It never fails: no matter where I speak, in the world of network marketing, people always say the same thing: “The cold market doesn’t work in this business.”

My response is always the same, too: “That’s because you have to prepare your presentation very differently for the cold market. The cold market is a jungle, and if you go traipsing through the jungle without knowing this, the cold- market animal is going to eat you for lunch.”

At this point, they usually look at me funny and walk away.
The biggest problem in network marketing has always been: whom do you call after your warm market is exhausted? There’s only one answer: the cold market.

When you’re conducting a one-on-one in the cold market, remember these four golden rules:

1. DRESS PROFESSIONALLY. First impressions are critical to someone who doesn’t know you.
2. BE ON TIME. Showing up even five minutes late can kill your credibility.
3. BE A PROFESSIONAL. Don’t be overly friendly, because that makes you look like a salesperson. Be polite, courteous, and professional.
4. BE BRIEF. Get their attention, get their interest—and get out! Amateur presenters talk a prospect into the business and then proceed to talk them out of it.

Here is the exact formula we recommend in our Tiger Program, which focuses exclusively on the cold market:

The Opener
Shake hands with the prospect and say, “I know you’re busy so I’ll get right to the point.” Then do so!

Conceptual Overview
“We’re in the process of constructing an international distribution pipeline. The purpose of this pipeline is to carry goods and services around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s just like the Internet, except with people—sort of a human Internet.
“We're looking for partners to help us build the pipeline. Once it’s completed, all of the partners will be paid every time a product or service moves through the channel. We’ve partnered with a company that produces world-class products and services, and I can give you more details on them later, but the most important thing about the company is that people buy what they make.”

The Benefits
“Residual, reproductive income. No employees, no workman’s comp, no liability insurance, less than 10 percent overhead. Home-based business where you can write off a portion of your home. Low start-up investment with very high potential return. The advantage of a franchise without the franchise fees. Great product line with great support.”

The Downside
“It’s network marketing. Let me explain what I mean: I see network marketing as a big pie. On one side of the pie you have the most cost-effective, resource-efficient method of distributing products and services ever created. An ordinary person with extraordinary drive has a legitimate shot at building a very successful, six- or seven-figure business.
“On the other side of the pie, network marketing gets little respect in the business world because it’s been littered for 40 years with people making wild product claims and telling everyone who will listen that they can get rich quick. The low cost of entry and the promise of wealth casts a very wide net. As a result, some people don’t make the distinction between the marketing plan and the people promoting it, so they mistakenly toss the baby out with the bath water.
“The good news is we’re involved with a group of people who are doing it right. I just wanted you to know the whole story of what I’m offering you so you can make a decision with both eyes open.”

The People
“We’re involved with some world-class leaders whom I know you’ll appreciate.

“Joe Smith was VP of sales for a Fortune 1000 company in Philadelphia, and is one of the most skilled networkers in the business. He’s earning a solid six figures with our group.

“Natalie Britt was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years before getting involved with us, and now she’s one of the highest-ranked distributors in our company. Natalie’s focus has been on the product side of the business, and I can tell you that nobody knows more about our product line than Natalie.

“Dr. Dave Parker was a very successful general practitioner for 15 years, and just recently sold his practice to join us full time. He’s making more money with us than he was at the height of his practice, and he feels he can reach and help more people through our business.

“If you’re interested, what I’d like to do is introduce you to these people, so you can get a feel for the kind of group were involved with.”

The Conclusion
“Let me ask you, Bob, have I piqued your curiosity?”

This whole presentation should take you under four minutes. Remember, it’s not designed to be a complete one-on-one. It’s simply a presentation to capture the curiosity of the prospect. If there’s no interest, there’s no point wasting time doing a complete one-on-one.

If he says “No,” pack up and head to your next appointment. If he says “Yes,” begin asking questions and probe the mind of the prospect. This is where the real presentation begins—and that’s what we’ll look at next issue.

Steve Siebold is co-founder of the Gove-Siebold Group (www.gove-siebold.com), a training organization that helps networkers develop world-class communication skills.