Mary has just had a fantastic appointment with Jan. During their time together, Jan confided that she has been praying for an answer to their financial problems. It has been a difficult couple of years.
Her husband, Phil, has been laid off and at age 52 is finding it impossible to find another job. They struggle to meet their monthly obligations, often resorting to credit cards. As they part company, Jan says, “Mary, thank you so much. I believe this is the answer to a prayer. I really want to do this business.”
Mary is so excited, she can barely stand it. How wonderful it is to have someone who truly appreciates the opportunity and is motivated to make a change in life. Mary is deeply touched by Jan’s situation and can’t wait to pour herself into helping Jan and her family.
Mary immediately calls her husband to tell him the great news. “Honey, I just had the best appointment; I think I’ve found a runner,” she tells him. “We need to go out to dinner and celebrate!”
Mary greets the next day brimming with anticipation, certain that Jan will be calling to get her business started. When Jan doesn’t call, Mary is sure it is because she was busy and didn’t have time. “She’ll call tomorrow,” she tells herself, reassuringly.
A week goes by and there is no word from Jan. Mary is worried. What if something happened? What if she was in an accident? She calls Jan. No answer. She leaves a message.
Another week goes by, and Mary leaves another voicemail. The messages go unreturned; Mary never hears from Jan again.
Mary is crushed. “How could this happen?” she wonders. “Jan was so excited. I don’t get it. Why does this business have to be so hard?”
Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this is a scenario that plays out over and over and over again. What Mary has failed to recognize is that after their appointment, something happens to Jan:
LIFE. Life happens.
Jan goes home and tells her husband, Phil, all about the business opportunity and how excited she is. He shrugs. “I don’t know,” Phil says. “Is it one of those pyramid things? We can’t afford to be throwing money away, especially now.”
Jan’s mom calls. Jan’s dad has fallen and needs to go to the emergency room. Jan rushes over to her parents’ house to help. When she gets home, her daughter reminds Jan that she doesn’t have what she needs for her school project. Can they go shopping in the morning?
As Jan crawls into bed after midnight, she says to herself, “I don’t have even one extra minute in my day. How could I possibly start a business?”
The next day, Jan talks to her friend, Lois, about everything that’s going on: her husband still out of work, her dad in the hospital, her daughter needing things that they don’t have money for. She tells Lois about the business appointment she had a few days ago.
“Oh, Jan,” says Lois. “You don’t actually buy that ‘get rich’ stuff, do you? My sister tried one of those things and never made a dime. Aren’t there some part-time jobs you could take?”
Jan hangs up the phone as Phil walks into the room. “The kitchen ceiling is leaking,” he says.
Jan sighs. “Great, that’s all we need!”
The following week, Phil finds a temporary job. For at least a little while, they will have some breathing room. Life feels normal again, almost. “It’s not so bad after all,” Jan tells herself. “Lois is probably right. What was I thinking, anyway?” She doesn’t give her appointment with Mary another thought.
They Are NOT Going To Call You
There is an important lesson to be learned here: your business will languish if, like Mary, you wait for people to call you back. You have to follow up with them; you have to take the initiative.
Don’t fool yourself into believing that the prospect is going to call you or chase you down to join your business. It almost never happens! We are all busy and all creatures of routine. Our lives become a rut that is hard to escape. Don’t expect your prospects to get out of the rut by themselves. If they could do it without you, they would have done it by now.
Understand that a gap exists between seeing an opportunity and believing an opportunity. Yes, they are excited during your appointment and everything you said makes sense, but they have not had enough exposure to your opportunity to really believe in it. Not yet.
You need to help them believe it. You need to show them more, you need to take the lead, you need to fill the gap!