Why? The reason they tell me is that they don't have a comfortable or effective way to talk to people about their business. Integrity is a value that resonates with them. And they say they often find themselves feeling "unnatural," using cheesy scripts or worn-out selling techniques that leave them feeling like a bad used car salesman.
Does It Really Have to Be This Way?
Having the skills to sponsor serious business-builders can make or break your success in network marketing. Fortunately, these skills can be learned and developed, and you don't have to leave your integrity or honesty at the door to be very effective at sponsoring.
There is an approach to sponsoring that will help you feel more comfortable and confident about being in conversation with people about your business—and even look forward to. This is a simple five-step process you can use in any sponsoring situation. It's based on getting into meaningful conversations with people that will help them examine their current lifestyle, what's really important to them, and where they want to be in the coming years. You will learn how to craft a conversation so that people trust you, open up, share what's important and seriously look at how your business opportunity could support them in achieving these goals.
The best part is that you will actually enjoy the process! Networkers who have adopted this approach feel confident and comfortable talking to people about their business whom they wouldn't have dreamed of approaching before. They are getting better results and therefore are taking more action than ever before. Leaders in network marketing love this approach because it's easy to teach to their teams.
In my forthcoming Webinar (July 19, 2005) I'll describe all five of these steps in detail, so please tune in! Meanwhile, in this short article I want to share several other key aspects of "influencing with integrity" that you can apply immediately to increase your sponsoring success.
Service vs. Selling
"Influencing with integrity" is about service, not about selling. You are not out to convince people to join your business, but rather to see how you may be able to make a difference in their lives—even if that turns out to mean making a different recommendation, if you sense your business is not a fit for them.
By coming from this place of curiosity and non-attachment, you are able to check your agenda at the door and put other people's needs and desires at the forefront. People feel this, they will trust you more and be open to your questions and suggestions.
Listen 80 Percent of the Time - and Talk Only 20 Percent
Many networkers make the mistake of talking too much. They feel they have to pitch people on how great their business opportunity is, or educate them on all the science and "breakthrough technology" behind their products.
I encourage you instead to become skilled at asking questions that will get people talking about what is really meaningful to them. For example, their current job, their income, family life and kids, what goals they are working on and what their ideal lifestyle looks like. Questions that are meaningful and inspiring.
These questions will help both you and your prospects find out more about what is truly important and discover their real motivation in getting involved in your business. If you don't help people uncover or connect with this motivation, any information you share about your business just won't have much meaning to them.
Be Transparent and Direct - Don't Hide Anything
Too many networkers try to use fancy language, tricky scripting or the like to railroad people into a discussion about their business opportunity. In my opinion, this doesn't work. People smell your insincerity a mile away and won't trust you. You will find them agreeing to the meeting without really being interested or open (a waste of your time), or not even showing up for the appointment.
Instead, be very direct and sincere about your intentions when speaking to someone about your business. You have nothing to hide, and they will respond more positively to your direct and honest approach.
Simply tell people you have a business opportunity that you think they might be interested in checking out. Clearly point out some of the benefits you know are important to them (more time off, passive income, time with their kids) and how you think your business could be one solution to their goals. Ask them if they would be willing to sit down with you over lunch or coffee to find out more.
Take the Pressure Off
Before getting too far into your sponsoring conversation, take the pressure off so people will be more comfortable. People often have the fear that you will put them in an uncomfortable position and try to sell them something they don't want. Tell them upfront you are not there to convince them of anything, you just want to educate them about the business so they can make an informed decision. Be sure they know you only want them to join the business if it's an absolute fit (and mean this!) and that there are no hard feelings if they say "no."
When you are completely honest and up front, people will trust you more because they understand your intentions. They will feel more comfortable answering your questions, and you will be much more "attractive," especially to polished professionals who could help to explode your business to the next level.
Be Willing to Not Sponsor People
You are far better off sponsoring fewer people who are super-serious about your business than many who are not. If someone is giving you clues they just aren't a fit for your business, trust your gut (as hard as that may be)! You will end up wasting too much of your time and energy sponsoring the wrong people and just get very frustrated in the process.
Knowing in advance that you may say "no" to someone will give you the added confidence that you truly do act from a place of integrity. You do not have to sponsor into your business everyone you talk to. Remember, you have an incredible product and a great opportunity, and if you sense someone isn't going to be a great team player, don't be afraid to move on and find someone who is. There are plenty of people out there who do want what you have; be brave and picky enough to find them—and everyone wins.
SONIA STRINGER coaches top leaders in network marketing companies to build profitable businesses and strong teams.
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