How the Five Listening Skills Become a System and You Become an Intentional Recruiter

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.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.

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.

You become Intentional with the Five Listening Skills when you follow them fully and in order..png

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.Add heading (2)

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.

Reflective (1)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:33921115-Woman-with-groceries-waiting-in-line-at-the-supermarket-checkout-Stock-Photo

  • 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.thailand-september-07-2014-facebook-page-sign-in-page-first-landing-homepage-view-on-application-smartphone-hand-holding_rvRKbe_2fe.jpg

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.20170608_210210

Second, if you want to learn using Facebook there are two resources I recommend.

img08Julie 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 16832347_1451132421573021_2013431020113331441_nbusiness 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 –

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 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

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 –

God bless you,
Connie Suarez

Are You Offering What They Want?

Or are you offering what you know they need?

I wonder what you are answering?

Two or three years ago I think I would have said, Duh, what I know they need. I know stuff they don’t know.

Then when Mom had her surgery and I was spending lots of time on my computer I discovered a different understanding of marketing.

Here is the basic philosophy.

If you want to get your audience’s attention you need to talk about what they are talking about.

If you want to sell something, you need to find people who want that product.

Don’t try to convince the people who you are around that they want what you are selling.

Does that explain why some of your family and friends said no to the product/business offer that you were excited about?

If you are sharing a way to make money working from home to professionals who are happy with their careers, you are wasting your breath.

If you are talking about retirement to millennials you may strike out.

There are two different approaches that you can take.

First, learn what the people around you really want; then figure out how your product or business opportunity will meet that need.

graphicstock-group-of-young-cheerful-happy-teens-having-fun-at-the-picnic-area_r_0fENBhl.jpgThat means that often a group will be more open to either the product or the opportunity.

The difficult lesson for me was giving up the idea that I knew better what they needed than they did.

And, of course, want and need are two different things. Sometimes we don’t want what we need.

In my company, we have been a bit smug to have a product that is cutting edge.

In the early days, presentations were long so that all the wonderful science could be shared and our reluctant audience could be educated about their need to buy our product.

It is embarrassing to think back to how fervent we were.

We made adjustments but I’m sure that we were not asking the key question: What do What do they want-they want? What do my family and friends want?

It only took three or four “touches” of information to convince me that I wanted to take that pill for the rest of my life.

With little or no marketing understanding I assumed that everyone would see this the same way I did.

I was wrong.

Eventually, I heard advice to share the business first. The idea was to start with the business.

Then if they said no to the business you could say, that’s fine. But you’d love the product we have.

The thing is not everyone you share a business opportunity with want a business.

You are entrepreneurial minded. Turns out you are not in the majority.

Most people are employee minded.russia-95311_1920

Have you talked to someone like one unemployed gal? She said I don’t think I could give up the security of a paycheck to own a business.

The irony of her thinking escaped her.

Before we ridicule that thinking though imagine the irony of continuing to pursue someone with that employee mindset.

Don’t be mislead by the job complaints. Most people complain about their job. But their solution is a better job not a network marketing business.

Never mind that the employer/employee business model is failing thousands. Remember that not everyone sees it like you do.

So, your second option is to find a new audience instead of futilely trying to change their minds.

Instead of futilely trying to change minds, find a new audience who think the way you do.

Find a new audience who want what you are offering.

There are basically two ways to do that.

First, if you are using a person to person recruiting method learn to listen instead of sharing your product or opportunity.

When you listen you will hear what they are looking for.

If they are looking for something other than what you are offering you can still give them a brief overview and ask them if they know someone who might be interested.

If you are listening with the Five Listening Skills I have been sharing you will not burn bridges.

The Five Listening Skills used properly will strengthen relationships not erode them.

If they do want you are offering, then take them through the Five Listening Skills system and you both will arrive at a great conclusion.

On the other hand, if you are using Facebook or other social media then you can find the right audiences in numbers that will amaze you.

Facebook is where people connect.

When they connect you learn a lot about them don’t you? Often TMI.

But you have tools available to you and other small businesses to find out who likes network marketing. Who wants to . . .

  • use anti-aging products.
  • use the newest technology
  • retire or fire their boss.
  • bring their husband home from his soul-sucking corporate job.

There is a learning curve with either method but wouldn’t it be worth it to be able to share what you are passionate about with folks who share your passion.

Want to learn more about finding your audience on the Internet?

I got started with the Attraction Marketing Formula and the coaching and mentoring site that offers it.

You can get a free preview by clicking here.

The good news is that you have great things to share.

As the Bible says of a different more sacred message,

Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. Matthew 7:6 NIV

Share your wonderful products and opportunity with those who will thank you for it.

I am excited to hear how this changes your business.

Feel free to call me at 720-507-8231 or email me at

God bless you,
Connie Suarez

Don’t Leave Your Friend or Your Business Hanging; Execute a Confidant Close

What is the part of recruiting you most struggle with?

The close may not be at the top of your list.

But if it isn’t, I suggest that’s because you seldom get to the close.

The close and follow up are the most important though. If you don’t close you leave your friend and your business hanging. And a good close should always schedule a follow-up. If you schedule a follow-up your friend will know what to expect and so will you. You will have made yourself accountable to your friend.

How likely are you to let a scheduled follow-up slide?

But, you may not do a close because:

  • You think the close is getting someone to sign on the dotted line.
  • You lack confidence.
  • You don’t know what to say.
  • You have a resistance to asking for them to buy from you.

You may have other reasons. Those were my hang ups. But yours are probably similar.

You think the close (1)You think that the close is only about getting your friend to sign up as a customer or business partner.

We do hope for that. But if you understand that getting to that point is a process that may take time and multiple contacts, then the close becomes summarizing where you are in that process.

Stop thinking about the close as signing up a customer. Think of the close as ending this contact with your friend with you understanding what your friend is looking for and her understanding what you are offering.

For example, you have shared your weight management regimen with your friend who confided that she wanted to lose some weight.

But you realized that you needed to gather information from her first. How much weight does she want to lose? Why does she want to lose it? What weight loss plans has she used in the past? Have they worked?

You learned that she has used some products that made unrealistic claims. She even got her system out of balance with one program.

She is wary of anything new now.

So, your close would be agreeing to send her links to your product information. She says that she can look it over on the weekend and has next Tuesday off. So, you set up a follow-up call with her on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

You have conducted a Confident Close and scheduled a follow-up. You are ready to help her move forward in the process that may or may not lead to a sale for you.

You have been successful because you put serving your friend’s needs first. She will receive the info she needs and have an opportunity to tell you what she wants to do next. You can guide her as you sense what she truly wants.

Or perhaps you have learned from your friend that she is happy with her job and not worried about finances. She doesn’t want to buy your product.

You have done a great job learning all that. Now the goal of your close is to keep a healthy relationship and an open door for sharing in the future.

Feel your friend’s happiness in her job. Then express your happiness for her. Tell her you are looking forward to seeing her at the class reunion next month. Then ask her to keep you in mind if she decides that she wants to buy your product in the future. Close by asking if she minds if you keep her in the loop.

You have completed a Confident Close and have an informal follow-up.

You lack confidenceYou lack the confidence to move forward with a close.

When you understand and use the Five Listening Skills, a Confident Close will begin to feel natural.

The key is to focus on the needs of your friend, not your desire to win the contest your company is sponsoring. If you want to win the contest, the key is to serve as many people as you can, not pressure the people closest to you.

you don't know what to sayYou don’t know what to say.

There is no script for a Confident Close. We can be helped by hearing the testimony of others who have had a Confident Close. But what worked for them probably won’t fit the next situation you are in.

Instead, you will need to listen to your friend using the first four Listening Skills, Reflective Listening, Interpretive Listening, Helpful Questions, and Supportive Feedback so that you know how to execute a Confident Close.

Relax. Focus on helping your friend.

you have a resistanceYou have a natural resistance to asking people to buy from you.

You can ask folks to give to your favorite charity, can’t you?

So can I. But my favorite charity used to be my employer. I always struggled with doing fund raising while I was the director because one way or other donations were going to help pay my salary.

I wish I had known then what I know now.

You must focus on the benefit to others, not yourself. If what you are selling wouldn’t benefit your friend I’ll bet you wouldn’t be doing it. Am I right?

So once again the Five Listening Skills are going to help you focus on your friend. If you hear that they don’t want or need your product or opportunity, your close is going to line up with that truth. A good friend and a professional network marketer will schedule a follow-up.

Your Confident Close might sound like this:

“It’s been good catching up with you. It sounds like ABC products and opportunity aren’t a fit for you right now. Do you mind if I keep you in the loop? I would love to work with you if anything changes.”

You won’t use a script for your Confident Close but you may use one of the other Five Listening Skills to begin it. Here is an example:

Your friend has explained how badly she wants to quit her job and stay home with her children. You have listened to her with each of the listening skills and learned that her boss keeps adding more tasks and she feels exhausted when she gets home. Her husband is open to her doing something from home. Then she throws up her hands and says there is no way she’ll ever be able to quit.

Reflective Listening:

You: There’s no way you’ll ever be able to quit.

Her: I honestly don’t see a way.

You: If I can get a friend of mine who has managed to fire her boss would you be interested in talking to her.

Her: I guess it can’t hurt.

You: Let me text her and see when she is available. [You set up an appointment for a zoom meeting at a time that works for both. You have just closed and scheduled a follow-up.]

Interpretive Listening with the same scenario above:

You: It seems to me like you really don’t want to keep things the way they are.

Her: No. I don’t. It just seems so complicated.

You: What if there were a systematic way for you to get there, would you and your husband be willing to make some sacrifices to make it happen?

Her: Oh, me and my husband. You think he could help me?

You: Lots of couples are doing it. Some of them are committed enough that eventually, both can work from home. How about I come by and visit with your husband? I could get my sponsor on a video chat and she could tell you how she and her husband did it. Of course, it would take time and sacrifice.

Her: Yes, do come by. How about eight o’clock?

Helpful Question with the same scenario except you are video chatting on zoom:

You: What would you be willing to give up to make a change in your life?

Her: Hmm. I would need to think about that.

You: It sounds like you aren’t ready to give up on your dream of quitting your job.

Her: No. I guess I’m not.

You: Let’s figure it out together. How about I send you a link to a video presentation by a mom who made sacrifices so that she could stay home. It took time but you might be encouraged by her story.

Her: Sure. Send me the link.

You: Great. Then let’s get back on zoom and strategize your future.

Her: I like the sound of that.

You figure out a time that works for both of you. Boom. You have executed a Confident Close and scheduled a follow-up.

Supportive Feedback with the same scenario:

You: What I hear you saying is that you really want to find a way to quit your job but you don’t see a way to do that. I believe that you could do it. I won’t lie to you. It would take hard work and sacrifice. I know of women who are doing it even if they have multiple jobs. When can we meet again to talk about how it would look for you?

You set a time. You have made a Confident Close and scheduled a follow-up.

As you can see there are many different ways to approach one scenario. That demonstrates why a script just doesn’t work. But the Five Listening Skills fit every scenario.

And a word on your follow-up session. You should begin your follow-up with the whole listening process.

You must still release your agenda and use the Five Listening Skills. Trust the process.

Listen, close and follow-up. Listen, close and follow-up.

You will get there. You will feel successful if you release your agenda and help your friend find the best decision for her.

Remember that it takes on average of six contacts for people to decide. You will get there.

But at each stage, you are successful if you release your agenda and help your friend find the best decision for her.

Practice makes good. More practice makes better.

Practice Scenarios:

These scenarios give you information that you would glean from using the Five Listening Skills. Now you choose how to begin a close using one the first four Listening Skills. Make a Confident Close using from each of the Listening Skills: Reflective, Interpretive, Helpful Question or Supportive Feedback.

  1. Your friend wants to lose weight and you have a weight management regimen that has worked for you. You have learned that she wants a program that is healthy. Begin a Confident Close to schedule a way and time to share information with her.
  2. Your sister wants to travel more like you do. You have learned that she isn’t sure that her position at work is going to be continued next year. She is feeling frustrated and powerless.
  3. You met a server at your favorite restaurant and invited her to look at your business opportunity. She agreed and you have learned that she is working her way through college. But she is wondering if there will be a job when she graduates. What will she do about her student loans?
  4. You have been friends with a school friend you had talked to in years. You called her and caught up. She told you she wants to retire but her retirement fund won’t pay out as much as she wants. You learn that she would feel able to retire with an extra $500 a month. You ask her if she is open to looking at what you are doing to secure your retirement. And she tentatively says yes.
  5. You are having coffee with friends. One stays longer than the rest and you start talking about her husband’s job. She says that they are tired of his constant travel. You sense that she is ready for a big change.
  6. You are so impressed with the helpfulness of one Walmart cashier that you choose her line even if it longer. You are on a first name basis and sharing baby growth progress. She is so good at what she does you are surprised to learn that she hates her job. She apologizes for saying anything but tells you she is having a bad day. She wants to be home caring for her child.
  7. Your neighbor comments on how much weight you have lost. She says that she wants to go shopping but doesn’t want to buy the size that fits her now. She would like to be a size smaller.

