You don't have to be in the industry long before you hear or read something about values. Whether your opportunity has its roots in Network Marketing, a Party Plan, or Direct Sales, there are plenty of experts extolling, lauding and proclaiming the so-called importance of values. Good grief! Who do these people think they are? Can’t they find something more practical to yak about? Not that I’m complaining, mind you. Often, other people’s values make them easy prey for the folks not hindered by lofty ideals such as outdated values.
Not only are values utterly unnecessary, they actually get in the way of some aspects of the business. Once such aspect is prospecting. When it’s done correctly, prospecting can be easy as pie. But, if you bog it down with useless complications, like values, well…all bets are off. Allow me to prove my point...
Let’s start with one of the all-time favorites: Leadership. Leadership is not earned or given - it is taken. You can't lead someone to prospecting excellence. Prospecting should be learned the hard way - by trial and error over an extended period of time. What are you going to do, take your new rep out into the real-world and demonstrate by example? What a waste of your precious time. Let him learn how to prospect by himself. The resulting adversities will make him stronger. In the long run, he'll be better for it and he'll make you more money.
Here's another value that's overrated with respect to prospecting: Commitment, or as I prefer to call it, Stick-to-it-ness. Stick-to-it-ness is a measure of how willing a rep is to stay with the business in order to figure it out. Prospecting can be tricky for some people. Many of them won't stick around long enough to figure it out. I say, "Good riddance!" If your new rep won't stick around for the short-term, she won't stick around for the long-term. Better to find out now before you waste too much time on her, right?
How about this pet prospecting value: Flexibility? How’s that supposed to help? What am I supposed to do, change who I am merely to prospect someone I don't know? You have got to be kidding me! God created me the way I am. Why should I change? I'll admit that sometimes I'm a little rough around the edges. Sometimes, I could stand to be a little less opinionated, a little less forceful. But still, I'm the one with the opportunity. I'm the one bearing gifts. I'm the one with the cookie. The prospects should be grateful I’m even offering it. It is the prospects who should be more flexible. That would sure make them a lot easier to connect with.
Here's another one favorite so-called prospecting "values": Inspiration. Sometimes it's called a "dream", or a "why". It really doesn't matter what you call it because it's not going to make any difference anyway. Prospecting is about persistence, tenacity, specific one-liners, and the raw nerve to insinuate yourself into another person's life situation. You don't need a "why" to do that. You don't need to be inspired to step out of your comfort zone. What you need is to "gut-it up" and get it done. I say phooey on dreams!
I saved Integrity for the final example because it's the value most commonly talked about. Now don't get me wrong, no one ranks integrity higher than I do, but when it comes to prospecting, it tends to be counter-productive. The goal of prospecting is to get someone to look at your DVD, read your magazine or listen to a sizzle call, so the prospect can make up his or her own mind, right? If your opportunity is solid and wholesome, then you're doing the prospect a favor. If that's true, why does it matter how you get them to listen or read? Sometimes, you have to stretch the truth a little. Sometimes, you have to answer a question with a slightly misleading answer. Prospecting is one situation where the end justifies the means. Just remember to keep your stories straight. Otherwise, you may end up with new rep that doesn't fully trust you.
There you have them, five examples of how values get in the way of your prospecting endeavors. Let's recap them briefly:
• Leadership requires you to teach by example, which in turn empowers your new reps to become self-sufficient.
• Commitment instills in your new reps a willingness to stick around for the short-term which increases the likelihood of them sticking around for the long-term.
• Flexibility requires a willingness to change in order to relate to a wider-range of prospects.
• Inspiration empowers you to step outside of your comfort zone.
• Integrity causes you to build trust, which will properly disqualify some prospects.
So are values important to prospecting? Consider the following questions:
Who needs self-sufficient reps? Who needs reps to stick around for the long-term? Who wants to relate to more prospects? Who needs to step out of their comfort zone? Who cares about building trust?
So tell me, are values important to prospecting? Do values belong in your prospecting efforts?
Hmmmm… I'm starting to think that maybe they do belong after all. Perhaps I should re-evaluate my original premise.
Note: To be perfectly clear, and to remove any lingering doubt, this article was written from a purely sarcastic perspective. In my journey, I've prospected just about every kind of person in just about every type of situation. Make no mistake, values are important to all aspects of team-building and in prospecting, they're positively paramount!
Russ McNeil writes and trains for the Network Marketing and Direct Sales industries. His content is laser-focused on the subject of prospecting. When he first entered the industry years ago, he was completely ill-prepared. Eventually, through trial and error, extensive personal development and sheer determination, he mastered the art of prospecting. Through his engaging presentation style, hard-won experience and appealing sense of humor, audiences and readers from a wide range of companies have learned fresh insights into the crucial, yet often misunderstood subject of prospecting. To discover more, visit www.AhaUniversity.com. You are free to reprint, distribute and share the article above as long as this paragraph remains intact and attached. © 2011 Russ McNeil.