What a Prospect is Looking For
The following are excerpts from a training call by Mike Akins, President of Professional Networkers. PN is the largest organization in 4Life Research, THE Immune System Company. Some of it is geared to 4Life, but the same basic process of what prospects are really looking for rings true for all opportunities, I think. See what you think.
I will be sharing information on what your prospects are looking for. What are they feeling when you present the opportunity to them? It helps to know as much as you can about what is on the mind of the person you are going to be talking to. How do we know what is in the mind of someone else? Because all of us have been prospects, haven’t we? What do we feel when someone is telling us about an opportunity, or when we are checking it out? Plus, we have talked with hundreds and even thousands of prospects over the years. We get a good idea what they are thinking. This helps you to know how to approach that person in a respectful and effective way when you know what they might be thinking. Too often we focus on what we feel, and I know this because that is what I used to do when I first got started. I was nervous. I was fearful. I was scared. I did not know if I was going to do a good job or not. I was nervous and scared. I was focused on how I felt instead of being focused on what they were looking for. I was focused on what I was looking for. I was looking for someone to take off with the business. I was looking for someone to help me earn an income. I was looking for someone to move some product. We have to turn this around. Over the years I learned to turn this around. What are they looking for? What is in that person’s mind is what I have to focus on, not so much what is in my mind. I am going to go through a few points here and share with you things to be considerate of. There are eight points I would like to share with you tonight. 1) A prospect is probably as nervous as you are. That is what you have to keep in mind. They have fears just like you do, just like I do. You have to keep that in mind. We think we are the only ones that are nervous. Now some of you that are professionals may not be nervous. I doubt Ed gets nervous any more, the way that guy brings people in the business, but he is one of the few. I get nervous even still. I haven’t gotten over that after all these years. I started out stuttering; I don’t do that any more, very often anyway, but I get a little nervous sometimes. Your prospect is nervous. They are real fearful. What about? What would they have to worry about? Are you going to pressure them? I have had people call me that tried to talk me into opportunities and, man, do they put the pressure on. Why don’t I like pressure? Why don’t you like pressure? Why doesn’t your prospect like pressure? Because it makes you feel awkward. We don’t like to feel awkward. Things happen sometimes when you are out somewhere; no one likes to feel embarrassed or awkward or put on the spot. So, they are a little nervous. So are you. They wonder how far you are going to push this thing. Are you going to ask questions they cannot answer? Are you going to make a fool out of them? These are some of the things people think. How can having this knowledge help you? First, you may not be quite as nervous and quite as fearful if you know the person you are talking to is feeling something similar. Secondly, when you notice your prospect is feeling uncomfortable, you can try to alleviate their fears or their nervousness. How can you alleviate their fears? You can say something like, “John, I would like to lay out my goal for this presentation so you know where I am headed. I have no idea if this opportunity is right for you. I plan on sharing the benefits and features with you, and answering any questions you have, and then I am going to let you decide what is best for you without any pressure.” That is a good thing to say right up front. If you feel that person being a little nervous, that lets them know where you are going, that you are not going to pressure them. You just told them that. 2) A prospect is concerned that you may not tell him all of the truth. Think about yourself. When someone is trying to sell you a car or a vacuum cleaner or sell you something, don’t you wonder if they are telling you all the facts? They say, this is the best one on the market, this is this or that. We all are a little skeptical, aren’t we? We know they are going to make money off of the sale, so we don’t know for sure if this person is going to spin reality a little bit. We have to address that. How can we assure them we are sharing reality? Well, remember, whenever you share anything that is an opinion, then that is open to “Well is it real or not, exaggerated, or hyped up?” So, what you want to do is make sure you establish some facts through concrete science. Don’t make it complicated, but make sure you don’t skip through this part of the presentation when you are sharing the scientific studies, the independent studies. Make it short. Make it clear and make sure they hear the relevance of who did the study, what scientific group did the study, and what kind of study was it. What was the outcome? Make sure they don’t miss that. This establishes credibility. Transfer third party credibility by saying Dr. X was the director of the Paducah Medical Center or something like that or a group of scientists in Russia did this or that. You want to make sure you don’t skip over that. That establishes credibility. 