Prospecting is the single most important task that a network marketer engages in; success in MLM absolutely depends on it. Prospecting, or sponsoring reps into your primary home business opportunity, is the way the industry’s top earners build their businesses into residual income empires that offer financial security and stability for their families.
The Good and Bad
There are some MLM professionals who have already been involved in the industry for years, even decades. These individuals run their organizations the old-fashioned way – they tap into their “warm market.” They prospect largely using their own personal contact lists, sharing their business opportunity with loved ones, close friends, colleagues at work, fellow church parishioners, social groups they belong to, and fraternities and sororities, among others. These MLMers hold home meetings or parties several times a week and regularly attend company conventions along with other large events.
There is a group that many describe as internet network marketers. The main factor that separates this group from the first is that these people do the vast majority (or, in some cases, all) of their prospecting using the internet – in other words, they tap their “cold market.”
They prospect their business opportunity by advertising on internet forums, social network sites, and on the major search engines like Yahoo and Google. They may also engage in another cold market prospecting, like purchasing lists of potentials and then contacting them by phone or e-mail.
Is Approaching your Warm Market a bad thing?
A few of these folks are completely closed to the idea of prospecting their family and friends, while some simply don’t give it much thought or focus. Here’s the argument: The old-school MLMers insist that they prospecting friends and family is definitely the method in which network marketing has always been done, and many large fortunes were created by sharing household cleaners, cosmetics, and such, on a person-to-person basis.
Also, the old-school folks insist that this technique is highly duplicatable, and duplication has traditionally been a huge selling point to illustrate that “anyone can do this business and be successful!” (I’m sure you’ve heard this nearly as much as I have!) Conversely, the internet money people assert that prospecting friends and family is the formula for a network marketing disaster.
They cite that leads generated from friends and family members are untargeted (meaning they may or may not be looking for what you have to offer), and they do not convert into successful business owners or loyal customers.
Additionally, the internet MLMers note that prospecting becomes a serious problem once a business builder has gone through their entire list of potentials and there are no more people to sponsor. According to internet marketers, internet prospecting solves these problems by targeting people that are actively looking for a business opportunity and providing a virtually endless list of leads using the world wide web.
So which prospecting strategy is the best?
BOTH! Prospecting both Offline and Online is the way to go! You will set yourself apart from your competition by mastering both of these skillets. You are leaving money on the table if you are not prospecting both offline and online.
Let’s apply some common sense here! It’s pretty hard to argue with a person who made his fortune in network marketing by signing up friends, family, and acquaintances.
And let me tell you, there are lots of these individuals out there! However, this is the 21st Century, and we are in the Internet Age. And there are many folks out there that are running incredibly successful empires by marketing themselves to people searching for an MLM opportunity.
The secret is to successfully marry the two philosophies so that you’re “showing the plan” to as many people as possible. The bottom line: Combining both warm and cold market prospecting techniques is a great approach to expanding your MLM organization.
This way, your business doesn’t have to die when you run out of friends and family to prospect (and you don’t have to continuously bug the heck out of them either!). You also don’t have to remove the “network” from network marketing by automating the entire process. After all, the “networking” and “prospecting” are part of the business that offers one of the best personal growth opportunities.
It’s your turn!
What’s your opinion of building your business around a warm market and cold market? I would love to hear your feedback on the topic. Please leave your feedback in the comments section and I look forward to reading them!