How to Greet Members of Online Business Networking Sites: A Guide for Network Marketers

Do not even mention your business opportunity when you greet a new member of online business networking sites (such as LinkedIn, Ryze, Friendster, or DirectMatches)! A much more successful approach is to . . .

That's right, you should in most instances not mention your business opportunity when greeting a new member of an online social and business networking site, such as

LinkedIn, Ryze, Friendster, or DirectMatches.

Of course, we join such online communities in part to meet potential new customers, distributors, or joint venture partners. It's how we go about achieving that goal that is important.

If you put your energy into "selling" your opportunity to other members, you will almost always fail to achieve your goals. This article explains why that is the case and describes the most effective way to take advantage of online business networking sites with an emphasis on the beginning: How to get started on the right foot.

The Effective Way

Instead of greeting a new member of your online business networking community with a promotion for your products or opportunity, offer a warm, genuine welcome with an eye toward building a relationship with the new member. Let them know that they are part of a vibrant community where you help each other to achieve your goals.

In your initial conversation, share some personal information about yourself. Ask the new member similar questions--where they live, family specifics, hobbies, etc. In other words, begin to build a relationship with the new member. Don't even mention your products or business opportunity. You don't need to. If you build a relationship with the new member, he or she will ask you eventually anyway.

At this point, you might be thinking, "Well that sounds all nice and warm and fuzzy but I won't make any money if I don't generate sales and/or sign-ups!"

The Frustratingly INeffective Way

Here are a couple of situations that will hopefully lead you to understand why you should not try to sell a new member on your products or opportunity.

First, consider this scenario: The Knaves & Rogues Corporation buys your current company and starts to run it like a greedy corporation and they eventually eliminate the network marketing aspect of the business (it happens!). But you believe a home business is the way to go, so you start looking for a new opportunity.

Over several months of interacting with other members of your online business networking site, you have come to know some experienced home business owners whom you respect and trust.

During the same time period, you have also received several unsolicited sales letters (emails) from members of your business networking site with whom you have never communicated before. You don't know them from Adam (or Eve).

Who would you most likely talk to about starting a new business? (If you don't say, "the experienced members I have come to know and trust" call me for a consultation! ;o)

Also think about all the promotional sales letters you currently receive from members and others. Do you read all of them and visit their sites and purchase their products or sign up for their programs? Maybe you've found a couple of programs that are worthwhile but by and large, don't you ignore those promotional emails?

The fact is that most people--including you, I'd wager--don't listen to or respect strangers who try to sell them something before even saying hello!

Back to the Effective Way

The reality is that when we are seeking information or advice regarding a purchase or investment, we turn to our friends, family, and colleagues whom we trust and respect.

We ask these people for suggestions because they have demonstrated trustworthiness. We know them. We know their likes and dislikes; their prejudices and passions. We have a context in which to evaluate their recommendation and see if makes sense for us.

A similar level of trust and mutual support develops in online business networking communities--at least among the men and women focused on building relationships.

By building relationships you will find that business comes to you. For example, over time, you will find that friends you have met in an online business networking community will know someone who is looking to become a distributor in your company or to purchase your products. Naturally, they recommend you because they've come to know and trust you.

The Proof is in the Pudding

This very scenario happened to me just last week-- and this was from a contact I had not spoken with for almost one year! Nonetheless, she remembered the company I represent and when someone she met expressed interest in my company, she recommended me. Isn't that cool? And that kind of referral marketing based on relationships happens all the time. In fact, it is, as you know, essence of network marketing itself.

I have also on several occasions personally referred customers and prospects to Network Marketers whom I have come to know and trust in online communities. If those folks had not taken the time to get to know me, I would never have had the opportunity to refer a prospect or customer to them.

Take the Initiative

So go welcome a new member to Ryze, LinkedIn, Friendster, or DirectMatches! Get to know them. Be genuine and authentic. Offer to help where you can and take advantage of what you can learn from them. Have fun. Your business--and your bank account--will grow as a result.

Mark Worthen, Psy.D. is a Phi Betta Kappa honors graduate of the University of Maryland, where he was Commencement Speaker for his school's graduating class. He earned a Doctor of Psychology degree from Baylor University and was a Clinical Fellow at Harvard.

Dr. Worthen is a distributor for a leading health and wellness company; owner of; and a member of DirectMatches, Ryze, and LinkedIn.

Reprint Rights
- You may reprint this article on your web site or e-zine, provided you do not change anything about the article, including the author's information at the end of the article with the following EXCEPTION: If you are a member of one or more of the online social and business networking sites mentioned in the article, you may substitute your referral URL in place of mine. Although there is no charge to reprint this article, you must request permission first. In your request, you must provide the web site URL or ezine name and anticipated publication date. Automatically generated directory sites (AKA web spam) may not reprint this article.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License. Creative Commons License

Here is an easy copy-and-paste HTML version of this article if you want to place this article on your web site or in your ezine: