There is nothing more exciting than someone contacting us to inquire about our business. We get so excited in fact that sometimes we forget that what we are really doing is conducting an interview to see if our business is right for the prospect.
Back in the 80’s when I started in network marketing, the philosophy was to sign up anyone who had a pulse. I remember some days I signed up 22 people in one day. I also remember thinking to myself, “how on earth will this person ever make it?”.
I’ll share one of my most memorable experiences with you. A girl called me, she had seen my flyer somewhere in town. I scheduled the interview for the following day. Now I knew from the address that this section of town was not the most desirable in our city, but hey, she had two things going in her favor, a pulse and an interest. When I arrived, the house smelled from beer, cigarettes and just general trash, I was thinking, she still had a pulse and she still had an interest. As I was scanning the house looking for a place to sit, she suggested we go into her bedroom, as it was clean and private. Knowing she had a pulse and an interest I followed her. After entering her room, she dead bolted the door. I truly was scared at this point. I was very unsure what I had walked into. She explained that the folks she lived with were drug dealers and that all sorts of folks came in and out of her home thus the deadbolt. Well we made it through the sign up process, but I swore I would never put myself through that again. As I’m sure you have guessed, she never contributed anything to my organization.
After that experience I began more carefully screening those who expressed an interest in my business. I was actually beginning to interview those who contacted me. Through an initial interview I was able to determine who qualified for a 2nd interview, an appointment for me to come speak with them.
If the interview was taking place on the phone, I would have a blank piece of paper where I could jot down the answers. If the interview was in person, I would tell the person that I was going to be asking some questions and jotting down the answers. Over the years I have had folks on the phone not wish to be interviewed and that’s perfectly ok. We hang up. This is not the business for them. In person, I’ve never had anyone object to me wanting to know about them and even taking notes.
There are 3 things I want to know about my prospect:
1. I wanted to know about their job history. Where have they worked, what were their responsibilities, how long did they stay at the job (s)? I would ask “tell me about your past job history”
2. I wanted to know about their families. I also wanted to know where they lived. House or apartment? Single? Kids? Sometimes you can hear children in the background, so I ask “are those your kids?” I’ll then ask how many and what their ages are. Sometimes a prospect will say “my husband works 3rd shift”, or “my wife and I were talking last night”, so in listening to what your prospect volunteers to you, you may get answers without ever asking a question.
3. I want to know what they expect to get out of the business. Some folks are looking for supplemental income, some for full time careers. Some folks wish to earn $100 per month play money, some wish to earn a few thousand a month, to get out of debt. A simple “tell me your expectation about the business” will get you some of these answers.
By asking the above questions, you will find out quite a bit about your prospect. This business is not for everyone. Why waste your time or theirs if this is not a match? By asking questions, by learning what someone expects out of the business, your prospect is actually making a commitment to you. If they tell you they want $1000 per month, you can then explain to them what it will take to earn that much. One of two things will happen, they will agree to the steps to make it happen, or they will tell you no. If they tell you no, then explain what it will take to earn 1/2 of that, or $500 per month. Again, one of two things will happen, either they will agree to take the steps to make it happen or they will tell you no.
By interviewing your prospects you are establishing from the beginning what the future will bring.