7 Leadership Skills That Can Help you Achieve Success  In Your Network Marketing Business

7 Leadership Skills That Can Help you Achieve Success In Your Network Marketing Business

There are over 100 leadership skills that exist in leadership books, training programs and at the heart of most organizations.  As I considered the network marketing industry, I wanted to hone in on seven skills I have identified that will help entrepreneurs to become more strategically minded and to increase their ability to be successful in building a network marketing business.

1. Decision Making with Speed, Conviction and Accuracy.

The top leaders in the world do not necessarily stand out for making the best decisions 100% of the time…they stand out for being more decisive than their competitors.  If you want to be a strong leader in the network marketing industry, you will want to make a commitment to make decisions earlier, faster and with a great deal of conviction and passion.

As you manage your business, you will be faced with multiple important decisions that will have an impact on the future. Big decisions  will require thoughtful consideration, while simpler decisions often require less time. As the team leader, it is important to train your team on how to make quick decisions so that you can move forward as quickly as possible.    Today’s most successful businesses roll out products, services and ideas swiftly, test them with a select group of customers and make changes in response to what the test group had to say.   Quick decision making does not mean your product, service or new idea will be sloppy.  Quick decision making means making a timely decision as soon as possible but not sloppy.  Timely, thoughtful decisions can be high in quality and will become higher in quality as you get feedback from others.

Quick decision making can also help you and your team move away from being bogged down in information and will help you to avoid bottlenecks on your team.

Finally, decisive leaders understand that they cannot wait on perfection to make a decision.  They fully embrace that on occasion, he/she will make wrong decisions and that although they may fail, at least they made a decision.  Making a bad decision is better than making no decision at all, and savvy leaders will have Plan B in their back pocket. Potential customers like doing business with teams that make quick decisions.  At the end of the day, customers and potential team members like doing business with decision makers because it makes them feel as if their concerns are going to be addressed quickly.

2.Team Engagement.

Many leaders see team engagement as a process of making team members happy and making sure they know each other and feel comfortable around each other.  Although a great goal, team engagement means a great deal more than simply making your team members happy.  Engaged team members make strong contributions to the team and are actively connecting to not only his/her team but to the larger organization.  When you have truly engaged a team member, that person will become a “rock star”, and they are getting noticed for taking actions to create true team spirit and achieve bottom line results.

As the team leader, you will increase your chances of attracting customers and building an engaged team by fostering open dialogue, allowing people the chance to be responsible for their tasks, giving team members permission to fail.  When you increase team engagement, you will create a feeling in your team members and customers of truly belonging to the team.  When team members and customers are engaged you will notice improvement in the following areas:

    1. Customer ratings
    2. Productivity
    3. Ongoing referrals
    4. Improvement in quality
    5. Low team turnover
    6. Increased levels of productivity

3. Results Oriented Leadership Skills.

At its lowest level, results are achieved when people get the job done, and they work to make things better on your team.  As the team leader, if you really want to see sustained results, you will work with your team members on improving their performance level, helping them to redesign daily practices that will yield more time and opportunities to create breakthrough results with the end game being to transform business practices and models so that your results soar.

Improving bottom line results seems pretty basic, but many leaders simply do what they can to attract people onto their team based on who is smart and because you saw them as a good fit for your team.  What you may not do is to talk with new team members about going for results in a way that is more than just selling.  By learning their strengths, ambitions and shortcomings, you will be able to get a general idea of how each team member goes about getting results, and it is your responsibility to provide the training, mentorship and coaching needed to have them begin to see results as much more than closing the sale.   You want to train your team members on not only achieving their results but exceeding them at some point in the future. When your team members are exceeding their goals for getting results, they will actually be transforming business practices as the world changes and grows, which will improve your team’s bottom line.

4.Collaboration and Influence.

When enroling team members into your network marketing team, achieving collaboration and being able to influence others is a basic skill.  Collaboration and influence, for many teams, simply refers to who shows up during team meetings and events and how team members interact with each other and share ideas.  While these actions lay the groundwork for collaboration and influence, they barely scrape the surface of what is possible with collaboration and influence.

The goal you will really want to achieve with collaboration and influencing each other is to leverage partnerships both on your team and outside your team that will improve your bottom line results.  As the team leader, it is important to observe when 2-3 team members are speaking to each other at a much higher level, facilitating cross-culture collaboration.  As your team is collaborating and influencing each other in a positive way, you will drive motivation and engagement, and people around your team will stick around much longer if they are collaborating and influencing others.

