Today, I want to teach you everything I know about MLM Prospecting. By the time you finish reading this post, you will know things that most people in our industry do not know or understand.
I’ve learned these lessons during the past 16+ years in the industry, mostly from trial and error. Hopefully, you can keep an open mind and learn from my successes and mistakes.
Prospecting is when you talk with people first to see if they might be interested in your products or opportunity, whereas marketing is when you use different techniques to get people to contact you first.
I think it’s smart to do both prospecting and marketing. Initially, prospecting will be your best bet because you can start generating leads right away. There is a shorter learning curve and it’s easy to get started with. Anyone on your team can reach out to people they know, and come in contact with, but not everyone can learn marketing and advertising on day one.
Over a period of time, you can transition to marketing.
There are many ways to succeed at MLM Prospecting. Each person reading this article will do it slightly differently than everyone else, because everyone is their own unique individual. The secret to success is to find something you are comfortable with, and focus on that.
In the paragraphs below, I will share some of my best MLM Prospecting tips AND some of the best places to meet prospects.
What is a Good MLM Prospect?
People ask me all the time, “What is a good MLM Prospect?” In other words, what qualities does a good prospect have?
My typical response is this:
Look for people who are already successful in life, who have some disposable income, have a large sphere of influence, are respected by their peers and are looking to make some changes in their lives.
I’ve found that people who need the business seldom join or build it big, but the people who WANT to do the business typically do very well.
All that being said, anyone CAN be successful in the business. It doesn’t mean everyone will be successful, but everyone CAN.
At the end of the day, it’s the DESIRE the person has in their heart that matters most.
You never really know who will join and who will build it big. You should give everyone the chance to learn about the products and business opportunity, and then decide for themselves.
Study the top earners in our industry and the only thing you will find that they had in common is that they wanted to change their life for the better and they were willing to do the work.
The bottom line is to talk to everyone. Never prejudge people. You never know who will be your next ace!
The Most Important Thing to Look for in a MLM Prospect
Influencers Are Great MLM Prospects
Influencers are people who have followers. When they talk, others listen. We all know a few people like this.
Personally, I’m looking for someone who is respected by their friends, family and peers. I’m looking for someone who 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 who others will listen to when they have something to say.
Anyone COULD be an influencer, but it’s typically lawyers, doctors, pastors, entrepreneurs, leaders, top salespeople, 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.
The confidence you have going into the sales call will determine the level of profit you have coming out. ~ Mark Hunter
My Top 20 MLM Prospecting Tips
Now that we have that out-of-the-way, I’d like to take a few minutes and share 20 of my best MLM Prospecting tips.
# 1 Look for People with a Good Attitude
I used to say look for sharp people. The problem with that is you never know who is sharp or not just by the way that they dress. Instead, I think it makes more sense to approach people who are friendly and personable and have a great attitude. Focus on people’s body language and their smile. If they are nice and friendly, talk with them. If they look like a sour puss, move on to your next prospect.
# 2 Dress to Impress
I’m not telling you to go out and buy an expensive tuxedo or suit. You don’t need to do that. But, don’t go out prospecting in your pajamas or yoga pants, either. I think business casual is great, such as khaki pants and a polo shirt for me. If nothing else, make sure your clothes are cleaned and give you a professional image.
# 3 Check Your Breath
The last thing you want is to strike up a friendly conversation with a prospect, only to have halitosis. Check your breath before you talk to anyone. Carry gum and breath mints with you at all times. This should be common sense, but a lot of people mess this up.
# 4 Focus on the Other Person
Everyone likes to talk about themselves. You need to understand this. At the end of the day, the prospect doesn’t really care much about you. They care about themselves. Make your entire conversation revolve around them, and you will be welcomed everywhere you go.
# 5 Get Good at Asking Questions
Get good at asking questions. This gets people talking about themselves and keeps you in control of the conversation at the same time. Have a list of five to ten simple questions you can ask someone to get a conversation going. Examples might include:
- Are you from around here?
