1. Network Marketing is “sharing” – Network marketing is not sharing products or samples for someone to try. You want a prospect to try that sample before they buy it. So what is that called my friend? SALES. That’s right network marketing is sales. To further my point here to make sure you understand I am going to give you an example. I have sold a product to eye doctors in the past that is for cleaning contact lenses. We had samples of this product for the doctors to have their patients try so they can get feedback. If the doctor receives positive feedback from his patients then he will buy the product from me. So why do those in this industry call it “sharing” when the reality is it is “selling?” I have no idea. Please make no mistake it’s all about selling your products to customers and/or your business opportunity to home-based business entrepreneurs. I fell for this trap too, when I was introduced to network marketing and dabbled in it for a minute. So you are not alone as I have been there too.
2. Not Listening – This is a big one. Now I have to tell you that this is not exclusive to newbie network marketers. In fact, all new salespeople have this issue where they do not listen to their prospects. When talking to a prospect all you do is “throw up” all over them with every detail about your product and company. When you should be asking them a question (in sales jargon this is called probing). Shut up and wait for your prospect to respond. See selling is not about talking. No it is about listening to your prospect, but you first have to ask a question that they can respond to. Ever hear friends or family say Jimmy is such a smooth talker he should go into sales? Or boy your friend John Doe has the gift to gab are they in sales? If not, then he should be. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Sales has zero to do with talking. It is all about LISTENING. Let me repeat LISTENING. If you don’t give your prospect time to talk how the hell are you going to know what problems they are having and if your product or opportunity can solve them? Answer you’re not. If you learn how to listen you can sell a lot of products/opportunities and make a ton of money. I’ve sold millions of dollars in products to eye doctors over the course of my career and that is due to listening. So what kinds of questions should you ask your prospect? For this example let’s say you’re speaking with a home-based business entrepreneur at a networking event, you signed up for on meetup.com not Susie the bartender at Applebee’s. Don’t ever try selling Susie at Applebee’s it’s a complete waste of time. More on that in a minute.
Tell me about what you do?
How did you get started in this industry?
What brought you to this event?
What is your biggest challenge?
What are your goals for 2015?
How has business been for you?
These are the types of questions you need to ask your prospects to find out more about them. Also, ask a question and wait for them to respond. This is called “pausing” which is uncomfortable for virtually everyone to do, but if you can get good at it selling will be much easier. It’s not about saying hello to someone and immediately cramming your product or opportunity down their throat. That is not how you sell anything. How effective is asking questions and perfecting the “pause?”
I worked really hard on both, especially the “pause” and I was ranked in the top 5 out of 45 sales reps in the U.S. and Canada. This put me in the President’s Club. For those of us in the President’s Club (5 sales reps) we received an all expenses paid trip for two to Maui for five days where we stayed in a 5-star resort where everything was included. Not to mention the gold personalized rings, medals, and plaques we all received as well. In addition to all of those things I just mentioned it was also the first year I earned 6 figures in my career. This was a proud moment for me as I set a goal for myself that I wanted to earn 6 figures before I was 30 and I accomplished that goal at 27. My point for telling you this is not to gloat, rather I am living proof if you want something bad enough and put the work in you will achieve it. Trust me it was not easy.
3. Not Paying Attention to Your Prospect’s Body Language – There is so much you can learn about someone without them ever saying a word. When you are trying to sell someone your product or opportunity you need to pay attention to their body language to make sure they are engaged in the conversation. If not, you may give a presentation to a prospect who is “yesing” you to death so they can leave, which makes you think they are interested in what you’re selling. The reality is they are not. This prospect is simply trying to end this conversation as soon as possible. What are some tell tale signs that the prospect is not interested in what you have to offer them and hope to god you stop talking. Like right now.
- Looking at their watch every 30 seconds or so.
- Tapping their foot on the ground.
- Their arms are folded while you are speaking.
- Keep looking over your shoulder at the door.
- Replying “yes” to everything you are saying.
- Twiddling their thumbs.
- Rocking back and forth while they are sitting in a chair.
If your prospect is doing any of these things it means they are A) Not interested in you, your product or opportunity or B) They really need to be somewhere right now.
So what do you do when you are in this situation after you recognize one of the signs I mentioned above? Ask them a couple questions?
Are you interested in discussing this product and/or opportunity?
I sense this may not be a good time for you to have a conversation. Can we set up a time to talk another day?
It is imperative that you pay attention to body language as it can make or break you.
4. Pitching Everyone – Okay. Now we are getting into my wheel house. Your millionaire wielding upline tells you to make a list of all of your friends and family and that everyone is a candidate for your business opportunity which includes – waiters, waitresses, bartenders, cashiers, school teachers, you name it. Here is the question they tell you to use when talking to these prospects. How would you like to make “x” without changing what you’re currently doing? Or If I can show you how to supplement your income without changing what you’re currently doing would you be interested in learning more?