5. Ability to be Proactive and Adapt to Change.

According to a study conducted through Harvard Business Review, leaders who are proactive and who adapt quickly to change are 6.7 times more likely to achieve success as a leader than those who do not adapt easily to change.  The most successful leaders spend over 50% of their time thinking about the long term as opposed to the short term.

Leaders who easily adapt to change and who take a proactive stance as a leader admit that they regularly scan and scout the business world to look for patterns of change, considering how these changes may affect their business.  As a leader of your team, you should be spending some time each day reading newspapers, watching news shows, both local and global, listening to new podcasts, watching videos and taking notes about change as you live your life.

The simplest of changes in the world can have an impact on how you lead your team, so spend time looking at a wide variety of life areas to see what is new and what is on the horizon.  As an example, the minute a new smart phone hits the market or the minute a social networking site changes their system, the world changes.  It may be that the new version of a smart phone gives you the ability to buy and sell by using your thumbprint or gives you instant access to a top notch camera feature or GPS.  Or, your favorite social networking site may decide one day to add a feature to keep you more secure.  If you are being proactive to watch for changes in the world, you can get ahead of the changes and move ahead of your competition quickly and with a strategic mind.

6. Reliability.

Reliable teams are built by gathering reliable people together.  People love knowing they can count on someone, so being reliable is one of the most important leadership skills you can develop in your own life and in the lives of your team members to be wildly successful.  As you begin working with the leadership skill of reliability, you can speed up your learning process by:

    1. Being on time
    2. Doing what you say you are going to do
    3. Being proactive in your communication. Don’t wait for a problem to rise to the surface to communicate.  Jump in and address the change as quickly as possible.
    4. Tell the truth. If you do not know the whole story, do not talk about pieces of information that may not be true.  Go straight to the source to find out what is true and what is no.
    5. Manage your commitments (do not double book or overcommit).
    6. Know when to say “yes” and when to say “no”.

7. Honesty, Authenticity and Integrity.

While I could present these three leadership principles as stand-alone principles, I am listing them together, because they are so closely interrelated.  When you are honest, you are someone who always tells the truth, is sincere, candid, frank, open and forthright.

Authenticity is the state of being genuine, real, true and based on fact.  Because of the 24-hour news cycle, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and the constant chatter that happens online, it is more important than ever to be exactly who you are without any apologies and not pretend to be someone you are not.  If you are presenting yourself as someone you are not, you will eventually be found out by others.  Customers of today are very skeptical of doing business with someone who is portraying themselves as someone else.  They want to know they are doing business with someone who is genuine and true.

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking.  This one leadership skill is very hard for high level leaders to live in this day and age.  As with authenticity, if people find out you are living a double life (professional by day and not quite so professional by night), they will refuse to do business with you.  Integrity should be at the foundation of every team’s culture, because without it, every decision you make could turn into something negative for you and your team down the road.

In closing, I would like to ask you to consider these 7 leadership skills and how strong they are in your life.  If you are short on a few of these skills, it may be time to work with a leadership mentor or a coach to shore up your skills to make you more successful in building your network marketing business and team.

7 Key Skills  That You Can Develop by Building a Network Marketing Business

7 Key Skills That You Can Develop by Building a Network Marketing Business

In  a recent blog post 5 Action Steps Everyone in The Network Marketing Industry Should Be Implementing on a Daily Basis to Achieve Success, I talked about the daily, hard skills you will need to learn to be successful in your network marketing business.  These skills can be learned in a classroom or through formal online training.  But, there are certain skills that you may not learn through formal training but will evolve naturally as a bi-product of prospecting, promoting and enrolling customers into your business.

1. The Power of Networking

The name, “Network Marketing”, derived its name primarily because a large part of your success will come from the people who are a part of your network:  your friends, family and colleagues.  Networking (both formal and informal) can be a frightening activity for many people, but the more you put it into practice, the better you will become at maximizing your network to grow your business.  As you develop your business, you will be able to figure out who in your network is most valuable to your career.  This list should not exceed 20 people.  These are people who you will want to spend time with 2-3 times a year.  Your next tier of your network should be 50-75 contacts, and these may be people who you send your monthly newsletter to or who may receive holiday or birthday cards.  Over time, you will begin to figure out the most efficient and effective way to engage with people in your network and how to walk into a room full of people and be able to network with confidence and ease.

