Tribute to Mark Yarnell After His Recent Death

With a heavy heart, I’m writing this tribute to one of my business heroes: Mark Yarnell. Mark recently passed away (March 2015). He was just 65 years old.

Although I’ve never met Mark in real life, he really impacted my life in a big way: a positive way.  I have considered Mark my greatest business mentor for over a decade now.  I’ve never been part of his team, or met him in real life, but his philosophies have changed the way I think about business and network marketing.

I first learned about Mark back in 2002 or 2003.  I found a copy of his book “Your First Year in Network Marketing” at a local bookstore and bought it.  Dang, I loved that book. I think I’ve read that book 50 times now.

That book led me to his other training materials. I’ve watched pretty much all of his YouTube videos at least 20 times each.  I’ve purchased most of his books, courses and materials.   I’ve learned more about network marketing from Mark Yarnell than from anyone else.

Here are a few of Mark’s accolades:

  • Member in the network marketing hall of fame
  • $20 million plus earner in the industry
  • Consultant to many network marketing companies
  • Author of several best-selling books to include Your Best Year in Network Marketing and Your First Year in Network Marketing
  • He has built teams with more than 300k distributors
  • Contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine
  • He created the first “university level” course about network marketing at the University of Chicago
  • Named “Greatest Networker in the World” by Upline magazine
  • And tons of other things!

While those are all amazing achievements, what I admired most about Mark is how straightforward he was about what it takes to succeed in this great industry.  He never sugar coated anything.  He is the ONLY person I have ever met who says that duplication is a lie and that network marketing is really a numbers game. I’ve found him to be right about that!

Mark was a straight shooter, a man’s man.  He had a great personality.  I thought he was humorous, intelligent, kind, honest, and genuine.  Despite his huge success in our industry, he was still a down to earth guy.  He’d help anyone, talk to anyone, and make you feel like he was your friend.

Although Mark is no longer with us physically, his presence and legacy will continue for many, many years.  Between the people he has personally mentored, and the people he has helped through his training materials, he will continue to positively impact our great industry for future generations.

I’m going to miss you Mark.  You really are the greatest networker of all time.  Rest in peace my friend.  I’ll do what I can to continue your legacy.

Mark is survived by his wife, Valerie.

The Perfect First Business

Today, I want to educate you about what I think is the perfect first business.  Please keep in mind that this is just my opinion, based off 13 years experience as an entrepreneur.

I should start out by telling you there are lots of business models and types of businesses to choose from.  Ultimately, you could succeed or fail in ANY business or business model that you choose.  There is no guarantee of success as a business owner.  In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 businesses fail in their first 10 years.

What holds most people back from starting their own business is the UPFRONT money it takes to get started.  Most traditional businesses cost anywhere from $10k to $100k (or more) just to get started.  This doesn’t count the ongoing monthly overhead either. Most people don’t have that type of money to invest, nor can they get the financing.

A second thing that holds most people back from starting a business is giving up their job security and steady paycheck.  We have all been led to believe that job security and a steady paycheck is BETTER than choosing opportunity.  Very few people will walk away from a comfortable paycheck to start their own business, even if they have the desire to do so.

I’ve looked at a lot of business models myself during the past 13 years and I truly believe that network marketing is the perfect business.  Now, before you turn up your nose and hit the back button to leave this webpage, let me tell you WHY I think that.

First off, MLM is VERY inexpensive to get started with.  Most network marketing companies cost less than $100 to get started.  Some are even free to join. This fits most people’s budget.  When compared to the start up costs of a traditional business, this is a no brainer.

In addition, MLM offers great entrepreneurship training.  You learn about sales, marketing, taxes, recruiting, lead generation, communication, operations, leadership, and so much more.  You learn my doing.  You learn real world principles not theory.  This “education” will serve you very well in future business endeavors.  To be quite frank with you, I think MLM is the best business school on this planet and it’s my # 1 reason to get involved.

Another reason I think MLM is the perfect business is the small ongoing monthly overhead.  You do not need employees or a separate office.  You do not need inventory, extra insurance or extra utilities.  In most cases, you can operate your business for less than $100 per month.  Try doing that with any other type of business!

Another great thing about network marketing is that it’s designed to do part-time in the beginning.  That means you can keep your day job and steady paycheck while you get started.  You can set your own hours of operation.  You can keep the financial pressure off your back while you learn the ropes.  You don’t have to give up you financial security to start your business.

Another reason why network marketing is the perfect first business is because you get LEVERAGE.  Most traditional business owners are a slave to their business.  In other words, they are the business.  The day they stop working is the day they stop getting paid.  With network marketing you can leverage other people, without having employees.  You can build a team of hundreds, or thousands of people, and earn a small commission from each person.  That’s a lot better than only getting paid on your own efforts.

