What’s Wrong With This Picture?

You are excited. You sign up and buy the kit. You are going to make big money. All you have to do is sponsor three and teach them to sponsor three. Sounds soooo easy. You call all of your friends and none – zero want to be your distributor. But but all you have to do is… Then you try and try and try, you get more and more frustrated. Then discouragement sets in. People are telling you that you seem like you are part of some cult, and that this will never amount to anything. You know what else your sponsor told you? That you never have to sell… Hey, you’ve been selling your opportunity to your friends and family right?

These are the two lies that sponsors tell: You only have to sponsor 3 – and you don’t have to sell. “Everybody” uses these lies, because they are true in theory. I mean, you don’t have to sell if you are buying for yourself and sponsoring others, or do you? Sponsoring is recruiting and is very similar to selling; so technically – it is selling. And you do sell to yourself. If you advertise, your marketing message is a sales pitch and usually requires a sales presentation as a follow up. Even if you are recruiting this is true.

As far as needing to sponsor just 3 people and teach them to sponsor 3, in my experience your attempt to sponsor from your warm market is nearly impossible and where else would you get just 3 from? Let’s say that you beat your head against a brick wall long enough and it crumbled… in other words you sponsored 3. The likelihood that all 3 will want to do anything is slim and none. Especially if you use the same “sales” pitch: sponsor just three, no selling involved. Some people will just sign up to get you off their back. Others will sign up and get busy. Others must watch Monday night football and have a case of beer nightly. Some just have the misfortune of getting sick, injured, fired, divorced… you just never know what you’re going to get.

Ok, so what do you really have to do? First, realize that you are in business. You started a small business and you will need to know how to sell your product. No way around it. You must sell to yourself, your warm market, people you know, and people you don’t know. You do this to learn their objections. Hey if you sell something, that is great, but your greatest learning experience is when people don’t buy. Why did they choose not to buy? Very important stuff because we need to learn how to overcome the objections to your product… mainly because the product is also the opportunity.

When you sell an opportunity, you are selling yourself as sponsor and your lifestyle, but you are also selling your product. Because… who is going to buy the product? We know from earlier posts that legal MLM companies must have product sales in order to pay commissions to distributors. If everyone is recruiting and nobody is buying or selling the product, how much money do you make? That’s right, zero. “Gasp,” you say, “I don’t want to work my butt off and earn nothing!” Well then, you must sell the product to yourself, to customers, and to your downline distributors.

Second, you must realize that even though theoretically it’s possible to only need to sponsor three (or four or five), the reality is that 95% or more of distributors will drop out. No matter how they are recruited, no matter how much support, no matter if you build their business for them, no matter if you have the greatest product ever… they will drop out. So you will constantly need to replace your drop out distributors in order to keep your business growing.

Another sad reality is that good distributors (i.e. big fish) work not with all of their distributors constantly, but mainly with their best producers. Do I agree with doing this? Absolutely. You should be there for all your distributors but usually it’s the best ones who want and deserve help. The others are bothered when you call them.

One thing you can do to keep drop out distributors happy: Don’t oversell your opportunity. If you tell your distributors they can make money while playing on the computer, they’ll be playing solitaire wondering why the checks are not flowing in. Tell them that hard work pays, they will either work hard or not, but they won’t be unhappy either way.

What Do You Do with Distributors?

On my blog, I have discussed the methods used to attain distributors which I will quickly review here: People will become your distributor in their time not yours. You need to have the patience of a fisherman, otherwise you will scare the fish away! Your job is to support them during the process of consideration, give them what they need to make a good decision then stand back. Any pressure or hype will probably get you distributors that will do nothing.

Once you begin signing up distributors, your focus really switches to supporting them. You should give them encouragement, train them, and help them as much as they will allow you to. You should give the most help to your best and most trustworthy distributors, and you could go as far as building for them with them by your side if this is agreeable to them.

You do also want to train them on the product.  The product’s uses, features and benefits, and why a customer would want to buy it.  Make sure that the distributor buys for himself so that he or she can experience the benefits personally.  Ultimately you want customer sales but customer sales follow personal use.

That is mainly it. Of course you continue to gather leads and work with prospects all along for yourself but now you have the added work of supporting distributors. The added burden is not huge and is usually enjoyable. However, don’t frustrate yourself because somebody is not doing their part, just work with the ones who are.

The Difference Between Selling and Recruiting

The major difference between selling a product and selling an opportunity is really not much. In fact, you could sell them in the same way. However, you really want your new distributor to want to build their business so you want to avoid any pressure to sign up. In fact, you may want to give them a lot of space to decide that they really want to join and be successful.

Often in recruiting, you need to find the right person at the right time. They may be ready to jump right in, they may be looking at several opportunities, or they may just be procrastinating. In any case, asking or pressuring them to join is the wrong move. They will do things when they are ready, or they may do nothing at all. The best thing you can do is to keep looking for new prospective distributors and not worry about the ones who may join.

Another thing you need to understand is that besides an opportunity, you are selling a lifestyle. Your lifestyle in fact. Take a look at what you do on a day-to-day basis. What would other people think about your lifestyle? Not to say that you need to spend money lavishly to attract distributors, you don’t. You just need to be the kind of person other people are attracted to, the kind of person people want to be. If you are obsessed with your business and look nervous all the time you will attract no one.

One last thing about recruiting: Remember that you are the big fish. You should never sell the prospect on what your upline, sponsor, or company can do for them. You sell them on what you can do for them. Which leads me to this point: What can you do for your distributors? What special skills or aptitudes do you offer? Consider this before you begin talking to prospects.

