Networking events can be a goldmine of prospects and referrals for you as you grow your MLM business, but you have to know what to say and what NOT to say. If you are not careful with how you handle yourself, you can quickly blow your chances of making a good connection and lose any chance of getting them into your business.
Where do you go?
The best networking events are: Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours parties and local MeetUp.com groups. You can also do a Google search for “networking events” in your local area. There you will meet other professionals who are looking to grow their businesses and connect with others as well.
These people are often very well connected and even if they are not interested in your business, they are often willing to help connect you with others who would be.
Make it a goal to collect as many business cards as you can. Some people conveniently forget to bring business cards with them to events simply because people are not good about following up and they don’t want their cards wasted. You, however, can do things differently and really set yourself apart from your competition.
What NOT to Say When You Meet People
1. Don’t vomit all over the person with information about your MLM business! Many amateur distributors offer too much information when talking to someone and it quickly spirals out of control. Saying one little thing leads to another little thing and before you know you end up with verbal diarrhea of the mouth and say way too much and totally turn off the person they are talking to.
2. Don’t hand someone a business card (or ask for one) in the first couple minutes of conversation. You don’t even know if you like the person yet, so how do you know if you want to do business with him or her?
3. Don’t bring flyers, CDs, DVDs or other promotional materials with you.
People are much more interested in talking about themselves and your materials are quite likely to end up in their trashcans at the end of the networking event.
4. Don’t pitch someone right away for your MLM business. They don’t really care that much about what you have to say, because they are more concerned with telling you about their business.
WHAT YOU “DO” WANT TO SAY
1. Say very little! If they ask what you do, say something very brief then turn it back to them. If you are too quick to give them details, then you come across as needy and/or pushy. Think of the dating scene- if one person pushes too much, the other person backs away. If you pull back, they come toward you.
2. Ask lots of questions. Most people like to talk about themselves, so get them to talk about what they do and what they like.
3. Build rapport to see if you even want to do business with them. F.O.R.M them (using the topics Family, Occupation, Recreation, Message/money) and see if you can uncover a need, like not enough time with family, too long of a commute to work, not enough money to pay bills, etc. Then say, “I might have a solution for that.” and it will work with ALL of them.
When they say, “What is it?” you say, “Let’s talk tomorrow for about 20 min (or whatever time you need) at ___ time or ___ time. Which time works best for you?” Then STOP talking. If they don’t know their schedule for tomorrow, suggest that you will call them tomorrow to set up a time. If they push you, just say, “look, it may or may not be for you, but if it is, then great. We’ll talk about it tomorrow.” Then immediately ask them a question about themselves and turn it back to them.
4. Be a good listener. Discover what they like and look for what the personal appeal of your product or opportunity could do for them. People are attracted to those who listen and feel appreciated. What gets you excited about your business may be different than what would appeal to them.
5. Here is 1 question you can ask the end of the conversation with them to really set yourself apart, “Who is the ideal client or referral for your business? So that when I come across those people, I can refer them back to you.”
When you are finished talking to that person, write notes on the back of their business card that you can refer to when you call them in the next couple days.
6. Follow up
The majority of people that join network marketing do so after several follow up calls or meetings, not when they first meet each other. If you are not pitching your business right away, that is very powerful.
When you get home from the networking event, send a quick email to each person you meet and say something like: “Hey ______, I met you at the ________event tonight and you seem like an interesting person that I’d like to get to know better. Let’s get together for coffee and see if there are ways we can work together. Let’s catch up sometime soon.” Practically nobody does this! It will make you stand out.
Then CALL them the next day or two and set up a time to meet. When you get together, refer to the notes you wrote down on the back of his/her business card. You will immediately have things to talk about, and they’ll be impressed that you remembered. Start building that relationship. You want to raise curiosity, and that’s it!!! Let your company’s tools do the talking for you, and this happens AFTER the networking event.