Two weeks after I started my network marketing business, Frank, the person who introduced the business to me, came to my home to explain how it all worked. He asked me to make a list of all the people I knew or with whom I had relationships. I was to list my family, friends, neighbors, and the people that I worked with and did business with. He called this list my “warm market.”
I had never heard the term before, though I was familiar with the concept.
Trying to do business with people who know you has always been easier than trying to do business with strangers. When Frank handed me a phone script and told me to call everyone on my Warm Market list and tell them about our new business, he was following a procedure that has been the mainstay for success in network marketing. Word-of-mouth recommendations can be very effective.
Traditionally, that’s the way network marketing works—you tell the people you know, they tell the people they know, and so on and so on.
Why You Want To Go To Your Warm Market
• You know a lot of people;
• It is easier to talk to someone that you know than it is to talk to strangers;
• People are more likely to consider things recommended by their friends;
• The people in your warm market like you; what you say to them has more credibility than when they hear the exact same thing from a stranger.
Your warm market would appear to be the first place to go when you’re looking for new customers or starting a business. But sometimes it isn’t.
Why You Don't Want To Go To Your Warm Market
• You don’t want to sell to your friends
• You’re not going to recommend something you’re not sure about
• You don’t have any credibility with the people that you know
• You want to talk to your friends after you’ve achieved some success in the business
If you can’t or won’t talk about your business to the people you know, you have to talk to strangers.
Like a lot of network marketers, I didn’t want to talk about my new business with the people I knew until after I became successful. I found it easier talking to strangers about my business than talking to the people I knew. So I ignored my warm market completely and looked for new people to talk to instead.
The Three-Foot Rule in network marketing says, “Any person within three feet of you is a prospect for your business.”
The first seven months of my new career, like anyone without a prospect list, I lived the Three-Foot Rule. I would talk to strangers wherever I would find them. I would meet people at Chamber of Commerce functions, at social events, at the mall, standing in line at the supermarket, at art shows, and at the marina where I kept my sailboat.
I would sit in the center seat of an airplane whenever I flew so I would have two people to talk to during the flight. For seven months, I even networked Happy Hour at two upscale bars on Palm Beach (and signed up a large group of dysfunctional customers!).
I ran ads in newspapers for five months to get customers. I spent thousands of dollars in advertising with minimal results.
At the end of my first year in business I had 150 customers—but that was nothing, compared to what was about to happen, in my second and third years of business, as a result of something I learned from my friend Karla.
Karla told me she was purchasing a computer to meet people to talk to about our business and products. I was skeptical. I laughed at her and suggested that she get psychiatric help. “It’s easy to meet people,” I told her.
It was easy for me to meet people when I was out and about—but it wasn’t so easy for her.
Two weeks after she went online to meet people, Karla called me.
She said, “Tomorrow, I’m going to the home of someone I met on the Internet to talk about our business and products.”
I was concerned about Karla’s safety.
I cautioned her about the potential dangers of meeting strange people online. She agreed to call me 15 minutes after arriving at her new online friend’s home. If I didn’t hear from her, I promised to call out the National Guard.
When my phone rang the next day, the man on the other end of the line was Karla’s new Internet friend, Doug. He wanted to assure me that Karla had arrived and was perfectly safe. Doug told me that he was very interested in getting involved with our business.
Doug turned out to be an amazing and accomplished individual. He had been very successful in the automotive industry and had retired to a large riverfront estate. He had two computers connected to the Internet all the time. Doug told me, “I’ve made many great friends on the Internet. After all, I met you two, didn’t I?”
Doug knew a great deal about network marketing. Unlike me, he was quite comfortable talking to his friends about it. After filling out his application form, Doug told some of his friends about his newest venture on the telephone. He signed up 18 people. For Doug, going to his warm market was easy.
I was so impressed that Karla could meet someone like Doug on the Internet that I went out and purchased my own computer. I figured if she could do it, I could do it, too. Who wouldn’t want to meet someone like Doug?
In the following 21 months my customer base would grow to over 7,000 people as a result of the people I met online—and the people those people knew.
And even after I was successful, I never did get back to my warm market. I let the Internet replace my warm market!