Skill #6—Helping Your New Distributor Get Started Right
In Network Marketing, people invest enormous effort, time and money into getting people signed up, and then squander that investment by leaving their new distribu- tors to figure everything out for themselves. Professionals don’t do that. They set proper expectations, they help get some quick results, and then continue to guide the new distributor through the many phases of our profession.
I was lucky enough to have an early mentor, Michael Nelson, who was very skilled at guiding new distributors. Michael wasn’t in my upline, but he was clearly the leader in my city. In addition, he had a lot of experience in our profession. So I listened to what he said, I watched what he did, and I asked him tons of questions.
Back in those days, he had a small office close to my home, and I was always hanging around trying to learn something. Michael was a very successful recruiter. He was always bringing on new people. And for the most part, Michael’s people did well in the business. That wasn’t happening for me. The few people I recruited did nothing.
As I watched Michael, I noticed that every time he signed up a new distributor, he scheduled what he called a “Game Plan Interview.” I decided to model what he did. So the next time he met with a new distributor, I sat behind them, close enough to take notes on their conversation. I did this several times, and was surprised to learn he went through the same exact interview every time. I thought if I could learn that interview process, then I’d have a chance at his results.
Game Plan Interview—Part One
He validated their decision to become a distributor. He said things like, “Congratulations on making the decision. I’m proud of you for taking charge of your life. From now on, things are going to be different for you and your family.” It always took less than five minutes, but by the end of their discussion, any doubt they may have had about becoming a distributor was gone. They felt great.
Game Plan Interview—Part Two
He set their expectations. He knew most people came into our business with unrealistic expectations, so he always said the same three things: “If you succeed in this business, it’s going to be you who creates that success, not me. And, if you fail in this business, it’s going to be you who creates that failure, not me. You are going to be the difference between success or failure. I’m here to guide you every step of the way, but I can’t do it for you. I’m here to work with you, but not for you.”
Wow, this was a radical concept and so different from the conversations I had when I got a person started! I said things like, “I get paid from what you produce, so I essentially work for you!” Well, what kind of expectation do you think THAT set in the new distributor’s mind? I’d also say, “WE are going to build a business together,” when that wasn’t really true. THEY needed to build a business. I could be a resource, but I couldn’t do it for them. The next thing he said was, “My job is to help you become independent from me as quickly as possible. Do you agree that’s a good goal?” Again this was radical, but it made sense. Up to that point, I had a group that was extremely dependent on me. They only did something when I pushed. But Michael had a group that produced on their own without his constant help. He had duplication and freedom. I didn’t. This set the relationship up so Michael would be the teacher for his group and not the slave. He could show them the skills and then they could indepen-dently build from that point forward.
The third thing he said was, “There will certainly be ups and downs as you build your business. There will be good times and bad times. I’ll know you’re in one of the bad times when you aren’t calling me, you aren’t showing up for meetings, you aren’t on the calls, if I start hearing excuses—that sort of thing. When that happens with you, and it happens with everyone, how do you want me to handle that? Do you want me to leave you alone or do you want me to be persistent and remind you why you made this decision in the first place?”
This was brilliant because it’s true that everyone will have times of self-doubt. He let them know it was natural and at the same time, set up the relationship so he was in a position to turn them around when it happened.
What Michael accomplished with these three concepts was so different from promising the world like I was doing, that it was like night and day. With my approach, the distribu- tor would sit back and wait for me to perform. And if I was ever too busy or couldn’t help for some reason, I became the easy excuse for why things weren’t working out. With Michael’s approach, his people became independent quickly. He would coach them from time to time, but he wouldn’t allow his group to use him as an excuse for their lack of results. While my distributors struggled, his flourished.
Game Plan Interview—Part Three
Michael went through a getting-started checklist to help the new person have the best chance for success. The exact plan would be different for every company, but the concept was to do everything possible to get quick results. Here are some examples of what you could include in your getting-started checklist:
1. Make sure your new distributor is set up with appropriate products. Just about every company has prod-ucts that can be personally used by the distributor, so make sure your new person is doing that. Depending on your company, this may include a monthly commitment. It’s very important that people develop an emotional attachment to the products and that can only happen if they are using them and enjoying the benefits. In addition, many companies have products that can be sampled or used in demonstrations. In that case, new distributors should have an appropriate supply so they are properly prepared.
2. Make sure your new distributor is set up with appropriate tools. We’ve talked about the importance of third-party tools in building a large and successful Network Marketing business. Your new distributor needs to be prepared to help their prospects with the tools that will profes- sionally take them through the exposure process.
3. Make sure your new distributor gets connected. Show them how to find things on the company website, where the upcoming events are being held, when the leader- ship calls or webinars are being conducted, etc. Remember, our goal is to help them become independent as quickly as possible. This is an important step in making that goal a reality.
4. Make sure your new distributor has a basic understanding of the compensation plan. They don’t need to know it in detail at the beginning, but they should at least understand the key points and what will happen financially as they move through the first few levels.
5. Make sure your new distributor has a fundamental understanding of how to properly invite their prospects to understand more about what they have to offer. You can save them from running out there and talking their heads off with little or no results by giving them a brief overview of how and why a professional invitation process works.
Game Plan Interview—Part Four
Michael helped the new distributor create a game plan to get through the first few ranks and challenged them to do it quickly. He understood, and helped me to understand, that it was a race to help a person get results quickly. If they received early positive reinforcement, they’d continue. And if they didn’t, they had a tendency to fade away. Every company is different, so this game plan will also be different. But think about the simple actions you could en- courage people to take during their first week to get the best possible results.
– How can they get their first customer?
– How can they get their first distributor?
– Can you encourage them to attend their first company event?
– What steps can you take to help them earn their first commission check?
Success in Network Marketing wasn’t real for me until I earned that first check. When it arrived, everything changed for me. I started to really dream about creating a better life for myself and my family. Helping your new person get off to a quick start is vital.
Game Plan Interview—Part Five
Michael always ended by giving some specific assignments. One thing I’ve learned is new distributors crave direction and they respond incredibly well to simple assignments. Michael always ended by giving those assignments along with a deadline for them to be completed. He told his new distributor to get back to him by a specific date. It’s just like the exposure prospecting process. You go from exposure to exposure, but it doesn’t end when they become distributors. The professionals continue to go from exposure to exposure, assignment to assignment.
The purpose of all of this is to help the new distributor get “over the line.” When someone gets started, there is always a line between success and failure. On one side of the line, it’s easier to quit than to continue. On the other side of the line, it’s easier to continue than to quit.
What can help a person get over the line?
• Signing up their first customer
• Signing up their first distributor
• Getting their first commission check
• Attending a big company event
• Making friends inside the organization
• Proclaiming their intentions to the world
• Getting promoted to a new level
• Being recognized for some sort of achievement
There are hundreds of other things that can contribute to a person getting over the line. As a sponsor, your job is to help them get over the line and STAY over the line. And the line never really goes away. It’s always there and you, as a leader, need to be constantly aware of where your people are emotionally. This way you can continue to encourage them to never let go of their dreams.
Return back to GO PRO Table of Contents