Another reason why network marketing is the perfect first business is that you get a free mentor.  In the traditional business world, when you teach someone everything you know, they become your competitor.  Not so in network marketing.  This is one of the few business models I know of where you get a successful mentor, free of charge, who WANTS to help you succeed.

Final Thoughts

In summary, these are just a few reasons why I think network marketing is the perfect first business.  No, the industry isn’t perfect.  No, it isn’t easy.  But the risk/reward factor is in your favor.  Best of all, you can get started for a very low cost, keep your day job, work part time, have leverage, and learn how to be an entrepreneur at the same time.  I think it’s the best of both worlds.

What about you?  What do you think is the perfect first business?  Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Top 10 Tips for Approaching Your MLM Prospects

In this post, I’m going to share a few of my best tips for approaching your MLM prospects. Most network marketers directly or indirectly interact with hundreds of people on a daily basis, yet claim they don’t have any prospects for their business.

 

I’ve learned that if you can step out of your comfort zone and talk to people, your business will grow each month.  There are literally 300+ million people in America alone and many of those people would be a great fit for your products or business opportunity, if you approach them.

During the past 13 years I’ve learned that there is a right way and a wrong way to approach people about the products and business.  Most network marketers are absolutely clueless in this area.  Because they haven’t been trained properly and don’t know what they are doing, they ruin a lot of their prospects.

Sometimes, fine tuning your approach even a little bit can make a huge difference on your response rate.  In fact, just changing a few words can make a huge difference.

What I want to do in the paragraphs below is give you 10 tips to help you approach people the right way.  The approach is vitally important.  It’s the critical first step in pre-qualifying people. Do it right and your business will explode.  Do it wrong and you will probably get frustrated and quit.

# 1 Be Natural

The first thing you want to do when you talk to someone is be natural.  You don’t want to come across as a sales person.  Start out by having a normal conversation and see where that conversation takes you.  Be relaxed, have posture, and don’t be overly aggressive.

# 2 Ask Questions

One of the quickest ways to win someone over is to ask questions and listen to what they have to say.  Get people talking about themselves.  People love to talk about themselves.  Ask questions that will give you the responses you are looking for, so you can pre-qualify your prospect.

# 3 Smile

When you smile at someone, most of the time they will smile back at you.  Check your body language and make sure you smile at the other person.  It’s a great way to break the ice and initiate a conversation.  Having a frown or pout on your face is a recipe for failure.

# 4 No Pressure or Hype

Whatever you do, contain your enthusiasm.  Don’t get so hyped up that you start spitting out all of the MLM Jargon or talk about how to get rich quick or make easy money.  You want the person to be relaxed.  The minute you use hype or pressure, their spider senses will go up and they will retreat (and rightfully so).

# 5 Put the Person at Ease

When you talk to someone you want to put them at ease.  You do that by having a normal conversation and being relaxed yourself.  Ask them about their friends and family, occupation and recreation.  Don’t come across like you’re trying to sell them something.

# 6 Look for Common Ground

We all have things in common with everyone else.  Sometimes these things are obvious and sometimes they aren’t.  Look for common ground.  That will make a huge difference when you are talking with someone.  After all, we all like people who are similar to us.

# 7 Dress Nice

Don’t go prospecting in your pajamas, torn up jeans, daisy dukes, or yoga pants.  Don’t wear a tuxedo either.  Make sure you are well groomed and at least wear business casual.  Make sure your clothes are clean and that you don’t smell.

# 8 Check Your Breath

Bad breath is a quick way to kill a conversation with your prospects.  Make sure you have gum or breath mints or breath spray readily available before you start talking to someone.  You don’t want to breathe your bad breath on someone and have them pass out from the stench!

# 9 Be Authentic

Be yourself.  You are unique.  Don’t try to be someone you aren’t.  Don’t think there is a certain way you have to talk or act to prospect someone.  Regardless of who you are, not everyone will like you.  Being genuine and real goes a long ways.

# 10 Initiate the Conversation Yourself

Don’t wait for others to initiate the conversation with you.  Start out by saying hello to everyone you meet and then see where the conversation takes you from there.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks.  These are 10 of my best tips on how to approach your MLM prospects the right way. Just remember that the average person comes in contact with several hundred people per day. If you put a smile on your face, say hello to people, and follow the advice mentioned above, you will have a never ending flow of prospects in your business.  And that’s exactly what you want!

What are your thoughts?  What are your best tips on approaching your network marketing prospects?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Chuck’s MLM Weekly Wisdom # 26 – March 4, 2015

Chuck’s MLM Weekly Wisdom # 26 – March 4, 2015

Dear Network Marketer:

I hope you are happy, healthy and well.  Welcome to this week’s training.

# 1 The Numbers Never Lie – I love numbers.  When it comes to network marketing, it’s important to know your numbers.  What I want to do is share some realistic numbers with you about what to expect in your business.  This is what I have found from my 13 years experience in the industry.

