The thing I love most about Networking Times is the no-hype, business-like approach of the writing and editing team. The networking profession finally has an honest-to-goodness trade journal that delivers straight talk, without the get-rich-quick nonsense for which network marketing has sometimes been infamous.

In that no-nonsense vein, let's talk about how to present to successful people.

 

Sponsoring the Right People

Let's be honest: you don't have to be a world-class presenter to sponsor the average person walking down the street. Ninety percent of the population operate with a lottery mentality; present them with an opportunity they perceive as a get-rich-quick scheme, and many of them will, and do, sign on.

Unfortunately, the networking profession is full of these people. The low cost of entry and the staggering income potential is simply too enticing for them to pass up. Combine this mindset with a presenter who says such things as, "You can build this business in your underwear," or, "You can recruit and train all your people over the Internet and never have to leave your house," and you end up with a lot of people just waiting for the money train to roll into town.

Sponsoring people has never been difficult; the challenge is sponsoring the right people. The average person signs up, gets excited, hears "no" a few times, starts to whine and cry about the rejection, and doesn't renew his or her distributorship after the first year.

Any half-sophisticated businessperson knows that nothing in business comes easy or free. If you attempt this type of get-rich-quick-and-easy presentation with the top ten percent of the population--the champions--they'll laugh you out of their offices. If you're willing to learn how to present like a pro, on the other hand, you'll have the power to persuade some of these people to join you.

 

Amateur vs. Professional

THE AMATEUR tends to begin his presentation talking about the opportunity or the product first. This approach may work for the average prospect, but will be much less successful with the champion prospect.

THE PROFESSIONAL almost always begins her presentation by selling herself first. While the average prospect is most interested in making the quick buck, champions are more concerned with who the people are that they're going to associate themselves with in business. Champions like to deal and associate only with other champions; the professional presenter knows this going in. She knows that if she doesn't sell herself first, the opportunity, product or service portion of the presentation won't even matter.

 

THE AMATEUR presenter usually moves from the product or service part of the presentation to explaining about the compensation plan, knowing that most people are interested in money because they have none. They're right, of course, and it's generally effective for the average person.

THE PROFESSIONAL presenter goes from selling herself to selling the champion on the credibility of the company she represents. Again, the successful prospect is very concerned about the partners with whom he's getting involved and any company or organization he is thinking of representing. He knows that getting involved in a fly-by-night organization could damage the reputation he's invested years of his life building.

 

THE AMATEUR presenter moves from the money to how easy it is to build a network marketing business, and how little time and money the prospect would have to invest.

THE PROFESSIONAL presenter moves from establishing personal and company credibility to talking about the effectiveness and demand of the product or service line. This portion of the presentation focuses on the quality of the product or service first, and demand second. Champions won't represent a product or service that's not first-class and unconditionally guaranteed.

 

THE AMATEUR presenter moves from talking about how easy it is to get rich in network marketing to talking about how the prospect could quit her job and never have to work again. This appeals to the masses because the average person has selected a job or career that he isn't suited for and doesn't really like. Champions, on the other hand, tend to be in jobs, businesses or careers that they love. The thought of quitting wouldn't even cross their minds--but the idea of leveraging their contacts and credibility to create an additional revenue source to their existing portfolio could be very attractive. The difference is profound.

THE PROFESSIONAL presenter's final stage before closing is to discuss the cost and risk of the investment vs. potential return, along with the downside of the deal. Successful business people always know there's a downside to every deal. In network marketing, the downside is the reputation of the profession. The pro will disclose this to the prospect while stating her reasons as to why the upside outweighs the downside. An example might be that while network marketing has seen its share of unethical people and practices, it's still the most brilliant marketing system ever devised. When an honest company with a great product or service recruits an organization of straight shooters, everyone wins--and wins big. Especially the end user.

 

Decide what level of person you want in your business--then structure your presentation accordingly. Wouldn't you be better off sponsoring five champions with world-class skills, belief systems, contacts and credibility, rather than an army of average people who are looking for something for nothing?

 

 

 

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.