The why, when, where and how of recruiting

I find it quite fun to be writing a blog on recruiting – especially as I never set out to join any direct selling businesses! Now here I am 17 years on and have been involved in several such enterprises and have always been a high recruiter, being the runner up recruiter and top sales person in the last one.

Why?
Why not? Quite a few of the people I have recruited over the years have not been keen to recruit – or not until they have at least learnt the business themselves. Whilst I understand that, my answer is to offer the opportunity to everyone – after all if you don’t someone else will and how gutted would you be if you had been a secret agent and someone else had signed up your best friend into the same business because you hadn’t told her what you were doing or that she could join you. The beauty of having a team also means that your business can be working while you take time out for a holiday, a hospital appointment etc. If you only have 5 hours  a week to put into your business but you recruit another 5 people who all have 5 hours then you business will be working for 30 hours!

I get enormous pleasure from what I do and so why shouldn’t I share that?
Not everyone needs the money – for some they need an identity (even if it is “The Book Lady ” !) and for others they need to get out and meet people.

When?
In any of the businesses that I have been involved in (other that the first where I had a lot to learn about recruiting!) I always go out immediately with my recruiting hat on – even though I don’t know the business inside out! It’s more fun to work with a team and it’s great fun to learn together. It also means that your business will grow quicker if you recruit early on.

 

Where?
Basically anywhere – opportunities are everywhere.

I have recruited in car parks, in queues, at events, airport lounges, ferries & even in a swimming pool and on a fire escape ( and no the building wasn’t on fire at the time!! and the swimming pool was tricky as I had no pen and paper!!) There is no hard sell involved – after all no one will continue with a business if you pressurise them. If you are enthusiastic about what you do – others will be attracted by that passion.

How many conversations do you get engaged in while standing in the park watching your children or waiting outside the schoolgate? I always follow the 3 foot rule – if you come within 3 foot of someone – smile and start chatting!!  (well nearly always! ) It is important to continually perfect your elevator pitch (imagine you are in an elevator and have only a few seconds to promote what you do before you reach your destination!! – so have a couple of key points)

Who?
Interesting one this!  Never prejudge. Be a good listener. It is quite amazing who joins and who doesn’t. People I have thought would be fantastic have decided to be customers (which we need anyway) and people who I never thought would want to be in business for themselves sign up. Anyone who spends more than the joining fee on the product always makes my “potential distributor” list. It is why I first got involved in direct selling. I was buying a lot of books for my nursery school and was offered the chance to buy at discount if I signed up. That was a no- brainer to me -what a fantastic opportunity but all I was going to do was be a smart customer!!!!!!!  After all, I was running a very successful nursery school. Why would I want another business? Oh my how that has all changed over 17 years and how quickly it changed!

If I hear people are struggling to make ends meet – I will offer the business as a possible solution. People who rave about the product make very good distributors. I have customers at book parties selling all the benefits of a book to their friends that they have previously purchased! They are doing my job for me so why shouldn’t they get paid too?

Depending on the business -depends on who I recruit . I love giving young mums the opportunity of staying home to watch their children grow at the same time as their business (and yes I was a nursery school teacher being paid to look after children while their parents went to work and missed them growing up!)

How?
Be enthusiastic about your product or service! I couldn’t recruit for a business I didn’t believe in. Make sure people know there is a home based business opportunity – (I always have signs on my displays, put literature in the customer bags etc.) otherwise people may think I am employed. I have recruited lots of team members because I enjoy what I do and have lots of fun! Other people like to share that.

Listen to what people say. Being a good listener is crucial to good recruiting. It is easy to fit the opportunity to the person. Hear what they say and if you feel it is right for them present it to them in a way that will suit.

Make sure you offer help and support as many people lack confidence to start with. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than helping new team members grow their businesses and watching them blossom.

Many people think they have to have separate time for their business and this often makes people feel they don’t have enough time!  I work smart and do my business on the run. If I go into town I always have a business card/catalogue or leaflet with me – you never know who you are going to meet. Sitting in the dentist reading one of my own catalogues, leaving business cards, leaflets on ferries are all things I have done.

I even recruited one of the deputy bank managers one day. I went to discuss opening an account and took my book catalogue to show her how I was going to make the money the bank was going to look after!! She was a young mum and had children in school and preschool – not only did she take the catalogue to show to them but she joined my business – it would have been so easy to prejudge! (why would she want a job when she already had one!!!)

I have also had success in recruiting via the internet. Facebook and twitter etc have put me in the public eye and people have been following me for quite a while as I enthusiastically post about my love for my work and the fun I have. I have built up relationships with people who have then decided to join my fun loving team. The internet is an addition to working out in the field so to speak (and yes it has often been a muddy field with the wind blowing, the rain lashing and me hanging onto the gazeebo for dear life!) It would be very slow going to think the internet was the only way to recruit!

Nowadays, I run more than one home based business and whilst this will not be ideal for everyone it certainly suits me. I like being my own boss  but having had all my eggs in one basket was not a good idea as I found out last year when the goal posts were moved . I have decided to diversify.  I find that some of my customers are the same for more than one business so can offer them a great service (with a smile) whilst offering more than one product. A year on from leaving my previous business opportunity, I am now building successful teams  in more than one business- determined to get back on track. Self belief is an important quality! There will be challenges – and I have had more than my fair share! but determination, persistance and perseverance are the name of the game. There will be people who sign up who never do anything. There will be those who say they have sent off the application form when they never intend to. There will be plodders and there will be stars and even some superstars. They are out there – Just go and find them (before I do!!) I have recruited some real stars this year and am loving having teams again. I have avoided the dream stealers and ignored those who told me I was stupid. I have surrounded myself with motivational and upbeat people! It works – trust me.

Have the belief that you can recruit and you  will. Do not appear desperate. We need recruits not conscripts!

Happy recruiting!

Lyn Blackledge is a serial mumpreneur with 4 businesses under her belt check them all out here Lyn’s Biz

2 Comments

  1. September 17, 2010 / 2:25 pm

    I use a trusted group of people who I use on a freelance basis when extra help in required.  I only use people who are able to reach my high standards as I want the product produced to be first class and therefore the clients are happy with the results.

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