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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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.
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Thursday, May 3, 2007

5 Simple Steps to Network Marketing Success

Whether you're part-time or full-time, the short post below is the building blocks for everything else you'll do in building a successful home business. (at least in my humble opinion)

"Everything you need to know about how to DO network marketing can be learned in 30 minutes on a Saturday afternoon" ~ John Milton Fogg


Five simple steps:

  1. Use - Show me a successful network marketer, and I'll show you a person who uses their company's products or services ... even in the very beginning when the cost is "out of pocket".


  2. Share - Talk to People ... Simple Conversations are the best "tool" in your bag. Let people know about your products, your opportunity, and your "story" ... ask lots of questions, find out what their "story" is ... and whether or not they're looking for a change in the "plot".


  3. Sponsor - As you share your story, you'll find some people who are interested in doing what you do ... If you "connect" with them, ask them to join your business (it really is that simple). Just keep in mind that this is where your "job" really starts. Sponsoring is a commitment. Here's the cool part though ... your main "duty" is to be a good friend ...


  4. Teach - Help the people you sponsor learn how to follow the three steps above ... KEEP IT SIMPLE. Teach your people the steps ... Then, Teach them How to Teach the steps to their people. That's duplication.


  5. Grow - Network marketing has been described as personal growth with a pay plan. Make a committment to Read every day. Focus on SELF Improvement. And, use your sponsor as a "sounding board" ... grow together.



* Conact your sponsor for the specific implementation of these steps used by your company or team.

[todd-sig]

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