We meet new people and make new friends through our journey of life, which means we have it in us to talk to strangers and bond with them. However, when it comes to prospecting, we tend to freeze, panic, lose our senses, not know where to start or what are the right things to say which in turn screws up our chances of bonding with our prospects.
Lemme make something clear to you. There is no difference between what I said above and prospecting. Yes, prospecting is the process of meeting new people and sharing your business with them so they can either buy from you or join your team. But that can only be done if you talk to people casually and start making friends. The only difference between the two is that you listen attentively to the people you prospect and ask them the right questions for evaluation.
Related post: What you need to know about Network Marketing
Knowing that there are millions of people out there who are potential prospects that you as a network marketer can approach may be overwhelming especially when you don’t know what exactly to say to them. You always feel like you wanna say the right things that would make them wanna continue listening to you, without you sounding needy/desperate and scaring them away.
In this case, you look for the right words (or I would rather say the “safe” words) that are used by our top earners in network marketing or follow the script being shared by your up-line that they know have proof of success.
This approach is great. I mean for a total newbie who is panicking on choosing the right words to say and risking the psychology behind his words can be very overwhelming that it may screw things up for him/her. So, scripts do great work in helping you get the right things to say and hence getting you prospects. But there is a catch to this if not used appropriately.
Mistakes made when using scripts for prospecting
The problem is that most beginners in this business make the mistake of copy-pasting the script or memorizing it and using it in every situation and every time they wanna mention their business to someone. The thing is, it is not the script that is important when prospecting, it is the strategy used with these scripts.
The scripts are handed to you as an aid/guidance on what to say when starting to talk about your business without sounding needy or pushy, but not as conversation starters. This means that you should have already started a conversation with your prospect and got to know him/her better to qualify them before bringing up your business opportunity “script”. Besides, you shouldn’t just use them all the time and in the exact same context.
Lemme give you an example. As a network marketer, we are taught that people always get more attracted to someone who is busy and has a lot of things on his plate. Yes, it’s true and it is psychology.
So in your script sheet, it says that you can call up a person and talk to them with the feeling that you are in a hurry by saying, for example, “Hey Ben, listen. I kinda have to run right now, but I can see that you have a great mind for business. If I show you a way that can help you earn the extra money you need for your son to go to college, would you check it out?”
In most cases, the person would say “Yes” to the above script because of the psychology used and also because he has nothing to lose at this point. So, do you think this script can really be effective if I called/messaged the prospect (regardless if he is from the cold/warm market) and directly used this script with him without having a warm-up conversation?
No. It won’t!
For this to work, you need to have built up a prior conversation with the prospect before using this specific script. This means that when you first called, you need to have talked about other stuff; or if you message, then you were talking about something related to him. This can be done with the F.O.R.M. method (Family, Occupation, Recreation, Message/Money/Motivation) or other general methods of conversation.
Within that conversation, you should mention that you have an appointment with “something” in the next 30 mins or so, so that when you bring up about running and having to end the conversation, he wouldn’t be offended.
If you called him and immediately used the script to prospect him, he will not comply to your request because you will come out as a person who just wants to convince others to consider the business opportunity. According to Mary Christensen in her book Become A Recruiting Superstar, this is called the ambush method.
In his mind, he may think that you should have called him when you had the time to talk to him instead of just throwing the offer on his lap and storming away. Even though people like seeing you in a hurry, they still want to feel important by you taking time out of your schedule and talking to them.
Once I was approached by a network marketer who sent me this exact script:
“Hi Reem. How are you?
I saw the post on your profile about the short poem that you wrote and I love it. Are you like into Literature or is it just a hobby?
Anyway, I am in a hurry and I have to run. I can see you are an artist. I wondered if you would be open to learning how you can earn an extra income from home.
Lemme know if you are interested so I can send you the details.”
Now, some of you may think that the above script looks just fine and there is nothing wrong with it. But the thing is, you’re looking at it from the network marketer’s perspective when you should be thinking about the prospect’s perspective.
This could’ve taken a different toll if she stopped in the first paragraph as her first message. This way I would have bonded with her and told her about my hobby in poetry writing.
The above message showed me that the reason she even thought of sending me this message is because her script says that she should comment on something she liked, be in a hurry, compliment and invite. But this should be used after we have already talked about some other topics at first, which includes the get to know each other phase. With my information shared, she could have found my pain point and tried approaching me as a solution to that problem of mine. Maybe then she could’ve had the chance.
