Dear Network Marketer:
Welcome to issue # 21 of Chuck’s MLM Weekly Wisdom.
I hope you are happy, healthy and well.
This past week has been a crazy week of learning. I want to share some of the things I have learned this week. I hope it helps you as much as it has helped me.
# 1 How to Get Your Team to Duplicate – I have spent a lot of time thinking about duplication this week. Some people swear by it and others say throw a lot of mud against the wall to see what sticks. Up until this week, I really had mixed feelings on this myself.
From my personal experience I’ve learned that most people who come into our business do very little if anything. Most folks join, order the products once or twice, never sponsor anyone, and then quit.
Only a small percentage of people who join our team have good confidence and good selling and recruiting skills. This small group of people (less than 5%) can hit the gates running from day one, but most people can’t.
The real thing I’ve spent time thinking about this week is WHY people join the business and do nothing. Why do people invest $100 to $500 only to quit a few weeks later? Is it because they are lazy? Is it because they don’t make the business a priority? Is it because they fear being rejected?
I think all of those things play a part in it. But, I truly believe that most people quit or fail because they never get the proper training they need to be successful. Most people get signed up, told to make a name list, slapped on the butt, and then told to “go get ‘em!” Before they have any training or are told “how to do it” they are thrown to the wolves. Talk about a recipe for failure.
In addition, most people are courted into the business. Their sponsor says the magic words like “this will be easy” or “all you need is two people” or something similar. Furthermore, they make their new distributor feel special, go over the top and provide outstanding customer service, and then once the prospect joins the business, the sponsor pretty much abandons them to look for their next recruit.
I’ve been guilty of this myself, even though I am embarrassed to admit it.
I think there is a solution to this. When you bring someone into the business you need to spend time with them to train them. Think of it like a job orientation. When you start a new job you typically have a one to four week orientation where you learn the ropes. Rarely, if ever will your employer just throw you to the wolves and expect you to know how to do the job on the first day.
Network marketing should be treated the same way. You should have a training game plan for your new rep that indoctrinates them to your company, the products and the industry. You have to do some hand holding and transfer some of your knowledge to them. Rather than just tell them to make a list and start contacting their friends and family, you need to educate them about how to contact people, what to say, how to follow up, overcome a few basic objections and so forth.
This builds their confidence in themselves and their business.
No, you don’t need to make them an expert or teach them every little detail about the business, but you should invest five to ten hours (minimum) over a couple week period of time BEFORE you tell them to start contacting lots of people.
Even if you do this with everyone you bring into the business, some people will quit. That’s inevitable. However, I truly believe that more people will stick around longer if you give them realistic expectations and train them properly, so they can start out right! What do you think?
# 2 Is This a Recruiting Business? – Contrary to what a lot of people think, I truly don’t believe this is a recruiting business. You see, there are a lot of good recruiters who fail miserably in our industry. There are lots of people who can bring in 50 to 100 or more people per year in their business, but can’t get anyone else to do what they’ve done.
That is the difference between network marketing and direct sales. Network marketing is team building and direct selling is SELLING.
If you’ve brought a lot of people into your business but your business isn’t more than 3 or 4 levels deep (if that) you are really messing up.
You see, this is a team building business. It’s about sponsoring and teaching. It’s about a lot of people doing a little bit, not a few people doing a lot. Yes, you can have a strategy to personally recruit 500 people to find 5-10 studs, but why would do that? What are you going to do with the other 490 to 495 people who don’t have the skills on their first day? Are you just going to abandon them, hope for the best, and let them quit? As I see it, that is a big waste of time and money.
It takes time and money to bring someone into the business, so it would be in your best interest to spend some time and money to train them!
The beauty of network marketing is the leverage factor. If your entire business depends upon you, you will eventually get burnt out and quit. Trust me, I’ve been there. If you like sales, but don’t want to teach and train people, YOU ARE IN THE WRONG PROFESSION.
I heard the other day that recruiting will make you decent money, but retention will make you rich. Think about that for a moment. What good does it do to bring in 100 people if 98 of them quit? How can that be a formula for success? The real money is made by the coaching, training, nurturing and team building AFTER you have recruited someone. The real money is in the repeat business, not a one-time transaction.
The truth is you need to learn how to get others to do what you are doing. You have to be able to bring people in, keep them, and get them to duplicate your efforts. Until you can do that you will have a revolving door in your business and a small bonus check.
There are a few things you can do to make that happen. First and foremost, you need to have a rigid selection process about who you work with. If you’re going to invest your time and money into people you need to make sure that they are committed to their own success as much as you are committed to their success.
Assuming you have that in place, you need to hand hold them in the beginning and work closely with them for the first three to six months, until they are competent and confident to work on their own. You have to transfer your knowledge and skills to them so they are independent of you in less than six months.
To sum it up, this is a team building business, not a recruiting business.
