Thursday, October 7, 2010

Learn to Love Objections

Most network marketers cringe when their prospects begin to object, however top income earners rejoice, as they have learned to love objections. Here are some of the most common network marketing objections you will hear:

• “Isn’t this one of those pyramid schemes?”

• “I wouldn’t be interested.”

• “I don’t have enough time.”

• “I don’t have any money.”

• “I don’t know many people.”

• “I can’t or don’t like to sell.”

• “I’ve never run a business before.”

• “I don’t want to jeopardize my job.”

• “I can’t see myself doing that.”

• “I’ve tried MLM before and lost my shirt.”

• “My uncle was in MLM and now everyone avoids him.”

• “Is this like Amway (or some other MLM company).”

• “I’d lose all my friends/people would start avoiding me.”

• “I’d lose my status.”

The last two objections are usually unspoken and most prospects have them. People fear that prospecting their friends or pursuing this type of business would jeopardize their friendships and family relationships or their status in society. These may be the most difficult objections that you will have to handle and if you get stuck with a prospect, you may have to ask them if they have these thoughts and then deal with them using the process outlined below.

Before we talk about how to handle objections, you need to understand that objections are good. It means that the person is interested enough to object. Objections also give you a sneak peak into their inner mind and how they are thinking about what you are presenting. If you get good at handling objections, you will learn to love them and turn them into yes' for your business and product.

Handling Objections

Every type of network marketing business has a little different way to handle the various types of objections, so check with your sponsor or upline leaders to see if they have answers to the most common objections in your business. However, you can generally rely on the following six-step approach to handling all types of objections:

Listen – listen to the entire objection. Most often, distributors will hear the first couple words and begin to think of an answer. The danger here is that quite often the objection either changes or the prospect will come full circle and answer their own objection. If you jump in with an answer, you prove to them you weren’t listening.

Restate – restate the objection in your own words, to insure that you understood what they were trying to say. For example, if the prospect said, “I don’t have enough time”, you might say, “If I’m understanding what you are saying, you don’t feel like you have any extra time to add something like this into your schedule, is that correct?” Restating the objection shows that you were listening and also enables you to get a clear understanding of their concern.

Agree or Show Understanding – it is important that you empathize with the prospect. For example, if your prospect said, “I’ve tried MLM before and lost my shirt”, you might say, “I’m sorry to hear that, could you tell me more about that situation.” By asking for more information, you may uncover the reason for the discomfort, which will help when you get to the next step – answering the objection.

Answer – you can answer an objection in many ways. The most logical, but usually least effective, is verbally. The best way to answer an objection is to combine a verbal answer with visual reinforcement, such as articles, charts, graphs, and testimonial letters. People tend to disbelieve what they hear and believe what they see, so show them proof. There are various publications that have published positive articles about network marketing. Rich Dad, Poor Dad author, Robert Kiyosaki has written a book about network marketing - The Business of the 21st Century, which is a great proof source for network marketing as a legitimate and timely business.

Confirm – make sure that you have answered the objection to the satisfaction of the prospect. Ask, “Does that answer your question?” or “Have I covered that to your satisfaction?” If not, ask what they would need to see in order to be satisfied and then if possible, provide that level of proof.

Close – once you have confirmed the answer, ask a closing question that gives two or three positive options. For example, you might ask, “Our top people are starting with option 1 (describe it). The most popular package is Option 2 (describe it). Those who are really on a business and aren't quite ready to build a big business start with option 3 (describe it). Would you like to start Option 1 (big package), Option 2 (mid package), or Option 3 (small package)?”

This six-step approach is time-proven to work . . . if you actually use it. Most network marketers read all the books and listen to all the tapes, but they never internalize the information. You can opt for rejection, or you can practice and use a proven system for answering objections.

One final hint regarding objections – if they give you too many, do not try to answer them all. If they are this negative now, they will likely continue that attitude once they have joined. You are probably better off moving on to the next prospect.

Welcome objections, learn how to handle them properly, and they will help you sponsor more people and build a large network marketing business.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Four Steps to MLM Success

Network marketing (MLM) is a very simple business. It's a wonder to me why everyone doesn't make big money. Here are the four steps necessary for you to be successful:

1. Learn your business - study the company materials. Learn the company story - who? what? when? why? where? how? Study the products/services and the competition. Get statistics on the industry. Research the other network marketing companies that you compete with and determine your strengths and weaknesses. Talk with other successful distributors about how they have built their business. Get on the company e-mail distribution list and voice mail system (if your company has one), so that you can stay current. Buy all the training programs, CD’s, DVD’s, manuals, brochures, books, etc., so that you can have a better understanding of everything about your business. Listen to CD’s on your business whenever you are in the car. Tune in to the company teleconferences or web conferences. Attend all company and distributor sponsored meetings.

2. Do the business - get started right away, even while you are doing the research for number 1. You will learn more about your business by doing it then you will by researching it. Get out there and start talking to people. When they ask you something you don't know, say, "that's a good question and I don't know the answer, but I'll find out and get back with you." Go get the answer and call them back. Start making phone calls, meeting with people in person, conducting your own opportunity meetings, do your own teleconferences or web conferences, and have regular trainings for you downline. Ask your sponsor or another qualified upline leader to help with 3-way calls and meetings. Develop a duplicatable system that works.

