Why a Lack of Prospects or Customers is Not Your Real Problem
Do you believe that if you just had enough prospects, leads, sales, or recruits, the problems you’re experiencing building your network marketing business online would simply go away?
Seems reasonable, right?
Well, I’ve got some bad news for you…
A lack of leads, prospects, sales, or recruits is NEVER the real problem!
Now, I realize this may not make much sense yet, so please bear with me.
Because by the end of this post…
I’m going to show you how to solve your REAL problems
…which will also automatically solve the problems you think you have.
Now, for a bit of context…
I’m rereading a book by my mentor, Keith Cunningham, called The Road Less Stupid.
(Entrepreneurs like you should keep this book on your desk – and order the audio version, so you can listen at any time.)
Recently, while listening in my car—after having already read and consulted it many times—suddenly, some things “clicked” for me that hadn’t before.
Specifically, problem solving made a lot more sense.
In one of the recent workshops I attended, we decoded the language patterns of successful entrepreneurs, and how successful people use a particular problem-solving “Success Formula.”
Early in The Road Less Stupid, Cunningham talks about…
How to separate problems from symptoms
In conversations with entrepreneurs, Cunningham asks them to identify the biggest problems or obstacles they face.
Most entrepreneurs listed “problems or obstacles” like…
- No clarity on target market
- Market is competitive
- Not enough prospects
- Not enough customers
- Customers not buying enough
- Poor lead conversion
- Lack of referrals
- Lack of repeat business
- Lack of differentiation
- Lack of competitive advantage
- Poor messaging
…and so on, and so on, and so on.
These are the problems entrepreneurs say they’re trying to solve.
People who are personally in network marketing might say their problems or obstacles are things like…
- There’s no engagement on my page
- I’m scared to taking action cause I don’t know what I’m doing
- I’m not growing my subscriber list
- I have a lack of prospects or lack of leads
- I’m not effectively building a relationship with my followers
- I’m not finding new recruits, new people to join my team
- Facebook is not approving my ads
- My Facebook posts aren’t converting
- I’m not converting my leads into sales
Do any of these sound familiar?
Well, based on my personal experience, and confirmed by Keith Cunningham’s book, I’m here to tell you this…
These things are NOT your real problem!
Instead, they are the symptoms of your problem.
Entrepreneurs get caught in a trap when they can’t separate the problem from the symptom.
When you describe a problem as a statement, it persists.
Your mind accepts it as a fact, as reality.
And if your mind sees it as reality, it’s impossible to find a solution.
Keith Cunningham’s favorite teaching tool is this simple drawing…
Here’s how to interpret this chart…
- “What is” represents where your business is right now
- “What ought” represents where you’d like your business to be; where it “ought” to be
The “gap” is the distance between where your business “is” and where it “ought” to be, and it’s also the symptom of the problem most business owners think they’re experiencing.
Now, how do you measure the distance between the “is” and “ought” lines?
That’s your first clue to finding a solution, because…
You need to be very specific about where you want to go!
…where you “ought” to be.
If you only say things like, “I want more leads,” or ask, “why am I not getting any leads?” that’s not helpful.
It won’t help you solve any kind of problem.
Before you can solve any problem, you need to decide specifically where you want to be.
What specific number, what specific thing do you want to achieve in 30 days? in 6 months?5 years?
Returning to the chart above…
- The “red dot” is specifically where you “ought” to be
Now, what you don’t realize is that the real problem you’re trying to solve is HIDDEN.
Yup, there’s actually a big honking obstacle preventing you from achieving what you want to achieve – keeping you from getting from “is” to “ought.”
The final aspect on the chart is this…
- The big “black dot” on the chart represents your REAL problem
And guess what?
You need to find out what that obstacle is, and fix it!
Hint: the “gap” isn’t the real issue.
Remember, the “gap” is just the symptom of the issue.
Most of the time, trying to find the big obstacle that’s in your way is very difficult, particularly if you’re not asking yourself the right questions in a way that will help you better understand what the real problem actually is—so you can solve it and move forward.
Luckily I’m about to show you a process to analyze your situation so you can actually identify and address that big honking obstacle that’s keeping you stuck.
First, you must define where you want (or “ought”) to be
Once you’ve defined clearly what this looks like to you, it’s time to ask yourself a series of specific questions about the challenges you’re facing.
And how you state these “problems” is critical.
So, if you say things like…
- “I lack referrals”
- “I lack leads”
- “I lack sales”
- “I lack conversions”
…then you’re conditioning your mind to accept these statements as a fact, as reality.
So my first recommendation is to NOT state these as facts!
Instead, you’re going to reframe these statements into three specific, fundamental questions Keith Cunningham recommends to identify the root of the problem and to help you move forward.
They will help you get unstuck and give you more clarity on the root of the problem, starting with…
1. What are the possible reasons for the “gap?”
Using the example of leads as the symptom, you’d ask yourself…
“What are the possible reasons or causes I’m noticing that’s creating my current level of leads?”
