Value Based Prospecting
The first step in value-based prospecting is to establish rapport.
Once you’ve established rapport, you present a transition question that puts the opportunity in front of the prospect. That’s when objections arise that can be handled by a process called “listening through objections.”
Sometimes you already have rapport because you’re talking with a friend, relative or business associate. Sometimes that rapport needs to be strengthened, and sometimes you need to build it from scratch
The way to build rapport is:
Listen for unfulfilled needs and desires — and listen for values.
You accomplish this by asking questions and learning about the person’s life story. There are four key areas that reveal a person’s needs, desires and values:
1. Where do they live, and where have they lived before?
2. What is their occupation?
4. What are their passions — hobbies, avocations or special interests?
Where Do You Live?
People have tremendous pride of ownership in where they live, where they have lived in the past, and where they grew up. Any place they’ve been for a year or two, and have a strong connection with, they want people to know about those places. It’s one of those things that people love to talk about. When other people ask about it — and are sincerely interested in it — rapport is built.
Where do you live?
In Timberlake, North Carolina.
What’s it like there?
It’s beautiful. It’s woods and mountains; we’re way out in the country. It’s quiet and peaceful …
And if you get enough response from that, you’re off and running. Keep asking them: What’s that like? … Describe it …What kind of neighbors do you have?
You’ve got to be very sensitive not to cross the line into interrogating them. This is a casual conversation – with an agenda. You want to get a sense of where the person lives, what it’s like there, and how they feel about where they live.
You’re going to be listening for unfulfilled desires, needs, and values. In the conversation above, you can hear values for privacy, for simplicity, for peace, and for nature. There’s a spiritual value that’s honored there. Let’s take that conversation further:
How long have you lived there?
Two years in August.
So you’ve been there two years?
Now we want to know, where did you come from before that: what drew you to move there? So then I would ask:
Where did you live before – and what brought you to Timberlake?
You want to access who people are, their life story. And you take that as far back as there’s “juice”; as far back as the person is involved with it and wants to talk about it.
Then you ask about their occupation:
What do you do for a living? It could be an old buddy you haven’t seen for years, and you ask: What are you doing for so-and-so company these days? How long have you been there? How do you like it?
And then you ask about their family, and their passions or recreations:
What do you do for fun? What do you enjoy in your free time?
Rules of Conversation
Here are some of the commitments in this conversation – some aspects of the conversation that are crucial to remember and respect:
· It’s got to be casual, which means that it can be mixed in with trivia or small talk. It’s not like an interview, where I have a list of questions I’d like to ask you about your life. It’s got to be casual.
· It’s got to be based on genuine curiosity.
· It’s got to be honest and sincere.
· Your “listening” in the conversation has to be open listening: non-judgmental, without ego. It’s about what they think and feel. It’s not about you.
What you want to look for is any opportunity where you can sincerely compliment, acknowledge, or agree with anything that’s going on in that person’s life.
For example, after you’ve told me about your house out in the woods in Timberlake (if you take a breath and it’s appropriate), there’s an opportunity there for me to sincerely say something like: I love places like that. Or, That sounds like an incredibly beautiful place. Something that says, Your values, your opinions, your judgments, where you’ve lived, what you do for a living, the things you do for fun – you’re okay. I agree with you. I like you. You’re the same as me.
Rapport is built when two people understand each other and there’s common ground.
How is this different from manipulation?
The difference is that you are serving people.
You have to accept the fact that you are a recruiter, you are an enroller, you are a business person, and you do have an agenda. That agenda is: to offer your wares in such a way that people see them in the most positive light. That doesn’t mean that you twist the light, it means that you present, and you’re sensitive enough to them to support the prospect in making the right decision for their circumstances.
The rapport building process is not intended so that the prospect will like you and buy from you – it’s so the prospect will listen to you.
It’s creating trust, admiration, and respect. Until the prospect listens to you, trusts you, admires you and has some degree of respect for you, they won’t “hear” when you tell them the value of what you’re selling.
So rapport building is not to manipulate. Rapport building is merely to create some common ground – to drop some defenses – so the person can hear what you’re going to say.
How Long Does It Take?
The truth is, this process can vary tremendously, depending on the person and the relationship. Sometimes you have an opportunity to do this for 15 seconds, sometimes 15 minutes, sometimes 15 days, before you offer your business-building opportunity to somebody.
The way to judge that is by looking at the time allotted to you by circumstances.
