Prospecting to Niche Markets -- Part I

by Dr. Joe Rubino

Distributors often ask if it is more effective to lead with product or lead with the opportunity in their prospecting conversations. I believe that the most effective prospecting conversations lead with the relationship first.

It is only by creating a relationship first that your prospect will listen to what you have to offer with regard to your product or opportunity. The secret, then, is how do we best build rapport, create an opening to be heard and appreciated, and build the relationship?

As network marketers, we typically feel more powerful with some people or in some areas than others. Often times, success in building a prosperous network marketing business is greatly facilitated by identifying your own power niches where you can most rapidly build a relationship or establish a common interest.

Allow me to explain.

Developing commonality with others is one of the keys to developing rapport. And rapport is a critical element for being heard by your prospect. To maximize this advantage from the start, why not seek out those individuals with whom you have one or more items in common.

Identify Areas of Commonality

The following list can serve as a starting place to explore those areas in which you are likely to find others with common interests and backgrounds.

Make a list of as many prospects as possible with the following items in common:

work background
ethnic or racial group
club membership
school class
special interest or skill
common challenges
geographic location
childhood affiliation
mutual friends or acquaintances
family ties
favorite charity
political or other affiliation
parents with college tuition bills
people working two jobs

The list goes on and on...

The idea is to begin to look for those with whom you share some bond. If you are a teacher, you know all of the challenges that teachers as a profession are likely to face.

Identify why your opportunity would be appealing to teachers, gaining clarity on the specific benefits to this group. Then go after them, speaking your commitment to support teachers in becoming financially independent.

For example, you might offer the benefit of being able to teach out of choice or teaching because they love to work as a teacher rather than because they need to in order to survive.

Tailor your approach to highlight each group's special needs and desires.

This same principle applies to any niche market or group. For example, if your company offers an oral health care line, target dentists, hygienists and those concerned with maintaining optimum dental and periodontal health.

Focus on the benefits of your product line and opportunity as it relates to those in the profession. With this focus, you might speak to dentists and hygienists about office wellness centers, the treatment of halitosis, periodontal management, secondary income streams in the practice, staff profit sharing programs, a colleague referral program, the tax advantages of a networking business, and practicing ideal dentistry out of choice instead of obligation.

You get the idea. With this type of laser focus, you will likely attract thousands of dental professionals who share these challenges in their practices and their lives.

Likewise, if you market a pet care product line, target veterinarians, groomers, veterinary technicians and pet owners with all of the benefits of interest to these groups.

With a weight loss product line, target both men and women with concerns about either eliminating those unwanted pounds or gaining more energy, a group that excludes very few.

If you offer an air purification line, you might target realtors (who would see great increases in home sales), pet owners, smokers and others who wish to eliminate odors from their homes and offices while improving air quality.

Each product line has particular appeal to a certain group of individuals. By focusing in on these markets, product interest and prospecting success dramatically increases.

The same concept applies to other areas of mutuality. If you speak French, target others who speak French. Let them know that you are seeking bilingual leaders. Advertise in French publications, seek out French speaking clubs and organizations. Go where you are likely to find your ideal prospect.

Do you have a favorite cause to support? Identify why others with your interest would want to join you in business. Set a goal of speaking to, say, 500 individuals with this focus over the next two to six months. Remember to ground your action plan to be in line with where you expect to be in the future.

When you focus on the ideal prospect you want to attract, you may be surprised to see these very people show up in droves.

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