People don’t quit the business because they can’t find enough people to say “yes” to the plan; they quit because they don’t have enough people to show the plan to. In other words, they run out of names. But there is no shortage of names, only a shortage of people who have learned how to add names to their list. If you can say “Hi” to someone new, start a conversation, and ask a few questions to determine if they’re looking, you can reach the top of the comp plan in this business because you will never run out of people to show the plan to.
An endless names list = a hopeful, excited Team Member.
A dry names list = a needy Team Member.
Neediness results in loss of belief and confidence, begging, groveling, frustration, and misdirected anger. Always, always, ALWAYS add to your names list to keep your pipeline full. It also doesn’t hurt to show the Team Members in your business how simple it is to add names to their list.
One way to meet new people is to ask for referrals when someone says “no” to the plan. Just like you, the people on your names list also know many people. And whether the people you know are looking for opportunity or not, some of the people they know are. So why not ask for referrals? Let’s say you have 200 people on your names list. Even if only a quarter of those people each referred you to one person, that’s 50 people! Would it be easier for you to meet 50 new people or to make it a habit of asking for a referral?
So long as you’ve been courteous and respectful with your prospects, they will be open to giving you referrals. You can ask for referrals by saying, “John & Sue, I can see that we don’t have a fit and that’s fine. As I mentioned, we’re looking to fill this position in the next 2 weeks. Who do you know who might have interest in making an additional $2 – $3,000 a month?” Whether they know someone or not doesn’t really matter. What matters is that by asking for referrals consistently you will, at some point, get them.
Now let’s talk about getting off the couch and out the door to meet new people. No one will be coming to your door asking to be added to your list so it’s important that you get out from your home. Go look at cars, homes, boats, coaches, furniture, TVs, computers, clothes, or even bug spray at Home Depot. It doesn’t matter what you’re looking at, it’s being around people that matters. Say “Yes” to any social gathering you’re invited to: weddings, graduations, baptisms, BBQ’s, holiday parties, play dates, etc. Attend trade shows, home shows, boat shows, festivals, any other events happening in your area. Go join an association, a gym, or a club. Go everywhere with the intention of talking to people you don’t know.
If you’re sitting around idle, complaining that you don’t know anyone, you’re opting for failure. Life and people are happening all around you and many of those people are looking for opportunity. When you develop the habit of getting to know people everywhere you go, you’ll never have to go out “prospecting.” Just get out the door and say “Hi!” And don’t just drag yourself around thinking, “Woe is me.” Stand tall, smile, walk briskly, exude some energy, and make eye contact. If you don’t feel like that’s “you,” just act as if.
It doesn’t matter if you’re ugly, beautiful, fat, skinny, short, tall, young, or old. There are plenty of celebrities, sports figures, politicians, and wealthy business owners who fit the same description who have no problem meeting people. What matters is your attitude and approachability. If you don’t feel like an influential business owner, act like one and soon enough you will catch up with your act.
To make a great first impression with people, somewhere within the first few minutes of a conversation, smile, stick out your hand, look them in the eye and say, “By the way, I’m _____ (name), and you are…” This simple gesture portrays confidence and professionalism and also shows regard for the other person.
When you shake a person’s hand, hold his hand so that the webs of your thumbs are touching and shake twice from the elbow, not the shoulder. A wet noodle or a bone crusher gives off the impression that you really don’t have it together. So make it a firm handshake and adjust slightly to match the grip pressure of the other person.
Starting a conversation doesn’t take much. People love to talk about themselves so start with a question or a sincere compliment. State the obvious: “Nice car, how do you like it?” “Great tie, where’d you get it?” “Late lunch?” “Getting some coffee?” “Are those your kids?” “Rough day?” We’re not talking rocket science here. Ending your statements with a question gets the conversation going. If someone is unresponsive or you’re getting the vibe that he just doesn’t want you to talk to him, take the hint and find someone else who does want to talk.
Some of you may be getting a poor response because you’re going straight for the jugular without ever finding out if a person is looking. You’re rifling through people saying, “Hi, nice to meet you. What do you do? Great! Hey, do you ever look at ways to make additional income?” Stop. STOP! It’s too much too soon. STOP and slow down. You’re not out spear chucking prospects.
Prospecting is a numbers game; talk to a lot and you’ll find a few. But it’s also a matter of being likable, appropriate, and sincere. So first define who your ideal prospect is and then go find those people. Most people who fear meeting new people has probably run into this type of person and are under the impression that they will have to be just as callous to successfully add names to their list. Thankfully, that’s a misconception. Anyone can successfully meet new people and if you aren’t the “used car salesman” type, that’s your first advantage.
When talking to someone new ask him what he does. What made him decide to get into his particular field? Does he enjoy what he does? Then listen. Don’t try to create a reason why he should consider looking at a business idea. Let him tell you why he’s looking.
For example, if you’re talking to someone who owns a traditional business, say, “You must love the freedom of owning your own business.” Most often his response will be something along the lines of, “Well, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.” Instead of chiming in your own opinions at this point, play dumb. “Really? Why’s that?” Given the opportunity, he will tell you why he dislikes what he does. You can then ask him what he’d ideally like to be doing.
Once you know that a person is looking and why he’s looking, you can ask him if he’d be interested in taking a look at a business idea. If he dislikes being a traditional business owner because he never has time, ask him if he’d be interested in a way to create residual income to free up his time. Present the business to people in terms of what they want and you’ll garner more interest.
Be careful not to clump everyone into the wanting “time” or “money” category. Often time’s people are motivated by something else like: significance, friendship, camaraderie, fun, a new challenge, and a way to help others, a product that improves their health, or a service that simplifies their life.
Realize that not everyone is an ideal prospect. You’re looking for people who are teachable and motivated; people who have a desire to change or improve something in their life who are willing to work to get what they want. Directing your questions with that in mind, you can determine whether people are looking or not within the first few minutes of conversation. And when they are, you can then comfortably and appropriately ask a question to see if they’re open to looking at a business idea (See inviting lines in the next chapter). You’ll know you’re on the right track when people say, “Tell me more about your business.” They may not ever join your team, but you’ve taken an interest in them and now they’re sincerely interested in knowing more about you.
Another great way to introduce people to the business is to lead with a product. A question like, “Do you drink energy drinks?” is a straight lead into a conversation about XS™. “Have you ever heard of customized supplements?” is an easy lead into Gensona™ and Nutrilite™. Once you determine a person’s interest in a product, you can ask him if he’d be interested in keeping the profit.
Bottom line, the only person who will waste your time spent in this business is you, not your prospects. You’re the one who decides who you will show the plan to. You’re the one who decides whether it’s worth it to squirt gas in your car and spend a night away from your family to sit across the table and share this idea with someone. If you’re not taking the time to “qualify” people (find out if they’re looking) before you invite them to see the plan, you have no one to blame but yourself when they turn out to be a “No”. Never blame a prospect for not moving forward with the business. Either he or she was never qualified to begin with or you had a weak presentation. Both of those are your fault.