I’ve always been baffled by the people who claim they could “sell ice to an eskimo.” Yeah, I get it. They’re so good at sales that they can sell somebody something whether they want it or not. But is that good? Or is that part of what gives sales a bad name?
Having been in network marketing for so long, I’ve progressed through several “phases of evolution” along the way.
As a young buck, I was taught that posture and confidence were critical (which is true, by the way), but was also so brainwashed into thinking that my “opportunity” was so superior that a person would have to be a complete idiot not to be interested. Subsequently, I proceeded with that posture unwittingly (and unknowingly) turning many people off in the process.
Specifically, this behavior would include putting down traditional employment. We adopt a “jobs suck” mentality, complete with catchy little sayings like J.O.B. stands for “just over broke” or “jumping over backwards.” We proclaim that people in the real world “work 40 hours a week for 40 years and then retire on 40% of what they couldn’t live on in the first place.”
Does any intelligent person really think that putting down somebody’s profession is endearing?
Then there’s the denouncing of college and education as you try to convince a college student that they’re wasting their time (true or not) and that they will look forward to years of debt and student loans, still with no career guarantees.
I can imagine the conversations these students then had with their parents. And we wonder why parents aren’t “supportive!”
The “ice salesmen” this phase will tell you about their “closing ratios.” They can get eight out of ten to join. They believe that they should just “throw enough shit at the wall and see what sticks.” Hence, they move forward thinking of their friends and family members as excrement! Eww.
The professional network marketer advances into a “zen phase.”
Posture and confidence are still present, but in a “being” sort of way. No arrogance. This requires the understanding that your opportunity may not be (and probably isn’t) necessarily the best opportunity known to mankind. It might be the best for you, but that doesn’t mean it works that way across the board.
The season pro understands the law of timing. Even if you have found the best, latest, and greatest business opportunity, you still can’t shove it down somebody’s throat if they’re not open to it. Yet we see this all the time, especially now through social media. Its like trying to convince a person who has just finished eating dinner, to go try out a new restaurant. It doesn’t matter how great you think the restaurant is (and it might be REALLY great!), somebody who isn’t hungry has no interest in eating. Even if you’re so good you can get them into the door, they still won’t order any food!
The solution, of course, is about as simple as it sounds. You hear it at every (good) network marketing training. Make a list of people you know, trust, and respect, and ask them if they “might be looking” for something or if “their timing is right.” If its not, save your breath!
I’ve got a close friend who is so fired up about his new business opportunity. I love and respect him immensely. But he’s stuck in phase one, and can’t understand why I won’t join him. Clearly (well, somewhat clearly) I’m a smart guy. I’m an entrepreneur. I’m a professional network marketer. I like him. I respect him. I believe him. So, what’s holding me back?
I’M FULL! I’m just not looking right now. I’m not watching the videos he sends me and i’m not going to the websites. Because of my “zen state” I’m not annoyed with him for his persistence, but I do shake my head. I remember being on the other end of this equation many times. I wonder how many friends I may have turned off (or pissed off) over the years? I wish they would have just told me that they weren’t looking for anything . . . or better yet, I wish that I had possessed the ability to recognize that myself.
Here’s an interesting piece of advice for salespeople and network marketers alike . . .
How about selling hot chocolate to an eskimo?
Sounds a lot easier. And they’ll actually appreciate you for it!