This is article one of a three part cold market prospecting series. Before I get into the meat of cold market prospecting, I want to share our experience in network marketing and what cold market prospecting did for our business.
You see, if you answered “Yes” to the question above, we definitely know how you feel. We had a couple of obstacles standing in our way.
First off, when we told our closest friends and family members about our business, they weren’t beating down our door to join our team. In fact, many of them were skeptical and started to spout off warnings to us.f
Second, Adam and I started our network marketing business in a state that did not offer our services yet. At the time, we were really got hit hard financially because of the real estate and economic downturn. Adam was in luxury boat sales and almost overnight we lost his portion of our income.
On top of that, we were in debt over our eyeballs, because I had a bonafide shopping problem.
After six months of working a market that didn't offer the service, we decided to relocate to the great state of Texas to start over. We knew, without a drop of doubt that network marketing would be the way out of our financial woes.
We were excited, extremely committed and ready to work. Then reality hit and we found ourselves 1451.2 miles away, with the other big obstacle: we didn't know anyone!
So, if you think about it, the two big audacious obstacles standing in our way are probably not far off from the challenges you may be experiencing with your network marketing business.
In the years of coaching many network marketers, we have found that distributors run out of people to talk to. That is because they are only relying on their warm market for success.
Now, it is important to just let your warm market know about your network marketing business. Think about it, if you opened up a pizza parlor, would you not invite the people closest to you to give it a try?
Conversely, would you have a thriving pizza business if you expected just your warm market to be your customers?
Well, the same holds true for your network marketing business. Both the warm market and cold market prospecting must be a spoke on the wheel to have success.
We knew the only way to have success in our business is to get out there and meet people. We were extremely uncomfortable, but we were willing to do it because we had no other option.
Have you ever been in a situation so desperate that you were willing to do anything (legal) to dig yourself out of that hole? We had to get over being uncomfortable very quickly. Over time, we developed the skills to meet people, pique interest and get the contact information in the cold market.
Fast forward, we were able to both replace our full-time incomes, and now we are both stay-at- home parents. That is what the cold market prospecting skill did for us. It's not just about the transformation you will experience in your business, most of all, its about the transformation of your lifestyle.
This skill is so valuable because you can be a lead generator every time you go out and do your daily routine. You will never again run out of people to talk to, and that's exactly what we are going to teach you in this cold market prospecting series.
Now, let's get to the meat. In this article, I am covering Preparation. It is important that you always leave your house prepared to meet people for your business.
When I first started prospecting in the cold market, I thought it was as simple as sticking a bunch of business cards in your pocket and going out to ask people if they were interested in hearing about an opportunity.
Unfortunately, with that mindset, I had very lack-luster results. Even if you are just running to the drug store, or picking up your kids from school, you must always be prepared in case you meet the next rock star in network marketing. I
I remember one time, running out in my tee shirt and sweat pants after being up with my brand new baby all night, only to wake up with no Coffee Mate. Ironically I met a very sharp lady in line at the grocery store. I lost credibility because I was not prepared and I lost a potential leader for our business.
Preparation can be summed up in 3 categories:
2.) Your Image
3.) Your Tools
Let’s uncover each of these categories:
Are you going out hunting for prospects or are you doing out with an open mind to encourage people while you are out doing your day-to- day errands?
Adam and I used to go out hunting for prospects. We would go to the mall and different public areas to try to gather as many numbers as we could for our business. We would also hand out tons of business cards. Our results were bleak and every interaction was awkward and uncomfortable.
The reason why our results were bleak was because people knew we had an ulterior motive. They could instinctively feel that we were only creating conversation to be able to prospect them for our business. Every conversation felt forced, fake and centered around our selfish motives.
Then we changed our mindset. Instead of becoming a “Prospector,” we decided to become “Professional Encouragers.” Our focus was not on how we can get someone interested in our business. Instead, our focus was to become interested in people, ask questions and find out how we can encourage them and help them.
This change in mindset did two things:
1.) It helped us enjoy our business a lot more. When you are focused on helping others, instead of increasing commissions or attaining the next promotion, this business can give you a feeling of significance and fulfillment.
Yes, there are many times we were able to encourage someone and it didn't result in business, but knowing that we were able to uplift someone is satisfying enough. Plus we believe that after our focus changed, our business improved as a byproduct. We believe that increase comes from the big guy above, and when we love and care for his people, he entrusts us with more resources.
2.) When we started focusing on others, we became more attractive. In the past we were repelling people with our needy, self-centered posture. If we can take an honest snap shot of the world right now, most people do not feel encouraged. Therefore, when you stop and sincerely encourage someone, you standout.
Allow this business to be a way for you to bring light into a world that is overwhelmed by darkness. We not only have a solution for people who want time freedom and financial freedom, we can be the solution for people who have no hope just by being an encouraging voice.
There’s a saying we always hear and teach in our profession: “Don’t go out to do your business, just do your business while you are out.” When you pair this method with the correct mindset, your cold market prospecting results will drastically improve.
For Adam and I, we rarely come across someone that doesn't happily give us his or her phone number. We can seriously count it on one hand. This is a drastic improvement from our initial days in the cold market, where we would experience rejection after rejection.
One more point before we move on: remember to ask questions. Through asking questions, we often learn about ways to offer up our business as a solution to a problem and it makes the interactions less forced and definitely less “salesy”. When we depart from them, they are actually excited that we are going to call them.
We will be able to tie this all together when we release our next blog post because we will teach you what to say in depth.
2.) Your Image:
I have a question to ask: in network marketing, are you selling yourself or are you selling your product or service? The answer is yes. Now, that may have sent you into a state of confusion, allow me to expand.
In network marketing, you first sell yourself and then you sell the idea of your product or service. Did you know that the first impression is often the foundation that future ideas are measured against? For example: let's say that your first impression is that someone believes you to be driven and successful. The idea of your network marketing business is shared and measured against the impression they first got from you, which they laid the foundation.
On the other hand, if their first impression is that you are not successful, they could very well make the conclusion that you cannot make money in your company because they just measured the idea of your company against your first impression.
Now, you could be in process of success, and that is okay. What I'm saying is that you can look successful before you actually attain success.
This isn't the “fake it till you make it” method. It's just packaging yourself in an attractive way. I don't think you need to be in a suit, but you can look polished in even casual clothes.
I agree with the belief that beauty lies on the inside. I also believe that taking pride in how you look, as it often reflects how you feel about yourself. It’s important to make sure we don’t neglect self-care.
People will size you up in a matter of seconds. If you’re talking to people about making money, make sure you look credible. Think about it, if someone started to talk to you about making money, and they were unkempt, wearing a baggy tee-shirt and sweats, would you believe them as much as someone who was in a nice pair of jeans and a nicely pressed top?
You must make sure that you are a product of your product. Your attire should reflect your brand. Are you in the health and wellness industry?
Nice work out clothes will be the right attire to attract people to you. How you package yourself will either lend to or take away from your credibility.
Your biggest tool is your smile, your positive attitude, and your genuine interest in helping others. A genuine and friendly smile sends out the signal that you are open for interaction. You would be surprised at how many people want to interact with others in public, but are afraid to initiate conversation.
If cold market prospecting is intimidating to you, then we recommend starting with this exercise: when you are out running your errands, initiate the hello with 5 people. Then once you are comfortable, you can graduate to encouraging people and paying a sincere compliment.
This is the foundation for successful cold market prospecting because you will be able to adopt and practice the correct mindset. When these steps come more naturally, you are ready to guide the conversation to either gather their contact information to pitch them directly or gather their information to build more rapport, which we will get into I the next blog post.
Before we let you go, here's the biggest tip for the preparation section: We recommend not bringing your business cards because it creates a crutch.
Here's what I mean. When I used to bring my business cards with me, and I would meet someone that was successful and I would have the opportunity to share my business, I would often times chicken out in asking for their phone number and I would just give them my card.
That doesn't sound like a bad deal right? Well, over the years, I have only had one person, yes only one, call me. When you just hand out business cards, you give up the control and when you give up control of the process, then you have little chance of sponsoring them into your business.
We hope you got value out of this post and next time we will dive deeper by giving you scripts on what to say in the most common situations you will face.
Cheers to your freedom,
Michelle on behalf of
Adam and Michelle Carey