How to Stop Prospecting and Grow Your Business Online
Even our 8-figure earner mentor did everything wrong… and yet look where he ended up!
As I write, it’s the middle of October… which is 13 years to the month since our friend, Ferny, started his network marketing career… and his life took a crazy detour into the world of entrepreneurship, deep personal development and “experiencing more negativity than any human should have to endure”, as he put it.
Ferny recently bared his soul to Tom and everyone else in the room about his sordid network marketing past at an attraction marketing training weekend in Denver.
He lamented about hitting up his family and friends over and over, doing home meetings and hotel meetings, tons of one-on-one’s, prospecting at mall and getting ‘no showed’ every other night.
And when that didn’t work, he’d turn his personal profile into an annoying billboard for his company, resulting in most of his friends blocking him.
The good news is that his story has a ridiculously happy ending!
Ferny quit his job as an engineer 2 1/2 years after joining the industry in 2008, became a 6-figure earner in direct sales by 2009, built a 7-figure internet company by 2012 and he is now the co-owner of an online direct sales company, which he first joined as an affiliate back in 2006.
His journey however was not without many fumbles, embarrassing moments and more prospecting faux pas than he cares to share—though we’re so glad he did. Because we can totally relate.
Here are a few that he shared with Tom and the gang…
- Have you ever invited friends over for some beers and very awkwardly transitioned to showing the plan to a very angry audience? He did that.
- Have you ever tried to prospect your bartender, a few too many beers past ‘buzzed’ and have him respond with, “Is this Amway?” Doh! He did that.
- Here’s a good one… have you ever prospected a girl (or guy), while on a date as a “test,” because your upline told you that if a girl is not positive about your business, she’s not a keeper? Yep… he said it didn’t turn out well.
And that’s about as much as he revealed, because he was getting really depressed recounting it all.
The point is, while I’m about to cast some heavy stones at some networkers, I just wanted to let ya’ll know that even our esteemed 8-figure earner buddy, Ferny, made mistakes too…
..but that doesn’t mean we should be going easy on those that are committing some MAJOR prospecting mistakes when recruiting with social media.
Like Ferny, Tom and I have made major fumbles offline. And because of that there’s no record (thankfully!!)…
The Internet Never Forgets and It’s Ruining It for Everyone Else
I once heard that success in business is all about ‘time’ and ‘place’. As a professional marketer, I would add ‘message’ to the equation as well.
Unfortunately, network marketers today are being taught online prospecting methods, which include the wrong message, at the wrong time and most definitely in all the wrong places!
Here’s the truth!
There’s a SUPER fine line between recruiting with social media and spamming people. I’m sorry to say that most network marketers have been turned into human spam bots by their upline and company leaders…
‘Disposable distributors’ tasked with the job of spreading the word about their company’s products or opportunity, at the expense of that person’s reputation and risking the suspension of their social media accounts.
I recently jumped out to look in my own Facebook feed for examples of the WRONG WAY to prospect online… And let me tell you! In no time at all I had collected a plethora of screenshots of objectionable attempts at prospecting by people that I know and love…
The WRONG Way to Prospect and Recruit
Successful entrepreneurs and networkers alike eventually learn the true secret to success and it becomes the foundation upon which their entire prospecting, recruiting and business building strategy is founded.
That secret being:
“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care” – Theodore Roosevelt
The screenshots I collected were weak attempts from people recruiting with social media…people who haven’t yet figured out that building a business is not about tricking people or finding the right copy/paste FB messages to send to strangers.
It’s about actually caring about people, becoming a person of value and being someone uniquely positioned to help someone with their problems.
That last one is critical “uniquely positioned to help someone with their problems.”
Any idiot can copy and paste a message into Messenger.
What sets you apart from the rest of the desperate reps hitting people’s inboxes with their new “ground floor” opportunities or cash programs?
Now this doesn’t mean that prospecting online doesn’t work.
I know some very skilled recruiters who are excellent at online prospecting, but just like offline prospecting, they’ve devoted the time and effort to learn this very difficult skill and have mastered it. And if that’s the strategy you want to deploy, you need to do it right or else!
But if you’re still a little fuzzy on whether you are a spammer or not, here’s a guide of sorts…
Top 5 Warning Signs That Your Prospecting Efforts are Actually SPAM
1) Your first private message to a stranger on social media includes a link to join your opportunity.
2) You get angry replies via private messaging and/or you have been reported as a spammer.
3) You post links to your opportunity or website in the comments section of other people’s social media posts.
4) You compulsively talk about your company or products, offline and online, without anyone asking you to share.
Finally… this one is the most important one…
5) You engage in interactions online, with a hidden agenda, hoping to transition the topic to something that would get people interested in your opportunity, without caring about knowing the other person.
This last one for both Tom and I is a big one…but it can also be controversial.
After all, #5 is the very definition of prospecting (online or offline), which even when done right can still feel awkward, result in people getting angry at you.
Plus it’s very unleveraged…
which is why Ferny (and then Tom and I as well) decided to stop prospecting all together.
But here’s the interesting thing…
When We Stopped Prospecting People, Our Business Started Growing!
As a couple of introverts, I can’t tell you how relieved and at peace both Tom and I felt when we could once again go out with our friends, visit with family, or be in a public place (especially the mall, which was Tom’s favorite... though dreaded… prospecting location) without having to think about prospecting anyone.
It’s SO FREEING!!!
Just enjoying being normal again was incredible, after years of being taught by our upline that “everyone was a prospect” and approaching every conversation with a hidden agenda, we were free!
That’s because it wasn’t until we STOPPED prospecting, that our business actually started growing!
At this point, you may be asking, “then how the in the world did your business grow?”
Well before I answer that, I have to say that there are people who are very skilled prospectors and recruiters who completely disregard the issues I mentioned above.
They knowingly and without shame approach every interaction with a stranger as a prospecting opportunity.
Getting yelled at or cursed out by prospects is no big deal, as long as some people say ‘yes.’
And just like doing it right offline, there’s a way to successfully do it online as well. After watching many people very close to us who were very good at prospecting, Tom and I decided that we didn’t want to build our business this way.
As it’s normally taught, the problem with prospecting in general is that the mindset going in is still about what YOU want people to do and about manipulating people into doing what you want them to do.
In other words, it’s about YOU instead of them. We didn’t like that even though we still did it back in the day… until we were shown a better way.
The More Leveraged Alternative to 1-on-1 Prospecting, Which Won’t Make You Feel Like a Cheap Salesman
Now, I am not trying to be high and mighty about all this prospecting stuff, because I’m not.
For Ferny, if it came down to feeding his family with ‘stone cold’ prospecting tactics or his kids starving, he’d choose stone cold prospecting every time, without remorse.
But the reason he was able to quit prospecting was because, with the help of some extraordinary mentors, he eventually discovered an online recruiting strategy, which…
Enabled him to recruit more people in 1 DAY than the most skilled recruiters in the world can do in 1 month… He was able to passively generate leads, customers and new reps – even when he was out having fun with friends and family.
(Hence why he didn’t have to worry about prospecting them!)
Rather than spending hours spamming or private messaging people on social media, he learned how to legitimately get Facebook and other networks to actually help him attract the people who are most interested in what he has to offer, using their ads platform (i.e. going LEGIT)!
In fact, every day for almost 10 years now, he wakes up to an email inbox full of notifications for new leads, new customers, new team members and commissions he earned while sleeping!
And THAT happens for us every single day, too, by the way.
This strategy is called ‘attraction marketing’, which is an internet marketing strategy designed for networkers and people in direct sales!
You see, if your business depends on you being on social media, sending private messages or commenting on people’s posts all day, you are NOT doing internet marketing… despite what you may have been led to believe.
Online prospecting and internet marketing are NOT the same thing. Internet marketing is a passive strategy, which works, even when you are not.
If you want to learn how it works exactly the same way we did, Ferny actually reveals the entire strategy he’s used for the past 10 years in a free 10-Day Online Recruiting Bootcamp available here.
You’ll also get more details about a book he wrote, which goes into the nuts n’ bolts of his recruiting and selling formula.
Now if traditional prospecting online or offline is your thing and you want to stick to that, then by all means, go for it.
There are many top trainers and earners in the industry that focus on cold market recruiting skills…
(And they do ‘attraction marketing’ too!)
Tom and I decided there was a certain way we wanted to live our life and that was more important.
We would much rather make a ton of money in our business first and then have our friends and family beg us to tell them more about it.
It’s much better than begging friends and family to join a business which isn’t making any money.
Which would you prefer?