Now in this month’s article I am going to teach you how to approach strangers. Notice I said “approach”. In a previous lesson we learned how to “invite” friends. There are actually two different psychologies here; you “invite” friends, but you “approach” strangers. This process is called PROSPECTING.
The reason why this lesson is so important is that so many people who fail in Network Marketing failed because they never learned to do what we are about to teach you. What you are about to learn can make the difference between having a small group of friends and earning a few hundred dollars a month to having a huge group with explosive growth and earning tens of thousands of dollars a month.
By now you may be thinking… “Hey, I don’t want to talk to strangers, can’t I just push a button, send an email blast and have people signup online?”
Well the answer to that is yes, and we will teach you how to do that once you have learned how to talk to strangers, but you will need to have these skills to be successful even with the online marketing. So let’s start developing these skills.
Before we get started let me give me my definition of a stranger.
Stranger: A friend you have not yet met. But in this case they are people you may have met, but you just have not become friends yet.
Deep down inside most people are hungry to meet new friends but in most cases they are shy and just do not take the initiative to speak to strangers other than what their job requires. So this is where you develop and use the skills to start conversations with these soon to be new friends.
There are basically two types of strangers:
a. People who you see occasionally around town. and
b. Total strangers you have never met before. (We will cover this in another lesson – approaching “cold market” strangers)
In this lesson we are going to talk about the type ‘a’ strangers, in other words, your “warm market” strangers.
The people who are in group “a” are people who render services to you:
So, let’s start this process of talking to strangers by taking the first step and that step is to start conversations with people that are in your ‘day to day’ world. You see them occasionally, you may even nod and say hi, but you don’t really know them personally.
I’m talking about people such as… the
Owner of the dry cleaners where you get your suits cleaned.
Owner of the local meat market.
Owner of your local gas station.
Owners of the restaurants where you dine frequently.
Your insurance agent for your vehicles.
Your insurance agent for your home.
Your insurance Agent for your Life Insurance and your Health Insurance.
Bank tellers. (Maybe you need to stop using the ATM for a few weeks and go inside and meet some bank tellers).
Cashiers at the checkout line at your favorite grocery store.
Salespeople at your favorite Department stores
Sales assistants at STAPLES, or Office Depot
Salesperson at your local hardware store
Local Uber driver
Ticket takers at the movie theater, or even better the theater manager.
The clerk at the 7-11 or local quick stop or circle K or Cumberland farms store or whatever variety of “quick shop” franchise you have in your area. For many of the night clerks, that is their second job. Preferably you catch a night or morning when the owner is there.
They are the people who say $13.50 please… And you hand them the money, grab your change and leave…. and in many cases you never even stop to ask them their name. You just see them there, kind of nod and say hi.
These potential PROSPECTS are out there, they are all around you, but you just really haven’t “connected” with them and made the effort to get to know them.
Now that you are aware of this huge market, the next thing that you want to start doing is to continue circulating, and start communicating, while cultivating and connecting with the one’s you want to work with. You’re already circulating among the people that you run into on a daily basis, but now it is important that you start communicating with them. But as part of your communication, you are actually cultivating them as prospects some of them will connect with you and start a casual friendship.
Do’s and Don’ts for talking to ‘warm market’ strangers:
Now, don’t go and pounce on them the first day. We will show you how to do this in our next seminar on “Approaching ‘cold market’ Strangers”.
If you signed up in the business tonight, don’t go pulling into the UPS Store or Kinko’s and immediately approach some guy that has been weighing your packages for a year, (and you don’t even know his or her name yet), and pounce on them about the business. (Now if indeed you are already good friends then this does not apply.)
They are good prospects because they will usually listen as a courtesy because you are spending your money with them as one of their customers. With this group you do not have to be in a hurry and jump on them the next time you see them… you can take your time and start developing a relationship with them by introducing yourself. Simply reach out your hand to shake hands with them and say… “Hey, by the way my name is Paul Morris, what’s your name?” They will always shake your hand and give you their name. Some may be a little reluctant at first but most will flash back a big smile and gladly give you their name.