STOP. No Really STOP right there. Everyone is not your prospect. Not even close. Remember network marketing is SELLING and selling is a skill that you learn over time and it is not for EVERYBODY. I repeat is not for EVERYBODY. That waitress or bartender does not have the background to sell an opportunity or let alone the desire to do so or else they would be involved in an opportunity already. Why would you spin your wheels and waste your time there? Answer is – you shouldn’t! You need to burn this one in your brain.
Just because you can does not mean you should.
So who do you target? Others already in this industry. Yep. That’s exactly what I said. Target others already in the industry who are in different opportunities currently or were involved in the past and familiar with “The Game.” Your upline told you not to target these types of prospects? So what. This is where you need to go if you want a shot at selling your opportunity to anyone.
I mean it’s common sense. For example if you were selling Coca Cola to consumers who would you target as an ideal prospect? Someone who drinks water? Or Someone who drinks Pepsi? Your answer better be someone who drinks Pepsi. Why? Coke is similar to Pepsi in terms of it is carbonated, caramel in color, and sweet. Make sense? It better. Why not the water drinker? Water is tasteless, has no calories, and no caffeine and is completely different than Coke. Also, the chances are slim to none that the water drinker will switch from water to Coke. Whereas, the Pepsi drinker is more likely to switch to drinking Coke.
5. You Fail to Build Relationships – Selling is all about relationships. What do I mean by that? People buy from people they know, like, and trust. It’s as simple as that. Does that mean all prospects will not buy from you unless they have known you for years? No. They may buy from you right off the bat if your product or opportunity solves a problem for them. That is rather the exception not the rule. Time and money are typical problems that need to be solved for everyone. Time = Money. If you can show a prospect how your product or opportunity can save them time, then that increases your chances of a sale. Same can be said if you can clearly articulate how you can make them more money.
Building relationships take time. Do you ask someone to marry you on a first date? No. You build a relationship with them and then ask them to marry you later on down the road. Same goes for asking someone to buy from you. They have to get to know you and feel you have their best interests in mind and not out to make a quick buck. Your prospects can smell this immediately like a shark can smell blood in the water. How do you go about building a relationship? It starts with a conversation and depending on the outcome it may end with the prospect saying he is not interested at this time, but stay in touch down the road. Now you call that prospect in 6 months or so and find out where he is at. This process may go on for a year or more, but each of these conversations or touches builds a relationship with that prospect and will most likely end in a sale if you persist. Here is an example of that.
One of the devices I used to sell to eye doctors is a digital retinal imaging system. This technology took an image of the back of your eye (your retina) in a quarter of a second and is noninvasive (does not harm or cause any damage to your eye). This doctor had barely enough patient volume where this machine made sense for his practice and patients. Keep in mind the cost of this particular machine was $85,000. Psychologically it does not matter how much patient volume you have or the potential ROI of the instrument that is a lot of money. So how long did it take for me to get this doctor to buy that $85,000 piece of equipment? 3 years!
Every 3 to 6 months for 3 years I would meet and talk with this doctor reinforcing the benefits of the machine for his practice and patients and finally he pulled the trigger and bought. After he bought he said I wish I had bought the device sooner due to the impact it had on his patient care. If I did not persist and meet with that doctor every 3 to 6 months, building that relationship he never would have bought from me. Make sense? See why building a relationship is important? If you focus on building a relationship with your prospects the sky is the limit.
6. Not Transparent (Open and Honest) – I for the life of me cannot understand why this is so difficult for you to comprehend. If a prospect asks you what are my start – up costs if I join your opportunity? You need to tell them EVERYTHING. Do not leave out a cent. Why? Because people want to do business with other people who are honest and straightforward, not shifty and shady. Let me ask you. Would you rather do business with someone who is shady withholding details about your true costs? Or with someone who lays it all out on the table and there are no surprises? I can’t tell you how many salespeople I have seen in my career do this with their prospects and/or customers and it does not go unnoticed by the customers either. This results in you having a bad reputation which ultimately kills your business. The next time a prospect asks what does it cost to join your opportunity tell them EVERYTHING from the initial buy-in, monthly auto-shipments (exactly how much down to the shipping costs – if a physical or consumable product), business cards, marketing materials, EVERYTHING. Trust me when I tell you regardless of whether you are new or not if you intentionally leave any of this out your credibility will take a hit immediately. If your upline tells you to omit certain costs when talking to your prospects IGNORE them and tell your prospects the truth. Half of the reason people perceive the network marketing industry as a scam is because you lie to people instead of telling the truth.
Also, if you are talking with a prospect and do not think they are the right fit for your opportunity, then say so and move to someone who is.
