We wrote an entire book on ice breakers. We wrote an entire book of great first sentences that connect with prospects. We even wrote a book on how to do our network marketing business in 15 minutes a day.
There are so many ice breakers we can use, so many formulas, and they all work!
But, not every formula will work for us. Why?
We have different backgrounds, different confidence levels, different skill levels and most importantly, we have different comfort levels of which techniques we are willing to do.
How many ice breaker formulas and techniques are there? Hundreds. And they all work for someone.
But … what is the most universal, easiest, safest, and socially acceptable ice breaker?
Okay, this won’t be the most powerful, but anyone can do this secret ice breaker formula from the moment they join. And they will love it.
Let’s explain how this works with a Venn diagram.
Using a Venn diagram helps us choose which techniques to use.
Let's look at ice breakers in our social lives. We can think of all the possible ice breakers as a large circle. Some are easy to do while others are difficult. Some cause us to feel awkward, while others feel natural. We call this circle "What Works."
This circle represents the different ice breaker formulas and techniques that work. Imagine there are 1,000 different ice breaker techniques in this circle. Some are hard to use. Some require great skills. Some are easy. But all can work if we have the skill to do them.
The second circle of our Venn diagram?
This circle represents all the skills we currently have. Yes, if we have more skills, we can use more of the ice breaker formulas and techniques in the first circle.
Now, imagine we are new to network marketing. Our skills are … close to zero. That means we can only use a few of the ice breaker formulas and techniques in the first circle. Yes, our lack of skills limits our choices.
So let’s overlap these two circles. As we see, the “My Skills” circle overlaps only a small portion of the “What Works” circle. This represents what we can use now with our limited skills. Let’s imagine that we now only have ten ice breaker techniques that we can use now.
But … we have one more important limiting factor. This one is the most important!
Our comfort zone.
With the ten ice breaker techniques that we know how to use, maybe nine of those techniques make us uncomfortable. Ouch!
If we are uncomfortable with a technique, we feel unhappy. No one wants a career where we hate what we do. And we will stop!
So when we overlap the “My Comfort Zone” circle, what do we see?
A very, very limited choice of ice breaker formulas and techniques that we will find comfortable to use.
And this explains a lot!
Now we understand what holds us back. If we are uncomfortable, if we don’t feel safe, we won’t use the chosen ice breaker formula or technique.
Reaching outside of our comfort zone sounds great in theory. Unfortunately, this is stressful. Our minds will find excuses to stay where we are.
Picking an authentic technique within our comfort zone means we won’t have to fight our minds every step of the way. Whew! That feels so good.
This isn’t about judging what works. This is about judging what we will enjoy using over and over again in real life.
If we love the ice breaker technique we use, we will love our careers.
And here is an extra benefit. Our comfort zone expands every time we use a technique that feels good.
The “ice breaker” formula anyone can use.
Step #1: Find a benefit that we love about our business. We love talking about our benefits. Finding benefits is easy. They are everywhere! We hear them all the time from our fellow networkers. Let’s make a small list now of business benefits. Of course, we will also create a list of product and service benefits too.
- Work from home.
- Fire the boss.
- More time with the children.
- Two paychecks instead of one paycheck.
- Give ourselves a raise.
- No more commuting.
This is an easy exercise. So many benefits we can list.
Step #2: Ask permission. This is what makes this ice breaker technique comfortable to use. This is the magic in this formula.
Benefit + Permission = Comfortable
Let’s put this formula to use. Here are some examples of announcing a benefit, and then asking permission if our prospects want to know more.
First, let’s establish a good rapport. Give our prospects a chance to talk first. Encourage them to talk about something that added value to their lives or some new development.
Us: “What is new with you?”
Prospect talks and then asks us: “What is new with you?”
We have rapport. We are in conversation. We politely listened to our prospect. And now our prospect asks us, “What is new with you?”
Time for our ice breaker answer. We will answer with:
Step #1 (benefit): “Looks like I can quit my job at the end of the year.”
Step #2 (permission): “Would you like to know how I am going to do it?”
Instant decision from our prospect. Too easy. Too comfortable. And very effective. In a few seconds, our prospect can decide if our benefit is interesting or not.
How about more examples?
Us: “I will get a small raise every month. Would you like to know how that works?”
Us: “I won’t have to commute to work ever again. Would you like to know my secret plan?”
Us: “My neighbor works out of his home full-time now. Would you like to know how he does it?”
Us: “I got a plan so that I will have three-day weekends forever. Would you like to know my plan?”
Us: “I got two Christmas bonuses this year. Would you like to know what happened?”
Us: “My wife now earns more money part-time than her boss does full-time. Would you like to know how she does it?”
Us: “I got a secret plan to escape from this job. Would you like to hear my plan during coffee break?”
