by Michael S. Clouse
I ran across a study by the Direct Selling Association which stated 42% of Americans have yet to be contacted by someone in Direct Sales or Network Marketing. Imagine that! Forty-two percent!
I guess it's just one more reminder that when it comes to prospecting potential customers, or business-builders, most of our success is still: Showing up, with something to say, and then repeating that same process again, and again, and again. Now if that's true—and it is—allow me to pass along three simple strategies to help ensure you achieve your fair share of success...
Mark Twain once said, "The problem with the world is not that people know too little, but that they know so many things that aren't so." Therefore, if you want your business to become a bit easier to build over time—then learn how to prospect from someone who actually knows how to prospect! In other words: read the books, listen to the CD programs, take the classes, and you will get better over time. For example, here are three of the most important things I've learned about prospecting over the years...
a) In the beginning the fear of prospecting is normal! Indeed, we were all taught by our parents, "Don't talk to strangers!" However, overcoming that fear is also a relatively simple process... Because the more you learn, the more comfortable you become. In essence, a higher level of skill translates into a lower level of fear.
b) All things being equal, we enjoy doing business with people we know, like, and trust. Therefore, try taking a keen interest in others and notice how quickly they warm up to you. According to the book, How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie, we can accomplish getting people to know, like, and trust us by doing these six things:
- Become genuinely interested in other people.
- Remember that the person's name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
- Be a good listener; encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Talk in terms of the other person's interest.
- Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.
c) Prospecting is a game—work the numbers! For example, a team of 10, consistently making two new contacts per day, four days per week, will generate 320 new contacts per month—or 3,840 new prospects per year! Would an additional 3,840 new contacts help your business?
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Do the thing and you will have the power." The emphasis here is on the word, "Do!" Therefore...
a) Keep the main thing the main thing! How many times today will your company's story be told by you, by one of your associates, by a 3rd party tool, or through an event?
b) Focus on consistent activity. Newton's first law of motion states, "An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an outside force." So get in the game and keep moving!
c) Multiple exposures work best. Don't try to tell the whole story on the first exposure (think of your first exposure as you would a first date). Make sure the MLM system you're using takes you from the initial contact...to the follow-up call...to the next appointment...to, and through, the enrollment process.
Thomas Carruthers once wrote, "A teacher is one who makes himself (or herself) progressively unnecessary." Are you teaching those on your team how to need you less? These points will help:
a) Focus on the basics. Keep what you teach as simple as what you do—and what you do as simple as what you teach. Enough said.
b) Observe your students in action. Let your students first observe you. And then, when they're ready, go along and watch them... Because according to the great philosopher Yogi Berra, "You can observe a lot just by watching." Observe body language, speech, and dress.
c) Track your results. Success is achieved by tracking, and duplicating, the right activity... How many contacts yesterday? Last week? Last month? By tracking your results, you'll know when you're winning, when you're slacking, and when it's time to go back to the basics one more time.
All the best,