2. Communication Skills

As you build your network marketing business, you will quickly find out that the way you communicate with others can make or break your success. You may be speaking on a stage in the front of a large room of a few hundred people, in an online webinar or conference call or in a one-on-one conversation.  The more you communicate, wither privately or publicly, you can hone your ability to listen, improve your written communication and learn how to read body language to get the most out of a conversation.  You will also learn how to manage your own body language by improving your posture, looking other people in the eye when talking with them and moving around the space you are in to include other people in the conversation.

3. Strong Presentation Skills

A large part of building a network marketing business is to hone your presentation skills.  This requires a great deal of practice and patience.  When developing your presentation skills, it will be important to learn how to use the live or virtual space in a way that engages your audience and draws them closer to you.  With time, you will learn how to adjust to your surroundings, how to use the art of storytelling to connect with your listeners, meet and greet the audience before and after the presentation, use positive visualization, smile when appropriate and learn how to condense your content to make your information is valuable to your audience.

4. Marketing Skills

Marketing is everything you do (the activities, processes and offerings) to add value for your current and potential customers and team members.  In the early days of building your network marketing business, I strongly encourage you to spend time with someone who has been successful in the network marketing industry to find out what marketing activities really work and those which don’t.  While you may have ideas and activities of your own to implement now and then, I strongly encourage you to not reinvent the wheel.  Instead, study the masters of your industry and tailor your marketing campaigns to meet the needs of your prospects.  You will save a great deal of time, money and energy as a result by implementing steps that have already worked for the people who came before you.

5. Relationship Building

Relationship building requires a dedicated amount of time and planning to build relationships that last.  Lasting relationships are critical to your success in business, but they don’t just pop out of thin air.  It takes consistent, dedicated focus.  As time goes on, you will find that relationship building happens more quickly when you are:

  • Authentic
  • Respectful
  • Listening more than talking
  • Seek out people who share your values
  • Personal as opposed to constantly talking about business
  • Providing opportunities for people to network with each other
  • Dedicated to planning a few meaningful social outings. This could be anything from music to art to dining out together.  The goal is to keep the social event social, and do your best not to talk business
  • Willing to offer something of value to another person without expecting anything in return

6, Knowledge Acquisition and Personal and Professional Development

As personal development guru, Jim Rohn said: “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune”.  When you enter the world of network marketing, you will most often find a large variety and opportunities to acquire knowledge through personal and professional training.  Many studies show that at least 90% of success in network marketing comes from personal and professional growth, reading about the business, listening to podcasts and watching videos on sites such as Ted.com.  Personal and professional development and acquiring as much knowledge as possible will help you to reach your full potential while learning about how to understand and communicate with other people.  I recommend that you invest at least 2-4 hours per week in self-study and attending a full day training at least one time per month to keep you ahead of your competition.

7. Planning and Time Management Skills

When you are approximately 3-4 months into developing your network marketing business, you will begin to notice activities that are wasting your time.  Time wasters include interruptions, people who keep popping into your office or calling you over the phone, unnecessary meetings and unproductive activities.   When you operate your own business, you will learn over time how important it is to prioritize your daily activities, learn how to address interruptions and how to respond to what is truly important vs. urgent.  You can get a jumpstart on your time management process by creating a log of how you spend your time and identify your biggest time wasters and interruptions so that you can address those problem areas as quickly as possible.
As you are building your network marketing business, you will require a number of skills to both start and run a business.  The list above will develop naturally as you interact with others on a daily basis.  It is critical that you identify the skills that you need to develop or improve so that you can be successful with your business.

5 Action Steps Everyone in The Network Marketing Industry Should Be Implementing on a Daily Basis to Achieve Success

5 Action Steps Everyone in The Network Marketing Industry Should Be Implementing on a Daily Basis to Achieve Success

One of the best ways to achieve success in building your network marketing business is to follow in the footsteps of business leaders who have achieved success before you. This is especially true when it comes to the network marketing business. As you are building your network marketing business, it is critical to follow the below 5 steps that successful network marketers have implemented each day and make them a part of your own daily sales process.

