FriendFeed widget

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Working With MLM Leads and Increasing Your Odds

Working with leads for your MLM business is a great way to get solid training on your business and how to work it effectively; as well as sponsoring people into your business. It can also be a very discouraging activity. Here are a few key things to keep in mind as you work through the process. This will help you avoid those feeling of despair and help you understand your prospects better.

First, think about your own journey into your business. Here are some questions to ask and answer about yourself. This may help you understand and accept the journey that others might be going through in their own decision making process. When you are working in an environment where the people who you are calling don't know you, ask questions to put yourself in his/her shoes.

How long after your initial inquiry did you sign up?
How many phone calls did it take?
Did you need/want to be chased?
What information was important for you to know before signing up?
What is your reason for doing this business?
If you waited awhile before joining, what was it that finally prompted you to join?

Any time you are working with people, human factors are going to come into play as each person sorts through business information; his/her own objections and concerns about a business; finances and timing. These are all important points to ponder when you think about your own process of working with leads. People are basically the same, no matter where we live. Some may join right away and many will not.

Here is the journey I went through while trying to decide about a Network Marketing business. See if you see some of your own story in mine. And, even if you don't, perhaps having this information may help you see each situation through the eyes of your prospect.

I first looked at Network Marketing when I was 19. It was the case of someone springing it on a group of us at a party. I didn't understand it at all, and was not interested, but those circles and the lifestyles of the rich and famous did intrigue me.

Fast forward ten years later. We are about to start a family and I know I will be leaving my job to be home. Again, I am approached about a MLM business, but I am still not interested. The timing is not right and I am skeptical about Network Marketing.

Another year goes by, I am home with a baby and finances are very tight. Now, I am actively searching for a business from home. I am still skeptical about MLM, but much of my research is pointing me in that direction. The friend who approached me last year stops by over the holidays. He doesn't say a word about his business, but his whole demeanor is different. He's driving a fancy sports car, and I am now extremely interested and asking him questions.

It is still another three weeks before I sign up and even longer before I actually get going. I am nervous, unsure and feel I must know everything possible there is to know before I speak to someone. I want it to just "happen" without me actually having to take any action steps. Sound familiar? It was a full three years before I really started to take action in my business.

How many times have you spoken with someone who seems very interested and then they just vaporize? How many times have you heard "I'll sign up tomorrow" and then nothing happens? How many times have you wondered if it was something about you that caused this?

Sometimes, real life does get in the way. And, it's important to always remember that another person's decision has nothing in the world to do with you. It is purely about each person individually, and his/her situation in life right then.

I repeated this same exact process with my current company, although the reasons were different. This time it was 9/11 and a move to another state prompted by those events that delayed things. Chances are, had I signed up when I first considered it, I might have quit. Timing truly does have to be right to effectively work a business.

Think about your own experiences. Perhaps you have never been "chased" by an overzealous Networker who calls you day and night practically begging you to sign up. For me, nothing makes me less interested. It causes me to think the person is desperate.

This is where the art of asking good, probing questions when you are speaking with a prospect can make all of the difference for both of you. Spend a little time in the relationship process with those to whom you speak to about the business. They will remember you for this and you will stand apart from others to whom they might also be speaking to about business.

Find out their reason why and find a way to meet that need. Show them what is in it for them. Provide a benefit statement of what he/she can expect of you as their sponsor. Assure them that they won't be signed up and abandoned. Allow each person time and space to ask questions and make decisions

Understand the two to five year plan of consistent action that is typically required for Network Marketing business success. Continue to invest in your own growth and education as you work with leads and become a more effective communicator. Follow up consistently but not desperately.

Ask yourself these questions daily –

Am I in this for the long haul? Am I willing to wait a year and a half, maybe more, to grow a dynamic team? Am I willing to continue to invest in my own learning, education and growing pains so I can reach the pot of gold? Will I be here when my previous leads are ready to get started?

