Skill #5— Helping Your Prospects Become Customers or Distributors
This skill is a natural byproduct of following up professionally. As you walk through exposure after ex- posure, our goal of education and understanding will be accomplished. But that doesn’t mean the prospect will come out and ask you for an order form or an application. It’s your job to guide them to a decision.
The key to success in this area is a combination of having good posture and asking good questions. Good posture means the way you carry yourself. Your words and actions will help your prospect feel more confident about joining your opportunity or they will plant seeds of doubt.
In my early years, my posture was terrible. I was trying to “get” people instead of pursuing the nobler goal of educa-
tion and understanding, and the prospects could feel my in- tentions. I was very emotionally attached to the outcome. You could even say I was needy. Every time I got to this part of the process, I really, really wanted it. Again, the prospect could feel my emotional attachment and that usually scared them away. Through lack of results and without even realizing it, I started to assume people were not going to be interested. And that assumption started to seep into everything, which led to the predictable result of the prospect not joining.
Most of the time I wasn’t properly prepared. I didn’t have applications, start-up materials, or whatever else was neces- sary. Think about the subconscious impact this had on my prospects. It seemed like just about everything I did projected a lack of belief and a lack of professionalism.Instead of asking questions and listening intently to the answers, I just talked and talked and talked. I was more focused on being interesting than being interested. Prospects don’t like that. No one does. So, again I followed my pattern of modeling the professionals. I watched what the best closers did and began to copy them. I interviewed top performers to figure out what they did differently. And slowly, I started to see the flaws in my approach.
First, I learned that professionals are emotionally detached from the outcome. In other words, their goal is education and understanding while helping a prospect make a decision that would positively impact their life. They are the opposite of needy. They aren’t trying to “get” anybody. They are honestly just trying to help.
Second, they are very assumptive in their approach. They expect the person to join because their belief that the oppor- tunity would benefit the prospect is so strong. They are rock solid. Many of them are sincerely shocked when a person de- cides not to get involved.
Third, it was interesting to learn they promote themselves as much as they promote the product or opportunity. What I mean by that is they help the prospect make the decision by saying, “You get ME!” When they promote themselves, it isn’t like, “I’m going to do everything for you.” It was more like, “We have a great product and a great opportunity, but I’m going to take this thing to the top and we can do it together.” This gives people great comfort in knowing that they don’t have to learn everything on their own.
Fourth, they are always prepared. Always. They have ev- erything they need to get a person started right on the spot.
And fifth, they ask question after question after question and are great listeners. They act like a consultant helping a person with a problem. The best consultants in the world have to ask a bunch of questions before they can offer a solu- tion. Network Marketing Professionals use questions as their most powerful tool.
As you can imagine, it took me a while to figure all of this out and that was just half the battle. It’s one thing to have the information and it’s another thing to put it into action. I wasn’t as talented as the pros, but I could model what they did, so I just started to act like they acted. I acted emotionally detached (I really wasn’t at the begin- ning); I started to act very assumptive that people would join (I really wasn’t at the beginning); I started to tell people, “and you get ME!” (even though I didn’t think that was such a huge benefit at the beginning); I was always prepared; I started asking lots of questions, focusing more on being interested than interesting.
And as time went on, I acted less and less, and believed more and more. The same can happen for you.
Let’s talk about questions. If you were a consultant and your job was to figure out if an opportunity was a good fit for your client, what would you do? You’d ask questions right?
In working to help a prospect make a positive decision about your opportunity, you’re going to do the same thing. But instead of asking, “What did you think?”—which leads no- where—learn to ask questions that lead in a positive direction.
“Did it make sense to you?”
“What did you like best about what you just saw?” “Pretty exciting, isn’t it?”
“Can you see how this could be an opportunity for you?”
Of these examples, the one I use the most is, “What did you like best?” The answer to that question is almost always positive and it gives you clues as to the area in which they are most interested.
Then I like to say, “Let me ask you a question. On a scale of 1 to 10, with one meaning you have zero interest and 10 being you’re ready to get started right now, where are you?” They will give you a number. And it’s usually obvious from their number that they either need more information before they will make a decision or they are leaning toward getting started now.
If you feel they need more information, just guide them to the next exposure that will help them the most. But if you feel they are ready to get started, then ask a series of four ques- tions. This “Four Question Close” has produced strong and consistent results over the course of my career. If you learn it and use it, you’ll be amazed at how many people you can help.
Question #1: “Based on what you’ve just seen, if you were to get started with this company on a part-time basis, approxi- mately how much would you need to earn per month in order to make this worth your time?” Instead of asking this ques- tion, most distributors say things like, “How would you like to make $10,000 a month?” Don’t do that. Instead of prescribing what you think they want, just ask them what it would take to make it worth their time and wait for their answer.
Question #2: “Approximately how many hours could you commit each week to develop that kind of income?” Now they have to go inside their head and check their mental cal- endar to see how much time they would invest to get that kind of money.
Question #3: “How many months would you work those kind of hours in order to develop that kind of income?” This question makes them think about their level of commitment if they want the income from question #1.
Question #4: “If I could show you how to develop an in- come of (their answer to question #1) per month, working (their answer to question #2) hours a week over the course of (their answer to question #3) months, would you be ready to get started?” Most of the time, you’ll get a positive answer to this question. And when people say, “Sure, show me how,” you can pull out your compensation plan and sketch out a reasonable game plan to achieve their goals.
There are rare occasions when people give you unreal- istic numbers. They might say they want $10,000 a month working two hours a week for one month. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. If you face that situation, you act as a consultant and say, “I’m sorry, but your expectations are way too high. You can get to $10,000 a month but it will take more hours and more months than you’re willing to commit. If you’re willing to change those expectations, we can talk.”
If you don’t get a positive answer to the four questions, that’s okay. It just means the prospect will need to have more exposures before they’re ready. Schedule the next one and re- peat this process when you’re done. This skill will take prac- tice. But it’s a skill that will serve you for the rest of your ca- reer. If you’re tired of having too many people thinking about it and not enough taking action, this will help.
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