Friday, May 4, 2007

How to Network Effectively

Hi,

The other day I was having an email conversation with my most successful downline partner. Since we've been working together, she's consistently brought new people into our business every month. The "amazing" things is, she doesn't have a fancy recruiting website or autoresponder program ... just a company website, an aol account, and a strong set of beliefs.

You can read her email below. I've edited it very slightly for clarity, and blanked out a couple of names. I will highlight the sections that I think are particularly educational and add my comments in italics.

I hope you enjoy,

Now, here's my friend ...
Before I get into how I met people in the past 4 years, let me say this. First, of all during my 10 years of networking before you introduced me to Mia Bella, I ALWAYS promoted the product before the business. I'm a believer in the product of the product. If the company is a good company with a good product, then the Comp Plan is secondary ... it also has to be good. And in order for me to know for sure what the product that Mia Bella had introduced (14 oz. jar soy candles), I ordered a few cases before Scent-Sations launched; therefore, I knew without a doubt that we have one of the best products on the planet that almost every woman and man use. This was my number one motivator ... I knew without a doubt this was for me. I went out and sold those in a few weeks doubling my money and making people happy at the same time. By the way, I still have two of those 14 oz. jar candles and they smell as good as they did 5 years ago.

(Todd: the foundation of her success, was and is a strong Belief)
Now to the "how" I started out meeting people when Scent-Sations first launched. Even though we could work this business 3 ways, I knew my main goal was residual income, so I went that way to begin. At the time and before you introduced me to Mia Bella, I spent a lot of time in the (AOL)Entrepreneur Chat Room which was a good place to discuss business and learn from lots of awesome people at that time. The first person I met in the chat room was ________ and our personalities clicked. We made friends immediately. We talked by IM and phone on numerous occasions. At the time she was working another home business; which I already knew but I also knew it was nothing to compared to Scent-Sations. However, did I tell her that ... NO!!! She asked me if she could send me a packet of some of her products and I said YES. When I received it, I have to say I really felt sorry for her trying to make money with that business.

(Todd: she went to a place where it was easy to meet the kind of people she wanted to work with. She formed and nurtured relationships when personalities "clicked". And, she DID NOT disparage their business, or play the "mine is better than yours" game)
After a few days, she popped the question to me ... "what do you do?". I told her about the product, and explained the quality of them ... but never putting her business down. After talking with her on the phone several times, she told me she was ready to join me without even seeing or smelling our products because she trusted my word. So having said that, I still and will always believe a good relationship and trust comes first

(Todd: Trust is the result of putting the relationship before the "sale")
Then I met some of my other prospects (at the time) in the chat room and did the same with them and signed them up. Everyone I met in the chat room that I felt was a good prospect, I added them to my address book and buddy list. I stayed in touch and built a relationship with them by sending them little stories, etc.

(Todd: notice what she did ... she sent them little stories ... Not Ads)
Now _______ was a hard one to get, LOL. I'm not really sure how she found me, but she contacted me asking about Scent-Sations. I had posted on messages boards and placed free ads in different places. I think that's where she found me. After several conversations with her, she wrote me to ask me to send her a cucumber melon jar candle which I did. I told her if she liked the candle and was interested in the business, the candle was a gift to her. In a few days, she wrote me asking me to send her an application with my ID# and information, and she signed up. All of this happened within two days of receiving the jar candle.

(Todd: It's ok to send gifts/samples to good prospects, but I think the key here is that she only sent it after Several Conversations)
When talking to people in the cold market if it's in person, I always have votives to show them and let them smell. I don't just pop the question, "do you burn candles ... hey if you do smell this". Again, I like to get to know people first and gain their trust. I ask questions i.e., do you have children; do you work or are you a stay at home mom; giving them the chance to ask me what I do. Then the conversation begins ... how would you like to stay home and make money and have fun doing so? This was when I would show them a votive and brochure (which was about all we had to hand out at the time when I first started) with my info on back ... and either exchange business cards or get their phone number and ask if it's ok if I call them back in a week.

(Todd: even in the cold market, build the relationship first. Notice the last sentence, she didn't try to sign them up right then, or even sell them product. She exchanged contact info, and asked permission to talk to them again at a specified time.)
Working the business now is a little different then it was then. We have our company website, more training tools and more advertising tools to work with. Even with all this, I still believe building a relationship and gaining trust is the best way to get a person in the business. Out of those ___ people, only a few ever saw, smelled or held a candle until they signed up.

I was in a store "Home Decor" a few days ago looking for decor for my home. This woman was showing me different things ... one of which was this wooden bowl and round decorated candles with one wick. They were pretty candles for decor but not for me. I picked one up, smelled it (yucky smell) and asked her if it was by chance paraffin candle and she YES. I said, it's beautiful decor but I don't have paraffin candles in my home. She wanted to know what I had ... I went to my car and took a Water Lily & Jasmine jar candle in. She bought 3 right on the spot and handed me 3, $20 billls. As I was digging for change, she said NO ... just save me more of those because I will be calling for more.

(If you have a highly retailable product, you MUST have it with you!! This sale would never have happend if all of her product had been at home on her shelf)
Todd, this email is turning into a book so I better end it here. I could go on and on ...

Let me know if this is sufficient or if you need more info. I haven't even touched the surface re: Retail Sales, i.e., shows, home parties, etc.

Take care and have an awesome weekend.

Hugs,


You just heard from one of the best natural networkers I've ever met. Even though I'm forunate enough to be her sponsor, I can tell you, without a doubt that I learn from her every single time we talk.

3 comments:

  1. This is exactly what I expected to find out after reading the title network | PartTimeNetworker.com. Thanks for informative article

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  2. Todd,

    Thanks for sharing my "How To Network" story with everyone and your kind comments about me.. Looking back, it's been almost a year since I shared this with you. Amazing how much more you can learn in a year. There is so much more to share on "How to Network" with others.

    I would like to emphasize here that without a great Sponsor and Mentor like Todd, I wouldn't be where I am today. Thank you Todd!

    Cille

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  3. Hi Cille,

    No, thank you for sharing such a great learning experience. :-)

    And anytime, you've got something more to say on any subject, just let me know ... you make a guest post here any time you want.

    lol, as for you compliment ... it's easy to "mentor" someone who networks as well as you do !!! ;-)

    Keep havin FuN!
    Todd

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