The L.E.A.D. System By John Hackett Ed.D.

How to Develop Leads and Connections to Sustain and Grow Your Influence and Business. The L.E.A.D. System

All those starting in a network marketing /direct sales business have a ready-made list of early leads, friends, family, coworkers. That list is a great start but is short-lived and not always dependable. The key to profitability and sustainability in either network marketing or direct sales is growing a list of contacts or leads.

Many network marketers and direct sellers, especially early in their new business, are unsure how to reach out to others and generate leads. There are three fears, maybe based on past lousy networking or outreach activities experiences.

First, there is a fear of reaching out to strangers and what to say.

Secondly, there is a fear of being seen as salesy or pushy.

Finally, many fear rejection of their product is permanent and themselves.

These fears are very normal and, most of the time, very inaccurate. Fear is a mindset that can be thought of in two ways. One is to remember in 99% of cases; Fear is really False Evidence Appearing Real. Practice and experience in uncomfortable situations will build confidence and expose the flip side of fear is excitement.

“Feel the fear and do It anyway.” Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

It is essential for all of us to have coaches and mentors to challenge our faulty thinking about fear and show us ways to build confidence and grow the excitement of meeting new people and making connections.

Psychologist Susan Jeffers says it well “you have to feel the fear and do it anyway” from her best-selling book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. Learning the connecting skills will help anyone involved in network marketing or direct sales be kind to yourself and others as you grow and expand your business and social spheres.

I have seen this personally as my wife went from being a shy, self-conscious middle school special education teacher to a highly successful, influential direct seller with a large team of fellow directors and consultants winning their 24th car this month.

She is influential in the business and our community. She is known as a connector. She would tell you this is a process, and you need a system to practice connecting to build leads and grow your business and personal influence—the L.E.A.D. System will provide a starter system of behaviors and beliefs as you learn and practice connections and “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

L. Lean In, Listen and Learn

Lean into yourself and the opportunity of your business and the benefits to serve it can provide. Lean into the other people around you that you would like to know and possibly serve. Lean into yourself as someone who adds value to others through products or services. Lean into activities to reach out. Join a referral group, seek out a  mentor on your sales team, join civic activities such as the Chamber of Commerce, youth groups, Kiwanis, Shriners, etc. Author Jeff Henderson says in his book For “Doing good as is good business.”

Listen and learn as you reach out and make connections. Take time to listen and learn about those around you. People love to tell their story ask open-ended questions (Who, What How Where)  to expand their knowledge and connection. Remember to ask more and talk less when connecting. Remember what social media experts say people need to know and trust you before considering your services.

E. Elevate others by education and equipping yourself to serve.

The more you know about your purpose, your why, and your product, the more you can be of service. Offering someone a service you understand and are confident about makes you of service, not pushy. The more you know, the more confident you can be about yourself and what you offer. Preparation ahead is vital to educate and equip yourself to elevate and add value to others. Take the time to prepare.

A. Appreciation of others and an attitude of service.

   Direct sales /network marketing success hinges on self-leadership by developing an attitude of sharing and an appreciation of others. Having an attitude of sharing allows you to share your expertise and products with people to meet their needs, not yours.

An appreciation of the people you meet in this journey allows you to understand and appreciate they may not want your services now but enjoy your friendship. Appreciating their choices allows you to stay connected and no judge a no as either personal or final. The point, in fact, My wife was approached to join the direct selling business she excels in today four times before she believed it was the right company to join and the right person to learn from and grow. Strive to be the right person for those you serve.

D. Decide to develop your L.E.A.D. Skills in a disciplined ongoing manner.

Leadership expert John Maxwell says in Everyone Communicates Few Connect that listening and connecting go hand in hand if practiced daily in a disciplined way. The word discipline really means patterned applied learning. Any athlete in any sport knows you don’t get better unless you practice and follow up. Your development in serving others and adding value to their lives will be based on your daily practice and follow-up. These will be a  measure of your success in your business and serving others. This development is not linear. You will have ups and downs in the journey. The key is to remember it is a journey of, as Maxwell says, wins and learnings.

Building connections will generate leads, sustain and profit your business and your life.

The L.E.A.D. System gives you a gauge to help you direct your growth and Feel the Fear and do it anyway. Here is a hint; this is a process that works. We moved to a new community 20 years ago; knowing no one due to my wife’s diligent disciplined LEAD approach, she is a significant influencer and connector. I saw this the other day when a friend who is a  client called and said Becki,” Do you know a good plumber. Becki, of course, had three quick recommendations and a top choice. She did follow up with her friend to see how the referral worked out. This had nothing to do with selling a product; however, being of service will help her add value to others, keep sustaining and growing her business, and drive those free cars.


Henderson, Jeff,(2019), For, Zondervann, Grand Rapids, Mi

Jeffers, Susan,(2006 ) Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway, Ballantine San Francisco Ca

Maxwell John,(2020) Many Communicate Few Connect), Thomas Nelson, New York NY

John Hackett
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