Many people would say that recruiting is the most important skill in network marketing. Others would say contacting and inviting. Even more would argue it’s learning to be effective on the phone. I disagree with all of these answers. All are important, but not most important.
Before any of these skills contribute to building your network marketing empire, you’re going to have to be mentally tough. In other words, you’re going to have to learn to become a master of your emotions.
This means learning how to control your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes—especially under pressure. Why is this the single most critical skill? Because without it you will fail. Period. The rejection you face on a daily basis in this business will wipe you out, just as it has wiped out millions of other sharp, ambitious, well-educated people. The masses don’t understand network marketing, and their ignorance often takes the form of ridicule. If you are mentally tough enough to keep bouncing back while growing stronger with each attack, you have a legitimate shot at living your dream in this business.
There are no guarantees, but you have a shot. The majority of people are addicted to the approval of others. Most of us are taught from an early age to place a high value on what other people think of us. We’re told to obey the rules, respect our elders, and comply with society’s value structure. When we stray from these commands, we are punished.
Network marketing demands that you abandon this philosophy and dive into the mix. In other words, make a decision to place your highest value on your approval of yourself. This is a decision to lead rather than follow.
The Gallup Organization tells us there are approximately 10 million leaders in the world leading approximately 6 billion people. Your ability to break any addiction you might have to acquiring the approval of others will determine which group you fall into.
The masses are not engaged in critical thinking. The average prospect you’re contacting is more concerned about what television program they’re going to watch tonight than they are about securing their future. By middle age, most people have given up hope of converting their dreams into reality and subsequently seek solace in activities where effort is minimal and pleasure is king. My point is that the average person’s criticism of your opportunity shouldn’t carry much weight if you’re a true leader. I’m not putting anyone down; I’m simply suggesting the next time you experience a harsh rejection to consider the source.
How mentally tough are you? Mental toughness means controlling your emotions in performance situations, and people who are mentally tough develop thick skin when it comes to rejection. Mental toughness in network marketing is developed by getting in front of a predetermined number of prospects every day, either on the phone or face-to-face. The people who join you won’t make you mentally tough. The people who decline but are positive about the business won’t make you tough, either. It’s the people that laugh at you and the whole concept of network marketing that will temper the steel inside your psyche. They will facilitate your emotional growth or they will blow you out of the business. It depends on how tough you are when the rejection hits.
The secret to survival is mental preparation. The average leader in this profession spends a lot of time trying to control attrition and sponsor new people. The yearly attrition rate in network marketing is well over 90 percent, and the reason is lack of mental preparation.
Prepare them for the onslaught of rejection headed their way. Give them examples. Role-play with them. Let them experience the emotional assault that awaits them in the field. This doesn’t guarantee their success, but it gives them a fighting chance to survive their first year in the business.
As leader and coach to your organization, it’s your responsibility to shape and mold your people into competent network marketing professionals. That being said, you can’t do it all.
You can get them started and encourage them along the way, but you’re going to need help. Train your people to invest in books, CDs, and seminars on topics like mental toughness, motivation, and vision building—anything that keeps world-class ideas in front of them when you’re not there.
Remember they are surrounded, as we all are, by middle-class thinkers. Consciousness is contagious, so be sure they are exposed to the best of the best. Ninety days of this type of programming and exposure should be enough to enable them to stand on their own. If they are still dependent on you after that, move on and invest your precious time in someone else.
Everyone has the ability to access their mental toughness, but many choose (consciously or unconsciously) not to tap into it. In a profession where momentum is critical to your success, you don’t have time to wait for the slow movers.