Timing is everything. And, it is ALWAYS about the prospects timing and not the potential sponsor. NEVER let a "No" steal your dream. Often, you hear no when what is really being said is "not now, but later." Be HERE when later comes.

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

Monday, February 25, 2008

MLM Business Plan

Okay, so you have a MLM business. Now what? What steps do you need to take to get it off the ground and successful ASAP? What should your MLM Business Plan look like?

Here are some ideas for you -

First, decide on the methods you want to use to build your business, and I encourage you to know all methods available to you and be open to trying a little of everything in the beginning. Then, you can truly determine what works the BEST for you.

Here are some important points you’ll want to consider when writing your MLM Business Plan -

• What is your primary goal with your MLM business? What do you want to accomplish most?

• Who is your target market for customer for your products? Where will you find customer prospects?

• Who is your target market for your MLM business? Where will you find MLM business prospects and leads?

• What is unique about your business and what separates you from your competition?

• What is your MLM business advertising and marketing budget? Will this budget come from your family budget initially or do you have a product that can be retailed to create that budget?

• What is your estimated date for being profitable in your business?

Once you have answers to some of these questions, you’ll want to put an action plan into place to accomplish your goals.

What daily/weekly plans do you have to develop customers and retail your products?

What daily/weekly plans do you have to develop MLM Business Leads for your business opportunity?

What methods will you use?

Don't focus on $$ amounts for your plan, instead focus on what YOU can control - ACTIONS.

Single Daily Actions (SDA's) and Weekly Plan of Action (WPA's) - # of XX each month.

Use an accountability form and find an accountability partner, upline, downline, crossline.

Set realistic goals and then adjust as you need to, and don't cut yourself too much slack.

MLM and Network Marketing Companies pay us VERY well for sharing the story of these products with others. Use this to carve out your piece of this growing multi-billion dollar industry.

What is your weekly action plan? What single daily actions will you take?

Break your weeks down and set a weekly plan of action and then daily steps. If you miss a day due to "real life" you still have the rest of the week to accomplish your weekly plan.

Pay attention to areas of resistance.

Break your year up into quarters, and focus on 90 day action plans. Don't look back until the end of 90 days and then re-evaluate and adjust, fine tune. Consult upline for assistance.

Use the tools and training guides offered by your upline. That's what they are there for.

Attitude-Actions-Results-Quality of Life.

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

MLM Business Apprentice

Apprenticing in Your Network Marketing Business

Have you ever hesitated to talk to someone about your business because you didn't know exactly the right thing to say?

Did you make the decision not to take any steps in your business until you know everything there is to know about it?

Are you fearful that you might not know the answer to a question or know how to respond to a comment?

Have you ever quit a business after a few weeks for various reasons?

Maybe you are evaluating things based on the wrong mind set and the wrong data. Do you have a probation period in your business? Have you considered this and set this up for yourself?

Examine your thinking and make sure you are evaluating your business success based on the right criteria. Most jobs have a 30-90 day probation period, right? And, per a job description, you must be performing certain tasks daily to pass that probation period, right?

Are you expected to have all of the answers on day one? Or, are you expected to take action and learn and find solutions as you move on?

Being an apprentice means taking action and learning as you go along. It's not about locking yourself up in a closet and working on things until you get them perfect.

It's about knowing that you have resources and a safety net to catch you as you take your first shaky steps in your business. It's knowing that with each step, you learn a little more and you get a little better.

What if you went into your business with the mindset of being an apprentice? What if your upline was willing to coach you and you just need to commit to being an apprentice? Would you do it? And, remember that you can apprentice from others outside of your upline as well.

There are tons of great leaders in the industry. If someone else is getting results that you want, commit to learn from and follow that person.

If you are struggling in one area, are you willing to watch someone who has the skill set you want and learn from them? Then, will you act on it?

Set up the job description that you would give yourself if you were hiring you for a job. What would the daily and weekly tasks consist of? What would be the minimum required to keep the job?

Then, set up a probationary period for the job. Keep a tracking sheet that lists your daily and weekly tasks. Evaluate yourself at the end of each week. Focus on what you must do to improve for the next week. No sense beating yourself up for what didn't get done.