You will want to avoid the tit-for-tat, one-better conversation. That’s where the person says:
I love to bass fish, and boy, last month I just bought this new bass boat with a 150 outboard
Then the recruiter – losing it – says:
Oh, no kidding? I’ve got a bass boat, too! I bought mine last year, it’s got a 250 horse on it, and I like to fish over here and catch these – hey, I’ll tell you what, I got a fishing hole you wouldn’t believe …
And so the prospect, feeling totally dishonored by the jerk running off at the mouth about what interests him, fights back with:
Oh yeah, I’m looking at a 300-horse motor, and a buddy of mine’s got one and we take that out all the time, and you should hear about this hole we go to, and we catch the biggest fish in the world, and …
You, as the recruiter, need to curb your ego’s desire to be stroked in this conversation. This conversation is not about you—it’s about them
Unfulfilled Needs and Desires
In the course of doing this, remember: You’re listening for unfulfilled needs and desires. Going back to the “where do you live” conversation:
That sounds like a beautiful place. Did you buy it?
No, I didn’t.
Got any plans to?
No, Richard, I can’t afford it.
You may not take advantage of those opportunities at the moment – you may just listen, automatically cataloging what you’re hearing. Simply trust your intuition; throughout the conversation, you’ll have a strong sense of what’s up for this person.
You and I are talking about your home, and I let that register, but I don’t spend my own mental conversation trying to remember it and talking to myself about it. It’s that internal chatter that distracts your attention and knocks out your memory.
Trust that when it comes time for the transition question, it’ll come to you.
In a five or ten-minute listening session, you may hear about an unfulfilled desire to own a home – but you may miss the fact that I didn’t have a college education, I’ve got two kids in high school, and the most important thing to me in life is sending those kids to college.
How do you make sure you don’t miss that fact?
You listen. And when you hear something that sounds like there’s a charge on it, like there’s something going on there – check it out with a question. Listen for the charge, listen for the energy. If you hear the energy in the words, there’s something going on there; check it out.
Finding A Transition Question
The transition question is one that you create based on what you heard as an unfulfilled need or desire, or a set of values that are not being honored in the person’s life. It can be one or several questions, the answer to which confirms that the person is interested in looking at a solution to the problem – the “problem” being the unfulfilled want, desire or values.
The classic question in Network Marketing is:
If I could show you a way to earn enough money to send your kids to college, the college of their choice or your choice …
And then they take the standard packaged salesman’s approach:
… you’d be interested, wouldn’t you?
And then, they start nodding their head. That’s tacky and turns people off.
The second mistake is to try to get people to agree to do the business, based on that question alone. People are too smart for that these days. True, they want to send their kids to college, but they’re not going to blindly do whatever you tell them to do.
The appropriate “close” is not to get people into the business; it’s to get people to look at the business. The better transition question is:
I know exactly how you can do that. Would that interest you enough to take a look?
It’s a very small thing to ask, given the preparation work that you’ve done and the accuracy with which you understand the void that you’re offering to fill. You’re not asking them to spend any money, you’re just asking them to take a look with you.
That’s a small commitment you’re asking for. With a good amount of preparation work and accuracy, the number of yes answers you get goes up dramatically.
Sometimes the transition question is simply going to be about money – a general offer for them to earn money. You listen and go through your conversation and inquiry, and you discover that they want to earn more money, period.
If the offer is about money, there’s an important rule to follow: The offer must be about a specific amount of money.
It’s never “extra money.” It’s never “a lot of money.” It’s never “some money.” It’s a specified amount of money.
How Much Money?
If you don’t know exactly how much money they want or need, then offer them one-third of what you think their full-time income is. If you don’t know what that is, just guess.
The value of using one-third of their income as a starting point is that it’s believable, and it’s exciting. Even a person who earns $20,000 a month would jump at the chance for an extra $6,000 or $7,000.
Offering someone who makes three grand a month an opportunity to make ten doesn’t fly. For most people, that just isn’t realistic – not that they can’t, and even necessarily that they won’t, but just that it flies in the face of their current reality. It’s just not believable.
So this transition question goes something like:
I know how you can earn an extra $1,000 a month part-time, keeping your current job. Would that interest you enough to take a look at it?
And the answer to that question most of the time is going to be yes.
Visualizing The Proper Results
The most productive thing to do is not to focus on getting the prospect into the business, but to focus on getting the opportunity to show the prospect the business, and then let the chips fall.
If you want to supercharge that, visualize the prospect receiving the intended benefits of the business. Once you discover what the unfulfilled desire or want or need is, develop a visualization of that person receiving those benefits. Think often about them getting the asset income of $1,000 a month and sending their kids to a great college from that.
That affirmed future is ever-present when you’re speaking with the person. What’s ever-present is your commitment to their success.
By keeping that visualization in front of you, you maintain integrity with your commitment to serve them. You stay away from any personal commitment or desire to gain, like “We have got to get you into this business.” The more you stand there, the less the person feels honored, the more they feel like you’re out to get them for your own personal gain.
If you have thoughts about how much money you’re going to make by getting them into the business, or what contest you’re going to win, or qualifying for this or that, or recognition you’re going to get, or whatever else you’re going to get – the more you focus on that, the more the prospect feels it. They feel a loss of nurturing, committed energy for them.
For more inspirational insight to achieve your personal success or to share with friends and family, check out my Mach II With Your Hair On Fire.
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