Prospecting over the Internet gives you several advantages over more traditional face-to-face prospecting. One is simply that if you've run out of friends to talk to about your business, you can always turn on your computer and find new people to talk to!
Remember the "three-foot rule"? "Talk about your business and/or your product to anyone who comes within three feet." Well, times change. In this age of cocooning and a greater emphasis on permission marketing, the old three-foot rule isn't applicable any more.
But that's okay: there is a new three-foot rule in network marketing:
When you're sitting in front of your computer, you're within three feet of the entire online world.
You can contact anyone, once you know where to find them and how to use Instant Messaging. And you contact them within a better context than ever before.
No More Strangers
If you walked into a room full of strangers, you wouldn't know anything about anyone in the room. You might try to judge people by the way they're dressed, how they're groomed, perhaps by reading the expressions on their faces. You might strike up a conversation with a person to learn more about him. You'd have to invest your time talking to as many people as you could to determine if they'd be interested in what you have to offer. And you'd spend much of your time talking to the wrong
It's much easier on the Internet.
On the Internet, you can walk into a very large room full of strangers, and almost everyone in the room has his "profile" taped to his back. (I'm not referring to chat rooms, by the way.) Each profile contains: the person's name; city and state location; gender; marital status; a list of that person's hobbies; a list of favorite gadgets; occupation; and a personal quote that tells you about that person's values and outlook on life.
You can walk behind anyone in the room, and read all about him prior to starting a conversation. You can pick out the people you'd want to talk to before making contact and identify the people you'd want to avoid by reading about them.
That's just one advantage the Internet provides you when you go online looking to meet new people. By reading a person's Internet profile, you can immediately know:
Who's online to whom you would enjoy talking.
Who's online who would most enjoy talking to you.
Who's online who'd be the most likely prospects for you to talk to.
Who's online who's ambitious or lazy.
Who's online who has a positive or negative outlook on life.
Knowing this kind of information about someone is priceless; it saves you time and eliminates the rejection that comes with talking to the wrong people.
You can read a person's Internet profile and, based on its contents, know in advance whether or not you would like them--and whether or not they would like you. You can Instant Message the people with whom you have something in common; you can start an online conversation any time it's convenient for you.
People like talking to people who like the same things they do. People like talking to people who share their interests and values. Don't you?
You can also know in advance whether or not someone is a prospect for your business, simply by reading their Internet profile. You can pick out the people who share your interests, your hobbies or your work experience.
If you can pick the green M&M's out of a bowl of candy, you can easily identify the best people to talk to online.
Starting an online conversation with someone who you know in advance would be a great prospect for your business is as easy as sending an Instant Message: "Hello, you've got a great profile. I see you like to play golf. I have a 7 handicap, what's yours?"
Millions of people are online, sitting in front of their computer as you read these words. You could be meeting people locally or anywhere else in the world right now!
Finally--and perhaps most significantly--the rejection associated with the old three-foot rule disappears on the Internet. "If you're within three feet of a person who can fog a mirror, you've got a prospect for your business..." not any more! That old paradigm--if it ever worked at all--has been banished forever by Internet access.
Instead of going through a hundred "No's" to get to your "Yes," when you're prospecting, you can get eight out of the ten people you contact via Instant Messaging to look at your business--because you have read their Internet profile.
The next time you sit down at your computer, remember" you're within three feet of the entire online world!
MAX STEINGART (successway.com) is the author of Shaking Hands on the Internet, Success Online, Your Daily Motivation, and a free online e-zine for network marketing leaders.