3) A prospect fears they will not be able to explain what they are hearing. A lot of prospects are concerned about that. We hear this from the field and we have experienced it. We are always trying to find ways to explain our product and opportunity in simplified ways that are clear. So, keep that in mind. When someone is listening to you, they are thinking, can I do this? Some of you have been around long enough that you can go on, and on, and on about all the great things about our products. The more you share, the more complex it is, the more they are going to wonder if they can do what you are doing. It is very important that you want to get the facts across, you want to be impactive. You don’t want to miss the revolutionary points, but don’t go on, and on, and on. The more you share, the more overwhelming it sounds. You have to keep it down. Also, always explain that they don’t have to know everything that you just shared with them. You have been doing this a while, so you have learned to share, but when you first started you had to use the support systems more, the materials more, the hotlines more, the websites more, the DVDs more. You have to emphasize that. Take Ed Bernstein on the phone; when Ed first started, he used our consultants heavily. He used all these tools. Now, I can sit back and enjoy listening to him for 30 minutes because he knows a lot of stuff now. He does not need us like he did then to present the program because now he has learned it and other people will, too. But, you have to realize a new person is going to feel overwhelmed. If you share some good stuff with them, you felt like you gave them a big steak, you better break and come back and state, “We have all kinds of help, help aids and hotlines, websites, DVDs to help you present this. You don’t need to know a lot about this to start.” 4) A prospect needs to know exactly how he will work the business. He will be thinking, “How am I going to do this?” If that is unclear, he might think the product sounds good. They might think it is a good pay plan that pays $15 million dollars more on every $100 million in sales than the top 30 network marketing companies in the world! That pays a lot of money, but they don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to work it. They don’t know what they would do. You have to make sure you very clearly show them some ways that they can work the business and what they do when they don’t know something, where to get the information from. Don’t just get through it, explain it. Don’t just say we have a postcard system you can use. Tell them, “We have postcard that is professionally designed and test marketed. You can buy this at cost from Excelsior Publishing, and you can get the leads there. This man has been in direct sales for 20 years, they have the best lead sources. When you send that out and the person responds, you can have PN send out a professionally designed packet. Once you get a hold of them, then you can make a decision if you want to bring them to an interactive call, a hotline, get your upline on a three-way or your success consultant.” That way a person clearly understands HOW they are going to work this business. 5) The prospects need to feel that they will enjoy working with you. This is important. They have to feel good about you. How do you feel about that? All of you are nice people. There are little things we do sometimes that we don’t mean to do. Don’t be too smart for your own good. Don’t come across as being prideful. People don’t like that. People feel challenged by too much pride. Come across humble. You do know some things, and definitely have to share some things, but be humble. Be respectful. Don’t interrupt them. Don’t be too anxious. Don’t be condescending. Don’t be pushy. These are the things that can happen. We can get so excited in the interaction that we interrupt them accidentally, we do that. Or we might run through it so quickly, or try to build ourselves up so they will want to work with us, that it sounds prideful. People don’t like that. They like humility. 6) A prospect wants to know that you will be able to assist them. Sometimes this is scary, isn’t it? You think, I have two years experience, this person has five years experience. How can I make this person feel like I can help him/her if he/she has more experience than me, or has made more money than I have? This is where you be sure you approach your prospect with “WE/TEAMWORK.” You don’t want approach it alone, like it is me, but I am working with Ed Bernstein and Mike Akins, or Dick Helgeland and Mike Akins, Richard Talkington and Mike Akins, etc., and we are in the process of building this huge leg. You have to use the “we factor” and show them how PN works. Keep this in mind, if you are talking with someone who has more experience than you, that is unusual because 80-85% of people in network marketing are not the heavy hitters, not the big leader type. You can grow to be that, but most people are how I started for the first several years. We are just average people when it comes to network marketing. We are not natural salespeople. You can help that person with a lot of their downline. Tell them you will be able to interact with their downline and make sure they get the help they need. Tell them you will be there and it is a team effort, so they see you as an overall picture of teamwork. You have PN’s consultants, partners, your upline and you’re working together. If you have a person that is much sharper than you are, as far as experience, you can say, “I can do you a lot of good because 80% of the people you bring in are going to be average people that are not going to be as sharp as you. You are sharp. I am going to be down there working with those people, and if you need to know something beyond what I know, I am working closely with my upline and PN. You will have a success consultant appointed to you.” You can use all of that to