So here you are participating in the world of network marketing. You’ve been told to make a list of everyone you know without prejudging anyone. You’ve been taught a script to use in your business-building efforts. You’ve been advised to go to your family and friends first. For most of us, that’s a natural place to start—although some of us feel, “I don’t want to talk to my family and friends until I’m making some money.”

I’ve been an active networking professional for eleven years and here is what I’ve learned. There are actually six distinct markets or pools we can work within to build a successful business. Depending on the pool I’m fishing in, I use several different approaches. Here is what I teach people about the six markets:

The Hot Market
These are your closest friends and family. They are the people who would be in the ICU waiting room if you were an ICU patient. They are your golden relationships.

The Warm Market
These are the people who will immediately know who you are just by saying your name. “Hi, this is Daria,” or “Hi, this is Daria Davidson.” You do not need to remind them how you know each other.

The Lukewarm Market
These are the people who will recognize you only after you remind them where you met. “Hi, this is Daria Davidson, we met at the fundraising meeting last week.”

The Referral Market
These are a group of individuals who will generally be courteous because you are able to bridge your conversation with an introduction made by a referral source. As you become comfortable with asking for referrals, this should become your biggest market.

The Cool Market
These are the random people you run into in your day-to-day activities. Something comes up in conversation that gives you an opportunity to open a door about your product, service or opportunity.

The Cold Market
These are people you don’t know, have never met, and who are not referred to you. They are complete strangers. You find them by cold calling (going door to door), running ads or buying leads.

The hot and warm markets are limited in size. The cold market is expensive, especially if you are paying for leads or running ads. The three “free” markets that never run dry are the lukewarm, the referral and the cool markets. Spending the time to learn simple, comfortable approaches for these three markets will open doors that make the prospecting process much easier and a lot of fun!

On my team, people learn to identify which of the six markets they are working in at any given moment and use the appropriate conversation guidelines for the situation. We cover the hot and warm markets, but we live and breathe in the lukewarm, referral and cool markets.


DR. DARIA DAVIDSON is an emergency room physician
who left her practice to become a network marketing leader.