The Fundamentals of Networking: Present the Present

Have you ever bought someone a present? I’m guessing the answer here is ‘yes’. When you buy someone a present, you obviously consider what the person would like, what they would want, and what they would need. Once you’ve found the right present for the person, it is then very likely you would take the time to wrap the present in an attractive way, perhaps with ribbons and bows, before giving the present.

Why am I talking about presents and gift-wrapping? Because the way you select and wrap a present with the recipient in mind is exactly the same as the way you prepare and present a presentation to your prospect.

Think about the word ‘presentation’ and analyse the word ‘present’. Just as when you select a present for someone as a gift, when you present to your prospects, you must consider the person to whom you are presenting. What will interest them? What will motivate them? What will excite them? A presentation must be packaged around the person you are presenting to, so it is very important that you know who your audience will be. You cannot rely on the same presentation to be successful with every audience. It must be tailored to suit your audience, so it is therefore essential to have established a relationship or rapport with your prospect before you present to them.

The next similarity between present-giving and presenting is that you don’t give a gift that is not nicely wrapped, and you don’t give a presentation without wrapping it with all the right trimmings that people want to see before getting to the core of the business.

I used to give my daughter gifts without wrapping them, so to not waste paper. But my daughter would complain that it wasn’t as exciting to receive an unwrapped present. She likes the anticipation. It is the same with a presentation. A lot of people fail because they start talking about the intricate details of the business too soon in their presentation: the costs, the involvement, the compensation plan. When you do this, your audience will quickly grow disinterested and will think you’re trying to sell them something for your own benefit. They will not be as receptive as they would be if they thought you’re giving them a gift. If the audience is not receptive, it is the presenter who is failing. The approach should be that of giving a present. “Hey, I have something here that will be of value to you. I want to give it to you.”

Normally, in a big group presentation, you cannot be so specific to the needs and wants of an individual, and you can’t really close. So, that’s why when you speak to a large crowd, you wrap your present with many different trimmings, try to use as many examples as you can, and express various ways of saying your point, so that you try connect with each person at different times.

What’s more, when you are presenting, another trimming is the atmosphere and the environment. It is important to set up the right atmosphere, where people appreciate what you are saying to them. When I am giving a presentation, when I am giving someone a gift, I don’t become uncomfortable. I don’t think that he or she is doing me a favour by listening or accepting my gift, nor do I feel that I am wasting his/her time. I am giving them a present.
So wrapping it is very important. The different trimmings that would attract a particular person is best applied one-on-one. You can then focus on their individual needs, what they want, what dreams and aspirations they have, and all the things that excite that person. These are the trimmings. The details of the business are the present.

So, in this final Gem in the Fundamentals of Networking series, I am not going to tell you ‘how’ to present. I can’t tell you that because I don’t know who you are going to be presenting to; because who you present to dictates how you present. I can only give you parameters that you should consider, and advise that you should always show respect, be careful how you dress, be prepared in terms of what you’re going to say, have a thorough understanding of the business, know the background of your audience, and so forth. The rest is up to you and your prospect.

Joseph Bismark

Group Managing Director, QI Ltd


The Fundamentals of Networking: Getting the Invite Right

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.

Joseph Bismark
Group Managing Director, QI Ltd


The Fundamentals of Networking – Maintain A Prospecting Mindset

As part of this Fundamentals of Networking series, I would like to take the opportunity in this Gem to speak a bit more about the stage of Prospecting, before we move onto Inviting. This is because developing and maintaining the ‘Prospecting Mindset’ is so essential and so integral to being a networker.

I mentioned in my previous Gem that networkers should never stop adding to their prospect list. To do this, you must have the right mindset. There is a saying in the network marketing business: ‘If it breathes, it is a prospect.’

The basic rule in prospecting is that you are networking no matter where you are or what you are doing. This doesn’t mean becoming annoying and invasive and continually approaching people about the business, even after they’ve said no. It simply means being friendly. It means speaking to people standing behind you in the queue at the supermarket. It means striking up a conversation with someone sitting next to you on the bus. Get to know the person around you in everyday situations to the point where you could perhaps ask them what they do for a living, or to the point where you could exchange business cards. You can then call them later and invite them to a presentation. It is about talking to people. The more people you talk to, the more opportunity opens up to you. The less you talk, the less you meet. Even if someone you approach says no, you have not lost; you have practised your communication skills, built your confidence in approaching prospects, developed your people skills, and you may have met a new friend or perhaps made a new contact, such as a mechanic, whom you may need to call upon later in life when you have car trouble.

Being a networker means that there is a probing thought constantly playing in the back of one’s mind: ‘Could this person be interested in the business?’ If this question is always on your mind, then you will become more alert to people who would be genuinely interested. It is like switching on your antenna. Think about this… have you ever wanted a new car? And then somehow everywhere you looked, you see that same model of car that you wanted, but no one else really notices it? This is because you are subconsciously thinking of the new car you want and in essence, your antenna is tuned into that car. So, you take notice when you see it. The same applies with networking and prospecting. If you’re not looking, you won’t see. If you are a networker, prospecting becomes part of you.

The definition of prospecting is to identify potential people to join your business. So, this is what you should be doing – all the time. If you are a real estate agent, you will always be on the lookout for good development opportunities and every time you walk into a friend’s house, you will probably mentally appraise the house’s market value. The same applies with almost any profession. In any business, you are always ‘noticing’ and on the lookout for the subject of your profession. In networking, the subject of your profession is everywhere. The subject of your profession is people. This prospecting mindset and your list of prospects are the core principles of being a good networker.


Joseph Bismark

Group Managing Director, QI Ltd



The Fundamentals of Networking – Develop The List

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.


Joseph Bismark


Group Managing Director, QI Ltd