Ok, so this is part 2. If you’d like to read part 1 first, you can do so by clicking on the link below- but fair warning, it might hurt some feelings and offend;
This week, I’m going to discuss the more important factors- strategy and execution…and hopefully, hurt feelings less in the process.
When you boil it all down, there are really only 2 ways to build your mlm business- warm market and cold market. To be clear, both of these core strategies have been around since the beginning of time and apply to ANY business but, mlm has some unique attributes that make implementing these strategies a bit different than a traditional, brick and mortar business.
One dynamically different attribute is cost of entry- mlm always has a much lower cost of entry and this means less people who have the tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to start, survive and thrive in a traditional business. That’s a HUGE advantage for those of us in the field but, it doesn’t make success any easier.
My point is that either direction can be highly effective to grow your mlm business but either direction can also lead to serious heart break and failure if you lose the perspective we started with- mlm isn’t that much different than a traditional brick and mortar business.
Obviously, ANY business needs an unlimited supply of fresh, qualified prospects so, which is best- warm market or cold market?
That argument may continue for ALL time but, my opinion is...neither. ANY business should use both and most traditional brick and mortar businesses do. So the question becomes how to use one or both in a way that guarantees success. Ya, I said guarantees. That’s what I was looking for when I got started in this business as an adult. I was raised in and around the industry, going back to 1977 but, what I mostly observed was gut wrenching failure- at least for my family.
When I became an adult, I never, ever lost the enthusiasm for the mlm industry. I saw people who were making amazing income and I saw a lot of people who started at the very bottom and somehow rose to the top. I kept looking for something that would exclude my opportunity like maybe all the successful people knew better people than me, maybe they were all smarter than me, maybe they worked harder than me or maybe, just maybe, they were all getting lucky.
I started to study the industry while I was studying marketing- traditional techniques like direct mail, copy, the phone and later, the Internet. I read about every success story in the business I could get my hands on and what sold me on the opportunity in mlm was 2, really important things;
1. I noticed the people who were successful had no single secret that I wasn’t able to duplicate- some were smart, some not so much. Some were tall, some were short, big, thin, etc. There was no clear ‘class’ of people- this told me the door was wide open.
2. The lifestyle- look, we can all make money, some more than others, but what really got my attention was the lifestyle. Never being tied to a paycheck and a desk is exactly what I wanted.
So, going back to strategy, I found the same thing as #1 above- there was no clear cut, single way, warm or cold market that would guarantee my success. I wanted a guarantee.
First, I started in my warm market. I did everything every single company out there tells you to do. I went to meetings, I begged my friends and family, I did all kinds of 3ways (no, I didn’t need to go to the doctor for penicillin). Believe it or not, warm market worked! I got people involved, we grew and it seemed like a fantasy. And then the company changed their formula and people weren’t getting the same results with the products. No big deal I thought. I moved on to the next company…with an even better product and comp plan!
That cycle continued for several years and soon, my warm market became stone cold.
Then, I moved into the cold market and had success their too but, just a few bad decisions had me right back at square one. Then, I changed my target. I wanted to learn how to guarantee success, without having to start over again.
It took me years to figure out this next secret, one used by every single leader in every single company, behind closed doors- marry your team, not the company or products. It may sound counter-intuitive but, it’s critical. Yes, you should love your company and their products but, you should love your team more and always look out for their welfare first. This is the only way to survive company stupidity. Some stupidity can be survived and even greater success can be achieved in spite of it but, ONLY if your team is built around the team, not a specific company and/or product.
Soon, I had built pretty large teams and had done well, both in mlm and traditional brick and mortar businesses. I began training others, focused mostly on cold market because that’s where I found my greatest success. I also had great success in the warm market but, using the warm market of my next team member.
Looking back, the greatest thing I learned is the value of your sponsor or the value of becoming a great sponsor. In mlm, you CANNOT win without one or the other- either you have a great sponsor or you have to become a great sponsor. I ended up finding my greatest success with the latter but, it’s a far tougher road to travel and if I had to do it over again, if I could go back to being 18 and ready to launch, I would have shopped for a sponsor first and foremost rather than a great company and product first.
