The Two Ways to Approach Prospects...And When to Use Which!

by Randy Gage

There is more to the business than just approaching the best prospects on your name list. The other important component is meeting people. Yet most people in the business will never reach even the beginning stages of the leadership ranks for one simple reason: They don't know how to expand their prospect universe and meet new people.

And what a waste that is. Because the ability to find and attract prospects is a fairly simple skill to learn. And it can be done fairly readily within your warm market. The key factor is the type of approach you use initially.

There are actually two different types of approaches to use with prospects:

  • The Direct Approach
  • The Indirect or "Mystery" Approach

Most distributors in network marketing only know one - the indirect or "mystery" approach. Here are some examples of this approach:

"Chuck, you seem like a sharp guy. I'm wondering if you ever explore opportunities to make a second income. I'm expanding my business, and I'm looking for a couple of key people. I'd love to sit down and discuss it with you."

"Chuck, I've got a high-volume marketing business (or, I'm working with some people who have a high-volume marketing business), and we're expanding in this area. We're looking for a couple of key people, and I thought you might be interested in taking a look."

The indirect approach works very well with the casual acquaintances you will meet as you go about your life. However, it's not very for effective with your family and close friends. They respond much better to the direct approach.

A direct invite looks like this:

"Hey Chuck. It's Randy. Got a minute?"
"Got a quick question for you. What do you know about network marketing?"

This approach can also be done by substituting the name of your actual company in place of "network marketing."

I found the direct approach was a breakthrough for my business, and so has everyone I've taught it to. Now, that may surprise you if you have the belief that people are skeptical about network marketing and think you need to keep things a secret until late in the process. I used to think that too, but experience has given me a different belief. I actually discovered that most people are fascinated with the idea of network marketing and quite curious about it.

If you're still suffering from the belief that people think network marketing is a pyramid or a chain letter, or that most of them will respond negatively - you're making all that up yourself! My experience with the direct approach has shown me nothing but positive reactions, and, in many cases, very qualified leads.

What makes the direct approach so effective is the fact that in reality, almost everybody you know already knows you're in network marketing. How? Because your friends all talk about you when you're not around!

So when you call up with the indirect approach, they wonder why you are being sneaky and mysterious, and they respond with skepticism. It insults their intelligence. When you approach them with respect, they respect you and the opportunity a lot more.

That doesn't mean you'll never get a negative response. Once in a great while, you may. They might tell you that they tried that five years ago and spent a lot of money on water filters which took them several years to sell at the flea market.

Believe it or not, that's not necessarily a bad response. It's good to find out if there is any negativity up front. Then, you come back with something like:

"Well, you know, the profession has changed a lot over the last couple of years, and I've got an opportunity I'm very excited about. Since you have experience in the business, I'd really love to sit down with you, have a cup of coffee, and have you evaluate it for me. Would you be willing to take 30 minutes and take a look at this with me?"

Even a skeptic can't resist an opportunity like that! They'll agree to meet you, thinking they are going to save you from yourself. Once they see an actual presentation, they'll probably discover that the problems network marketing had during its developmental years (front-end loading, hype-driven comp plans, etc.) have since been corrected. And it's highly likely that they will end up joining.

Remember, there was a reason they joined in the first place. They had that dream to be their own boss, get rich, or experience the MLM lifestyle. Chances are it isn't dead; just in hibernation. Your presentation could be the impetus that revives it!

In reality, most people don't know the real scope of network marketing. If they did, they'd be in it and already be millionaires. What they have is a superficial, distorted view, based on their two- or three-week experience from five or ten years ago. Perhaps they were front-loaded in some shady company or got duped by a pyramid scheme posing as a legitimate company.

But this tells you they did have a desire to build a residual side income business at some point. Most people, when they really sit down and take an objective look at it, will see the soundness of the business today.

The direct approach absolutely gets right to the point, and it's very effective. It lets you know exactly what your prospect's perception of the business is, so you can respond appropriately.

In actuality, the people who still hold a negative view of the business today is a small minority. Network marketing companies are trading on the stock exchange and have been featured positively in publications like Inc., The Wall Street Journal and Success. If you are open and professional in the manner you bring it up, most people are willing to spend 30 minutes with you to take a look at what it's about. The direct invite has the potential to transform your business.

Using the right approach...

The secret to all this is knowing which person to use which approach with. For casual acquaintances or people who respond to your marketing campaigns, I still favor the indirect approach, which still works very well with them because casual acquaintances will take you at your word.

If it's somebody you met at the mall in a 15-minute conversation, and you call them up later and let them know you have a marketing business that's expanding in the area and you're looking for a couple of key people, they'll simply accept that.

However, your brother or neighbor may not take you at your word if you come at them with the indirect approach. They are much more likely to challenge you. So with friends, neighbors and relatives, I definitely prefer the direct approach.

Prospecting and presenting is the engine that drives fast growth in this business. Savvy network marketers are those who know how to create a steady stream of new prospects to look at their business. This gives you the opportunity to work with only the best and brightest people. You control your growth and build a business with the people you enjoy.

Of course, the best part of all this is the magic of duplication. Whatever you do at the top of the organization duplicates down through the whole group. What you do expands exponentially. And that makes for some pretty astounding growth!

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