3. Teach the business - when you sponsor a new distributor, you are responsible to that person to help them get started and send them down the path toward success. Teach them partially through what you say and mostly by what you do. They will follow your lead. Show them how to prospect by doing it. Show them how to sponsor by doing it. Show them how to retail by doing it. Show them how to train by doing it. Provide them with the tools to be successful. During the first 30 days stay in touch daily. Offer to mail or e-mail information to prospects until they are up to speed. Suggest doing some 3-way calls and an in-home business briefing (which you will conduct, so they can see how to do a briefing). Encourage them to attend all the meetings, conferences, and conventions. Help them set goals and a plan to reach those goals. Keep your new distributors heading in the right direction.

4. Teach them to teach the business - when you uncover leaders who begin to develop their own downline team, teach them how to teach the business to their downline. Teach about the power of example. Give them tools they can use to teach their downline how to sponsor, retail and train.

That's it. It's just that simple. If you will follow these 4 steps, you will achieve huge success in network marketing.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Failures are Stepping Stones to Success

On an evening in April, 1979, I saw my first network marketing presentation. I fell in love with the concept and have been ever since. I would like to say that I was an immediate success, but that would be a total lie. In fact, my first 10 years in network marketing were terrible. I did everything a person could possibly do wrong. I wasn't coachable, didn't attend the local meetings, didn't follow the proven marketing systems, didn't buy the educational books and tapes, didn't listen to anyone, and tried to do it my own way. Needless to say, I was a horrible failure and it cost me thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and relationship with friends and family.

I tell people that during those 10 dark years, I only did two things right. I never quit on the industry and I learned from my mistakes. Now, sometimes I was hard headed and had to make the same mistake several times in different ways, but eventually I learned to do it different. Primarily, I learned to listen to those who had already traveled the road ahead of me and benefit from their wisdom.

When I was a child, my grandmother had a Jeep and used to take us up into the mountains to places it was difficult to get to. Often we would cross small streams by stepping from rock to rock to rock until we reached the other side. I must admit that there were a few times when I slipped on a rock and tumbled into the cold water. My network marketing career has been very similar. I've stepped from failure to failure to failure until I reached my destination. I've slipped more times than I can count, but I always got back up.

I used to think of failures as something bad, but today I realize they are necessary in order to reach the successes I seek. I'm not alone. They are necessary for you to reach your successes, as well. In fact, I've discovered that the top network marketing leaders are not smarter or more talented than all the rest; rather they just were willing to fail more. They literally failed their way to success.

So, here's the key to success in network marketing - be willing to fail, a lot! Now in order to fail a lot, you have to attempt a lot. You have to be willing to get past the fear and talk to all of your friends and family - yes, even those who totally intimidate you and some of whom will tell you that you're crazy to be involved in one of those pyramid deals. You have to be willing to advertise or buy leads and talk with complete strangers, some of whom will hang up on you. You have to be willing to live by the 3-foot rule and talk with anyone within 3 feet of you. You have to be willing to make the follow-up calls, knowing that most of the people will say NO. The person who is willing to do the most, will fail the most, will succeed the most, and make the most money in network marketing.

I fell in love with the game of baseball when I was about 7 years old. It's a game of extreme skill and even the best players in the world are total failures. I mean think about. If you hit over 300 consistently throughout out your career, you will likely end up in the Hall of Fame. That means that 7 out of 10 times those Hall of Famers failed - did you hear me? 7 out of 10 times they failed, but they kept going.

Network marketing is just about the same - if you talk with 10 people, 3 of them will be interested. The other 7 are going to reject the idea (not you, just the idea). You need to be just like those Hall of Fame baseball players and keep swinging. The hits will come.

I often think of prospecting like a deck of cards - there are 54 cards in every deck. Two of those are jokers and you will definitely run into a couple of real jokers during the prospecting process. You can just toss them out of the deck. There are also 4 aces and those are the people who will build huge networks under you and make you a bunch of money. However, they are just 4 out of the remaining 52 cards. That's under 8% success ratio. Now, keep in mind there are also some Kings, Queens, and Jacks who will build good size networks. There are even some tens, nines, and eights, who will build a bit of a network and some sevens, sixes, fives, fours, threes, and twos who will sponsor a few and buy the product. The key is to continue uncovering the cards until you find your four aces. All the while working with the others who are willing to do something within your business.

So, if you've been seeking the holy grail of network marketing, this is it - fail more. Each time you fail, rejoice, knowing that you are one step, one rock closer to your destination. Oh, you're going to slip and fall and it's going to hurt for awhile, but if you get up and keep going, you will achieve success. You will become one of the top income earners in your company. You will enjoy the life that most people only dream about - with total time and financial freedom.

So, get out there and start failing more. Take that first leap and then the next and the next. If you fall, get up and continue on and I will look forward to seeing you at the top!