Leads. As a Network Marketing rep, your business lives and dies by the number of leads you have. Not only must you have a constant supply of pre-interested leads, you must have a marketing system and sales funnel that converts those leads into $$$. Once you have an effective marketing system in place, your company, your products, and your compensation plan no longer matter. The numbers will take care of themselves as long as you have the aforementioned prerequisites. My mentor put it best when he resolutely declared the three things you must have in place to be successful with a network marketing business. He said you must have 1) A way to generate traffic, 2) a way to convert that traffic into leads, and 3) a repeatable system for closing prospects into your business over the telephone. This article explains why having an adequate supply of leads is beneficial for your network marketing business, and why your business is doomed to failure without it.
One of the main reasons that most network marketers fail (or rather quit) at their business is because they do not have an adequate supply of new leads coming in on a daily basis. (By the way, an adequate supply of new leads is 25 or more people opting in to your autoresponder, sending you email directly, or leaving you voicemail requesting more information about either your primary business or one of your funded proposal products every single day. More on this later.) Their entire business plan centers around prospecting friends, family, co-workers and strangers that they come across on a daily basis, and that’s it. They do not even understand what industry they are in. Mike Dillard said it best on page 37 of Magnetic Sponsoring, when he said “this is an industry of marketing and promotion, pursued by people who have no idea how to market or promote.” That was exactly who I was before I learned the principles of Attraction Marketing. I’m going to paint a little scenario for you that may sound familiar to you if the start of your network marketing career was anything like mine.
The novice network marketer, someone who is new to the industry, usually does exactly what they are told by their sponsor and upline leaders in their particular company. The first thing we are usually instructed to do by our new sponsors is to make a list, usually of at least 100 names, of our closest friends, family, co-workers, co-worshippers, old classmates, old teachers and the people with whom we do business, like our doctor, dry cleaner, our mechanic, plumber, and the lady who scans our groceries at the grocery store. Once our list is populated we are told to immediately chase down these people over the telephone and use one of several interest piquing questions to determine their interest in joining our network marketing business. Questions such as, “If the money was right and if it would fit into your time schedule, would you be open to a business opportunity?” or “I just found something that makes perfect sense to me, can I show you?” It is at this point that we have just turned our friends and family into prospects ($) and we have gone from being simply their friend to a friend/prospector. If they show any interest, then our job is to either meet with them one-on-one, invite them to an in-home presentation, or invite them to a hotel meeting with a roomful of strangers, and a well-dressed, well spoken individual in front of the room with a whiteboard. At the end of the presentation (regardless of the format) the next step is to determine whether they’re in, out, or on the fence (i.e. they have objections) by asking a series of leading questions such as: “Based on what you see, do you see an opportunity?” or “Are you in or out?” or “What did you like most about what you just saw?” or “Are you a 1, a 2, or a 3?” or “Are you ready to get started?” If they’re ready to get started, you’re jacked out of your mind! If they’re not interested, or have some objections, however, that’s where the discomfort starts to set in for us, as we start to try to uncover and answer their objections, or we bring our upline over to do so. This is the point where we change from friend/prospector into friend/salesperson and in our mind our friend/family member/prospect turns into someone to whom we have to figure out the “magic words” to say in order to get them to sign up. In reality, many times our friends will go through the whole process with us even though they have absolutely no intention of joining our business, just to get us off their backs. At the end of the presentation, instead of telling us “no” they will just start to raise objection after objection, or ask question after question. This is usually for one of three reasons. It could be because they don’t know how to say no, or they think a “no” would hurt our feelings, or they want to hide the fact that they don’t have the money to enroll. The evening usually ends with an “I’ll have to think about it” instead of either a yes or no. Then for the next couple of weeks we play the followup game. If we’re persistent with our followup game, and if they still don’t want to tell us no, they start to avoid us. Lather, rinse, repeat.
If the above scenario is familiar, then most likely you are spending the early part of your network marketing career struggling as I used to. If you are anything like I was, you probably have mixed emotions about your business. You know that network marketing works because you see all these average people in your company being recognized for advancing through the lucrative pay plan. You know that they are no smarter, no more professional, and no more determined than you are. You know that if they can do it, you can do it as well, if you could just learn the right system, and get a presentation in front of the right people. You know in your heart that there has to be a better way than this, burning all your gas going back and forth to the hotel meeting to meet one by one with friend after friend after friend who tells you no, or that they have to think about it, or they start avoiding you altogether. You truly believe that your success in a business that is capable of paying you more than the salary of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company should not depend on whether or not your friends and family join you or support you. Let me repeat that.
You truly believe that YOUR SUCCESS in a business that is capable of paying you more than the salary of the CEO of a Fortune 500 company SHOULD NOT DEPEND ON WHETHER OR NOT YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY JOIN YOU OR SUPPORT YOU.
Think about that in the traditional business world. Let’s say you move to a new city where you know no one, and you have no friends and family. You decide to open a restaurant. Is it reasonable to assume that if you have a decent marketing and promotion strategy, as well as an adequate marketing budget, that you could attract people who you do not currently know to your restaurant, assuming that they are open to the type of food that you serve? Of course you could. It doesn’t matter that your soon-to-be new customers are not your friends or your relatives. How successful do you think your restaurant would be if your revenue depended on your family eating there every day? That would make for a pretty flimsy business plan. Your new customers are coming through your doors for the first time because your MARKETING has convinced them that they will enjoy the experience of eating in your restaurant, either because of the food, the atmosphere, the service, or a dozen other possible reasons. Some piece of information you put out there connected with people and got paying customers to walk through the doors. It was not necessary that they were friends or family, it was only necessary that you got the right information in front of good potential customers via your marketing and promotion efforts. If if turns out that your product lives up to the marketing, you will go on to have a successful and thriving business.
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