Whew! We have covered all Five Listening Skills.

Remember that you can’t effectively use a script because your prospects won’t have a copy of the script. Instead, you need to listen, listen, listen. You need to release your agenda. You must have a servant’s heart. Listen to hear what your friend or family member wants and then want it for them.

Your goal should be to learn your prospect’s agenda and help them either achieve it or help them see that there might be a better option for them. And you need to be prepared to encourage them even if they sign with another company.

Although you can’t memorize a script you should learn the Five Listening Skills and practice them.

You should practice them until they come naturally. Then you will move through a successful business chat with your friends and family without alienating them.

There is one more section of the Five Listening Skills coming soon. We will focus on how to use the Five Listening Skills both offline and online.

I value your input. Feel free to call or email me.

God bless you,
Connie Suarez

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You’ve Listened, Now You Are Ready to Give Supportive Feedback

You are a compassionate human being who has chosen to earn income by representing a company and its products.

You believe in the products. You have embraced the business model and comp plan.

And you are beginning to realize that not everyone shares your point of view.

With the best of intentions, your up line tells you that it is a numbers game. All you have to do is so many presentations a day.

But now you realize that approach doesn’t work for you; it isn’t you.

Reflective listening allows your friends (11)The biggest reason you have not felt successful with old school techniques is your agenda.

The Five Listening Skills work best when you release any agenda you may have. The good news is that the Five Listening Skills help you release your agenda.

By now you have released your agenda. You have used Reflective Listening, Interpretive Listening, and Helpful Questions.

As a result, you believe you understand what your friend wants and doesn’t want. You are positioned to be their best friend by giving them Supportive Feedback.

Most of us don’t want to be told what we should do which is why old school network marketing gives our profession a bad name.

Female college friends talking on campusInstead, you are going to give her feedback that tells her what you have heard her say and you will express the emotions that you have about her choice with Supportive Feedback.

It will feel comfortable if you have patiently listened with Reflective Listening, Interpretive Listening, and Helpful Questions.

What does Supportive Feedback sound like? There is a formula that you can follow that will require a little practice but once you have mastered Supportive Feedback you will be ready for the Confident Close.

Here is the basic framework of Supportive Feedback:Reflective listening allows your friends (9)

I feel [fill in the specific feeling you have]

when [state the specific statement your friend has made]

because [give your specific, personal reason for feeling the way you do]

Did you notice that you must be specific and you will need to own your feelings?

Your Supportive Feedback should always start with “I feel.” Until now you have focused on what your friend was feeling and thinking.

Now you need to ask yourself a few questions, like:

  1. How do I feel? If you were posting on Facebook what emoticon would you use? Are you feeling confused, disappointed, concerned, anxious, perturbed, glad, relieved? There are many more emotions. List them. As a rule, our culture does not recognize feelings. You need to become comfortable with your emotions and help your friend to do so as well. Once, you have identified what you are feeling, you have the first element of your Supportive Feedback.
  2. For the second element, you must identify what about the situation is making you feel this way. Use pronoun “you” carefully so you don’t make you Supportive Feedback feel like an accusation.
  3. Finally, you need to communicate to your friend why it makes you feel this way.

Reflective listening allows your friends (10)

You can express a positive emotion or feeling like this:

You have listened to your friend talk about wanting to quit her job. She has said that she is willing to do whatever she must to be able to stay at home with her children.

I feel so hopeful

when you say that you are willing to do whatever

because there are lots of women in my company who are seeing great success while working from home.

You can express a negative emotion or feeling like this:

You have been listening to your sister talk about how frustrated she is by billing paying. She has concluded that there is nothing she can do and will say nothing.

I feel sad

when you say that you plan to do nothing to change the billing paying routine

because I know you have several options available to you.

Two women in living room talking and smilingYou use Supportive Feedback to:

  • Role model open, honest and direct communication.
  • Communicate what you are feeling so your friend doesn’t need to guess.
  • Ensure that you recognize and own your feelings.
  • Move towards a Confident Close.

You may find Supportive Feedback hard because:

  • You may have difficulty recognizing and/or expressing emotions.
  • You may not believe that the structure of I feel, when, because is important.
  • Using these elements will feel awkward until you have practiced them.
  • You may be tempted to bring your agenda to the table. If it is to be supportive you must let your friend’s agenda still be the driving factor.

Supportive Feedback is vital because:

  • It clarifies your conversation.
  • It allows you to direct the conversation to a conclusion.
  • It establishes you as a leader who will serve and not manipulate.
  • It helps you support your friend in the best decision for them.
  • You still must guard against your agenda ruling the conversation.
  • Communicates to your friend that you put her first and will support her decision.


Practice makes good; more practice makes better.

Practicing Supportive Feedback

Take each scenario and use the basic framework of Supportive Feedback to lead your conversation to the Confident Close. These scenarios are fiction so you can use a little fiction with what you have learned in the first part of your conversation. The important thing is to get comfortable with the framework of Supportive Feedback and to keep it focused on your friend’s agenda, not yours.

  1. I feel [fill in the emotion or feeling you are experiencing.]
  2. When [fill in with what makes you feel that way. Use pronoun “you” carefully so you don’t make you Supportive Feedback feel like an accusation.]
  3. Because [fill in with why it makes you feel the emotion or feeling that you do.]

Use pronoun “you” carefully so you don’t make you Supportive Feedback feel like an accusation.Reflective listening allows your friends (12)

You want a statement like this:

I feel______________ when ___________________ because ______________________________.

