Would you turn down a prospect?

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Would you turn down a prospect?

Postby lindastacy on Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:15 am

Do you think you ever would discourage a prospect from joining your team? (Or have you ever turned anyone away?) Why or why not?
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Postby Audrey on Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:53 am


This article is over 15 years old, but it tells of one experience I had that lead me to NEVER just sign up anyone again:

Are You Interviewing Your Prospects?

There is nothing more exciting than someone contacting us to inquire about our business. We get so excited infact that sometimes we forget that what we are really doing is conducting an interview to see if our business is right for the prospect.

Back in the 80's when I started in network marketing, the philosophy was to sign up anyone who had a pulse. I remember some days I signed up 22 people in one day. I also remember thinking to myself, "how on earth will this person ever make it?".

I'll share one of my most memorable experiences with you. A girl called me, she had seen my flyer somewhere in town. I scheduled the interview for the following day. Now I knew from the address that this section of town was not the most desirable in our city, but hey, she had two things going in her favor, a pulse and an interest. When I arrived, the house smelled from beer, cigarettes and just general trash, I was thinking, she still had a pulse and she still had an interest. As I was scanning the house looking for a place to sit, she suggested we go into her bedroom, as it was clean and private. Knowing she had a pulse and an interest I followed her. After entereing her room, she dead bolted the door. I truly was scared at this point. I was very unsure what I had walked into. She explained that the folks she lived with her were drug dealers and that all sorts of folks came in and out of her home thus the deadbolt. Well we made it through the sign up process, but I swore I would never put myself through that again. As I'm sure you have guessed, she never contributed anything to my organization.

After that experience I began more carefully screening those who expressed an interest in my business. I was actually beginning to interview those who contacted me. Through an initial interview I was able to determine who qualified for a 2nd interview, an appointment for me to come speak with them.

If the interview was taking place on the phone, I would have a blank piece of paper where I could jot down the answers. If the interview was in person, I would tell the person that I was going to be asking some questions and jotting down the answers. Over the years I have had folks on the phone not wish to be interviewed and that's perfectly ok. We hang up. This is not the business for them. In person, I've never had anyone object to me wanting to know about them and even taking notes.

There are 3 things I want to know about my prospect:

1. I wanted to know about their job history. Where have they worked, what were their responsibilities, how long did they stay at the job (s)? I would ask "tell me about your past job history"

2. I wanted to know about their families. I also wanted to know where they lived. House or apartment? Single? Kids? Sometimes you can hear children in the background, so I ask "are those your kids?" I'll then ask how many and what their ages are. Sometimes a prospect will say "my husband works 3rd shift", or "my wife and I were talking last night", so in listening to what your prospect volunteers to you, you may get answers without ever asking a question.

3. I want to know what they expect to get out of the business. Some folks are looking for supplemental income, some for full time careers. Some folks wish to earn $100 per month play money, some wish to earn a few thousand a month, to get out of debt. A simple "tell me your expectation about the business" will get you some of these answers.

By asking the above questions, you will find out quite a bit about your prospect. This business is not for everyone. Why waste your time or thiers if this is not a match? By asking questions, by learning what someone expects out of the business, your prospect is actually making a commitment to you. If they tell you they want $1000 per month, you can then explain to them what it will take to earn that much. One of two things will happen, they will agree to the steps to make it happen, or they will tell you no. If they tell you no, then explain what it will take to earn 1/2 of that, or $500 per month. Again, one of two things will happen, either they will agree to take the steps to make it happen or they will tell you no.

By interviewing your prospects you are establishing from the beginning what the future will bring.

Audrey Okaneko has been in network marketing since 1983. She can be reached at audreyoka@cox.net or visited at http://www.recipe-barn.com
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Postby Ashley9603 on Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:35 am

Thats an excellent article Audrey :)
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Postby Audrey on Wed Nov 14, 2007 7:32 pm

Thanks Ashley. When I think back, I really do shudder. I've been in direct sales since 1983. This happened in the late 80's. It's an experience I'll never forget.
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Postby Ashley9603 on Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:14 pm

I know for me I would have been scared :shock: I agree that is something that I wouldnt forget either!
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Postby ravish30 on Wed Nov 14, 2007 10:19 pm

I can honestly say...yes, I have turned down a prospect before.

