When I was younger, there was this creepy old dude that lived in our neighborhood. He wasn’t a bad person, mind you, just weird. He creeped me out.
He was always trying to invite himself into our home, into our yard, into our lives. He would bring a gift or a treat for the kids, sometimes flowers for my mom. He wasn’t evil. Just weird. Mom would be cordial in the yard, but never let him inside. She tried to refuse his gifts, but sometimes, he’d just insist she take the cookies, or whatever, and tell us all to have a great day.
It was creepy.
I mean, he was essentially a total stranger, banging on our door, trying to get us to let him in. No matter how nice he may have been, no matter how wonderful his gifts and treats were, it was just uncomfortable to have this stranger try to force his way into our lives.
Are you being creepy in your network marketing business? Or worse – are you letting someone else be creepy on your behalf?
Recently a colleague of mine complained about a well-meaning friend of hers that gave her private phone number to his upline leader. That leader then called to pester her about calling another number to listen to a new product and a great business opportunity that she could get in on if she acted fast.
If this is you, shame on you.
Why the Sleazy Sales Pitch is Absolutely the WRONG Approach
First, the friend should honor the friendship first. If he didn’t feel comfortable calling his friend about this “new opportunity”, he never should have sent his upline leader to do his creepy work for him.
Second, the leader obviously wasn’t competent enough to make the offer in the first place, or my colleague wouldn’t have needed to call another number to listen to the canned sales pitch.
Pre-recorded messages are the first step in warming up a cold lead and should never be used in lieu of a person-to-person interaction. This leader was pawning off his creepy work to a machine. Yuck!
Third, there’s a mentality in this organization that this is the right way to generate business. I’m sure this isn’t a one-off instance. That means there are probably hundreds of other network marketers in this organization doing the exact same thing!
People, please! THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!
Stop Being Creepy and Start Respecting Friendship Boundaries
Three-way calls tend to feel too much like tag-team wrestling, which is why I recommend against them, but there are times when a new recruit needs help. Instead of defaulting to the creepy, pushy sales tactics, new recruits should:
#1: Always make personal contact to anyone in your warm market. If you know the person, it’s up to you to make the introductions. Don’t pawn this off to your leader or someone else. Think of it like a party. Would you leave your leader to introduce themselves, or would you make the introductions?
#2: Always get permission before proceeding. Maybe your friend feels uncomfortable sharing her details with your leader. Maybe you feel uncomfortable asking the right questions to your friend. It’s always a good idea to make sure everyone’s comfortable before getting started.
#3: Honor the friendship first. If your friend isn’t interested, doesn’t feel comfortable or willing to connect with your leader, honor that. Don’t think that just because she shared her private line with you that it’s okay to share it with anyone else. That’s a violation of privacy. Period. Think of how you would feel if some creepy stranger barged into your private space without permission or formal introduction. Act accordingly.
#4: NEVER use a recording once you’ve made personal contact. As I mentioned, recordings are the top of the marketing funnel for people you don’t know. It allows them to self-select into your program. It gives a lead the ability to make a decision as to whether or not they want to learn more. That’s the equivalent of showing up to your doctor’s office for the third time, only this time to find him replaced by a machine. AWKWARD! Everything that’s in that 5-minute recording can be memorized and shared personally if you’ve already got them on the phone.
#5: Take full responsibility for your own results. Your friends know that you’re new in a direct sales business. They expect you to be imperfect, and learn as you go. Most of your friends probably won’t mind being your “guinea pig” to practice on – if you honor the friendship first. Remember that it’s up to you to learn the right way to prospect, the right words to say, and to gain product knowledge so that you will eventually be an expert in your offerings. No one else can do that work for you.
Frankly, it’s better to learn this stuff sooner, rather than later. If you’ve ever wondered why your friends run screaming for the hills when you show up talking about your latest business opportunity, this is probably why.
When you honor your friendships first, and treat others respectfully, you’ll stop being the creepy old dude in the network marketing neighborhood, and you just might get invited over for dinner!
In addition to founding #dstips on Twitter, Lisa also publishes the popular and highly recommendedPartyOn! A weekly ezine for direct sales professionals. Get your free business building tips at Home Party Solution.com.