Q. What is the best way to master our network marketing skills?
A. To teach these skills.
Remember the incompetent physics class substitute teacher from high school? The one who studied ancient Greek literature in college?
"Here is how the theory of relativity works. There is some energy, some mass, and we mix it with a dash of the speed of light and then ... some magic happens."
We didn't learn anything that day. Our substitute teacher was clueless.
Now, if a substitute teacher didn't know how to teach physics, there is a good chance we learned nothing. We can't teach what we don't know.
The network marketing motivational speakers scream, “Duplicate! It is all about duplication!”
But if we duplicate garbage, and pass on skills that don't work, then we won’t get to the top 1% of network marketing.
When we prepare ourselves to teach, we will improve.
Here are seven reasons why teaching our network marketing skills will make us better.
Reason #1. When we have to explain a skill, we must understand it.
Teaching forces us to be clear. No one has the time to listen to us ramble and not get to the point. Our listeners can identify vague incompetencies, fluff, and filler words. If we don't know or understand what we are doing, teaching exposes our weaknesses. Our students' reactions? A cringing face, or a blank stare into space. Some will start playing games on their cell phones.
These reactions are clues that we are faking it. People react to half-hearted explanations and feel that we don't care, that we didn't respect them enough to prepare a decent explanation.
We have to study and prepare for our lessons? Yes. We can't fake skill.
Reason #2. Teaching helps us break down a skill into easier-to-understand parts.
Skills seem complicated to new people. When we explain a skill, we need to break it down into smaller pieces. For example, imagine we want to teach the skill of creating rapport with prospects.
Where would we start? Why do we have multiple steps? Could we give options for different ways? Do we start with a general explanation and then break down each component? Let's try this for an example outline of how we will teach the skill of rapport.
When we break the skill down into tiny steps, this means we understand it. We won't sound like that clueless substitute physics teacher.
A good exercise is to try to teach this skill to a 7-year-old. A great challenge.
Reason #3. Teaching forces us to organize our thoughts into a logical order.
There is nothing more frustrating for our listeners than a stream of consciousness, crazy, random explanation that leads to nowhere. Listeners won't have patience with us when they realize we didn’t prepare.
In the previous example for the rapport skill, the ten-step outline kept us on track. We helped our listeners learn in bite-sized steps. A well-organized presentation makes us sound credible so others will take our teaching seriously. We want our listeners to believe what we say, and then put it into action.
Breaking in a skill down into bite-sized pieces forces us to have a deeper understanding of every step of the process. This gives us confidence when we use the skill ourselves.
What happens when we are not organized and fake our understanding of a skill? We make up random advice on the rapport skill such as:
- Just be yourself.
- Have personality.
- It is all about your intention.
- Be sincere.
That sounds good, but isn't helpful for someone new. Vague and disorganized advice is a waste of time.
Reason #4. Teaching helps us understand and learn more about our skill.
Teaching points out the information gaps we have. Try explaining something we don't know to listeners. It gets obvious fast that we are missing important steps. We know the feeling. We are explaining and then, “Uh-oh.” An uncomfortable long pause. That is the moment we know we are at loss for what to say next. This embarrassment motivates us to learn the missing gaps in our information about this skill.
Good teachers master their material backward and forwards. If we can't explain the basics of a basic skill, how will we get others to do it?
For example, we are teaching the skill of rapport. We say, “Here are the reasons our prospects don't trust us or believe us.” Brain freeze. Panic. Embarrassment. Whoops. Information gap. We don't know what to say next.
To prevent future embarrassment, we research deeper into our skill and learn everything we can. Our expertise not only makes us feel confident, but also gives our listeners confidence in us. They want to follow the advice of leaders who knows what they are talking about.
The more we teach the skill, the more information gaps we will notice. We need to be able to answer every objection and counter every argument.
Reason #5. Teaching helps us learn from our listeners' feedback.
Do our listeners take notes and politely fade away? Hmmm, this means we are not effective. A bad sign.
Do our listeners feel confused and ask a lot of questions? This shows us where we are unclear and we need to focus more.
Do our listeners ask us questions that we never thought about? Oh, this is good. We might only have understood the skill from our viewpoint. We have different backgrounds and skill set than our listeners. This again helps us expand our knowledge and mastery of this skill. Getting this immediate feedback is invaluable.
Even criticism helps us. Challenging what we know helps us understand deeper. How do we feel when our listeners disagree with one of our key points? Do we defend our position, or do we consider this a learning opportunity? We should ask ourselves, “What did I say to trigger this reaction?”
Teaching can be a giant mastermind where we learn from many different viewpoints and backgrounds. Our best learning moments can come from being challenged. This causes us to rethink and re-evaluate what we thought was true.
Reason #6. Teaching solidifies our skills through the power of repetition.
