To get new distributors off to a fast start, I focus on helping them to create their list. I tell them to go through phone contacts, Facebook friends, and to use our company memory jogger.

I also trigger their memory by coaching them to go through old yearbooks, phone books, and invitation lists. I have them check out the Yellow Pages to jog their memory for service providers they have been using and tell them, “You’ve done business with them for years; now it’s their turn to hear about your business!”

Your list will be ever growing as you encounter and think of more people. Always keep a notepad and pen nearby so you can continue growing your list. Network marketing by nature requires you to talk to large numbers of people. The bigger your list, the better your chances for success.

Once you’ve created your list, think like a CEO: star your top twenty candidates. Think of the savviest, most well connected, respected individuals you know—the influencers. These people have large centers of influence and tend to build their organizations faster by recruiting other people of influence.

Do not be afraid to approach successful people.

I learned this lesson the hard way. My mom and I used to work for a very influential woman named Stacey. Stacey and her husband owned several successful businesses in Chicago. We both thought of her many times but never called her about our opportunity. I thought she was too busy to look at my business, and I was afraid to call her.

Chances are, though, that if you think someone is great, someone else thinks so, too. Eventually someone will call the person, so why not you? In this case, Rose from Chicago beat us to it. She used a referral-based approach, complimenting Stacey and building on her credibility:

“Stacey, you’ve built several successful businesses in Chicago, and I know you’re well networked in the area,” Rose told her. “Since I am building a business in Chicago, too, and since I value your opinion, I was wondering if I could treat you to coffee, share with you what I’m doing, and pick your brain on ideas of how to grow this. I’d also like to see if you know people you think may be interested.”

Rose met Stacey for coffee, and when she heard about the opportunity, she decided to join. She ended up becoming the top recruiter in the company that year.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m thrilled for Stacey and Rose—but I only had to learn this lesson once. Now when someone comes to mind I think, “Which is greater, the risk or the reward?” and I call the person immediately.

Don’t prejudge anyone. You don’t know what their hopes, dreams, desires, and financial situations are. Usually the most well-connected, successful, busy people get it first, and they run with it.

It’s your job to share. It’s their job to decide.

SARAH FAIRLESS ROBBINS is a
founding distributor and top earner
in a young network marketing company.

A former educator, Sarah is
passionate about teaching others how
to build successful businesses.