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.