As a busy network marketer, your relationships are the most important part of your business. From the first conversation, it’s important to listen to the needs of your clients – whether they tell you outright or you have to infer them. This allows you to figure out how you can help them. It could be that you know someone who can help or have a resource or product at your fingertips to use. In the best circumstances, YOUR product or business could help them solve their issue. (Although, please note that while your product is fantastic and amazing and wonderful, it likely won’t solve all of the issues your clients face. And, that’s totally okay. But, resist the urge to try to make your product or service fit the solution because it may come off as disingenuous – and that’s no way to build a relationship.)
“Now, where did I put that phone number…”
In the course of building your relationships with your customers, prospects, and distributors, you’re bound to learn a ton about them. That leads to a huge network marketing challenge – where do you store all of this great information? After all, you may want to access it quickly, especially as you follow up with them. Where did they vacation last, again? What’s their daughter’s name and what grade is she in? What was her biggest concern – was she the one who wanted to shed weight before her sister’s wedding or the one who had just run that big marathon? Many network marketers store all of this information in spreadsheets – if they’re feeling techy – or, more likely, in notebooks, on napkins and scraps of paper, or maybe in notes in the margins of an address book. The problem is, how do you find the information you need quickly and easily? If it’s stored in a notebook or on a scrap of paper, it’s like finding an needle in a haystack. You may scratch your head and exclaim, “I just know it’s in here somewhere! I swear I wrote it in the green notebook… or was it the blue one…?”
Why you need a CRM
That’s where a CRM comes in. As you may know, a CRM is a Customer Relationship Management system. It keeps your customers’ and team’s information in one handy place. This allows you to quickly access it when you need it without having to frantically flip through pages of a notebook and remember exactly where it is. In fact, as long as you remember to update the contact information in the CRM when you finish chatting with your customers and team, you’ll always have the information you need when you need it the most.
Listen to this…
One of the best ways to build trust is to show that you’ve listened to the other person and can recall what they’ve told you. We live in an age when we’re so busy with everything else in life that we only half-listen to people when we chat with them. Think about the last conversation you had with someone; how much do you recall? Were you actively listening – that is, listening to the words they were saying – or were you thinking of the next clever thing you wanted to say? Don’t feel bad if it’s the latter; that’s what most people do. However, if you want to build a legion of loyal customers and team members, it’s important to turn this habit around.
How to Listen 101
Want to improve your listening skills? Here are a few tips:
- Focus on the other person. In conversation, it’s so tempting to think about what you’ll say next. After all, we all want to come off as witty and clever. However, in the process of thinking of the next thing to say, we completely ignore what the other person is saying. Not only is this a bit rude, it also prevents us from truly connecting with the other person. When chatting, try to focus on the other person – what they’re saying, the tone they’re using, their body language, etc.
- Ask open questions. Instead of interjecting with an entertaining story of your own, ask them a question about what they just told you. For example, if they were saying that their daughter is going off to summer camp for the first time this year, ask how they feel about that? Are they excited or a bit nervous? Asking questions allows you to get to know them better and shows you’re paying attention.
- Repeat back. This helps you understand what they’re saying. Of course, this doesn’t mean you parrot back the words they’re used. Instead, say something like, “What I’m hearing you say is…” or “So you’re saying…” This ensures you’re understanding the challenge or problem they’re telling you.
Pro Tip: “Listen” and “Silent” are spelled using the same letters. In order to listen to what the other person is saying, be silent and take it all in. You’ll learn so much more!
Try to connect them with someone who can help.
Now, this technically isn’t a requirement of listening, but it is a requirement of service. As a network marketer, you know a ton of people in your area; one of whom may be able to help your customer or team member with an issue they’re facing. Try to connect them, whether you think of someone who can help as you’re speaking with them or you think of it a few days later. Making these links and connections will create your reputation as a person in-the-know in your network.
Pro Tip: Each time you connect with someone, think of who you can connect them with. This will not only help them, but it’ll also help you expand your own circle.
How does a CRM help you create meaningful conversations?
So, what does listening have to do with a CRM? A CRM is where you’ll store all the information you glean from your conversations. It’s where you store the names of your customers and their families and their phone numbers and contact information. Additionally, you’ll store anything you’ve learned about the person, including the challenges they’ve shared with you. If you’ve connected them with someone you know who can help, note that in their “file” too. The key is to make notes about the information they’ve told you so you can bring it up and continue the conversation when you follow up next. For example, if they went to Hawaii with their family over spring break, you may ask about the vacation when you follow up with them this month. If you remember that their son has a skin sensitivity and you referred them to a cream in your product line, ask how it worked for them.
Sounds simple, right?
It is, but it’s amazing how many network marketers simply don’t follow up in the manner. Instead of checking in to see how the product, service or person they referred them to is working out, they’re looking to make that next sale. A CRM jogs your memory before you reach out so that you can continue the conversation you had with the customer before. Then, you can listen for more ways to help. After all, you’ve helped them once; if you continue to connect them with people and products who can help, they’ll continue to increase their trust in you. As a result, you’ll build the foundation for a lifelong relationship.
Get more out of your CRM
Your CRM can only help you if you keep it updated! Make it a point to update the information as soon as you finish connecting with your peeps. If you’ve met with them in-person, access the Teamzy app and update their information once you get to your car. Or, if you’re connecting online, update it once the conversation is over. This ensures you’ll always stay up-to-date whenever you follow up with them. What better way to offer the highest level of service, right?
From conversations that convert to excellent service
The Art of Creating Conversations that Convert is a training designed to help you initiate conversations with your current and potential customers that convert to more sales or to offering an opportunity. This is one of the biggest struggles many network marketers face; after all, they don’t want to come off as an icky salesperson. But, sales are the driver of your business. The key is to reframe how you think about making a sale, and to do that, it’s critical to have meaningful conversations.
The next step is to record what you’ve heard in your CRM, which is, of course, Teamzy. Not only is Teamzy designed to help you keep in consistent contact with your network, but it also refreshes your memory about their details. How can you better serve them? Simply bring up their information before you connect with them. And, if you’ve already helped them, check in and see how you can help them further. THIS is how you’ll make your mark and differentiate yourself from a crowded market of network marketers. Be the salesperson who not only listens, but helps. The one who can recall the details about their customers and team members so they can find ways to help them more. Do this, and watch your business thrive.