When I refer to an MLM (multi-level marketing) formula for taking and keeping balance I am NOT referring to tripping people up and manipulating them
What I am referring to is how we are in conversations with people. You need communication skills built into your MLM systems. How many times have you lost your own balance in a conversation only to realize a little later that the other person had superior sparring skills?
I remember one booth that I had at a health and wellness fair when I was pretty new in network marketing (thank goodness I don’t have to do those anymore unless I want to!) and I was getting tired. This guy comes up and starts insisting that my company is actually owned by another MLM company that has a horrible reputation for badgering and deceiving people. I got SO defensive.
My upline showed up just in time to hear me blurt out, “Well, that’s fine, think whatever you want. I’m not going to waste my time trying to change your mind.” My upline is pretty fabulous so she handled my lack of conversational grace pretty well and we talked about what I could have done better the next time.
This is the MLM formula we came up with to improve my communication under fire:
Keep asking questions. The person asking questions is the one in control of the conversation. Use questions to steer the conversation AND to determine if the person actually is a prospect or they are just killing time. This is a key network marketing strategy.
Listen to their answers. This is one of the hardest MLM secrets to do. Especially in the beginning because you want to think of what the next great question was that you are going to ask. You especially need to listen to their responses because that may give you your next question to ask as a follow up to part of their answer.
Don’t rise to their bait. This MLM tip is often easier said than done. Know that it isn’t your job to convince or sell anyone. There are always going to be people out there who don’t want to understand what you do and who you are. It’s not their job to understand and it’s not your job to make them. Give yourself a break. If a person is annoying, make up a plausible excuse and get out of the conversation. One of my favorite excuses is, “I’m sorry, I just noticed someone I need to go talk to.”
Use “Feel, Felt, Found”. This is a common network marketing skill that is taught in communication (and in other industries as well). The formula is to hear their concern and feed it back to them. For example, “Wow, Mr. Smith, I can certainly understand how you feel that network marketing companies are pyramids based on the experience your brother-in-law had. I felt the same way when I was first introduced to network marketing and I thought it was all a big scam where only the top dogs get rich. What I have found through the years is that people at all levels of true network marketing companies get wealthy but that success doesn’t come from a scam, it comes from hard work and good customer service.”
Have stock questions ready. During that dreadful conversation I told you about at the beginning, one of the rookie mistakes I made was not having a few memorized questions available that I could fall back on to maintain control of the conversation and learn more about the other person. Ultimately our goal is to learn enough about the other person to determine if we can help them. Some examples of stock questions to put in your MLM formula tool bag are:
- How has the economy been treating you?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- What do you think normal people can do to improve the world?
- What do you do for a living? (followed up by – How long have you been doing it?)
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you do when you got there?
Don’t allow yourself to get tied up in knots with too many rules about having a conversation. Keep it conversational, incorporate humor and follow the other person’s level of enthusiasm and seriousness. Be genuine and interested (rather than trying to be intelligent and interesting). As you may have heard, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Create your own communication strategy in your MLM formula tool kit. Practice on family and friends, you won’t regret it.
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