Here are some additional things to keep in mind to show your best plan:
• If you’re married, it’s recommended that you have your spouse with you when you show the plan. Together you have a wider range of relatability and the extra set of ears will serve to pick up on the subtleties you’d miss showing it alone. An excited couple who speaks highly of one another and works as a team adds credibility and improves their results in the business.
• Keep your business plan informative, yet simple. More people say “No” to this business for lack of belief than they do for lack of understanding how it all works so don’t complicate it. A simple plan elicits a simple response, but if your plan is complex, cumbersome, and detail oriented, your prospect’s ability to make a decision will also be complex. Keep it simple enough for your prospect to believe that she could easily explain it herself.
• Stick to showing the same plan your support team shows. If your leaders are using a yellow legal pad, use a yellow legal pad. If they’re using a binder, use a binder. If they’re using a booklet, use a booklet. Whatever your team is doing, duplicate it to the best of your ability to stay consistent and credible. Most teams will have several formats available for showing the plan. Use the format that works best for your prospect. If a prospect is technophobic, showing her the plan on your snazzy laptop may impress you, but it’s going to leave her in the dark. If you have a prospect who is a homebody, the chances of him attending a hotel meeting for his first look at the business are slim. Whether a brochure, a binder, a whiteboard, a laptop presentation, a hotel meeting, an online meeting, or any other format, your goal is to show the plan in a way that is most relatable to each prospect while staying consistent with your support team’s approach.
• As soon as possible, read a book on personality styles. Pick up a copy of Positive Personality Profiles by Dr. Robert Rohm or any other book your team recommends on the topic. Everyone is wired differently and understanding those differences will revolutionize your results and increase your tolerance of others.
• When we promote ourselves, it’s questionable at best. When we promote others, it’s credible. You want to be the messenger, not the message itself. Throughout your plan say, “Bob said this, Bob said that. Bob helped me realize this. Bob showed me how to do that.” By the end of your plan, your prospect will be thinking, “I’ve got to meet this Bob guy!” When you introduce your prospect to Bob, he can then add to your credibility by promoting you to your prospect.
• Maintain posture during your plan. Posture comes from understanding the value of what you’re presenting. Learn what makes your products, your business, and your team so great by talking to someone on your team who believes wholeheartedly. Understand that when you show the plan you’re talking to people to see if they qualify for your business, your team, and your time; not the other way around. You need people, but you don’t need any one person to succeed in the business.
Here are some examples of bad posture:
“Please, please just do me this one favor.”
“You owe me.”
“I’m sorry for taking up your time.”
“Just get back to me whenever it’s best for you.”
“I’m highly sought after and my time is worth more than yours so if you can convince me of a good reason why you deserve to work with me, I’ll consider it.”
Here are some examples of great Posture:
“Let’s figure out whether there’s mutual interest here. If there isn’t, we’ll shake hands and wish each other all the best. If there is, we’ll get the ball rolling.”
“I can’t promise you anything.”
“Are you just curious or are you really interested in making money.”
“I’d be willing…”
“We’re not looking for just anyone; we’re looking for a couple of key people.”
“I’d love to give you a shot at it.”
Not everyone will be ripe for opportunity when you come along and present the plan to them. Sometimes you’ll catch people who are skeptical and others who are discouraged, overwhelmed, or full of pretense. In any case we want to know what people are thinking so we can best help them.
People feel most comfortable talking openly with you when you take a sincere interest in understanding them first. Many of the leaders in the field refer to this as simply “making a friend.” Find out about their field of work, their hobbies, and their aspirations. Ask questions about their home, their children, or the pictures on their wall. Something as simple as being a fan of the same sports team can often create instant connection with your prospects.
People also generally like people who are like them. Subtly matching a person’s tone of voice, his pace, his posture, his gestures, and words makes him feel more comfortable and relaxed around you.
For example, if your prospect leans back, crosses his arms, and says, “I’m just sick and tired of being a yes man. I want to call my own shots.” Then leaning back and using the words “sick and tired” and “calling your own shots” somewhere in your conversation with him increases your relatability.
Tim Sanders, author of The Likeability Factor, offers another perspective. He asserts that “likeability,” defined by the following four successive steps, is what lays the foundation for our influence with others.
Your ability to convey the message: “I like you. I’m open to you. You are Welcome.”
“Do you relate to my daily path, my interests, or my wants and needs?” Relevance can be broken down into three elements: 1. Frequent contact 2. Mutual interest 3. Connecting with a person’s basic wants and needs.
Your ability to identify with people and invest time, attention, and emotion in their life. Are you available to feel and experience what they experience?
It’s all about “keeping it real.” Someone who finds you unreal will no longer believe you are sincerely friendly, they will feel any relevance you had was concocted, and they will conclude that your empathy was only sympathy with a twist. In other words, you don’t really identify with your feelings – you’re just a good actor.
How’s your “Likeability Factor”? Are you merely looking to register people so they’ll do some volume in your business, or are you looking to partner in business with them, to get to know them, and help them improve their life? Drop a little sunlight in their life; believe in what they can achieve and experience the excitement of their dreams and goals with them. That alone brings something to the table that most people aren’t getting anywhere else.
Before getting into the details of the plan, it’s important to understand what your prospect would like to achieve. His understanding of how the business works is secondary to what he wants out of it, not because you’re trying to deceive him and hide information from him, but because you can’t help him until you know what he wants.
Let’s say he wants to make an additional couple hundred dollars a month to pay down some bills. But you neglect to gather that information so you show him a plan to replace his entire income, buy a motor home, and travel around the world while helping thousands of people gain their financial independence. After hearing your plan, he comes to the conclusion that he isn’t interested and consequently misses out on a great opportunity to make a few extra bucks. How have you helped him?
It’s also important for a prospect to understand what he’s going to get out of it before seeing the work involved so he can reasonably decide whether it’s worth it or not. Every price is relative to its prize. No one wants to work overtime, but many do for the extra money. No one wants to pay interest, but many do to extend payment. Likewise, people don’t build the business just to build a business; they build it for what they can gain in return.
Some people you show the plan to will already know precisely what they want – others will need some help figuring it out. Don’t tell people what they need by saying, “Gees, you’re broke, your job stinks, and your life is miserable. Think of how great it will be when…” Most everyone is doing the best they can with what they know – just like you and I did before we saw the plan – so don’t criticize. Instead, ask them questions and let them tell you.
In his book, Questions are the Answer, Allan Pease writes that when you talk to people about this business, they expect that you are going to try and convince them to make a commitment. They are waiting for you to start selling and naturally, no one wants to be sold no matter how well they may know you. So right from the start, you are most likely talking to someone who has taken a defensive stance towards what you are about to say, simply because it is your idea, not theirs.
Lead people to their own conclusions by asking a series of questions and they will automatically agree with it and believe it to be true– because they said it. It is their idea, not yours; and people rarely argue with themselves.