Do these questions strike terror into your heart every time they come up?
- “How much money do you make?”
- “How much experience do you have in this business?”
- “How long have you been in it?”
- “What kind of results have you had, and how many people have you helped?”
Do you freak out every time you hear them?
Anybody who’s been in this business for any length of time gets them all the time.
You can either answer like an amateur…or like a PRO
Before we dive into the “how to” of answering them, we have to understand a little bit about human psychology.
As you're sitting here right now, reading this, you're asking yourself ONE important question.
And it just happens to be the SAME question your prospects are asking…
“What's in it for me?”
That question doesn’t necessarily come from a place of selfishness or greed…it's just how we're wired as human beings.
All anyone wants to know is whether their investment is worth the time, energy, or money.
If you feel uncomfortable when somebody asks you questions like these, you’re probably coming from one of two places…
- You haven’t been in the business very long, you haven’t earned anything yet, or you haven’t had any real results
- You actually have generated results and earned some money from your business
From my own experience, no matter which place you’re coming from, it’s NO fun when somebody asks you how much money you make.
But let me ask you this…
What about the question bothers you?
First we need to address the answer to this question to get to the root of the issue.
Personally, the reason I don't like the question is that it takes the attention away from what we're trying to do.
When people ask that question, they’re essentially delaying their own success.
Success is the result of following many steps over time, one by one—many dominoes have to fall before you actually see results.
And spending time talking about you and your results is time the person asking the question could use to get their own results started.
Because if you’re talking about your own success, you’re not talking about theirs.
So before you answer that question, you have to help the person define what success means…FOR THEM!
Remember, the underlying question is always, “What's in it for me?”
And really, the person is basically asking…
“Is this possible for ME?”
And now we're starting to get to the root of the issue.
What is the need, inside their own heart, that has to be satisfied for them to make a decision buy into your message or move forward with you?
Well typically, in the back of their minds, people are trying to figure out…
“Will this actually work for me?”
So if we can pause and say to ourselves…
“Okay, this person is only trying to figure out if it's going to work for them.”
Then we can answer the question like a pro.
So let’s understand what drives these questions and where they're actually coming from.
These questions are NOT an attack on you!
Even though someone asking “how much money do you make?” sounds a bit rude.
In fact, if somebody is really pestering you to declare how much you make, turn it into a joke…
“Hey, are you from the IRS? Is that why it's so important for you to know exactly how much money I've made?”
But always keep in mind…
The question is not really about you – it's about them!
If you do end up telling them how much money you’ve made, you’re creating a bit of a problem.
You’re disempowering them.
If you haven't made any money yet, the person might think…
“Well then, nobody makes money at this.”
In other words, they’re thinking that if you're not making money, then how can anybody else?
And look, don't be concerned if you haven't made money with your business yet, that's not the ONLY point.
On the other hand, if you are generating a sale a day, or a sale every single minute, that’s going to blow their mind, right?
They're going to think…
“Holy crap, this thing's even better than I thought! I asked the question thinking it might work, but now that I know it does work…”
Well, they could easily freak out, as, all of a sudden…
They're faced with the reality you've actually got what they've been looking for
That can be a real problem, unfortunately.
Call it fear of change…fear of success…fear of growth.
But at the end of the day, that person is thinking…
“Holy crap, these people are actually making great money at this.”
That might give them that dopamine rush they're looking for, but at the same time, it's telling them…
“Now I don't have any excuses to not move forward and achieve my dreams.”
They can't hide behind their BS anymore!
They actually have to take a step forward, and that might actually hinder them.
That’s why the whole idea of answering ANY question about how much money you have, or have not made, with this business can be a huge limiting factor.
And at the end of the day…
It’s nobody’s business how much money you make!
The only person who has a right to know what you make is the tax man.
Any person who’s committed to knowing how much money you make is probably not a good fit to work with you in your business, because they're obsessed about the wrong thing.
So remember, it's not about you – it's about them.
As such, how can you answer this question so it’s about them?
How can you turn it around?
Well, here's an idea…
“Let me ask you this – how much money do you WANT to make in this business?”
Suddenly it's going to shift the conversation to what's important to them.
Then you might dig a little.
“What is it about that number that's important to you? Tell me what that means to you.”
Now you’ve opened them up to a conversation about what this business is really about.
It's not about how much money you have or haven’t made.
It’s about is how much they might make.
