Not long ago, I received a message on Facebook from a recently-added "friend." I accepted their request because we had so many friends in common and I could tell she was an entrepreneur like me.
However, what she did next has happened to me more times than I can count.
She began asking about my family. Next, she told me about her job and side business. Then, as a courtesy, asked me what I did. Knowing where this conversation was going, I beat her to the punch and mentioned that I noticed she was with a certain network marketing company (that 3 others have introduced to me in the last year). I then told her a little about my company, Money Ripples.
At this time, she began spewing everything about her company. How there are more men than women in the company (okay, thanks for the heads up). That there is a great program for youth.
A link to some success stories was sent promptly. And before I could reply, she already had a "Christian" she wanted to have me meet (not sure why him being a Christian matters). She added that he makes a lot of money and does 90% of his business thru his cell phone. I wanted to reply that I do 90% of my business online.
I decided to politely not reply to her. Most likely, she'll forget about me because most will forget to follow up.
Please don't misunderstand me. I LOVE network marketing! I think it's a fantastic business model WHEN DONE PROPERLY.
The poor reputation has developed from years of people, not only pitching their business from scarcity and desperation. But from forgetting some simple tactics that turn them from a commission-hungry amateur, to a business professional that others want to refer to.
Here are some ways to do it right, especially if you're talking to another business owner.
- Develop a friendship FIRST - Starting your friendship by pitching an "opportunity" is not a way to develop a relationship. You wouldn't ask someone to marry you on a first date. Don't do it in business either. You just come across as creepy and only wanting one thing....money.
- Listen - This goes along with #1. You can't understand what someone wants unless you listen to them. When I do a lunch or breakfast meeting with someone, I want them to talk so I know how I can serve them. Even if they ask me what I do, I answer their question, and then move right back to them.
- Focus on adding value - As I just said, I want to know how I can best serve them. Detach from your business, and just focus on finding any way to answer a question, make an introduction, etc. If they want to join the circus, I'll try to figure out who I can connect them with. Don't know if I know any bearded ladies though.
This has served me VERY well in my business. Even when they ask me what I do, I quickly answer their question and focus on them again. It's pretty common that they want to reciprocate in some way.
I had this experience yesterday with a man that I had just met in person for the first time. He asked me, "You've been a great help to me. What can I do for you?" I honestly didn't know because I was just getting to know him. I responded, "We have years to figure that out. I'm sure we'll know when the time is right."
You don't have to say the perfect sales script. You don't have to recruit the world. You should just keep an eye out for the right people. But first, focus on being the right person. Focus on showing up to serve WITHOUT an agenda.
Here are some "Do Not's":
- Do Not... pitch people when you first meet them
- Do Not... assume business owners are looking to leave their passion to do yours...EVER!!!
- Do Not... avoid saying who you work with. If you aren't willing to proudly say who you work for, why would anyone want to join you?!
- Do Not... tell a business owner "I think this business is a perfect addition to your business" when it's really not. And no. Adding another stream of income isn't a good reason.
- Do Not... say that your business requires no extra time. Any REAL business owner knows that that is a lie. A good business, especially in network marketing, does take time.
- Bonus: Do Not... sell me on the money I could make. This only tells me that you focus on one thing - money. Not serving people. I'm driven by passion and loving my life. I'm not driven by a paycheck. If you are only doing it for a paycheck, what makes it different from having a job?
This applies as much to other business owners as it does to networkers. If you are in network marketing, I applaud you. I respect you for choosing a path of freedom. I want you to succeed. Take these to heart before you just pitch your business to others.
The networkers I help the most are the ones that act like successful business professionals.
They focus on helping others around them.
They focus on creating value whenever they can, whether they get paid or not.
They want others to be successful in their ventures as much as they do in theirs.
They are great leaders that others want to follow.
That is how you grow your business effectively. Before you send out that Facebook message, be sure you live up to being a true "friend", not a potential recruit.