The Encarta dictionary has a number of definitions for the word prospecting. I think this one is the most relevant to network marketing:
a chance or the likelihood that something will happen in the near future, especially something desirable
Prospecting or generating leads has been described as “the central skill of this profession” or in other words the lifeblood of network marketing.
Prospecting for Dummies
When you get a lead and your aim is to get someone involved with your business, treat her like a blank sheet of paper. She knows nothing. She may even have been pre-programmed with erroneous ideas, myths and lies about network marketing.
Start out by educating her and answering her questions. Listening is as vital as talking at this stage of your relationship. She probably won’t understand how a compensation plan works. She’ll know nothing about your company and probably very little about the product or how to market it.
She may have even fallen prey to some of the bad network marketing promotions that are out there and thinks she can start earning boatloads of money quickly without very much effort.
Your job on your first encounter is to answer her questions and give her the information she needs to make an informed decision. You can make an offer at the end of the conversation, if you think she’s a good candidate.
Never propose she becomes part of your team without getting to know what makes her tick. As per the definition above, joining your team will be something that happens in the near future and will be desirable to you both.
As you become more experienced you will continue to perfect your prospecting techniques. You’ll encounter many people who say they’re interested, just so they can terminate the conversation quicker. You’ll also learn to read body language. Some people will say yes but you’ll know straight away they have no intention of doing anything.
If you force people to do something, they tend to push back. Prospecting is not about forcing your offer, opportunity, presentation, DVD or magazine onto somebody who is just not interested. It’s a waste of your time and theirs.
Prospecting is all about give and take and it’s you who will be doing the giving initially. By offering your knowledge and expertise, you may be fortunate to get that prospect’s phone number in exchange. You certainly won’t get it with an in-your-face attitude, telling somebody they’ve absolutely got to do something, without ever listening to what they have to say. You’ll only build yourself a reputation of being an arrogant bully.
Good network marketing companies offer extensive training on all aspects of the business. They know how important prospecting is and they want you to succeed. So don’t ignore what they’re offering you. Even if you think you’re good, you probably could do better.
Empathy is vital in this business and an essential tool for team building. Always put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and give them what they need. It’s all about them at this stage and not about you.
Look interested and pose questions that will elicit valuable and informative answers, without your encounter appearing to be in interrogation. Use the word “you” often. The prospect will then feel you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say. Remember it’s about what you can do for the prospect, (even though you’re just about to hit bonus).
You may end up using the same questions to different prospects repeatedly. Don’t sound like you’re reading from a script – your body language will immediately tell the prospect that you’re just going through the motions. What you say may not be unique, but each individual you encounter is, and they will have different responses to your questions, so listen carefully.
Successful Prospecting is the Core of Network Marketing
“Something will happen in the near future, especially something desirable”. Think about this definition, it doesn’t contain the words “you” or “I”. That’s because successful prospecting brings desirable results to both parties. You grow a successful team and a profitable business while helping someone else onto that same path.
Previously we said that the first meeting was not the best time to invite somebody into your team. You may get some insight into how the other person’s life is and you should have planted a few seeds and dispelled any doubts she might have.
Questions such as “do you think you’ve reached a stage in your life where you’d be willing to explore an opportunity that will benefit both you and your family?” will make her ponder how she can improve her life.
She will either talk herself into it or out of it. If you’ve done your job right she’ll be calling you soon.