No salesperson survives very long making the same mistakes over and over. Here are some of the most common--and damaging--sales mistakes networkers make, offered Letterman-style, with the worst coming last.


10. Moving Too Fast

You work full time, you have two kids in school and you're a single parent. You set up retail appointments in between picking up the kids from soccer and making dinner. You get to the appointment, rush through your presentation, leave information and you're off to pick up the kids. You're too busy and in a rush to actually listen to what the prospect has to say. She never contacts you; you're too busy to contact and follow up with her. You begin to think, she must not need what I have to sell. You move on with no sale.

Instant rapport is difficult to achieve. It is even more difficult to turn a prospect into a customer overnight. You need time to build the relationship. Slow down. Book your appointments when you have plenty of time to do them correctly.


9. A Boring Presentation

Have you ever been to a presentation where it sounds like the speaker has delivered it 100 times before? He seems like he's in a dead-zone rhythm, sounding mechanical and manipulative. The presentation begins and ends in a cold, measured drone--definitely doesn't sound like someone you might want to get to know or someone you'd refer to your friends.

You need to sound likable. Have some excitement in your inflections, a smile on your face and a tone of confidence in your voice. Remember that people love to buy from people they like. Think about jazzing up your presentations by adding personal stories, dramatic examples, and personal benefits to the prospects. Attend a professional speaking course and learn the speaking secrets of the masters. Join a local Toastmasters club for practice.


8. Not Customizing the Presentation to the Prospect's Needs

This is so important, yet very few network marketers ever learn to customize. A generic presentation is not only boring, but it isn't as convincing as one personally tailored to your prospect's needs.

Identify a few personal interests of your prospects and work your presentation around those interests. If it is a particular physical condition, focus on the products that can help address that condition. If you notice they have grandkids, focus your presentation around their grandkids. It usually takes only a few minutes to find people's hot buttons. Find those buttons--and customize!


7. Not Offering a Personal Guarantee

The difference between making the sale and losing the sale could be your lack of a personal guarantee. If your product is as good as you say it is, you should have no problem establishing a personal money-back guarantee, regardless of your company's return policy.


6. Poor Follow-up

Many networkers close the sale and go on to the next--without ever talking to the prospect again. Keep track of your sales and establish a follow-up plan to stay in touch with your customers. Not following up not only gives you a bad name; it gives everyone in network marketing a bad name!


5. Not Offering a Reason to Act Today

Have you ever had a prospect get so excited during your presentation that he was ready to buy right then--but then didn't? You're baffled, you get uncomfortable continually asking for the sale, and you let them off the hook. You leave without the sale. You promise to call them later to get the order. You've just given them time to cool down their emotions and excitement.

Remember that people buy on emotion, not on needs. Give them a reason to purchase now. Offer a free gift or a discounted price if they buy today.


4. Being Too Pushy

I hate to say it, but some of you sound like "network marketers"--or more accurately, like a caricature of the pushy network marketer. If your prospect says "No" more than once or twice, move on! It might come as a shock to you, but your product is not for everyone. Golf is not for everyone. You don't constantly keep asking friends who don't play golf, to play golf. Move on! Sounding pushy makes you sound desperate.


3. Not Being Prepared

You've been calling the prospect for a week. He finally calls you back and you book a meeting. You get dressed in business attire, show up on time, and you've done everything right up to this point--but you didn't prepare your presentation.

Always prepare and practice your presentation. Study the products you represent. Have your act together before your appointment. Second chances are hard to sell.


2. Not Asking for the Order

Don't forget this simple step. Nothing is wrong with asking if they would like to get started today, as long as you're not too pushy about it.


1. Not Having Fun

When you're on the phone and at appointments, have fun! It sets you and your prospect at ease. Lighten up--and watch your business soar!



DAWN SIEBOLD is co-founder

of the Gove-Siebold Group
(, a training organization that helps

networkers develop world-class
communication skills.