# 3 The Most Important Part of Your Presentation – The most important part of your presentation is the beginning part where you find out what the other person wants. You want to find out what the “problem” is in their life and you need to show them how your product or business opportunity helps them solve their problem.
You see, people don’t buy products. They buy the product of the product. In other words, people don’t buy a drill because they want a drill. They buy a drill because they want a hole. People don’t join a business because they want a business. They start a business because they want more control in their life, more freedom, to pay off debt, more money, etc.
People won’t buy or join for the same reasons that you did. Everyone is different. Everyone has their own reasons for doing something. That’s why you need to spend some time, at least five to ten minutes, and find out what the other person’s hopes, goals and dreams are. Once you know that information you can tailor your presentation to that. And if you can do that you will get much better results
Remember this business isn’t about YOU, it’s about your prospect.
# 4 Training Your Team – People learn in different ways. You probably already know that. What most people in our industry do is have meetings, webinars, training calls, or training emails to help train their team. Certainly, doing these things is better than not doing them, but I still believe there is a better way.
The best way to learn something is by doing it. You can learn more about how to talk to prospects by talking to 100 prospects than you can by reading a book or attending a workshop about it.
What does this really mean?
This means that you need to do some role playing with your new team members! You need to bring them along with you to some meetings. You need to have them talk to some prospects on the phone while you are listening on the other end, so you can provide feedback after the call. You have to mix things up and let the person get some experience in a “stress free zone” while they develop their skills.
This will give them added confidence and belief in themselves and the business.
Just remember, the best way to learn is to do! And the best way to do is to have someone supportive to help you do it, until you feel comfortable doing it on your own. Think of it like learning how to ride a bike. Someone encourages you, helps you, and works closely with you until you know what you are doing. After that, you feel good on your own.
# 5 Part-Time vs. Full Time – I once heard that having a $2k per month part-time network marketing business is much better than having a $5 or $6k per month full-time network marketing business. I have to tell you that I agree.
If you can make $2k per month working 10 hours per week, that’s much better than working 60 hours per week to make $8k per month. Do the math for yourself.
While most people focus on the excitement and hype of making six or seven figures in our industry, the truth is a $1k or $2k per month part-time business would be completely life changing to most people.
# 6 My Thoughts on Events – This one is going to ruffle some feathers. I have mixed feels on events and conventions. First off, they do provide value. They are a great place for someone new to get around hundreds (or thousands) of other distributors in the same company and catch the excitement, which builds their belief in the business. To anyone who has been to a convention, I’m sure you can relate to how exciting they are.
On the other hand, most conventions and events come up short. Most company conventions are more motivational in nature, but they lack training content. What happens is distributors get motivated and pumped up, but they frequently aren’t taught the skills they need to make it happen, once they get home. Within a few days of going home, they are into a MLM Depression and back to their old ways.
I would much rather have someone go to an event where skills are taught than one that is purely motivational.
My other thoughts on conventions might be a bit controversial, but here’s what I think. If you can’t afford to go, don’t go. As a business owner, you have a responsibility to be a good steward of your own money and manage your business finances effectively. Spending money “hoping” that a convention will be the “secret” is a sure recipe for financial disaster.
If I had to choose between spending $2k to go to an event (hotel, admission, airfare, food), I would rather spend a couple hundred dollars and buy some books and tools to teach me new skills. I could then use that additional money for advertising, to pay off debt, or just save it.
I tell everyone to “try and find a way to pay for convention” by retailing products, if that is possible. And by all means, if you have the capital and it won’t put you in a bad financial situation, go to the event. But whatever you do, don’t use the rent or food money to go to an event. That’s just poor money management.
# 7 The Most important Skill to Develop – What is the most important skill to develop in network marketing? Is it lead generation? Is it selling? Is it marketing? I don’t think it’s any of those things. At the end of the day, I think your people skills is the most important thing to develop. Here’s why.
Even if you are good at marketing and lead generation, if people don’t know you, like you and trust you they won’t do business with you. Of all the businesses I’ve been exposed to, this industry is the biggest people business I can think of. It is a relationship business.
That means you have to be able to get along with people who are different than you. It means you need to be likeable. It means you need to think of things from the other person’s perspective. It means you need to learn how to listen. It means you need to genuinely care about others.
Yes, it might be a marketing business on the front end, but I can assure you that after you find a customer or distributor for your team it quickly becomes a relationship business. And if you don’t know how to master relationships, you will really struggle in this industry.
You see, this is a volunteer Army. No one HAS to follow your lead or work with you. If you are a jerk, arrogant, or have bad people skills, people simply won’t want to work with you (and rightfully so).
I highly encourage you to start working on your people skills. Read books like “The Five Love Languages” and “Personality Plus” and “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Work on improving your attitude. Learn how to get along with different types of people. Be likeable. Put a smile on your face and have a genuine interest in other people.
Master your people skills and you will master this industry!
Thanks for reading this week’s training. Talk to you next week.