Rock Star Recruiting and Power Prospecting To Design a Life You Love in Network Marketing- by #1 Earner Sarah Robbins
I’m a formerly shy teacher by trade, who was living in one of the more depressed economies in the country. I had just moved, just married, just began my brand new job teaching kindergarten. I was in my 20’s. While I loved teaching, we were facing financial difficulties, paying bills with change. I was facing the loss of my job and our first home. This caused me to look for extra income, and my search led me to network marketing. When I began my business I was broke (and most of my friends were young and broke like me). I didn’t really have a network. From the outside looking in, it may not have appeared that we would have a very high “survival rate”, but my mother and I went on to eventually become the first two million dollar circle achievers in the company, and at the age of 29, I was announced as the first six figure per month earner by our company president.
My mom and I were the first consultants in the company, so we had no upline leading and guiding us. We did what was natural for us, and that was to sell some product. I was earning a few hundred to a thousand dollars residual income. This money kept coming in over and over again for work I did once, as people were re-ordering. This was great, considering I had very part time hours to put into my business. My mom (who’s my upline) loved it because she was making a great residual income from my sales too! We felt like we were on to something, and that this business opportunity was our best kept secret! So one day, my mom called me and said “Sarah, this opportunity is so huge! Let’s not tell anyone! Let’s keep this our own little secret!” (We didn’t have a fully executed compensation plan at the time, so we figured we would just continue to sell). How many of you know, in a business of networking that’s the last thing you want to do? But, being a good daughter I said “OK”! I committed to just continue selling products! Now of course, that didn’t last long. We eventually “saw the light” through training much like this. We became students of the profession. I read many stories of top earners in our profession. I quickly learned that all of the six and seven-figure earners leveraged their time and increased their income by building a team. ONE SIMPLE SHIFT. When I made the shift from product sales to power prospecting for the business, I watched my check go from a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand dollars per month, in just a few months. That’s the power of prospecting.
What is prospecting? Different versions of the dictionary define it as “looking for gold”. Prospecting is the process of talking to people, in hopes that you will find some who are interested in joining you on your products, or in your business. In the process of these conversations, you’ll “sift through” a lot of people to find a few who will join you. Then, you’ll have a lot of people join you, of who will work at varying paces. Keep in mind, it only takes a few “power partners” to change your life! That’s your “gold”! Remember, you may have to talk to a lot to find those few, much like sifting for gold. If I told you that you had three gold bricks in your back yard, would you continue to dig until you find them? I would!
I’m living proof of this concept. I’ve been sifting for a long time. I’ve probably talked to thousands of people since I started my business over 5 years ago. I’ve had over 100 people join me as business partners. Of those, I have about 30 people still working our business at a moderate pace. Of those, I have 10 top leaders in our pay plan at this time. Of those, about 3 people account for a good majority of my income. What happened to the rest? As a teacher, I pride myself on education, but I quickly realized you can’t motivate people who are unwilling to do what it takes to succeed. They need to want it for themselves more than you want it for them. I can’t take credit for people’s success or failure. I am only responsible to get them off to a great start. People will work at varying paces. Some people order product, some occasionally promote it, and some even enter into the “witness protection program”—they buy a kit and disappear! As you can see, there is power in working through the numbers. If you want to be successful in network marketing, you’ll be sifting and sorting until you find your key leaders. You will never stop prospecting!
I’ve found the same stats and averages to be pretty similar industry wide, as it relates to how many you must personally talk to and sponsor before you strike gold. In fact, I was invited on stage at a major event in our profession, along with several top income earners. We all represented different products, and our companies had different pay plans. Some of us had a few years experience in the profession, some had decades of experience. We were each asked how many people we’ve personally sponsored in our business, and of those how many account for 80% or more of our income. The results were very similar.
We had been in our business anywhere between 5-25+ years. We each sponsored anywhere between 50-150+ over time. Most of us had 80% of our income coming from anywhere between 1-3 legs, or leaders! I’ve seen this exercise done at many events in our profession since, and the results are pretty similar.
What does that mean? The major growth of your organization may be tied to just a few people too, but never know what your personal set off odds will be until after you succeed. You don’t know how many conversations you’ll have, or how many people will join you before you find “gold”! So get ready to talk it up! The more people you share with, the better your odds of finding your power partners!
The cure to what ails you in your business is your personal activity. It’s all about power prospecting (having conversations about your product and opportunity) which leads to rock star recruiting! Focus on daily activity to progress towards success. My rule for myself is “5 NEW contacts per day keeps leads coming my way. “ If I’m home, I’m making 5 NEW calls to people on my contact list. If I’m out, I am handing out 5 business cards with sample packs and having conversations with people I meet. I’m not done until I’ve made those connections, and continued to work through my numbers, which in turn, increases my odds for success.