Repetition is a great way to learn. But, we want to make sure that we are repeating the right things. That is why in Step #4, we learned the skills that actually work. To continue perfecting the wrong mistake is not making progress.
For example, what if this was my closing statement? “Any idiot can see this is a great opportunity. Do you have a problem with that?”
This closing statement would be a mistake. If I practice and repeat this closing statement over and over, this means I memorized the wrong thing. We want to make sure that we practice the power of repetition on skills that work.
Here is why we should love repetition. We don't have to think about what comes next. Instead, we can put our focus on how our prospect reacts. We can be focused listeners when our prospect talks, instead of worrying what are the next words in our presentation.
This is why the pros appear calmer and more confident when talking to prospects. They have muscle memory. So many of their high-level skills are automatic. They don't have to waste precious brain resources on remembering what comes next.
Repetition can help solidify a mental checklist so that we don't leave something out.
Bottom line? The repetition of the skills through teaching takes us to a higher level.
Reason #7. Teaching will help build our team members into leaders.
When our team members start with us, how many solid network marketing skills will they have? Few, if any.
Where will they learn the skills? From us.
Our job is to turn ordinary team members into leaders. That is the fastest way to get to the top 1%. The good news is that we don't have to do this alone. Our team will be a reflection of our growing professionalism and skills. The faster we grow, the faster they will grow too.
Want to get the ultimate leverage? We will want to teach teachers, who teach other teachers, who teach other teachers, to multiply our effect in our business.
The math is simple. We grow faster with the help of others.
<This hasn’t changed in 10 years!>
- I’ve learned that you cannot make prospects join your opportunity. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
- I’ve learned that your family and friends will always be with you … if you win the lottery.
- I’ve learned that some of my opportunity meetings were a complete success, but my audiences were failures.
- I’ve learned that you should not laugh when your wife pulls a hamstring muscle while doing aerobics – especially if you’re fat and can’t run very fast.
- I’ve learned you should always treat rejection with a smile. You may need to borrow money from your prospects later.
- I’ve learned that getting my worthless sponsor to return my phone calls is like nailing Jell-O to the wall.
- I’ve learned that while wrinkles may look bad, they don’t hurt.
- I’ve learned that my worthless sponsor doesn’t suffer from stress — he is only a carrier.
- I’ve learned that there is no difference in the feeling between car sickness and the feeling when credit card bills are due.
- I’ve learned that no one has yet made a color chart so engineers would know how to dress.
- I’ve learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
- I’ve learned that there is a difference between a lady’s ten pairs of “identical” black shoes.
- I’ve learned that most distributors will simply “try harder” … instead of “learning something new.”
It was just another day at the coffee shop. I was taste-testing a new box of donuts when I noticed one of the customers walking toward me. He had that fake smile plastered on his face, and I could smell his salesman’s breath. You know, sometimes we just get a feeling that the person is all about his agenda, and we are about to be sold to. And, that fake smile really put me off. I wondered why he was sweating so much.
“Hi! My name is Tim. What’s yours?” He looked nervous and continued, “Do you keep your income options open?”
Suddenly, I felt like I needed to take a bathroom break. My stomach churned. I tried to think of an excuse to leave, but he kept talking.
“I have this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity for you. I only have openings for five leaders in this area.”
I couldn’t resist, so I said, “Only five? Why only five? Is this some type of quota or law I don’t know about? Explain this to me!”
The salesman looked shocked. Maybe no one had ever stayed after his stupid opening sentences. He said, “No, no. It’s just that this is a pyramid scheme and there can only be five leaders at the top. No more. It is the law of physics you know.”
“So, how many people have you signed up so far?”
“Uh, none. They all run away after I start talking.”
I smiled and said, “Do you sense a trend? Pick up any hints? Do you notice anything that is happening again and again?”
The salesman scratched his head. “No. No idea why everyone runs away … immediately after I start talking. I guess everyone is dumb. This is really an awesome opportunity.”
And … I just gave up. Told the salesman I had to get back to my box of donuts before they went stale. It was sad.
Yes, I could have recommended the book, “First Sentences for Network Marketing.” But, the salesman wasn’t in the right frame of mind for change. It was easier for this salesman to blame the prospects.
Here is the conflict in life. In order for life to get better, we have to change. We can’t expect things to get better if we keep doing what isn’t getting us results. But … humans hate change.
Let’s not expect to improve if we resist changing what isn’t giving us results now.
And if you need better first sentences, read this book: https://bigalbooks.com/book/firstsentences/
While on the Norwegian Star cruise ship, I sat across the table from a very, very old man. He told me his life story in about one minute. This is what he said:
“I moved to California in 1939 and started a bank with a couple of friends. California grew, so our bank grew along with it. Eventually, we became the fourth-largest bank in California. A big bank bought us and we made millions of dollars on the sale.
“And young man, here is what I learned. That one good investment is worth a lifetime of labor.”
