Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Hate to Sell

Have you ever heard this from a prospect? Maybe you've even said it yourself. It's funny that I've been in professional selling for 20 years and I still hate to sell.

Why do we all hate to sell so much?

I believe it has to do with our perceptions of selling. Most of us think of salespeople as pushy - selling people things they don't want or need. Who would feel good about doing that? Yet, sales is one of our most important occupations. Think of how difficult it would be for the surgeon to perform lifesaving surgery without instruments, pharmaceuticals, gowns, masks, and medical equipment.
Salespeople sold all of those things to the Dr., clinic or hospital.

Selling is nothing more that finding a need and filling it. You already know what needs your products/services fulfill, so your job is to ask questions and find people who have those needs.

Selling is sharing. If you believe in your products/services, you will want to tell everyone about them. You will share your success stories and those of other distributors and customers. No, not everyone is going to buy. Even though they need what you have, they may still say no. That's ok.

I would love to tell you that you can succeed in network marketing without selling. That the products sell themselves, but frankly my products have never jumped off the shelf and convinced a prospect of their value. You will need to sell people on the value of your products and opportunity. So, how do you learn to sell.

Well, actually we are all very natural salespeople. Think about the last time you really wanted to go to your favorite restaurant and your spouse or a friend wanted to go somewhere else. What did you do to convince him or her? You sold the benefits of the restaurant: the great environment, service and food, how much fun it would be, how excellent the food tastes, and so on.

There are many good books and tapes on selling. My favorite book is How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins.

Also, check your local paper and the internet for seminars on selling. If you have a community college in your town, they may also have classes on sales that you can take in the evening.

The key to sales is to find a need, explain the benefits of the products and how they will help your prospect fill his or her need. If you have built some solid trust and have successfully shown the benefits, the prospect will probably buy. If he or she doesn't, find out why. If they are still misinformed, find printed information that will educate them and ask them to try your products again. If they still don't buy, keep good records and contact them periodically with new information. Don't hassle them, educate them. Very soon you will have a good customer who will most likely turn into your best distributor.

Selling makes the world go round and makes your network marketing business grow.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Importance of 3-Way Calls

In my 30+ years of network marketing, I've had the opportunity to work with and interview hundreds of the industries top money earners. They have all built their businesses at different paces and using different methods. However, the one thing I heard consistently was the importance of 3-way calls.

I know from experience that many new and even older (in time with the company) distributors are not doing 3-way calls. In a recent meeting of approximately 50 distributors, I asked how many were doing weekly 3-way calls with upline or downline and only one person put up his hand. I also know from talking with other leaders that their downline is not doing enough 3-way calls.

If the 3-way call is so important, why don't more distributors do them? I believe it is because they are afraid the prospect will feel "ganged up on" and will be offended. Since many of these calls are to friends and family members, this feeling overides the potential for success. The distributor would rather have the call fail, than to do a 3-way call with the upline.

Personally, I think that distributors are getting the wrong impression about 3-way calls, because we (upline) are not explaining the methodology and benefits properly. So, here goes.

First, let's talk about the best way to make a 3-way call. Now, for my disclaimer. I am not saying that this is the absolute best and only way to make a 3-way call. If your upline has a standard way of doing calls, than that's the way to go. If not, give this a try:

If you are making 3-way calls with your upline, the reason you have your upline on the phone is not to hammer on the prospect or as the heavy closer, but rather so between the two of you the prospect can get all of his/her questions answered. Also, so that your company can be presented in the best possible way and your prospect can make an educated decision.

Here's how the call might go:

The distributor calls upline and discusses the call prior to the appointed time. Distributor puts upline on hold by depressing the "flash" key or the "hook"

button (where the handset hangs up). The distributor should get a couple quick tones and then a regular dial tone, at which point he/she can dial the prospects number.

When it starts ringing, press the flash key or hook button again to re-connect the upline. Here is the dialog when the prospect answers:

Distributor: John, hi this is Rod. I'm calling to follow-up on that information that I (sent/dropped off to) you. I have on the phone with me one of my business partners (upline's name), who is here because I am relatively new and I thought you would have some great questions that I couldn't answer. John this is (upline).

At this point the upline will take over the call and your job is to listen, take notes, and learn. Here is what the upline might say:

Upline: Hi John. How are you this evening? Are we catching you at a good time? Great! We appreciate you taking the time to talk with us. First I want you to know that I am strictly here to answer questions, fill in the gaps, and help provide the information you need to make a good decision. This is a very important decision and our job is to provide you with sufficient information to make an educated decision. The one favor I need to ask you is that you not say yes or no until you have received enough information to thoroughly research this business and make a good decision. Will you do that for us? Thanks! Now, did you get some time to review the information that Bob sent you?

From here the upline is going to handle the call as he/she feels fit, but it will be a very comfortable call for all involved.

Now, if you are doing the calls with your downline, you should follow the script for the upline, which will help make them more comfortable with the calls.

We recommend that every new distributor do at least 30 3-way calls before they start talking with people on their own or doing 3-ways with their downline. After 30 calls the distributor will have heard all the main objections and questions, plus the answers. The best way to do these 30 calls is to have the upline do all of the call on the first 10. During the second 10, the distributor should do the first part of the call with the upline handling objections or answering questions. The new distributor should do all of the calls on the third 10 with the upline on for back-up.

Following you will find examples of how the 2nd and 3rd sets of calls might go.

2nd Set of 3-Way Calls:

Distributor: John, hi this is Rod. I'm calling to follow-up on that information that I (sent/dropped off to) you. I have on the phone with me one of my business partners (upline's name), who is here because I am relatively new and I thought you would have some great questions that I couldn't answer. John this is (upline). (upline and prospect say hi, then continue) John, did you receive the information we sent? (If yes, continue) That's great and did you get a chance to review it? (If no, set a time to call again) (If yes, continue) Excellent! What did you (see/hear) that you liked? What did you find most interesting?

What questions can we answer? (upline will now help with answers)

3rd Set of 3-Way Calls:

Use the same script as in the 2nd set, except that the distributor will answer questions and call in the upline only when he/she gets stuck.

3-way calls are not only effective for quick and efficient sponsoring, but it is also a great training tool. A new distributor will learn much more by listening in on some calls then by you telling them what to do.

Now for the benefits of 3-way calls:

• Distributor - fewer negative calls, better closing ratios, build network quicker.
• Upline - opportunity to train, help new distributor get checks quicker, build own network.
• Prospect - opportunity to hear different perspectives on the business, get all questions answered, make a good decision.

3-way calls are a win-win-win opportunity and a critical part of every success story in network marketing!