In the early days of my network marketing career, I thought I had no control. I thought I needed people, that I was dependent on them for my success.

While I could control how many people I talked to, I couldn’t control who got involved. And try though I might (and I did!), I certainly couldn’t make them successful unless they wanted to be successful. So, if I needed five lines to reach a goal, I’d sponsor five people and pray. I spent my time motivating them and encouraging them, being immediately available, always at their beck and call.

It was awful. I was miserable. I felt like I had a job!

Eventually I learned a crucial concept: you need people—but not any particular person. I also learned that you cannot control what they do—you can only control what you do.

In fact, I learned that in network marketing there are only two things that you control.

The Number of People You Contact

The number of people who decide to see the business and decide to get involved is out of your hands. You can’t control that—no matter how much hard sell, coaxing, convincing or arm-twisting you might employ. You control only the number of people you contact.

When I was introduced to the concept of numbers and ratios, I applied it to my business immediately. I realized that even though I could not make any particular person successful, sheer numbers meant that there would be successes in my business, regardless of my influence. And I could control the numbers: I could control how many people I talked to.

It’s no different from conventional business: it’s all about ratios. You need to determine your recruiting ratio. Based on that (and the number of lines your company’s plan requires to get to the top), you will know exactly how many people you need to talk to in order to end up with the necessary number to show and sponsor.

Let’s look at this more closely.

There is the ratio of the number of people you talk to and the percentage of that number who actually want more information. Then there is the ratio between the number of people you show the business to and the percentage of that number who actually sign in. Finally, there is the ratio of the number of people who sign into the business and the percentage of that number that actually do something.

When I first studied these numbers, I was dealing in warm market and referrals; my ratios were 5:1. For every five people I talked to, one wanted to know more; for every five to whom I showed the business, one got involved. For every five who got involved, one actually built a business.

Eventually, as I grew more confident, my ratios improved to 3:1. If I needed five key lines, I knew I needed to sponsor 15 to 25 people. Which meant I needed to show the business to 45 to 125—which meant I needed to talk to 135 to 625, which is not as hard as it might appear when spread out over six to 12 months.

Knowledge of the numbers put me in control of my business. Finally, I knew exactly what I had to do. No more guesswork!

Your Attitude

The second thing I could control, I discovered, was my attitude.

I purposely chose to be positive and confident. I chose to come from a point of strength, not weakness.

I decided to work with the people who motivated me, people excited and eager to learn. I would work with those who deserved it, not those who demanded it.

I decided where I was going and walked confidently in that direction. People knew I was going to the top with or without them. I was not arrogant, but I was confident. Big difference!

People want to follow people who know where they are going. No one wants to be part of someone else’s test.

Keep in mind; if you have to convince people to get in, you’re going to have to convince them to do something. I had neither the time nor the energy. And I certainly didn’t need to create another job.

People want to know you’re sold, first. I had to make my commitment first. A wishy-washy “Maybe I’ll try it” is like trying to ice skate with only one foot on the ice and one foot on the ground. If you are unwilling to fall, you’re going only so far. But if you venture out, experience the falls and continue getting up, not only will you become a good skater but you’ll also experience unexpected surprises along the way. You’ll gain self-respect and the respect of your peers. Your legs will get stronger and maybe you’ll even learn to laugh at yourself and have some fun!

What Happened

In a short period of time, new people started signing into the business with me and old distributors started to come alive. It was as if they were afraid I was going to make it and they’d be left behind. There was no doubt in their minds (or mine) that with or without them, I was still going to the top.

The only difference between you and those at the top is that they have heard more no’s. They know that you can’t control other people’s response. All you control is you—and that’s enough. n

PAULA PRITCHARD is a self-made millionaire who
has built huge organizations throughout the United States
and Europe. She is on the
faculty of Networking University.