Conversation starter questions to help with network marketing prospecting
The most thing I suffered from when I started my business was coming up with conversation starter questions that could help me approach them. Doing it offline was not as difficult as doing it online.
So I gathered most of the questions I ask when trying to approach prospects by following the F.O.R.M. method of operation.
Here are some questions to ask prospects as a conversation starter based on the F.O.R.M. method
- Where are you from?
- How long have you been living here?
- (If single) Do you live with your parents or alone?
- Are you married? If yes, for how long?
- Do you have kids? If yes, how many?
- Do you go to the gym or workout at home?
- Are you familiar with the neighborhood?
- Where did you grow up?
- What activities are your kids in?
- Do you own a house or rent?
- Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?
- Are you a leader or a follower?
- Have you been affected by the economy?
- What do you do for a living? And for how long?
- Do you enjoy it?
- How many hours per week do you work?
- Is it what you studied or just a profession you picked? If the latter, then why pick this profession?
- So, you consider this job as your career or just a stepping stone?
- Are you keeping your options open?
- What is your dream job?
- What is the first job you ever had?
- What did you do before that?
- How did you get into that profession?
- Does your employer pay you according to your worth?
- Do you have the time as you would like?
- What do you like and dislike about what you do?
- Is there stability in what you’re doing?
- Do you have any part-time job that you’re doing at the moment?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- What are your hobbies?
- How is the weather in your country?
- Comment on recent industry news (that you know interest them) and ask them what they think.
- On which social media platform do you spend most of your time in?
- Are there any specific places you love spending time in?
- Do you travel? If yes, what places did you visit? If no, would you like to travel?
- Can you recommend a place for me and (if you’re married) my kids to go for vacation?
- I am planning to take my niece/nephew/ (if you’re married) my kids to someplace fun, any suggestions?
- Do you play sports? If yes, who is your favorite team/player?
- Name at least two goals you want to attain in the next year.
- What is your number one goal in life?
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
- If you had time in your hand and money was not an issue, what are the top three things you would wanna do?
- Do you believe in yourself? / Who believes in you?
- What is your favorite quote and why?
- If there is one thing you wanna change in your life, what is it?
- What motivates you?
- What is your most difficult accomplishment?
- What is your number one weakness/strength?
- What do you do when life gets tough?
- Are you happy/fulfilled?
These questions are ideas of what all you can ask to start a conversation. But before this, you need to compliment them with something so you can then start to have a conversation.
Like, for example, you see a girl sitting by a table in a restaurant with a nice purse. So you can approach her and say,
“Excuse me, hi! I am sorry to interrupt but I have to say I love your purse. May I ask where you got it from?”
You wait for her reply and then say,
“Right! My friend’s birthday is coming up and she is into purses so I was thinking to get her one just like yours.”
Mostly she nods and maybe recommend a place better than the one she bought from.
“Yeah. I will probably check it out.”
“Are you from around here?”
and you start bonding from here.
You see, it is not that difficult. For online approach, compliment a post or photo and bring out a question from it just like we did about the purse. Then talk to them like they are in front of you and collect a background about their family, their job, their motivations, and their pain points. Use this information to tailor the business opportunity questions according to them.
- Have you ever thought of being your own boss or running your own business?
- Have you ever heard of network marketing? If yes,
- What do you know about it?
- Do you think network marketing is a scam? (Whether a yes/no) Why?
- Have you ever heard of (your company’s name)? If yes,
- How?, and, What do you think about their products/services?
- Do you know that you can earn through social media?
- Do you know that there is a way that you can earn an income while spending more time with your family?
- If I could show you a way to earn an extra income without disrupting your current job, would you be open to consider it / would that interest you?
- What is the best way to contact you?
My advice to you is never to start prospecting by bringing up your business opportunity on the first attempt. Start by getting to know the prospect first and later bring up the business talk without making them feel like all you want from them is to join or buy. Care and trust are what can build that relationship.
So when you meet someone, warm up the conversation with them by asking the prospecting questions, qualifying them if they are good prospects, you can then ask them to have a look at your business opportunity. If not, then you become on friendly terms with them and they may refer you to someone else who might be interested to join in.
I hope this post was helpful.
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