  1. Your sister has told you she hates paying bills because money is tight. She says that she is ready to do something different to get different results.
  2. Your best friend says that she wants to work from home and is going to start back with the direct selling company she was with before – it isn’t your company and she quit because she didn’t like the customer service or her up line.
  3. Your sister says that she would love to take your essential oils but they cost too much. She is going to get some from Vitamin Cottage.
  4. Your friend says that she loves your products and will be a customer but that she doesn’t have time to be a distributor.
  5. Your friend says that she needs to do the business but she is so afraid of sharing with people.



Now you can make a difference in your friend’s life with Helpful Questions.

Have you ever found yourself wanting a spouse or close friend to know what you want instead of having to tell them?

The picture that comes to mind is a husband, who is clueless, asking his wife what is wrong. She coldly turns her back to him and says, “If you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you.”

It makes for a funny sitcom episode. But in life, it is anything but funny.

So, wouldn’t it be great if you could discern what others want by listening to them?

With the Five Listening Skills, you can!

Where we tend to go wrong is to start with a question.

If you first use Reflective and Interpretive Listening, you will assure your friend that you care about what she is feeling.

She will then be ready for you to ask a Helpful Question. You will be rewarded with learning what your friend needs for you to know so that you can support her in the best decision for her.

What is a Helpful Question?Reflective listening allows your friends (2)

It is a directive question you ask that cannot be answered with a yes or no.

You want to direct the conversation in the most helpful area for your friend. This is not where you pick up the agenda you have released.

But since you have been using Reflective and Interpretive Listening you have learned what is on your friend’s mind.

Now it is time to dive deeper with a Helpful Question.

This requires curiosity. You may be reluctant to follow your curiosity. You may have been conditioned to ignore your curiosity because it is considered rude.

Reflective listening allows your friends (3).pngWould you agree that curiosity is not rude when it is stirred by love and concern for someone else?

For example, if your sister says she just got a positive test from the doctor. She may need for you to be curious about the results. She may need for you to be curious about how she is feeling about the results.

If she didn’t have the need to talk about the test results would she have mentioned them?

Put yourself in her position. Does she need for you to start telling her what she should do? How do you feel when someone gives you unrequested advice?

This can be hard if you believe that you have something that will help her.

If she has a health problem that your product can help with . . .

If she wants to earn money working from home and your comp plan is perfect for her . . .

Remember this:
Reflective listening allows your friends (4)Wait patiently.

Listen lovingly.

When the time is right, you will share what is on your heart, if you have allowed her to share what is on her heart.

Consider this quote by Roy T. Bennett, “Listen with curiosity. Speak with honesty. Act with integrity. The greatest problem with communication is we don’t listen to understand. We listen to reply. When we listen with curiosity, we don’t listen with the intent to reply. We listen for what’s behind the words.”

You want to make your question directive and prompt a complete answer by asking an open-ended question – one that cannot be answered with a yes or no answer.

An open-ended question usually starts with one of the following words:Reflective listening allows your friends (5)

  • Who
  • What
  • When
  • Where
  • Why
  • How

Here are some examples of closed-ended and open-ended questions:

Closed: Are you worried about the test results?

Open: How do you feel about the test results?

Closed: Is blue your favorite color?

Open: Why is blue your favorite color?

Closed: Do you want to quit your job?

Open: What do you seeing yourself doing in five years?

You get the idea.

We sometimes hesitate to ask questions, but if you have used the first two Listening Skills you have begun a process that will feel natural as you ask a Helpful Question.

Think about it as providing a service.810-8875-171

You will be listening. Most of us don’t have many if any listeners in our lives. That creates a vacuum. When you show up with a listening attitude, your friend will fill that vacuum with words from her heart.

Here is what you will provide your friend if you listen to her with a Helpful Question:

  • You will encourage her to share what is on her heart.
  • You will help her talk it out, which is one of the best problem-solving techniques.
  • You will assure her that you are listening; that what she thinks is important to her.
  • You will move the conversation along in a direction that is helpful for your friend.
  • You can’t ask Helpful Questions and work your agenda.
  • You are ready to give Supportive Feedback to your friend and then make a Confident Close.

You may have difficulty with Helpful Questions because:

  • You feel that asking questions is rude.
  • It takes thought to know which way you can best direct the conversation.
  • You need to be listening for your friend’s feelings as well as the content of her words.
  • You still need to release your agenda

Practice makes good. More practice makes better.

Helpful Question Exercises. Here are some statements that might have been made as a result of Reflective and Interpretive Listening. Some of these statements will tempt you to skip getting more information – information that will better serve you and your friend as you move forward.

Practice patience.

These practice statements require that you imagine what the previous Reflective and Interpretive Listening steps provided you. As you answer use directive, open-ended questions. Consider what you imagine your friend is feeling. Ask yourself what information you need to understand what they feel like and what they need to hear themselves say to make the best decision. Be careful. Some of these statements will make you want to share your companies comp plan or your product’s health benefits. Don’t do it. Not yet!:

  1. Yes, I do resent that John doesn’t help more with bill paying. It feels like he avoids the stress and lets me deal with it.
  2. My job, you know how much I used to love it. I wanted out of the other one and now this one feels the same.
  3. I hate how I feel jealous of Cassie. I would just like once to have something she wants instead of the other way around.
  4. I worry about the car every time I drive to work. It is a long commute and I see the odometer keep nudging toward 200,000.
  5. I wish I felt as good as you. You seem to be aging well.
  6. I can’t believe that summer is ending. It feels like forever before my next vacation. I took time off last month. But I already need more time off.
  7. Frank’s schedule is crazy. The kids hardly see him anymore. He feels guilty and I feel resentful.
  8. I would like to have a business like you but I am not sure I could do what you do.

Congratulations, you have put away your agenda and Listen Reflectively and Interpretively to open up an opportunity to ask Helpful Questions.

With these three Listening Skills, you have learned more about what your friend or family member wants and needs in life.

You know what their hopes and dreams are.

They know that you care about them. They might be thinking in more positive terms about what you are doing – about your hopes and dreams.

So now, with your agenda still safely tucked away, it is time for you to give your friend some Supportive Feedback.

I can’t wait to share it with you in the next section coming soon.

I value your input. Feel free to call or email me.

God bless you,
Connie Suarez

If you find value in this post share with others.

Now you can learn to hear hidden messages using Interpretive Listening

There is a listening one, two punch for aspiring recruiters.

You have already learned the first punch. We call it Reflective Listening.

