One of the hardest things about network marketing is that we must act as if we have already achieved the results we are striving for. The longer you are involved in network marketing, you will hear leaders use a word to describe your presence when sharing your opportunity with others allowing you to have maximum effectiveness with minimal effort. For many, this word is very elusive. It is easy enough to conceptually grasp, but difficult to execute, especially in the early days of the business. This is probably why it is not often brought up to newer distributors. The truth is, if it can be embraced and executed early on, it will dramatically reduce the frustration and discouragement that drives so many people from the business.
What is this magical mindset and skill? Posture.
NULL What are some of the terms you relate to someone with a strong business posture? Confident. Poised. Unshakable. Knowledgeable. Controlled. Informed. Successful. Are any of these on your list? While there are many people in network marketing that can exhibit these characteristics, why is posture so difficult?
One of the hardest things about network marketing is that we must act as if we have already achieved the results we are striving for.
As I talk to distributors from different companies, perhaps the most deadly question a new distributor faces is something like: “How is your business doing?” or “How many people do you have in your group?” or “How big was your last check?” For the new person, they flash back to their current results, a $25 check and 2 people in their group, and all of the strong posture feelings vanish, almost instantly, as he fumbles for an answer, fearing he will be found out as a sham. When the weak answer comes, all hopes of posture are shot. So how do we get around this? Perhaps one of the best books I’ve ever read on this topic is Winning Through Intimidation by Robert Ringer. If you’ve never read it, you’ll have to go online or to a used bookstore to pick it up, as it’s no longer in print. Written in the early 70s, Ringer describes his experiences in the commercial real estate arena where his role on the mortgage side was viewed as an annoyance. After being beaten around for a few years, he took all of his observations and lessons he’d learned and formed several theories on success, which mostly centered around posture in the business transaction. More on this in a minute. Getting back to posture in MLM, who has it and who doesn’t. Let’s take a look at who has it. The first person that has it is the distributor with the big check. Money equals success, both in image and reality. When you’ve got money, you can spend your way out of negative situations that people who don’t have money normally get bogged down dealing with personally. The problem is, you really need posture before you get the check, to help you get to the check so you have real posture and power.
While money is real power, it is not the only power you can wield. There is also abstract power in your image and actions.
Ringer looks at power as it pertains to your ability to intimidate those you are dealing with. His “Theory of Intimidation” is that our success is inversely proportionate to our ability to be intimidated, ie. the more intimidated you are, the less successful you will be. If we can remove the intimidation and become intimidating, then we will have posture. To understand how to obtain more posture, we first should study where intimidation comes from in MLM? In general, there are actually four groups of people that we are always dealing with in MLM. The first group is the judge and jury in our own head that is telling us stories about our past success and failure, also known as our self image, the second group is people that know about us and have a pre-formed image of us from the past, the third group is people that don’t know us, but we may have some knowledge of them and the last group is people that we don’t know and that don’t know us. Let’s look at each one separately.
Our self-image is often the first major stumbling block to having instant posture.
The temptation to compare current results with what we will become in the future can easily short-circuit any efforts to put on a good front, which is critical to establishing credibility and attracting people to you. You really need to ask yourself “What are my skills and time worth? Can anyone take away my ability to fight for what I want? Can I improve at what I’m doing?” Once you start picturing yourself as the big check earner, you will exhibit that persona to others. The second group is one that terrifies many people in MLM, our friends and family. Some of the common things I’ve heard in the past as to why people don’t want to approach this group is because they don’t feel they have any credibility within the group. These people know where you came from and/or how successful (or usually unsuccessful) you’ve been in the past. If you’ve never had a business in the past, you will not be seen as a business expert, so why should they follow you. Then there are the ones that think you joined a cult. That always makes me chuckle. It can be more difficult to change group two’s perception quickly. Additionally, they are the most likely to be like your old self, so they may not really be the people you want on your team, even though you have maybe enjoyed many years of friendship. While some of them may be of like mind, don’t let them try to “protect” you or intimidate you to “work hard and get a paycheck”. They may eventually come along, or they may not. Regardless, you can still love them for who they are and remember they just aren’t a part of your business. The third group is normally referred to in MLM as the “Chicken List”. Think about the Theory of Intimidation. How often do we psyche ourselves out about approaching someone of a higher caliber than us to join our team? They have abstract power over us from how we see them, and as a result, we’ll likely not be attractive to them if we let them keep that power. The last group is normally where we can be most comfortable, until we start learning more about the person we’re talking with.
This is why some people really like cold calling, because they can get posture more easily in the beginning.
The trick is keeping it through your relationship with that person. I was taught early on in my involvement in network marketing to prospect business owners, because they have people equity, business acumen and are usually much farther along the personal development road, making it easier for them to get up to speed and running quickly. The challenge you run into with group four is their perception of MLM. If you read my July 08 article “Why Business Networkers Hate Network Marketers and What You Can Do About It”, you might remember that I discussed how business owners often see network marketers as pushy. I was talking with a business owner last week that was complaining about how her best friend that is heavily involved in network marketing, doesn’t appreciate that she has chosen her traditional business and is happy with that. Are you a welcomed guest or an unwanted pest? Another problem is that many traditional business owners don’t understand network marketing, because it’s not brick and mortar, so they think that it can’t be anywhere near as effective as traditional business. The general perception is that it’s just a little part-time business. Another leader I was speaking with the past week was recounting how she’s been shunned by several fellow chamber members, despite the fact that her team did over $2M in volume the month before. Most of the businesses in the chamber would be lucky to do that all year. I told her to whip out a check and volume print out, though that’s not likely to win many friends. Now that we’ve identified where you can lose posture, how can we secure it? Ringer realized that he had the ability to elevate himself to a h
igher position. He didn’t have to ask anyone else for permission or bother “climbing the ladder.” He self-proclaimed that he had the power, and there is nothing stopping you from doing the same. Ringer was also quick to point out that just because you proclaim it, you have to be prepared to back it up, or the marketplace has a tendency to drag you back into the fray and try to make you “play by the rules”.
One of the first things that Ringer did was improve his outward appearance.