Colin Yearwood on How to Build Relationships and Generate Sales
Colin Yearwood has been in Sales since 1998 and network marketing for over 17 years, and now helps others achieve success. Here’s his powerful story.
Thank you so much for this interview, Colin! I’m curious to know more about you, so let’s get started!
Where were you born and raised, what was childhood like, and what did you want to become when you grew up?
I was born in Georgetown Guyana, and Brooklyn New York. Guyana is a small country in the northeast corner on the South American continent. A fun fact about Guyana, is we are the only native English speaking country in South America.
Overall my childhood was awesome. Living in Guyana for the first fifteen years of my life was fun and carefree.
I had a great childhood. It was worry free and I feel so blessed to have such a childhood.
I moved to Brooklyn New York at the age of 15. It was somewhat of a culture shock, but I adapted quickly and Brooklyn became my home.
I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to be professionally when I was growing up. But after moving to the United States the entrepreneur bug bit me. Soon after arriving I was shoveling snow and delivering groceries. Those were my first entrepreneurial endeavors.
What did your parents do for a living, and was there any Entrepreneurship in the family?
Both of my parents worked for the government when we lived back in Guyana. My mom also was a hairdresser on the weekend. She turned our living room into a salon. I thought we had a very comfortable life back in Guyana, but my parents saw there were better opportunities for us in the United States.
After moving the America my parents had to start over despite having University Degrees. My dad worked in building management, and my mom worked several different jobs while attending college. In my family, my mom was the one with the entrepreneurial drive. Because of her, I discovered network marketing.
When and how did you discover network marketing, and what was your outlook about it? Were you excited or pessimistic?
I discovered network marketing about a year after moving to the United States. Soon after moving to the United States my mom started her network marketing business with Princess House.
At the time I did not know it was a network marketing company. I would help my mom with her inventory, setting up and breaking down her home parties. Getting order ready picking up and delivering order to local customers.
I saw her excited about the business and helping people, and how she built her business through relationships and being persistent. I always admire my mom’s ability to sell. She can sell ice to Eskimos. She was great with people.
My mom later started with another company I learned even more. The second company she joined was Mary Kay. And again I worked with her as she grew that business.
I was lucky to learn about network marketing from my mom. Being by her side. One of the first cars I drove was a car she won from Mary Kay. A red Pontiac.
In addition to the car she earned, for many years our family vacation was because of prizes my mom earned because of her involvement in network marketing.
I was always proud of what we did because I know my mom had a lot of integrity.
What were your first two years like in network marketing, what was the biggest lesson you learned, and what is the best advice you have for new marketers?
After branching out on my own in network marketing I had some challenges because it was all about me, and how much money I can make.
The best advice I would give new network marketers is:
1: Network Marketing is not a get rich quick type of business. Have a long term game plan for success. A two – three-year plan for success. And be committed to the process.
Yes, you make money in the short term, but you will create a business with a long-term strategy.
2: Focus on building relationships and expanding your network. Creating a true network of people that you have built relationships with.
They may not be your customers or business partners today, but these relationships will become one of your greatest assets as you set up your business for the long term success.
3: Learn how to sell. I don’t think people in network marketing talk about this subject enough.
Selling is a huge part of having success with a network marketing business.
When most people hear they have to sell they start to think about the sleazy car salesman type of selling or they are quick to say they can’t sell.
We sell every day!
For me selling starts with caring about the person you’re talking to – asking the right questions, listening to what they are saying, and offering the right solutions to solve their problems.
Sometimes your product or opportunity may not be the solution, but by being of service this is another persona you have added to your network.
As one of my mentors told me, you are doing your prospects a disservice if you’re not selling them the solutions that will change their life.
Now, you have over 17 years experience in network marketing. Can you give us the 5 most important tips for finding success in network marketing and staying in for the long-term?
These 5 tips will help not only network markers but any business owner.
1. You must believe in the business model
During your network marketing career, you’re going to come across many people that will challenge the viability and legality of the business model.
Many of these people will try to convince you that network marketing is a scam. And somehow you’re being duped.
Most times these people are your friends and family.
To overcome this type of criticism you have to have a solid vision for your life and what you want to get out of your business, and your belief in the business model has to be strong. Without a strong vision and a solid belief in what you’re doing, dream stealers will steal your dream.
2. Brand yourself not your network marketing company.
Most people are going to buy your product or join your business because of you, not because they love your company.
Most network marketing companies have thousands of representatives. If it was about the company, people can do a Google search and find another representative from your company.
Focus on being of value to people. Focus on helping your prospect, educating them, being the person that provide solutions.
If every time you’re seen in public or online pushing your product and service you will start to repel your prospects.
If you’re in a health and wellness company become the go-to person for tips and advice for those looking for a healthy lifestyle and naturally your business will come up and you will have plenty of opportunities to sell.
This will take a mindset shift for most new network marketers, but if you’re in network marketing for the long haul it will pay off for you.
3. Create and maintain your own lead generation database
Most network marketers rely on their companies to store their prospect and customer information. This can be dangerous.