As a quick disclaimer, I legally have to tell you that individual results will always vary, based upon your skill-set and work ethic.

Let me start by telling you that your ultimate goal is to find three to five rock stars.  I once heard that three will make you free and five will make you rich.  I should clarify that a rock star is someone who will go on and build a big business with or without you!  They’re leaders, doers and they produce results.  They’re part of the three percent.

Your ultimate goal is to find those rock stars as quickly as possible.  Depending on your circle of influence and your skill-set talking to people, the amount of time it will take you and the number of people you will have to talk to will vary by person.

What I want to share below is what I consider a conservative estimate of what you will need to do to find your rock stars.

  • About 1 in every 5 people you talk to will sit down and listen to a presentation
  • About 1 in every 5 presentations will join your team
  • About 1 in every 5 people who join your team will do ANYTHING at all
  • About 1 in every 5 who do anything will be a ROCK STAR

In order to five your five rock stars you must:

  • Talk to 3125 people
  • Show 625 presentations
  • Sponsor 125 people
  • Find 25 who do anything at all
  • Find 5 rock stars!

This might sound crazy or extreme at first, but you could accomplish this goal in about 10 MONTHS, simply by talking to just 10 people a day.  If you talked to just five people a day, you could do it in about 20 months.   That’s less than TWO YEARS.

How exciting is that?  How exciting is it to know that by working 1-2 hours a day for 10-20 months you could find your five rock stars and go on and build a huge network marketing business?

# 2 The Role of the Sponsor – The role of the sponsor is to be a teacher, supporter and good example for their team.  Let me start by telling you that it’s not your job to coddle, babysit, or take excuses from your team members.  You are not their banker, therapist, mother, father or spouse.

Instead, you are there to lead by example, to encourage others, be accessible, answer their questions, and provide help and assistance when needed. It’s not your job to build anyone’s business for them.

However, you should work closely with the people who identify themselves as serious distributors by their ACTIONS.  You should train everyone you sponsor.  You should do weekly training for your team.  You should have a team training manual.  You should always respond to calls and emails from your team members in a timely manner.

All that being said, the best thing you can do is stay out in the trenches and lead by example.  Let your actions show your team what they should be doing.  Inspire your team by your actions, not just by your words.

# 3 The Only Thing You Can Control – The only thing that you can control in this business is what you do!  You have absolutely no control over what your team members do.  Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it is a bad thing.

In the beginning of your business, it will just be you doing all of the work.  For most people, it will take at least six to twelve months to find their first leader.  Sometimes it will take even longer!  This is the period of time where most people give up and quit.

Once you find other leaders in your organization, it’s a beautiful thing.  You have duplication, momentum and consistent growth.  Your team grows without you.  But up until that point in time it can be frustrating.

You have to remember that you are no one else’s boss.  You can’t force anyone else to produce.  You really can’t count on anyone else to help you get that next rank advancement.  Instead of sitting around waiting for your team to get you to the next level, I highly suggest you stay in the trenches and focus on what you can control.  Focus on your personal production until you find enough leaders in your team to mentor and work with.

# 4 Sharing Your Expectations with Your New Team Members – One of the best things you can do as a sponsor is to set clear expectations with your new team members.  Tell them what you expect from them if they expect you to help them.  Talk to them about how you want to communicate, how often, and when.  Tell them what your role will be and what their role will be.

Tell them about what you want the relationship to be like.  Set boundaries so you don’t get taken advantage of.  Tell your new team members what it really takes to actually succeed in the business!  Give them clear expectations so they don’t get disappointed in a few months.

I think it’s best to keep it real with people.

# 5 Creating a Schedule and Hours of Operation – If you owned a restaurant and were only open for business one hour each week, how much money do you think you would actually make?  Not much!  If you owned a barbershop and you were only open 30 minutes a day, how long do you think you would stay in business?  Not long!

When it comes to your network marketing business, you need set business hours.  Your “store” needs to be open every day.  You need set business hours and you need to work out of a calendar.  You must be smart with your time.  Time is your most precious asset.

In order to give your business the best chance for success, you should work your business MINIMUM one hour each day (preferably two hours a day), at least five days a week and preferably six or seven days a week. 

If you don’t “make time” for your business, you aren’t giving yourself a fair chance to success.  You need to be disciplined with your time and work your business consistently.

My hope is that you will set business hours for your network marketing business.  Schedule 1-2 hours every day to build your business.  Focus on the money producing activities during that time.  Don’t make excuses.  If for some crazy reason you miss a day, work double the next day to make up for it!

# 6 The Most Important Thing to Look for in a Prospect – Some people will tell you that desire is the # 1 thing to look for in your prospect.  Desire would definitely rank high on my list, but it is by no means number one.

