If it's true that markets are conversations, what are the conversations of a network marketer? Here's what I say they are:

1. Conversation for Relationship
2. Conversation for Friendship
3. Conversation for Partnership
4. Conversation for Leadership

Each conversation provides the foundation for the next. Think of chess or checkers: You cannot make a move until the one that comes before you is made. It's just the way the game is played. For example, friendship cannot exist without first establishing relationship. Each conversation must be complete before you can move to the next.

When is a conversation complete? When you say so--when there is nothing missing.

There is a numbers-game dimension here. The more relationships you form, the more friendships are possible. The more friends you have, the more candidates there are for partnership. The more partners you have, the more and better opportunity for leaders to emerge.

This is not an excuse for quantity over quality. "Throw ‘em up against the wall and see who sticks," is a churn-'n'-burn strategy based on manipulation, hype-'n'-hustle, which always results in high attrition and low satisfaction--for everyone involved.

1. The Conversation for Relationship

Here's where it all begins.

Just say "Hi," and you're in relationship. Is there more? Yes. The more solid you build the relationship, the better opportunity to move into friendship--and that's your choice, always. You choose to move to friendship or not based on your experience of the person. I recommend moving to friendship when you start to "fall in like" with the person.

2. The Conversation for Friendship

Shared activity is what holds people together. From your family to another soccer mom or stereo freak, the reason shared activity is such great glue is that shared activity involves shared values, and shared values are the basis of friendship.

The conversation for friendship is value-based and value-led. You listen for the other person's values--those you share, those you see and like in each other. When enough of those values are out on the table--from both sides--you have the building blocks of friendship. Your friendship becomes official when you say, "my friend Marty."

In terms of your business, one of the most useful things about friendship is the trust and regard you have for each other. This allows you to have a conversation about almost anything--including your product or opportunity--easily, naturally, without fear of rejection.

The recommendation of a friend is the single most powerful marketing force in the world. If nothing comes of the conversation in terms of business, fine: you still have your friend, and friends make your life richer, more interesting and satisfying.

And remember, your friends have friends, too. Even if your friend isn't interested in what you're up to, he or she knows someone who may be.

3. The Conversation for Partnership

In network marketing (and in all of life, for that matter), there is no success except through partnership. Partnership comes into existence around a project. Whether it's the partnership of marriage, being a member of a team or a formal business partnership, partners join to accomplish something together. Partners need each other.

The conversation for partnership is an offer you make--a proposal. ("Will you marry me?"--we even call it a "proposal.") When you've decided this person has the values and vision you want in a partner, you can make your offer, which is to "take a look" at the possibility.

There are three possible responses to a proposal of partnership: "Yes," "No," or a counter-offer.

Since the most desired response is a "Yes," it makes sense to make an "offer they can't refuse." The most consistently successful way I've seen to do this is to tell your friend why you want him or her for a partner--and do it with enthusiasm.

"Mable, success in my business comes from getting into partnership with bright, creative and ambitious people who are looking for the best way to make a huge difference in hundreds of people's lives. That's you, Mable! You'd be incredible at this and I really want you for a partner! Will you give me 20 minutes to show you what I'm up to and see if you think you'd be as good at this as I do?"

Remember, this conversation for partnership is based on your friendship with Mable, and that stays intact, regardless. If she says "Yes," great! If she says "No," great! If she makes the "counter-offer" to try your product or service, to become a customer, and/or refer a few friends, great!

4. The Conversation for Leadership

There are no leaders without followers. What is it a leader has that people follow? In one word: vision. Look at the great leaders of history: Gandhi, Churchill, Martin Luther King. Each put forth a compelling vision of the future that people followed, willingly, excitedly, by the millions!

The conversation for leadership is a conversation of vision.

Two secrets about leaders: first, their attention is not on themselves--their visions are about serving other people. And second, once you've had enough successful conversations for relationship, friendship and partnership, the conversation for leadership comes naturally and effortlessly--because you are already being a leader.

John Milton Fogg is the Author of The Greatest Networker in the World
And Founder of the Greatest Networker Online Community.