Do you know where most distributors drop the ball in our profession? Come on at least guess….
If you said “Follow-Up” you are correct!
I've definitely been guilty more times than I want to remember, but why is that? Several reasons come to mind: maybe lack of organization, being too busy or perhaps just forgetting all together.
I personally believe the #1 reason most distributors don't follow-up with their prospects is more psychological than simply a lack of organization. I believe the root of poor follow-up is due to a lack of belief. A lack of belief in themselves, their future success or even the opportunity they represent.
Think about it… Often distributors just assume the prospect isn't going to answer the phone or join so they think, “Heck what's the point.” Have you ever thought that?
I remember the several years Michelle and I were pushing for a big promotion, and one of the guys I was following up from the cold market took 13 follow-ups before he joined!
It's a good thing I kept calling because he was one of our leaders that helped us promote. In fact, when I look back on our network marketing career, most all of my personal recruits didn't join right away. It took multiple follow-ups until they made a decision to join our business.
In this blog I'm going to give you The 3 Deadly Don’ts you need to avoid regarding follow-up. Not making these mistakes will make you 10X more effective in your follow up, especially regarding cold market prospecting. I'm also going to give you a bonus tip at the very end that will address overcoming the #1 hang up many distributors have. These SIMPLE secrets are actually not a secret but most networkers are not doing them.
Are you ready? Okay, let's get started…
Deadly Don’t #1 – Don't Be a Flake:
Do you know any flaky people?
What causes some people to get labeled flaky in your book?
The number one factor for me is when people don't do what they say.
Can I be real for a moment?
I know it sounds crazy, but if you will simply do what you say you were going to do, you will set yourself apart from the masses.
Take your commitments seriously no matter how big or small and let your yes be yes and no be no. Most people don't treat their follow-ups as a commitment, but instead it's a “I'll do it when I have time” activity.
Proper follow-up has everything to do with setting expectations for your prospect and following through by doing what you say (with urgency).
If you tell someone you’re going to call back in 1 hour, set an alarm on your phone and call 60 minutes later, not 61 minutes. When you’re prompt people will notice because it's not very common.
When people tell me that they are going to call at a certain time and they don't, that tells me a lot about that person and how they treat commitments.
I appreciate when people honor my time and I want to honor their time too.
You can even say that when they answer the phone or listen to your voicemail. I'll often say, “Hey John it's Adam, I'm calling to catch you at our set time because I want to honor your busy schedule.” People never hear that someone wants to honor their time, and it goes a long way with your first impressions with new prospects from the cold market.
If I set a phone appointment with someone I met in the cold market and they don't pick up, I also let them know to please call me back right away before my next appointment (and I leave that next appointment time on the voicemail). This communicates to them I'm a busy man and if I don't hear back I'll be calling again.
When you let them know you will be calling again it sets an expectation and in their mind it doesn't let them off the hook yet.
Now please pay attention, don't call over and over, as in 5 times the same day, this will make you look very desperate and also very creepy too. Use wise judgment.
My typical cold market follow up process looks like this:
1.) Call at scheduled time.
If they don't answer, leave a voicemail with my next follow up time (it's usually within that same hour)
2.) Call again at the time I said I would.
3.) Call again the next day and let them know I understand something really important may have come up and I would like to reschedule.
4.) If two days go by without a response, I may call one more time but this is more of a voicemail of concern, such as “I hope you’re okay, please let me know if there is anything I can pray for if you had a family emergency or if for some reason your just not interested anymore. That's okay too just let me know from one professional to another.”
Either way I just want a response and if you noticed I called them out as a professional, meaning if they don't call me back it's unprofessional.
Don't assume people are not interested, you can assume that they just got busy and your priority of showing them a business is not their priority, so you have to work hard to gain their attention or something else will.
Deadly Don’t #2 – Drip, Don't Drown Them:
Remember the guy I followed up with 13 times? Well, I did something called dripping on him, which is still follow-up, but I spaced it out and had a reason for calling each time.
If your follow-up message or call is, “Are you ready yet?” every time you attempt to contact your prospect, your recruiting results will be a fraction of what it could be.
People are most attracted to what they can't have.
Remember that the fear of loss is often the best motivator, so use it to your advantage whenever you can.
