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.
Tom “Big Al” Schreiter has 40+ years of experience in network marketing and MLM. As the author of the original “Big Al” training books in the late ‘70s, he has continued to speak in over 80 countries on using the exact words and phrases to get prospects to open up their minds and say “YES.”