make a person feel very comfortable that they will get the help they need even if they are more experienced than you are. 7) A prospect is looking around. Keep that in mind. Most prospects are not just looking at your business; they are looking at others. You probably know that already, but make them feel comfortable with talking about the other companies. Don’t keep it a secret. Don’t be afraid to mention it. Say, “I am sure you are looking around. That is what I did when I joined 4Life. What are you looking at? What do you like about that program? Do you have any concerns or doubts about that program?” Don’t be afraid to do that. Don’t be quick to put the other program down, “I am sure they have good products. That is one thing I might mention. We have a service with PN, because whatever program you work you are going to be talking with prospects, just like you are with me, and they are going to be looking around. There is no way we can memorize a thousand different programs. PN can get information for you and help you know the strengths and weaknesses of other programs because they have looked many. Before they ever joined 4Life they looked at 342 programs. Since then they have looked at over 1000. They have a full time research department.” You can use that to sell our support. But make sure you bring it up so you know what you are competing against. If the person decides to go another way, always wish them the best and say, “Just for my education can you share with me what about the other program helped you choose that one above this one? Just for my education?” Get a little information. Sometimes you will find out it is something they did not understand that you can come back and neutralize for later on. 8) The average prospect is concerned about whether they can afford the program. People are wanting to get in to make money, and so the average person does not have a lot of money to put into a program. Some do. As you talk with them you will know a little more about that, but you want to make sure you give them options. You don’t want to try and think you always have to hit them with the Diamond Kit or Leader 4Life. The best way to come in is Leader 4Life, but sometimes you need to give them options and let them choose. I was on a training call the other night and was talking with someone who was obviously dealing with a financial situation. The person said, “Well, one thing is I don’t have a lot of money. I don’t think I can afford to build this. What does it cost?” I said, “You are going to need a training kit.” He said, “Yeah, I figured that.” “We have two training kits, one $29.95, one $19.95; it depends on what products you are going to look at. If you are just looking at RioVida or overall products, it is $29.95. Of course, you are going to need product because there is no way to market this product and tell people you don’t even use it when they ask, ‘How does it work for you,’ and the products range from this to that. Now for commissions, at 50LP you are going to get two levels of pay. Some people start out there and work their way up to a higher level of pay so you can draw three levels and beyond. A lot of people select the Leader 4Life program because they waive some of the qualifications. If a person can afford it, if they understand how good these products are and want the whole family on them, they can do 100 LP. Then they maximize the pay plan. They never have to purchase more than that to get the full penetration. Whether a person is making $500 a month or $250,000 a month, all they have to purchase is 100 LP.” Sometimes, if you know the person is a sharp person (don’t introduce this to everybody), and you know they are going come in and penetrate beyond their three levels quickly, then you bring up the Diamond 4Life kit. With this kit, they can come in, buy a diamond kit, 4Life will give them grace for three months, they will be able to get rewarded on their 4th level down as a Diamond for three months while they are building up that 3000 LP in volume on their first three levels. They don’t have to have that immediately. For some people that are going to bring a lot of people in and they need to get that pay quickly, Diamond 4Life. If they are a diamond 4Life, it comes with the Diamond kit which is about 400 LP and they sign up three people during that three-month period that order for two months, then they get six months for Diamond. You explain that to them. Don’t push that. Give them a wide range. If you start up with a Leader 4Life kit or Diamond kit, that is going to scare them out and they are going to back up. Then it will be hard to undo that. Start with the kit, work your way up, and they will make a decision for their own particular situation if you explain it well to them. They want to know how much it is going to cost them to build this thing. Well, there is a wide range. We have some people come in and spend $500 a month; some people come in and spend $50 a month. Some people absolutely are broke, I have been there before, and they have to really do it the hard way without hardly any money by passing out flyers, talking to people they know, but it can be done. Give them a wide range so they can select what works for them. These are some of the things that people have on their minds, so you will know what to be thinking about as you share the opportunity. There is more to it than the opportunity or the pay plan. The other things can help you be understanding and sensitive to your prospects so that you can alleviate some of the fears and their nervousness. You can just flow better when you understand what is going on in their minds, not just what is going on in your mind.
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