Why You Need to Develop Sales Skills Right Now

Did you hear what I heard yesterday? United Airlines is planning to lay off half its staff!

What an insane time to be alive!

In a few minutes, I have a phone call with a friend of mine who was laid off in Seattle. Thank God, she was able to get another job here, but she got some interesting feedback in one interview.

“The person who conducted the Zoom interview felt I could have done a better job of ‘selling myself’,” she texted in response to my inquiry.

Develop Sales Skills Before You Need Them

I hear people say all the time, “I don’t think of myself as a salesman, I’m just sharing what I love.”

I don’t care what you call it, but you need the skills of a good salesperson to do a lot of things.

You need to be able to:

  • Listen
  • Solve problems
  • Communicate the benefits of the solution

Sometimes that solution is a good shampoo and sometimes that solution is to hire you! It makes no difference if you’re a network marketer or a job seeker. You need to be able to determine if and how what you have will solve the problem of the person in front of you.

Practice Selling Before You Need a Job

You’ll need to be confident about your ability to solve problems and you know where that comes from?

Practice.

It doesn’t matter how you develop these skills. I’m a fan of studying and training with a good network marketing company because you make money while following a structured program; but you can do it by volunteering for a fundraising committee, taking a retail job or in many other ways.

Just be sure to do it. Why? Imagine if you were one of those 36,000 United employees knowing you were likely to lose your job in October, especially if that was your only source of income.

Practice makes perfect, but practice also makes options.

Is Network Marketing Good or Bad?

I’m going to take a stand here and it’s not the typical negative one. It’s the realistic one.

I like network marketing. I think it’s a great idea for the right person.

Not the wrong person. Only for the right person.

Typical Conversations of a Network Marketer

I have this conversation several times a year…

Me: You could buy the product you want or for a little more you could become a representative and sell enough to cover your costs.

Other person: Oh, I’m just not into that kind of business. I’m sure YOU aren’t dishonest or pushy, but I think people in MLMs take advantage of their friends.

Sales Training in Other Professions

I’ve also had this conversation with many people who sell other products, like insurance.

Me: How did you get into this business?

Other person: Well,  I spent six months taking the $500 licensing course and passing the test.

Me: Did they train you how to sell the product?

Other person: Yes. Basically, they taught us how to go door to door and gave us a script of what to say.

Me: How is that working out?

Sales Monsters

If you’re in any kind of sales, you’re going to need training. Some people get good training and some people don’t.

Ever wonder why sales has a bad reputation as a whole? That’s why.

An awful lot of people in sales are poorly trained.

Why Network Marketing is Good for You

You’re not necessarily the wrong person for sales work if you are poorly trained. You’re only the wrong person if you are unwilling to become well trained.

It’s my observation that Network Marketing offers opportunities for better training than many other sales ventures.

Does everyone take advantage of it?

No.

Could you take advantage of it?

Well, that’s up to you.

Is Network Marketing for You?

If you have any of the following characteristics, network marketing may be a good option for you:

  • You like people
  • You’re active on social media
  • You like to learn new things

And here is why it is a good option:

You learn all about sales and marketing while earning (not spending) money

Like Getting Paid for Training

Do you see the brilliance of this?

You could quit your job, spend a lot of money learning a new trade, get a license and then take your chances practicing your sales skills.

You could pay a lot of money to go to school and come out with lots of academic knowledge, but little practical experience.

Or you could make a minimal investment, take advantage of the wide range of training and practice that training without quitting your day job or even leaving the house!

What I have Learned as a Network Marketer

Selling a consumer product with this model has forced me to find a way to integrate my patient, analytical, non-pushy personality with a sales profession.

It hasn’t been easy. I’m very protective of my relationships and don’t want to risk messing them up. That means I’ve had to learn 

  • How to find people who need what I have to sell instead of trying to sell to everyone
  • How to ask good questions and find out what people really want
  • How to be a better friend than before (Seriously! Sales teaches you to be a better friend!)

You Could Learn All This Too

If you’re unsatisfied with your job and thinking of starting a business, or you feel your sales skills could use improvement, I hope you’ll look into Network Marketing as a way to teach yourself an invaluable skill.

You can find out how sales makes you a better friend by subscribing to my mailing list below.

And if you’d like to learn with me, I’ve got an option for that too. Contact me and let’s talk!

Something No One is Telling You About Becoming Successful

I know we are not supposed to compare ourselves to others, but do you ever wonder why you can’t reach your goals as quickly as you want? As quickly as others seem to?

We all talk about “going big” and believing with certainty that you can do this thing, whatever this thing is that you envision.

But can you?