For example one of my favorite scripts to use when meet a good prospect is “My company is expanding in the area and we're looking for 2 qualified people to partner with, I think you would be a great fit. Are you open to something else part time if it didn't interfere with this job?”
The fear of loss is that I'm only looking for 2, and if they say no they might miss out on something huge. Curiosity is a great tool to move them into looking at a brief presentation. Remember that when you first meet a prospect, you never present at this time, only pique interest and gather the contact information to follow-up at another time.
I will remind them on the follow-up voicemail that I'm still looking for 2 or that I found 1 and I'm still looking for 1 more in their area.
They will more likely move into action quickly since there is only one spot left and not knowing what it is can really drive people nuts!
Now, let's say they looked at your opportunity, and their answer was “Maybe.” If that's the case make sure you have something exciting to update them on when you follow-up.
For example, a special promotion you or your company is running, new territory expansions, or something very time sensitive that might get them to respond or make a decision.
Also, make sure you sound as excited the 5th time you follow-up as you did the 1st. Your prospects will sense a decline in enthusiasm and won't pull the trigger unless your message is congruent. If you are calling to inform them of something exciting, sound excited!
Updating them with new information gives you a reason to call but the other reason you want to follow-up consistently is because timing is everything. You know the phrase; you need to be at the right place at the right time.
We'll you already know they found the right place (YOU and your opportunity) NOW it's just about catching them at the right time. Remember, never assume they are not interested just because they didn't call you back or respond right away, most likely it's just not their right time yet.
Deadly Don’t #3 – It's Not You, It's Me; AKA Don't Get Hung Up on the Wrong Prospects:
You may be familiar with the famous break up line “It's not you, it's me” routine but seriously, sometimes you just need to slash a name with a red sharpie, divorce your prospect, and move on!
Sometimes we get so emotionally attached to a prospect that it becomes our life mission to “Con-Vince” someone to get in. Now depending on what leader you talk to, some might follow up with a prospect until they join or die. We, on the other hand, wish we would not have spent so much time early in our career on the wrong people.
We have found that if you give yourself permission to cross out a name, it will actually force you to have more of an abundance mindset than a lack mindset because you know there is an abundance of people out there praying for a solution.
Have you ever made a to-do list? Doesn't it feel invigorating to complete a task and slash it off your list? The same holds true when you let a prospect know, “This is the last time I'll be calling, I'm going to leave the ball in your court and if I don't hear back from you I wish you the very best.”
When you do this, you empower yourself to be in control, not the prospect. You have things to do and new people to meet, so remember that it's okay to move on, your prospect most likely did too.
If the thought of scratching off a name scares you, take a few moments to ask yourself why? Our experience has shown us it's usually because of a lack mindset and the distributor is afraid they will run out of prospects.
Look at the leaders you admire.
Do you ever hear them mention they have run out of people to talk to?
No, that's because of two main things: they are confident that one of the 7 billion people on the planet is going to be their next recruit, and they have the cold market prospecting skills to generate leads on demand.
These 3 Deadly Dont's I just shared will be a game changer for you if you implement these strategies paired with a solid foundation of belief. Do you remember at the beginning of this blog I said I would share a bonus tip that would help you overcome the lack of belief?
Well here it is: believe it or not, YOU are an answer to someone's prayer! YES YOU! You carry a vehicle of hope that people desperately need, some of which don't even realize it yet and they need you to educate them.
Imagine if you had the cure to cancer, would you keep it a secret? Heck no! You would confidently share it with the world, regardless of people's skepticism, unbelief and even criticism.
That's what you have in network marketing, a cure!
Do you believe it? Even a cure has NO effect if never applied. You can almost guarantee that every person walking by you wishes they had more money, more time or both and you have a solution that can solve these ailments, IF applied.
Now everyone you talk to may not want your solution but that's their decision, not yours, so take off all the pressure of selling them an opportunity.
Instead of selling…
Be a consultant who advises others of an opportunity and just simply work with the volunteers. You are looking for the people that are looking for you, and when you find that one person that gets it like you, your belief goes to new heights.
You may have to prospect 10, 20 or more people to find the 1 person that wants to seriously change their life and when you do, you will stop caring about the number of people it took to find the one.
You are answer to prayer! Do what you say, drip, don't drown and know when to move on! This advice has served us extremely well and it will do the same for you if you apply it.
Cheers to your freedom!
On behalf of
Adam and Michelle Carey