The next thing you want to do is to pay them a compliment. The best way to get someone’s attention is to pay them a compliment and to use their name in conversation. Remember to smile at them and be in a cheerful mood. “You look sharp today!” – If they helped you find something, thank them and tell them you appreciated the great service. “I just have to tell you how much I appreciated the great service, it is hard to find good service these days and you are a pro at it.” If you observe them handle a complaint or do something special for the previous customer. Compliment them on that. “Hey, you are great. I love the way you handled that last situation. I hope your boss appreciates you and pays you what you are worth.” They will usually complain that they are not appreciated and not getting aid enough. But that’s it for now. Just introduce yourself and get their name. There is no pressure on you to go any further on this encounter making it real easy to simply start introducing yourself to everyone you encounter. Make this a game for now. See how many people you can introduce yourself to each day.
As soon as you leave their presence, quickly grab a 3×5 card and write down their name and where they work so you can refer to it again later when you are going back into the store a few days later. Make any notes pertinent to recognizing them when you stop in next.
Notes such as… tall guy with glasses, blonde ponytail, young fellow, old guy, etc. As “impressed” as they will be if you remember their name, they will be equally “unimpressed” if you say “uh, I forgot your name what was it again?” The next time you see them you smile and say in a cheerful voice “Hi, Susan, how are you today?”
They will be so impressed that you remembered their name they will start to like you immediately. (This is right from Section Two – How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie). Now, just in case they forgot your name and may be embarrassed they can’t think of it I look for a way to weave my name into the conversation. Things such as “When I left the house my wife said, Paul, please remember to pick up the dry cleaning”. By mentioning your name it jogged their memory and now they will make a mental note of YOUR name and when you say see you later you will hear them say “bye Paul”, have a nice day.
When you encounter a sales person in any business situation, simply get in the habit of flashing them a big smile and engaging them in a conversation.
You might say, “You’ve been here a long time, haven’t you? Do you own the place?” Start warming up a little friendship with them. These prospects are easy to talk to because they kind of know who you are and you kind of know who they are even though you may not know each other’s names. Begin increasing that friendship a little bit by stopping by more frequently. If you have two suits to drop off at the dry cleaners, then instead of dropping of both suits the same day, drop them off a day apart.
You might ask what days they work, and if you know they will be there all the time or on just the weekends, then you can plan your next stop accordingly. Build the friendship first over the course of several visits.
The ideal situation is for them to get friendly with you and to eventually ask you what you do for a living. In a perfect world this is what you dream for! The best way to set the stage for them asking that question is for you to ask similar questions. Now since you are in the Ace Hardware store, or Home Depot or Staples, you can’t ask them what they do for a living because it is already quite obvious, but what you can do is ask them some questions that will stimulate them to eventually ask you what you do. So if you are still chatting with them only when you are in their place of business, do NOT start a conversation when there is a long line of customers behind you; their (your prospect’s) only interest will be to handle your transaction and say next, and take care of the next customer. So pick times that there will likely be very few other customers in the store and engage in conversation when they can give you their undivided attention.
You can use this frequency technique with almost any business. If you need four reams of paper at Staples, then buy two reams on Monday and another two reams on Wednesday, and then go back for the ink on Friday.
The secret to using this “approaching warm market strangers” is to develop friendships with all the people you meet on a daily basis and create the situation where THEY ASK YOU what you do for a living. Now in many of these situations you could pounce on them sooner, but you lose the advantage of having them ask you what you do. If you can determine a PROBLEM they have in their life and let them know YOU have a SOLUTION to their problem, they are drawn to what you have to offer.
So here are some questions to ask them, to get them to ask you, what you do:
Do you work here part time of full time?
Are you the owner, I see you here all the time?
Do you have another job?
How long have you worked here?
Do you like your job?
What do you like best about your job?
What DON’T you like about your job?
Do you keep your eye out for other job opportunities?
Do you keep your options open?
Do you see a future working here?
Are you getting paid what you are worth?
Do you plan on working here the rest of your life?
Will working here help you reach your goals?
What do you do for fun?
What would you do if you won a million dollars?
Eventually they are going to say, “By the way, what do you do?” Now depending on the conversations you have had with them, and the PROBLEM you determined they have, you can use one of the several responses below… Your RESPONSES will subtlety let them know that YOU have a SOLUTION to THEIR PROBLEM. This is the most powerful way of prospecting strangers and works best with warm market strangers that you see frequently.
If they mentioned in conversation that they don’t like the poor pay on their job. Then you say…
I help people develop a 5th paycheck a month to help pay bills and afford some of the extra things in life. Or, I teach people that are ambitious, (or have an entrepreneurial spirit), how to earn in a week what they currently earn in a month, and do it in their spare time.
