How Your Prospect Can Teach You to Be a Better Networker

I learned something today.

A bit about myself, a bit more about my prospect, and a lot about what you can learn from your conversations with your prospects.

I had just met someone for the first time, and had opened the call with a couple of questions.

After my second question, she wondered something out loud that struck me as something to carefully consider.

I felt compelled to try and give her an intelligent answer, even as I was just figuring it out for myself.  If I could answer this question effectively, it could really make a difference to her (and to me).

The only thing that I knew about her prior to my calling was that she was looking for a ‘home business’.

I wasn’t even sure what information had led her to which website where she entered her information.

So my first question to her was whether she were still interested in a home business.

The second thing I asked her was, “So tell me a bit about what you’re looking for?”.

As she thought about it, what she began to articulate was more in the line of a job, rather than a home business.

Not surprising, since many people who have little no experience with network marketing are looking online for some way to earn income, seeking more of something they’re used to, that is, being paid by the hour or task for something they could do from home.

(This is why I started asking that question up front to begin with).

Then she told me about how many phone calls she’d received, SO many people she’d talked to, only to be overwhelmed by information about what she had NO interest in and didn’t want to do, (she wanted nothing to do with selling), despite her even having some interest in some of the products.

But then she said something that intrigued me.

She said that she was wondering why it was that she didn’t have the urge to cut me off as she had all the others, and just get off the phone .

Instead, she told me that for some reason she had this feeling that she should just talk to me for a bit, and see what she could learn, and how she could possibly consider something like network marketing despite the fact that she really did not want to have anything to do with selling..

Hmmm… one of the most common objections!

After all, it became clear to me that she wasn’t so dead set on some data entry or filing job to do at her computer all day, but that she just didn’t want to be selling.

And that is all that she knew or thought there was to the networking industry.

Of course, I don’t like selling either, and I told her that.

But I let her know that I felt as if all I was really doing was finding out what people wanted, and then providing them with a possible solution, and enough information to make an informed decision.

And I added that I never let myself become invested emotionally in the outcome, that decision.

I told her as a matter of fact that it wold not hurt my feelings if she told me ‘no’, but that I rather enjoyed speaking with her just the same (and I did) for those few minutes.

But that’s not what struck me the most from what she said….it was that she was curious as to why she didn’t want to cut me off as quickly as she could…

The phrase ‘cut you off’ was what she used, and it occurred to me that people on the other end of the phone in all those other cases were doing more talking than listening.

And moreover, I had opened with a couple of questions to her, rather than going immediately into telling her what I had to offer.

Now do you see how my mind was trying to process what she was telling me?

She was letting me know first of all that my approach was working, that she was not put off by me, but instead was able to open her mind to find out more about the networking business that she frankly didn’t even understand much about.

And that I could not only answer her question, but at the same time put her at ease about what it is that we do.

I told her I thought that maybe she felt this way because I had started out by asking her what it was she was looking for.

That it was this question that broke down her barriers and compelled her to find out more.

And it was the genuine interest on my part not to waste her time or my own that helped her to be at ease.

She agreed that that wasn’t ‘selling’ at all, but simply building a relationship, and trust. And, I explained to her that was a HUGE part of having success in this business….

And she didn’t have a problem with that, but rather even warmed up to the idea!

After this initial part of the conversation, and was eager then to hear more about my opportunity, which she is now very interested in and after another follow up or two we will probably be in business together.

So, while I was able to use her question about why she didn’t want to just cut me off as a segue to help her understand more about this business and one of the keys to success, I also received validation in that I was using an effective approach.

It also showed me that that I could learn something from my prospects, in every conversation, and will make it a point to do so from now on.

The key is to listen, simple as that.

When you listen carefully, and hear nothing but silence, you might know one of two things, you’ve been talking so much you’ve lost them, and/or you have not asked them the right question.

The right question is the one that gets them to open up.

It’s not that you want them to go on and on; there is a skill to keeping the conversation on track toward your ultimate goal of determining whether they’re a fit for your team and your particular opportunity.

They should after all be self motivated, serious, inspired, with a positive attitude, clearly defined goals, are articulate with good communication skills, and have no drama.

I’ve certainly had other people say they were not interested in anything like selling in a much less friendly way. I would not take the time or energy to give them any more information.

But when you do decide to learn more about what someone’s drive and motivation comes from, what their strengths and weaknesses may be, you will know how you might help.

