Some years ago, I had breakfast with Kay, a networking leader in Brisbane, Australia.
When I asked her why she became a leader, she said:
“I worked 70-hour weeks. My sponsor asked me when my husband and I finally planned to spend time together. That really hit me. There wasn’t going to be any time unless I changed my business.”
Think about it.
People get married to spend time together, but dual careers make it difficult. If a relationship is important to a couple, time together could be a powerful reason for them to become leaders in a network marketing business.
When I do my live workshops, I don’t spend any time talking about my credentials.
The workshop participants don’t care about my credentials. And, they are right not to care. My credentials won’t make them a cent.
I’ve written many books on how to sponsor distributors. But, even though I wrote those books, not a single workshop participant will earn an extra dollar on their bonus check. Even if my credentials included a Ph.D. degree in Networking, my credentials don’t mean a thing.
The workshop attendees don’t want to know about credentials, they want to know about experiences.
Book theory and my personal bank account balance won’t put money in the workshop participants’ pockets. Real life experiences, case studies, proven “real world” strategies and techniques are what distributors want to hear.
The same principle applies to sponsoring.
What don’t your prospects want to know?
All these things are things you accomplished. Your prospects may not believe they have the same skills or abilities to match your accomplishments.
So, what do your prospects want to know about?
They want to know how you helped other distributors become successful. They would like to hear about other people in similar circumstances that have been helped by you to become successful.
If you’re successful in networking, you should have lots of these real life experiences to share with prospects. Your sponsoring presentations will be easy.
What if you’re not successful in networking, or just starting? What should you do then?
Sounds like a great time to start building your successful experiences. Instead of sponsoring wide, wide, wide, why not concentrate on your best distributor? Put some extra effort into helping your distributor make it to the top.
Once you have your first success story, move on to your next. You’ll soon get the reputation of “somebody who makes people successful.”
That’s a great reputation to own. And, prospects will be attracted to you.
Sleaze Shallowman, the sleaziest worthless sponsor in MLM, says, “Macho closes aren’t for wimps. They are for fearless, sleazy, worthless sponsors who learned closing from door-to-door, used-car salesmen from the 1960s.”
Watch how Sleaze Shallowman hard-closes his prospects, John and Mary.
* * * * * *
John replied, “No Sleaze, I don’t think Mary and I would be interested.”
“Interested in what? I haven’t shown you my business opportunity yet.” Sleaze knew he had to act fast to salvage this appointment.
“Not interested in anything. Mary and I are happy with our jobs and really don’t want to complicate our lives.”
Sleaze was rising to the challenge. “John, I understand how you feel. I felt the same way when this wonderful opportunity was presented to me. However, I considered myself open-minded, so I took 15 minutes to check it out. You do consider yourself open-minded, don’t you?” (The classic feel, felt, found objection killer.)
“Of course I’m open-minded, Sleaze, but I just don’t want to get involved with anything right now. Why not try the Jones or the Smiths down the street?”
“John, that’s just the reason I want to talk to you now. Because you know people like the Jones and Smiths, you need to investigate this opportunity TODAY!” (The sharp angle close.) Boy, what a comeback, thought Sleaze. Sleaze sprained his arm patting himself on the back.
“Sorry, Sleaze. No can do. Mary and I are leaving for our son’s Little League game and you’ll just have to take your opportunity elsewhere.”
“What I am hearing you say is: ‘The opportunity may be interesting, but we can’t fit it in right now.’ Is that right, John?” (The re-framing objection technique.)
“No, Sleaze. Don’t twist my words. What you are hearing me say is: ‘No. That’s final. I’m leaving for my son’s game.'”
“John, the fact that your son’s game is important to you is the very reason you need this opportunity. You do love your family, don’t you?” (The famous Sleaze boomerang close.)
“Listen, Sleaze. You are a jerk. I don’t have time to stand around and argue. Get lost.”
“Okay, John. No problem. Guess I shouldn’t have pushed so hard to show you this opportunity. It’s just that as soon as I came across this opportunity, all I could think of was how it could help you and your family. I know it’s important for your family, but I didn’t mean to be insensitive, especially since you’re in a rush. Tell you what. Let me come back when I won’t be interfering with your son’s game. Would Tuesday at 6PM or Wednesday at 8PM be better?” (Alternate choice close.)
“Sleaze, try enrolling in the School for the Hearing Disabled. Not only do I not want your opportunity, I don’t even want to be associated with you. Got the message?”
“John, I’ll be glad to step aside for you and Mary’s benefit. Maybe I didn’t go about it the right way. I’m sorry if I offended you. But John, please don’t confuse the message with the messenger. Let me leave this information package behind that explains the business opportunity and you can evaluate it on your own time – when I’m not around.”
“If taking the information package gets rid of you, give me the information package.”
“John, I’ll be by Thursday of next week to pick up and discuss the information package.”
