Building Relationships for Long Term Network Marketing Success

by SaRita Custis

In the daily course of conducting business, you'll come into contact with a variety of other business people. This could include clients, service providers, attorneys, suppliers, etc. I'm sure you realize that some of the people you meet will be ideal prospects for your network marketing business opportunity.

The question is how do you connect with the people you meet and forge strong, long-lasting relationships?

When you are talking with someone – online or offline – use the FORM method to engage that person in conversation.

F is for “family” or “from”
When you first start talking with someone, it's safe to ask where they're from. If it's a place you're familiar with, you can discuss areas of interest you know about that location. Sort through your memory banks and express what comes to mind, such as, “Oh, I've never been there! What's it like?” or even “I've heard the leaves in fall are truly amazing there. Did you ever go leaf-peeping?”

If you're talking with someone you already know, why not ask about their family? It's pretty easy to say, “How's your family?” Even better, if you know anything at all about their family, you could say (for example), “How's Jane?” or “Is Billy feeling better?” This will instantly give you a means of connecting with the person, and you will epitomize the image of a warm, caring person.

O is for “occupation”
Asking someone about their work will vary depending on who you're speaking with and what you already know about them.

For instance, if you're talking to someone you don't know, a very common question to ask is, “What do you do?” You could then follow up with, “What do you like about it?” Listen closely to their answer for clues about what opportunities you might have in the future to make a real difference in their life.

R is for “recreation”
We've made it through the F and the O, which means we're building rapport. You're connecting with someone! When you get to the R, you want to find out what that person likes to do in their off time. The “What do you do when you're not stuck in this place?” kind of question.

This letter can spark the most interesting conversations. People have such varied interests and hobbies, you can literally spend hours discussing something if you hit on the one topic they're passionate about. Just remember to keep the focus on them and on what they're interested in.

M is for “motivation”
While R is often the most fun in talking with people, M can be a major challenge. It's imperative to get to M, however, because it can have the most impact on your ability to truly make a connection with another person.

Motivation refers to what a person wants in life. One way to approach the M is to say, “So, Paula, if money weren't an object, if you won the Lotto jackpot tomorrow, what would you do?” You will be truly amazed at what people want in their lives, for themselves and for their families.

When someone answers this kind of question for you, you know that you've made a connection. You have touched their heart, and, surprise, surprise, listening to them talk about their dreams will touch yours as well.

Now that you've make a real connection, what do you do to nurture that relationship?

Here are a few things you can do to build stronger relationships with your associates, prospects, and customers:

Contact them often.

You need to keep in touch with your clients and prospects or you will seriously damage the relationship you worked so hard to establish. You can use phone, email, direct mail, social media, or even personal visits. Don't contact them only to promote your product or opportunity. People connect with you because they believe you'll add value to their lives; be sure you're meeting that expectation.

Send them gifts.

Everyone loves surprises (good ones anyway). Send the people in your circle something for free occasionally. This can be something physical like a Starbucks gift card, or it can be something to help in their business that you can deliver online like an e-book, a recording of an audio session, some videos, even a free webinar training session. Be sure it's something valuable that will genuinely help them.

Be personal.

Let the people who've connected with you see your human side. Share some of your personal life with them in your chats, your e-mail messages and your social media posts. Going on an exotic vacation? Talk about that. Had a funny experience at the grocery store? Share it. Show your customers and prospects that you're a real person just like they are.

Share helpful information.

As a business owner, you are an expert in your market. In fact, when a lead becomes a prospect, they will begin to look to you for guidance. As you consistently provide valuable information to your followers, they will see you as a teacher and pay attention to what you say. This will help when you want them to listen to you when you promote a product or service.

Listen!

When you listen empathetically, you don't just hear words. You hear thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Empathic listening is highly active and requires hard work.

You have to make the conscious decision listen and concentrate on the other person. Then, use your imagination to put yourself in their situation. Concentrate and try to imagine his or her frame of reference and point of view. If you are speaking face-to-face, pay attention to vocal inflection, enthusiasm (or lack of it), and facial expressions and other nonverbal cues to get a better idea of exactly what the message is.

As hard as it might be, listen without interrupting and then use paraphrasing or clarifying questions to make sure you heard what they were trying to say.

Then you can respond in a way that empowers both of you. Being a good listener will show you to be an amazing communicator who people love to connect with.

The more you market your products and services, the more you'll realize how extremely competitive it is. Consumers are bombarded with advertising and marketing messages almost constantly. Having solid relationships with the people in your circle gives you a competitive edge.

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