Today, I want to teach you how to follow up with your network marketing prospects.
You’ve probably heard that the money is in the follow up. It’s true. Other than generating leads, following up with your leads after you’ve introduced them to your products or business opportunity is the second most important skill you can develop to succeed in your network marketing business.
You have to realize that MOST people will need you to follow-up with them at least ten to twenty times BEFORE they ever join your business opportunity or sign up as a customer. Very few people will just sign up on the spot. Most people I sponsor take minimum 30 to 90 days (from the time they first saw the presentation) and 10 follow ups before they join my team.
The purpose of following up with someone is to give your prospect additional information, to answer their questions and collect a decision. If left to their own vices, most people will do NOTHING at all, even if they really are interested in buying or joining. The most important part of the follow up process is to collect a decision. You don’t want to use pressure or hype, but you do need to ask them to buy.
Most network marketers SUCK at following up with their prospects. They either don’t want to do it, don’t understand the importance of following-up or don’t know how to do it the right way. Most people share their business opportunity with someone one time and if they don’t sign up on the spot they forget about them and move on to the next person. That is foolish.
If you never follow up with people you will have to work through an INCREDIBLE amount of prospects to build your team. If you follow up with people the right way, you can reduce that number by at least 70%, maybe even 90%.
Following up with people is an art form that must be learned and mastered. It takes time to learn. You can’t just wing it, either. You need to have a follow up process that is systematized and effective and you need to follow up frequently.
For the rest of this article, I am going to teach you HOW to follow up with your network marketing prospects so you can get better results in your network marketing business.
# 1 Standardize Your Follow Up Process
The first step in the follow-up process is to standardize the process. Maybe your first follow up step is to give someone a sample after you’ve shown them the plan. Your next follow-up is to get them to listen to a conference call. Your third follow-up is to get them on a three way call with your upline. Your fourth follow up is to get them to an event. Your fifth follow up is to get them to watch a video. And so forth.
You don’t have to use this exact same example that I just described, but you need to come up with something similar for your business. Take the time to identity what your first follow up will be, the second, third, etc. I recommend you have at least five steps in your follow-up process.
Put this in a spreadsheet or draw it out on a piece of paper. Get input from your sponsor or trusted mentor to make sure your follow up process makes sense and is doable. Test it out and see what type of results you get. Tweak it when needed.
# 2 Develop a Lead Management System – The next thing you need to do is develop a lead management system for your network marketing business. You need a lead management system so you can be organized and work smart. If you don’t have all of your leads in one tracking mechanism, you will be inefficient and confused!
Most people use an auto-responder for their leads. I think that’s a good starting point, but I think it would be a much better idea to also have an index card holder, rolodex, an Excel spreadsheet, or even Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software to manage your leads. You want a system to store and manage your leads for you, and if possible, you want it automated, so you know exactly what step in the process they are in.
A cheaper alternative is to use a simple Excel Spreadsheet like I do. I created a blank spreadsheet with the following categories:
- Phone Number
- Date First Contacted
- Date Last Contacted
- Date for Next Follow Up
I print out a blank spreadsheet (with these category headers on it) and hand write in my leads. Each page holds about 30-50 leads, so you may need to print out a few spreadsheets. This keeps things organized.
Whenever I get a new lead I add them to the spreadsheet. Whenever I follow up with someone I update my spreadsheet. It’s really that simple.
Having a lead management system might not sound like a big deal if you only have a few leads, but I can assure you that it is mandatory if you have a lot of leads.
# 3 Choose Your Follow Up Methods – Most people follow up by email only. That is the worst and least effective way to do it, as I see it. I suggest you combine offline and online follow up and multiple forms of communication. Here are some of my favorite methods to follow up, ranked in order of effectiveness.
I’ve found that it’s much easier for people to blow you off or ignore you if you communicate via technology. That’s why I prefer face to face follow up the most.
One of my trusted mentors, Robert Blackman, has a simple process know as the call, email, mail follow up process. Basically, he calls his leads first, sends them an email, and then mails them something via the postal service. I think it is an absolutely brilliant idea that anyone can use. Learn more about the call, mail, email process.
# 4 Set a Frequency to Follow Up – This step is really important. When you first get a lead, you want to follow up within 24 hours, or sooner. 48 hours is the max. If they are interested, or are a hot lead, you want to walk them through your sales process quickly. On the other hand, most leads will not be hot leads. Most leads will need to simmer and hear from you 10-20 times, or more, before they take action.
Your objective is to walk each person through your entire five step follow up process. If they still haven’t made a decision by the time they are finished the five steps, you want to stay in touch with them every 30 to 90 days until they buy or die! You have to realize that people’s situation changes. This business is a business about timing. As long as you never use hype or pressure people, and you stay in touch, many people will EVENTUALLY become a customer or distributor, once the timing is right for them.
# 5 Keep Following Up – This is what separates the top earners from the amateurs. You have to realize that your most successful team members will be people who told you NO today, but joined your team a couple years later because you kept following up with them. Keep sending emails, mail and doing phone calls periodically, FOREVER. Never go more than 90 days without contacting an old lead. If possible, never go more than 30 days without contacting them. If you do that, the prospect will contact you and join your team, when the timing is right for them.
Right now I just want to take a moment and share a hypothetical example with you. Let’s suppose you made a commitment to prospect just two new people a day, every day. If you did that for a year you would have 730 prospects. Do it for five years and you would have over 3600 prospects.
If you simply had a good follow up system in place, and followed the advice mentioned in this post, there is no doubt in my mind that you could sponsor at least 200 to 300 of these people within that five year period. That alone would allow you to build a huge group.
On the other hand, if you just prospected those same 3,600 people, but never followed up with them, you wouldn’t get anywhere near the results. Does that make sense?
I learned about the pipeline concept several years back. Think of your pipeline as an inverted pyramid. The big part of the pyramid is on top and the little part is now on bottom. Some people call this your funnel. Your job every day is to add new people to your pipeline.
As people enter your pipeline they see a business presentation and then they start receiving your follow up process. Some people will join right away, some people will never join, and some people will take a while to join. Your follow up process takes over and helps you work smart.
You really can’t control who joins and who doesn’t, but you can keep adding people to your pipeline daily and you can follow up with everyone consistently. That alone will lead to higher conversions.
The more people you add to your pipeline, the more people you will sponsor and the more money you will make. The number one question I ask myself each day is “how many people did I add to my pipeline today?”
In summary, these are the steps I recommend to follow up with your network marketing prospects. The money really is in the follow up. I suggest you develop a follow up system you can use, and teach your team how to do it right, so you can manage your leads effectively. Doing so will definitely give your business that added boost, and help you convert more leads into reps and customers.
What are your thoughts? What do you do to follow up with your network marketing leads? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.
Chuck HolmesWebmaster, OnlineMLMCommunity.com
Phone: (352) 503-4816
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