The first key to unlocking your network marketing potential is learning to master step one: building your prospecting pool. Networking professionals must have a good pool of potential prospects and customers to call. Whom do you call? Where do you find those people to ask? And, when you find them, what do you say?

Looking for people who want to do business with you is called “sorting.” You are sorting through people to find those who want to try your products, earn extra income, build a career in networking or secure an alternate retirement plan. Network marketing is not a “convincing” business. Champion producers in the profession are out in the community looking for people whose needs they can fill with the products or opportunity they represent.

Building your prospecting pool becomes enjoyable once you understand that you are simply sorting. Prospecting can even be an adventure or a game. Ask yourself questions that will help you identify how you will benefit others with your products and services. “Who can I help today?” “Whose life can I change today?” “How can I serve the people in my community?” With this outward-focused attitude, you are ready to venture into your community and build your pool of prospective customers, clients and even business builders.

The Seven-Word Question

There are many techniques for building this prospecting pool. One of the simplest methods is found in the power of seven words, “May I give you my business card” and then pausing. The pause is powerful! When you are checking out at the grocery store, waiting in line at the post office or airport, or paying your bill at a restaurant, just smile and say, “May I give you my business card?”

I have had flight attendants, store clerks and waiters all take my business card and then ask, “What do you do?” At this point you need to be ready with a one-sentence reply that will build curiosity. People who are in the skin care industry reply, “I turn back the hands of time.” Others say, “I help people work less and make more,” or, “I party for a living.”

At this point one of two things will happen. Your prospects may just say “thanks” and tuck the card into their pocket, or they may show interest in your products or your company. If they ask for more information, say, “I would love to tell you more about my company. If you would just jot down your name and phone number, I will give you a call.” I’ve found when I use the word “jot,” more people give me their names and phone numbers. I am not sure why this is so; perhaps it just sounds casual and friendly.

I then hand them a pen and paper, and I leave with their information. You can come home from running errands, lunch out or time at the fitness center with three to five good, solid leads. To remind me to ask my seven-word question, I put five business cards in my pocket and don’t return home until I have handed them all out.

Follow-Up Appointment

Great follow-up is the next key. These names are wasted gold if you do not pick up the phone and call them in the next twenty-four hours. Prospecting is a critical part of your business; however, simply getting names and phone numbers and placing them on your desk or into your database produces no income. You move your business forward by picking up the phone and asking your new contacts for a phone appointment or for the opportunity to visit with them.

The purpose of this follow-up phone call is to set up a time to meet with them for fifteen to twenty minutes. From my research, I found I got the most “yes” responses to set up an appointment when I asked for this specific amount of time. Here’s what I would say:

“The reason I am calling is I have been trying to find the time to contact everyone who indicated an interest in learning more about _______ . I was hoping to visit with you for fifteen to twenty minutes and was wondering if a weeknight or weekend would work better for you?”

Using these specific words increased my volume of appointments. Words such as hoping, wondering, visit and trying were all key words. I booked more appointments when I used these words. Using an optional close also increased my contacts-to-appointments-set ratio. An optional close is a closing techniques that provides the prospect with a simple choice, such as weeknights or weekends, daytime or evening, early in the month or later in the month.

There are many ways to be visible and build your contact pool. You need to let your friends, neighbors, relatives and people in the community know you have something to share that will benefit them. Everything you do to advertise your business or prospect for new customers starts with you.

Do you have a firm handshake? A genuine smile? A positive attitude?

Do you keep improving your techniques and skills?

Are you confident in your products and their benefits and in your opportunity, so you feel comfortable speaking at meetings, clubs and conferences?

Your number one mission in network marketing is to find people who want to do business with you. Always be prepared by having well-designed, attractive business materials with you—and don’t be afraid to ask for business. You are in the sorting and asking business.

Most importantly, have a plan. Know what you are going to say when you open the conversation, follow up with a phone call, and present your product or opportunity in a professional manner.

Commit to your plan and keep working it. Become practiced and rehearsed. You will then enjoy your life, your business, your family and all the rewards and benefits of being a networking professional.


PATRICE MATTESON, M.Ed. is a speaker, trainer and consultant in
the areas of sales processes, activity management and telephone techniques.
She is the author of two books,
Mom’s on the Phone and Be Visible. Patrice shares
her unique blend of real life experiences, sound fundamentals and
humor with live audiences and on radio and television.