“Sleaze, don’t bother picking it up. I’ll mail it to you. Our family is busy on Thursday.”
“Sure John, I understand. When would you be mailing the information package back?”
“I’ll drop it at the post office on my way home on Wednesday.”
“Because of all the trouble I’ve caused you John, let me save you a few dollars’ postage. I’ll meet you at the post office on Wednesday night. You can just give me the information package and I can answer any questions you have at the same time. Fair enough?”
* * * * * *
This is ugly. And, this is how some prospects see us as network marketers. Pushy, only worried about our agenda, and practitioners of stupid closing techniques that were taught 50 years ago.
Network marketers fear closing because it has such a terrible reputation. And with people like Sleaze Shallowman, network marketers avoid closing because we don’t want to repeat his mistakes.
Fortunately, times change. In the last 50 years we have learned more about how the human mind makes decisions. Today, network marketers can use better closing techniques that are non-offensive and non-embarrassing. And now we know that we have been closing our prospects at the wrong time. That helps.
The bottom line? Closing prospects can be fun. We can close prospects under the radar with no rejection. How good is that?
We know this instinctively. That is why we cringe every time we hear some of these objection-handling techniques. So if we are going to do network marketing for a living, now is the time to learn the exact closing skills we need to be effective in today’s world. The penalty for not doing this is sounding like Sleaze Shallowman.
Want to read more?
Some years ago, Pepsi sent cases of Diet Pepsi to hundreds of thousands of Diet Coke drinkers.
And, their promotion didn’t stop there. Pepsi sent magnets, coupons, and special pop-up mailers to persuade these hundreds of thousands of Diet Coke drinkers.
Their strategy? Target cola drinkers of a competing brand.
Pepsi knew these customers were buyers of colas. All Pepsi had to do was to convince these cola drinkers to try their product. Hopefully, some of these cola drinkers would convert into long-term Pepsi customers.
How can you use this strategy? If you sell vitamins, target other vitamin users. If you sell travel, target frequent travelers. If you sell organic, biodegradable cleaning products, target conscientious cleaning product users.
Like Pepsi, your initial marketing costs may be high if you give away free products. However, look at the long-term profit of a good repeat customer. How much money would you earn if a customer bought products from you every month for the next five years?
So think like the Pepsi marketers and round up some long-term profits.
We wouldn’t feel nervous if we were to make a small speech to a group of preschoolers. Even a speech to a kindergarten class would be easy.
Why do we feel this way? Because we feel we have more knowledge and experience than our audience.
We can continue giving speeches through high school, university, and all the way up to the experts in any particular subject. At some point, we are going to feel nervous because we don’t feel we have the same knowledge and experience that our audience does.
So here is the hint.
If we don’t want to feel nervous, we prepare more, research more, and experience more than our audience. When we do this, our nervousness goes away.
People respect and admire someone who speaks in public. Logical? No. But if we can speak in public, we go up in value in our prospects’ estimation.
Want another little secret that can change everything in our public speaking? The answer is in the title of this book I did with Mark Davis.
Just because we are not naturally social doesn’t mean that we can’t see the value of a network marketing check.
So for us less-than-outgoing networkers, here are some links to make it easier to network.
1. http://linkd.in/1bctsGk – “Do You Struggle to Make Conversation? A Menu of Options for Small Talk.”
2. http://bit.ly/1eCvel3 – “How to tell if you are boring.”
Anyone can learn to be a better communicator. For some of us it takes longer, but it can be done.
I get a lot of emails that ask me, “There is a lot to learn. 25 skills is a lot. Can you just give me one quick tip so that I will be rich?”
How do you respond to that?
It seems to be a natural tendency for humans to look for shortcuts and instant success. They don’t want to do what it takes to be successful. They only want the rewards.
What if your doctor took that attitude? Not sure if I would trust that doctor with my health.
You have to plant seeds and cultivate before the harvest.
Network marketing offers a lot. Social networks, a community, personal development, and a part-time hobby. It can also offer a massive income, but there is an investment of time, money and energy.
My friend, Barrett Matthews, is one of the most motivated people I know. What I like about Barrett is that he takes personal responsibility to the extreme. In his book, “Why Didn’t You Get It Done?”, he certainly did not hold back.
I am not much of a reader of motivational books, but I like the conversational style and the “in your face” dialogue in Barrett’s book. I don’t think I would ever use an excuse around him.
If you haven’t read his book, here is the Amazon link:
Even if you don’t buy his book, at least read the free preview on Amazon. You will definitely appreciate how and why we should take personal responsibility for our lives. While I have not tried this personally, I think I would force an unmotivated teenager to read this book. This would be a great time for that teenager to change his or her life.
I will be doing an interview with Barrett in August. If you would like to listen in, let us know here and I will be happy to forward you the details.
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.