
• Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. If your business partner makes a statement that you don’t understand, see if he or she will explain it further.
• Listen attentively. When the other person is talking, pay attention to what they’re saying. Don’t make the mistake of thinking about what you’re going to say next while they’re still talking.
• Talk it out. When a disagreement arises, discuss it until you agree or at least reach a point satisfactory to you both.
• Notice more than just words. Some people will say they’re OK with something when they really aren’t. They’re body language will let you know they’re true feelings. Better to talk about their issues sooner than later.
• Be flexible. Realize things won’t always go your way. Knowing that up front will improve your communication and your relationships.
The other day, I was listening to a college football game while I was driving home. One of the announcers pointed out that the statistics were pretty even, but one team was winning because its players had made athletic plays at the right times.
It occurred to me that the same idea applies to business in general and network marketing in particular. Many people work hard at MLM, but never seem to get ahead. They’re as busy as people who have success, but their results don’t match up.
There may be other reasons for this, but often it’s because the people who aren’t successful don’t have the needed skills. They do a lot of things, but they’re either not doing the right things or they’re not doing the right things well.
That’s why it’s important to learn the right skills in network marketing and keep practicing them until we become good at them. The good news is that the skills are easy to learn and we can practice them whenever we want.