Then list every reason you can think of.
Answer the question as thoroughly as you can.
2. What isn’t happening?
Next, ask yourself…
What isn’t happening, that if it did happen, would cause the perceived gap or symptom to either narrow or disappear?
- What needs to happen?
- What specific actions need to take place on your part?
- What results do you need to produce in my business for the gap to close?
“What needs to happen for me to generate 25 leads in the next 30 days?”
Again, answer the question, as thoroughly and specifically as you can.
Don’t just stop at, “I need to advertise more.”
3. What is happening?
Finally, ask yourself…
What is happening, that if stopped, the symptom would narrow or disappear?
This is the final question because it’s a little bit more difficult to attack.
There actually may be something happening that is negatively affecting your business.
Maybe, as an example, you’re procrastinating, and if you stopped procrastinating, you’d get more leads and make more sales.
These questions allow you to analyze critically and dig to discover what the actual problem is.
These questions are historical, or data-gathering, questions
They’re not emotional, they’re scientific.
They’re designed to help you discover answers and information that might be useful.
Some of that information is not going to come from observation, your metrics, or anything like that.
It’s information that will only come from asking and answering these questions honestly.
Again, ask yourself…
- What are the possible reasons for the symptoms I’m noticing?
- What isn’t happening, that if it did happen, would cause the symptom to either narrow or disappear?
- What is happening that if it stopped happening, would cause the symptoms to narrow or disappear?
Sometimes the answers will be obvious; sometimes you’ll have to dig a little
Your action item is to have these questions handy, so that when you’re dealing with an issue you know how to get unstuck.
For example, if you’re attempting to do prospecting and lead generation on Facebook and you aren’t seeing the results you’d like, now you know how to approach finding an actionable solution, instead of just saying, “this doesn’t work.”
Again, here’s the process…
- First, get very specific about the result you’re looking for (what “ought” to be)
- Second, ask the above three specific, fundamental questions to help you dig deeper into the actions you’re taking (or not taking)
Now, returning to the “Success Formula” series of questions I covered previously, which dovetails the above questions nicely…
The data-gathering process in Stage 2 is where I recommend you spend quite a bit of time before you move into Stage 3, which is creating an action plan.
And once you create that action plan, it’s just about executing that action plan at Stage 4.
What I learned from Keith Cunningham is that simply stating what your problem is doesn’t help.
“I lack [blank]. I don’t know what to do.”
…doesn’t help you move forward.
One of the best ways to become empowered is to start asking yourself more effective questions
Remember the “what is/what ought” illustration above is a visual representation of everything I just shared.
And always keep in mind that the root of your problem isn’t the “gap” between “what is” and “what ought.”
Instead it’s the big “black dot” that’s often hidden until you reflect using the process above.
Returning to the example of Facebook prospecting and lead generation…
- Maybe the actual problem is that you need more training on finding prospects on Facebook
- Maybe the real problem is that you need more training on copywriting, to understand the reasons your posts aren’t converting
You need to ask yourself these questions.
And maybe you need to ask other people these questions to get them to give you the insight you need.
That’s the reason we provide ad reviews, one-on-one coaching, and Facebook groups for our community and VIP members.
We offer those resources so you can gather information and get feedback from other people.
And hint: complaining about your “what is/what ought” gap in the Facebook group or in your coaching calls won’t do a thing for you. Also blaming, pointing fingers or pushing off the responsibility for moving your business forwards does absolutely ZERO for you.
Instead, use those resources to ask the kinds of questions that will help you figure out what your real obstacle is.
If you’re feeling desperate, you’re likely in an emotional or frustrated state
And you can’t ask effective questions from that state.
So take a breather.
Do whatever you need to do to relax yourself so that you can ask effective questions.
Eventually, you will be able to ask the kinds of questions that will help guide you to where you want to be.
This is a process for analytical thinking, and that’s what we want to focus on.
Learning effective problem solving means that people won’t have to spoon-feed you every single solution.
And guess what?
When people don’t have to spoon-feed you everything you need to know, you’ll have a big advantage in the marketplace.
On your own, you’ll be able to figure stuff out that other people haven’t figured out and that’s what’s going to make you stand out.
If you’d like more help asking effective questions and becoming more resourceful, so you can move your business forward…
…then I highly recommend you sign up for my FREE Online Recruiting Bootcamp.
It’s a video course where I’ll walk you through how to build your business using the latest technologies—where prospects come to you on a daily basis—already interested in what you’ve got!
You can take advantage of these methods starting today—no matter how much (or little) online prospecting and recruiting experience you have currently.
This is, by far, the most efficient way to build your business today.
Our training is not fuzzy or vague.
We teach actionable steps you can put to work right away.
But we don’t just tell you what to do – we teach you how to think for yourself and create your own success story.
And if you take this process seriously, I guarantee that it will change your life.
So if you’re ready to get started…
Simply click here and I’ll gladly give you access to my 10-Day Online Recruiting Bootcamp.
And if you found this content helpful, I would love to read your comments below!