After reading the previous 5 articles in this series, you’ve decided that network marketing is for you. You’ve identified an industry you’re interested in and a company you’d feel comfortable representing. The next step is to seek out a suitable business sponsor so you can begin building an organization of your own. Frequently, people join a network marketing organization because someone they know introduced them to the business. If your only criteria for joining a network marketing organization is because an acquaintance initially brought the opportunity to your attention, you may be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage from the get go.
I know, I know – how can you possibly join an MLM organization under somebody else when it was your own acquaintance who introduced you to the possibilities in the first place? This is a tough one and I’m afraid I don’t have a cut and dry answer for you. But, I would recommend that you still ask the necessary questions (as outlined below) to determine that your potential business sponsor and partner is as serious as you are about building a strong business. After all, if you’ll be building a business with anyone – regardless of whom that anyone is – you have the right to ask the questions that are important to you.
Firstly, you have to understand that effective marketing and prospecting are critical to building a successful MLM business. In large part, it is your sponsor’s responsibility to help you with your business building efforts. Your sponsor should have a system in place they’ve been using to build their business. And, more importantly, the system is one that you should be able to use and one that you can pass on down to the people you’ll be recruiting. Duplication of a successful system is the name of the game here. And I’m talking about a real business system, not merely busy activities which masquerade as a system.
For example, many people in network marketing today are still stuck on the old school methods of prospecting and recruiting. And, it’s these archaic methods they’ll pass along to their downline. These methods might include posting fliers all over telephone poles throughout the neighborhood, handing out business cards to strangers in front of a shopping mall or wearing silly buttons that say “Ask me how to make money and lose weight”. Does this sound like a serious business system to you? Is this the system you’d want to follow to start a business? Are these methods really even a system at all? Even if you were open to following these types of business building methods, you will not be able to find too many other people who would be. All this stuff is hardly a serious business system.
I can recall a time about 5 or 6 years ago, I was home on a Saturday afternoon working around the house when there was a knock at the door. I answered the door to find a young man standing there wearing a silly button on his shirt who proceeded to tell me about the business he had just gotten involved in. I didn’t want to be rude but I did chase him away after a few minutes as I wanted to get back to what I was doing. But I remember that day vividly. I remember thinking about the futility of his “business building” efforts. Blindly knocking on doors throughout a neighborhood is a one way street to massive amounts of rejection and lost time. Was this the duplicatible system that was passed on to him from his upline sponsor? If so, he obviously got into business with the wrong sponsor.
The above story is a clear illustration of the sort of prospecting methods you want to try and avoid. Blindly calling on and prospecting strangers is a very tough way to build a business. You can avoid this from happening by asking some direct questions of your potential upline sponsor. Here are my suggestions…
What strategies have you been using to build your business? Listen very closely to the answer. Whatever it is they’ve been doing is what they’ll be recommending for you. If their methods resonate with you and it sounds like something you’re comfortable with then great, go with it.
What has been your single most successful business building strategy? Everybody has their ace in the hole. What is theirs and does it sound like a winning strategy to you?
Do you have any new strategies you’re working on to build your business? The answer to this question will give you an indication of how innovative your potential sponsor is. You want to work with a progressive thinker. Business can change rapidly so you want someone who can keep up or even stay a step ahead.
What will be your availability to help me build my business? It will be your sponsor’s responsibility to provide you the support you need to build a business. Make sure they will provide you the necessary guidance.
What have been the biggest mistakes you’ve made in building your business? Making mistakes is an important part of building any kind of a business. It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s NOT OK to make mistakes if you don’t learn any lessons from them. You will make your own mistake but at least you can learn what not to do from others.
This is the sixth in a series of articles on the MLM / social marketing / network marketing industry. In the next article I’ll give you some ideas on the questions you’d want to ask of your potential downline business partners. Your business partners, on many levels, are even more important than the company you get involved with.
If you’d like to ensure that you don’t miss out on any installments in this series, I’d be happy to send past and future articles directly to you. Just shoot me an email and I’ll include you on my direct distribution list.
Originally posted 2010-03-06 14:47:38.