Leadership Training: Lesson 36
What Type of Business is Right for You?
There are many ways to build an NSP businessfrom a web page to a brick-and-mortar retail store—there are almost as many ways as there are distributors. In past lessons I have discussed many of these. In this lesson and the ones that follow, I will explore these methods in more detail—spending an entire lesson on each of the various methods for building an NSP business. I will try to be as inclusive as possible, which will be challenging because distributors are developing new ways every day. Perhaps this discussion will spark some new ideas for you, and you may come up with a new method of your own.
Most distributors build their NSP businesses by using a combination of these methods. A lot depends on personality. An introverted person will feel more comfortable establishing an online presence, while an extrovert will be comfortable talking to strangers in waiting rooms and check out lines. Public speaking isn't for everyone, but if that is your talent, or if you are willing to develop such a skill, you will find it to be one of the most effective ways imaginable. Door-to-door selling will not appeal to most people, but I have known a few people who have done quite well with it. It all depends on you. That is one of the greatest benefits of this business—you are your own boss. No one will tell you what to do.
Resolve to read through all of the following methods with an open mind. Even the lessons that describe methods that you would never consider may never-the-less offer ideas that you may be able to use.
So with all of this in mind, let's get started:
Method #1: Networking
It is no coincidence that this type of business is called "Network Marketing." The marketing plan, by its very nature, was designed to take advantage of the natural tendency people have to share ideas, advice and experiences with one another. NSP did not originally begin as a Network Marketing company, but very early in the company's history the founders decided that this would be the best approach, because they could see that their best advertising had already become word-of-mouth advertising. From the beginning customers were eagerly sharing the marvelous and sometimes life-changing benefits that they had received from NSP's herbal products. The founders decided that it would be a good idea to use this natural tendency, and to actually work out a compensation plan that would reward it. As history has proven, it was indeed a great idea!
Most doctors will never tell their patients about the healing benefits of herbs. And herbal manufacturing companies can't tell people because the FDA will not allow them to. If an herbal company makes a health claim for one of their products, the FDA is likely to classify the product as a drug and impose the same strict regulations on it that they impose on drugs, which would keep the herbs from ever getting into the hands of the people who could benefit from them. Such regulations are appropriate for drugs, because drugs are very dangerous. Each year hundreds of thousands of Americans are killed by their prescription drugs, but it is extremely rare for anyone to be harmed by their herbal supplements.
The government can place restrictions on companies, but fortunately they can not (yet) prevent people from saying what they want to say to each other. The way that most people find out about the benefits of herbal products is by being told by another person. That is where you come in! But even so, you should never make health claims nor promises of a cure. If you do, then your customer will have a legitimate complaint if they don't experience the same results. It is perfectly acceptable to tell people about your experiences, and the experiences of others (testimonials), so long as you do not make a health claim or a promise of a cure.
In Lessons 27 and 28 we discussed testimonials. In Lesson 29 we talked about "Your Personal Story." This would be a good time to review that material. When you are talking to people—whether perfect strangers or people you know—your personal story will be your most powerful sales tool. Close behind that will be testimonials that you have heard from people who you have helped, or from people who you know who have told you their personal stories.
That is one of the very important benefits of holding regular meetings with your customers and members. At your meetings encourage people to tell their stories, or their recent positive experiences. This serves two purposes: It gives them practice with telling their stories, and it also gives the other attendees at your meeting testimonials that they can share with others. I can assure you that the very next day after your meeting some of these stories will be repeated at work places, in waiting rooms, check out lines, etc.
Do you feel comfortable striking up a conversation with a perfect stranger? Many people do this naturally, for others it is a little more difficult. All of us will feel more comfortable doing this after a little practice. Usually it is a very positive experience, which rewards itself making it easier the next time. Try to develop the habit, while sitting in the waiting room of your dentist or hair salon for example. People really like to talk and share all sorts of personal things about themselves in hair salons and spas. There is no need to be pushy. Just be friendly. Talk about anything. Invariably the conversation will turn to a health issue—it is the one thing that people like to talk about the most—and that is your opportunity to tell them what you do. Always have business cards handy. Get their email address so you can send them more information. Try to get their phone number as well. Following up afterward is essential. You will get better with practice, so practice every chance you get. When you get good at this kind of networking you will find that you will have an almost endless supply of new clients!
Networking also means getting new contacts from your existing contacts. Your best customers will be people who are referred to you by your other customers. But you have to ask for referrals. When you talk to one of your existing customers or members, ask them if they know other people who you might be able to help. Invariably they will. Ask them if they would provide you with contact information, and if they would mind if you mentioned their name when you called them. Most people are very glad to help you in this manner. And when you contact the new person, you will be received with much greater enthusiasm once they find out that they were referred by their friend. They will be much more inclined to buy if they know that their friend has bought from you and thought enough about you to refer them to you. People have a tendency to do what their friends do. Take advantage of this natural tendency.
Another good place to network is with the people who you are already doing business with, such as you hair stylist, massage therapist or bank teller. You are supporting their businesses, so you have every right to expect them to be supportive of your business as well. Once I was finding that my hair stylist was not supportive of my business, so I switched to another stylist, and then another, until I found one who was supportive. Since then I have received many referrals from this person. I would much rather give my business to someone who will do business with me. And conversely, I try to use the business services of the people who are doing business with me. That is what networking is all about.
I could go on and on about networking. The opportunities are endless! I'm sure you will be able to think of other ways as well. Develop the habit of networking and you will find yourself doing it naturally all the time. We are a social species, so networking comes natural to us. If you will network at every chance you get, your business will grow beyond your greatest expectations.
Networking is quite possibly the most effective means that you will ever use to build your business. And the best part is it is free! It is also fun! Many small businesses spend thousands of dollars each month on advertising to bring in new customers and to retain and upsell their existing customers. You will never have to spend that kind of money on advertising if you will consistently work at using and improving your networking skills.
Wishing You the Best in Health and Prosperity!
Dr. Duane Weed, MS, DC, LAc
For your convenience, the previous lessons from this series can be accessed from the menu below:
1 Welcome and Introduction 2 Quality is the Difference 3 Service Sets You Apart 4 Know Your Company 5 Know Your Opportunity 6 Know Your Compensation Plan 7 About Network Marketing 8 The Online Health Assessment 9 Company Loyalty 10 Goals 11 Persistence 12 Integrity 13 Follow-up 14 Customer Follow-up 15 Member Follow-up 16 Knowledge is Power 17 Tax Advantages 18 Self-esteem 19 Meetings 20 Type of Business 21 Distributor Websites 22 NSP Forum 23 Using the Internet 24 Building Web Traffic 25 Become a Master Networker 26 Recruiter or Sponsor? 27 Testimonials 28 Testimonials 2 29 Your Personal Story 30 Email Newsletters 31 More on Goals 32 More on Goals 2 33 More on Goals 3 34 More on Goals 4 35 Perseverance
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