The Problem of Leads, and Specifically of Quality Leads
I thought I'd share some basic information about lead generation that so far seems to be missing from general discussion. After 18 months of trial and error I've found 4 things that work well for me, 3 of which take only my time and are very enjoyable anyway.
I'll share those freely in the next post but for this one I want to focus on quality, and what constitutes a quality lead for MLM.
If we're serious about building a strong and sustainable business that will continue to take care of us long after we retire, it's crucial that we introduce only those people with the best chance of success. These are people who are ambitious and entrepreneurial, who have solid integrity, and who are disciplined, organised, and proactive.
I used to think that the best people would be people already in MLM, or smart people in low-paying jobs who'd be keen to make more money. I also thought that since my company was primarily about health, that the alternative health industry would provide a good source of prospects.
I was mostly wrong on all these counts. MLM people, unless they're willing to learn a new prospecting/duplication system, aren't the right people. Also, usually they've made very little money or even lost money, and tend to be even more cynical and closed-off than the rest of the population. Maybe rightfully so. I found that teachers as a general group lacked decisiveness and weren't entrepreneurial or business minded, likewise nurses. I found that naturopaths weren't interested in increasing their income, and strangely, also weren't interested in updating their scientific knowledge or do any kind of review of peak scientific literature. I found that real estate agents, even though they had amazing potential and a very big need, were so hammered by every opportunity out there that they were basically shut down to possibility.
I also found that buying leads was tantamount to buying irritation.
So you can see I learned a lot about where not to focus my energy.
In the next post I'll describe my 4 main methods for identifying the best possible prospects.
The 4 Main Methods of Successful Prospecting
Please read the post above for an explanation of what constitutes a quality lead.
Niche Fishing: this involves identifying a group of people whom I believe have the perfect qualities I'm looking for in a business partner. I personally telephone people to discover whether they're open to looking at an alternative or adjunct to what they're already doing, and if so I ask to send along an Executive Summary of my business opportunity. I set an appointment to follow up.
Online Social Networking: I use LinkedIn because of the high level of professionalism. I join groups where I have solid expertise and could be regarded as having "expert status" because of the contributions I can make. I am upfront about asking fellow members to assist with referrals. This is one of the easiest and most pleasurable ways to do business.
One-on-one Networking: This one involves going through business cards I've collected over the years and picking out just 12 that are people I particularly like. I invite 1 a week for lunch for 12 weeks and it's essentially an exercise in upgrading our referral strategies. We're teaching each other how to identify great prospects, and how to pre-sell them for each other.
This method involves looking out for quality networking events where the type of business people that I'm looking for will likely be. Here I'm just trying to learn as much as I can about the people I meet in order to get an idea of whom I click with. I might offer such a person "let's get together - I'd like to learn a bit more about what you do so I can refer intelligently". Also when people ask what I do, my answer "I show people how to make money from X" brings a lot of curiosity. In that case I explain that it's not the time or place to rave on about that now because we're socialising, but that I'll give them a call. The rest of my time with that person I find out as much as humanly possible about them, their work, their family, their circumstances, and generally what kind of person they are, so that when I call back I can offer something that is absolutely relevant and meaningful for them. And of course they're going to remember me because I was the one so genuinely interested in them.
These 4 planks in my marketing are without doubt the reason my business is growing so strongly. And I credit these methods with increasing my enjoyment of the business exponentially because of the quality of the relationships I've created.
Well done on Method 3 - just because you have a business card or are LinkedIn doesn't necessarily mean you've networked properly!
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