Our prospects respond, “Tell me more.” We made this easy for them to say “yes” and to ask more about our benefit.
What happens if our prospects are not interested?
They can change the subject and talk about the weather, sports or shopping. This is what happens in all conversations. We change topics often.
But what about my products or services?
Okay. Let’s do a few examples to get our imaginations working. This is fun!
Us: “I finally lost those last 20 pounds. Would you like to know what made this happen?”
Us: “I now have more energy than a giant pot of coffee. Would you like to know my new secret?”
Us: “My skin is getting younger now, instead of older. Would you like to know how this is possible?”
Us: “I got rid of all the chemicals in my home. Would you like to know what I am using now?”
Us: “My mobile phone bill is now $30 lower a month. Would you like to know what happened?”
Us: “I found out how to get a discount on our electricity bills. Would you like to know what I found out?”
Us: “My sister showed me how to take five-star holidays for budget prices. Would you like to know what she showed me?
Us: “I decided to live a lot longer. Would you like to know my plan?”
Us: “I am sleeping so much better now. Want to know my secret?”
Enough examples for now. Let’s review.
Remember our explanation of what we do in network marketing?
A. We talk to prospects.
B. We give them one more option for their lives.
C. We take “yes” decisions from the volunteers who want what we have to offer.
Now we have a master plan that:
#2: Is within our skills.
#3: And is polite and comfortable.
We only talk further with those prospects who volunteer and say, “Please tell me more. I am interested in this great benefit.”
And now the mystery is solved.
For years, network marketing leaders wondered:
“My team knows exactly what to say. They know exactly what to do. I trained them with the best skills. So why won’t they ‘pull the trigger’ and start prospecting?”
The answer is obvious. The third circle.
If the activity is not within our comfort zone, we won’t do it. The third circle is what makes our business a nightmare, or the most fun activity in the world.
If we have team members who hesitate to take action, our job is to find what works, within their skill set, and to make sure it is within their comfort zone.
But, but, but … one more excuse.
“I don’t know what to say within my comfort zone. My sponsor won’t help me. I am helpless. I don’t know what I don’t know!”
True. It is not our fault if we don’t know what to say.
But it is our fault if we choose not to learn what to say.
If we don’t have a comfortable ice breaker now, where can we learn more options?
- A good mentor.
- Millions of Internet pages.
- Trial and error experience.
- On-the-job training with our sponsor.
- Audio training.
- Seminars and workshops.
- Common sense.
We either commit to learning how to do our business, or we commit to staying stuck where we are. The decision is up to us.
My inactive distributor called me and announced, “I got my first prospect!”
I am thinking, “Great. Finally! It has been almost 6 months since he started.”
So to keep the conversation going, I asked, “So it is a great new prospect, right?”
“Well, it is … a prospect.” His answer created a bit of worry. This wasn’t going to end well based on my experience.
Apparently, it took my inactive distributor 6 full months of interviewing and searching to find the biggest network marketing hater in his city. Groan. The presentation became an argument on arrival. Total failure.
My inactive distributor’s next attempt at prospecting?
He found a prospect who needed two energy drinks and handfuls of amphetamines to have enough energy to roll over on the sofa to look for his remote control. Another failure.
I am thinking, “Be supportive. Be supportive.” But was beginning to have my doubts about my distributor.
But I shouldn’t criticize my distributor. After all, who sponsored him? Me. I should take some responsibility here. So, I continued with meeting with the occasional appointment-from-hell prospect he would find.
The bad news. My inactive distributor eventually went silent. No return phone calls. No attempted contact was acknowledged. Yes, people change their minds and quit our business. Happens.
The good news? One of my distributor’s unqualified prospects did point me to someone who did join. So this was like a 3rd generation contact. But this person engaged and built her team.
What did I learn from this experience?
“The value in talking with all prospects, good and bad. It isn’t only the people we talk to, but that each prospect gives us a window into the people they know also.”
There is an old saying, “Many leaders are sponsored by people who aren’t leaders.”
We don’t know where our next prospect will take us.
To us, the unmotivated masses, exhaustion happens a lot. It is part of our daily lives.
Reading the definition of exhaustion feels exhausting:
- a state of extreme physical or mental fatigue.
- the action or state of using something up or of being used up completely.
Feeling tired and unmotivated yet? If not, we can re-read the definition again.
This definition is accurate. Exhaustion means it will be hard for us to be that motivated, caffeinated superstar we dream of. Reality can disappoint us. That is life.
What can we do so we don’t waste this “down time” in our lives? Let’s make a quick list.
