The ABC of Prospecting

A prospect is “somebody or something with potential” and finding those somebodies with potential is probably one of the most important parts of building a successful network marketing business.

Being able to prospect on the fly as in situational prospecting is an incredibly valuable skill. You have to learn to be able to prospect in a way that helps the other person by letting her know that there is a way to improve her life, but without coming across as being salesy or pushy.

If there’s one skill that may need improvement this is probably the one. It may also be the most difficult for some personalities to deal with.

Situational prospecting doesn’t mean approaching somebody after the blow, sticking your hand out and saying “Hi, I can change your life, all you have to do is blah blah blah”. In the world of advertising this would be called interruptional marketing. It’s uninvited and intrusive and it’s likely to be ignored.

Briefly we’ll talk about the ABC of prospecting.


Amiable means being friendly, but not too friendly.

Many compare team building to recruiting by the US Army. Most people who put on their uniforms for the first time have been attracted into the Army because of the benefits – money towards college, travel, housing and lifetime medical care. Very few sign up because it’s an opportunity to go and kill total strangers. They’re regarded as volunteers, because they weren’t drafted.

Team building is similar, although you won’t be the drill sergeant shouting at your new volunteers! You need to be nice – amiable – and promote the benefits of being in your team.

I’ve noticed that successful network marketers smile a lot – they have a lot to smile about. If you’re not smiling when you meet people you’re not attractive. Even if you’ve had a bad day, learn how to smile and live for the moment. You are, after all, the purveyor of good news, so you should be happy.

Our closest friends take the time to listen to what we have to say and conversely we lend our ear whenever they need it. Always make sure the most important person is the prospect in front of you. They want to know what you can do for them. Complement them and they’ll feel good, they’ll begin to open up and trust you. Leave the words “me” and “I” at home.

Good manners are hard to find these days, it’s a shame because good manners show respect. Practice good manners and you will leave a lasting impression in your prospect’s mind.

Steer the conversation away from politics, religion and controversial subjects unless you really want to press somebody’s buttons! Chances are the outcome won’t be good, so don’t even go there. Just be natural, honest and amiable – and show you care.


People are busy. Don’t engage your prospect in endless and pointless conversation, face-to-face or on the phone. Be brief. Saying too much can work against you. You should leave your prospect thinking how your offer could change her life. Hand her a DVD or an invitation to a presentation and your business card. If this is your first encounter then you shouldn’t be asking her to join your team anyway.

The presentation or DVD and information you have left her with will be able to tell her far more than you can explain in a brief conversation and she can do it when she is more relaxed and able to take it in.

Invitations are brief. You’re either joining the party or not.


Being credible means being honest and not exaggerating. There’s nothing fake about honesty. If you’re Italian try to cut out your natural tendency to wave your arms around while you’re talking! Definitely don’t use phrases like “huge amounts of money” or “unbelievable opportunity”. That’s what it will be – unbelievable.

You can’t climb out of a beaten up pickup truck in an Armani suit and be taken seriously. Keep the suit but park the truck out of sight! Fake it till you make it.

C also stands for coherence (consistency) and congruence (similarity). Your personality and how you conduct and present yourself should all fit together. James Bond doesn’t drink Ripple.

Some people find prospecting terrifying. It’s just like going to the dentist – do it regularly, and it won’t be half as bad as you imagine.

Some people love prospecting – they can’t wait to meet new people and help to change their lives, and that’s how you should feel. Your genuine enthusiasm and respect for others’ time, situation and position are a winning combination.

Of course there are many other aspects of situational prospecting that we haven’t covered but if you follow this simple ABC of prospecting it should help.

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