Myth #1: You Don't Have To Be Good At Selling

Let's get this straight once and for all: Network marketers are entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs are good at selling and communicating; lousy entrepreneurs are not. Which are you?

Myth #2: You Have To Be Pushy And Aggressive

The reason people think of salespeople as pushy and aggressive is that for the last 60 years, they have been. Most salespeople today still are.

Professional selling (network marketing) today is about presenting our products, services and business in an organized fashion, without trickery or manipulation. It's about having a casual conversation coupled with good questions about what's important to our prospects. A sales conversation with your prospect should sound and feel as natural as speaking with a good friend in your home, by your fireplace, sitting in your favorite easy chair.

Myth #3: You Have To Be a Great Closer

Have you ever heard of the "speed-bump" close? How about the "Ben Franklin" close? The "alternate-of-choice" close? I have, and a good 50 more. These razzle-dazzle closes are obsolete, and any even halfway intelligent prospect will see right through them.

Selling today is about asking questions that uncover a prospect's problems (and other motivators), then simply offering them solutions with your products, services and/or business opportunity. Anything beyond that, other than simply asking for the order or suggesting the next step, would be ineffective, even counterproductive.

The real "close" takes place while the prospect is answering your questions. By your asking easily answered questions, your prospects will close themselves. (Okay, hold your horses, I'll give you some examples of these questions in a minute.)

Myth #4: You Have To Be a Born Salesperson

We were all born salespeople. Over the years we have been brainwashed by our families, friends and other uninformed people on how not to sell, or at least not to sell naturally.

Some of the best salespeople I've ever met didn't think of themselves as salespeople; they thought of themselves as people who enjoy other people.

You know how to ask questions, right? How to listen? How to carry on a conversation? These are natural sales skills we all possess, and they can all be improved dramatically with proper training.

Myth #5: Sell Features and Benefits

There is a place for offering features and benefits in a presentation, but not at the outset, where they will inevitably invite objections.

Before you can offer solutions (benefits) you must know what your prospect's motivations are. These motivations are usually "problems" the prospect will not talk about without your asking them some exploratory questions focusing on your prospect's financial, freedom and job dissatisfactions.

"Are you satisfied with your present level of income?"

"How do you feel about the amount of time you get to spend with your family?"

"Do you ever worry about being downsized or laid off from your job?"

Get your prospects talking about these emotional concerns before you give your demonstration. They will be far more receptive to your proposal when you do bring out features and benefits.

Myth #6: If You Don't Sell, You Don't Eat

Oops, this one is true.

Myth #7: You Need A Canned Pitch

I don't believe in a scripted or canned presentation. I also don't believe in winging it. I believe in what I call "language formulas," which are a cross between using a script and your own spontaneous language.

For example: Finish these questions, using your own words. (Hint: think in terms of asking about your prospect's financial, freedom and job problems.)

"Are you concerned about...?"

"What are the disadvantages of...?

"What is your greatest frustration concerning...?"

See how easy this is?

Myth #8: If I'm Honest and Care About People, They Will Buy From Me

I wish this were true, but it's not. The truth is, until you establish a relationship with your prospects, they will doubt almost everything you say.

The way you overcome this problem is to get them to say what you want them to know and understand. This goes back to asking questions that cause your prospects to think and draw their own conclusions about you, your company, products, services and business opportunity.

Myth #9: Selling Is Not Duplicable

This used to be true; not any longer. Selling your company's products, services and opportunity can now be reduced to simple steps anyone can do. By understanding people's motivations and using proven language formulas for creating questions, selling becomes as simple (and duplicable) as:

1. Asking a few questions that uncover people's motivations (avoiding pain, seeking pleasure).

2. Listening.

3. Offering solutions with your products, services and business opportunity.

You can learn simple, duplicable selling systems far more easily than you can your own company's compensation plan.

Myth #10: Selling Is No Fun

Selling can be a nightmare when you don't know what you're doing. But then, so can tying your shoes.

Studies have shown that the happiest people in the world are those who have learned some skills and found an activity to match those skills. When you're able to engage people in thought-provoking conversations and they give your presentation to themselves, selling, prospecting and network marketing become incalculably more enjoyable.

You don't know what a good time is in network marketing until you know how to sell.

HILTON JOHNSON has been training people in sales for three decades; he and his wife Lisa are co-founders of MLM University(R).