Isn’t that a pyramid scheme? How to address the same tiresome complaint…Part One
How many times have you had a prospect be seemingly interested in your product, until that point when they realize that the product is distributed through a direct sales, or multi-level marketing company? How many times do you see the wind go immediately out of their sails, and watch them become defensive and combative?
Many people have different responses to this situation; here are four distinct issues that I have come up and how I think they should be handled. Before you can respond intelligently to their concerns, you have to find out which objection you’re dealing with, and the only way to do that is to get more information.
I usually ask a non-threatening question, such as “Do you have any experience with that? Are you familiar with how network marketing works? Sounds like you have a story, huh?” The idea is to get them to open up a little bit and provide more info. Based on my own and my colleagues’ experiences, you’ll probably find one of the four types below:
1. The hater: This person simply has a negative view of network marketing. Sometimes they will boldly state why they feel that way, other times they back away quickly. Most of the experienced network marketers I know move away from this person like the plague. Their attitude is: “If this person is that stupid or that biased, I don’t want to even waste my time with them”.
I understand their position, but I think they may be making a mistake. I think it’s best to try and draw them out a little before making that decision. If you find someone who is clearly hostile, opinionated, or rock-solid-certain that MLM is the worst thing in the world, or a person who just seems to be extremely negative and closed minded, then I agree you should stay away from them. Life is too short, and all of that.
However, it could be that you are dealing with a reasonable person who either had a bad experience, or is misinformed. If they appear to be pleasant, reasonable, and willing to talk, you may want to continue and find out if they have one of the remaining three objections, which can be overcome:
2. The person who can’t separate the product from the opportunity: This person often mistakenly believes that the only way to get involved with your company is to become a promoter or distributer, or they believe that you will never stop pestering them to promote if they just want to purchase a product.
In fairness, many people have a reason to feel this way. I left the MLM industry with a sour taste in my mouth years ago due to this. The best way to overcome this objection is to acknowledge its validity, and DON”T BE THE TYPE OF PERSON WHO PESTERS THEM THIS WAY!!
The company I left claimed that they wanted their promoters to sell a lot of retail product. But based on the way the compensation plan was structured, the training materials, what people talked about, how people were trained (and how they trained their downline), one thing became clear. Just about everybody spent almost all of their time and energy trying to convince people how they could become rich by becoming a promoter.
It’s hard to build a successful sales and distribution team. Not everyone is cut out for it, and not everyone wants to try. If you can assure the prospect that you really are just looking for a customer, you might be able to persuade them.
If you follow through and are true to your word, and your product is good, they might change their mind and you might end up with a promoter down the road!
In part two, we’ll take a look at two more reasons some people are skittish about MLM.
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