"Just a minute!" How often have you heard that? "I'll be off the phone in a minute...This'll take just a minute to explain... We'll be finished here in just a minute..."

How nice it is when it's actually true! A minute seems so, well, convenient. So considerate. So complete.

So, let's do that. How to build your Network Marketing business in just one minute.

Okay: in a series of "just one minutes."

Remember the "One-Minute" bestsellers-- The One-Minute Manager, The One-Minute Sales Person, and the rest? One reason for their success is that they packed their essential themes into bite-sized, delectably useful pieces.

We do live in a USA Today world-- not because we're becoming morons, but because the world is getting so fast.

Your analyst has time for your life story. Your prospect doesn't.

One-Minute Product Testimonials

Most Network Marketed products are "information-rich," and their full story is integral to their value, which you want to share with new consumers. But unloading all that, all at once, has turned off many a prospect. People don't need 15 or 20 reasons to try a product-- just one or two good ones. Besides, how long can you hold someone's interest before they start feeling they're being "sold"? Enter the One-Minute Testimonial.

You've established rapport with your new person and reached the magic point where they are curious enough to ask about your product. Give yourself a 60-second "window of opportunity" to show and tell them what your product is, what you've experienced with it, why (and how much) you like it. Sixty seconds-- and your story's told.

Sound tough? For some of us, it's murder! Personally, it's easier for me to talk for 20 minutes than for one. We need a system.

Practice Your Outgoing Message

Some electronics outlets may still sell 60-second cassette tapes for recording the outgoing messages on those old "analog" answering machines. Buy one-- or better, a half dozen. (Your key people will want to know how to become One-Minute Networkers, too.) Then go tell your story-- to your cassette recorder.

Think you'll have a hard time keeping it to 60 seconds? Naw, it's a snap: On the 61st second, your machine goes "click!" and you're done. (Remember that "click!"-- that's the sound your prospect's attention span makes when it starts to unravel!)

Will prospects be so wowed by your compelling one-minute rap that they grab your product-- presto!-- to buy and try?

Sometimes. But it doesn't matter. Your One-Minute Testimonial doesn't have to complete the encounter. It just needs to create a positive spark that leads to action.

One-Minute Opportunity Talk

When do you tell customers about your opportunity? If you're waiting 'til people are committed users, and only then looking for "the right time" to tell them about the business opportunity ... you're waiting too long!

Sure, you want people to be convinced about the product, to get its benefits. And it may not feel appropriate to tell them all about the opportunity just yet.

But you know what? It's a lot harder to create a whole new dimension to your product-based relationship weeks or months later, than it is to plant that seed-- now! As early as you can, even in your very first conversation, give 'em a One-Minute Opportunity Talk.

No flip charts. No brochures, booklets, black- or white-boards. Just you, them and One Minute. Don't rush; don't cram; just be concise and hit the bull's eye. Go!

Tell your prospect (or your cassette recorder) about Network Marketing-- what it is, what it's like for you, and why it might be of value for them-- and about your own particular business opportunity.

"How on earth could I explain all that in one minute?!"

You can't. But you can tell them a few key things that convey the whole picture. You simply have to choose those aspects of your opportunity that will convey your offering with impact. And to do that, you need to have a sense of where they're coming from.

Which brings us to ...

... One-Minute Listening

How do you find out about another person-- his or her situation, concerns, desires, wants, needs, dreams, values and purpose-- with a One-Minute Listening?

"No way. I may be able to control my own mouth with a 60-second cassette-- but I can't control theirs. How do I get people to tell me about themselves on a stopwatch timetable?"

You're right. This is one you can't practice on a cassette, because it's mostly not you doing the talking. The trick to One-Minute Listening is to apply the 80/20 Rule: 80 percent of your time you listen while they talk; use the 20 percent talk-time to ask questions that guide your inquiry.

That means: For every five minutes of conversation, they have the floor for four and you have one-- max!-- to keep it on track and focused.

When you're that focused, chances are that within minutes, you'll hear a concise expression of what matters most to them. Even if they don't consciously identify it that way, that's their One-Minute "Why."

One-Minute Goals and One-Minute Strategies

How do you work effectively with your existing leaders as One-Minute Network Marketers? Ask them:

"When you reach the level of success that you're shooting for in your business, what will that look like and feel like to you? What will you have, do, and be?"

Then have them answer that question on-- you got it-- a 60-second cassette tape.

Support them to make that a regular practice. Sure, it may take longer to spell out all the gorgeous details of success dreams-- but a goal that fits on a 3 X 5 card (the visual version of the 60-second audio tape) is easier to keep in mind and in action. Brevity is the soul of wit-- and of one's "Why."

One-Minute Strategies? Simple: Have your leaders take a look at their goals, and then at where they are right now with their businesses. Then ask the question:

"What's the next step? What is the single most significant thing you need to start doing to move you from this place to the next place on the path to your goals?"

... and then-- One-Minute tape time.

Practicing "Keynote"

At the end of every coaching call or session I do, I practice "Keynote." It's dynamite, like taking a colored highlighter pen to your life. Here's how it works.

At the end of your coaching session, have everyone present take One Minute to say what was the Keynote of the call. A Keynote is:

The single most significant concept, idea, discovery, suggestion, theme, plan or other element that characterizes the value you've gotten from the call.

In some cases, this will be frustrating-- you can't really identify any one "most significant element." That's valuable right there: Why can't you? What was missing in that call?

Every good story has a point, a punchline. Every symphony has a central theme. Every effective coaching call has a Keynote.

Practicing Keynote is a critical skill: the skill of identifying the "heart of the matter."

It's the exact same skill you're using to pinpoint the key ingredients for your One-Minute Testimonial ... One-Minute Opportunity Talk ... One-Minute Listening Question ... One-Minute Goals and Strategies ... and every other effective communication you have.

And that's a skill you can duplicate.

JOHN DAVID MANN is Editor of Networking Times.