The most important thing of all is to keep inviting people I’m a lot more confident now than when I first got started in network marketing. When my career began when I was 23, I was afraid of the idea of talking to people. Some of the thoughts I had were: “I don’t understand what a presentation is. How am I supposed to be able to answer somebody’s questions about my company when I don’t even know the answers myself?” “I can’t talk to my family or friends about this! What if they get mad at me? Or laugh at me?” “And strangers – that’s even harder! I know I’ll never be able to invite someone. I’m all wrong for this business!” My fears were quite normal. In fact, fear of talking to other people is one of the biggest roadblocks to success. Fortunately, you can do something about it, just like I did. NULL
Prospecting, which just means talking to other people about your business, is critical to your success. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to successfully invite people to learn about your company’s offerings and business opportunity.
Remember, it’s just setting up an appointment. You don’t need to tell them everything in one shot.
There’s not an invitation formula that will work 100% of the time. The truth is different people require different approaches. Fortunately, you can learn some simple skills that will greatly enhance your chances of success. The first step is to change your fear into a willingness to learn. Hopefully, your sponsor or mentor will be a great resource for learning about successful appointment invitations. Before you can begin to invite people to learn about your company products or opportunity, you have to think about who you want to invite. You will start with your Warm Market, or the people you already know. The first part of your warm market consists of the people you know well, such as friends and family. The next circle in your Warm Market contains people who are referred to you. Your friends and family might not be interested in the opportunity or products themselves, but they may refer others. You will have an advantage in inviting these people because even if you don’t know them yourself, you will already know something about their needs and wants. Still part of your Warm Market, but farther out in your circle of influence, you’ll find occasional acquaintances. They might be the clerk at the convenience store you always visit, or a business acquaintance. In other words, these are people you speak to regularly, but who are not your close friends. Your Cold Market consists of people you don’t know. You might sit next to them on the bus, or encounter them at a coffee shop. Farthest out in your Cold Market are the people you might meet through advertising or lead generation. Even though you don’t know these people, you might still find a valuable connection here. The important thing is not to judge quickly and decide in advance who will and who won’t be interested in your business. Even after one of my newest young recruits identified people from his Warm and Cold Markets, he was still nervous about talking to them. So I explained the three-step process our team uses for prospecting. The first step is to invite. This doesn’t have anything to do with selling to people or convincing them to become Associates. An invitation is just that: inviting the person to review some information to learn more. The rest of this article focuses on how to invite successfully, but it is important to understand the next two critically important steps in the process after inviting. The next step is to present to the prospect. New Associates are never expected to present the company products or opportunity on their own! A strategy our team uses that has worked successfully is for new associates to offer information to the prospect that does the initial presenting for them. This is a great way to “break the ice” and see if there is any interest. It could be in the form of an article to read, a video to watch or a sample product to try. The third step is to follow up. This is a very important step that every successful Associate needs to master. As you may have heard, the fortune is in the follow up and this is where you make money. In a later article I’ll show you all the steps to achieve a successful follow-up, but for now let’s stay focused on mastering inviting. To help practice inviting, I do some role-playing with our new young associates. First I ask them to identify one of their prospects and to tell me a bit about them. I’ll usually ask “why did you identify this person? How did you find out what needs he has that our product or opportunity might fulfill, and what are those needs?”
The best way to find out what prospects need is to listen to what the person says when they talk.
One thing people often mention is that they would like a way to make more money. You may also hear that the person is a tri-athlete, so he’s always concerned about his health. You may hear them say something like he knows he should be taking supplements, but he doesn’t know where to start. Right there we’ve identified two of this persons needs. They need more money and they are interested in taking supplements. Bam! We’ve got a live one here! Now let’s talk in more detail about what goes into a successful invitation. Keep it short. A good invitation should be three minutes or less. If a prospect asks detailed questions, tell him you’ll answer all his questions when you meet. Create curiosity. You can tell a prospect that you’re “working on a project,” or you’ve found a top company, with exclusive patented health technologies that they’d might want to look at. But don’t go into detail. Save that for the presentation. Be enthusiastic. If you believe in the products and the company, that belief will come through in your invitation. Be confident. Even if you’re inviting on the phone, your posture is important. Stand or sit tall, smile, and remember that you’re not begging for a sale. You’re offering a solution to the prospect’s needs. Ask questions and listen. There’s no one perfect invitation. Tailor each invitation to the prospect.
Think about the prospect’s needs and wants, and then offer an invitation that meets those needs or fulfills those wants.
You may at this point have one big fear that’s common to most new Associates: being afraid of rejection. What would happen if you invited someone to a presentation or to look at information and they said no? Think of it this way. When you are out for lunch and a waiter or waitress comes up to you and asks for more coffee and you say no, how do you think that made them feel? Do they go to the back room and cry? Will they quit their job in despair? Of course not! They just offered coffee to the next customer. And it’s the same way with an invitation. If someone turns you down, it’s not a personal rejection. They’re just not interested in the opportunity or the products right now. That’s why it’s so important to keep building your Contact List, so you can move on to the next invitation. I learned that inviting people really isn’t difficult. A good way to think of it is to imagine your Contact List as being like a deck of cards. If I’ve turned over 25 cards looking for an ace and I haven’t found one yet, I know I’ve got to be getting closer!
If your goal was to find four aces, would you turn over just four cards and then give up because you hadn’t met your goal?
Of course not! I’d keep turning over cards because I knew those aces had to be in there somewhere. It’s the same with my Contact List. I’ll keep issuing invitations until I find those aces: the people who will say yes. We’ve just covered the Circles of Influence, the process for prospecting, identified the elements of effective invit
ations and dealing with rejection. But the most important thing of all is to keep inviting people you know and meet who you feel might be interested based on what they say they need, want or don’t want in their lives. Remember, successful presentations don’t come without an invitation first. To Your Success! Simon Prentice
- To Young Network Marketers: Master Inviting First! by Simon Prentice - November 1, 2009