I am just about to celebrate the end of my first year in, for me, the new field of network marketing and what a learning curve it has been! I’ve greedily read every article I can find about what to do and what not to do, I’ve learned how to be a Polar Bear (?), I’ve learned how not to ‘vomit’ on my clients (!), and I’ve learned to really get to know my particular offering through baby steps, and that you can’t do it all straight away. I’ve learned however, most of all, that this is a people business, and it’s not about what products you are selling but what your products can do for your prospects to increase their quality of life or improve their business prospects that really matters.
If we focus on that good old phrase ‘features and benefits’ and not the products themselves, then we are helping our potential customers see that we care about them, that we can see the advantages of our ‘opportunity’, that we want to help them succeed in business and that we aren’t just there for the big sell and fat commission and couldn’t care less about what they do once they sign up.
I’m particularly glad that I chose a product that is not a physical product but which is simply used through cloud computing, and that it really does make a huge difference to the people who use it, and buy it. Most people use it first before they decide to buy into the company and then they realise what a corker the business is. But what I have learned most of all is that people are buying from me, and that they may well not have chosen to buy it from another reseller who they didn’t respect or get on with.
This sounds big-headed and I don’t mean it that way, what I do want to affirm is that it really does matter how you come across to your potential marketplace.
During the same year I have networked constantly around the Home Counties and set up my own Business Biscotti
network in Cobham, Surrey, and what is obvious to me is that people really do buy from people they like so when you first meet, how do you connect? Do you offer them a warm (dry!) firm handshake and introduce yourself with good eye contact and a warm smile? Do you introduce yourself properly by name and show interest in them before telling them all about yourself? Share some history; where you live perhaps, what you enjoy doing, but don’t flood them with information about the product you are selling. Ask them about their interests and business first. I call it ‘paying it forward’, giving before you receive, and building rapport, even if it means not talking about your offer until the next time you meet – less is more in the long term. This bizarrely gives you more ammunition as you will know more about them as they’ve been doing the talking – remember the 80-20% rule – listen for 80% of the time and talk for 20%.
Understanding how your personal brand is being perceived, and therefore being in control of what people might be saying about you when you’re NOT in the room gives you a huge advantage. Give them no reason to disrespect your approach, show interest in them and their lives, and you will undoubtedly reap the benefits in the longer term.