In this space I usually discuss some aspect of prospecting and building your organization. This issue, I want to break tradition and talk about selling—and see if I can help break (or at least stretch) a myth that consumes and sometimes hobbles network marketers.

What is the key to selling lots of product to lots of people? (For simplicity’s sake, I’ll use the word “product” to include the idea of “service” as well.) You must be in love with your product—right? That’s what you were taught, isn’t it? That the number-one ingredient in successfully selling your product is to be absolutely, smack-dab, head-over-heals in love with your product.

And you know, on the surface, that would seem to make sense. After all, how can you sell something you don’t love? How could you stand behind something you don’t personally, absolutely love?

The answer is…easily!

Because you don’t have to love it.

You must believe in it. You must back it 100 percent (or more). You must know it will do the job it is supposed to do for the person who buys it. But you don’t personally have to love it.

In Love with the Experience

The franchisee who owns seven McDonald’s units never needs to eat a Big Mac in order to successfully sell Big Macs. The multi-franchise Dunkin’ Donuts owner need never personally sink his teeth into one of his freshly baked and sumptuous chocolate coconut donuts (though how it would be possible not to is pretty well beyond me) in order to have a very lucrative business.

And the person selling any of the wonderful variety of products we deal with every day in network marketing need not be a fanatic of the products.

In his recently released book, The New Game of Business, my buddy Mitch Axelrod sticks out his chin and says the thing most consultants are afraid to say, because they worry about turning off potential readers:

“It’s nice if you love your product or service, but it’s not mandatory. Your love has some impact on your profitability, but not much. It’s better to like your products and services than dislike them, but the truth is…what really matters is that the people who buy them like them and that they buy often enough to generate ongoing profit for your enterprise.”

I agree with Mitch’s premise.

You loving your product and your customer loving your product are not the same thing. In fact, this is the main challenge with the whole “love your product” idea. When we’re in love with a product, we typically will tend to assume that everyone else would love the same benefits as we do. Thus, we sell those particular benefits—when in fact they might not interest our prospect in the least.

Tom Hopkins tells a wonderful story in his awesome book, How to Master the Art of Selling, about a blind real estate salesman who consistently outperformed many of his sighted associates. When asked how he could be so successful with such an obvious “handicap,” he replied, “I actually have a distinct advantage: I’m forced to see the homes through my prospects’ eyes.”

That is to me one of the most profound statements ever made by a professional salesperson. It wasn’t important that he loved the home; it was important that his prospect loved the home.

Sure, Debbie Fields, the founder of Mrs. Field’s Cookies, probably did love her product (though to look at that beautiful woman, you’d never know it). But let’s face it: the same is not necessarily true for the person who owns an envelope manufacturing company. In both cases, what’s important is that the customers love the products or the benefits they glean from their usage—as well as the experience they have when buying them.

Creating a Love-ly Experience

The question then becomes, how do we create the experience for our prospects and customers that keeps them coming back and telling others about us?

First, we provide the best product possible and target those who are most likely to be interested.

Second, we sell effectively by noting their needs, wants, desires, and what they would find interesting, enjoyable and/or beneficial about the product—which is not necessarily what we find interesting, enjoyable and/or beneficial about it.

Third, we guarantee our product 100 percent…or more. “Or more”? Yes: you can actually guarantee your product even more than 100 percent. For example, if you offer a free bonus item (a special report or other goodie) and allow them to keep the bonus item even if they return the purchased item for a full refund, that is a “better than money-back” guarantee. (Of course, check with your company’s compliance division and/or upline support to make sure this is acceptable.)

Fourth, we make it easy for them to buy by providing a warm and terrific buying experience. We demonstrate our interest in them and the value and joy they’ll receive from the product.

Fifth, we provide absolutely extraordinary service after the sale. (This one is self-evident, or should be.)

Sixth, we put into place referral mechanisms (i.e., systems) that proactively help our ecstatic and loyal customers refer us to others.

We can do all this without being in love with our product or service, as long as we take Mitchell Axelrod’s advice:

“If you want to fall in love, fall in love with solving problems and serving people.”



BOB BURG is author of Endless Referrals and The Success Formula.