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 19+ years in the industry, mostly from trial and error. Hopefully, you can keep an open mind and learn from my successes and mistakes.
In essence, there are two ways to generate leads for your MLM Business: prospecting and marketing.
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 utilize both strategies. 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 do marketing. 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 should I look for in a 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. Also, look for people with a good attitude.
I’ve found that people who need the business seldom join or build it big, but the people who WANT to change and improve their life typically do quite well.
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 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 let them decide for themselves.
Study the top earners in our industry and the only thing you will find they had in common is 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!
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, such as people with a large social media following.
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. Recruiting just a ONE influencer will 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. These tips are listed in no particular order.
# 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. Why? Negative people never succeed in this industry.
# 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 clean 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 must 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 a need, before you can offer a solution.
# 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. Or, if you see someone looking at your button, you can strike up a conversation with them!
# 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 with 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 daily.
# 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 local 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 500 friends. If each of your friends also has 500 friends, that’s 250,000 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
What to Say to Your Prospects
One of the biggest questions people want to know is what they should say to their prospects. This is my best advice. Don’t say too much. Your real job is to pique their curiosity. Do not try to explain your opportunity or sell your products the first time you meet someone! Ever. Here are some examples as to what you can say.
When Face to Face
- Check this out when you can. Hand them your drop card and leave.
- Would you mind checking out my website? I’m looking for feedback. If they agree, hand them your card and leave.
- If you know anyone looking for a side hustle will you give them my business card? If they agree, hand them your business card and leave.
- Have you heard of (your company name here)?
- Could you do me a favor and check out my new website and tell me what you think?
- I just started a new business and I’m looking for people to help me expand. If I shared my website with you, would you please forward it to anyone you think might be interested in starting a new side hustle?
- I’m trying to educate people about CBD. If I sent you my website would you please forward it to anyone you know who might be interested in learning more about CBD?
Use curiosity. Keep it short and sweet when talking with people. The worst thing you can do is talk too much.
My Top 10 Cold Market Prospecting Tips
Before I share my best cold market prospecting tips with you, I have an important point to share. It would be in your best interest to determine your target market before you prospect anyone. Instead of thinking as everyone and anyone as a potential prospect, be strategic and tactical.
Think about what demographics are most important. Who is your ideal customer? Who is most likely to be interested in doing business with you? Don’t skip this step. Once you know the answer to this question you can follow my cold market prospecting tips listed below.
# 1: Hand Out 5-10 Drop Cards Daily
Drop cards are one of the simplest ways to get your name out there. When you meet someone in your target market, or someone who might know someone who is in your target market, you can hand them one of your drop cards. Do this 5-10 times per day and you will meet new people.
Doing drop cards is a very easy skill to master. It doesn’t require talking to anyone and is very low cost. What if you got your entire team to duplicate this process? I am willing to bet that based on the results I have seen that if you get your team of 10-12 or more people doing this tactic, your business will go through the roof and then you get each and every new person to join in on the fun, remember, network marketing is not just about your efforts it is about getting your team to produce as well!
Source: Higdon Group
# 2: Wear a Button
The Herbalife reps do this with much success. Get a button made and wear it when you are out and about living life. For example, if you sell CBD, have a button made that says:
Got CBD? Ask Me for Info!
When you see someone looking at your button (and you will), just hand them a drop card and tell them to check it out when they can. This is a very low key, non threatening way to meet people.
# 3: Publish a YouTube Video or Facebook Live Video Daily
This is one of my favorite cold market prospecting tips. This gets people to come to you. They watch your video and begin to like, know and trust you. When they are ready to get more information they reach out to you. Create videos that are entertaining and educational and solve people’s problem. Make sure your videos are designed for people in your target market.
Your customers and prospects, as well as people everywhere, are actively searching for ways of making human connections. By interacting with your visitors in a personal manner through video, you are increasing the chances of them making a connection with you and engaging with your brand.
The correlation is highlighted in a 2018 survey carried out by Brightcove, which determined 53% of consumers engaged with a brand after watching one of their videos on social media. The figure rose to 66% when millennials were singled out.
# 4: Fish Bowl Strategy
I’ve talked about the Fish Bowl Lead Generation Strategy several times on this website because it works. This is when you team up with a local mom and pop business to do a raffle for some free products. People drop their business card into an empty fish bowl to compete in the contest. You can then pick a winner and follow-up with everyone else. This is a simple way to get a few hundred leads in a week or less.
The obvious benefit of a business-card drawing is using the information you gathered to build your database. You can use the addresses for mailings and the phone number for calling.
# 5: Friends of Friends on Facebook
This is the most untapped gold mine on Facebook. If you have 500 friends and they each have 500 friends, that is 250,000 potential prospects for your business. Think about that for a minute. You could go through one friend per day, and search all of their friends to see who might be a good customer for your business. That will keep you busy for a while, especially if you have a lot of friends and are adding new friends daily.
Leveraging the power of friends of friends is still in its infancy in the social media world, but in real life we’ve been doing this for years. Ask your friends and colleagues to introduce you to second- and third-tier connections.
# 6: LinkedIn
One of the best places for cold market prospecting is LinkedIn. There are millions of people on LinkedIn looking to expand their network, advance their career, or find a new job. I suggest you start by having a good, professional profile that explains what you do. From there, form new connections daily. Private message people. Participate in groups and post relevant things on your timeline.
The prospects you’ve engaged with through connections and groups will most likely seek out your profile to learn more about you (Information flows both ways on LinkedIn!). So it only makes sense to optimize your profile to drive sales.
Make sure you have current links to your company site, your Twitter account, and your Facebook page. Include some high-quality recommendations from existing happy customers – think quality, not quantity.
This can give visitors a better idea of who you are and what you’re all about. Remember, effective sales is all about building trust and relationships!
# 7: Local Events
Attending local networking events is one of my best cold market prospecting tips. Find groups and events where people in your target market hang out and attend those events. Get to know people. Make new friends. Let people know what you do for a living without pressuring them or sounding like an amateur salesperson.
When you participate in local events and groups, your prospects can put a face to the product or solution they are considering. You’ll be able to build trust more quickly and also potentially gain more insights into what your audience wants through in-person conversations.
At the same time, you can qualify prospects and move them to the sales lead funnel.
Source: the blueprint
# 8: Classified Ads
Classified ads are still alive and well. Consider placing some small classified ads in different publications in your local area. Test and experiment different headlines and words. See what performs the best. This will make it so people contact you first, which is exactly what you want to happen.
No matter what media classified ads are viewed through, these small text ads are a significant source of customers for many home-based and small businesses. An inexpensive three-line ad placed in print, in an online yellow pages ad, or through search engines can deliver customers who need your product or service now. More importantly, if the ad is run regularly, it builds future business by making your name familiar and establishing your credibility.
Source: business know-how
# 9: Referrals
Referrals are a great way to grow any business. Whenever you talk with a customer or anyone you come in contact with, make it a point to get at least one referral from them. If you do that with everyone you meet, you will have a never ending supply of new prospects.
Make existing customers your brand ambassadors! The cost of retaining a customer is much lower than that of acquiring a new one, loyal customers tend to buy more and spend more. So treat them well and they will recommend you. Word-of-mouth is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools any business can employ to attract prospects, so make sure your clients have something good to say about you.
# 10: Collect Business Cards
When you visit grocery stores, churches, libraries and gas stations, take a minute and browse the bulletin board. They are normally located in the front of the store or near the restrooms. Look for business cards of people in your target market. Collect them and contact them when you get home. Tell them where you found their business card and what you have to offer them.
The broadest purpose of business cards is simply to connect with others and start a relationship. These relationships hopefully develop into new customers and vendors.
Source: Small Business Rainmaker
Cold Market Prospecting Scripts
To keep this article interesting, here are a few cold market prospecting scripts you can use. Feel free to modify or edit them to fit your business.
Someone You Meet While Out and About
It was a pleasure meeting you today, Joe. You seem like a great people person. If you’re ever looking for a new career, check this out when you can (hand them your drop card). Have a great day!
Hi Mike. Lunch was great and so was the service you provided. If you’re ever looking for a good side hustle or new career, check this out when you can (hand them your drop card). Have a great day (make sure you tip them well).
Someone at the Gas Station
I’m in a contest to hand out 100 of these free cards. Would you be willing to take one? (hand them your drop card and say thanks).
None of this is rocket science, but it does work. What do you think? What are your favorite cold market prospecting tips? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from 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 serious thought into their buying decision. Most people who rush into the business rush out of it! Why? What goes up must come down. Excitement never lasts.
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 to 20 follow ups before they join my team and most prospects don’t buy or join until minimum three to six months 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 for several YEARS 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 Prospecting
Prospecting sucks! Most people think so anyway. Truth be told, I 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 opportunity 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 and master lead generation. 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 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 only 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. We don’t have to agree. 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. If nothing else, hand everyone your drop card!
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 for one year you would talk with 3,650 people?
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 get serious about it. 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 small 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
Here is my little formula for success when it comes to talking to prospects.
“W” number or contacts equals “X” number of prospects equals “Y” number of new customers and distributors equals “Z” number of dollars.
Here’s an example. Talk with 100 people to find 20 good prospects to find 5 new customers/distributors to make $250 profit.
Using this example, each person you talk with is worth $2.50 to you, whether they say yes or no. Isn’t that exciting? By knowing your numbers, and working your numbers, you aren’t worried about who says yes and who says no.
Wisdom from a MLM Legend
Bill Britt was one of the most successful Amway distributors of all time (he recently passed away). 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 ten 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
- 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!