At the beginning, as early owner of network marketing party business with ASEA, I were often told by my sponsors or upline to approach strangers to talk about our business.
In theory, we all know it’s a great idea to approach strangers. Not only as a way to introduce products, book new parties, and sponsor team members, but also as a way to promote our businesses to a whole new circle of people. When we approach people we don’t know . . . yes, strangers . . . we open ourselves up to endless possibilities and exponential growth for our businesses.
All said, while we know it makes perfect sense, starting discussions with new people is likely the single, most nerve-wracking of all skills to develop! Putting ourselves out there for immediate rejection can produce huge amounts of stress for us.
Think about it, regardless of how profitable or how exciting it might feel developing clients from a whole new circle of influence . . . just the thought of talking to strangers can make us sick to our stomachs!
Remember, if it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
. . . so we’d like to suggest a surefire way to develop the skill of approaching strangers without stress.
First we’ll explain the step-by-step method for approaching strangers, but keep reading to the end because we have a big surprise in the final!
Step 1) We should decide why we are approaching strangers. We should think about why we are approaching a total stranger about our products, not from our perspective, but from their perspective. In other words, what’s in it for them?
This must be done on a case-by-case basis. We must make the reason we’re approaching strangers tailored to each individual person’s specific needs. Here would be some examples:
A) When we see a harried mom toting along four kids in a grocery store, our reason for approaching her (which we tailor to her needs). . . is that she looks like she could use some pamper time, and we have the right products to accomplish that for her.
B) When we are served by a tireless waitress who is great at her job, a reason to approach her, tailored to her specific needs, is that we have a way for her to make much more money with less work and effort.
C) When we overhear a conversation while standing in a checkout line and someone is talking about trying to lose weight; if we sell weight loss products, we now have a reason to approach which is specifically tailored to meet the needs of that person.
D) When we see a group of women having fun at a night club and we can tell right away they’re the type of people who like to laugh and enjoy themselves and, therefore, would probably love a “girls night out” party atmosphere . . . we now have a great reason to approach these people; a reason tailored to meet their needs.
E) We hear the clerk at the convenience store complaining about her job. We now have a reason to approach her about our business opportunity.
Remember, we should always look at the world through the eyes of the person we’re approaching and ask ourselves, “How would they benefit from our products, or having a party, or from our business opportunity?”
Step 2) State our fears first. People appreciate honesty and authenticity. If we’re nervous about approaching someone, our feelings of fear or apprehension should be the first thing we say to them. If we’re worried a stranger might see us as pushy, then we should state this fear immediately. If the very first sentence out of our mouths says how we feel or what we’re afraid of, we’re creating authenticity for ourselves and all people, strangers or otherwise, respect authenticity.
We should always remember to have a smile on our face and when appropriate, an outstretched hand with a business card or promotional materials, but it’s always a good habit to state the real truth about how we’re feeling up front. Here would be some typical examples:
A) “I didn’t want to approach you because I was afraid you’d think I was being pushy, but …”
B) “I feel ridiculous talking to you out of the blue like this, but …”
C) “I feel silly talking to you because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m nosy, but … “
D) “I feel so stupid interrupting you all, but “
E) “I feel nervous talking to you so directly because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m crazy, but …”
The idea is . . . to say exactly how we’re feeling. Be as honest as possible.
Step 3) Put Steps 1 and 2 together. First we follow Step 2 . . . state our fear first. Then we complete our statement by clearly stating how their lives will benefit by talking to us. Here are a several examples of what Step 3 might sound like:
A) “I didn’t want to approach you because I was afraid you’d think I was being pushy, but if you ever need some pamper me items, I thought I’d give you my card. You’ve earned some relaxation!”
B) “I feel ridiculous talking to you out of the blue like this, but you’re a really good waitress and most of the waitresses I meet like to work for tips so they can control their income. So I thought you might be interested in this too.”
C) “I feel silly talking to you because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m nosy, but I couldn’t help and overhear that you are frustrated with weight loss products. I just wanted to give you this card. This product worked for me so well, I became a distributor.”
D) “I feel so stupid interrupting you all, but you look like the kind of group that likes to have fun and so I wanted to give you my card. You’re exactly the type of women who have a great time at our parties.”
E) “I feel nervous talking to you so directly because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m crazy, but maybe you’d be interested in this opportunity. I make great money doing this and it’s super easy.”
Step 4) We need to let go of the outcome. The whole process of approaching strangers is much easier when we completely let go of the outcome. In other words, we should have the attitude that it doesn’t matter if the person responds with enthusiasm, mild interest, politeness, or disinterest. We are just trying to share information that we think could benefit their lives.
Step 5) A stranger’s response is just a signal as to what to do next. This might be the most important part of the process. Regardless of how a person responds, it’s important for us to always remember that their response is not about us . . . it’s about them.
There are a million reasons why someone may not be interested in our opportunity or our product right this minute, but it has nothing to do with our product or our company, or us. It might only mean that this opportunity at this point in time with this person wasn’t a match.
The same holds true if the person responds positively. It just means that this opportunity at this time with this person was a match. But it’s still not about us!
We should always think of a person’s response as merely a signal telling us what we should do next to proceed. For example, the person says they are not interested in hosting or attending a party. That’s a signal for us to thank them for their time and move on. If they show mild interest and ask about our products, it might be a signal to give them a catalog.
Any way we look at it, we’re merely sharing information and the timing is either right for that information or it’s not. Either way, we need to be committed to the sharing of the information.
Remember, the information we’re providing, if received by the right person at the right time, might change that person’s life.
Finally, here’s the piece we said might be surprising . . .
We suggest NOT doing any of these steps. WHAT?!
What we suggest is . . . starting right now, let’s just THINK about doing these steps. Specifically, every time we are out and around, let’s look at the people we could possible approach and practice these steps in our minds. We won’t actually follow through and approach people, but we’ll think about how we would approach them, if we were going to actually do it.
This may sound crazy, but if we’re consistent and truly do this visualization exercise every time we’re out, it won’t be very long before we’re actually approaching people . . . and when we do . . . it will feel like we’ve been doing it forever!
The key here is to be consistent in doing this exercise in our minds. If we truly do this exercise every time we’re running our errands or out and about around town, we’ll become very skilled at identifying how our potential customers could benefit from our products or opportunity AND identifying our fear about approaching them.
Practicing these conversations in our minds over and over again will make approaching strangers seem like second nature to us and, before we know it, we’ll be making real connections with more and more people each and every day!
This article was written because of a suggestion made in a comment and so make sure to tell us what you think.
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[Partial Credit to The Mind Aware – Dana Wilde is founder of The Mind Aware, at http://www.themindaware.com.]