This behavior led to many sleepless nights and a whole lot of disappointment. Fortunately for me, I learned a valuable lesson early on- it is OK to say no to a prospect. Embrace this philosophy and watch your business grow!
When I first began in the network marketing industry, I was taught that “everyone is your prospect”. The marketing strategy for this philosophy, was “talk to everyone in a 3-foot radius”. How? I was told to strike up a conversation with anyone, listen to what they have to say, and wait for the right entryway to slip in your business opportunity. I tried this, once. Hated it. I felt like I was being disingenuous, because unbeknownst to the unsuspecting prospect, I was looking for them to say something specific so I could launch into my sales pitch.
Then I was introduced to “sizzle cards”. I made thousands of the little yellow cards with the catchy phrase: “Tired of Living Paycheck to Paycheck?” and my website address. I left my cards all over the city….in bathroom stalls, with my server’s tip at the end of a meal, on gas pumps, on grocery store shelves, inside books in the book store, on newspaper stands, at checkout counters…you name it. Sure enough I did get some prospects signing up for more information.
Unfortunately, though, when I got a “bite” and the prospect showed the slightest bit of interest, I latched on for dear life. This could be a sale. I needed this sale. How soon could I make the sale? All of this pressure caused me to be anxious when we parted ways. “Did they like the presentation?” “Did I give them too much information?” “Did I give them too little information?” “Are they really interested?” “When should I follow-up?” “How should I follow up?” If the prospect said that he “hated to sell” or “is this a pyramid scheme” or “I don’t really have any money,” I tried to convince them otherwise. My upline called this “handling objections.” For weeks I studied up on all of the objections and the “appropriate responses” to the objections, along with the specific “close.”
Then, one day, I was introduced to the concept of “Attraction Marketing”. In a nutshell, it’s the idea that by providing valuable information to others, you will have prospects contacting you to join your business. I spent a whole lot of time researching everything I could on this powerful concept, which made far more sense to me than the initial marketing strategy provided to me by my upline.
I remember one evening in particular, when I read an article suggesting that “not everyone is your prospect”. Wow! What a concept! It really fell in line with all of the no’s I had gotten over my first 6 months in the business. Then I started thinking about why it is that that statement is true. It is true because not everyone wants to be a business owner. Not everyone has the time it takes to build a business from the ground up. Some people value time with family or time outdoors, more than late evenings clicking away on the computer. Others like the safety associated with receiving a regular paycheck. Some don’t have the patience. Others don’t have the money. It takes people of all sorts to make this world go ‘round, so it’s okay and not unusual that not everyone is your prospect.
Back to my studies on Attraction Marketing…. I started implementing the techniques I had learned, and sure enough, I had prospects contacting me on a regular basis. I had people joining my business without ever speaking with me. Because I had so many interested prospects contacting me, I was able to see the variety of prospects out there. In that group of prospects, there were always a couple of serious business builders with an understanding of what it takes to truly succeed in the business, and then there were some who said:
“Is this a pyramid scheme?”
“Gee, this sounds like it takes a lot of time”
“I am trying to decide if I should spend my last $500 on the business or pay my creditors so I don’t have to file for bankruptcy” (the answer: pay your creditors).
For these types of people, I just knew in my heart, my business wasn’t right for them. So what did I do? I told them just that. They were shocked, but I think appreciated my forthrightness. I truly felt relieved after letting them go. I knew that if these people had joined my business, they would have been the ones to gripe and moan the entire time, only to quit a few months later, and accuse the company (or me) of being a scam. I realized that I had just saved myself from a massive headache.
My focus turned from trying to get a prospect to join the business at any cost- by convincing them it’s okay if they have no money, no time, and no desire to sell…to finding the right type of prospect (a business- builder) to join my team. I am not trying to sponsor anyone and everyone- I want to sponsor those who are truly serious about building a business.
The right person knows what it takes to succeed, knows that success doesn’t happen overnight, knows that it will take some money and a whole lot of time. The right person doesn’t start the conversation off with what they “can’t do” or “don’t have” or “don’t want to do”. The right person has their eyes on the prize and they are ready to do whatever it takes to get there. That is one thing I can’t teach or give to my team…the burning desire and dedication to stick through it through the beginning phase, when you invest far more time and money than the money you earn. So when people contact me for more information and they raise these so-called “red flags,” I don’t hesitate one bit to just let them go, and tell them that the business may not be right for them.
I don’t have time to deal with people who have to ask me if this is a “pyramid scheme”. If the prospect doesn’t think enough of the opportunity to look into the issue on their own, then I feel certain that they won’t do what it takes to really succeed in this business. Those prospects are the type of people who want to look at the answers to the crossword puzzle instead of figuring it out themselves. They want success to be spoon-fed to them. There are plenty of opportunities out there that will spoon-feed these people…they are called J-O-B-S. Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with having a J-O-B, but owning a business takes an entirely different mind frame. So, if you have a prospect like that, just let them go.
At some point in the future, everything may click with them- but at the current moment, let them go. They’ll respect you far more, because you had the strength and the decency to level with them, as opposed to convincing them to do something that they more likely than not, aren’t cut out for at that particular time.
How do I know that all of this works? I know because I have built a team of solid business-builders- not whiners and complainers. I know because once I let the weak prospects go, I was flooded with strong ones.
To Your Continued Success,
PS. I’d love to hear what you think about this post! Please comment and share it with others!