Opportunity Calling ... Making Team Conferencing Pay Off
By Jeffrey A. Babener
Excerpted from Network Marketing: What You Should Know, Jeffrey Babener, Legaline Publications
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Network marketing means doing just that - networking. As you build your sales organization, networking can happen in many ways. One of these ways - one that is tried-and true - is the group telephone conference call.
Conference calls come in all shapes and sizes. They can be as small as a three-, four-, or five-way hook-up arranged by distributors using their own phones. But more often, distributors tap into prearranged conference calls, where literally hundreds of thousands of people can listen and sometimes join in.
If you want to set up your own small-scale conference call, you can do this on your own phone through the telephone company. For larger conference calls, distributors dial in at a designated time to a call that has been arranged by their organization through one of many national teleconferencing services. These services can be found in your local Business-to-Business Yellow Pages, or through trade associations like the Direct Selling Associations.
A wide gamut of topics is covered in these calls - from explanations of the company's opportunities and products, including third-party endorsements by experts, to testimonials by customers and distributors, product updates, announcements of future events, and training.
"The trend today is to move away from formal presentations or introductory meetings," says Matt Freese, president and CEO of Nashua, New Hampshire Envion International, Inc., a leading nutritional and personal care product company. Reflecting on Envion's experience during its important early growth years, Freese remarked, "people are just too busy to attend several evening meetings each week. They're looking for ways to inform, educate, and network in their living rooms and offices. Conference calls have enabled us to come to them, so to speak, to provide the support our marketing associates need when working with potential customers or new recruits."
Envion frequently uses conference calls to support it BioZone product line, and its two-phased approach to conference calls is typical of many leading companies in the network marketing industry.
"Since we are a relatively young company," Freese explains, "phase one calls introduce prospects to our product line and the business opportunity. You need to become a satisfied, informed customer before you can become a successful, long-term business builder."
Envion's conference calls generally include messages from product experts and the company's national sales directors, who discuss the business opportunity. They are followed by testimonials from distributors and retail customers.
"We have had to work to maintain the proper balance in these calls, so they provide the support and encouragement business prospects are looking for, but at the same time, are not offensive to those callers who just want to be retail customers.
"In phase two," he adds, "prospects who want to concentrate on their recruiting efforts can hear directly from us about our goals and mission. We can support what our marketing associates are saying and legitimize the message. These calls include nationwide testimonials from marketing associates, as well as information on how to get started, and the training and support mechanisms we offer."
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