Following what we’ve covered in the last two issues, now you’re really working from strength. Day by day, you are developing a huge, ongoing list of new prospects. The typical person you meet has a natural sphere of influence of about 250 people, so every time you cultivate a win/win relationship with one new person (based on the premise that he feels he knows you, likes you and trusts you), you’ve just increased your list by a potential 250 people. Every single time! (Okay, cut that in half, and in half again—you’ve still added 62 potential names with each new relationship!)

You’ve become much more effective at prospecting, because at this point, there is absolutely no pressure in talking to anyone you might meet. Why not? Because if they’re not interested, you truly don’t need to care. (Remember “posture”: when you care, but not that much.)

Now, let’s “quick prospect.” Instead of going through an entire relationship-building process before inviting people to see the business, we are going to quickly establish a rapport, make a qualifying statement, and then decide if we want to take their business card to call them later, discuss the business with them now, or decide not to proceed any further. This is very empowering: based on their response, we are deciding if they qualify to work with us!

Imagine: you are in an upscale coffee shop or bookstore coffee bar, between appointments or just catching up on some reading. (These places are often magnets for high-quality, already-successful people, who are precisely those we most want to prospect.) Someone sits down at a table near you with her cappuccino. You look over and say, hello; she responds in kind. You mention how “the cappuccino is really good here,” and she agrees. “What are you reading (or anything else topical)?” you might ask, to which she responds. (If it’s obvious that she’s not interested in speaking with you, just let it go—N-E-X-T!—no harm done). You casually ask what line of work she is in, and then ask the first two open-ended, feel-good questions discussed in the first article of this series:

“How did you get started in the widget business?” and,

“What do you enjoy most about what you do?”

At the point you feel a rapport has been established, use what I call, “the one key statement.” Are you ready? Here it is:

“You must really enjoy what you do.”

What Does This Statement Accomplish?

Two important things have just occurred: One is that you have taken the exact opposite route of practically every other network marketer. You know the logic: “Find a person’s emotional pain right away in order to show him or her how you are the one who can fix it.” How many networkers are out there, right now as you read these lines, waiting to pounce on someone who looks like he/she hates his/her job?

But this approach violates human nature. Before a person is comfortable with you, she’s not ready to admit that she may have made mistakes regarding her life’s choices. Instead, you want to make her feel good about herself and about you, and more importantly, feel comfortable with you.

You’ve also given that person an opportunity to respond in such a way that will make it easy for you to present the opportunity—if that is what you then choose to do. For instance, she replies, “Yes, I sure do love what I do!”

Are you stuck now? Hardly. You respond by saying, “You know, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the more successful people already are, the more open they are to other ideas for successful projects (or, you could end that phrase with “income diversification,” “other income streams,” etc.).” If she agrees that’s the case for her as well, then you might say, “I’m currently in the process of expanding a business project in the area with some very successful people. We’re looking for a few more already successful entrepreneurs to work with in expanding a very lucrative infrastructure” (or whatever wording would be appropriate). She’ll either want to know more or she won’t.

On the other hand, what if she replied to your one key statement by saying, “Are you kidding? I hate what I do. I’d rather be doing just about anything else.” Then you respond with, “Well, I don’t know if this is something we could necessarily get together on or not, but I’m in the midst of expanding a business project with some very successful people, and we’re in the process of finding some key leaders. Your talents could possibly pay off well for you.”

Wow, what posture! There’s a good chance that person will be interested. And if not? So what. NEXT!

Wherever and Whenever

You can do “quick-prospecting” practically anywhere. These opportunities constantly make themselves available. It doesn’t matter if it’s in your neighborhood, across the country—or in another country. What’s nice about this is that since you are continually doing your long-term prospecting that we discussed in the last two issues, you always have new prospects filling your pipeline. There’s no pressure to feel you must prospect everyone you see. There is no “three-foot rule” pressure—and while that old standard has its positive side, it can also put a lot of pressure on you and your prospect, and make the business downright un-fun.

Sure, this business requires stepping outside your comfort zone—but if you want it to be duplicatable, it makes sense to make the prospecting process as non-threatening as possible. Quick prospecting puts you on the right track.

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