Jens Johannessen takes the Jonaks, Sæles and Woodwards boating on the Norwegian fjords.

FRIDAY, 1:17 P.M.

If you were to choose a foreign market for your network marketing company, which country would you pick?

Perhaps Germany, with almost ninety million people? Or England, with seventy million, many of whom are already familiar with the business concept? Or how about Japan, the world’s second largest market for network marketing?

In 1996, a relatively small network marketing company took on a challenge by asking, “Why not expand to a country of only four million people—and make sure that country is so conservative that to even dream of not having a job is heresy?”

The country in question? Norway.

Yes, this small Swedish network marketing company decided it was time to expand … into Norway. Initially, they could find only young, non-conformist Norwegians to even consider their business. One of those young pioneers was 20-year-old Ørjan Sæle. And along with a few friends, Ørjan went on to build a business that turned Norway upside down, eventually sponsoring almost 200,000 people—about 4 percent of the entire population!

This success story turned sleepy Norway into a country that today accepts network marketing as a legitimate business and honorable profession.

What can we learn from this example?

For one thing, don’t prejudge your prospects. For Ørjan and his friends, making that mistake could have cost them a 200,000-person downline.

How can you invest your time wisely and avoid wasting it on prospects who don’t work out? Here are some tips.

1. What counts is not where the prospect is today, but where the prospect wants to be. Ørjan wanted an opportunity to influence thousands of people. Every great influencer has to start somewhere.

2. Look for desire. As long as someone has the desire and drive to build a team, you can always teach that person the necessary skills. Doing the opposite is much trickier. If someone has skills but is just looking around, weighing options, nothing is going to happen. Skills can always be acquired. It is much harder to create desire in someone.

3. Check for a bigger dream. Some people have small dreams, such as creating part-time income or replacing a job. If you want someone to launch your business into a foreign country, you’ll need a person with a huge dream.

4. Check to see if your prospect is mostly looking for reasons why it will work, and not reasons why it won’t. You will not be able to solve all the problems your prospect will encounter. She or he will need to have a can-do attitude and understand that just because there may be plenty of reasons something “won’t work,” that doesn’t mean it won’t! We simply need to concentrate on making things work in spite of the problems.

Next time you interview a potential international superstar, look for the characteristics that count.

ART JONAK is a Networking University
faculty member, a successful network
marketing leader and widely respected trainer.
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Anita Apelthun Sæle (a Norwegian parliamentarian from 1993 to 2005) took us on a private tour of the Norwegian Parliament.
Ørjan Sæle, Orrin Woodward and Art Jonak celebrating lifelong friendship and leadership at the Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway.
Celebrating Art Jonak’s birthday in July. Yes, it was still daylight at 11 p.m.!
Taking a water tour of Oslo.
Orrin Woodward counseling top Scandinavian network marketing leaders.