If your company shut down or you decide to leave your current company (which happens) all your leads are stuck in the old companies back office and you no longer have access to them.
I would recommend all network marketers to have their own Customer Relationship Manager (CRM). This not only helps them have control of their leads and customer data, but it also helps them better manage and the follow-up process.
Network marketers can take this one step further and create an email newsletter which will allow them to continue to nurture relationships with their prospects and customers using automation.
4. Commit to learning
In order to have sustained success in network marketing, you must continually invest in yourself and business.
One of my favorite things about network marketing is that there’s a huge emphasis on personal development and increasing your skill set.
I love that in this industry you’re continuously pushed to become a better you. The more you grow as a person the more your network marketing business will grow.
5. Be willing to evolve
Be open to change, and trying new things in your business. Some people in this industry are stuck in the 1990’s. As technology evolves you must be willing to use it to build your business.
Learn and implement new marketing strategies and techniques to grow our business.
Get good at one lead and customer acquisition technique, then move to another. Don’t get comfortable.
You have one of my favorite quotes on your blog from Zig Ziglar, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Why is this quote so powerful inside network marketing?
When I first started out I spent a lot of time in this industry focusing on me, me, and my success reflected that. I didn’t have much.
Things changed for me after I started focusing on helping others get results. Because of personal development and being open to coaching, I started focusing on helping others get results and their success followed.
In network marketing, your personal success is tied to the success of others. And when you embrace that you’re able to build strong teams that are equipped to duplicate what you’re teaching quickly.
I find it tremendously rewarding that I’m able to be of value to someone and help them have success have longed for.
I love your blog! When did you start blogging, how many posts are on your blog, and what is your traffic like? And, what is the idea behind “Learn it, do it, profit?”
I started blogging about a 15 months ago on this blog, Learn It Do It Profit. Blogging hasn’t been my primary source for lead generation, so I’ve been inconsistent when it comes to creating new blog posts. I have more content on YouTube than on my blog post.
I currently have around 35 blog posts and get a few hundred unique visitors each month. I mainly use my blog as a place to catalog information that I’m frequently asked about.
The idea behind the name for my blog Learn It Do It Profit came because I realized a lot of my coaching clients and attendees to my workshops would become consumed with learning about online marketing and network marketing but they were not implementing what I was teaching.
To help overcome that disconnect, I decided to start teaching using a three step process where I would teach the concept, show how to implement the concept, and link to a financial outcome, hence Learn It Do It Profit.
I find when business owners understand the financial impact of a particular strategy they are more eager to implement it.
What is your favorite platform right now for generating leads, and can you tell us how you use it?
Currently, my favorite platform for lead generation is Twitter. I have been focusing on Twitter for the last year and have had a lot of success there when it comes to building my audience, generating leads, building relationships and making sales.
What I like best about Twitter is being able to quickly identify my target market and then use automation to attract and engage with them.
I think Twitter is a great social media platform for Network marketers, but most network marketers do not use it effectively.
Network marketers can use the automation capabilities, quickly identify prospect who may be interested in their product, service or business then, use even more automation filters through those who do not engage with them and start real conversation with those that do engage.
As soon as someone engages with me on Twitter, I move them off of Twitter to my email list or schedule a phone call with them. Network marketing is all about relationships and when used correctly Twitter allows you to do so quickly.
I also enjoy offline lead generation. It helps that I enjoy talking to people. 🙂 Local networking events are a great place for lead generation. I usually find events to attend on Meetup.com, and I attend a few each week.
I find these are great for building relationships with locals and this leads to lots of referrals both for product and services. At these events I do not pitch my business, I focus my attention on getting to know the attendees.
I collect and sort business cards based on how long I spoke with them.
Then follow up the next with a call to schedule a coffee. I usually schedule all my coffee appointments on one set day, during a specific time block. During these 1 on 1, I share more about what I do and see if they are a good fit for my business, product or service.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
I love audiobooks and these are two of the most recent books I listened to and they have been added to my favorite list.
The Greatest Salesman In The World – This book is a quick listen.
It’s the ancient story of the world’s greatest salesperson whose passes on his secrets of success to his protégé.
He shares 10 principles that will not only help you in your network marketing business but in your life.
12 Week Year – Great concept that will help you find a better way to focus on your short and long term goals.
It forces you to rethink how you plan to achieve your business and personal goals.
What are your goals for 2017?
I enjoy teaching and helping people get results. Especially when it comes to growing their business online. My big goal for 2017 is to help more home business owners and network markets grow their businesses online.
I will be creating online courses and training to teach the foundational steps for building your business online.
They are three basic steps, build a targeted audience, engage with them, build relationships, then ask for the sale.
On a personal note, I’m planning on doing a lot more traveling and spending more time with my family.
What is your favorite quote and why?
Zig Ziglar, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
The more you give willing from the heart the more you will get in return. 🙂
Thank you, Erik, for the opportunity to share with your audience. I love what you’re doing with your blog and I wish you continued success.
Thank you so much for this interview, Colin!
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Erik Christian Johnson