The difference between a network and a multi-level marketing business is that your business exists on two related but independent frames. On the one hand, you’re selling your products, just like any other retail business or sales operation. But in the case of network or multi-level marketing, you’re also selling your opportunity. That is, you’re recruiting people also to become sales associates themselves. This helps the company out by getting more people pushing their products, and it helps you since you’ll get a commission from the proceeds of your downline (the people you recruit to join). The bottom line is that a bigger team/downline means a larger commission check – so it is really important for the growth of your business.
Of course, this aspect of the business is what gives it a negative connotation among some members of the public. They see MLM and network marketing folks as pushy and even cheesy. But you can avoid this perception by approaching your recruiting efforts with care. Simply put, don’t be pushy about it. And although there is no doubt you’re probably excited (and maybe a little obsessed) with your new lifestyle and earning an income for yourself, you don’t want to come across as being completely focused on it. Remember our approach to promoting products? We said don’t always focus on sales – build trust instead. The same advice applies here.
Last but not least don’t over-promote to friends and family members. No business opportunity is worth alienating your friends and family. Instead, you can recruit them via ACTION and RESULTS. If people see that you’re becoming successful, making more money, and living a lifestyle that includes more personal liberty and financial independence, the results will speak for themselves. That by itself will attract people to your opportunity.
Another great source of prospects for the opportunity is your own customers. But again, you don’t want to be pushy about it, but at the same time let them know that the opportunity is there if they want it. Many of your customers will be as passionate about your products and niche as you are, and so they will be intrigued when they find that they too can make a living promoting it. The key is to go about doing it the right way so that you don’t push them away.
Below are some of the best tips to help you prospect in network marketing:
1. Spend time getting to know your pitch
Practice makes perfect in every endeavor in life. Don’t go out in the field unprepared and expect to make conversions. Begin by outlining your pitch and then fill it in, and study it carefully. Your pitch should be converted to memory so that it doesn’t seem rehearsed or come across as stiff and plastic. Remember your life literally depends on your pitch – so you need to know it inside and out and be able to deliver it flawlessly. Sincerity is a key virtue to have in this business, remember that people are on the lookout for “snake oil salesmen” and getting duped.
You need to have more than one pitch. People are going to be coming to you with their own situations – and the key to closing a sale is solving their problems. While you won’t know the specific details of each prospect, you’ll find that their problems all fit within a set of narrowly defined areas.
For example, if the prospect is someone that you’re trying to recruit to be a distributor, many people are going to have trouble paying their bills. The details of this problem are not that important, what’s important is that you can help them solve this problem by offering them an opportunity to make extra money, and maybe more money than they’re making at their current job. Others are seeking a life of freedom, escaping the 9-to-5 rat race, or getting away from a nasty boss.
Begin by making a list of problems that people can solve by getting a second income from an at-home business that is flexible. Then develop a pitch to address each problem.
Sincerity when delivering your pitch is going to be very important. People aren’t interested in making deals with phony salesmen. In fact, for many people, the word “salesman” is a four-letter word – based on their experiences with high-pressure sales types that try to milk people for every last dime.
Something you need to remember about the network marketing industry is that your primary motivation should be to help people and be a leader. Money is a secondary reward that is provided in proportion to the service to humanity that you provide – so don’t focus on the money. That doesn’t mean you can’t be excited about earning a high income; we all would be. The point is you need to focus on the benefits that you’re providing people first. When you do that financial reward follows practically in an automatic fashion. If you’re sincere and trustworthy, you’re going to close with a prospect before your competitors do every single time.
One way to help yourself with these exercises is to put yourself in the shoes of the prospect and see the world through their eyes. As a distributor, you should remember that you were once in their position. That should make it easier to craft a recruiting pitch that doesn’t come across as high pressure.
2. Invite them to approach you
Leveraging the power of being able to recruit team members to your network marketing business is what helps drive dramatic growth. You’re not going to grow nearly as much as you really can if you’re only focused on selling products, you want to build a team who is working with you to sell more products and expand the team even further leading to even more growth. This is the true power of network marketing.