Play full out to the end of your probationary period and then evaluate where your next steps will lead. Do you need another apprenticeship? Are you committed enough to step out on your own?

Treat your network marketing business like the business that it is. Accept that you have entered a new career path and the best thing you can do is accept an apprenticeship from others who have achieved what you want. There are eager colleagues out there ready to advise and counsel you. Just ask!

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Preparation and Productivity

Congratulations! You are a business owner and the owner of a business that can create more income in a month for you than most people earn in a year. Sounds exciting, right?

This is very exciting and in order to accomplish this, it's going to require a serious commitment and action steps from you!

The first step you want to take is to get out your calendar and block off those times that are devoted to your business. That may mean you need to block off every other time commitment first and then find time for your business with what is remaining.

Decide how many hours per week you are going to put into your business. Please know that it really does require a minimum of ten hours to really create growth and momentum. Here's the good news. That time does not have to be in big chunks. Thirty minutes here, one hour there, spread out over seven days will make a huge difference in your business.

Now, what are you going to do with that time?

Here is where it is very important to note and track the difference between Preparation and Productivity.

Obviously, you must be prepared for your business to take you in many different directions.

And, you must also spend productive hours to get those results you want.

Here are some activities that can be defined as Preparation Activities –

Going through your company website and studying the back office.

Getting on Conference Calls.

Going through Training Materials.

Making Business Product Samples.

Emails pertaining to ANYTHING other than customer or business prospects.

Working on your personal website.

These are all very important activities, and sometimes, it is easy to get so caught up in doing these things that all of one's time is spent in the preparation mode. But, this will not put cash in your pocket and grow your business. Set aside a block of time right up front to complete what needs to be done and then schedule no more than one to two hours a week after that.

While multi-tasking can be very distracting and ultimately a detriment if one isn't careful, there are some tasks that can be multi-tasked and provide more hours.

An example would be making product samples while listening in to conference calls. A bad example would be sorting through email while listening to conference calls!

Ah, caught you! Yes, I know. Most of us are or have been guilty of this. Let me ask you though, how well can you listen and actually digest what is being said while you also read something of a totally different topic?

Do yourself a favor and unless it is something that doesn't require a lot of brain power, give your full attention to conference calls.

Moving on to Productivity, this is where you will want to spend the bulk of your daily and weekly business hours.

Activities that fall under the Productivity category include –

Making your list of at least 100 names and mailing them the Dear Friends and Family Letter, announcing your business and asking for referrals.

Contacting groups about fundraising.

Attending local networking events and sharing your products and business.

Calling potential Home Party Prospects.

Calling leads from an ad coop or other source.

Follow up phone calls to prospects and customers.

Networking out online and building relationships.

Decide today if your business is a hobby or if you intend to create a major income producing business venture. There is not a right or wrong answer to this. Only what you truly desire.

Know the realities of building a successful business. They are –

Building a solid, successful organization and income takes time. You should plan on two to five years. Know this going in and don't get discouraged when your first pay check is not enough to allow you to quit your job. Rome was not built in a day, neither is a strong, solid business. Of any kind!

It is possible for the average person to make a well above average income.

There has never been a better time to build a successful business.

Network Marketing has been written about favorably by major publications such as Forbes, Fortune, Success, Fast Company, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal. Warren Buffet owns a direct sales company and Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki endorse Network Marketing as a great way to create wealth. They even wrote a book!

Some people very close to you, including some of your friends and family, will not join you or support you in your business. Be prepared for this and know that you can still be wildly successful! Let go of any bad feelings you may harbor because of this. It will only slow you down and you don't need them!

Some people that tell you "no" in the beginning will eventually join you and build a strong business. You just have to be there when they are ready. Never burn any bridges and always be positive even when they say no. I promise some of them will partner with you later.

Making mistakes is just part of the learning process. The more mistakes you make, the more money you will make over time! (Learn from those mistakes, though!)