In the last section, Reflective Listening was the only tool we used. But in real life, you will often use all Five Listening Skills.

Reflective Listening is helpful at the beginning of a conversation because it helps you and your friend to relax.

Reflective Listening slows you down and helps you release your agenda. It also helps you demonstrate to your friend that they are more important than your getting another sale.

Reflective Listening also helps your friend hear themselves and even clarify their comments.

But if you use Reflective Listening too much it will get weird.

You still need to learn more about what your friend is thinking and what may motivate their decision to join you as a customer or distributor. So, you use Reflective Listening’s partner, Interpretive Listening.

Interpretive Listening will help you begin the process of hearing what your friend is thinking.

Female college friends talking on campusYou know that communication is much more than words. You learn what is being communicated by body language and tone of voice as well as the spoken words.

You are not only learning but if you use Interpretive Listening well, your friend will more clearly understand what he is thinking. He will also learn how he sounds to others.

As this happens you are opening the door to true communication.

You are further releasing the agenda you may have – the agenda that will not serve you well.

So how do you use Interpretive Listening?

With Interpretive Listening, you are listening for feelings and hidden messages in what is being said.

810-8874-170Suppose you are having coffee with your sister and she says.

Ugg, it’s bill paying time again. I wish John would help me.

What feelings might you hear in a statement like this?

Is there a hidden message?

In a conversation, you would have body language and tone of voice to help but it seems likely that the feelings might be a dread or helplessness. Or there might be a hidden message of frustration that her husband doesn’t help with a mundane job.

How will you respond?

Would you agree that there must be something more that your sister wants to communicate? Generally, we don’t talk about money even with family. It seems that there must be something really bothering your sister.

But if you assume that you know what she means you might get it wrong. You need more information.

Of course, you could ask the obvious question, what do you mean? How likely is she to answer you? How likely is she to deflect your question and change the subject?

Even if you think that she might be expressing a reason to join you in your company, you need to learn more. And maybe your sister needs you to listen as she talks about a frustration or fear in her life.

Based upon hints you receive from body language and tone of voice, you must decide what feeling is being expressed and if there is a hidden message expressed.

The feeling could be a dread of paying bills because of a hidden message of having more bills than money.

You can explore all possibilities with Interpretive Listening which uses lead in phrases like:

  • It sounds like . . .
  • If seems . . .
  • I get the sense . . .
  • I seems to me . . .
  • It sounds as though . . .

It is important to use a tentative voice. After all, you don’t know for sure. You are testing your tentative understanding of what has been said.

Two cheerful women drinking coffee and talking in cafe

You could reply with feeling words:

It sounds like you really dread paying bills.


It seems to me that you hate bill paying.

You have used a tentative voice when you say one of these and then you wait. Your sister might respond.

Yes, I do dread the bills. I must be sure that we still have money left for gas and groceries.


I am so tired of doing it by myself. John just sits and watches his ball game.

As you can see there is the possibility that you could get two different responses. The first one is a feeling. The second is a hidden message.

At this point, you should be glad you didn’t jump to a conclusion.

But you would not leave the conversation here. You might respond with one more Interpretive Listening statement.

For instance, for the first response. You could say, again with a tentative voice:

It seems as though you are feeling a little desperate.

This gives your sister the opportunity to freely talk about what she has kept to herself.  You let her take the conversation where she wants. But you will continue using the other three listening skills so that you fully grasp what she wants to tell you.

Of course, your sister may just be tired of paying bills without her husband’s help.

The conversation might go like this after you have said,

You: It seems to me like you hate paying the bills.

Your Sister: You bet I do. I process accounts payable at work all day. I want to watch the Food Channel while John pays the bills for once.

810-8875-171Your conversation will go in a different direction, won’t it? Again, aren’t you glad for that one Interpretive Listening skill that clarified what she said?

Maybe this conversation won’t end in your encouraging her to consider joining you in your business. But with the Five Listening Skills, you will be equipped to listen while she talks through her frustration and looks for a solution to her problem.

To recap Interpretive Listening:

You hear what may be a feeling or hidden message.

You use a tentative voice and check out your perception with a statement that starts with:

  • It sounds like . . .
  • If seems . . .
  • I get the sense . . .
  • I seems to me . . .
  • It sounds as though . . .

One or two Interpretive Listening statements will be all you’ll need before moving on with the conversation.

Here are the benefits of Interpretive Listening:

  • It will help your friend communicate their feelings.
  • Helps your friend clarify what they are feeling and thinking.
  • Allows you to check out if you are hearing the other person correctly.
  • Enables you to release your agenda and focus on what the other person wants.

Interpretive Listening may be difficult because:

  • We aren’t used to freely expressing feelings.
  • We may have a limited feeling vocabulary.
  • You may feel uncomfortable “prying” into others’ feelings.
  • You haven’t released your agenda and are trying to steer the conversation so that you can share your message.

Practice makes good; more practice makes better.

Interpretive Listening Practice Exercises:

For each statement list several possible feelings that are being expressed and any hidden message that you have heard. For each statement, there may be more than one way to respond. Write out as many as you can. Also, write out how you might be tempted to answer if you haven’t released your agenda.

  1. Ugg, it’s bill paying time again. I wish John would help me.
  2. Can you believe another year is almost over? The years keep passing and I am still in the same job!
  3. Have you seen Zoe? She looks great. I could never lose weight like that.
  4. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I love my job, it’s just that I haven’t had a real vacation in years.
  5. My birthday is next week! I was sure I’d have my own business by now.
  6. My boss is impossible. She expects me to be on call twenty-four, seven.
  7. Josh and Sophie are doing a Mediterranean cruise, can you believe that?
  8. I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.
  9. If I hear one more person talk about how they lost weight I am going to scream.
  10. I wonder how the next door neighbors can afford a new car every year.

Interpretive Listening practice is work. Can you imagine how hard it would be to use without practice? So, spend time working on these to get good at Interpretive Listening.

And use real life to practice. We all should be listening to the people in our lives, shouldn’t we?

The next of the Five Listening Skills comes easier to most people and we are tempted to skip to it before we have properly Reflected and Interpreted what we are hearing.

Can you see how these two skills will help you release your agenda?

As you do release your agenda, you gain greater freedom to listen and learn. And then you are ready to get serious with Helpful Questions. Then you will begin to learn if the person you are listening to is someone you want to join your business, what their why is and if the timing is right for them.

As you practice your one, two punch of Reflective and Interpretive Listening feel free to call or email me with your comments and questions.

God bless you,
Connie Suarez

When you listen your friend listens too if you use Reflective Listening.

How did you feel the first time you sat down with a good friend to share your business and product?

How do you suppose they felt?

If you were like me there were a few butterflies. Maybe a lot!

And if you were nervous, I am guessing your friend felt it and wondered what in the world was happening.

She might have been thinking, “Oh no! Don’t tell me you’re doing one of those things!”

There is nothing like a case of nerves to derail all your plans. And you can forget the script some well-meaning up line gave you.

Trying to remember your script does not dispel nerves!

Even if you have perfectly memorized your script you nervously look for the right place to insert your opening line.

And then what do you do when your friend doesn’t stick to the script?

Would you like a better way to begin?

Try being fully present in the moment.

Enjoy the presence of your friend. Catch up on what is happening in her life.

And while you are doing that use a little reflective listening and mirroring.

Reflective listening allows your friendsReflective listening allows your friend to hear what he has said. It can be done using two techniques:

Restating: You repeat what your friend has said using their own words. Your tone of voice must be neutral and must not rise at the end of the statement or it will sound like you are questioning what she said.

Rephrasing: You take the most important part of what your friend says and repeat it using his own words.

Reflective listening will help you connect with your friend. So will another technique called mirroring.attractive-woman-applying-makeup-while-looking-at-the-mirror_rF1x9JETrj.jpg

Mirroring: You subtly mirror some of the actions of your friend. When she picks up her cup of coffee, you pick up yours. The Science of People has this article that will make you an expert at mirroring.

You should probably practice either reflective listening or mirroring. You might find trying both overwhelming. Plus, you want to see the effect of each one by itself.

Reflective listening is powerful. But you may doubt that something so simple could be powerful.

The best way to learn the power of reflective listening is to role play.

I remember role playing when I was acting the part of a reluctant friend who did not want to hear about network marketing. It went like this:

Me: I heard you have joined Jean in her business and I don’t want to talk about it.

My friend using reflective listening: You don’t want to talk about it. [This was delivered in a neutral tone. The voice didn’t rise at the end making it sound like a question. It truly reflected to me what I had said.]

Me [I was amazed to feel my defenses weaken with that one reflective listening statement. So my response was softer than I had planned.]: Not really. It’s just that we are a little short and we’re trying to save up so I can quit my job.

My friend resisted the urge to tell me that she could help with that; instead she reflected what I said: You want to quit your job.

Me: I am desperate to get out of that job. And we want to start a family.

My friend, has heard two different thoughts and gets to decide which is most important to me right now: You want to start a family.

Me: We have for a couple of years. But the job so drains me that I can’t imagine taking care of a baby.

My friend: You can’t imagine taking care of a baby.

Me: Not while working. I want to be a good mother. My mother went back to work and she wasn’t there for me. I would love to join you and Jean. But the timing is just terrible.

Remember, I was role playing and I had determined to be a hard sell. But even in role play the reflective listening so disarmed me that I found myself more agreeable to the idea of joining my friend in her business. [ This conversation only uses one of the Five Listening Skills. After you have learned the other four Listening Skills you won’t use Reflective Listening so much. Once is often all you need before moving forward with the other skills.]

At this point, my friend has many different options. She could start sharing how the business could work for me but she is smart enough to realize that I am still not ready. The timing may not be right. She values my friendship enough to continue the conversation with the other listening skills and see where I go with it. She has relinquished control of the conversation and I will feel free to be open with her.

From your experience, what would I do if my friend says something like, there are lots of couples building a business just so they can quit their job and be full-time parents at this point?

She could say that and maybe I might say yes. But most likely the conversation would end awkwardly.

Network marketing is a business of timing. You can ignore that and still experience success. But how many friends and family will you alienate.

Two important things to keep in mind:Use your friends own words

  • Use your friend’s own words.
  • Don’t let it sound like a question by letting your voice go up at the end of your statement.

By using your friend’s own words you are letting her hear what she said. Unbelievably, we are so bad at listening we don’t even listen to ourselves sometimes. Or we overstate what we are thinking.

Here are some examples:

Your friend: I won’t ever do network marketing. It’s a total scam.

You: You won’t ever do network marketing. [It would be easy to raise your voice at the end. That would change your reflective listening into a challenge that would put your friend on the defensive. Instead, your friend has heard how final her statement sounds.]

Your friend: Oh, I don’t mean never. I just can’t imagine doing one more thing right now.

Your brother: Are you crazy? Only idiots do network marketing.

You: [Family can say hurtful things. But do they really mean it? No! This is your brother who would give you the shirt off his back. Now you are going to repeat what he said neutrally. Don’t let the tone of your voice go up at the end even a little.] Only idiots do network marketing. [If you let your voice go up, you and your brother may not talk together at the next family reunion. If you keep a neutral tone of voice, you keep that precious relationship with your brother healthy.]

Your brother: Oh, you know what I mean. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Why are you doing this? [Wouldn’t you love to be able to tell him.]

One of the benefits of reflective listening is to put your sister or friend at ease. If they know that you just joined one of those things, they know what is coming. They may not want to join you but they don’t want to say no either.

Two smiling women drinking coffee and talking in outdoor cafe

By reflectively listening, you begin to release your agenda. They will sense that and realize that they can say no. It may make it easier for them to eventually say yes.

The Benefits of Reflective Listening:

  • It helps you release your agenda by giving their statements importance.
  • It puts them at ease once they realize you are not going to pressure them.
  • It demonstrates that you care more about the friendship than a sale.
  • It helps you listen to what is being said to you.
  • It helps your family member hear what they are saying.
  • It eases your nerves by focusing on what they are saying instead of trying to get an opening for “your script.”
  • It is the beginning of a productive conversation by preparing you and your friend for the other listening skills.

Here is why you may find Reflective Listening hard:

  • Reflective listening seems silly until you have experienced its power.
  • Many people struggle with keeping their voice neutral.
  • You may be nervous about your goal of sharing your business or product.
  • You are worried about your friend’s reaction.
  • You don’t feel in control of the conversation.
  • You haven’t discovered the power of not being in control.

Practice makes good; more practice makes better.

Restating Practice.

Find a partner, someone on your team maybe, and practice with these comments. Remember to keep your voice neutral and don’t let your voice rise at the end. Think about what your natural response might be and why it would be better to restate.

  1. I hate my job.
  2. I want a real vacation.
  3. I don’t want to hear about your weight loss products.
  4. I want to lose 15 pounds by my daughter’s wedding.
  5. We aren’t going to ever be able to retire at this rate.
  6. My husband is never at home when the kids are awake.

Rephrasing Practice.

Now you need to pick what you think is most important and rephrase it. You are still using the same words. Rephrasing is a better way to respond to comments you would like to refute. If you reflectively listen you will begin a dialogue that will be much more conducive for you to eventually answer their concerns.

  1. I hate having to work. I just want to stay home and take care of my family. [If you invest time listening, you will learn more about what could be a huge “Why”.]
  1. My brother-in-law did that and didn’t make a dime. [If you respond with a fact that refutes this statement, the discussion may end as an argument.]
  1. I get my essential oils from Vitamin Cottage and they cost less there. [If you tell them that they get what they pay for, the conversation is over. If you rephrase this, the conversation can go forward. Perhaps, you will learn that they aren’t so sure of the value of their essential oil. You will be able to continue with the other listening skills if you reflectively listen first. Who knows, this may be your next distributor.]
  1. I don’t have the time. I have been working overtime, my kids are starting soccer and ballet and my husband is always out of town on business.
  1. I did the last venture with you and we lost money, remember? I can’t afford to lose any more money.
  1. I don’t know as many people as you do. And I don’t want to make my friends mad at me.

The key to using rephrasing well is to pick a part of the larger statement for two reasons.

First, it would be weird to repeat a long complex statement.Reflective listening allows your friends (1)

Second, you can pick which one you want to learn more about.

In comment number five you could respond reflectively with, We lost money. Or you can’t afford to lose money.

I would pick the second because I am curious about the finances of your friend. Is there something she is struggling with that she hasn’t shared with you?

Practice reflective listening when you interact with people for the next few days and observe what happens.

Two Business women enjoying a cup of coffee

When angry words are spoken to us, our first instinct is to react with anger. We all know how effective that is at diffusing an incident.

Imagine instead that we all use reflective listening. It might look like this:

Angry person: What are you doing? I was there first.

You: You were there first. [If you raise your voice at the end, it will sound like you are challenging the Angry Person and you better get ready to duck.]

Angry person: I had my eye on the end of the line and you came out of nowhere, so maybe we got here at same time.

You [Because you have kept your cool you will be gracious.]: That’s okay. Go ahead first.

Then as you stand in line you use the next of the Five Listening Skills: Interpretive Listening. You will not believe how that will turn this situation around.

Reflective Listening is hard. Practice it every chance you get and you will grow as a listener.

Find a friend to practice with. You can even try practicing on the phone.

I am considering hosting zoom sessions for practice. If that interests you, email me.

As always, I value your input.

God bless you,
Connie Suarez


If you could learn Five Listening Skills that would make you a better recruiter. . .

Would you?

What if those skills would be useful in other areas of your life?

Would that interest you?

With these Five Listening Skills, you can improve:

  • Your relationships

  • Your job

  • Your friendships

  • Your service to others

  • Your spiritual life

  • And your business!

I underlined your business not because it is necessarily the most important to you.

My business isn’t most important to me, but here our focus will be on your business; because your business finances the rest of your life.

The wonderful part is, that if you focus on being a better listener for your business, it will spill over into the other areas of your life.

And if you will practice your listening skills in your relationships, job, friendships, service to others and your spiritual life, your improved listening skills will automatically benefit your business.

As you become a better listener you will actually develop a system to be a better recruiter – you will become an Intentional Recruiter.

You will be an Intentional Recruiter as your focus turns to the agenda of people around you. Your listening skills will open up new conversations. Conversations that you won’t control. But you will have a new level of awareness that will point you to the people who want what you are offering.

Your listening skills will open up new conversations. Conversations that you won’t control. But you will have a new level of awareness that will point you to the people who want what you are offering.

You will recruit fewer people.

But you will more effectively recruit the people you need and who need what you have.

As Robert Baden-Powell says, “If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.”
If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk. (2)

So, if you want to change your life and your business . . .

. . . read (listen with your mind) on!

But listening isn’t easy; we have to learn how to listen.

You will be glad you learned to listen; because as Doug Larson says, “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.”

wisdom is the reward (1)

Perhaps you are wondering who am I to preach listening to you.

I am a natural listener, who sucks at listening.

What do I mean “a natural listener”? You might be a natural listener.

Do you recognize that people come to you and share their heartache and deep dark secrets?

You may be a natural listener.

Like when you are at the pool reading a riveting mystery and the gal next to you starts telling you about her failing marriage. It happened.

All my life that has been the case. Even when I wasn’t equipped to listen properly, people shared with me.

In my freshman year of college, a friend shared something with me that I was unprepared for. I had no idea what to do with the information she shared with me.

To my shame, I just forgot about it, and a few weeks later I said something that must have been very hurtful to her.

She looked hurt as she said, “Don’t you remember what I told you?”

I still didn’t have anything to say that would help her. I hope she got help from someone; because she sure didn’t get help from me.

So, some people just are easier to talk to. I may be one of them. You may be one of them.

But we still must learn to listen.

Listening is a skill that if nurtured will serve those who are in your life.

I had to learn just like you.

I have failed — I have learned.

I have trained others.

For fifteen years, I was the director of a nonprofit organization that provided services to women and their families through our volunteers. Part of my job was to train those volunteers.

A large part of the training was teaching Five Listening Skills.

You can learn those same skills, and you will see them benefit your relationships and your business.

You will find that you can relax when meeting someone new; because these skills take the pressure off you.

You will make new friends and help others in ways that you never imagined.

That’s because of something Alan Alda said, “Listening is being able to be changed by the other person.”

Listening is being able to be changed by the other person

Who can benefit from learning these Five Listening Skills?

These Five Listening Skills are for you if you are:

  • New to network marketing
  • A veteran network marketer
  • A Facebook or digital marketer
  • An owner of a brick and mortar business
  • An educator
  • A spouse or parent

These Five Listening Skills are not for you if you are:

  • Someone in a hurry.
  • Someone who is successfully using “old school” techniques,
    • Unless you are a true leader ready to adapt old methods to new times.

