Network marketing thrives on a steady flow of new customers. Success requires an ongoing effort to grow your network through prospecting.
But what is prospecting, exactly?
To put it simply: prospecting consists of identifying potential customers.
The goal of prospecting is to turn cold prospects (those who don’t know anything about you) into hot prospects (those who are interested in what you’re selling and have the potential to become loyal customers).
This article shows you how to move through this first critical phase in the sales process.
Why Is Prospecting Important in Network Marketing?
Prospecting encompasses the most essential skills you can develop in your direct sales business. It involves reaching out to people, listening to them, discovering their pain points so you know how to help them, and organizing all your prospects so you can follow up more easily. (A great way to do this is through income-producing activities.)
Additionally, your success involves not just selling but developing a network marketing team. If you don’t turn prospective customers into loyal customers who become part of your sales team, you’ll never grow your business into the powerhouse you know it can be.
Network Marketing Prospecting Tips
So how do you turn cold prospects into hot ones?
For network marketing and direct sales, most people begin looking for prospects within their own networks. You can do this online through LinkedIn and Facebook groups. Or in person, via friends, family, clubs, or even the parents on your kid’s soccer team.
The following tips will help you move prospects from cold to hot. From there, you can work on growing your team and coaching them to build on your success!
Define Your Ideal Prospect
Before blindly reaching out to everyone you know, take a few minutes to create a profile of your ideal prospect.
To help define your perfect customer, start by reviewing the website of the product you’re selling. Read blog posts and social media profiles, and pay attention to who’s commenting on articles and posts.
This research will help you identify key characteristics of the people actively engaging with the company and who are interested in its products. Note any similarities you notice, like age range, gender, family situation, career, hobbies, or interests.
Once you have an idea of your perfect customer, start scanning your networks for people who match that profile.
Find Your Ideal Prospect
You probably already know several people who could use the product or service you’re selling – and may even want to join your team.
After you’ve completed the initial research on who your ideal customer is, start building your network marketing prospecting list from your phone and social media contacts and the groups you’re already involved in (community and school groups, businesses you frequent).
Identify Ways to Reach Out to Them
Gone are the days when cold calls were made to people on their home phones (usually interrupting dinner!). For most of your prospects, you shouldn’t even be calling until they’ve expressed an interest in what you’re selling. And while this takes time, it’s worth it.
A general rule of selling is that you’ll need to reach out several times to establish a genuine connection. Developing a strategy for how you’ll achieve this is a great start. And keep in mind there are numerous ways to get in touch with prospects these days.
- An email campaign: Use an automated email sequence to tell interested prospects more about your story, share helpful resources, and add excitement about your products and business opportunity.
- Social media direct messaging: Similar to email, you can automate a process of warming prospects up to the possibilities of your business and products.
- Social media groups: Starting conversations, telling your story, and being an active, helpful presence in social media groups is a great way to authentically connect with prospects.
- Commenting on social media posts: Build new connections by commenting on posts by people who match your prospecting profile.
- Creating your own business profiles: Make sure people you engage with (on social media or in person) can find your profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. On any platform, offer a clear next step for interested people to get in touch directly.
- In person: Drafting a script for in-person connections is a fantastic way to start off on the right foot. Remember not to jump straight into pitching your products, but start by asking questions and sharing your story.
Create a Connection With Your Prospect
Once you have a list of ways to contact your prospects, turn your attention to their needs. Do this by using the connection you’ve established to learn about their pain points. The more you discover about what’s troubling them, the more you can help by providing solutions to their problems.
People want to connect with people, not salespeople.
No one wants to hear things like, “I see we went to the same college! Let me tell you about this great product.”
They want to hear, “I saw your post about getting your energy back last year, and was really impressed with how you overcame your health crisis. I could relate to everything you had to say, as I’ve been there myself.”
Not only does this build on your connection, but it also helps build trust.
Send Relevant Content to Prospects
After you’ve established a connection with your prospects, created a list of how to contact them, and discovered what their pain points are – you need to find ways to keep your prospects engaged.
Reach out by sharing content that’s relevant and can help your prospects solve their problems. This not only keeps your prospects interested, but helps build your credibility (and their loyalty!).
You can send blog articles, share social media posts, links to TED talks, or other materials related to your product or service that helps cement your relationship.
When the timing feels right, you can start sending information about the products you have that can help your prospects solve their problems (the ones you know they have because you’ve taken the time to get to know them!).
Use Tools to Automate the Process
Duplication in network marketing is critical to success. The more you can repeat and automate, the more prospects you can reach to grow your network.
But always remember that prospects are people, not numbers. You don’t need tools to spam uninterested contacts with ineffective sales pitches.
Instead, look for tools that make it easier to scale the number of authentic relationships you can build with like-minded people.
To turn cold prospects into hot ones, you need a system in place that helps you organize and track them. You need to know the best ways to reach them, when it’s time to follow up, and how they’ve engaged with the content you’ve sent.
With the RapidFunnel App intelligent analytics are delivered in real time to help you focus on what’s working and perfect your messaging. You’ll see which videos your prospects are watching, which resources they’re engaging with and how, as well as which campaigns perform best.
But most importantly, you’ll build authentic connections that help you grow your business.