You are in an industry that promotes amazing personal growth while you build an income working from home. Embrace the possibilities and commit to your own success!

Preparation is important and Productivity is essential! Make sure your time is planned out to make the most of your available time.

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

Monday, February 04, 2008

Evaluating a Network Marketing Business

With Network Marketing, you can create –

· An amazing income
· An income that is higher monthly than most people earn in a year!
· Friendships with people you never would have met except for this business.
· Business skills that are priceless
· Communication skills that will benefit you in your personal life as well as your business.

Questions often come up about what makes up a good network marketing company and the things you want to be sure are in place.

Be sure you are educated on how to talk to your prospects about the opportunity and how to address more seasoned network marketers who may be looking at your business.
One huge advantage to network marketing is that if you work it correctly, it provides huge job security. And, if you work it right, you can build a team of thousands, all who have the same job security.

Here are some things that should be considered before one joins a network marketing business.

· What are the true start up costs going to be?
· How are you paid?
· What type of training is provided?
· Can you work your business part time?
· What type of monthly quotas or commitments are required?
· How does the compensation plan work and what is required of me to access all pay levels?
· Are the policies and procedures available to read?
· Will you be able to make a difference in the lives of those you sponsor as well as your own?
· How do the products compare to comparable products in the marketplace?

As you are evaluating the product line, there are some very important questions that need to be asked –

· Would I buy these products if I was not also investing in the business opportunity?
· Are the products priced fairly and is there room for me to make an solid profit by retailing the products? Or, is it strictly a wholesale buying club?
· Who is my customer market?
· Is the product consumable?
· Will the product benefits be obvious to the buyer?
· How much training will I need to be able to sell these products?
· How well does the company do getting products delivered in a timely way?

And, what about those questions about the financial opportunity available to you – can you make money?

· What type of pay plan is it? And how does that pay?
· Do you understand what will be required from you to access all aspects of the pay plan?
· Is it realistic for you to believe you can move to the top?
· Is there compression in the pay plan?
· Can you be paid on your downline from day one?
· Is it a bonus or residual driven pay plan?
· Am I paid on all volume from my team?

Questions to ask yourself –

· Do I see this as a business I feel I can succeed with?
· Am I clear on what will be expected of me to be successful?
· How do I feel about the products?
· How do I feel about the support and training that is available?
· Am I willing to accept personal responsibility for my actions and my success or failure?

Get involved with the intent to succeed! Make success a habit daily. That means take action daily and that DOES create success. Don’t take any part of the business personally. Have fun and make a ton of money.

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

Saturday, February 02, 2008

MLM Goal Setting

MLM Goal Setting Strategy

Have you ever struggled with setting goals and seeing the job through? Have you sat down with pen and paper and the best intentions and just couldn’t get the words on paper?

I have certainly struggled in this area and want to challenge you to try this simple exercise to break things down into a process that can be completed.

1. Make a decision and then commit to yourself to spend ten minutes a day for the next 7 days setting goals. Grab a spiral notebook (don’t use anything fancy as it will just slow you down and force you into perfectionism!) Think of all areas of your life where you would like to set some goals – ie: personal development; business; family; health and fitness; etc.

2. As you work through this process each day, ask yourself – What would my goals be if time and money were not a consideration? What would my goals be if I knew I could not/would not fail?

3. Don’t hold back! Have fun and be creative and spontaneous. Each day, read the previous days goals and then move ahead with new or adjusted goals. Forget about anything but the fun of doing this exercise.

How do you feel as you set these goals? Do you feel inspired to take action in each area? Do you feel empowered, knowing what steps you can take daily to see the job through?

How will your life be different if you pursue this exercise for the next year, and take inspired action?

Finally, as you end your goal setting strategy session, take some form of positive action toward one of your goals right now. What can you do right now to move yourself forward? One tiny step can make all of the difference in the world.

Remember, whatever it is you consistently think about and focus on will determine the direction of your life. Make a conscious choice about what that will be!

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer