There is a basic concept we’ve all been exposed to in our training that goes something like this:

“When it comes to prospecting for partners in our businesses, sort, do not convince.

Conceptually, this is rather simple.

Just talk to people…establish rapport…find out what people are missing…be a problem-solver.

I know this drill, and I’m sure you do, too. It is core, fundamental, we are told. “Connect and listen,” we are taught. Okay. But how?

Connect and listen. Each of these is easy, yet they can also be tricky until we can change some old and familiar behaviors that may be getting in our way.


Letting Go

In my previous field (body therapy, yoga, and movement therapy), my clients and students would often say, “Learning to relax is difficult.” That might be literally true, but in the final act, relaxing itself is effortless: it finds its root in surrender, rather than in labor.

Relaxing means letting go of the effort of sustaining tension in the soft tissues in our bodies. It also has a strong mental component: relaxing the mind. In network marketing, connecting with people is a similar process, only in this case, it means letting go of judgments and expectations. It is a state of being open, receptive and non-expectant.

It may be tricky to figure out how to approximate this open and relaxed state, but once we are there, it is enjoyable and relaxing beyond measure. Prospecting, like relaxing, feels good! Both are energizing, both are enjoyable, and neither should be difficult in and of themselves.

In describing this state of mind we achieve when discussing our businesses with others, I use the phrase “enlightened indifference.”

What if you could achieve better results with less effort and more enjoyment? Would you be more excited about building your business? Would you have more energy and stamina as you worked toward achieving your goals? Would you be more enthusiastic and more confident about your business when discussing it with other people if you were genuinely having a good time yourself?

If you could relax and trust in the process, what would that do to your ability to draw people into your organization?


Relaxed, Curious and Open

Last week I spoke with an old family friend about her life and career. I noticed how much I was enjoying the process, and how disinclined I was to say and do things to consciously cause her to want to say “yes” to the opportunity I had to offer her. My state of mind, as our conversation unfolded, was curious and open. It was the kind of conversation I might have with…well, with an old family friend!

My favorite way to describe the prospecting process is that we open our hearts, relax our minds, listen with both ears, open our mouths when appropriate, and speak our truth. In my conversation with this woman, my questions were designed to help me know what she thought and felt on various topics which we were discussing. I really wanted to know her truth! And yes, they were open-ended questions, such as “What have you thought of doing since your company was downsized?” However, there was no manipulation.

It takes a lot less effort to inquire what someone thinks and feels than it is to try to coerce them into thinking and feeling a certain way.

You might call this a “no heavy lifting” approach to prospecting.

If someone reveals to you that they have no interest whatsoever in building a network marketing business, you can inquire about why they feel that way. I call this “drilling down.” You can explore the depth of their thoughts and feelings to the degree that they’re willing to do that with you, and to the degree that it’s relevant to your objective, which is to find and connect with qualified members for your organization.

The beauty of this process is that by drilling down, you may find layers of a person’s truth which reveal that they are more or less qualified for your business. And both are perfectly acceptable to you. Why? Because you are more interested in what is than in a particular outcome. You’re relaxed, curious and open.


Enlightened Partnerships

One of the strongest arguments in favor of this approach has to do with what you are modeling for your prospective business partner.

Do you want this person you’re talking with to experience you as being coercive and manipulative? Of course not. If you can open the door for people and make your invitation sincere, those who are meant to walk through will do so.

Over the past five and a half years with my networking company, it has become clear to me that the lasting partnerships are started with this high level of sincerity, respect and openness. You don’t even want to partner with people who are coerced into joining you. Why start a business partnership with someone if you haven’t bothered to listen to the truth about her situation and what she was looking for?

Being “enlightened” implies a state of consciousness in which we are particularly aware and tuned in. The full scope of this state of mind and being is beyond the scope of this article—but nonetheless, each of us can borrow a bit from this general idea.

With practice, you will come to fully enjoy and relax into the prospecting process. This calmness, this comfort in your own skin, will only add to your effectiveness. And if you are really, truly enjoying yourself, others will surely want to come along.

ROSIE SPIEGEL is a speaker, author, 33-year veteran
entrepreneur, and professional network marketer.