Welcome to McDonald’s in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Art and Ann Jonak with Nick “The Enforcer” try to take in the three million pieces of art at the Hermitage Museum.

Art Jonak presents to over 3,500 excited Russian network marketers.

Taking in the Church of the Spilled Blood with Tom “Big Al” Schreiter.

Preparing for a Leadership Banquet at the breathtaking Eliseev Palace Hotel, the first five-star club hotel in Russia.


“What is the best place to find telephone numbers of potentially strong business builders? How do we get them?” I hear this question all the time. The caller wants to find a telephone list of prospects who:

1. Will take his/her telephone prospecting call with an open mind and listen politely.

2. Are eager to start their own business and have been waiting for a telephone call describing a wonderful opportunity.

3. Have lots of available cash and want to start a business immediately.

Guess what? I have no idea where to find that list. However, let’s take a different look at this prospecting problem. Why do prospects join our business? Prospects join because: 1. they know us; 2. they like us; 3. they trust us. Prospects seldom join because a compensation plan pays 1.7 percent on the PPV on level three group volume in excess of a hundred qualifying points. Prospects join us.

Some lucky people may have charisma or a magnetic personality and cause every stranger to be instantly mesmerized when they talk. They can hug a stranger and instantly bond as if they were close relatives. Or, they just click with everybody they talk to over the phone. I am not one of those lucky people and chances are you aren’t either.

For most of us, it takes time to build relationships and for people to like us. Think of the people you buy things from—your shoe salesman, your accountant, your beauty salon attendant. You do business with these people because you got to know them and enjoy them. In fact, you probably avoid doing business with people you don’t like.

Warming Up Strangers

Think about what most parents tell their children: “Don’t talk to strangers. Never trust someone you don’t know.” When we talk to cold prospects, we are at a disadvantage in building a relationship because they have been programmed from childhood to put up a wall, and that can make sponsoring difficult. A “cold” prospect may have so much distrust she can’t even hear what you are saying. Her defenses are too high.

Let’s go back to the original question and reword it to ask: “Where can we get phone numbers of people who like us?” This makes prospecting a bit easier. Instead of calling a hundred strangers who don’t know, like or trust us, we could call ten people who do and perhaps get the same results—or better.

Where do we get these names and phone numbers? They are our friends, relatives and acquaintances. What happens once we have exhausted that list? Here’s what we can do next: let’s make contact with strangers and start building relationships. Later on we can call them because they already know, like and trust us, and they will listen when we present our opportunity and see if it fits into their dreams.

How do you build relationships with strangers? It’s easy. Here are a few ways you can get started:

1. Help them out with a problem they’re having.

2. Do them a favor.

3. Loan them a CD with valuable information.

4. Send them to a web site that can be useful to them.

5. Loan them a book they might be interested in.

6. Give them a free sample of your product.

Warming up cold leads can be an excellent strategy for creating a new market of warm contacts. Having prospects who are willing to listen most certainly will yield you better results than simply yelling out benefits to strangers.

ART JONAK is a Networking Univeristy faculty member,
a successful network marketing leader and widely respected trainer.