5 10 2009

One of the maxims of network marketing recruiting is that you “can’t prejudge” when you’re making your list or deciding who to talk to. Over the years, I’ve developed the ability to blend in with a variety of social circles. I’m just as comfortable with “the beautiful people” as I am with “pocket protector wearing, card carrying ‘geeks’.” I fit in with the OC nouveau riche, church-goers from South Central L.A,  middle-class suburbanites and self-proclaimed “trailer park” trash (their term, not mine).

Friends of the FriendlessAs a result, I have made friends with people who others might be “uncomfortable” around. There’s an old I Love Lucy episode where she joins up with a ragtag band in a park who proclaim themselves the “Friends of the Friendless.”

Kirk would be the first to say that he would qualify as a member of that group called “the friendless.” Kirk and I used to work together as trainers for a previous company. Kirk is incredibly adept technically. Kirk could stand to read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Needless to say, “people skills” are not his strong suit.

I called Kirk a few days ago and asked if we could get together because I wanted to “bend his ear” on a new project that I am working on, with an old boss of his (who happens to be in my downline). He called me this morning and said that he would have time today at noon to get together.

After catching up for a few minutes, I let Kirk watch the ACN Opportunity video and then showed him how the videophone worked by calling his old boss. I then proceeded to walk him thru the 1-10 sheet. By the time we got to Box 3, he chuckled when I talked about how we each have “relationships” with people that companies like AT&T, Verizon and DirecTV would LOVE to have. “Maybe SOME people” Kirk offered in a self-depreciating manner.

Kirk does have a bit of a “bull in a china shop” personality. He just rubs (most) people the wrong way. He’s not a jerk. He’s just could stand to refine his “people skills.” He’s very focused and analytical. He’s not the kind of guy that you look at and think “wow this guy is the next ACN SVP!” But we can’t prejudge.

Kirk then proceeded to tell me that he had been in PrimeAmerica and had only sold one policy in two years. He went on to tell me how he’s not cut out for MLM. I then stopped the presentation and just started “talking” with him. Not AT him, but WITH him. I realized that whether or not he joined us in ACN? I was now presented with an opportunity to treat Kirk with compassion and understanding.

As I stopped talking about ACN and started just talking WITH Kirk? An amazing thing happened. KIRK THEN started asking me about ACN and asked me to explain the comp plan to him. Before I knew it, our time was over (it was Kirk’s lunch hour). Kirk asked if he could take the 1-10 sheet with him and if I had anything else that he could take with him. I gave him a “Success from Home” magazine and thanked him for coming.

I also asked him to refrain from talking to people at his work about ACN. He laughed and said, “don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that to your business. If I said anything? That would ruin it for sure!” I wanted to just hug the little guy.

I guess I’ve been given a gift. I can not only BE a “friend of the friendless,” I kinda enjoy it. As I reflect on my previous group (back in the 90s), I had recruited a “Kirk” back then too. Curiously? His name was Kirk too (must be something about the name). Yet another person who was deficient in the “People skills” area. That Kirk (and his wife) worked hard to build their business. They led me to numerous people, but his persona just seemed to “get in the way” time and time again.

If I had been in Phase I back then, I could have helped support their efforts by personally recruiting and placing reps in their group. I also could have taken more of an interest in the people that they led me to. But I was lazy back then. I could have been more of a “friend” to the friendless. The whole thing made me realize what I would have to do to help “this” Kirk (should he decide to come on board at some point).

Some will, some won’t, so what? Not all brown apples are bad apples. Ya just gotta get out there and keep talking to people.

59 days til Anaheim.