Today, I want to share my top 20 prospecting tips for network marketers. These are some helpful tips I have learned mostly through trial and error during the past 15+ years.
In essence, there are two ways to generate leads for your business: prospecting and marketing. Prospecting is when you talk with people first to pique their curiosity, 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 short learning curve, and it’s easy to get started with. Over a period of time, you can transition to marketing.
There are many ways to prospect successfully. Each person will do it slightly differently than everyone else, because everyone is their own unique individual. The secret is to find something you are comfortable with, and focus on that.
In the paragraphs below, I will share some of my best prospecting tips for network marketers AND some of the best places to meet prospects.
My Best Prospecting Tips for Network Marketers
# 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.
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.
# 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 during my short time in Herbalife. 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.
# 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.
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 interest 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.
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.
# 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 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!
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If I could just share one tip with you for successful prospecting, it’s this: DO NOT try to explain your business to people when you first meet them.
The purpose of meeting someone is to pique their interest and pre-qualify them. The reason you pre-qualify someone is to set an appointment. The purpose of setting an appointment is to do a presentation. The purpose of doing a presentation is to make a sale.
Do these steps in that order. Do NOT try to explain what you do in detail when you first meet someone. If you do, you will scare them off.
In summary, these are my top 20 prospecting tips for network marketers.
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 prospecting tips for network marketers? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.