Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Low threat marketing

Hi again,

Let me start out this post by saying that I honestly believe there are a great variety of "correct" ways to find new people, and build a successful group in this industry.

However, at this point in my life, my personal preference is that I just don't have a very strong desire to spend several hours a week talking to strangers on the phone. (who may or may not have requested "information") I do know plenty of people who are having great success with purchased leads though ... and if that sounds like your style, there are numerous resources around the web on how to work that method correctly. It's just not for me.

So ...

I'd like to share a few low-threat ways, that I've found to be effective, in attracting potential customers and business partners to You. (as opposed to you having to go find them)

A couple of cautions upfront:

1) This method of building your business is NOT fast ... it requires patience and persistence. It's for people who have a long-term goal of building a stable down line group, that will produce consistent leveraged income ... for years to come.

2) You WILL have to talk to people you know; including your family, friends and co-workers. If you're in any way embarrassed about the products/service you represent, and/or the business opportunity you're working, I'd strongly suggest that you focus some time figuring out what's behind those feelings before you attempt to sponsor Anybody (stranger or acquaintance) into your business.

So, what are some of the keys to this low threat marketing ?

Get Known - I know you've heard it said "it's not necessarily who you know, it's who knows you". This is especially true for those of us who are building our business primarily through relatively "passive" means.

One of the very cool things about network marketing, is that meeting new and interesting people fits right into our basic "job description". Therefore, as long as they involve interacting with people, there are a wide variety of activities we can choose to spend our valuable time participating in (both online and off) that will actually be productive, when it comes to building our business.

Here are a few (example) activities that you might not have considered productive "business building" opportunities ...

Offline:

  • Join a bowling league
  • Play golf with your friends (and invite new people to your weekly foursome)
  • Attend your kids sporting events
  • Join the school PTA
  • Volunteer in your local community
  • Participate in (or even organize) neighborhood BBQs
  • etc, etc, etc ... you get the idea, if it involves People it's most like a (potentially) productive activity

Online:

  • Participate in online discussion groups and forums ... not just those related to mlm or home based business. For instance, I really enjoy photography, so I participate in several online photo message boards.
  • Join online social networking communities such as myspace.com. Build a profile that is mainly about YOU, and your interests (as opposed to one that blatantly advertises your business).
  • Email and Instant message with your friends on a regular basis. Talk about things of mutual interest ... get to know them, and let them get to know you
  • Participate in online games that involve social interaction (I like poker myself). As long as you are not spending too much time in this area, there's nothing wrong with a little "brain break" now and then ... especially if you may be forming new relationships in the process
  • Again, hopefully hou see where I'm going with this ... whether online or off, go where the people are!

Establish a Reputation - Unfortunately, it will do you absolutely no good (as far as your business goes) to "get known", if it turns out you're not the type of person people will want to associate with ... or even more likely for many network marketers, you're acting like somebody people wouldn't want to associate with. (think "pushy" salesperson).

BE YOURSELF! ... and if by some chance, yourSELF isn't exactly someone you want people to know (right now), then you have to work on that first and hardest ... before you attempt to sponsor people into your business.

The goal, is for people who know you, to also learn to Like and Trust you. TRUST is the key to building your business (especially on the Internet). Once people like and trust you, they'll be much more likely to be interested in seeing what it is you have to offer. And, as an added bonus, those people who do join your business because they know, like and trust you (as opposed to being "sold" on your opportunity) are much more likely to stick around long enough to have a chance of building a successful business themselves. I have a number of people in my group who have been with me for over 4 years now.

Along those line (of trust), never ever fall into the trap of "fake it til you make it". Don't get me wrong, from day one, your Mindset should be that of a "successful leader". But, when you're actually getting to know people, don't think that you have to try to portray yourself as some sort of an expert (especially if you're not ... yet). Ultimately the type of people you want to partner with (for long-term success), will be those who join you because of WHO YOU ARE ... not because of what they "think" you've done (or think you can do for them). hint: it's been my experience that this second type of person doesn't tend to stick around very long. If they don't experience immediate success, they move right on to the next/better "leader", in their continual (and often endless) quest for the proverbial magic bullet.

Be Visible - If you're doing this right, everybody who knows you should be well aware that you have something to offer (products/services/opportunity) ... without you having to tell (or "pitch") them yourself. Always keep in mind that establishing a reputation can be a long-term endeavor ... so, in your efforts to be visible, if you ever feel yourself slipping into "pushy salesperson" territory, stop and regroup. Remember, we want people to come to us, not run from us.

Here are a few easy, low threat ways to be visible ...

Online:

  • Always include a signature files in your email. I prefer something short and catchy. Mine says "Stick your Nose in my Business" followed by a link to my website. (IMO) Your signature file should never appear to be longer or more prominent than the body of your email message (ie, if you've got a 12 line signature, you'd better write long emails)
  • If given the opportunity, always fill out a profile for message boards, game playing, or social networking sites. As with email, include a short catchy link to your website. It should be obvious, but not the primary focus of your profile.
    - Build a personal website or blog. Make it about YOU, and your Interests. Somewhere on the page, include a short catchy link to your website.

(see a trend here? ... short catchy link)

Offline:

  • The Number One way to be visible offline, is to USE your company's products and/or services. Back in my single days, I once had a date ask me if I was gay ... because there were so many candles in my apartment :-)
  • The other thing I wouldn't advise anybody to be without, is a WebDecal, or magnetic signs for your automobile. Definitely include your website and phone number. However, the main benefit of these signs will not necessarily be strangers calling you from the road. You'll be shocked by how many people you already know approach you and ask "what's that sign on your car all about?"
  • In addition, if your company has a line of clothing, hats, jackets, buttons, etc, purchase them, and wear them ... proudly.

This is by no means intended to be a comprehensive "guide" to building your business "slow and steady" ... but, I do hope that it's helped you to think in a few new directions ...

I don't know about you, but I quite enjoy building my business in a way that not only lets (and even encourages) me have FuN and spend time with my family/friends ... but also allows me to keep those relationships healthy ... because I've made it so easy for people to ask me about my business (if they're interested), rather than me having to try to find creative ways to "accidentally" (and often uncomfortably) bring it up.

(contact your sponsor for more ideas that apply specifically to your products/opportunity)

Til next time ...

Todd

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