MLM Prospecting Methods
Perhaps an infinite number of prospecting methods are available to the aspiring MLM business builder.
You are limited only by the creativity of your imagination.
Dozens of strategies have been employed consistently over the lifetime of the industry.
Each has seen varying degrees of success.
Some methods have only become possible in recent years – driven by the explosion of exponential technologies.
Providing value up front creates a culture of trust and goodwill.What is the best MLM prospecting method on which to build your business?
We will take a brief look at the various approaches most common in the network marketing and direct sales industry.
Choosing the best prospecting method for you will be partly a matter of objective metrics such as leverage and conversion percentages.
But it will also need to take into account your personal knowledge and experience, as well as your natural strengths and gifts.
Popular MLM Prospecting Approaches
Countless different approaches have been used over the years for in person prospecting.
Some, like handing out “sizzle cards”, accosting mall shoppers, and ambushing captive elevator audiences automatically go in the discard pile for me.
“Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while,” seems an apropos epitaph for these approaches.
While they may produce a viable prospect every so often, it is more likely you will waste many hours and anger an awful lot of people.
Warm versus cold market recruiting
An industry icon and founder of a successful direct sales company famously said, “There's only two types of people – the ones you know, and the ones you don't know. And the most difficult ones to talk to are the people you don't know.”
This highlights the difference between warm market and cold market prospecting.
Warm market prospecting
Your warm market, also called your natural market, consists of people who are already familiar with you, and with whom you have built some rapport.
Making a list of these people and working from the list is a good idea.
However, contrary to what some off-line leaders teach, I don't believe everyone you know is a viable prospect for your list.
Be somewhat selective and target those with a track record of success.
You may think those who are down and out need the business the most.
And you may be right about that.
But there is a reason they are down and out, and if that is their normal life condition, they're likely not a good candidate to be a business owner.
The key to successfully recruiting from your warm market is the same as it is for any prospecting method – focus on the other person and their needs.
When you concentrate on helping them solve their problem best – even if it means not joining your business – the whole process will feel more natural and nobody will come out with a “slimy salesman” vibe.
You will also build tremendous goodwill and reputation of truly caring for and helping people.
Cold market prospecting
The best in-person cold market prospecting methods don't look at all like prospecting strangers.
Instead, the best methods focus on building relationships first and transitioning these people into your warm market.
Chamber of Commerce events in your area, and other places you can rub elbows with successful business persons can be a great place to employ this strategy.
Make friends and build relationships.
Listen for expressed frustration or areas of challenge for them you may be able to help with.
Also, be alert for people they may know who are a good fit for your product or opportunity.
But always seek first to provide value, and to establish a good personal connection.
Once you get to know these people – their needs, fears, and desires – they're no longer in your cold market.
You have just expanded your warm market.
Remote Prospecting Methods
Remote prospecting is any form of prospecting which does not require you to be physically present.
This usually involves employing some sort of media to deliver your message to potential recruits, calling on them to take some form of action to declare their interest.
Print advertising is one way to do this.
Place an ad in a newspaper, industry magazine, or other publication with a phone number to call, a card to mail in, or a website to visit.
You might also mail out envelopes or postcards.
This can be an effective way to get the attention of potential MLM recruits, as more and more communication and advertising becomes digital.
A well-designed mail piece can really stand out.
But be warned.
You need a significant advertising budget that you can afford to initially lose money on each month as you test and tweak your campaigns until they become profitable.
Often, the returns can take months to materialize as you consistently fill the pipeline.
And lead times can often become long for print publications.
There are numerous platforms available for digital advertising, and more seem to be added daily as our lives become increasingly intertwined with technology.
Each advertising platform has its own rules and regulations, as well as marketing subtleties that make certain messages more effective.
Many forms of PPC (pay-per-click), PPV (pay-per-view), and CPM (pay per thousand impressions) are available.
Visual forms of advertising with banner ads and video ads are also common options.
One benefit of digital advertising over print methods is the speed of implementation.
Ads can be put up, tested, tweaked and adjusted nearly in real time.
Also, advertisers can typically get in the game with a very small advertising budget – testing the waters and proving the model with a small set budget before scaling up a successful campaign.
An alternative to paid advertising is to create and publish valuable content in one or more of various formats on strategic platforms across the web.
The basic idea is to build a loyal following of people who like your content and become familiar with you through it.
Provide helpful suggestions on how to learn even more great stuff at carefully placed spots within your content.
Blogs, video sites, social media sites, article directories, wiki's, etc. provide unlimited opportunity to get your message out there.
Just remember to save the sales pitch for after the prospect requests more information.
Content marketing should focus on providing valuable information to your audience first and foremost.
Again, providing value up front creates a culture of trust and goodwill.
How can you provide valuable content if you are just getting started, or if you aren’t an expert yet?
Just act as a curator or reporter.
Find an industry leader that you enjoy learning from.
Read an article, watch a video, or go through a short training module.
Then simply share what you learned.
There’s no need to try to be a poser, or fake that you are an expert yourself, if you aren’t yet.
Sometimes the experts can feel distant and intimidating.
People like transparency, and often your prospects will connect better with someone like you, whom they see as being just a little further down the path than they are.
You simply say, “Here’s what I’m learning,” and just share the valuable insights you are picking up along the way.
MLM Prospecting Recap
A world of prospecting opportunities lies before you.
Find a method that has a high probability of success with a proven track record in the industry.
Make sure that it fits well with your personality and your skills and abilities.
Then dive in and stick with it until you master all the nuances of your chosen approach.
It will take some time to get good at it.
And you should expect to suck at it in the beginning.
But stick with it, and eventually you will see success and begin to really enjoy the process as you start to see results.
If you’d like to learn more about how to get good at MLM prospecting so that leads and prospects actually call you about your business, then go check out this FREE training.