Image can also play a role in sponsoring. Again, it is not about how much money you spend. Millionaires make a lot of income but spend very little of it. If you drive a Mercedes or an old beat up pickup, it does not matter. Image is more about being professional. Having nice looking business cards. Being a company rather than an individual. Having nice looking presentation materials. Looking well dressed and groomed. Image can also be how well you follow through. If a person asks you for something and you promptly get it to them, that will go a long way.

I would like to finish by reviewing key points: You will do well at sponsoring if you can identify your distributor’s demographics (a description of who they are), find people in that demographic, present to them (i.e. give them a video), be the big fish by giving them advantages for working with you, then let them have their space. Follow up but avoid pressure. Then find more people and do the same. Don’t worry about sponsoring, it will happen.

About Demographics

Demographics is a description of a subset of the population. For instance: Men, older than 60, that own their own home. If this is the demographic of your market, then this is who you want to seek in order to sell your product. Not that you will sell your product to all men older than 60 who own their own home, but that you will have an advantage with this group of people to where you will sell more to them as a percentage than the general population.

This is how you change the odds more in your favor. You define the kind of person who would want to buy your product and then you find people like that to sell your product to. Rather than selling 1 in 100 people, you may sell 1 in 10 (as an example). Plus your product will captivate the interest of your target market more than the general population so your feedback will not be so negative.

How do you define the demographic for your product? Let’s take an easier example, say you sell toys. Who is your target market? It could be children that are the right age to want the toy. Probably either a boy or girl. Let’s think about this a bit more though – do children this age have the money to buy toys? If not, perhaps you are looking for their parents. So you demographic may be parents of boys between 8 and 12. You can do the same with virtually any product.

So then how do you find your target market? There are many ways that are only limited by your imagination. Remember that starting out we want to try to avoid spending money as much as possible. So perhaps we can make a list of everyone we know and call them one by one (cold calling your warm market), which sucks but stay with me a second. Rather than asking them if you can make a sales presentation to them or talking about business, maybe you just ask them if they know anybody who has children around 10. Make a list of these people then contact them. Again, rather than specifically selling these people, let them know who you were referred by and ask them if they know anybody else who has children around 10 that are shopping for toys for Christmas (or something similar). Often they will refer more people or talk to you about your product. The idea is not to hard sell but to make contacts, get them information, and get referrals. Sales come from warm leads (people who show a strong interest in your product) not from pressuring people to buy stuff they don’t want or need.

The important thing in finding your market is to ask for what you want.

How do you sponsor then using these techniques? You must first define the marketing for your business opportunity. Perhaps they will be women in their 30’s that want to make a little extra money. Or they may be your best product customers who want to save a little by buying from themselves. Or they could be people who have expressed an interest in being a business person. Use your imagination, there are many possibilities. You may also be able to refine your market once you begin working your business.

From there we find members of our market, get them information if they are interested, and get referrals.

Please note that calling people and getting referrals is only one method of finding members of your market. You can use your imagination and find other free ways to make contact with people within your market demographic. For instance, I used to post coupons on the bulletin board at the grocery store. You can also advertise for free on line using classifieds. Make sure to ask for what you want.

I will write more about how to advertise effectively with and without spending money in future posts.

Why Can’t I Sponsor?

Sponsoring is recruiting new distributors into the multi-level marketing company. Once a distributor is sponsored under you, you share in their sales success. They can also sponsor other distributors, which also contributes to your commissions.

It is nearly impossible for a new distributor to sponsor because they seek people from their warm market to join, like family members, friends, neighbors, and other people they know well. The problem with this is that given any individual person, the person is very unlikely to want to start a new business.

This is very depressing, isn’t it? The warm market you are depending on probably won’t want to join. It gets worse. Your warm market knows you and are unlikely to believe that what you have is incredible or even credible. After all, they’ve known you for a while and you are not the kind of person who can do this kind of thing. People outside of your warm market are actually more likely to join because they have no preconceived notion of who you are.

More bad news: Let’s say you contact one new random person a day, how long would it take you to sponsor a new distributor? In my experience, with a rapidly growing company, you generally could sponsor 1 in 100 people. That is a very general estimate and it may be easier or harder to sponsor based upon a lot of factors.

Even more bad news: Your one distributor is unlikely to produce. Typically 1 in 100 distributors will sell and sponsor, many will drop out and many will do very little.

So to get three producing distributors, as your sponsor says you need to be successful, you need to make contact with about 30,000 different people. You can see that the typical way people are recruited is a recipe for failure.

So how do you change the odds? By contacting random people you can expect the information above to be true. If you want to sponsor more of the people you contact, you have to contact the right people. Better yet, you need people to come to you. I will write more about this soon.

Multi-Level Marketing Is A Scam?

Actually, multi-level marketing is not a scam as long as distributors are earning commissions based on product sales and not on just signing up new distributors. Multi-level marketing is not a pyramid scheme either as a typical downline does not resemble a pyramid anymore than a tree does. Even if it did resemble a pyramid it would not be a pyramid scheme as ponzi schemes (another name for pyramid schemes) tend to take money from people under false pretenses to give to other people. A legitimate multi-level marketing company provides a valued product in return for money, so there is no loss to the purchaser.

Below is a Wikipedia article on multi-level marketing for more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-level_marketing

Leisure and Sales

Being too serious about sales can be a recipe for disaster. Often we find ourselves working so hard to find that next lead, to build our list of prospects, or to close that next sale that we will often be too focused on our job and not focused enough on the customers’ needs. Taking a break every once in a while can help.

In recruiting, it is especially important to have leisure time, as you are selling your lifestyle to the prospect. If he or she sees you working too hard, he is likely to be turned off by the opportunity.

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