If they said they did NOT like their job…
I show people how they can start their own business with no investment and run it part time out of their home or apartment using a phone and a computer, and eventually earn enough money to quit your job.
If they say that hate dropping their child or children off at a daycare center…
I show mothers how they can work from home and earn more money than if they went to a job so they are home with their children all day.
If they said they only get two weeks’ vacation a year.
I show people how they can work three weeks a month and take a one week vacation every month.
If they said the job was stressful and was wearing them out.
I show people how they can eliminate stress from their life and move toward being relaxed and at their BEST HEALTH ever!
If talking to a woman whose husband works…
I show wives how they can earn more money from home than their husbands do at their job so they can retire their husbands.
If they have not taken the bait on any of the above questions and responses then be prepared to approach them on your next visit.
The more the prospects gets to know you, the more they will trust you, and if you are always friendly and genuinely concerned about them they will begin to actually like you. If you drop off your suits and shirts at the drycleaners and see them drinking a Starbucks coffee at 11:00AM, then you can assume they likely purchased it at 10:30 to 10:45AM. So when you come back to pick up your dry cleaning, you can pick up a coffee for them and if you see that they are not yet drinking a cup of coffee, you can say “hey, I brought you a present” and give them the cup of coffee. If he or she is busy, simply leave the coffee, pay for your dry cleaning and leave. If they are not busy you can say, “Hey, let me grab my coffee in the car and join you, I am a few minutes ahead of schedule anyway.
This may seem like a long drawn out process, and it is, however taking time to gain their trust and develop a friendship will increase your chances of sponsoring them by 500%.
One of the indicators that they are ready is once they call you by name when they see you next. Then you know that they are ready for you to engage them in the following conversation. But don’t wait forever. When you go to pay for your merchandise, you can say, “By the way Mark, I’ve been meaning to ask you something. You seem like the entrepreneurial type, you seem real ambitious; you’re good with the customers. I see you over there helping people find what they are looking for. I’m impressed with your quality of work, your enthusiasm, the attention you give your customers. I have just got to ask you this question.
“Mark, if I could show you a way that you could earn an extra $1,000 dollars a month (adjust this to $2,000 or $5,000 depending on what you believe they may be earning now), in your spare time, without interfering with your current job here, would that be of interest to you?” Now if you do not have any idea what amount of money would catch their attention, then simply say “a lot of money in your spare time…” then at a later time you can say, hey by the way what is a lot of money to you?” They will then tell you what amount of money would be of interest to them. Then use that amount going forward.
Well, very likely, he is going to say yes. So you say “Would that level of interest be high enough that you would take 17½ minutes to check out a website?” (or however long your presentation is). Be specific. If you say about a half hour, they will think oh boy, this will be an hour or more, but if you say 17½ minutes, they will think, wow, he or she has their presentation down to the second.
He most likely will say “Well, yeah, sure.” If you get a positive response, be ready to give him a business card or a piece of paper with your name, phone number, email address, but NO web address on it. But, before you hand him or her, your business card, you ask “Do you have a business card?” If he or she has a card you take it and hand them your business card as soon as they hand you their card. If they do not have a business card then you actually pull out two business cards or two pieces of paper or a blank 3×5 card, and while you are holding them in your hand… you say, ‘By the way, what’s your phone number? I don’t want to take time away from your job and get your boss mad at me.’ And you write his phone number on the second piece of paper, then and only then, hand him your business card. If you give him your card first, you have lost control, and he might simply say, “I’ve got your number here, I’ll just give you a call if I’m interested”, and never give you his number. So get his or her number first, then give them your card and say, I’ll be in to get more supplies again in a couple of days, and if not I’ll give you a shout at home”.
Note (for the millennial age group), if you believe they would be receptive to having you enter their telephone number in your phone then go for it. Of course you are hoping that he or she calls you first, but the reality is that MOST people WILL NOT call you but do not let that phase you at all; that is just the way it is. Now, if they do call you, wow, you know you have an interested party. So call them in a day or two and say,
hi_____, this is _______ _________ (state your first and last name) we met at_____________ (state where you met) and ask, “Am I calling at a bad time? I would love to chat with you a couple of minutes about that project I mentioned to you the other day. If you have 17 and 1/2 minutes and you are in front of your computer we can do this right now. Or if they are local (which most of your warm market is) you can meet them at a restaurant, coffee shop or hotel lobby and do a ‘one on one’ presentation with your laptop, I-Pad, Tablet or a flip chart.