In my last article "How to Choose a Lead Generation Company" I talked about the importance of your chosen lead source and choosing the lead that is right for you and your particular system. In this article, we're going to discuss how to take this lead and turn it into a downline distributor.
You've got the lead, now what do you do with it?
So now you have a lead in front of you. What do you do with it? Well, the first thing you should do is create a plan that will take your lead from initial information to sign up. You will more than likely have different plans for the different types of leads you have purchased.
The more expensive the lead, the more thorough your system should be to get to know that person. If you purchased some "mass" email leads and you don't have the phone number, naturally the only thing you can do is to start sending them emails and hope they contact you for more information so you can get to know them.
Some MLM companies are now offering great tools for their distributors. An example of this is a built in "drip" system that is very similar to an autoresponder. You simply import their email in your back office and the system does the work for you. These are nice because the company has gone to the lengths to write the copy, set the intervals and create a nice looking HTML email. Most of these will have a feature that will allow you to "personalize" the email with the lead's name in the body of the message. Thus, increasing the chances of them reading the email.
If you have an autoresponder you can set the intervals and messages in any way you choose. Most autoresponders have the ability to send both text and HTML email. The downside is you must create these your self in most cases. However, check with your upline to see if they have already created a series of messages that you can use. The autoresponder method is great for "sorting" through many leads. However, it is not the most proactive way to turn this lead into a distributor and should not be your only way of prospecting for distributors.
If you have purchased quality leads such as telephone or Internet surveyed, then you should have a different approach to these leads. Naturally, these leads are more expensive and the information that is provided with them can help you in your prospecting. With these types of leads, I would recommend picking up the phone and calling them. Even if you just want to make sure the phone number works, their email address is correct, etc. You can also verify the survey questions such as: "Are you still looking for a business that you can work 10-20 hours per week?". Or, "Are you still looking for a home-based business with a start-up cost of less than $500?" and so on.
Contact with information
As you begin creating your plan to get this lead information about your company and opportunity, check with you upline or the company itself to see what kind of "systems" have been set up. In other words, take the same approach your top producers use. There should be some kind of duplicable system to follow.
One system might be to introduce the prospect to your opportunity by listening to a 3-minute "sizzle message". Another system might be to view the online movie at the company website. And still a third system might be to mail them a complete information package with product samples, a video and various brochures. Whatever the system is, use it consistently on all of your "hot" prospects. When using the third system mentioned, it might be beneficial to take them through a short process to see if they are even interested in what you have to offer. Mailing packages and buying videos can get expensive.
Let them do the talking
I believe the best way to contact a new lead is through the telephone. Why? Think about it. How many phone calls did you receive this week from someone trying to get you into his or her opportunity? Whatever the number is, it's probably a whole lot less than the amount of email solicitations you've received.
This goes back to being proactive or reactive. By picking up the phone and calling someone, you separate yourself from the email clutter that they are so used to seeing. It shows you care enough to make a long distance call and personally introduce yourself. Your lead will appreciate this and you will benefit by meeting a new networker.
What are THEY looking for?
As you're talking with them on the phone, be sure to ask probing questions, not simple yes or no questions. Get to know this person. What do they do for a hobby? What sports teams are they crazy about? What is it that THEY are looking for in a home-based business? Their answers will tell you many things about who they are and where they are coming from. Listen carefully as most of this information can be used to persuade them to join your organization.
Take them through your "process"
Once you've gotten to know them, you need to take them through your information process. Are you going to send them to a website? Mail them a video? Or simply email them information so they can go through the process themselves?
Before you contact this person, you must have a goal for the outcome of the call. Generally, you're not going to sign the person up on the first phone call, that is why it is so important to get to know them. After all, when they do join your group, you will become partners in this business and you may have just created a life-long relationship with this person that you previously didn't know.
As the lead becomes familiar with your opportunity, many questions will arise and they will look to you for answers. You must be confident in your product knowledge and be able to explain the compensation plan, even if vaguely, so that the lead knows that he or she is dealing with someone who isn't just "out for a buck".
Your sponsor or upline should be able to assist you if you get caught in a jam, but you should always have an answer for the common objections that face this business.
Show them how to get what THEY are looking for.
When you are ready to ask them to join the business, give them a recap of how your business can address the things they are looking for. Show them how they can work this business 10 hours per week if necessary. Let them see your "drip" system in action and tell them they will have access to the same tools and system when they join your group. This "system" they have just been put through is more than likely the same system they will use when they get started in your business.
Get third-party validation.
If you haven't already done so, now is the time to get your sponsor or upline on the phone to introduce themselves and give a third-party validation. Have your sponsor or upline explain the reasons they joined the business. By doing this, you are showing the prospect that there is more than just yourself to help them succeed. Let's face it, we all need a little push sometimes to join a business, and often this third-party validation phenomenon is all it takes to get your lead to join.
Close the deal!
OK, so your lead has been through the information process. They've talked with your sponsor or upline. They've listened to a conference call and even watched the flash movie at your website. Now it's time to close the deal.
I prefer an alternative close: "John, are you going to start at the entry level or go for the director level?". Or maybe you could say; "Who do you know that might like an extra $1,000 per month on a part-time basis?" Let them answer and say, "Great, let's get your paperwork filled out so we can get you in the system and the let's call this person and introduce the opportunity!"
Turning a lead into a distributor is not as tough as people make it. The key is to build rapport which develop into relationships. There is no "magical method". It takes hard work and going through the numbers. But, if you have a consistent method of acquiring quality leads, a "system" to put them through, and a solid upline to support you, then you should be on your way to success in MLM in no time.
Until next time…good luck with your prospecting!
The author, Ryan TenBrink is Managing Director for MLMpublicity.com, a company specializing in marketing and public relations for MLM companies. Having spent over 12 years in the field as a distributor, he now works with network marketing companies directly on a variety of levels to enhance sales volume. This includes providing private-label/company specific lead generation for MLM companies and large distributor groups.
TenBrink can be reached at: (972) 418-0614
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