The number one thing I look for in a prospect is the amount of confidence and trust that others have in that person.  I’m looking for someone who is respected by their friends, family and peers.  I’m looking for someone that others know, like and trust.  I’m looking for someone with a large sphere of influence of people who admire and respect the person.  I’m looking for someone that others will listen to when they have something to say.

I like to call these people influencers.  In essence, this could be anyone, but it’s typically lawyers, doctors, top salesmen, educators, and other professionals.  It’s people with credibility.

The beauty of recruiting influencers into your business is that they have a lot of people they can talk to who will actually listen to what they have to say.  These are the people who can recruit a lot of people quickly, and find tons of customers with ease.

Always keep your eyes and ears open for influencers in your community.  Quite frequently, these are people leading civic organizations.  They’re people leading church groups.  They’re people coaching little league.  They’re people leading companies.

Finding just a few of these people can totally transform your business.

# 7 Recommended Blog Posts

Here are a few blogs posts that I think you might enjoy:

# 8 Recommended YouTube Videos

Here are a few YouTube videos that you might enjoy.

# 9 Recommended Products

If you haven’t done so already, check out my two products on Amazon.

# 10 Invitation to Work with Me

If you’d like to get healthy or create a Plan B for your life, give me a call at (352) 503-4816 or send me an email.  I’m partnered with a leading health and wellness company that is free to join and does business in more than 60 countries.  We have great training and support in place.  I’m looking for people looking to get healthy, lose weight, or make some extra money.

Thanks for reading this week’s Weekly Wisdom.  I hope you have a great week.

How to Provide Great Customer Service in Network Marketing

Today, I want to talk about how to provide great customer service in your network marketing business.  I truly believe that providing excellent “customer service” is one of the quickest ways to differentiate yourself from the competition and make more money in your business.

Most network marketers (and entrepreneurs) really mess this up.  Most business owners spend a lot of time, money and hard work to find a new customer.  I compare it to dating.  When you are dating, you put your best foot forward.  You treat the other person like royalty.  You say and do the little things.  You go the extra mile to make the other person feel special.

And it works.  That person becomes your boyfriend or girlfriend and eventually your spouse (in some cases).  However, what happens in many cases is after you’ve “won the person over” you stop doing all of those little things that made them fall in love with you to begin with.  Basically, you’ve “won your prize” and now you revert back to your normal ways.

The same thing happens in network marketing.  Many distributors will court their prospects and tell them all of these wonderful things to get them to join their team or become a customer.  They’ll send thank you notes, make follow-up calls, take the person out for lunch, and genuinely make the person feel important.

However, once they’ve signed their name to the dotted line as a distributor, or purchased their first order, the distributor forgets about them to start courting their next prospect.  This usually results in low customer retention and high turnover.  Eventually, the distributor gets burnt out and quits the business.

Let me tell you something magical that can change your life.  The real profit in any business comes from repeat business.  Most businesses lose money on the first order when you factor in the time and cost to acquire a new customer.  Finding a new customer (or distributor) who only orders one time and stops is a LOSE-LOSE proposition.

What you ultimately what is a large team of distributors and customers who order month after month, year after year. You want people who love the products, the business and like, know and trust YOU.

Now, you’ll never get everyone to be a repeat customer for life.  But, I truly believe that you can find MORE repeat customers and long-term distributors by providing great customer service.  This is what smart business owners focus on: CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Customer service is the glue that keeps everything together.  It’s what makes people feel appreciated and entices them to keep ordering from YOU, rather than your competitor.

My goal in the rest of this post is to educate you about how to provide great customer service with your retail customers and distributors.

Let’s start with your distributors.  There are many things you can do with your distributors to keep them reordering each month and building their business.  Here are a few things that come to mind:

  • Build a friendship with each person
  • Know their WHY
  • Send out a monthly newsletter in the mail each month
  • Send holiday and birthday cards
  • Get together once a month or once every 90 days to socialize, celebrate and have fun
  • Train the person on how to build a business
  • Send a hand written thank you note several times per year
  • Celebrate whenever they do something to move their business forward
  • Recognize their achievements with awards, certificates, and gifts
  • Educate them about the different products
  • Help people on their team succeed

Doing any combination of these things can make a huge difference in your business.

When it comes to customer service with your retail customers, here are a few things that I suggest you do:

  • Send out a monthly newsletter in the mail each month
  • Send holiday and birthday cards
  • Send free products samples in the mail
  • Create a customer loyalty program
  • Call your customers once each month
  • Send a hand written thank you every time they place an order
  • Create a paid referral program
  • Educate them about the different products

Can you see how these little things would make a big difference with retention in your business?

At the end of the day, having a good product, service or business opportunity is not enough.  You have to remember that customer service is the glue that holds your business together.  What you want to do is go the extra mile and make each customer and distributor feel important and feel appreciated.  If you can do that, you won’t have to worry about repeat orders.