- What do you do for a living?
- Nice day, isn’t it?
# 6 Learn How to Listen
You have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Use them in that proportion. Get good at asking questions, but then be smart enough to shut up and listen. Your prospect will notice. Very few people know how to listen well. If you listen properly, you will find an “in” for the products or business. Ultimately, you are trying to figure out their hot button.
# 7 Wear a Button
I learned this tip from a Herbalife rep. They had a button that said something like this: “Lose Weight. Ask Me How!” People would see the button, and if they were curious, they would strike up a conversation with you.
# 8 Clothing
Most network marketing companies sell shirts, hats, hoodies, and other apparel. Buy some of these clothing items with the company’s name and logo on it. Some people will see your shirt and be curious about what the company is. They will start-up the conversation with you!
# 9 Incorporate Prospecting into Your Day-to-Day Life
Never intentionally go out just to go prospecting. Ever. I think it’s bad karma. Instead, incorporate it into your daily activities. Most people come in contact with HUNDREDS of people each and every day, without even realizing it. Your job is simply to notice people while you are out and about living life, and strike up a conversation with some of them.
# 10 Be in a Hurry
Whenever you are talking to someone, be in a hurry. Never talk to anyone more than a few minutes. This keeps you in control of the conversation. It also keeps you from saying too much to your prospect and wearing out your welcome.
# 11 Use F.O.R.M.
This stands for family, occupation, recreation and message. Basically, these are four “safe” topics you can talk to any prospect about. It’s a simple way to warm them up to you. Ask people about their family, occupation, what they enjoy doing in their free time, and then drop a simple message to pique their curiosity.
# 12 Put a Smile on Your Face
Always be aware of your own body language. I was once told that your best prospecting tool is your smile. I agree. Before you start a conversation with anyone, make sure you have a friendly smile on your face.
# 13 Create an Elevator Speech
Another prospecting tip is to have a simple elevator speech for your business. This is a short two to three sentence statement about what you do. It’s designed to pique people’s curiosity and give them a simple overview of what you do, to see if they might be interested in learning more.
# 14 Don’t Smoke
If you’re a smoker, don’t smoke in public if you’re trying to prospect. Some people have asthma or can’t stand the smell of cigarettes. If they see you smoking, and then you try to strike up a conversation with them, it might make them feel uncomfortable.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky
Best Places to Meet Prospects
# 15 Networking Groups
There are tons of business networking groups. Look through your local newspaper to see what options you have. You can also check Facebook, or do a Google search to learn about networking groups in your local area. If you join one of these groups, don’t just start pitching everyone. Connect with them on a personal level first, and see how you can help them, before you prospect them for your business.
# 16 Affinity Groups
Everyone has a hobby. Make a list of your hobbies, and then look for local groups in your community where people who have the same hobby get together. For example, if you enjoy running, join a running club. If you like RC airplanes, join a RC airplane club. These people all have something in common with you, so you have common ground when you talk with them.
# 17 Working Lunch
Take a working lunch each day at a local bistro, restaurant or coffee shop. Set up your laptop, but don’t look too busy. Mingle with the people around you. This is an easy way to talk to three to five prospects every single day.
# 18 Local Events
Most communities have flea markets, health fairs, farmer’s markets, etc. You can go prospecting at these events. If it was me, I would focus on connecting with the vendors, since they are already entrepreneurial in nature.
# 19 Job Fairs
You could visit a job fair and hang out in the lobby and talk with other people who are there looking for employment. Or, you could be discreet and walk through the event and strike up conversations with people. Or, you could rent a booth at the event.
# 20 Facebook
Facebook is quite perhaps the best place to prospect. You can do it from home in your pajamas, and you have an endless supply of prospects. On average, each person on Facebook has at least 200 friends. If each of your friends also has 200 friends, that’s 40,000 potential prospects for your products and business. You’d never get through all those prospects before you had a big business built!
Big shots are only little shots who keep shooting. –Christopher Morley
Other Posts You Might Enjoy
- Results of Sponsoring 100 People
- Sample MLM Classified Ads
- Learn More About Me
- Check Out My Favorite Business Tools
Top 10 Tips for Talking with Your MLM Prospects
Here are ten simple tips for you to follow when you talk with your MLM Prospects.
- Show a genuine interest in others – Don’t talk about yourself. Be interested in the other person and what they have to say, rather than trying to be “interesting” yourself.
- Take your eyes off yourself – Don’t think about how much money you could make if the person you are talking with joined the business or bought your products. Instead, focus on how you can help them solve their own problems.
- Look for people at your ambition level or higher – Sponsor up. Look for intelligent, sharp people to have conversations with. Look for people with credibility, contacts, influence and disposable income.
- Be a good listener – Listen at least twice as much as you talk. Instead of thinking about how you will respond or what you will say next, ACTIVELY listen to what your prospect is saying.
- Ask questions – When you are talking, get good at asking questions, so the other person can answer you. You’ll learn a lot more by listening than you will by talking.
- Identify a problem before you offer a solution – As you listen to people, listen for a problem they are having that your products, services, or opportunity can provide a solution for.
- Never go straight for the jugular – People hate to be sold, but they like to buy. Warm people up before you ever talk about business or products.
- Remember people’s names – To most people the sound of their name is their favorite word in the English language. Say their name whenever you talk with them.
- Establish rapport – Ideally, you need to form a connection with someone before you talk about business or rapport.
- Initiate conversations with people – It’s your job to start conversations with people. Don’t sit and wait around for others to start a conversation with you.
Dealing with Skeptical MLM Prospects
Skeptical prospects are often your best prospects. Never forget that.
In most cases, your prospects will not sign up or buy what you are offering them the first time you talk with them about it. When people sign up on the spot, it actually worries me.
What I look for in a prospect is someone who will sell themselves on the idea and put some thought into their buying decision. Most people who rush into the business rush out of it!
When someone is skeptical, has objections or has questions, do NOT let it bother you. It is a good thing. It’s natural. It means they need more information and more follow-up!
Most of the people I personally sponsor take me at least 10-20 follow ups before they join my team and most prospects don’t join until minimum 60 to 90 days from the first time I exposed them to the business.
If I only looked for people who are ready right now, I would be leaving a lot of money on the table. I would get frustrated and probably give up, because most people are not ready right now.
One of my mentors once told me that in five years from now your best people will be people who told you NO many times before they joined. Your best distributors will typically be the people who were the most skeptical at first. Food for thought.
It took me a long time to understand that the best prospects are the ones who object. ~ Frank Bettger
The Truth About MLM Prospecting
Prospecting sucks! Most people think so anyway. Truth be told, I personally hate prospecting.
That’s why I have designed my business so prospects contact me first. At the end of the day we are all in the lead generation business. That is our real business: meeting new people, so we have someone to share the business and products with. There are literally a million different ways to do this.
Some people blog. Some people use the three-foot rule. Some people set up at local events. Some people work their warm market. Some folks use social media. Some people buy leads and work the phones. I know successful people in our industry who use each of these methods.
Your key to success in our industry is to find a prospecting strategy that resonates with you and then master that strategy. There is no ONE RIGHT WAY to prospect or get leads. Study 100 successful reps in our industry and you will find 100 different ways to do MLM Prospecting.
My challenge for you is to study marketing and lead generation. If I had to credit one thing to my success in this industry, it’s that I took the time to learn direct response marketing. It took me about two years to really figure it out, but it was well worth my time and money.
I follow a guy named Dan Kennedy. He is NOT a network marketer, but he is quite perhaps the best marketer in the world. He has two books that I recommend: “No BS Sales Success” and “No BS Direct Marketing.” Read those two books. Apply what you learn.
Come up with a prospecting strategy that makes sense to you and roll with it. You will be glad that you did.
Professional recruiters spend time in front of qualified prospects. Amateurs spend time in front of anyone and everyone. ~ Big Al Tom Schreiter
Is Face-to-Face MLM Prospecting Dead?
I want to share something personal today that I normally don’t tell many people. Here it is.
On an average day I get 100 to 200 emails with people trying to promote the newest shiny object or business opportunity. On an average day I get five to twenty people calling me, or one of those damn auto-dialers, pitching their deal. In an average month, I get one to two postcards with people pitching their business.
Over the last ten years, I have not been prospected ONCE face-to-face about a MLM business opportunity. Isn’t that crazy?
It seems like just about everyone has taken their business online or to the phones, and most people have overlooked face-to-face prospecting.
I personally believe there is a HUGE opportunity for anyone looking to find new customers and distributors face-to-face, if they do it properly.
Of course, this is just my opinion, and many of you will disagree with me. By all means, use the phone and internet to leverage yourself, but don’t overlook face-to-face prospecting.
There are prospects everywhere. Most of us come in contact with over 100 people a day. Put a smile on your face, stick your hand out, be nice, and say hello to people. You never know where your next conversation will take you.
Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission. –Zig Ziglar
The Power of Prospecting 10 People per Day
I want to take a moment or two and talk to you about the 10 a day concept.
Did you know that if you called or prospected 10 people a day about your network marketing business (every day) you would talk with 3,650 people per year?
Let’s assume that one in five people agree to listen to a presentation, one in five of those people sign up as a distributor, and one in five people who sign up as a distributor build a small business of their own.
And let’s also suppose that one in five people who decide to build a business are a rock star. What would your numbers look like at the end of the year? Here is a hypothetical example using the numbers just mentioned.
- 3,650 people prospected
- 730 presentations given
- 146 people sponsored
- 29 people who build up a decent part-time business
- 5 ROCK STARS who build it big!
Would it be worth your time to do this? Could prospecting just 10 people a day change your life and business? I think so. The only real question left is “will you do it?”
The Formula for Success with MLM Prospecting
X number or contacts equals X number of prospects equals X number of new customers and distributors equals X number of dollars.
This is a formula for success in network marketing. Everyone’s numbers are different. In the beginning, you will have to work through more numbers to sponsor more distributors because you lack the skills.
Here’s a realistic formula for success as I see it (individual results will vary).
Contact 14 people each week to schedule three presentations to sponsor one new distributor. That means that if you contact two people a day, seven days a week, you should be able to give three presentations each week and sponsor one new distributor per week. You can easily do this in five to ten hours per week.
It really is that simple. Show me anyone who is struggling in the industry and I will show you someone who is NOT working the numbers. I’ve never met anyone who contacted two people a day, seven days a week, for two years that did not have a large group!
Wisdom from a MLM Legend
When asked why he was so successful in Amway when so many other people failed he responded by saying (paraphrased) that “he credits his success to showing the plan to about 1,200 people and sponsoring about 300 of those people. Of those 300 people, only 85 did anything at all, 35 were serious and 11 made him a multi-millionaire.”
If you truly understand that wisdom, you will realize that you have to talk to thousands of people, to sponsor hundreds of people, to find a few leaders who will help you build a huge business.
Break that down and talk to five to twenty prospects per day and you can get there in just a few short years.
Must Read MLM Prospecting Books
- Magnetic Sponsoring by Mike Dillard
- How I Conquered Call Reluctance, Fear of Self-Promotion, & Increased My Prospecting! by Sidney Walker
- How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling by Frank Bettger
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- Fanatical Prospecting by Jeb Blount
- High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results by Mark Hunter
Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later. –Og Mandino
In summary, these are my best MLM Prospecting tips.
Whatever you do, spend some time and learn how to prospect. This one skill can make you very wealthy in network marketing.
There are tons of courses, books and training events on prospecting, so if it’s something you aren’t naturally good at, you can study these materials to improve your skills.
What are your thoughts? What are your best MLM Prospecting tips? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. To your success!