1. Prospect.

Prospecting on a daily basis is the real key to success in building your network marketing business. In order to create real leverage, you need to build a team and you need to lead by example so others in your team can follow. To be successful, you need to create a prospecting plan, choose your target market and be consistent in your prospecting efforts. It simply won’t work to do a little today and then leave it for several days. You need to build momentum into your prospecting and that only happens if you are prospecting consistently – every day as you are building the foundation of your business.  Prospecting is the most important activity you can engage in. It’s really the one activity that over time is guaranteed to grow your business

2. Promote.

As you are building your network marketing business, it is important to know how to promote as opposed to using force to sell to others. When promoting, you are educating potential clients or team members about your products in a way that adds professionalism and dignity to your sales process. By listening deeply on a social level to your prospects and presenting your products with enthusiasm and product knowledge, you will add value to the promotion process, which moves your prospects closer to saying “Yes!”. Carve out one hour each day to have a promotion conversation with at least 3-5 people. By investing time each day in promoting, you will be able to fine tune your

3. Enrol.

Many network marketers approach potential customers or team members by using an aggressive recruitment model. Recruitment involves hype, pushing, manipulation and even using scare tactics to get people who are desperate to jump on board. I highly recommend shifting from a recruitment process to an enrolment process. With enrolment, you are using communication techniques to paint a vivid vision, tell interesting stories that grab attention and that align you with the potential prospect. With a successful enrolment process, it is also extremely important to do your best to enrol people who are already successful, making money and experiencing growth but who want to live a different life. These prospects will be perfect for you, because they have already experienced success in life and business. As with promoting, it is important to schedule at least three phone calls or face to face meetings to work on improving your enrolment process.

4. Follow Up.

It is imperative that you always follow up with existing customers and potential customers on an ongoing basis. With your existing customers, find out what their personal experience is of your products and ensure they are using them in the correct way to get most value from them. Keep your customers notified about other products that they may also benefit from. But be careful not to ‘sell’ or you will create resistance, annoyance and you will very often push people away.

It is also essential that you follow up with your potential clients or team members. Studies indicate that almost 80% of sales leads require at least 5 follow ups after the initial prospecting meeting. But close to 44% of salespeople give up after just 1 follow up. On the other hand, there are sales reps who bombard their prospects with follow up emails and calls, which pushes people away. The best approach with following up is to ask the prospect if you can follow up, and ask the prospect how they would best like for you to follow up. Do they want a phone call, email or a text message? Choosing your prospects’ favorite form of communication is crucial, otherwise you can annoy your potential clients. Once you have determined the type of communication your prospects want, follow up on the same day as your prospecting call. A short email, phone call or text message to simply thank the person for taking the time to talk with you is all that is needed. Keep a record of your follow up phone calls, and carve out time each day to make your follow up phone calls. Following up or not following up can make or break the deal.

5. Consume.

Before you begin to actually promote your products or try to attract people into your team, you have to be a raving fan of the products you are promoting. You need to become your own best customer, and consume as many of the products you are promoting as possible. By using your products on a daily basis, you will be able to be completely authentic and genuine as you promote your products. If you are not using your products and services you are trying to promote, you will break trust with your potential customers or team members and create a disconnect. You will become someone who simply “talks the talk” but does not “walk the talk”.

In closing, as you implement the above 5 steps, it is critical that you not overwhelm your prospects. Build a collection of marketing and collateral materials that will give you a reason to follow up in the future and hopefully enrol people into your network marketing business.

The 7 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Corporate Job (And What To Do About It)

The 7 Signs You’ve Outgrown Your Corporate Job (And What To Do About It)

It does not matter how long you have been in your current job.  there will more than likely come a time when you’re stuck. You are bored, looking for things to do and taking on others’ tasks simply in order to stay busy.  At the end of the day, here is your reality:  You have outgrown your job.  You feel you need to either advance in your company, change companies altogether or make the leap into the world of becoming an entrepreneur.

 

Here are 7 signs that you have more than likely outgrown your job and what to do about it.

 

1. You’re bored.

 

When boredom settles in at work, there are a few reasons that can cause this:

  • You are over-qualified for your role
  • You are not being challenged
  • The work you are doing has no meaning
  • Monotony begins to settle into your daily work.
  • You just don’t get excited about the work you are doing.

2. You are taking on work that your boss does not have time to do.

While this may be flattering, if your boss is passing along his or her work to you to finish, your boss may have recognized your boredom, and he/she is trying to keep you engaged.  If you continue taking on work delegated to you by your boss, you may be in the throws of being taken advantage of by your boss, and it is time to speak up or start considering a career change.  If you don’t speak up, you may begin to feel resentment about your job and your boss, which can only make things worse. 

