April 1999

What Do You Say?

...to "I Can't Afford It" - Coy Barefoot

How many times has this happened to you? Your prospect is genuinely excited about the products and the opportunity. They have that gleam in their eye that means business. "I'm sitting here with a Diamond!" you think to yourself. Then without warning, they sit back and sigh: "Yeah, it all looks terrific, but I can't afford it."

Aaarrgh! What do you say? --Coy Barefoot

A nearly 20-year veteran of the Network Marketing industry, Gary Hanger is now the Chief Operating Officer at Achievers Unlimited. He has been with the company since 1992. Gary lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.

The first thing I always ask is: What do you mean by that?


I need to know: Is it a legitimate objection, or is it just something they are saying to brush me off? I need to find out if there's real interest here. We spend too much time chasing people who don't want to be in this business. This is a sorting business-- there are hundreds of millions of people in the United States alone. If you're out there trying to convince someone to get involved, hey, they're not going to do anything anyway. Let's face it, Networking is not for everybody. Networking is for those people who are ready. Otherwise, all you're doing is trying to drag somebody to the finish line, and that never works.

I need to know first if it's a legitimate objection. If it is, then I need to ask questions and find out if they have a problem with buying the products or investing in the business opportunity. At some point, if they want either one bad enough, they can sell something-- they can raise the money somehow. Get over there on a Saturday and help them have a garage sale, if that's what it takes.

But if they are interested and they genuinely can't afford it, our company [like some others in the industry] has a Preferred Customer program to get people started for just $7. That way they can get out there and talk up the business, generate some referrals, and start sponsoring people-- without every purchasing a product themselves. Our feeling is that if somebody truly wants to get involved, and they are financially strapped, then it is up to us to provide them with a method of entry that suits their position to start with.

Thea O'Donoghue is an Executive National Vice President with Arbonne. A 25-year veteran of Network Marketing, Thea lives in Hinckley, Ohio.


People won't spend money for anything that they don't value. Usually "I can't afford it" is not about a lack of money-- it's about value. I think my job is to help them see the true value of what they're investing in, and then helping them to believe in themselves. Money can and might really be an issue, but from my experience, "I can't afford it" is most often just something people say, but that really won't hold them back if they believe in the opportunity.

Most people would love to reap the financial rewards that Network Marketing offers, but their belief system about themselves or the industry hinders them in making a commitment-- especially a financial one.

That's why it's so critical to pre-qualify your prospect to know exactly what the level of interest is, what they need, what they want. If I have done my job, and I know where they're coming from, then my first response would probably be: You can't afford not to, and let me show you why.

Then I review with them the "why" that they shared with me earlier-- what they want out of life, what they want for themselves and their family that they will never get doing what they're now doing for money.

The other factor that enters the decision making is self-doubt: Can I be successful? No one wants to invest in a losing situation. We need to paint the picture and help them see the success they can achieve-- and let them know that we will be there to support them every step along the way. I like to close by saying: Are you ready to take the necessary steps to make the difference in your life? Then let's get you started.

A Regional Director with Excel Communications, Drema Sears lives in Ormond Beach, Florida. She has been involved in Networking and sales for over five years.


If someone tells me that they can't afford our opportunity, I take that as a sign that they just haven't seen the bigger picture. This is a good situation to use "feel, felt, found":

I understand how you feel. I felt the same way when I first saw this opportunity, but I found that if I didn't do something about it, I would never have the money to get involved-- that I would always be in a position of never having enough money to do the things I wanted to do. Does that make sense to you?

Not having a couple hundred dollars for an opportunity like this is the biggest reason someone should get involved. When someone says they can't afford it, it's usually for one of two reasons: First, they may be looking for an excuse to say no-- and they don't actually want to say "no," so they come up with an excuse. The other reason is that they truly just don't have the money. If that's the case, then hey, let's go get it!

Look, if your television set broke, where would you find the money to go buy a new one? If you truly believe in this opportunity and what it can offer your family-- as much as you believe in your TV set-- then you'll find a way to get started. I'm here to help you do that.

A Five Ruby Director with Golden Neo-Life Diamite and 13-year veteran of the industry, Jonell S. Clark lives in Stone Mountain, Georgia.


The first thing to do whenever someone shares a concern with you is just to be quiet, pause, and listen. Don't be afraid of that silence; it can be a terrific tool. A lot of times people will keep talking when you are quiet, and the more they talk the more you understand what the real objection is. Most often, they are really saying "I need more information before I can commit to this," which is very fair. Learn to listen, and then ask questions--don't just make it your mission to get them to sign up no matter what.

My first goal would be to get them to a point where they want to work with me as a partner-- we're going to go out and go through some struggles together and win.

I understand where you're coming from. I can really appreciate that. How do you feel about not having enough money? Are you saying that you are satisfied with the amount of money you have coming into your life now, or are you sincerely interested in finding out how to make more?

Look, I've been doing this long enough that I could convince you right now to do this. But that's not what I'm about. I'm not here to talk you into something. I'm here to see if you want something badly enough in your life that you can't get doing what you're doing. If so, then I can show you exactly what I've done that has worked for me. I'm here to help you, if you want help. I know it can work for you; it worked for me.


Share your best "What Do You Say?" with us! Send your, or your team's, proven Networking one-liners, phrases, questions and answers, to Coy Barefoot at the Upline address, or email them to barefoot@cstone.net . We just might include them in a future publication. Be sure to include your name, company, and a little neat information about who you are.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, What Do You Say - April 1999, 888-UPLINE-1, http://www.upline.com


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