As part of the Fundamentals of Networking series in these Gems of Wisdom, I have already spoken about the importance of doing your homework before you begin the actual business. One thing to mention is that this first step as a networker is never over. You must always be learning, staying informed, and improving yourself.
Once you are ready to begin the business, it is time to make ‘The List’. This list will quite possibly be your most treasured asset you will ever own as a network marketer. The list is the first part of the ‘Prospecting’ process.
The List is your prospect list. Sit down and think of absolutely, positively, every single person you can think of, from your family and friends, to your doctor and local shop attendant. Your first lesson here is that everyone – yes, everyone – is a prospect; someone who may be interested in joining your business. So start to write down all of these names. You should be able to come up with at least 100 names. Don’t let that figure scare you. I was speaking on this topic at a seminar once, and I gave everyone in the audience 30 minutes to write down 100 names. One old lady said that there was no way she could think of 100 people to write down on her list. Everyone in the audience was empathic with this lady because they were having a hard time as well. So what did I do? I offered her $100 for every name she wrote down. And what did she do? She wrote down more than 100 names. Why could she suddenly think of so many names? She had started putting a value on each name. This is the mindset of prospecting.
Once you have your list – and I should mention that you should never stop adding to your prospect list – you can then start identifying categories. Start with two categories – all the people whom you think would be easy to approach, such as your family and friends, and the people whom you feel may be more difficult to invite into the business, such as your doctor or someone you don’t know very well. It is the latter group, the difficult group, which you should approach first. These are the ones who you think will have all sorts of excuses, concerns and reasons why they don’t have time for the business or why they’re not interested. You should approach this difficult category first because it gives you a chance to sharpen your inviting skills. This is where your homework comes in, as it will give you confidence, information and resources to tackle difficult questions. But we will speak more about the art of Inviting in a later Gem.
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd