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How to Find, Sponsor, and Retain Leaders to
Grow Your Network Marketing Business
by Stephan Iscoe

Network Marketing is a great business that offers many people the ideal alternative to a traditional job or business. Do you know a better way for the ordinary person to achieve independence from the tyrannies of working for someone else or from the day-to-day headaches of running a business? It's terrific being your own boss and in control of your own time and financial rewards.

Sometimes the biggest problem in MLM is what to put on your business card: President, CEO, Marketing Director, Independent Agent or Queen of the World. We tend to overlook the other important roles of Envelope Licker, Gopher, Secretary, Accountant, Student, or the most important role in your company - Chief of Staffing.

(Part I - Finding Leaders)

Recruiting is the lifeblood of your MLM business; yet we tend not to treat it as a vital professional function. Most people base their efforts on some pretty haphazard MLM industry approaches. How many times have you heard, "It's a numbers game"? The theory being that if you talk to enough folks some will try your product, some percent of those will become distributors and some fraction of the distributors will evolve into leaders.

Do you know what the standard industry conversion rate is? Neither do I.

How about your personal conversion rate?

Out of 100 people you talk to, how many buy product, become distributors and go on to be leaders? Probably not enough. So let's re focus our efforts. Your goal for a successful network marketing business is to find, sponsor, and retain leaders.

These are the You, Inc. Division Heads. These are the people you need to apply successful traditional business methods to recruit and keep.

You'll want only the best people on your leadership team. To attract them you need to know what they want and be prepared to deliver it. The top people want to be associated with other successful people in the best companies.

For now, let's assume you've already applied our training in branding and market positioning and that Your Company is seen in the best light.

There are two things that have to happen - you have to find candidates or they have to find you.

Ok, let's look at just one way the top Executive Recruiters go after talented individuals:

Always be on the lookout for above average folks - people at the top of their profession, clerks who give outstanding service, an impressive speaker, columnist, anyone driving with vanity license plates.

Introduce yourself and say you were impressed with their speech, car, service, etc., hand them two of your cards and state that you would like to talk to them if they ever consider a career change or business opportunity. Then be quiet and smile.

Now it's their move.

They will either say thanks-but-no-thanks, or they will ask for more information.

If they say no thanks, just ask them to hold on to your card or pass it on to another sharp friend.

If they want more information, then set an appointment.

Yes, resist the urge to launch into your Technicolor brochures and laser-light presentation.

Professionals work by appointment; even if you set the appointment for 15 minutes later, on their break, or over lunch - set the appointment.

We'll come back to the interview appointment after we examine the other scenario -

Q: How do candidates find you?
A: In order to attract high caliber folks you must be positioned and perceived as a leader with the best opportunity with the premier company in your field. You craft a Marketing Message and Customer-centered Benefit Statement that perfectly conveys your advantage over the competition.

Now you will communicate this message at every opportunity and through every appropriate media. Here are a few online and offline places to deliver your message:

1. Weekly and local business newspapers
2. Networking Business Clubs
3. Professional Associations
4. Church Directory
5. Personal Letters
6. Talk Show Guest
7. eMail Newsletter
8. Online Chat Rooms
9. Internet News groups
10. Online Free Classifieds
11. Billboard
12. Trade Shows

Craft your ads so that they help disqualify inappropriate applicants. Your goal is to interview, qualify and sponsor high potential candidates.

(Part II - Sponsoring Leaders)
The interview process is designed to get the candidate to ask to join your opportunity. Even though you are looking for front line leaders, a happy by-product of this process is that you will also sponsor a lot of people deeper in your organization.

Now let's run through the basic qualifying interview. Use that exact term with your candidates: "Let's set up an appointment for a qualifying interview", or, "and you'll get all your questions answered during the qualifying interview".

First, we'll look at the basic structure for the interview, then we'll go though a typical scenario.

The nine elements of the qualifying interview:
1. Discovery
2. Romance
3. Confirm
4. Educate
5. Qualify
6. Take Away
7. The Trial
8. Guarantee
9. Commitment

Now we'll try the process with what many feel is the most difficult candidate - a high-level executive with no formal sales background. We'll call the candidate, Kim, and the interviewer, You.

Kim: Exactly what is that you do?

You: Terrific question! I don't know if this is for you or not; but we'll get that and all your questions answered by the end of this qualifying interview.

What was on your mind when we set up this meeting?

[Your opening statements are designed to give you control of the interview; you have put the candidate at ease with a low-risk out, set the stage for the take away, assured the candidate that their concerns will be addressed and asked the probing question - this is where you listen closely and discover what's important to the candidate]

Kim: I've been in purchasing at Major Corp. for six years and feel like I'm not advancing anymore.

You: Glass ceiling?

Kim: I don't think so; business has been flat the last few years and there's no growth or new openings.

You: Well, you've done great at Major Corp. It must be an interesting field to be in.

Kim: It was more exciting at first when I got to travel.

You: Oh?

Kim: Oh, yes! (and Kim's into a 30 minute passionate travelogue)

[Now that you know what's important to the candidate, begin the Romance by tailoring your presentation to hit the candidate's hot buttons]

You: ...and we just took our Top Executives, people like yourself, on a seven day Caribbean cruise for Leadership Training and R&R...

Kim: And you get paid to do this?!

You: Y'know, Kim, this isn't for everybody, and I'm sure you have some questions or concerns.

Kim: I'm still not clear on exactly how you make money or what I have to actually do...

You: Let me tell you about Pat, one of the leaders in our organization and what Pat's been doing to earn a five-figure monthly income...

[At this point you edify Pat, who is in your upline, and Educate Kim about the easily duplicable profit building activities. Let the candidate in on one of the methods of creating prospects on demand]

Kim: ...and the commission checks keep coming in forever even if I stop working?

You: Does this sound like something you'd be interested in?

[This is the Confirmation Step before going on to Qualifying and the Take Away]

Kim: You said Pat started part time...

You: Kim, not everyone becomes a leader in this business and most people discover their talent for it by beginning part time. And some of the best in the industry never got around to going full-time! Let's say you qualified to start part- time, could you find about 10 hours a week to build your business?

[You've positioned the take away and are into the process of qualifying the candidate by finding out if they have the time, money, equipment, support, understanding, and desire to work the business]

Kim: ...and my nephew said he'd come over and get me set up on the Internet!

You: That's great! Kim, I'm looking for someone to take a leader- ship role in building a large, profitable organization. Based on your past achievements and the interest you've shown today, I think you could be very successful in this industry... Kim, this may not be right for you...

[I'm sure you've figured out that this is the "take away" phrase - not only does it put people at ease but gives both parties a graceful out. It is also a great way to answer every objection, "Well, this doesn't sound like a good fit for you..." In this case, we want to work with the candidate, but are playing a little "hard to get" - and if you don't think that raises desire then you haven't dated in a while!]

Kim: It sounds perfect for me, where do I sign?

You: In order to give you the best shot at succeeding as a part- timer, I suggest beginning on our Fast Start Qualifying Track; this is the best and quickest way to demonstrate leadership while working just a few hours a week... Does this sound like a good way to start?

Kim: I want to be on the next Cruise!

You: Terrific!

[Out comes the paperwork, pens, credit card, Fast Start gift, etc. Don't rush this part - double check everything. Next comes the Guarantee and Commitment]

You: Kim, I'm really glad we'll have a chance to work together - and if anytime you decide this is not the right choice for you, then I'll refund your basic startup distributor cost. And if you decide to really build your business, I'll be there for you; for every step you take, I'll take one with you.

Congratulations! You've just personally sponsored a sharp leader who will catapult your business into the stratosphere.

(Part III - Retaining Leaders)

Now you're ready to concentrate on retaining the leaders in your organization. This is so simple you'll wonder why attrition is a problem. There are three key ingredients necessary for keeping the best people in business with you.

The first is something we all do and that is to make sure every new distributor gets a check in their first thirty days of activity. Make sure they are working with your duplicable systems and concentrating on the single daily activity that will earn them the most. Make certain they have all the back-office tools, training and marketing material they need to get started day one. That first check is great to reinforce belief and build their personal story of how great the business is.

The second key is to maintain regular weekly contact. This can be done via phone, fax, email, newsletters, post cards, even a private internet message board or online chat. Your distributors should get something of value from you every week - a training schedule, sponsoring tip, article reprint or newspaper clipping. All of this is addition to the 1-on-2's, 3-ways, and conference recruiting calls. Remember to send birthday, anniversary and holiday greetings.

The third secret of the professionals is to provide attention, recognition, and public praise. Honor your Upline mentors and edify your Successline distributors. Use your newsletters, conference calls and company events to congratulate and thank your leaders. Let them know specifically what you appreciate most about their contributions. Celebrate every achievement. Reward your leaders and let them know they are special.

That wraps up this session. We've covered the basic steps of Finding, Sponsoring and Retaining Laders that will help you build a profitable and sustainable business in Network Marketing. See the following resource box for pointers to expert advice and useful tools.

I'd love to hear your comments, suggestions and success stories.

Best of Success -- Stephan Iscoe, - The #1 MLM Resource

This article copyright 1998, Stephan Iscoe, MLMProfit Network. Permission granted to reproduce, copy and distribute this article only in its entirety and including this statement.
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