Are you in? Listening is hard.

Consider this quote by Peter Drucker, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.”

The most important

Listening isn’t easy but it will reward you in countless ways.

Here is what you are going to learn:

  • Four Common Listening Blunders
  • Four Cures for Ineffective Listening
  • Five Listening Skills
  • How the Five Listening Skills Become a Recruiting System
  • Strategies for Listening Online and Offline

Learning to listen is a cure for the NFL (no friends left) syndrome. That’s because of the truth of a quote by Karl A. Menninger, “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.”

Listening is the magnetic

You do want to draw people to you and your business, don’t you?

So, let’s get started.

We are plagued in our communication by four common listening blunders.

Once, you have identified them, you are ready to do away with them. The Five Listening Skills will help you.

First, we are often controlled by a closed mind or an agenda.

Having an agenda will close your mind to other possibilities.

How do you recognize that you are being controlled by your agenda? You feel frustrated with someone’s response to your question or comment.

If we leave our agenda out of the conversation, we won’t be discouraged by the direction it takes. But how do you know if you are controlled by an agenda? Here are a few clues:

  • You are using a script that someone taught you.

The problem with scripts is that your friend doesn’t have a copy. Scripts are great to help you see natural ways to talk about your business. But with the Five Listening Skills, you will be comfortable with impromptu conversations that will become tailored to the needs of your friend.

  • You feel discouraged or frustrated by the direction the conversation takes.

You want to share the exciting new business you are in and your friend is talking about wanting to find the perfect job.

Or you want to share about the revolutionary new supplement that could help your sister have better health and she talks about seeing a new doctor.

  • Your friend raises an objection that leaves you speechless.

This will happen if you see yourself as the message instead of the messenger. You should have a third party that is the message.

It can be a call or zoom meeting with someone in your upline or even cross line.

It can be a recorded video.

It can be a website.

If you struggle referring others, ask yourself why.

Sometimes we want to come across as the one with the knowledge. Have a heart to heart with yourself. Explain that third-party sources are the most effective way to get the information to your friends.

Sometimes we don’t trust our up line. You may not want someone to put the “hard sell” on your best friend.

I had that fear. But after a call or two, I realized that I could trust my sponsor and upline. Give your upline a chance. If there is part of their approach that you are uncomfortable with, talk to them about it.

Sometimes it is the fear of new technology. is used widely today by network marketers and is user-friendly. But if you are unsure ask your upline for help and get started using technology. You will become proficient. Until then laugh off the mistakes. Your friends will laugh with you, not at you.

Second, we are limited by not empathizing or listening to understand

Stephen Covey said that one of the seven habits of highly successful people is to first seek to understand, then to be understood.
When we fail to first understand, we have overlooked one of the keys to being heard.
The problem is that you may not recognize that you aren’t listening to understand.
Just to be safe, assume that you aren’t listening to understand and learn the Five Listening Skills.

Third, you are distracted by surroundings.

You can’t get rid of all distractions. But you can be aware of their effect.
If you are going to a coffee shop, there will be the traffic of other customers and sounds of coffee machines.
If you go to someone’s home, there may be children or pets.
No matter where we go, we cannot escape the phone.

Fourth, you are bound by preconceived ideas.

One example of a preconceived idea is common with those of us who are “unemployable”. For us, there is no attraction of the “perfect job.” We believe that is a myth or lie.
But, that is our perception. It is a preconceived idea that your friend may not share.
You may believe in all natural health care options. That is a preconceived idea. Your friend may have no confidence in supplements and will only follow a doctor’s advice.
You cannot control your brother’s perceptions. He may not want to share with family and friends.
You do not want to change your ideas, but you need to be aware of them and their effect on your ability to listen effectively.

The good news is that there are Four Cures for Ineffective Listening.

Your best line of defense to the listening blunders are the Five Listening Skills but there are other ways you can be a more effective listener:

First, release your agenda. Recognize that you have an agenda and let it go.

One of the biggest agendas is the need to sign up people. This probably is fueled by your need to make extra money.

Remember that you are not an employee. You are a business owner.

Employees expect to be paid soon after they have worked.

Business owners know that they are working towards making a profit; but that it is a process that requires patience.

If you have realistic expectations, your agenda will be less of a problem.

Empathize so that you can listen to understand.

Empathy is the act of putting yourself in the place of the other person. Imagine what it must feel like to experience what they are experiencing.

Empathy is greatly enhanced by the Five Listening Skills. You will learn skills that enable you to empathize.

As much as you can, remove or keep distractions at a minimum.

This is pretty easy to understand, not so easy to implement.

You can ask people to turn off cell phones. But not all of them will.

Just make sure your phone is turned off!

If you are doing a home meeting, arrange for children and pets to be out of the picture.

My puppy Max is a huge distraction and it is hard to remove him. He is either in the room stealing attention with his cuteness or he is making a fuss because he is behind a closed door. works really well for me. Max photobombs the video sometimes but his presence is minimized.

You will have your own set of complications caused by distractions. Learn to anticipate and avoid all that you can. Learn to live with the rest.

Finally, you must be open to new ideas and solutions.

Be open to the idea that your best friend or sister is never going to join you in your business because it just isn’t what they want to do.

Be open to the fact that your brother would rather keep working and doesn’t want to sell stuff to family and friends.

Don’t be floored if someone you were sure would be your next “rock star” signs up with another network marketing company.

You know that what you are doing is absolutely right for you. People are not made with a cookie cutter.

What is right for you will be absolutely wrong for many of the people in your life.

What is wonderful for you might be awful for your next door neighbors. They might want to raise pit bulls.

The key is to remember that what works for you probably won’t work for your best friend, or sibling, or spouse.

After all, if everyone wanted to do network marketing, you would not be nearly as valuable to your company.

We have finished an introduction to the Five Listening Skills for Highly Effective Recruiting. You are on the way to becoming an Intentional Recruiter. We’ll look at each of the Five Listening Skills in the coming sections and conclude with how you can use your new listening skills with online and offline strategies.

Watch for the next section on Reflective Listening. It is the skill that will help you to connect and create a relaxed conversation.

It’s what you do when you are an Intentional Recruiter.

I value your input. Please email your comments and suggestions.

God bless you,
Connie Suarez

Reflective Listening – coming soon.