Boy oh boy, this is the holy grail in network marketing. How to find customers is THE number-one concern for new business people.
There are lots of variations of this concern. “But I don’t know anybody.” “I never meet new people.” “I’m shy, I don’t like talking to large groups.”
In my opinion, people who have this concern are looking at the problem backwards. Going up to perfect strangers in the grocery store and prospecting them for your business is the LAST thing you want to do!
The very FIRST thing to do is to take a thorough stock of the types of problems your product or service solves. A nutrition company helps people with obesity, fatigue, and a host of other health problems. A cookware company helps those who love to cook but don’t have the proper tools. A skincare company helps people who are concerned about their appearance OR want more natural products to pamper their bodies.
Once you thoroughly understand all the products in your line and the types of problems they address, you can begin to define YOUR ideal customer. There are WAY too many people out there for you to serve them all. This is actually backwards to what most network marketing companies push. To them everyone with a pulse who walks on two legs is a prospective customer. Ha! That’s a recipe for confusion and frustration.
As an example, MY network marketing company has four lines of products: nutritional supplements, weight loss products, nontoxic cleaning products, and a natural skin care line. I have LOTS of opportunity and LOTS of marketing possibilities. However, I find myself drawn to two types of customers: those who want to lose weight, and those with health problems that benefit from nutritional supplementation (like fatigue, migraines and stress).
My ideal customer is an obese person who wants to lose weight, or a person who wants to use supplements to address a health concern rather than (or in addition to) medications.
Once you know who your ideal customer is, you have to figure out where they are, then go to them. I’m very blessed that usually my network marketing customers walk through the door of my main business! (I’m a family doctor, if you didn’t already know that.) However, the concept is the same.
For instance, for a cookware company you might host a series of cooking classes (“brought to you by XYZ company”) and market them inexpensively on Facebook or Twitter, in your church bulletin or by word-of-mouth. After the class you give away a small door prize in return for the attendees’ contact information. This gives you more people to market to, to ask for referrals, and build your network.
In addition to standard marketing activity, when you become comfortable with your product line you will find yourself hearing friends, family and sometimes strangers commenting on problems that your products solve. Then it’s very natural to say something like “I just heard you say that you’re having trouble losing weight. I know of something that can help with that. Would you be open to hearing more?”
You CAN have a thriving network marketing business without alienating everyone you know. It takes training, patience and stick-to-it-iveness! However, if entrepreneurship and home business ownership were easy, everyone would do it.
If you haven’t read my previous network marketing posts, you can find them and do some catch-up reading here 🙂