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.
According to USA Today, the average American watches 1,669 hours of television per year. 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. On the other end of the spectrum, most successful people are slow to ridicule something they don’t understand. These people are accustomed to using their critical thinking skills on a daily basis and tend to carefully consider and weigh all options before reaching a conclusion
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. Many of the network marketing leaders I’ve encountered over the past 20 years spend a substantial amount of time trying to persuade their prospects and distributors how easy it is to build a successful network marketing business, while behind the scenes working 12-to-15-hour days. 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.
Instead of telling people how easy it is to build a million-dollar business, do the direct opposite. Tell them it’s going to be difficult. 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