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change the future!

How Women Recruit Through Relationship Marketing
By Linda Locke
Used with permission.

One of the major strengths that women have traditionally brought to their network marketing business is their advanced social and people skills. The current rage of "Relationship Marketing" just puts a new label on the tools that women have always used to build their business.

Many people believe that network marketing is a "selling" business, but women know that it's really about sharing and building long-term relationships that last. And successful women use these "sharing and caring" skills as a major tool in the recruitment process.

The recruiting techniques that work best for women center around their ability to develop long-term relationships with people in both business and social settings. They do this by listening to prospects, asking questions, sharing information, and finding out what the prospect wants from their business and then helping them get it. The bottom line is that MLM is a people and communication business and women shine in these areas.

Women use several "soft" methods of relationship marketing to make contact with prospects that might be potential new recruits for their business. Many of these methods may seem too slow and too time-consuming for many people to take them seriously. But just like in Aesops fable "The Tortoise and the Hare," it's the slow and methodical tortoise that wins the race over the frenetic and aggressive hare. And so it is in building a relationship.

Building Relationships
How do the successful networking women cultivate these relationships? There are several relationship-based communication tools they use.

One is to be a product of the products. They tell their story. They share it with others. (Women share things all the time. If they see a movie they like, they tell people about it. If they discover a restaurant they like, they tell others. If they discover a product they like, they tell others. It's that simple.) They follow up. Once they share a product with someone, they follow up. They know that if they wait by the phone for people to call them, they will die a lonely person. They know that peoples lives are ruled by inertia. They know they must take the first step and call their prospects to ask how they liked the products.

Another communication based tool that women use is the FORM method. That stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Money. When they engage people in conversation, they don't talk about their business right away, they ask about:

Family: When they ask questions about family, they ask because they are truly interested. And to find out if they like this person enough to work with them. (After all, if they sign up in their business, they're stuck with them.) They also ask questions about family to find out if they are likely to be users of their company's product. (If you're selling high-tech security devices and they live in a rural "leave the doors unlocked" small town, they may not be prime prospects.) They also want to find out what their dreams and goals are. Do they like where they live? Do they want to move somewhere better? Would they like to quit their job and have more time for family or stay home with their kids?

Occupation: Where do they work? (If they are an airline pilot, for example, they might not be interested in getting travel discounts.) Do they like their job? What is it they would really like to do, if they could?

Recreational Activities: What do they do for fun? Do they do it as often as they'd like? If not, is it because of lack of time, or lack of money, or both? If time and money were not limiting factors, what would they really like to do?

Money: Do they make as much as they'd like? Do they work an extra job to make more? How much more would they like to make? Have they ever thought about starting a home-based business?

And why do they ask these questions? Well, because they are women and it comes naturally to them. They find out lots of neat things about people they talk to. They make new friends. They know that people like people who are interested in them. And when they get the answers to these questions they know exactly what to say when people ask them about their business.

In other words, they know exactly how to present their business so it will be exciting to that person and fit their needs. They don't have to worry about when to start talking about their business. Because people ask them ("Well, hey, tell me about yourself! What do you do?") The bottom line is that if you have made a real connection, they'll want to know about you. And because they are now a friend, people will listen to what they have to say. And even if the person is truly not right for their business, at least they have made a new friend, who may later refer them business.

Putting the Focus on the Prospects Point of View
Women tend to focus more on their prospects point of view. They talk about the benefits of the business and solicit feedback from their prospects. They don't let their own wants and needs get in the way. They don't use hard sales techniques and closes. They let the prospect decide. They know that they really cant "talk" someone into this business. The prospect has to want it for themselves.

Getting Contacts through Networking
Women have always been consummate networkers. It's a skill they use every day. They share information and referrals at business networking organizations such as their local Toastmasters or Leads Club, social organizations, religious organizations etc. When they start their business they can just plug into their network and get the word out about what they do. After all people like to do business with people they already know, like and trust.

Do all women work their business this way? Of course not! No two people ever build their business in the exact same way. But these methods take full advantage of the many inherent strengths that women already possess. Recruiting through relationships is not the quickest way to build a business, and some people are more comfortable with traditional sales oriented techniques that focus on faster growth.

But as many successful women network marketers (and now many men as well) have found, building a business through relationships works best for building a business that lasts.


Linda Locke is the editor of MLM Woman, a free monthly online newsletter for women in network marketing http://www.mlmwoman.com You can contact Linda by e-mail at: regent@west.net