The sponsor is the single biggest strategy factor in guaranteeing your success in this business, warm or cold market. The 3way call between a prospect, a distributor and their sponsor is a very sacred technique in mlm. Yes, you can create success without a great sponsor but, as I said before, it will require 10x’s the work and…there’s no guarantee. However, if you have the right sponsor, one that can help you both in warm and cold markets, you can be guaranteed to succeed…with one great exception- the right sponsor still can’t overcome someone who can’t prioritize their business.
Everybody should work their warm market, even if it’s stone cold like mine. If you have the right sponsor, who helps you use the right techniques, even ice cubes can turn into boiling water! The key in the warm market is…never, ever, work your contacts alone. If your sponsor doesn’t have the skill or experience to do it right or help you, find someone in your company who can.
Finally, the cold market is tricky, especially today because of the Internet. Everyone says just contact people on social media and start developing relationships. Every mlm trainer out there now has their videos, training and seminars to help, albeit at some cost. Most of them, the instruction, produces very little results. Why? Because in the cold market, it makes no sense to build relationships first. It takes way too long to execute this technique and produces few results to justify the time investment.
In the cold market, you want to move the process along much faster- so you can sort through the math much quicker and get to the sign ups. But, every leader and company offers all kinds of tools- mostly websites and funnels. There’s a catch- not ONE of them, that I’ve ever reviewed, CREATES the prospects. ALL these systems and websites need you to bring it the prospect and THEN, it might work as a funnel. That’s not the same thing as helping you to create prospects first, from scratch.
And this brings me to the key in mlm- you MUST have an unlimited supply of fresh, qualified prospects. IF you have the right sponsor, you can do that in the warm market because, this business is NEVER about who you know or who you find- it’s about who they know and who they bring. Only a great sponsor can help you to understand and use this understanding effectively and it’s the same thing in the cold market. It’s not about who you just signed up in the cold market either- it’s who they know and how a great sponsor can show you how to find those people through the people that your sign up knows, etc.
Lastly, using either the warm market and/or the cold market, the key to guaranteed success in this business is duplication. Duplication is a worn out term in mlm and oftentimes it leads people to point to their website or CRM system- a website that is a funnel system of communication for your prospects. A website that pushes messages to your prospects and or manages your prospects, telling you when it’s time to contact them or follow up is just a CRM- Customer Relationship Manager. These systems, highly promoted and marketed in mlm do NOT create prospects and therefore are NOT part of duplication.
The key to duplication in mlm directly correlates with the pace of your enrollments and is directly tied to the death spiral in most reps businesses. The problem is exactly the same in both warm or cold markets- you learn the skill to enroll but, you fail to create duplication with those that you bring on and the enthusiasm to enroll overshadows the desire to duplicate.
In mlm, you MUST pace yourself. In other words, you first learn to master the skill of enrolling a customer and/or distributor and, when you do, you pace your enrollment volume to allow you the time to work with each customer and distributor…to create more prospects. I can’t stress enough the importance of understanding this concept. If you enroll like your hairs on fire but don’t spend the time to create duplication, your downline will be like a big bucket of water on your fire- you soon run out of growth because you may be able to create new enrollments but, you can’t duplicate. Now your business becomes nothing more than a retail business and you could make far more money in a retail model if all you’re earning is commissions based on sales you create.
Pace yourself. Get the skill to enroll. Enroll and work with each new enrollee to duplicate or provide you leads to duplicate in spite of them. If that new enrollee doesn’t respond to take action, then and only then, do you turn around and focus all of your attention to enroll again so that you can repeat the cycle.
You may or may not already know that I teach a class, live and for free, every Wednesday evening to help you master the cold market and the warm market, understanding that becoming a great sponsor or using a great sponsor is the most critical of all techniques. You can register for the class here;
In conclusion, I hope you’ll take the time to carefully study this article and part 1. There’s a whole lot more to learn but, these are the most important points. Don’t work your warm market alone, ever. Don’t get sucked into buying a funnel when you think you’re buying a lead generation tool and learn to work both markets with skill, whether it’s your warm market or the warm market of your next sign up or the cold market.
I may not tell ya what you want to hear but, I’ll always tell ya the truth.