I know your head is probably saying, “Oh, yes! I can totally do this!”, but what about those quiet voices inside you? Are they hopelessly tangled up in a morass of conflicting beliefs, tied down by a self-image you’re so accustomed to that you don’t even realize it’s there?

That’s what happened to me.

The Piece No One Tells You

I have been hammering away at this business thing for years. I’ve had some success in making a new job for myself, but that’s not really what I’m after. I have a big vision where I don’t just sell writing services and shampoo, I change people’s lives.

The life-changing part has been slow in coming.

“What’s the problem?”, I say to myself. “I’m smart, I’ve read all the books and even practiced. Why can’t I do this?”

Limiting Beliefs Can be Deeply Embedded

I finally concluded that the problem isn’t in my skill set. It’s in my worldview.

What we believe about the world can play a major role in tying up our energy and confusing our efforts.

Changing Those Beliefs

We don’t need to get into what I believe deep down that is stopping me from realizing my full potential, but I will tell you what I’m doing about it (and what I’d advise you to do about it too).

Maximize Your Mind

For one, I found a good counselor who understands how the mind works. You may not realize this, but mental health therapists don’t just help people with mental illness. They can also help people clear away limiting beliefs and habits to become high achievers.

Release Energy From Past Trouble

Second, I am reading this book and completing the accompanying program.

Why? Because grief isn’t just about losing people in your life. We can carry grief around for the loss of pets, opportunities, injuries and so many other things. How does this get in the way of professional success, you ask?

Because all that grief takes up energy. Lots of energy. And you need every ounce of your energy to realize your big dreams.

Let Your Feelings Speak for Themselves

Wanna see a picture?


This is Peanut the Metaphorical Dove. I drew her on my bedroom wall. I know that’s a little unconventional, but it’s my house and I do as I like here.

I drew her because she represents something to me and it was important to get her out of my imagination and onto the wall.

All those feelings tumbling around in your head, heart and stomach take up precious energy, but if you acknowledge them and give them room in your life, you can reclaim the energy. Draw, paint, write, talk, make vision boards or do anything else that gives you an outlet for self expression and all that energy comes back to you.

There’s Nothing Inherently Wrong With You

In the end, I don’t think we really know why one person is wildly successful and another struggles. We do know that it is within the power of the individual to change her circumstances.

It may take work you weren’t expecting, but the things that limit you aren’t immutable parts of you. If you look around and think about it, you’ll see that you have grown and can grow some more.

And if it means drawing on your walls, so be it!

 

Can You “Attract” a More Meaningful Life?

Let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time (well, actually about five years ago), I was experimenting with various ways to make a living. (I had the luxury of experimenting because I had taken the time to understand my financial situation before quitting my job.)

My goal was simply to replace my corporate income and support my household. If you had asked me, I would have said it would be nice to earn more, but I doubted I was willing to work that hard and it probably wasn’t possible.

The Book

I always enjoy learning and one day my friend Heather Sams, the photographer,  asked me if I would like to read the famous book by Napolean Hill, Think and Grow Rich, together.

Well, I always jump on anything Heather suggests, so I enthusiastically said yes.

The Goals

We both read a version of the book (she listened to it in her car) that included exercises and we would meet every week to talk about it. When we got to the part about setting goals, the conversation sounded something like this…

Me: “It says to set an outrageous stretch goal. I don’t see how this can be helpful, but what the heck? Let’s say $1 million by 2020.”

Heather: “I don’t know. I’ll make a list of the things I want to accomplish and figure out how much I would need.”

Me: “That’s a good idea, but I don’t even know what I want to accomplish, so I’m just pulling numbers out of the air. How about $10 million by 2035?”

The Reality of Numbers

You know how much I would have to invest monthly to have $10 million by 2035?

$8000 a month! Where could any ordinary person possibly come up with that much money? I would have to bring in $20,000 a month to support my household, pay the taxes and have enough left over to save that much.

Impossible, right?

The Revelation

About this same time, I had gotten involved with a Colorado network marketing company. I signed up because I like to shop local and they make a lot of stuff here in the state. I figured I could sell the products made in Colorado as part of my Hungry Chicken Homestead business.

The company’s annual conference was held in Denver, not far from me, and I figured I would go meet the other people on my team. I only attended for a day, but something amazing happened.

I met people who were making $20,000 a month!

Understanding What’s Possible

I’m not saying that everyone can make that much money. Obviously, it takes work, consistency and commitment to learning the profession. My point is that even though I had rolled my eyes at the exercise in the book, it worked! I had no idea when we began where I could possibly come up with that kind of money.

The goal and the reinforcing of it by repetition made it possible for my brain to see something I had never seen before. It’s not as if I had never encountered network marketing.  I had just never realized it could be a vehicle to where I want to go.

