I’ve done workshops in a lot of cold places.
Workshops in Scandinavia, the UK, Canada, etc … and you know what? In a lot of those workshops, 200-400 distributors came to learn, despite the winter conditions.
But at the same time, other distributors stayed at home because of the “weather.” Too cold, too dark, it might snow … and the excuses go on and on.
The distributors who came to the workshops, and the distributors who didn’t come to the workshops … both had the same weather. And that is the first real lesson I learned in network marketing over 40 years ago.
The circumstances are the same for everyone. We just choose how we are going to react to those circumstances.
Maybe I should have titled this blog, “Clueless new distributors and the decisions they make.” That might have been more accurate.
You see, most of us network marketing leaders work hard, really hard, trying to get our new distributors to “see what we see.” We know that once they have our vision, nothing will stand in their way. There is only one problem.
The typical new distributor or prospect thinks totally different than a network marketing leader. Why? Because network marketing leaders have been exposed to new ideas, new proof, and new standards and principles for living. Want proof?
Your new distributor joins with enthusiasm. The next day he opens his distributor kit, organizes the materials, and sets a date in his new organizer to read what’s in his kit. One week later after reviewing his kit, he decides that the brochures aren’t aggressive enough for proper marketing. Over the next few weeks your new distributor re-writes, re-formats, and micro-designs some new brochures. Once that task is accomplished, he stops.
That’s right. He stops. He has invested weeks of time, money, and energy in his business and will now wait to see if this investment will pay off.
Your new distributor lectures you on how to develop better prospecting materials. To prove his point, he designs the “killer” prospecting postcard in two colors. It looks great. After mailing out 500 postcards, two people join his business. Why? Because they were impressed by his “killer” two-color postcard.
What happens to his new recruits when they receive a “killer” three-color postcard in the mail? They jump to that program because the prospecting materials are even more professional. And they jump to the four-color postcard program, and to the four-color postcard plus letter program, and to the four-color postcard plus letter plus audio CD program …
I could give more examples, but I think we see the point. Distributors think differently … and that’s why they are still distributors … and not leaders.
So, who do we blame? Do we blame the distributor? Do we say to him:
“You don’t know what you need to know to be a leader. Figure it out quick!”
Sounds a bit presumptuous on our part, doesn’t it?
Well, if we can’t blame the new distributor for not knowing what to know, who is left in this relationship?
It is our responsibility as leaders to teach our distributors what they don’t know. We must teach them the principles of leadership. We must teach them what to think and how to think as a leader. There is no other way to get there.
We must teach our new distributors:
* To handle problems.
* How to position themselves when talking to prospects.
* How to focus their time on developing leaders instead of maintaining distributors.
* How to influence distributors.
* How to change distributors’ beliefs.
* How to understand the relationship between skills and motivation.
* How to create motivation.
* The three reasons prospects join, etc.
There is so much to teach, and so little time to master all these skills.
I often ask networkers the following question: “When you visit with your new distributors, what skills do you concentrate on teaching them?”
The usual answer is, “Huh?”
Scary, isn’t it? We have a whole bunch of networkers out there who don’t have a clue about what they should be teaching their new distributors so that they develop into leaders.
Personally, when I’m visiting with a distributor, I try to pass along insights on at least one of the 25 skills that I want to teach them. I know that first:
1. They’ll learn the skill intellectually.
2. Then they’ll see it in use in their own experience.
3. Later, they will understand the skill.
4. And finally, they will start using the skill automatically in their lives.
This takes time.
That’s why when people ask me which 25 skills I teach, I say, “It doesn’t matter.” Listing or even knowing the skills intellectually is useless. It takes time to assimilate and thoroughly understand how to use the skills.
For example, at most of my workshops, I spend almost the entire three hours on just one skill. And the attendees really “don’t get it” until a week or so after they leave. Sure they know the skill, but only after they have verified it through their own observation and experience will it become useful.
What do I recommend to these would-be leaders asking for advice on what to teach?
I recommend that they write down all the problems they encounter with their distributors. Then, create some skills, some ways of thinking, that would counteract these problems. And that’s what they should teach their distributors.
So I wonder, how do some networkers build leaders?
Well, when they visit with their distributors, they just … visit.
Ask great questions and then wait for your prospects to really think about the consequences.
Don’t break the silence. Allow your prospects to develop their own internal motivation from these questions. Here are a few good questions to ask your network marketing prospects:
There are four different personality types:
Each personality type sees the world differently. That means we have to talk to each of the personality types differently.
You are one personality type. It is easy for you to talk to others who have the same personality type, but you instantly ruin the prospects who aren’t like you.
Here is the payoff. If you can learn how to talk to the other three personality types, you would sell or enroll four times as many people! So this skill is worth learning.
If you want to learn more about the four color personalities, check out the book or audio here:
“I’m trying this business. Hope I will do well. Do you want to join?”
Okay, that’s not exactly what we say, but that may be what our prospect hears.
Most prospects are followers. They don’t want to follow someone who is not committed to getting to their destination. They don’t want to waste their time following someone who is going to turn back.
We must assure our prospect that we will do whatever it takes to get to our destination. That will make the decision to follow us easier for our prospect.
“There are two types of people in the world. Those that are open-minded and looking for opportunity, and those that are closed-minded and willing to accept whatever their boss will give them.”
This statement will help open up your prospect’s mind, so your prospect can lean forward, and look for reasons why your opportunity will work for him.