7. Earning The Right to Close – Before you ask your prospect whether they are ready to move forward and buy your product or possibly join your opportunity you have to earn the right to do so. What? You need to get their buy-in and see they are truly ready to buy which is earning the right to close. When do you earn the right to close the sale? After you have clearly explained the benefits of your product to your prospect who is fully engaged in your conversation based on body language and sincerely replying yes to all of your questions. In addition to overcoming any objections your prospect may have. At which point you have earned the right to close your prospect. Now ask for the business. Your prospect will say yes 99.9% of the time.
Most of you try to close your prospect after doing an info dump of your product and company after a minute of talking without asking your prospect a single question waiting for them to respond. Which is wrong and you’ll never sell anyone anything that way. You need to earn the right to close before asking your prospect for his business. Period. End of story.
8. Explaining The Benefits of Your Product – The hardest thing for you to comprehend when selling is differentiating between a feature or benefit. What is the difference between the two? We’ll walk through an example of each and our product will be product “x.”
- Feature – easy-to-use
- Benefit – saves time
When talking with a prospect it is important to connect the dots for them. If you keep saying that product “x” is easy-to-use then they will say to you great, but how does that help me? This is where you need to say product “x” is easy-to-use which saves you time. Saves time is the benefit of product “x” and the benefit is what really matters to your prospects. They could give a rats ass about the feature. You really need to practice this as it relates to your product and have it committed to memory. No exceptions. Here is a scenario for you.
There was a product I had sold years ago for cleaning and disinfecting contact lenses. I’ll explain a feature and a benefit of this product. Typically for any product there is more than 1 feature and 1 benefit, but I am trying to keep it simple for you to illustrate my point. We’ll name it contact lens solution A.
Contact lens solution A.
- Feature – cleans and disinfects your contact lenses in 5 minutes.
- Benefit – patient does not to wait 6 hours to wear their contact lenses.
All competitive products at the time called for the patient to wait 6 hours before the patient could wear their contacts again after cleaning and disinfecting them in solution. Whereas this product allows the patient to clean and disinfect their contact lenses in 5 minutes and then put the contacts back in their eyes after 5 minutes. So when I was talking to the doctor I would hammer home the benefits of this product. You follow me? Does this make sense? Great.
9. Bashing Your Competition – Look there is no need for you to bash your competition or the company that the prospect you are trying to recruit is currently in. Yeah, it’s great to believe in your product and company, but don’t say that your company is great and their company is not as good. There is really no place for that, so keep that crap to yourself. Heck, you never know you may want to sell that company’s products down the road or be in the industry for a long time. The last thing you want is to be known as the “basher”
I have worked for 6 different companies selling to eye doctors in the same area over the course of 11 years and competed against all kinds of companies. Would it benefit me to bash my competition? Ah no. It would damage my reputation and doctors would not have bought from me when I switched to a new company. You never know where you’ll end up and you may end up switching network marketing companies so it is vital that you do not bash your competition. There is room for all of us. That does not mean I don’t like beating my competition, because I do and I beat them every day.
10. Making up Answers to Your Prospects Questions – Admit it you have done it at least once, maybe twice. I know I have when I first started selling many moons ago, before I learned not to. A prospect will respect you more if you say “I do not know the answer” when they ask you a question, rather than shooting from the hip and making something up. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so don’t screw that up by making up an answer! Also, this makes you seem unknowledgeable, not credible, and slimy like a used car salesman. You do not want to be lumped into that category. You can potentially get sued if you start making stuff up that isn’t true. Although rare this can happen.
Here is an example that may resonate with you. If you are a sales rep selling a drug to a cardiologist and that cardiologist asks if your drug has a specific side effect and you do not know the answer. What should you do? You better say I do not know the answer, but I will find out for you. Why is this so important in this case? This can affect patient care and potentially put the patient’s life at risk if you start guessing and making stuff up.
I understand the product you are selling may or may not have this type of impact on someone, but it does not mean you should be taking it any lighter and making crap up. Understand what I am saying? Does this make sense to you? Good. Do not make things up. Say you do not know the answer. Find out what that answer is and get back to them.
11. Lacking Confidence – The main reason one lacks confidence when selling a product is because they A) Do not believe in it and B) Do not know its features and benefits cold. Simple as that. A prospect can tell in a nanosecond based on your body language whether you believe in your product and can articulate its features and benefits. Amazing how a prospect can determine all of those things without you opening your mouth. If you do not believe in the product don’t sell it. Further if you’re not going to take the time to learn the features and benefits and how to discuss them in a manner that makes sense to your prospect – go do something else. This is not for you. As I said earlier selling is not for everyone. You will be amazed how far confidence can get you if practice being confident on a daily basis. So don’t be like everybody else. Be confident and stand out from the crowd. Sound like a plan?
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