Your success is directly related to the degree to which you are willing to work to find others like yourself who are committed to succeed. Would you be willing to hear many “no’s” to sign up 100+ people until you “strike gold”, and find 3 major producers like I did? You have your own set of odds and you won’t know what they are until after you’ve succeeded. If you haven’t achieved the level of success you desire yet, you can give up and assume the business model doesn’t work (but it magically worked for me and others). Or you can accept the fact that you’re working through your odds. Don’t give up until you succeed! Practice practice practice!
Talking to people is now what you do for a living, so it must become part of your lifestyle. The more people you talk to, the faster you’ll grow, and the farther you’ll go in your business. With practice comes confidence. When your confidence increases, so does your set of odds.
I want you to learn to take the pressure off when you’re prospecting. Think of it this way—you are just sharing and inviting. You are sifting and sorting. I don’t want you to be emotionally connected to the outcome. Think of yourself like a waiter or a waitress pouring a cup of coffee. A server is not offended when you say “no” to the coffee. They keep offering it to everyone. Take all emotions out of it, and if people say no, keep pouring. Some people say no now, but may change their mind later. Always revisit them later. Ask them to be your customer, and keep pouring!
As you share with people, keep an open mind. Everyone can plug into your business as what I call one of the 3 C’s: They could be a consultant (distributor) and build the business. They could be a customer, and enjoy the products. They could be a connector, and learn what you do, and connect you to people who may be interested—but they’ll only make those connections if they know what you do! Be sure you’re sharing with everyone!
WHERE DO YOU FIND THE PEOPLE TO PROSPECT? This is the #1 question I get from new distributors. The truth is, you are surrounded by people—the question is are you willing to share with them? Here is a list of a few ways that I like to find prospects for my business, along with language to reach out:
Revisit your customers– “How are you loving your products? I’m not sure if I ever shared, but as a distributor of the products I get a great discount. I would love to get you on a program where you can get my wholesale pricing too, and possibly earn your products for free or make a little money by sharing them with others. Do you have a few minutes where I can share more?” (Then, share your business, and distributor discounts and benefits.)
Revisit past prospects or former business builders whenever something is “new”—”I know the timing wasn’t right before, but if ever there’s a time to take another peek at the company, the time is now. Going into fall, business is booming as kids are back to school and we are back in business big time, followed by the boom of the holiday season—plus new products and promotions were recently launched. I wanted to revisit and see if the time is right to take another look. I would hate for you to miss out.” (Share what’s new and exciting in your company.)
Lifestyle Networking–Look for ways to engage in conversation when you’re out. Give someone a compliment. Ask a lot of questions. (“Great service. Do you love your job?” or ”Cute kids. Where do they go to school?” etc.) Then leave them with a sample. “I’ve loved chatting with you today. I would love to leave you with this gift (tell them more about the sample, and what it does.) I promise you’ll love it. If you promise you’ll try it, I promise I’ll follow up!” Get their name, number; ask if they are on Facebook and friend them there. Tell them what time you’ll call, and send them a message to remind them. When you follow up: “How did you love the product? Before I tell you more about it, I would love to tell you more about what I do!”
Parties/ Virtual Parties– Reach out to your friends and ask them to host an event for you: “My business is building in your area. I’d love to meet new people. Would you be willing to host an event for me? You invite the people, I’ll do all the work, and throw in some free product as a thank you!” Share the products and your business.
Social Media– we are paid storytellers. Mix up your personal and inspirational posts with a little bit of business every few days: lifestyle posts, welcoming to new distributors, or shout outs to people who made an achievement to edify that person, encourage your team, and engage and interest your online audience. Share product tips and testimonials, along with before and after’s. Share business success stories of people in the company.
Networking groups or chamber events- create strategic business relationships that allow you to meet others so you can help each other grow your businesses. I met one of my top leaders Stacey when I set up a booth at a women’s networking event in California. She was looking for a home based opportunity, approached me, and was one of my first leaders in business.
Events-Whether it’s a cocktail mixer, or a holiday event, when people surround you, it’s a great opportunity to collect contact information and connect with them later. Ask them a lot of questions. Get to know them better. Ask what they do. When asked about what you do: “We’re here to enjoy the party tonight. I would love to tell you more. <Let me quickly get your contact information> <What’s your email?> “As we expand here in <city> I’m always looking for people to join us. I’ll give you a call early next week and tell you a little more. You may or may not have a personal interest, but maybe you could lead me to just the right person. I’m looking for referrals.”