And when you reveal their fears (objections), then you can easily work through them.

And you’ll become a better recruiter in the process!





16 Responses to “How Your Prospect Can Teach You to Be a Better Networker”

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  1. John Jarvis says:

    “Finding out what people want and then providing them with a possible
    solution”, is and always will be “our solution” Vicki.

    And now I have learned too, from what your prospect has taught you.

    This is the best post that I have read this week.


  2. Terry says:

    That is the key isn’t it.. listening to what the person wants. You want someone who will be a good fit but also if he/she is not for your business right now they still are open in the future If you actually heard their concerns..

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Terry! Yes it is certainly the key. And anyone that you show an interest in is definitely going to be more responsive to you in the long term!

  3. Flo Bradley says:

    This is good stuff Vicki. It is interesting to me how many people just launch into their business without even building rapport or getting to know the other persons needs, desires and wants. I am curious. . .what is your next step with her?

    • Vicki says:

      Hi Flo!
      Sorry for the late reply, I had a hacking attempt that caused me to delay access to my blog (even by me) for a long time. But, in answer to your question, I did follow up with her, and we actually have become good friends, though she decided that network marketing was not for her. So that is fine, I didn’t pressure her and maybe some day she will rethink that decision, yet I have no emotional investment in her doing so, which is also great!

  4. Yes, listening is key. We need to be better listeners, for sure!

  5. Kate Lindsay says:

    I am so interested in this topic. I am in the process of learning to combine my natural “people skills” with networking. I have a few sales fears/ rejection fears to get passed but when you out line it as simply as you did I feel so much more at ease. Thanks for that insight.

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Kate! I’m glad you found it helpful, it’s mostly fear that prevents people from realizing their potential as effective networkers, and once you practice it enough and find out how enjoyable it actually can be, the fear just disappears.

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks Kate! I know it’s been forever and my reply is late but I appreciate your comment nonetheless!
      Wishing You Wonderful Success,

  6. Lisa says:

    Hi Vicki!

    Well done! In our profession, we all need to be more “interested” than “interesting”. Finding out the wants, needs and desires of others is key to learning if your product , service or oppty is even a good fit for them.

    You did a great job listening to your prospect and she obviously felt that you cared, regardless of the outcome.

    Great lesson here for all!
    Have a nice day and keep up the good work!


    • Vicki says:

      Thanks so much Lisa! I appreciate your stopping by and thoughtful comment. Yes we have to get some insights to a person in order to understand their desires and how they’ll fit with our business. Otherwise we’re just wasting time!

      Thanks again!
      Wishing you Graet Success,

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you Lisa for taking the time to comment! Sorry for the ridiculously long reply but I was locked out of my blog for a long time after a hacking attempt, with holidays and business i just didn’t get back to it until now!

      Wishing You Wonderful Success,

  7. Hey Vicki!

    Thanks for sharing your insights! :) I remember when I was living in the States and people would call (or rather use those broadcasting programs) to blast their opportunities at me.

    It was like I was being puked on the moment I picked up the phone and I could not understand why anyone would even TRY something like that. I am guessing that is where you have set yourself apart because you did not try pushing your opportunity in front of people the moment they picked up the phone.

    Too many people don’t understand that network marketing is NOT for everyone. Our job when we call a prospect is to find out if they are really interested in network marketing, and whether they are a fit for our team. The less experienced networkers tend to believe EVERYONE wants what they have to offer and that is where desperation sets in.

    Listening is key. That is when people will only start listening to us, when we first begin to listen.

    Thanks for sharing your insights Vicki and push on! :)

    Darren Spruyt

    • Vicki says:

      Thanks so much Darren, I really appreciate your insightful comments here, and compliments!

      If only everyone understood how much a waste of their energy and time it is to pitch everyone they encounter, and I wish I could stop getting those broadcast calls too!

      Thanks again for stopping by – I’ll see you at the top!

    • Vicki says:

      Thank you so much Darren! And apologies for the late reply, my blog was hacked just prior to your comment, and with all that was going on I didn’t have time to re-enable my login – so I am just getting things back together!

      I appreciate your thought provoking reply, and it makes me realize how important it is to keep going with this blog as challenging as the techie side of it may become. And I’ve continued to be a friend to the woman I wrote about in this post, even though she never did decide to join my company. After all, the relationship is where it is AT!

      Thanks again, and I wish you the Best in Success!

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