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August 26, 2012

MLM Prospecting: The Power of Stories

MLM Prospecting: The Power of Stories

mlm prospectingThe power of stories is an often-overlooked tool in the MLM prospecting arsenal, perhaps because so few network marketers understand the benefits of story-telling in the prospecting process.  And yet, it is no coincidence that those who do understand and tap into the power of stories are among the most well-known and successful people in the field.

Our Oral Tradition

We all come from an oral tradition. Stories told around the campfire were not, initially, simply a form or entertainment for campers.  Instead, they were a means of sharing important information within a community – information ranging from the critical to the mundane.

As a result, we seem almost genetically predisposed to accept the information we hear in stories as true.  At the very least, we tend to be less critical of information received through stories than we are of the same information given directly.

In more recent times, this tendency to be more accepting of the story teller is constantly reinforced by our leisure activities.  Television shows, movies, even the books we read have taught us to suspend disbelief, at least for the duration of the story.

Stories and the MLM Prospecting Process

Most network marketing presentations I’ve seen are boring recitations of facts.  (In fact, most focus on features and ignore benefits – another glaring marketing mistake!)

What if instead of a bald statement that “anyone can do this,” you were to provide some short stories of people with divergent backgrounds and experience all of whom were, in fact, doing this?

In fact, there are at least five types of stories that should be in your MLM prospecting toolbox:

  1. Who I am.  A really great “Who I am” story could follow the outline of the Hero’s Journey that is best and most popularly described in Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces.  Essentially, the story describes a journey of overcoming challenges and becoming a success.
  2. Why I’m here.  It’s useful if these first two stories are connected.  You need to let your prospect know why you’re here.  What drew you to network marketing? Even if your reasons are largely self-serving, you should still share them; you’ll just need to present them in the most favorable light as part of your overall MLM prospecting strategy.
  3. Your vision.  Time to talk about “what’s in it for them.”  Since, in our profession, it is impossible to become successful without helping others do the same, your vision of success will have to include them.  Just be sure to make that the vision of your story.
  4. Your values.  It’s one thing to say that you are trustworthy, loyal, friendly, courteous, etc.  It’s another to tell stories that demonstrate those qualities.  If you say it, your prospect may doubt it. If, as they listen to your story, they come to that same conclusion, they will accept it as true.
  5. I know what you’re thinking.  Stories can be an effective way to address objections before your prospect even has a chance to voice them.  Beware of mind reading but, if you get the same objection over and over again, you may be able to inoculate against it with a “I know what you’re thinking” story.

One of the best ways to get your stories “out there” in a way that leverages technology to its fullest, is through videos.  If you're new to videos and video marketing, or are looking to improve your current video marketing strategies, you'll definitely want to check out this free 24-minute video.

If you haven’t yet tapped into the power of stories in your MLM prospecting efforts, the information in this post will get you off to a good start.  If you have any questions, post them in the comments section below and I’ll address them in a future post.


Dave Strayer
Skype: dcstrayer

P.S. – If your upline doesn't have a step-by-step plan for your success, you need to check this out now!

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Dave Strayer is a full-time Internet and Affiliate marketer and coach. Contact him for further information about the information in this post or to discuss how he can help you learn, internalize, and get maximum benefit from the skills, beliefs, and behaviors that you must have to succeed online.

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