I felt they were not a good fit for me and my team. However, I did not turn them down from my biz oppty, I just referred them to someone else, usually someone locally to them to join their team.

Why? Because I knew they had NO knowledge of business, promoting, sales, etc....I felt they would be better off joining a local team instead of an out of state team so that they could get hands on training.
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Not turn down per say...

Postby melmel on Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:47 am

I think I talk prospects out of the opportunity more than anything. My thinking is I want the people on my team to be successful and want them to know up front what it takes to be successful.

A lot of people who are looking for an opportunity can't afford to loose money trying something they truely are not ready for. I believe anyone can succeed at anything once they put their mind to it.

And that's who I want on my team, the people who are ready to do what it takes to make it work for them! Not someone who wants a "get rich quick" scheme with little or no effort.

Great topic! thanks
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Postby Audrey on Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:14 pm


What is your definition of success? What is it that folks wanting to join you must want before you'll say yes?
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Postby melmel on Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:10 pm

I think success is different for everyone. For me, I consider success being able to provide quality time with my family and learning together how to appreciate the little things in life. Followed by bringing in enough income to cover the bills and when able..... splurge a little bit... we all like to be spoiled :-)

People wanting to join my team should know what they want from the company upfront. Is it for the product, additional income, cover monthly bills, to give them something to do? From there, I can tell them what needs to be done to meet that objective so they will know going in what's ahead for them.

The last thing I want to do is set someone up for failure.
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One Order I Refused

Postby initial-impressions on Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:36 pm

During the holidays several years ago, I got an order for a custom embroidered bathrobe. The man ordered a robe for a woman (wife or girlfriend I presume). He wanted me to embroider "bitch" where a first name or initials would normally go. I contacted him and told him I was not comfortable with the order.

I lost the sale, but I had my values to be true to. I also know that someone would ask to return the gift and I would be stuck with it.

I do have a sense of humor, but some things are funny and some are not.
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turning down a prospect

Postby lisamommy on Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:18 am

Yes I have turned down a prospect that I was uncomfortable dealing with or if I do not think they are right for the business. There has been some creepy people that I just don't need or want to work with, this was in my past business. I don't really work on the phone anymore, so don't have to worry about talking to them anymore.

I have actually turned a couple prospect over to a friend of mine in Shaklee, because I no longer wanted to rep with the company anymore. She was not part of my downline or upline, but I knew she was the best one to lead these people and I did what I thought was right, even though I lost commission.
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Re: Would you turn down a prospect?

Postby janice2009 on Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:41 am

If you have good basis then what's the point in not doing so?... But then again, it's all about taking risks, we may have good intuition but we certainly can't predict the future...
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Re: Would you turn down a prospect?

Postby LaurieH on Thu May 14, 2009 3:57 pm


I've turned away people after calling them and hearing their answering machine messages, by the way they answered their phone, after looking through their Facebook profiles and wall posts.

My mission is to work only with professionals and when someone answers their phone rudely, takes the stance that they're doing ME a favour or pretty much display any hate, vulgarity or profanity (on wall posts), they're wiped from the prospect slate immediately.

There are so many extraordinary, professional, serious and committed individuals out there that there is no reason to settle for anything less.

My philosophy is set your expectations high and YOU WILL ATTRACT people you love to do business with.
Laurie Hayes, Senior Manager

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Re: Would you turn down a prospect?

Postby LorettaOliver on Fri May 15, 2009 2:12 pm

I'm glad this topic is getting some attention again. It's a great question and one that I think we all have to consider at some point. I've turned people away for different reasons in the past, conflict of interest, time being already booked full, etc....

But, there have been a few rare occasions in the past 8 years where I just got the impression that we weren't going to work well together. In those cases I give a few referrals for people I think the person might work well with and send them on their way. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut instinct on things.

In the case of building a direct sales team, I had a few recruits that I sent onto other reps because I didn't think our teaching/learning styles matched up well. It wouldn't have benefited them to be on my team if they didn't learn the same way as me, and I wanted them to have the best experience possible even if it meant one less person in my downline.
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