What drew you to network marketing?
I’ll bet it wasn’t the promise of offending family and friends with your “opportunity” or “life-changing products.”
Most likely, you were drawn to your “opportunity” or “life-changing products” by a relationship. It might have been a long-time relationship or a new one.
Most network marketing is successful because of relationships.
Someone you had a relationship with invited you to take a look.
They may have used “old school network marketing” techniques that felt awkward or off-putting. You listened anyway because of that relationship.
There is great power in relationships.
Relationships can help you build your business. Fear of damaging those relationships will hold you back.
But what if you had a set of skills, a system, that helped you deepen existing relationships and build new relationships while building your business.
What if your system quit being the NFL – No Friends Left – and became the New Friends League? Make new friends don’t lose old ones.
Remember this quote?
Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. Karl A. Menninger
If this quote is true and I believe it is, we gain incredible power when we learn to listen.
You can use your Five Listening Skills to manipulate people to buy from you.
You can use your Five Listening Skills to manipulate people to sign up as a distributor in your business.
But, that is not how you want to treat people, is it?
No, you want to effectively reach people with what you are passionate about without manipulation.
And you can!
The Five Listening Skills are designed to serve the needs of your family, friends, and acquaintances.
The Five Listening Skills used correctly become a system that keeps you on track with your recruiting.
They enable you to find those who truly will benefit from what you offer.
There are three keys to making the Five Listening Skills become a system to make you an Intentional Recruiter.
First, you become intentional when you release your agenda.
That may seem counterintuitive. Surely, it is more intentional to use techniques that set up your prospects to say yes.
It is intentional. It just depends on what you want your intentions to be.
Here’s why I don’t use the tricks and tactics that work for some.
I feel manipulative and dishonest.
It’s about your intentions. It’s about your personality. It’s your choice.
For me, I am thrilled that I have a way to build my business by intentionally serving others.
Before I realized that the Five Listening Skills I had used for years in my nonprofit work would work for me in this venture . . .
Before I started using the Five Listening Skills in network marketing. . .
I had no system. Too often, maybe like you, I ended a call or coffee meeting with no clear plan for what came next. And no surprise – nothing else came of that call or coffee meeting.
Now you have a plan.
You have a system in the Five Listening Skills.
In that sense, you can be an Intentional Recruiter.
So, don’t you want to be an Intentional Recruiter by putting their needs before yours?
You may say that because it is the right thing to do. The good news is, it is the more effective thing to do.
Second, you become Intentional with the Five Listening Skills when you follow them fully and in order.
Most of us find one of the Listening Skills easier to use than the others.
For many, Reflective Listening feels awkward and although it is very simple it isn’t necessarily easy.
For that reason, you may not want to use it. You may feel like it is not necessary.
But one well used Reflective Listening will open the communication incredibly. You must use Reflective Listening to be successful.
You must trust all Five Listening Skills – used in order. Do as many practice sessions as possible to become comfortable. As you continue to use these skills they will come naturally.
Do as many practice sessions as possible to become comfortable. As you continue to use these skills they will come naturally.
You are intentionally using a system that you trust to lead you to a good conclusion.
Third, you are an Intentional Recruiter because you know where you are going.
With the Five Listening Skills, you are climbing the steps from one flight to the next until you and your friend have reached a decision that is clear and helpful.
You need the final flight of stairs to have a clear ending. Your friend needs to be free to tell you no. You need to be free to tell her you are disappointed and to ask if you can “keep her in the loop.”
You want to be able to call her next week when you want to go shopping together.
You don’t want to have her avoid your calls.
She needs to know that you have accepted her decision.
You need to be able to talk about your business with her as freely as you do all the other projects and events in your life. When you win the incentive trip you need to be able to tell her knowing she will congratulate you and not feel like you are suggesting she reconsider her decision. (Okay, maybe you are a little bit.)
But some of your friends and contacts will say yes. You know that you have someone who is right for your team.
I shared with my top leader, who is a friend, several times and then one day she called and said she was ready to sign up. I excitedly went over ready to help her get started.
When I arrived, she told me her husband wasn’t ready for her to act. I didn’t want to encourage her to sign up without his being happy about it.
I pushed my disappointment aside and told her that she was right in waiting.
I wasn’t an Intentional Recruiter yet. I didn’t clarify what she wanted to do. I considered it a closed door.
Fortunately, I had left our relationship intact. We continued to get together from time to time and one day she said something to the effect that I had given up on her.
We were with others at the time. But I called her soon after and assured her that I had not given up on her. I invited her and her husband to a home meeting of one of my other distributors.
As the meeting was going on she texted me and invited me over to her house after the meeting. They signed up that night and got started together the next day. She was much more effective with her husband on board than she would have been if she had forged ahead alone.
Keeping the relationship open made it possible to invite them to that meeting.
Using the system offline.
With the Five Listening Skills, you can always be recruiting. But when you are offline and meeting people in person, you do not need to be in recruiting mode.
You know what I mean. When you are in recruiting mode everyone you meet is a potential recruit.
I hate to admit this but I bought meat from a door to door salesman after letting him come in and share with me if he would let me tell him about my business. I bought some good meat. He did not buy anything from me. I didn’t even get good contact information from him!
I sat through a Kirby demonstration in return for the opportunity to tell about my products. It was not an even trade time wise and neither of us got a sale.
I felt so much pressure back then to sign up people that every restaurant server, every Walmart cashier, every party attendee, every family member at the reunion was a target.
Once I learned to release my agenda, I could relax and enjoy meeting people. I had learned to be more outgoing with the “old school” network marketing.
Now I was friendly without the pressure to get contact info.
With this system, you can meet and listen to the people, not figure out how to convince them to sign up with you. Doesn’t that sound better?
As an introvert, I wasted a lot of time in checkout lines without connecting with new people.
Here’s how I now interact with people I don’t know; I begin with a greeting and perhaps an inane question.
I am anything but smooth. Here are some of the questions I use successfully in various situations:
- How long have you worked here?
- Or what do you do?
- How do you like your job?
- What do you do when you aren’t working?
- Do you have a family?
These are not Helpful Questions. These questions are only “icebreakers.”
They are designed to open a conversation. Once that has happened, you use the Five Listening Skills until you and your friend reach a decision.
For example, you ask the Walmart cashier, how do you like your job?
She answers It’s a living.
You Reflectively Listen with, It’s a living. Remember to say this neutrally. Don’t let it sound like a question.
You might be tempted to jump ahead to one of the other Listening Skills. Resist that temptation.
With many situations, you won’t have much time. Your goal is to connect. Reflective Listening followed by Interpretive Listening will help you connect. They are perfect for making a connection and many times you will not have time for more.
Those two Listening Skills may be all you need or have time for.
If you do have time keep going up the steps with Helpful Questions, Supportive Feedback, and Confident Close.
But most of the time you will realize you are running out of time. When that happens and you feel regret at not being able to continue the conversation, congratulations, you have made a connection.
That is when you ask for contact information in a casual way.
I used to ask for a name and phone number. Most people would give me that info but many of them never answered a call or text. And it takes a bit of time. You do not want to hold up a grocery store line.
Now I ask if I can Friend them on Facebook. No one everyone says no unless they aren’t on Facebook. And then they usually offer their phone number.
When they agree to let me Friend them, I ask what name they use and I make sure about the spelling.
They often write it down for me. That is when I know that there is a connection.
Now you must Friend them immediately. As soon as you are back in your car Friend them.
This is important to make sure they remember who you are and it sets a professional tone.
And now let’s consider a few thoughts for Using the System Online
Once you are Friends on Facebook don’t pounce on them with your product or opportunity. Keep building a relationship.
Respond to their posts with likes and comments.
When you have that relationship built and you hear them talking about their “desires” or “pain” use Messenger for a private conversation.
It may not be time to share product or opportunity.
Today one of my Facebook friends commented on one of my posts. It left me curious. So I Messengered her just asking more. It didn’t go anywhere as far as getting her to join me. It just further built a relationship. Maybe tomorrow.
Almost always you want to get a phone or video conversation going using Skype or Zoom (I use Zoom because it works better on my rural Internet.) before you share details of your product or opportunity. My most preferred is a meeting at a coffee shop or anything else person to person.
It has always been a good idea to personally share with your contacts enough information for them to make a good decision. Therefore, I don’t give out websites until after that person to person.
The Internet is not only a huge tool for connecting with people you meet offline. It is a great help in finding new people to listen to.
I am at a place in life where I need to stay home with Mom so the Internet is a Godsend.
After I started using the Internet I realized that I can connect with so many people online.
That more than anything else enabled me to release my agenda. And then I connected even more with people offline and online.
Here are three references for learning more about using the Internet to find people online.
First, you can learn to find an audience that is interested in what you are offering and live in areas where your company does business. And who speak the language you speak.
Your database can grow to thousands with what my mentor Ferny Ceballos teaches. Get started with a Free 10 Day Attraction Marketing Bootcamp.
Second, if you want to learn using Facebook there are two resources I recommend.
Julie Burke started a network marketing business and did not want to make a list or call family and friends. She used Facebook and trains her team to do the same. To take a peek at her training you can click here for her Social Media Recruiting Frenzy Guide.
Cari Higham already had a network marketing business when she started using Facebook. She has a slightly different approach. Read about it in her blog post How to Recruit with Facebook Sponsored Posts.
Serious network marketers will use all the tools available. I have more opportunities to use the Internet but I haven’t abandoned the person to person opportunities.
I believe in the products I represent. They are so unique I know that it requires patience and persistence.
I believe in the network marketing business model. It is one of the surest ways to provide income month after month and year after year.
I will close this with one more resource for you – ME.
I am experienced enough to understand what you are facing.
I am unestablished enough to offer you my personal time and coaching.
I have several options that can help you. Call me – 720-507-8231 – or email me email@example.com to set up a free consultation to decide what will work best for you.
Anticipating that soon I will be too busy for one on one time I am launching a site for further training.
When I taught these Five Listening Skills to volunteers they needed coaching. As I have put this series together I realized that I should offer more than written words. So I am opening an online school at prezzurepointz.life.
It is in the construction mode, so to speak. The IT part of it likes to show me who’s boss but I will not be defeated.
Be sure that when it is up and running you will hear about it.
As always, I value your input. Feel free to call me – 720-507-8231 – or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless you,