I Got Your “List Of Names” Right Here! By Russ DeVan

Russ DeVan

If I had a dollar for every person who has asked me: “Where do I go to find customers/distributors? Do you have any ‘leads?’ What if I don’t know anybody? What do you say to get someone interested…?” I could retire on six figures a month without “building” a darn thing!

 I lay the prospecting dilemmas that so many have in our profession squarely at the feet of the “Warm and Cold Market” paradigm that is and has been PERVASIVE in all sales training, not just in MLM, for decades….maybe even centuries! 

Proposition: The big problem with paradigms is… we don’t see’em! They’re invisible. I mean, if you are IN the jar, you can’t read the label very well, can you? 

The presumption of warm and cold market thinking is that the people that you know, your “warm market,”  you have more credibility with and therefore are more approachable and easier to talk to….true? Okay then….ready? “Make a list of names!”

Uh…no thanks!

How about the “cold” market? Mmmmm, sounds inviting, doesn’t it? Would that be talking to strangers with a hidden agenda? Hot dog!! Sign me up!!

Are you open to another possibility? WHAT IF….whether you know someone or NOT, isn’t what makes them a prospect?  It’s a CONVERSATION that does! Then, most prospecting training would have been built on a false premise!

I have no evidence that my next statement is true, but I believe the term “prospecting” originated in modern culture following the California Gold Rush in the mid-19th century.

Thousands of people of every shape, size, and ethnicity braved every adverse condition and hardship imaginable, traveling thousands of miles in covered wagons painted “California or Bust!” on the side, just for the PROSPECT of finding “the yellow stuff.”

The big difference between those prospectors and us is that they already knew what gold looked like; they just needed to “un-conceal” it!

So here is the first “shift:” What does your “gold” look like, and how will you know it when you see it?

 Here’s your second “shift:” How is it un-concealed?

After all, you WERE a prospect at one point, yes? What did someone say to you that piqued your interest? Are you open-minded? MLM – curious? Do you “love” people? Gutsy? Tenacious? Highly motivated? Check, check, and CHECK?!

Now once you determine what the Gold looks like, start “digging.” The “Forty-Niners” used picks and shovels. Conversation: questions, authentic interest, and listening are the NEW “picks and shovels and sifters”; NOT spewing a lot of memorized information you hope another person may find interesting.

There is so much MORE to this subject, but for now, let me leave you with this: Get OUTSIDE of Warm and Cold market thinking. Remember that most people you do know are not your “warm market,”… i.e., Facebook “friends.” They are “Contacts.” Use conversation to move someone from a “contact” to a connection…. common interests, qualities, values, etc. Connection is the foundation and possibility for “relationships.” I say not all connections become relationships, but all relationships come from connection. Relationships are an opening for a prospect…but in and of themselves are GOLD! The best leaders and distributors you have will be the ones you have a true and loving relationship with. 


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Russ DeVan
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