One thing of which I’m convinced, that many in the industry deny, is that sales skills are absolutely an asset to building a Network Marketing empire.
You’ll hear over and over again that this business doesn’t require selling, and in some respects, I agree. This isn’t a business into which you want to close and convince people. Nonetheless we do need to reach out to new potential customers and partners. We do need to make successful presentations and we do need to find a mutually beneficial basis upon which to do business. These are all selling skills.
I spent many years in the real estate business and I’ve found that several traits I learned in that traditional sales environment apply to Network Marketing. Things such as the ability to meet people and forge relationships. Meeting both the challenge and the reward of conquering stretch goals. And of course, the potential to earn large commissions on the basis of hard work.
Like sales occupations or any other business, Network Marketing isn’t easy. I’ve learned that, like the real estate or most any other business, Network Marketing can be exhilarating one day and discouraging the next.
So even though Network Marketing isn’t a traditional sales business, here are three things I learned there that I still fall back on today:
1) Mindset and Consistency Wins Over All.
Way back when I was new in the business, I wasn’t getting any traction. Calls, door-knocking, presentations, but not a lot to show for it. I remember one week early in my career when I felt like I was working harder than ever but had no sales.
I started to feel like a failure. My self-talk was a huge downer. I doubted my ability to succeed in the business.
I slowly came to acknowledge that no matter what the prospects or the buyers or the sellers did, how I responded was up to me.
So I worked on my mindset, kept a smile on my face and kept doing the activities that were necessary to succeed. That turned out to be a good quarter, which was followed by a good year which turned into a successful career as an agent and then investor.
I’ve drawn on this experience as I’ve moved into other ventures. When I’ve had setbacks or slumps, I remember that relying on a positive mindset and consistency of effort will produce results. It’s a challenge, sometimes to stay upbeat when it feels like you’re spinning your wheels but staying on task and performing the right activities will lead to success.
2) Rejection is the Norm.
No matter how good you get, no matter how long you’re in your field, you will get more “no” than “yes”. Learning to embrace that fact can be empowering.
You’ll never know how much product you can sell or how many people you can recruit until you make sure you get a decision, either yes, or no, out of each of them. The object of the game is to not stop selling until you get a no.
I used this primarily as a prospecting motivator. Rather than looking for X number of “yes” answers and calling it good, I kept on going until I’d been rejected a minimum number of times. This had the end result of increasing the number of yeses that I got, thus increasing my sales.
It’s the same in Network Marketing. When contacting people, I’m looking to not just get X exposures, but to keep on going until I get X people who are not interested yet. This tends to make my average number of exposures higher and makes every prospecting session a success.
I can’t control the “yes” answers, I can only control my activity. By going for no, I always reach my goal, even on those rare days when I get zero exposures out of a given session.
3) Spend Your Time on Money Work.
It’s really easy to get caught up in busy work and feel like we’re being productive.
Watching training videos, learning about product, writing blog posts and participating in webinars (unless you have a prospect attending) are not money work.
Money work are those tasks that will generate income.
Yes, increasing knowledge will ultimately lead to increased income, but nothing replaces making contact with people. Making appointments and making presentations are where the money comes from. Direct mail, running ads, previewing homes, studying contracts and all that other stuff, while important, doesn’t generate revenue.
And without revenue you won’t have a business that needs you to do any of those other things.
I used to be afraid to pick up the phone or knock on a door. I was afraid of what people might say, what they might think and that they would reject me.
Like needing to learn that rejection is normal, what I learned here was that the rejection was not about me, it was about them not seeing the value of my offering.
None of them gave a second thought about me, but about whether or not I could help them solve the real estate problem they had. As I learned better how to seek out those problems and convey potential solutions to them, my business began to grow. When I stopped hiding behind busy work and focused on making the contacts, things changed for the better.
Today, it’s the same in Network Marketing. It isn’t about us. It’s about whether we can convey to folks how a Network Marketing business can help them solve what problems they have.
Whether they need to build money for retirement, keep mom home with the kids, escape a monotonous job they don’t have a passion for or something else, it’s about them and their problem. Not you, your history or your self-imposed drama.
So make the contacts. Focus on the things that will generate revenue for your business and watch the magic happen.
Looking back, I realize how much I needed to learn in order to become good at that business.
It’s the same when any of us take on a new endeavor. We need to learn the skills that will allow us to master it. If you focus on following these three lessons as you move along in your Network Marketing career, you will find your path to the goals you have.
What challenges have you had in building your Network Marketing business? What lessons have you learned? Leave a comment below and let me know!