The first rule of success is to avoid being pushy – and you can do that by inviting prospects to approach you, rather than going out and hard selling them. This can be done in multiple ways and via multiple venues, both in person and online.
Let’s begin by simply focusing on your interpersonal relationships. If you are excited about your product and your new network marketing business, then the first thing to do is carry that enthusiasm over to your personal demeanor. You want to be the outgoing, friendly person who always has a smile on their face. Happiness and optimism are contagious. People are drawn to others who are enthusiastic and happy. But of course, you don’t want to overdo it – be enthusiastic without being a nut. You want to make people feel comfortable around you.
Second, successful network marketers are always making new friends. The more friends you make, the more opportunity there is to recruit new team members. By simply being friendly, along with being optimistic and enthusiastic, you’re going to invite others to approach you about opportunities. Be sure to get out there and attend events related to your niche so you can constantly make new friends who share this interest. Being an expert in the niche helps – if you are the one person who seems to know all the important details, people will be drawn toward you and begin viewing you as an authority figure.
Part of making new friends and drawing them in is being a storyteller. People love storytellers, and if you can weave stories together that also involve your niche and your business, people will become interested in the business.
Inviting people to approach you doesn’t have to be something that you only do in person – you can do it online as well. You can make short videos talking about your opportunity and post them on YouTube and on your Facebook page. This should be done within the context of promoting the niche itself so that people view it as an “aside” rather than your main focus. It’s the same as promoting the product; you want 80% talking about the niche and only 20% talking about the product. That’s even more important here; you don’t want people having their stereotypes confirmed, that is thinking that network marketers are obsessives that belong to some kind of cult. Invite people to approach you subtly, and you’ll have success.
3. Let them ask the questions
One of the most important things to do when selling is to show people how a product or service solves some problem that they have. When you are recruiting, you’re not doing anything different; you’re still selling. So what problems does recruiting someone to a multi-level marketing business solve? There can be many reasons that a person might become an interesting prospect:
- Their job doesn’t pay enough, and they are having trouble making ends meet.
- They have a huge debt and need a second stream of income to help pay it off.
- They can’t stand working in an office and want to start a home business.
- Tired of the 9-to-5, they simply want personal liberty in their work life.
- Financial freedom is a long-term goal, and they’re looking for an opportunity to make money that goes well beyond the income you get from a regular job.
- Many reasons only they can tell you…
An effective approach to recruiting someone is to show them how joining your team is going to solve their problems. So you have to find out what their problems are. When you find out what is currently causing pain in their life and what their long-term goals are, then you can show them how joining the network marketing business will solve their pain problems and help them reach their goals.
You can’t just jump in and do this. You need to begin by establishing trust with the prospect. Building a rapport with them is what is going to lead them toward a place where they’re able to reveal this information to you. You don’t want to be high-pressure or come across as an aggressive salesman. Establish a relationship with people and then let them ask questions about your business.
When they start opening up to you about the pain points in their life, you can use that as an opening to talk about your business. You can explain how the network marketing business solves their particular problem. If they are looking to make extra money, talk about how your position helped you earn an extra $3,294 when you first started the business. If they want flexibility, talk about how you work when you want and where you want. When bringing up pain points, let the prospect lead you where they want to go, but then you offer the solution.
Remember to tailor your pitch to each individual that you engage with – there is rarely going to be a one-size-fits-all solution to everyone’s problems.
Finally, you will want to create a unique selling proposition. What makes your network marketing company better? Why should the prospect join your team, as opposed to joining some other network marketing company? Make sure that you know what your unique selling proposition is and how to communicate that to your prospects effectively.
4. Lead the conversation without any pressure
Putting pressure on a prospect will do one thing – push them away. Never make your conversations with people salesy in nature. Make them seamless and genuine.