- Tell ourselves to meditate. This no effort activity fits our no-energy present state of mind. It takes no effort to close our eyes and zone out. Plus, we can tell ourselves we are doing something constructive. Meditation helps our minds reorganize, clear a lot of random mental trash, and refreshes us when we finish. Difficult mental tasks are easier if we meditate first.
- Learn something new that is helpful and interesting. This tells our brain we are making forward progress. This could be a skill that we need for the future. And interesting? This takes our minds off of our current exhaustion. We can watch an entertaining instructional video instead of wasting our time.
- Check out our environment. Are we exhausted because of where we are? Who are we with? The mind-numbing task we are doing now? Then, a change of scenery is in order. For example, we visit our local donut shop. As we chow down a dozen high sugar donuts, we listen to the locals complain about life. We may feel too exhausted to walk home or even to our car. Environments make a difference.
- We can tell our minds this is “recharge time.” When we finish resting, we expect our minds to push us forward. Yes, we can influence our minds by giving them expectations. Another way is to yell “break time” so we don’t feel guilty about taking time off for our current condition.
- Check our “fear of failure” programs. Maybe we don’t have exhaustion. Instead, our mind fears failing in our task. In that case, let’s remember to move our goal from the end of the task. Our new goal will be what we want to accomplish in the first 60 seconds of our task.
- Remind ourselves that even the best genius minds have to rest. We are in good company. This could be our prompt to prevent our brains from overheating. And who knows? The universe could secretly be protecting us from a treadmill accident.
- What about physical movement? Dancing? Hey, we are exhausted, remember? Yes, when we move and get in motion, motivation is easier. But for now, we are trying to deal with our “stuck in place” self who doesn’t want to move. We can attempt movement by telling ourselves, “Now is a great time to go to the refrigerator for some snacks.” This isn’t the optimal solution, but at least we do have movement.
- Are we craving an electronic pacifier? Has our Internet connection created an addiction program in our minds? If so, we can tell ourselves, “I won’t go on the Internet. I can only rest.” Within a few minutes our boredom will motivate us to do something more productive.
- Think “opposite” like Charlie Munger, the famous stock investor. He calls his tool, the inversion process. Ask ourselves how to get the opposite result. For example, “What can I do to make me even less motivated?” Then we avoid those things.
- Be daring? 440 volt coffee? Espresso inhalers? Intravenous energy drinks? 100-decibel heavy metal music? Insult our mother-in-law? Use these short-term techniques at our own risk.
This list is a good launch for our motivation when exhaustion is our enemy.
– Taken from the book, “How To Get Motivated in 60 Seconds.”
… And one of them is completely free!
How many Spanish-translated books? A total of 28 books so far. More to come!
Great for our Spanish-speaking teams.
Here is the link to all of the books:
Eric Bailey just released his new book, Master of Persuasion: How to Dramatically Increase Sales, Get People to Say Yes, and Be a Positive Influence in the Lives of Others.
So if you need some new reading material over the holidays, it is available on Amazon now. More ideas that we can use to influence others, close sales, and transfer our good intention to others. A great way to reduce resistance and objections from others.
In paperback and in Kindle on Amazon.
Finally, our brand new prospect joins. Yeah!
Now, how much do our new team members know about their new business? Well, here are just a few things our new team members don’t know:
- What to do first.
- The three most important questions.
- What to do after the first failure.
- How to explain the compensation plan.
- The best time to approach prospects.
- The first words to say to initiate action.
- How to turn off fear and rejection.
- How to handle tough questions.
- Which steps to take before starting.
And the list goes on and on.
Okay, our brand-new team members are clueless.
Thankfully, we have some answers as the sponsor.
But what should we teach our new team members first? Do we have a clue? Well, uh … uh … uh …
How much should we teach so we don’t create cognitive overload? Well, uh … uh … uh …
My first experiences.
They were all bad. I sponsored people, didn’t even know the three most important questions (clueless), watched my team members fail and disappear. Then, I would rinse and repeat.
Yes, I sponsored new people to replace the people I ruined. I definitely was not a smart sponsor.
This is hard work. We prospect, present, close, and more to get someone started, only to ruin them quickly. It took me time to notice this dysfunctional pattern.
There is an old saying in Texas that goes like this:
“If you are putting people on the front of the wagon as fast as they are falling off the back of the wagon, that ain’t smart.”
One set of skills we learn as professional network marketers is how to be a great sponsor. Yes, we can influence how well our new team members start. We can give them the exact tools they need to handle the challenges ahead.
This isn’t rocket science. We can learn these skills. And we don’t have to pay a fortune.
To make this easier, Keith and I put the best smart sponsor skills in the latest “Big Al” book.
Learn how to be a smart sponsor in 90 minutes while reading this inexpensive book over a cup or two of coffee.
What Smart Sponsors Do: Supercharge Our Network Marketing Team
Enjoy the preview below!