The key to successful network building is about how many people you empower, how many lives you change and how many you help to live more fully Here’s the classic version of the American dream. The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed, while the grasshopper has no food or shelter and is left to suffer and die in the cold. Here’s the modern version of the American dream. The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. NULL
Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while he is cold and starving. The news media shows up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to the video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table of food. America and the world are absolutely stunned by the sharp contrast. How can it be that, in a country of such wealth, this grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? The case is made, and everyone is lead to believe that the poor grasshopper is the victim, and has been denied the prosperity he deserves by those who benefited unfairly. Does this story sound like fiction, or is it a true to life reality? How about the following statistics? 85 out of 100 people who reach the age of 65 do not have an extra $100. 45% depend on relatives for their survival. 30% depend on charity. 23% are still working. And only a 2% are self-sustaining. According to the social security administration, these are all a reality! In other words, at the age of 65 chances are that you’ll still be working for someone else, making them money, with no nest-egg to retire, and with all your dreams unrealized. I don’t know about you, but I find this unbelievable and even frightening! I’m sure that people never believe, or even think this would ever happen to them, but statistics say, it will.
Do people plan for this to happen? No. They simply don’t have a plan for it not to happen.
An outdated network marketing version gives the story a different slant. The grasshopper isn’t really lying around doing nothing but he is becoming a better fiddler. And, while his brain is at work devising new ideas, he makes friends with a butterfly who teaches him to fly. So, when winter comes, he had perfected his art of flying and flies south. He is now basking in the sun making beautiful music while the ant is shivering in his bed, under the snow, as he eats his crumbs. Today’s network marketer might introduce yet another version. While the ant is busy gathering the food for the winter, the grasshopper does his part by providing the music and song, because the world needs both ants and grasshoppers to survive. It takes both the serious and the artistic mind to create balance. While the ants are busy studying reports or clicking away at their computers, the grasshoppers just might be dreaming their way through a new symphony yet to be composed, a book yet to be written, or a new idea to help others live a more fulfilling life, yet to be implemented. I rather like this version, don’t you?
The key to successful network building isn’t how many people you get to join or how much money you make. It’s about how many people you empower, how many lives you change and how many you help to live more fully.
Every new associate you sponsor is looking for reasons to stay on your team. On the other hand, they are looking for reasons not to stay! People find comfort in their old ways and they fear change. The risk of breaking out of our comfort zone can bring up our deepest fears. What if it doesn’t work? What if the opportunity isn’t real? What if I can’t do it? What will others think of me being in this type of business? Sponsoring is defined as, “Looking out for a person’s interest or well-being.” It’s a learned art! Sponsoring is about self-discovery. It’s helping your associate discover what they’ve been doing in their past that hasn’t worked for them, where they are now and the changes they need to make, and how they would like their life to be in the future. You then connect your opportunity to their vision. These are the reasons you joined your company and stuck with it, and these are the reasons your prospect will join as well. People give weight to everything you say and do. They are influenced by your commitment to the business, your goals and plans, your intention to follow through, your willingness to do whatever it takes to help them become successful.
All these things create value. If you create enough value, they’ll never leave. Your job is to remove the doubt and add value.
Successful networking is built around relationships. The more you help someone discover and realize their dreams, the stronger the bond you’ll develop and the stronger the relationship becomes. You are in the people business, and building emotional bonds between you and those on your team will be the major key to your long-term success. It’s like money in the bank! Without emotional bonds there is no basis for holding a relationship or an organization together. Building emotional bonds with your people will open up worlds of possibilities for long-term association. It will create geometrically increased productivity within your organization. It’s like building a family tie. If you create a bond with one person they will want their friends and associates to create one with you as well. This in turn helps them to create a bond with their people.
That’s the beauty of networking. Everything you do for others on your team has a residual effect and creates value.
Asking questions, and more importantly, LISTENING is the most critical relationship building skill! I want to encourage you to take this action. Pick a day. Forget about your business and make your objective for the day to get to know as many people as possible. Ask questions. LISTEN for people’s cry for help. Get to know them. Find out their current circumstances, what they want in life, what’s missing and what’s important to them. Ask about their family, their job, their health, their concerns, what excites them and what makes them happy. Get to know the whole person. Then ask yourself, “What can I do to help this person?” “What can I do to create value for this person?”
Remember, the next conversation you have with someone could change their life…and yours!