We’ve spoken about the need to do your homework, the invaluable process of developing your prospect list, and the importance of maintaining a prospecting mindset. So, now what?
Now you need to invite people on your list and who you have prospected to hear what you have to say. You need to pick up that phone and start dialling and inviting prospects to a business presentation.
When it comes to the invitation part of networking, I can give one very simple, very valuable piece of advice… make friends with your phone.
When I invite someone, the best mode is through the phone. The phone gives the perfect arena for me to say what I need to extend my invitation to a presentation, but without getting caught up in the questions and details usually demanded in face-to-face invitations.
Always remember – the phone is for inviting only. The phone is the place to ‘close’ with a date for the presentation. It is not the place to ‘close’ with a new Downline. Never attempt to give a business presentation over the phone. When you use the phone to invite, try to limit what you say. People normally ask so many questions and want so many details over the phone. So, when you invite someone, it is better to have a scheduled date, place and time in mind. Then you can invite them personally to attend the presentation, and you have a reason for not discussing everything on the phone. Also, be sure to have a set of schedules to tell your prospect, just in case they say no to your first suggested date.
On the other hand, if you invite someone face-to-face, be ready to present right there on the spot. People will often want to hear all about it then and there, instead of going through the ‘hassle’ of organising a time with you. And it is hard to reason why you can’t tell them about the business when you are looking right at your prospect.
Another thing about inviting is that it allows you to ‘prepare’ or ‘practice’ for the actual presentation, by becoming confident talking to people and building a rapport with them. Learn how to invite, even if you don’t have the confidence to do the business presentation just yet; you can always invite a prospect to someone else’s presentation. And there is a benefit to doing this. It is called the ‘Triangle’.
How does the Triangle work? Let’s use an example: Let’s say Mr B invites a prospect called Mr C to a presentation set to be given by Mr A. For Mr B to be successful in this, Mr B would talk about Mr A and edify him. He would build him up to Mr C by saying that Mr A will be in town and he is very successful and it will be very advantageous for Mr C to attend the presentation of such a prominent networker. You see, in this scenario, there is already respect and a relationship between Mr B and Mr C. In fact, Mr C is attending the presentation because of the credibility of his relationship with Mr B. This credibility extends to Mr C having respect for Mr A before the presentation even begins, simply through association. Mr B has spoken highly of Mr A and Mr C begins to share that respect. Mr B becomes the bridge. He attends the presentation with Mr C and gives him confidence in the presentation and the presenter. And then, after the presentation, is when Mr B makes the close. This is the Triangle.
If you have just met your prospect, build a relationship with them first before inviting them to a presentation. No matter what the situation, people don’t like invasion of privacy and they don’t like feeling as if they are being taken advantage of. So take your time.
One last word on inviting prospects: Never do it in desperation. When you invite people, it should be because you want to do good for that person, not because you are needy to gather Downlines. Don’t plead. Don’t push. Be polite, knowledgeable, confident, and friendly. It is truly amazing what these basic character traits can do for the success of your invitation.
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd