Prospecting – Digging a Hole or Looking for Gold

The fundamental core of network marketing or an MLM business is prospecting, there’s no way around it. Prospecting produces the leads that make money, either by selling product or building a team. If you have no prospects, well, that’s it in a nutshell; you have no future prospect of building a successful business.

Prospecting without Pressurizing

When you approach someone they have no way of knowing what’s inside your head – what you know about your business. The person you are about to prospect is a blank sheet if you will, they have to be educated and informed about your business. The knowledge you have via training and experience you have built up over a number of months or years, and it is impossible to relay that information to another person the first time you meet. It would be like plugging a memory stick into a computer and downloading a few terabytes of information in a few seconds – it’s just not going to happen with another human being. They don’t know the product, the compensation plan and probably nothing about your company – or you.

It is impossible for the prospect to make a qualified decision about your opportunity and you should never expect them to. The last thing you should do on the first meeting is ask them to join your team, you don’t know them at all, and they may end up being a bad choice.

People who are used to meeting others in business situations are very good at hiding what they’re really thinking. You could be babbling on about your opportunity because he or she is smiling and looking interested but in the back of her mind she may be wishing you would shut up and drop dead. Do not assume anything or you will be deluding yourself. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and think before you start- you will soon learn how pitching like that will make you look like an amateur.

Prospecting is about Using the Best Tools you Have Effectively

Most companies have tools that you can use when you are prospecting. These cost the company huge amounts of money to design and produce, and very often by offering those tools to your prospect you can save a lot of time and breath. A DVD offered to a prospect can be watched at home when she has time. If she doesn’t understand something, she can watch it again. Written materials can be perused at her leisure. What can be done with a tatty business card? Not much.

If you can start out prospecting by respecting your prospects’ time and definitely not pressurizing them into make decisions, then you have started a relationship that is more likely to flourish. By offering her something of value she is more likely to offer you something of value, such as an email address or phone number, or another opportunity to talk

If you learn to prospect in this way you can teach your team to do the same. If it gets results for you, it will for them too.

Prospecting is not about What you Can Get, it’s What you can Give

Prospecting is all about building relationships and trust. Ask how you can help them, ask what they need to succeed, don’t stand there and give a lecture about how successful you’ve been – tell them how successful they can be. When they answer, listen to their responses and look interested! Be spontaneous and practice being spontaneous, that may sound a bit silly but your body language will show the prospect that you really are a helpful, caring person. In the beginning you maybe stiff and your conversation sound forced, it just takes a little practice or, if you’re lucky it may come naturally.

The best leaders and team builders are the ones who are genuinely concerned about others and want them to succeed. They focus on the other person’s needs and you rarely hear the word “I” in their conversations – “you” is used a lot more.

Attract Your Prospect with Your Personality

Don’t try to copy someone else you know is successful – you should use their techniques of course. Infuse your own personality into the formula, otherwise you will sound like a clone and after a while you won’t know who you really are! Always be positive in your approaches and it’s a good idea to be upbeat and add a little humor where necessary. You’ll soon find you start to use phrases and words that are unique to you. When someone asks how you are, say something unique and witty like “if I was any happier they’d say I was nuts” – you get the idea – it will crack the ice immediately. You can charm people and compliment them by rephrasing a normal sentence, just don’t overdo it, it may sound fake.

Timing is Everything

If you are prospecting, start out by saying something like “do you have time to discuss an excellent opportunity that could change your life?” Instead of “I have a great opportunity I want to tell you about.” The first sentence contains the words “you” and “your”, the latter contains “I” twice and the word “tell” – the first is much more effective. If the answer is “no”, it may leave the person wondering later if you used the first question, and she may ask you for a business card. Using the second question, your prospect is probably walking away a little quicker after saying “no”.

Have you developed some useful techniques for prospecting? What suggestions would you make to help a newcomer to network marketing?

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