As a network marketing extraordinaire, you no doubt try to do more presentations to earn more rewards. But the problem is there are only so many hours in the day. So another strategy is to work smarter by increasing the chances of your presentations being successful and the key to that is building better, stronger and more genuine relationships.
Picture this, Kannan meets a new prospect at a café, a guy named Amir. The pair chat and Kannan presents the QNET opportunity with a particular focus on Bernhard H. Mayer® watches that he thinks Amir will like.
Amir asks many questions and closely inspects the Bernhard H. Mayer® Spitfire which Kannan removes from his wrist. But in the end, Amir rejects the offer saying the watch is too expensive. Sound familiar?
Actually, Amir’s rejection has nothing to do with the price of the watch. He no doubt would love to own the striking orange Spitfire and have the opportunity to develop a new source of income but equally, as a rational man, he must protect himself from undue risk.
For example, how does Kannan know the watch will arrive? How does he know the watch won’t break after a few months? How does he know Kannan is telling the truth? Is it a scam or the opportunity of a life time?
The concerns of prospects are many but they are all resolved with one thing – trust.
Unless you have super-human powers of compassion, you and every other direct sales person will have encountered the problem of trust, or a lack thereof.
I hear you ask, ‘I’m a good honest person and I know QNET is the real deal, so how can I encourage people to trust me?’
Well, don’t take this personally but there is a good chance they aren’t all that fond of your sales oriented and money-minded approach. You can be forgiven for being perceived in this way because in network marketing, your only compensation comes from selling a product; this pushes you to work very hard to sell. But unfortunately, this hinders the building of trust and without that; people won’t take the leap of faith.
The Three Legged Stool of Trust
To help you look at your relationship with a prospect differently, think of trust as a three legged stool with each leg representing something different about trust.
1. The Past
How your prospect views independent sales people before they meet you will impact their willingness to trust you now. Yes, you’re selling great QNET products from a company with a physical presence in over 20 countries and a vast global distribution network; but if your prospective customer was told last week about someone who was duped by an unscrupulous direct sales person, then for sure, they will be more cautious.
2. The Brain
As a network marketer, from the moment you interact with someone, they will judge you to decide how willing they are to accept your competence and reliability.
For starters, you’re not an employee, you have no fixed business location and often people cannot see the product you are trying to sell. Compare this to a retail store where you can see the goods and feel the brick and mortar of the business and you understand that the perceived risk and uncertainty is undoubtedly higher.
One way of building ‘brain trust’ is to present true stories from others like your prospect that are enjoying both the products and the opportunity. See our article about looking smarter and influencing people for a couple of other tips.
3. The Heart
This critical component of trust comes naturally for some but is the most difficult to develop for others. For present than past experiences and more powerful than what their brain is telling them; a prospect’s confidence in you is based on feelings produced by the level of care and concern you show them. ‘Heart trust’ is characterised by a feeling of security and a perceived strength in the relationship between them and you.
You will reduce your prospect’s level of perceived risk and uncertainty by building a strong stool of genuine trust to underpin your relationship. This calls on you to show credibility, honesty, reliability, predictability and benevolence.
As a genuine QNET Independent Representative, you will already have many trusting relationships through which you will have exemplified these traits every single day. Draw on these experiences to make your personal interactions with all people more productive, both for you and for them.
Finally, we cannot talk about trust without stating the most important condition of all – Once built, a trusting relationship carries the immense responsibility to never ever violate that trust.
Abuse of trust is like knocking out one of the legs of the stool causing your relationship to collapse. Abuse of trust includes overstating a product’s capability, exaggerating earning potential or understating the amount of work required to succeed.
This kind of behaviour is unethical, is not tolerated by QNET and damages the reputation of the Company and the entire direct-selling industry. It’s always a good idea to regularly refresh yourself with the QNET Code of Ethics.
Reference: Poon, P. et al. (2012). Managing trust in direct selling relationships. Marketing Intelligence & Planning.