During a conference training call, I only had 30 minutes to talk, just enough time to irritate the listeners by telling them that their presentations were useless.
They protested by saying their prospects were different. Their prospects would make the final decision to join their business based upon … (and this is funny) … FACTS!
So I challenged them about some of the killer facts they had about their business. Here are some of the facts and my comments:
* “We are the 17th largest MLM company in the world.” – Gee, if size mattered, why wouldn’t the prospect join one of the 16 companies larger than you?
* “We are the 37th fastest growing company in the INC 500 list.” – Wow. Why should I take a slow grower like you when I could pick an even faster grower? I’ve got 36 better candidates to choose from.
* “Our product is patented.” – Let’s see. About a few million other products are patented, too. And most patents require an investment of a couple hundred dollars to get the paperwork. Not too impressive.
* “We pay out a full 50% in our compensation plan.” – Well, if I should make a decision based upon percentage payout of a compensation plan, then maybe I should join one of the hundreds of programs that pay out more than 50%.
* “We are a 17-year-old debt-free company.” – If length of time was the decision factor, shouldn’t I join a company that is older than yours? And wouldn’t debt-free mean that your accounting department didn’t know how to use leverage to lower its costs? Ouch.
* “Our chief scientist taught at a prestigious medical school.” – This sounds more like, “My scientist can beat up your scientist.” So should I join a company who has a better scientist who got some cool awards, or maybe a Nobel Prize?
* “Our management team has 84 years of combined networking experience.” – Well, I have 60 years of dieting experience, and that doesn’t make me thin. So are you telling me that I should join a different company who has a management team with more than 84 years’ networking experience?
* “Our secret ingredient has more antioxidants than their secret ingredient.” – So if I join your company, and I find another company that has 2 more units of antioxidants, then I will have to quit your company and join them?
Okay, starting to see a pattern yet? I’m sure you get the point. It is not the facts in our presentation that affect our prospects’ decisions.
Stop using presentations to get prospects to make decisions. Instead, learn the skills of how to close and how to do our business instead of living in some fantasy world where we think that facts make a difference.
As a wise man once said, “Figure it out.”
So how mean can your relatives be? Mean. Real mean.
And depressing, negative, and small-minded.
That’s why my friend, Bob, joined network marketing. He was tired of socializing with relatives and friends who discussed and reviewed every negative story on their 24-hour news channel.
Bob wanted a new group of people to associate with. He looked for positive people who were moving ahead in their lives. Hey, if you have to live, why not live with positive and friendly people?
“I turned 18 and decided that I had learned enough.”
Sound like some of your friends?
Let me tell you about one of my friends, Alisa. She is different. For her, network marketing is all about self-development. Alisa spent 18 years of schooling memorizing facts and never once learned about the power and satisfaction of self-improvement. Now she starts every morning with 15 minutes of positive reading and her days are filled with positive experiences that she creates.
So many networkers have improved and changed their personal lives with the power of self-improvement. They read books, listen to CDs, and attend workshops while their high school classmates watch reruns of the television show, Friends. Guess who is getting more out of life?
“But my boss is a jerk, I am underpaid, my daycare ignores my children, and I hate the traffic going back and forth to work.”
I bet you have a friend or two who repeats this complaint every day. For them, network marketing provides enough income to stay at home with the children, and create a real family life.
You don’t have to earn a lot of money in network marketing to drastically change your life. So why don’t more people use network marketing to replace their jobs and create the lives they want? Well, they just don’t know. All of their network marketing friends are keeping it “top secret.” Hmmm, there is a lesson there for us.
“Okay, I’ve got the house, the car, the boat, the vacations, the lifestyle …”
Yes, some people take their network marketing business to the top level. That’s okay, too. I do know that when you earn more, you can give more. That should be a good enough reason for people to earn more than they can spend.
And network marketing provides that income and freedom for many people. That’s what makes network marketing attractive to people who desperately want to make a big change in their lives.
So what is right with network marketing?
We provide choices and opportunities for people. They can pick and choose what they want out of network marketing.
Remember this: “It’s not all about the money.”
Yes, the money is fine, and you can buy some happiness with money.
But life is wonderful if you enjoy what you are doing.
It is easier to make the sale, and a more expensive sale, if you can position what you are selling.
Do you sell just vitamins? Or do you sell the “Fountain of Youth” in a tablet?
Do you sell night moisturizing cream? Or do you give women a chance to make their skin younger while they sleep?
Do you sell coffee? Or do you sell a heavenly break from the ordinary day?
Do you sell travel? Or do you sell an escape to an experience of a lifetime?
Re-think what you are really selling, and then position it correctly with your prospects. The results could be amazing.
Over the years, I’ve done some Big Al Workshops in Norway and Belgium, the most regulated countries in Europe.
Even though these countries have high tax rates and many restrictions, network marketing is doing quite well. Maybe the citizens are tired of over-regulation and welcome the freedom of working their own business.
We might take time to remember that money isn’t the only motivator for prospects to enter network marketing. Freedom of time and freedom from someone else telling you what to do are also important in people’s lives. But the many benefits of network marketing don’t stop there.
Some people join because of the learning environment and self-improvement trainings. Others join for the sense of community. They enjoy being with positive network marketers, instead of spending evenings with their negative in-laws.
And others just want to be involved because of the product or the company’s mission.
There are many motivators that get prospects excited about network marketing. Don’t think that money is the only reason.