And then I thought, “And if we don’t have a good investment, then we are sentenced to a lifetime of labor!”
We all know someone who bought an inexpensive house on the coast and 30 years later sold it for a million dollars. Or, we know about someone who invested in Apple stock 20 years ago.
There are plenty of case studies of individuals who made one investment, and that investment earned them more money than they ever earned at their jobs.
Everyone wants to have a great investment, but here are the excuses I hear:
* “I don’t have any money to invest in stocks.”
* “I am afraid of taking the money out of our savings account as I might lose my investment.”
* “Real estate is too expensive now. I can’t afford to buy property.”
* “I don’t know what investment to make. I have never done this before and I am afraid of taking a risk.”
Well, these excuses work. People don’t even try to get one good investment.
But we can change that. With network marketing, all people really have to invest is time into their businesses. And if they are serious, they can afford to invest a little time.
That means little or no financial risk.
Now there are no excuses for not having an investment that could pay off big.
Just think of this. Maybe your distributors complain that they just haven’t made any money yet. That could be true. But, there is a chance that they may find one good person who will earn them $1,000 a month, every month for the rest of their lives.
Now, that’s a great investment, right?
Try to use this principle to keep your distributors “in the game.” After all, if they quit, there is no chance that their investment will ever pay off.
And what if your new distributor was shy? Could your new distributor tell this “cruise story” once a day? The story only takes a minute, and it is only a story. No rejection.
Your new distributor could say, “Want to hear a quick story about what happened on a cruise ship?”
Most prospects would say, “Yes.”
Now, if your new distributor invested one minute a day telling this story (it could be done on coffee break), and did this for one month, 30 prospects would have heard that story.
Out of 30 prospects, some might say, “Hey, you’re right. I need a good investment.” Let’s say only 10% said that. That would mean sponsoring three new distributors a month, just with this story.
And the 27 people who heard the story and just didn’t see how it would change their life? Maybe they were having a “bad coffee day.” They would say, “Nice story.” And life would go on.
Three new distributors are sponsored a month. One little story. Is that better than what your distributors are doing now?
This is taken from the book: “How To Prospect, Sell and Build Your Network Marketing Business With Stories”
In the early 1970s, personal development was in its infancy. A couple of networking friends and I heard the term, mastermind. So, we got together once a week at a restaurant and “masterminded” for two hours. We read books by Joseph Murphy, learned how to control our mindset, and how to be positive. We talked about the high-level skills of our subconscious minds.
Yeah, we were a bunch of losers that got together to talk about success principles. And what happened? We felt so much better about being losers.
We talked, talked, and talked. But when we left our weekly mastermind, our prospects didn’t care about what was in our minds. They cared about themselves. We were pathetic. We couldn’t sponsor new people. We didn’t have the skills to talk to prospects.
You might be thinking, “Then why didn’t you study sponsoring skills instead of subconscious mind philosophy in your mastermind?”
We never thought of that. We just chanted affirmations louder in the morning. Then, we would come back at the end of the week and report how much better we felt about our lack of results.
The lesson I learned?
Most mindset development is for us, for our own internal use. Our prospects don’t care about our goals, affirmations, or the color of our vision board.
What will our prospects care about more?
They want a clear message, a great offer, and to make sure it is all about them. And of course, they want us to do that fast. They don’t have time to waste on us.
We should always ask ourselves this question, “How can I communicate my message better to my prospects?”
At the beginning of our careers, we will talk to anyone (drool, drool). Not a bad plan. We need practice.
Later on, when we have more experience, we look for prospects who are further along in their self-development and direction in life. We have limited time.
So what kind of person are we looking for? Here is an example.
Imagine that we will talk to 10 people today. These people could be coworkers, the clerk at the coffee shop, or a relative. We ask the person, “What book are you reading now?”
Our prospect answers, “I don’t read books. I just scan Facebook posts and videos. I have some cool cat videos I saved, plus a couple of cool political memes.”
Is this the person we want to make a connection with for our business?
Here is how I found my very first leader. I got drafted on jury duty. Two weeks sitting around in total boredom with 200 others. At one end of the room, I saw a man reading a book by Dale Carnegie called, “How to win friends and influence people.” I started a conversation with him.
He wanted a better life. I offered an opportunity for a better life. And we grew together.
When we know what we are looking for, it is easier to see it.
I wasn’t very skilled at this time. But my prospect was 90% there before I said my first word.
So if we don’t have good people skills yet, at least look for people who are further along in their self-development journey. People who read books, go to seminars, and work on themselves. These people will be easier to sponsor and they will grow faster. They are also more likely to have a positive attitude, which is infectious.
We have choices.
- Keep pretending there are no people to talk to
- Avoid learning what to say.
- Start getting better at both of these things now.
My biased opinion on the best book to help us meet new people?
And if not this book, pick another book from your local library. But … at least get started.