December 1999

Ten Years of Upline

Beyond Chicken and Egg - John Kalench

Which comes first - the chicken or the egg? You know the dilemma: When you want to invite someone to take a look at your Network Marketing business, what do you show them first - your product or your opportunity?

People teach all different kinds of answers to that question. My answer is: Don't show 'em the chicken or the egg. First tell them about farming itself. And "farming," of course, is Network Marketing.

John Kalench

Let me explain.

It's important to focus your marketing efforts on the needs of the marketplace out there-- not on what you think you have that's of value, but on what people themselves are looking for.

In today's economic climate, what do people need most? In their eyes, people don't need nutritional products, weight loss products, skin care products, water treatment products... The truth is, no matter what a fantastic egg you have-- or, for that matter, how great a chicken-- neither one is really what people are looking for.

Today, more than at any other time in our history, what people need is financial alternatives. They need an opportunity to make money-- to take control of their financial future. No matter how good your product or how terrific your particular company, what people need most from you is to hear about the opportunity offered by Network Marketing itself.

  Remember - and this is important - you're not trying to convince people of the value of Network Marketing!
Beyond the "Job" 

Faced with today's uncertain economics, most people still think in terms of looking for a "job." The first thing you need to do is to make a dent in that habitual consciousness by showing them that "the job" is not the answer, that their ongoing success depends on them, because "job security" is going the way of the dinosaurs. Open their minds to the possibility of taking control of their own financial future without depending on "a job."

Introduce them to the concept of taking control of their lives, through this marvelous industry called Network Marketing.

The crucial element of this context is that you're not attempting to "sell" anything here: You're out to offer information, knowledge, an education.

"I'm looking for a handful of people who are fed up-- who have gotten to the point where they want to take control of their own futures-- who are no longer simply in the market for a job, but are looking for a way to determine what happens to them, personally and professionally. There's an industry out there that allows you to do that.

"I've got some incredible information that explains exactly what this industry is and what it can do for you. I'm not here to sell you anything; I'm here to inform you about a financial alternative. I'd like to share this information with you for a short period of time-- I can give it to you for only about 48 hours, because I have so many other people who want to look over this information.

"At the end of those 48 hours, if you see a value in this and want to look further at specific possibilities, then I'd love to sit down with you and share some details about the particular products and company that I'm involved with right now. But first, I want to share with you this generic information about the fantastic alternative that this industry offers."

Why Is This the Best Approach?

For three reasons. First, because of today's economic climate, it hits us right square between the eyes. We absolutely must be aware of what people are going through out there.

Second, because people are tired of being sold. They're being sold all the time, constantly-- on the TV, in the papers, on their phone at dinner time, on billboards on the way to work ... sold, sold, sold. Give them a break! Approach them differently-- don't try to sell them anything, and let them know that right up front, that there are no strings attached to your offer to educate them.

The third and strongest reason is that by approaching new people this way, you connect them to the big picture first. Rather than showing them the specifics of your product and your company, you're connecting them to the process itself.

Then, when you sit down to "sell" them on the specifics of your products and company-- they're already "sold"! When they're already aware of the process, then they'll have a sense (subconsciously, if nothing else) that they will want your products and your specific opportunity to work for them. They will truly sell themselves.

Are You Creating a Positive "Belief System"?

  Successful people in this industry are those who love the industry itself as much as - or even more than - their own products and particular company.
Yes-- and no. In a sense, you're helping create a positive belief with people who want to have that belief. But you're not really creating it-- if anything, you're unleashing a positive belief system that was waiting to be born, so to speak. You're tapping into people's desire for an alternative, and showing them a solution. You're giving them hope and finding out which people are ready to make a change, and which people are not. 

Remember-- and this is important-- you're not trying to convince people of the value of Network Marketing! You're aware of the economic climate, and you know they are, too. You're coming from a place of pure contribution-- not "pretending" to do so, but really doing so. That's all you need to do! You're letting this information get into their hands, and then they themselves will make a choice as to whether or not they want to look into it further.

If they're not open to the financial alternative of Network Marketing, nothing prevents you from still sharing your product with them-- you've lost nothing. And if they are open, then by connecting them to the process first, you've increased your chances of sponsoring a real business builder, and not simply a wholesale product user.

What Kind of Tools?

Central to this approach is the idea of using "generic" tools-- information that educates and inspires people about Network Marketing, but which does not come from your particular company.

Today, there are a good number of generic tools available. Some people use books, others use audio tapes, others like to rely on videos. What's the most effective approach?

What you really need are two tools-- because there are two different tasks you want to fulfill: to inspire and to inform.

Inspire -- Then Inform

It's been proven over and over that the written word is the most powerful way to give people facts-- to inform them.

When people see something in print, they believe more strongly that it's true. So you'll want to use a book about Network Marketing to convey solid, professional information about this industry that people will believe.

But no matter how good or how interesting the book, the fact is that most people will not invest the hour or two to sit down and read a book, unless their interest is already piqued. So the other needed step is to give them a tool that will compel them emotionally to want to read the book-- and the medium of videotape is perfectly suited to that purpose.

A video is a powerful way to reach people's emotions-- not their logic, but their emotion. Now, to some extent, an audio tape can do that as well. An audio does not convey images as powerfully as a good video; on the other hand, it can be listened to in the car, and doesn't require that the person set aside the short time it takes to sit down in their living room and view it. Both video and audio have their strong points. In the balance, I favor video because of its more compelling, powerful impact.

Sometimes people try to use a video to educate people about our industry, but the fact is, you really can't answer the major questions people have about Network Marketing effectively with a video tape. Explaining key concepts, such as the duplication principle or the idea of geometric growth, is far easier to do on paper than on a video.

By combining these two media, video and book, you can have the greatest impact and make the most difference, giving you the greatest chance to get into that person's mind so they think, "This is really a viable thing, I should really give this a serious look."

At Millionaires in Motion, for example, we've created a set of generic tools-- a short book on Network Marketing and a 23-minute video filled with powerful testimonials from people in all walks of life-- that are designed specifically to complement each other in this way. We call it "The Prospector's Kit."

The two items work together to stimulate, inspire and educate. People watch the video first, and then, if that involves them emotionally and piques their interest in the possibilities, they become motivated enough to sit down and read through the book, which gives them enough facts and information to justify their excitement.

The Process is the Product

Successful people in this industry are those who love the industry itself as much as-- or even more than-- their own products and particular company. They love the process. They push through any failure, any disappointment or discouragements they encounter, and they keep pushing until they find the right vehicle for them. And that's because they're connected to the process itself, more than a particular product. They are the ones who find the company of their dreams and then make it big in this industry.

Since that's true, what better way to introduce a new person than to sit down with them - before you show them the chicken or the egg-- and connect them with the process itself!

JOHN KALENCH is the author of three industry best-sellers - the classic Being the Best You Can Be in MLM, 17 Secrets of Master Prospectors, and the prospecting book, The Greatest Opportunity in the History of the World. He is the founder of Millionaires in Motion, a generic training company, and has recently returned to the world of full-time Network Marketing when he joined Nikken 18 months ago and set a new record for reaching Diamond in the shortest amount of time. He lives with his family in San Diego, CA. This article first appeared in the June 1992 issue.

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Reprinted with permission from Upline, Beyond Chicken and Egg - December 1999, 888-UPLINE-1,


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