One of the best ways to weave your pitch into a conversation is to ask a question. The question should be directed at revealing a problem the prospect is having. This opening will allow you to inject your pitch into a conversation in a natural fashion. Asking a question opens the door and lets the prospect tell you the problems that they are having. Then you can gently step in and show them that you have thought about the problem and you can help them solve it. Never use high-pressure techniques, which is the worst approach you can use in sales or recruitment. I am reminded of a time that I went to buy a car and was just browsing the lot. At the time I was just in the beginning stages of looking for a car, but an aggressive salesman literally ran after me as I tried to escape. I can assure you I did not return to that dealer’s lot.
When you are hosting a group event, asking questions is an excellent technique you can use to flow into your sales pitch. Consider any group of people with a common overarching problem. While there might be many different specific problems in the audience, one thing that is guaranteed is that at least one person – and more likely several – are going to share a common problem. And guess what – you can prepare for this ahead of time and make it the topic of your presentation by simply asking the audience a question.
For example, if you are selling a diet product, your event is obviously going to be attended by people who are overweight and sedentary. Many of them are either going to be diagnosed by their doctor as type 2 diabetics or as suffering from “pre-diabetes.” You could ask the audience who among them is dealing with high blood sugars. With a diet product, you’re certainly going to find one person –probably several who have this problem. If you get multiple people responding to the question and indicating they have the problem, you immediately create camaraderie among people in attendance. This establishes a baseline for social proof. Once one person with this problem accepts your solution, then others will find it easier to follow.
5. Subtly create a sense of urgency
A sense of urgency is one of the oldest sales tricks in the book. When someone has an interest in an opportunity but is sitting on the fence, they will suddenly become more interested if they find out that the opportunity is expiring in 48 hours or 7 days. This technique is used by all kinds of businesses; for example, a grocery store will get more people inside the store by offering time-limited coupons. Once inside the store, people will end up buying lots of other things too, which far outweighs the discount they got on the coupon. Car lots will sell at a discount “this weekend only.” A sense of urgency gets people to take action – because the last thing they want is a lost opportunity.
You never want to put pressure, but you’ll need to let people know that the opportunity is only available for a short time, or that it’s far better to act now rather than later. For example, you can say “we will be finalizing our team next month,” or some other time-limited excuse. Again, don’t be high pressure about it, and never make it act now or else – but let them know that if they don’t join soon, they will be losing the opportunity.
6. Have a resource available for them to read over
Always be prepared. You never know when prospects are warm to jumping on board, so you need to have materials at your fingertips to hand out when someone expresses interest. Otherwise, you’ll lose the opportunity.
7. Always request to follow up
Many people aren’t going to sign up the very first time you talk to them. You’ll need to warm them up a little more to get them on board. We just discussed one way to get that done – be prepared with resources for them to read on their own. Then you’re going to want to follow up. Never leave a conversation without getting an email address or phone number (or better yet – both). An email address will allow you to share more resources, such as your YouTube videos (another reason you should be making them). You can share information about the products you sell and call to discuss things with the prospect. Many people will simply need some reassurance before they make the commitment, and being able to do it with a phone call or video will help them get over the hump.
When considering follow up, remember that you should never be a pest or an annoyance. High-pressure tactics simply turn people off rather than getting them to join their team. A good thing to do is to create a short email follow-up list of prewritten emails that describe the business and how it can work to create income, wealth, and freedom for people. When you meet new prospects, you can add them to the email list and let it do the selling. Start with a “Thank You” email.
You can call about halfway through and say “hey, just wondering if you happened to read my email about…” Use the emails to continue building more trust as you simultaneously warm them up to saying yes to the offer. Follow up calls can be used to answer questions that the prospect may have, and for you to overcome their objections. Also, provide more than one avenue to get in touch with questions. Some people may not want to discuss this over the phone or in person; they may find it high pressure. So you can relieve the pressure by letting them ask questions via email.
Remember follow up doesn’t end if they join the team. You’ll need to mentor them and provide proper training so that you don’t face the issue of someone coming on board – and then not doing anything.