If you think you are the only networker who has attrition in your organization, think again. Depending on which statistics you listen to, only between 3 and 5 percent of associates who sign up in any given organization will stick with the business.
What do we do about this? How do we respond to this issue? What is the right mindset to cultivate?
First of all, we need to make two important distinctions:
1. Not all people who are willing to sign up in your business will contribute or participate.
2. Not all people who talk about their dreams and desires will actually work to make them happen.
Once networking professionals accept this reality, they are much better prepared to build their businesses effectively.
Imagine you enrolled John Johnson in your organization. According to your standards of professionalism:
John has decided that this business might work for him and his family. He seems to have the qualities you are looking for. Everything about him suggests that he might become your next top earner, and you think to yourself, “This sure is an exciting business!”
A few weeks later, John stops returning your calls. He doesn’t show up at briefings or team events and does none of the follow-up he agreed to when you completed the enrollment process.
At this critical point, avoid the following pitfalls:
Do not criticize yourself. Assuming that you have stepped forward as a reliable, motivated and capable mentor for John, rest assured: you have done nothing wrong.
Resist the urge to attach too much value to what John brings to your organization. He is only an asset to your team if he contributes and participates.
Be excited with detachment and your journey will be much smoother. John said he was going to be great at this business. When you hear a new partner say this, be curious and open while mentally checking your expectations at the door.
We learn early on in this business that the only commitment we can control is our own. Deciding in the beginning that you are going to succeed no matter what empowers you to roll with the punches when you meet the John Johnsons of the world. Ask a few top producers in your company if they have experienced this before. You will discover that you are in excellent company.
Keep Doors Open
When faced with the discrepancy between what someone says and what they do, make sure to not take it personally. Recently one associate in my organization wailed, “Why does this happen to me?” I encouraged her to reframe the event as something that merely happened, rather than happening to her.
Just because someone has signed up does not give you, the upline sponsor, the right to make demands of this person. Remember: you enrolled people in the first place because you wanted to help them get what they want. If they drop out, they are just quitting on themselves. You made the commitment to succeed no matter what; now step into that commitment instead of just saying the words. Welcome the test of your promise to yourself.
Also, don’t give up on John’s situation; it may not be nearly as hopeless as it appears. Don’t immediately interpret his lack of activity as a lack of commitment or loss of interest in your opportunity. Family or health circumstances may be what prevented him from taking action. Pick up the phone and reach out with an open mind.
Re-enrolling your distributors looks and feels very similar to the original enrollment process:
Krishnamurti, the renowned spiritual master, told a large audience his secret to spiritual awakening and happiness.
He said, “I don’t mind what happens.”
Perhaps you did not come to your business for enlightenment, but lightening up certainly helps. Let people be. Those who are meant to become leaders will find their way. Your success lies in empowering others who are determined to succeed. Don’t give your happiness, power, confidence, commitment or sanity away to those who will not be your partners. You need all those qualities to inspire those who are committed to go all the way.
This business is about who stays, not who leaves; who contributes, not who sits back and does nothing; who fills your tank, not who drains your energy.
Build your business with those who see the vision and who, like you, are committed to succeed no matter what.
ROSIE SPIEGEL is a speaker,
author, thirty-three-year veteran entrepreneur
and professional network marketer.