You’re probably wondering why I call myself the “Terrible Networker” (and with good reason).
Why DO I call myself that? After all, I’m a Terrific Networker now 🙂
My story goes back to the early 1990’s when I was first introduced to network marketing before the internet really gained traction, and back when all recruiting had to be done offline (person-to-person).
Unfortunately, at the time I was looked upon as “just another recruit” and not as someone old enough, wise enough or with enough “personal connections” to really succeed in the MLM business.
My first experience in network marketing was when approached by an aunt and uncle who (not really knowing all the ins and outs of the business themselves) meant well by showing me the opportunity. But they were not able to show me what it was I actually needed to do to succeed in the industry and with that company.
You may very closely identify with how I felt. (It sucked)
And when I continually asked them and their upline sponsor what I needed to do to succeed, the pad answer was always,”Talk to more people.”
Great! (Just not so great, considering I didn’t know WHAT TO SAY)
I would see others in the company succeeding beyond expectation. They’d have entire teams of people joining them and selling product.
Every week we’d attend a company meeting somewhere in San Antonio, Texas (the city I was living in at the time) and I’d see these successful reps bringing 8, 10 and 15 new people into the meeting each time to introduce THEM to the opportunity.
I kept thinking,”What do I need to do to get THAT kind of attention? What do I need to do to get THAT many people wanting to join ME?”
But it was possible. I KNEW it was a possibility because I’d see those other successful reps doing it week after week, but I would walk out of those meetings into the parking lot and immediately start thinking,”What DO I need to actually DO? Is there some ‘secret’ that they know that I don’t?”
As you probably have with things in your life (and maybe even with network marketing), I’d go home, sit around thinking and come up with my own ideas for reaching the biggest number of people as quickly and efficiently as possible. After all, that HAD to be what those successful people were doing, right?
Now again, at the time we didn’t have the internet, so what I came up with are the top things that put me into what I called the “Terrible Networker” category faster than most anyone on the planet.
My youth and outwardly obvious lack of experience didn’t help, either – I was only 23 years old.
The frustration I felt about that did spur me on to try my “ideas” as eagerly and quickly as possible, though, because I perceived I had a bigger uphill battle ahead of me to succeed than they did.
“The good news from that time of my life is that I learned what DOESN’T work, so I failed a whole lot more quickly than most.”
Somewhat sad to say that I didn’t find immediate success in network marketing from trying the 5 things I’m going to show you in this series.
In point of fact, I didn’t find ANY success from doing these things. (But I digress)
I learned a very important lesson in life that some never learn: Failure and failing more times than others is HOW we find success.
THAT was the key to my discovering what DOES WORK!
I’m going to be covering 5 different things in this series that will absolutely NOT WORK for you (just like they didn’t work for me).
The first “wonderful idea” I tried was a direct result of my thinking that ‘to get more people in front of my business opportunity, I’d have to get the attention of more people.’ Which is true – but not in the way many of us first think it is.
During the early 90’s, before we had the internet to reach as many people as we do now, the only way I could think of to reach the biggest number of people without spending a fortune was to print up business cards and flyers and hand them out to as many people as I possibly could.
This was my first and biggest mistake.
Let me start this one out by loudly yelling,”WRONG ANSWER!”
Business cards and flyers are not the way to reach large numbers of people!
But I tried it nonetheless, and this became my first pioneering venture into learning what actually DOES work. (More on that later)
I found a company that would print up a large stack of business cards for dirt cheap and a printer that would Xerox reams of paper copied flyers for not much more…and I did exactly that. I printed them up with my name and phone number on them and began handing them out.
Amazingly enough, even though not amazing at all, no one ever called me.
Don’t do this!
You’ll waste your time, your energy and everyone else’s too. (And you’ll destroy more trees in the process)
Network Marketing only really works when you attract people to you for who you are, THEN show them the opportunity.
I can remember trying the business card thing by walking up to people in parking lots, malls, stores, anywhere and everywhere and handing random people business cards only to have them look at me like I was from another planet or I’d just escaped from a psycho ward down the street.
Realize this: They will not call you or contact you!
Why? Because by doing this, you’re taking “weird” to a whole new level.
If some stranger walks up to you in a parking lot and just hands you a business card and walks away…you’re gonna throw that card away or drop it on the ground.
I know, because I saw people do it right in front of me.
Now, this type of rejection was indeed harder on my self-esteem, but it wasn’t as bad as warm market rejection (which I’m going to talk about in one of the follow-up videos in this series).
But it’s bad, nevertheless.
So what’s the answer to getting in front of as many people as possible if handing them business cards and/or flyers doesn’t work?
YOU become your OWN business card.
In the offline recruiting world, this is the most valuable piece of advice you will ever hear. And really, this concept applies to the online world, too.
When YOU become your own business card, YOU have to get to know people, YOU have to let them want to know more about you and ask YOU questions – all so you can lead them into sitting down with you and you showing them one-on-one what it is you do.
I heard one successful, well-known MLM recruiting Pro phrase it this way,”Make friends and meet their friends.”
By doing it this way, YOU are using magnetic attraction to meet people you don’t yet know, getting them talking about themselves and their wants and desires, and wondering what you do and how you can help them get to their goals and reach their dreams and aspirations.
Once you’ve made a friendship with them, you can go out with them and meet their friends and replicate the process.
So don’t print up business cards and flyers in the hopes of initiating the interaction between you and them with the cards and flyers.
The only reason you want to print up business cards and flyers is to have them on-hand when someone ASKS you for them.
Be sure to check out the next videos in this series where I’m going to show you the other top mistakes that will quickly make you a Terrible Networker.
(And show you how those methods “WAY” didn’t work for me, either)
See you there!
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Clint is a consultant, blogger and online marketer that lives in Texas with his family.