Forget About Heavy Hitters – Go for the Real Leaders by Karen Justice

Karen JusticeWhen you start your business, you are functioning as the prime mover. You are generating the action that creates momentum  If they linger in the crosswalk, mow ’em down Seem a little harsh? Visions of sweet little old ladies and odd ducks being bowled over like bowling pins as steely-eyed uplines barrel past looking for the real players – those instantly committed “Heavy Hitters” who’ll blast past them to the top of the compensation plan. Unfortunately, this is how too many people view the imagined fast track to success in Network Marketing. In reality, I’ve found that the people who have ended up becoming our best and most loyal business builders see themselves as unexceptional and started this business clinging firmly to a committed “maybe.” NULL

These people do not show up streaking for the finish line. They stick a tentative toe out into the crosswalk mustering their nerve to start along the path that leads to total commitment to the business. This is an act of complete faith on their part, because they have not yet achieved the success needed to foster true belief in the opportunity. They linger in the crosswalk with hopeful looks on their faces, often needing a helping hand to get to the other side. Unless you understand the potential of the average person and what they need from you and want from this business, people in your group will be more likely to quit in defeat or be attracted to the latest greatest new opportunity that’s presented to them. The “Average” Advantage This is a new business for most people. As a leader, your job is to create a network of support that shows the “average” person how to bring other people on board.

In Network Marketing you have to give to receive.

It’s not a quest to win the lottery by signing up some dazzling overachiever. Helping your average recruit start to see some success is the proven pathway and is the only way to build longterm commitment and walk-away residual income from stable, consistent, long-lasting growth. I believe the key factor in eventual success for most people is their initial decision to become successful. Most people haven’t honestly made that decision when they first set out in a new venture – even if they say they have. The belief that success is obtainable is instead built on a foundation of smaller initial successes. That is why it’s so important that your new builders receive the support necessary to achieve that beginning success. When I started out in this business, I had no prior experience in Network Marketing. Yet I broke the speed record to the top of my company’s marketing plan. I had a lot of ordinary people like myself in my group, who I helped learn the skills to start building a business. I worked hard making sure they experienced the initial success necessary to spark their excitement. Later, when I decided to educate myself in the field of Network Marketing, I read an article about the type of person you should be looking for. I got excited! Here was some great information! It described people with these jewel-like qualities – “Pearls” who would quickly become leaders in any group! Well, I thought I had really tumbled onto something here. I could hardly wait to tell everyone. I now had a fast way for my group to sort out people with potential. But as I was about to make those calls, I realized something: I looked at the top leaders I was about to call – the best people in my group – and I realized that very few of them started out with any of these qualities. It wasn’t until they started to see some success with their business that their confidence grew and they developed the skills that made them eventual leaders. As a Network Marketing trainer, I’ve met all kinds of people who have become successful.

This is a business where even the oddest of ducks can do very well.

Every once in a while when I’m doing a training, I look out at the audience and notice someone who I can tell – maybe for the very first time – is daring to hope that their dream can come true. The thing that I love about this business is that I can know without a shadow of doubt, no matter who they are – no matter what gender, age, race or creed – that it can. This is one business where ordinary people can be very successful. They, and not “heavy hitters,” are the backbone of the Network Marketing industry. The key reason for this is that ordinary people are perceived as duplicatable by ordinary people. They aren’t the dreaded “Sales Type,” which is something the average person doesn’t want to be. So they end up with a real advantage with their prospects as far as perceived duplicatability goes. They begin to develop confidence by conquering initial uncertainties and fears and by learning from their upline, duplicating proven successful actions. They learn from their problems and gradually, with the needed tenacity, emerge as leaders.

When the going gets rough, it’s the people who have emerged from the trenches, overcome their inabilities and built lasting connections who keep your business there. These are the real leaders – and, like champion race horses, they seldom come ready made.

Their business starts to grow slowly and organically, then it begins to accelerate. Beware the “Leader Pretenders” These “ordinary” and highly duplicatable people are the backbone of a solid group. But despite this, builders are continually looking for the flashier type, the guy who strides on board trumpeting his stellar potential, letting you know that signing him up was your lucky day. He demands your immediate and complete attention, because of what he’s going to do for you. This legend in his own mind is most often a “leader pretender.” And believe it or not, I have never seen one of these people turn out to be what they allude to be. But still, new gung-ho builders persist in looking for them. I’ll share a quick story about one who popped up in our downline. I got a call one morning from two of my best leaders. They had just prospected a guy who told them he’d been huge in another company. He told them that if this company was what they said it was, he was going to end up making them rich! He had to be frank though, first he was going to interview other people in my company as potential uplines. He had a lot to bring to the table and he wanted a lot back. He mentioned another big builder in another downline who he had supposedly already talked to, who was trying hard to recruit him and supposedly offering the moon. My leaders called me in a panic, asking me for financial help to give 5000 free tapes to close this “heavy hitter” on signing with them. I said “No.” They did it anyway. As it turned out, this legend in his own mind never did anything. And to top it all off, he wouldn’t give the tapes back. It caused them months of anguish. Finally, they managed to get some of the tapes back after threatening to fly to his home and show up on his doorstep. The reason I wasn’t pulled into this web is that I’d seen it before. Earlier, another slick operator had told me he was in a bad financial position temporarily, but that he has been one of the star players in his previous MLM. He dazzled me with beguiling tales of how he’s helped his former upline retire and live her dreams and would do the same for me. By the time the stars in my eyes dimmed enough for me to see what was really happening, I had already given this charmer more financial support than I’d spent on the launch of my own business! After getting all he could get, he and all of his Network Marketing junkie relatives left to join another lucky group, ripping off my downline all he could for his new venture – basically, committing criminal acts against innocent people and forever souring anyone remaining in his group on Network Marketing. I’ve since found that many of these big-time wheeler dealers are quite often temporarily low on funds and that you pay a p
rice for enrolling them.

Leader pretenders tell you how it is. These wannabes come on board with their own “know best” plans. Real eventual leaders are coachable, they let you lead first.

Give the average person the support they need to come off the “maybe” that their lack of experience has them in. Then watch them slowly build an army of people like themselves. As the multiplication factor kicks in, your group will be building solidly in all directions. Some people do come on board with a slight advantage. Entrepreneurial types – because they have built small businesses before, and teachers because th


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