As your list grows ever bigger, so does your confidence: you know that your success is not dependent upon any one person being interested, and you develop a much better emotional “posture.”

Last issue, you had just met some nice, quality people at a local area event. Maybe it was a “business-after-hours” function, or possibly a charity ball. Perhaps it was a party you attended at a friend’s home, where you didn’t know many others present. Using the prospecting/networking principles discussed, you did quite well.

What you didn’t do was hit anybody over the head regarding your terrific products, services or opportunity. Instead, you focused on them, asking feel-good questions and even introducing those you met to one another. Though low-key and unassuming, you positioned yourself as a center of influence. You established a very nice, comfortable, beginning relationship with your prospect. Perhaps you even met several people whom you feel you’d like to work with and present them with the opportunity.

Now what?

After the Party

First, send a thank-you note to every new prospect whom you wish to take to the next step. Hand-write this note in blue ink on an 8 1/2 x 3 1/2 notecard (which fits nicely inside a #10 envelope). Include some brief contact information along with a small, professional picture of yourself. This is not a direct response piece, simply a thank-you note. Here is a typical note: “Hi Mary, it was a pleasure meeting you. If I can ever refer business your way, I certainly will.” Then sign your name. Please don’t include your business card or make any reference to what you do.

You might ask, “Why do I need to include my picture?” Remember the saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” Let’s face it: regardless of how quickly you elicited their good feelings toward you, the minute the conversation is over, they return to their own life with its challenges, meeting other people, handling different situations, and so forth. You want to give them every opportunity to remember you—and to picture you—as the person who made them feel good (remember: “feel-good” questions!) about themselves. A small, classy, professional picture will go a long way toward this person feeling very comfortable with you when you decide to approach him with your business opportunity.

But what about e-mail? Can’t I just send an e-mail note?

You can do anything you want. However, if you truly desire to separate yourself from the masses, then make your first personal note of the paper-and-ink variety. This has always set the top producers apart, and does so even more today, when e-mail has taken such a strong hold. E-mail is an excellent way to follow-up afterwards, when appropriate.

Next, keep yourself on your prospect’s mind by sending notes of any relevant interest—regarding his or her hobbies, sports, charitable causes, and so forth. Whenever possible, refer business to this person. If the person’s not in business, gear your help in whatever way is appropriate. I once received a key piece of business because I helped my prospect’s daughter find a job!

When you are ready to invite your prospect to see your business plan, he or she will remember you, and with good feelings.

What Do You Say?

Now it’s time for the call. What do you say?

First, remember that there is no pressure. You are now consistently meeting and building relationships with so many quality people. If this person isn’t interested, say your favorite four letter word (N-E-X-T) and move on to the next prospect.

As your list grows ever bigger, so does your confidence: you know that your success is not dependent upon any one person being interested, and you develop a much better emotional “posture.” Here’s how I describe this posture: “when you care … but not that much!” (What’s fascinating is that when the prospect realizes that you don’t really care all that much, suddenly he or she is much more interested.)

What do you say when making the invite? How about something very simple, such as, “Hi Jane, this is Tom. I’m expanding a business project in this area with some very successful people, and I’m looking for a few already very successful, business-minded people who are open to making more money or diversifying their income. Would that include you?”

Use different words for different prospects. If you are speaking with someone you perceive is already financially well-off, you probably won’t want to use the words “make more money.” Instead, maybe focus on “creating more time in their lives.”

When they ask, “what is it?” you need to have an answer—without trying to explain the business over the phone. If you do so, you’ll give them just enough information to make a major decision based on very limited information, and that decision will most likely be “no.” At the same time, if you refuse to offer any response, they may become suspicious (who could blame them?) and not agree to meet with you. Seek advice from your upline regarding a response that fits your particular opportunity.

As your list grows bigger, you’ll want to take less time and go through fewer steps (meetings, thank-you notes, notes of interest, etc.) from when you initially meet your prospects to when you invite them to look at your business—and you’ll find that as your skill and confidence grows, you are able to do so, and still increase your results.

Bob Burg
is author of Endless Referrals and Winning Without Intimidation, and a
free weekly e-zine (www.burg.com) on networking.