3. You are looking for new things to learn that you haven’t already learned, and you just cannot find it.

You have basically mastered your job, and you know in your heart it is time for something bigger.  When you were the new kid on the block, you were in a constant state of learning and growing and seeking out how to do something new.  If you are seeking new opportunities to learn, that is a great thing.  But if it does not add anything new to your current job, you will more than likely continue to seek out new opportunities to learn and grow that are not being offered to you by your employer.

4. You are not being challenged.

Stop and think for just a moment about the past year.  How many projects were you involved in that challenged you, excited you or made you feel passion about going to work each day?  If you cannot think of a project that challenged and inspired you, that is a sign that you may have reached your peak level of performance in your current job.

5. Your friends, family and colleagues are telling you that you have outgrown your job, and it’s time to move on.

When you have outgrown your job, you may have that inkling inside that asks you “Why are you still here in this job?”  You may not be verbalizing how you feel, but your friends, family and colleagues are asking that same question of you. If you are constantly hearing people ask you about why you are still in your job, it is probably time to start considering other options.

6. There is no room for advancement.

When you interviewed for your position, you may have been told that with your job there was not much room for advancement in the company.  As you moved forward your job, you will started to notice that your ability to “climb the corporate ladder” drastically slowed down or stopped altogether. The only room for advancement is to take your boss’s job, and you know that is not going to happen.  If this is the case, you will continue to be unhappy, and it is time to move to another company or consider starting your own business where the sky is the limit.

7. You are spending time helping other people complete their work.

If you have outgrown your job, you are probably looking for ways to spend your time that are interesting and exciting.  You have completed your day’s tasks, and you are desperately looking for something to do  So, what do you do?  You start helping other people finish their work.  This behavior alone should send signs to your boss that you are not fulfilled in the work you are doing.  If nothing changes, then it is time for you to take charge and make a change.

If you have reached the point where you are completely disengaged and bored with your work and don’t have the motivation to show up fully at work, it is most likely you have outgrown your job, and it is time to step forward and make a fresh start.  There are really only three main choices to make if you truly cannot advance in your company.

  1. You can speak to your boss about a more challenging position with the company.
  2. You can find a similar job in a company where there is room for advancement.
  3. You can leave the corporate world completely and become an entrepreneur. You will become a business owner, become your own boss and you will advance as far as you desire. 

 

 

Leadership Coaching Lesson for the Week – How to Be a Great Team Leader

Leadership Coaching Lesson for the Week – How to Be a Great Team Leader

Okay, so I got this article today about all of these academic lessons on how to be a great team leader.  They included terms like strategic agility, cultural transformation and quantity of output. It was a great article, because I got a 45-minute nap after reading 3 paragraphs.

I am so TIRED of these articles, and I bet you are too!

At the end of the day, to become a great team leader  is really simple.

To be a great team leader, you have to be able to give people what they want from their team leader.  Here is what the majority of people say they want from their team leader:

  1. A team leader who truly cares about their team members. If you don’t care, your team members won’t either.  People don’t want to know how much you know until they know how much you care.
  2. A team leader who cares less about money and more about relationships. If you are all about the money and the bottom line, people can smell it miles away (If you haven’t heard yet…the internet has made the world a very, very small place for us to dwell).  If you care about money more than relationships, you will not only alienate your team members, you will lose customers.
  3. A team leader who lives the belief that “the rules that apply to the business team members apply to me as well!”.  Simply because you are the CEO does not entitle you to privileges or to be exempt from activities you are asking your team to perform.
  4. A team leader who shows up on time.In today’s world, team members will tell you that meetings usually run late because the team leader is late.  They rush in…15 minutes late…huffing and puffing,  making all sorts of excuses about why they are late.  I am always entertained by the silence or eyes rolling around the room.  If you are late to meetings, you are sending the message that your time is more important than the people who are on your team.  Not good!
  5. A team leader who lives with a beginner’s mind. If you are the top dog, it is important to show both credibility AND to show that you are open to simple concepts.  If you are a “know it all”, you will alienate your team members both right and left.
  6. A team member who acknowledges team members. I met a CEO one time who said “I don’t like him…he needs too much praise!”  While this CEO may have had a point, here is my point…everyone needs acknowledgment…as a matter of fact, we are craving it.  So why not give it?  It only takes 15 seconds to say “You know John…you really helped out yesterday on the project for the Smith account.  Your “take charge” attitude is just what we needed to get the job done and on time, and it helped us all go home earlier to our families.” It’s one thing to say “Hey…buddy…good job!”  It’s another to acknowledge someone for what they did and how they impacted the rest of the team.

In closing, give these tips a try.  They may just be your magic wand!