What I Concluded from this Experience

I’m not a big fan of the idea that we can “manifest” things with our minds, at least not in a magical kind of way. Hence all the eye rolling.

What I didn’t realize is that our brains are filtering out tons of information every day. And no wonder! We are completely inundated with data from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep. It’s exhausting!

The reality is much more mundane than magic. The act of setting a goal and reinforcing it to yourself simply changes what information you take in. It may seem like magic, but really it’s just a change in mindset.

Apparently, I’m not the only person to think this. I came across the same idea in Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect.

Use This to Your Advantage

Are you wishing you could accomplish something and change your life? Try the exercise I described above and see how it works for you. I bet you’ll be as surprised as I was!

Why Your Friend is More Successful in Network Marketing than You

I know you’re probably hoping this article will give you “the secret” to quick network marketing success. I kept hoping to find it, but the raw truth is that network marketing is like any other business.

It takes time and strategy to build it.

“But Bonnie,” you say, “What about my upline/friend/colleague who built a six figure business in six months?”.

I wondered that too, so I asked my upline, an amazing woman who falls into that category.

I also spent a lot of time listening to a variety of training courses by the likes of Brian Fryer, Ray Higdon and the Freedom Boss Babes, as well as anything else I could get my ears on. And I practiced the skills they teach.

And that’s not all! I study marketing as part of my profession (and because I think it’s fun). You may have figured out by now that I’m a professional content writer.

Wondering what I learned? Read on.

They Build the Networks and Do the Work

People who see rapid success in the network marketing industry do certain things.

They Build or Have Already Built Networks

I asked my upline several times how she had seen such quick success and for a while she told me her tactics, all of which were helpful, but didn’t bring me the same seemingly overnight success.

Finally, we came to the realization that she had come into network marketing with a huge amount of visibility and credibility in her social media networks. Melynda had spent years building relationships with people online. When she began talking about her product, they already knew and trusted her.

Visibility Plus Credibility Lead to Profitability

Visibility and credibility are an important concept in the world of marketing. We know about it from Dr. Ivan Misner’s work in the area of business networking, but it applies to sales too. People like to do business with those they know, like and trust.

They Consistently Do the Work at High Volume

You don’t have to be a full time network marketer to be successful, but you do have to be a good time manager. Maybe you can only devote an hour a day to your businesses, but if you want to emulate high earners, you must accomplish a lot during that hour.

It can certainly be done. Kathy Schneider of the Freedom Boss Babes clearly lays out the details at the end of this blog post.

Prolific Quality Output

Honestly, if I had to pick out one single thing that separates successful network marketers from unsuccessful ones, it would be that success is a direct result of putting in consistent, value-generating work even when you want to quit.

I didn’t make this concept up. Read Brendon Burchard’s book, High Performance Habits and pay special attention to the section on productivity. He describes something called Prolific Quality Output (PQO). PQOs build successful businesses.

They Train Their Team in a System

If you have spent any time in the network marketing world, you’ve heard the word “duplicatable”. It’s critical to your team of mostly-untrained marketers that you have an easily-understood system for them to follow.

They Don’t Confine Themselves

But here is an interesting thing I noticed… the most successful network marketers don’t necessarily confine themselves to the system. They learn about marketing and apply those principles to their own business. They use tactics that they don’t offer to their downlines right away.

For example, many companies these days train a simple social media strategy, but their most successful distributors use in-person business networking or reach their target market through government licensing lists or become vendors at farmers’ markets. Maybe they use a blog or automated social media technology.

Are They Keeping Us Down?

Are they holding back from the rest of us? No, sir! What they are doing is offering untrained marketers a new skill, one that can be grasped without hours of study.

Remember, most people who sign up for a network marketing business never even get started. It’s hard work, but if we can train a person in one simple way to make sales then we’ve helped that person beat the odds.

On the other hand, if we try to draw them into a whole new profession, chances are they will have less success. Most new network marketers signed up to make a little extra money, not to build a new career.

What This Means for You

If you’re wondering, as I did, what successful network marketers are doing differently, ask around. Network marketing is a collaborative profession in which helping the people below you boosts your success. Successful earners are usually happy to talk to the people on their teams, so don’t be afraid to contact them.

If you’re just getting started, follow the system you’ve been given. It can be hard work and you may have to do things that scare you, but try them out. You’ll grow as a person and as a marketer.

And remember, the most important thing is to consistently do the high-value work, like contacting new people and following up.

There’s no mysterious secret. You can do this thing as well as anyone else. With time, strategy and hard work, your goals are within reach.