Last month, British Networking author, coach and consultant, Edward Ludbrook, informed us about the new trend in Europe towards competence-based training. Well, we asked him, what about those of us who haven't yet broken into the European market? How do we get started? He answered by offering the following tips for how to get a group started in his neck of the woods. -- Stacey Humphrey & Gale Fue
Keep it simple: First, you need a really good information packet. Europeans are impressed when the numbers speak for themselves and the integrity of the company is clear. A good information packet may include a high-gloss corporate opportunity brochure, plus information regarding the company's overall philosophy, the distributors, the compensation plan and the products.
Also include anything that will add credibility, such as newspaper articles or magazine clippings-- preferably from the well-known newspapers of the area. Europeans are not as familiar with US publications like the Wall Street Journal or New York Times.
Audio cassettes work best: If you insist on using videos, be sure to send them in PAL format, not VHS.
Let's use the UK as an example. If you're going to produce your own audio tape, take it seriously. The fact that you have a successful leader explaining the opportunity is all well and good in the US, but an American accent might cause the British to doubt the applicability of your program to the UK. If possible, use an British voice-over, and have a local person introduce or interview the leader. Your audio cassette should contain all of the basic information, including what sort of strategic plan the company has.
It's especially valuable to mention what kind of support will be available. A constant European concern is that Americans will come over, get something started, then leave. Therefore, it's paramount to convey that there will be a support structure, and show how that support will work. Also, communicate that you understand the structure is going to change, since European culture is different. Europeans appreciate that you are culturally aware and understand the differences.
Start talking: Talk to everyone to find out who they know in a targeted country. You'll be surprised at how many people you'll find. Use a simple opener, such as, "Hey, John, our company is expanding, and there is going to be a tremendous opportunity in Europe. Do you have any friends or family who would like to be among the first people involved or might be interested?"
Advertise: As far as prospecting people in the UK, and indeed in most of Europe, you will not find as many opportunity newspapers and magazines as in America. A number of newspapers, however, do in fact carry opportunity advertisements. One such paper is the British Sunday Times, the most popular broad sheet newspaper.
Schedule appointments: An important tip is to find out who in your upline is going to help spearhead the expansion. Then find out their schedule. Book appointments with your contacts so that they can talk to your upline face to face, and one on one.
Mentoring is crucial: One-page coaching sheets are useful for monitoring how well new Networkers are learning the program. Communicate with them regularly, by fax or email, and let them know it is your job to find out how they're doing and support them in any way possible.
Go down the list, point by point. Check off the areas that have been covered, and focus your conversation on those areas which seem unclear. Too many people waste time with polite conversation like, "Hi, how are you?" and don't spend enough time with the conversation, "How can I help you?"
As Network Marketers take the world by storm, a keen insight into the cultural and business differences can make the difference between large international organizations and a lot of wasted fax paper. Tea, anyone?
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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Upline International - November/December 1998, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com