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Saturday, August 16, 2008

You Have a Virus!

By Candy Webb

Network Marketing Editor

The four words that immediately panic any of us who depend upon our computer, our networks of contacts, emails, the National Networker, and other internet-based sources of communication.
But, I think perhaps the worst virus, particularly in the network marketing business, can be the NEGATIVITY of individuals (normally just a few) within the organization.

This is the person in your group who just doesn't get it. He or she doesn't demonstrate any desire to improve or to cooperate with purpose partners who are trying to implement positive change and new ideas. This is the “nay-sayer” who unfortunately can be quite influential in your organization, and they will seldom keep their negative thoughts to themselves – that’s the problems. In many ways, this kind of person is often just challenging your leadership – perhaps they think they would do a better job at the head of the organization. What do I do about this individual? How can I get him on board?

A a few individuals are content to remain Victims of Circumstance, rather than working to become Champions of Change and forward movement. And when others around them make progress, they are sometimes cynical and bitter. The best advice, of course, is don’t bring this type of person into your business in the beginning! And I’m very serious about that. Personality traits seldom change dramatically, and if you recognize this person up front as not what you'd call a fountain of encouragement, then PASS. How to do recognize these folks up front? Well, their conversations generally reveal skepticism about every aspect of life – people, government, their neighbors, their family, their work – on and on and it’s really hard to imagine them liking anything, or enjoying anyone. Stay away!

Avoiding this type of individual is key because they are unlikely to change their basic personality traits and moveover, they are always looking for someone to join him in the Depression Duet. And if you allow yourself to be drawn into a conversation with him, you're likely to catch the same bug he's got! You may suddenly hear yourself saying things like, "You're right. This weather stinks. The economy really stinks. Your downline stinks, too!" This “bug” is a bad one and it can affect large groups of people negatively.

Because this negativism can taint an entire organization if allowed to fester it is extremely important that you reach around this person, and call, contact, talk to the people under him directly. They are probably desperate for an encouraging word! Oddly enough, these folks can often be immensely talented individuals who would be a tremendous asset to the organization--if they acquired a new outlook.

So, what to do? Well, if we were in the corporate world, we could respond with a"no-nonsense" approach. "I'm not going to fool around with this guy," call the individual into your office, and tells him, in no uncertain terms, to "Straighten up and fly right," "Shape up or ship out," and so on. But obviously in network marketing, this is a volunteer army and so that approach is not feasible.

I believe there is only one way to “save” this individual as a productive partner on the team and it will take a heart to heart to bring him or her back to their original purpose in joining network marketing. That original purpose showed the glimmer of a dream, some desire to improve their life – normally financially. The very act of joining the company indicates that in the beginning there was some positive attitude working. Start your conversation at that level, not all the things that they are now doing wrong, saying wrong and causing to go wrong in their group. Start with that feeling of expectation and excitement that drove their behavior in the right direction in the beginning. Have them clearly articulate what that purpose was, not just “make more money”, but specifically what in their life were they trying to produce? Was it to become debt free, to allow themselves or a loved one to retire and come home from a no-where job, was it to build an investment portfolio or perhaps an education fund? Get to the real positive reason behind their decision to join you in the first place.

Once you have re-established their reason “why”, you can now begin to help them understand where they might have gone astray. And be very careful at this point. Their story will no doubt include a lot of “not my fault” scenarios. They will talk about the lousy performance of their downline, some real or imagined slight from the company, some real or imagined lack of support or training. It will never be their own effort that was substandard.

Getting around to really dissecting their performance will be difficult, and it is much easier if the discussion can be focused on real, incontrovertible numbers. Numbers don’t lie, we’re told, and there is a lot of truth to that. So, what are the numbers that will indicate what they have been doing wrong? Well, if you just look at the number of people they have brought into the organization, that might be low in comparison to their peers, but it won’t tell the story. The real truth of the numbers is in the EFFORT that the person made. Have them produce their calendar and SHOW YOU the numbers of appointments they had, the number of people on their contact list, their record of calls and follow up appointments. Whatever methodology you have in your company, bottom like its all the same – number of introductions to the company and the product matters! Set some concrete goals to improve this ratio. And then assure them that you are with them ON THE CALLS, IN THE APPOINTMENTS, all the way to help them achieve their original purpose. Set up weekly check-in calls, and in those calls, always give positive encouragement. And when our friend begins their usual negative diatribe (and this will surely happen, old habits die hard!), don’t let it pass. Stop it in it’s tracks. Tell them, “John, I am here to help you. I have a strong, positive belief system about this company, and I need to spend my time with people who feel the same. Let’s focus our comments on what positive steps we can take.”

Your insistence upon the right level of conversation will slowly make a difference, and if it doesn’t? Well then, in the final analysis you may just need to focus your help elsewhere. And next time, listen carefully in your initial conversations BEFORE you invite the individual to join you in your business. Listen for those positive personality traits that are absolutely invaluable in our business.

Have fun, and my best,

Candy Webb, Your Network Marketing Coach

916 408-3637

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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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