People who provide you services—Think about who you’ve been supporting for years (hairdresser, nail tech, realtor, etc.) Approach them and say, “I’ve loved supporting your business for years, and now I’m hoping I can share with you my new business. I’d love for you to refer me on!”
How about people who give you great service at a restaurant, or store: “Thank you for your great service. I am looking for people like you for my business. Can we exchange information? I would love to set a time to chat, and tell you who I’m looking for, and more about what I do”.
Traveling—I love to strike up conversation while traveling. I ask people where they are going, and why they are traveling. When people ask where I’m going, I tell them where, and that I’m expanding my business there! They typically ask me what I do, which is an open door to share. I always exchange information and follow up.
Creating Your List & Contact People You Know!- Go through your phone and Facebook contacts– is it possible there are people there that you haven’t reached out to yet? Call them: “I wanted to share some exciting news with you. I know you’ve built an incredible network in Chicago. I’m not sure if I mentioned this, but I am building my business there and I immediately thought of you because I know how well networked and respected you are there. I’m hoping I could share more about what we’re doing, and who we’re looking to partner with as we expand there, and see if this is a good fit for anyone you know in the area. I’d love to pick your brains and get ideas of how to expand my business there. Do you have just a few minutes so I could share more?”
After you share more, share your story (how you found the company and why you love it—and what it’s going to do for you)—then share your leader’s success story, and invite them to hear more from them. Third party validation and social proof is powerful: “I’m new, and still learning. I’d love for you to hear from my business partner. She’ll be able to share more and answer your questions”. Invite them on a 3-way call or to coffee with your sponsor, or to the next meeting or event.
This is the exact approach that was used to recruit one of our company’s rock stars Stacey! My mom and I used to work for her. Stacey and her husband own several successful businesses in Chicago. We both thought of her several times and never called her. The chances are, if you think someone is great, someone else does too. Eventually someone will call them, and in this case, they did! Rose out of Chicago beat us to it! She used a referral-based approach, complimenting Stacey, building on her credibility saying something simple like: “Stacey. I know you’ve built several successful businesses in Chicago, and I know you’re well networked in the Chicagoland area. I respect you. I am building a business in Chicago too. I was wondering if I could treat you to coffee, share with you what I’m doing, and pick your brain on ideas of how to grow this. I’d also like to see if you know people who you think may be interested.”
Stacey met Rose for coffee, came with a list of hundreds of names she was ready to give Rose as referrals, and when she heard the opportunity she decided to come to a meeting to hear more for herself. I happened to be hosting the meeting that night, and in walked Stacey! My stomach hit the floor! She joined us! Stacey ended up being the top recruiter in the company that year! She just earned her company car, and I have no doubt she will be a million dollar earner someday too.
Don’t pre-judge anyone. You don’t know what their hopes, dreams, desires, and their financial situations are. Usually the most well-connected, successful, busy people get it first, and they run with it! It’s just our job to share, and it’s their job to decide. Remember, if we share what we’re doing with everyone, they can all plug in: as a customer, consultant, or to help us in creating new connections! But they can only do that if they know what you’re doing and if you share your story with them!
PRACTICING, POWER PROSPECTING AND CONSISTENCY IS KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS!
I want you to commit to a minimum of 5 years in your business. Take the time to learn how to powerfully prospect, and eventually you too will become a rock star recruiter. Think of it this way:
This business is a lot like rolling a snowball uphill. When you start, you’re at the bottom of the hill with a tiny little snowball. As you share your business with more people who join you on the products or in your opportunity the snowball slowly begins to grow. However, you sometimes feel like you’re exerting all the effort as you are trekking uphill. Sometimes you feel like you’re working full time hours for less than minimum wage! This is because you haven’t reached the top of the hill yet. If you keep going and you keep sharing you will make it to the top. When you do, you can let that snowball soar down the other side. This happens when your team is building so big that snowball collects it’s own snow, and duplication happens. This is when you see momentum take place! It rolls faster and faster downhill, collecting its own snow. This is when you begin earning more money than you’ve ever dreamed in less time than most would think was possible. Whatever you do, don’t quit. You can make it to the top of the hill!
I recently read that as many as 95 percent of those who remain in this industry for 10 years or longer working steadily at building their groups reach their highest level of pay in their respective business.
If there’s one thing that I know for sure about success, is that it begins with a decision to be successful, a commitment to seeing it through, and you just can’t quit. Early on when we started our business with no training, no websites, and no mentoring at the time, we made a decision to do whatever it takes! In my opinion, that is the greatest factor that leads to success–your decision. Whether you think you can or think you’re can’t you’re right! So make a decision, be relentless, and be committed to do whatever it takes! Rock on Rock stars—go for YOUR gold!
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