If you come to my house to sell me something, you better be prepared. This week some poor 19-year old kid made the mistake of knocking on my door to sell me a subscription to a magazine so he could win a trip to some exotic location like Fresno. Forty-five minutes later, he left with $60 from my pocket and 20 years worth of sales lessons.
Do you really care about what your prospects want or are you too focused on what you want to pay attention? My 19-year-old friend started his sales pitch to me by saying that if I would buy a subscription to one of his magazines I would have the privilege of helping him make a commission and be 30 points closer to his 150 points he needed to be in the running for a trip. What an honor!
I have to admit, I liked the kid’s enthusiasm. He was all smiles, full of energy and walked with an impressive spring in his step. I could not help myself; I had to give him some pointers. Before he knew it, we were role-playing an effective sales process. I asked him to give me his sales materials and stand in my house so I could be him. I kept going because he seemed so eager to learn basic people and sales skills that his boss never taught him, such as:
- Leading with something that would benefit me (the prospect) not him (the guy hawking expensive magazines),
- Building a relationship of trust by noticing that I had four kids running in and out of my house and a fifth screaming in the background,
- Paying attention to my shorts and workout gear I was wearing on my way to the gym,
- Noticing that we had a picture of Jesus on our wall that would indicate our religious interests,
- And finally just being aware of anything surrounding him that would give him clues to what is important to me besides the privilege of helping him meet his quota.
By the fourth time we finished our sales role he was asking me about my family, my interest in fitness, my faith and that fact that the four shorter people running in and out of my house that had my face and happened to be related to me. He just kept saying, “This is awesome, this is just awesome!”
How could any boss send this kid out to sell without some type of sales training? Well, it happens everyday in network marketing. Here are some stunning facts I have learned consulting dozens of companies, building my own downlines and as a CEO in network marketing:
- Up to 95% of your downline is taking no action at all in their business today;
- 57% of your downline spends less than 1 hour building their business this week;
- Over 50,000 people will join a networking business this month, which means that 47,500 will likely do nothing to spread their company message;
- In corporate America one person can only mentor up to 12 people effectively, which means that networkers can likely only mentor up to 4 people effectively;
So, what are you doing to prepare your people for task ahead of them? It is not easy to train a volunteer army of novices, but it is not just helpful, it is essential.
The startling cluelessness of my buddy gave me a renewed commitment to training and helping my team upgrade their skills. I love what I do and I am grateful to my mentors for having patience with me as I got better. Dedicate yourself to training. Look for talent and develop it. Get better at what you are doing and don’t try to sell me a magazine subscription without commenting on how good looking my kids are.
Dedicated to your success,
A special update for anybody who cares; my six-year-old son won $5 for selling out of candy bars first on his baseball team. And, thanks to the six year old helping sell his candy bars, so did my thirteen year old. Here is the post in case you need an update.
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60 Dollars and Some Role Playing
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