Based on how much they might do, and the level of success, the kinds of goals, and the quality of life they might achieve.
It's not about you.
What will reduce your stress or anxiety and bring you peace of mind and confidence is this…
Take yourself out of the equation!
That’s what the pros do.
Amateurs are concerned about themselves.
Professional entrepreneurs are able to detach – to remove their own feelings, thoughts, and fears from their business – when dealing with potential customers.
They can think about those in the moments when they're not building their business.
So when you're talking to people, promoting, growing, and expanding your business, the most important thing to remember is not to make it about yourself.
if you’re constantly obsessed with results and you’re not getting any…guess what you’ll get more of?
That's right – more people who ask about and are obsessed with results!
One of the best answers I ever heard about the “how much have you made in this business” question is this:
“I don't know yet, because I haven’t earned everything yet.”
It's not about the result, it’s about the process.
You want to help people focus more on the process, and less on the results
People need to get clear about what they want to achieve from the business.
You need to lead by example, by showing them what to do, and how to do it.
And that's why I love this answer…
“Hey, I'm can’t tell you how much I've earned, because I'm not done earning yet…I'm too busy doing.”
That helps people re-center their focus.
In that moment they suddenly get the sense that this is about more than just making money.
This is more than just about the results themselves – it’s about what we must do, and who we must become to get those results.
Suddenly the focus shifts off you, the person communicating the opportunity.
The focus is now on the person who must take the action!
You've already taken the action.
You're the person promoting this idea to them.
Now it's up to them.
You need to give them the responsibility.
You must empower them and put them in a place of resourcefulness, where it’s up to them to take action.
Start with that great answer…
“I don't know. I've not earned everything yet.”
And then shift…
“Let's talk about you. How much are you going to earn?”
All of a sudden, they have no choice. They can't back out. They can't hide.
They have to stand up and say it out loud to themselves, not just you.
Now you can start to redirect the conversation and talk about the process
Here’s one more reason not to answer the “how much money do you make” question.
If you answer, you are modeling that behavior to them.
Now they feel they have to answer that question when they get involved in the business.
Instead, answer like this:
“Listen, for me to tell you how much I've made is not something I want you to go out and do. How would you answer that question if somebody asked you?”
That will stop them short.
All off a sudden, they’ll be thinking …
“Man, you're right.”
Then, redirect the conversation and shift the focus back onto the person.
Here are some ways to do that…
“Let's talk about what you need to do in order to get where you want to go. Let's talk about the steps you have to take. And let's talk about the actual roadmap to get you to what you want to make. Do you want to know how much money I make, or do you really want to know how much money YOU can make?”
Remember, the underlying question to focus on here is, “what's in it for them?”
The goal is to get them to focus on the process, not just on the end result
It's about a continual process.
This process never ends, which is awesome.
It means that you can keep going, you can keep growing, you can keep scaling, and keep moving forward.
And when you approach your business that way, all of a sudden the focus shifts from a temporary sort of gain, or a temporary success, into a lifetime of achievements, which is very exciting.
And that, my friend, can be duplicatable!
We demonstrate the process through our actions, by setting the example.
Then we can show them exactly what it means to be truly successful in business.
Stop worrying about their concerns about how much money we make, or what results we've had, and start focusing on who’s asking the questions.
If you absolutely, positively must answer this question – if for whatever reason a person is so difficult or persistent you must tell them something – then tell them the truth.
The truth will not hurt you
Telling the truth might cause you to lose a sale.
But saying something that's not truthful might cause you to lose something more.
It may cause you to lose your position, your reputation, and your very identity.
So if you have to tell the truth about what you’re earning, be straight.
Tell the truth. But don’t stop there…
“I haven't made a sale yet. I just got started on this. I'm learning from the top sellers in the industry, multi-millionaires are using this exact process. So I'm following in their footsteps. Why don't you come with me?”
That's the kind of answer anybody can get behind.
“How long have you been doing this?” they ask.
“Honestly, today's my first day. You're the first person I'm talking to. Wouldn't it be awesome for the two of us to do this journey together? Come with me and I will walk two steps in front of you. I will lead you and I will not let you down.”
That's a great answer if you're brand new.
As long as you're coming from a place of truth.
- You do not have to be extremely successful.
- You do not have to have a whole stack of results.
- You don't have to have experience, wisdom, or a whole lot of miles on the odometer to be of value to somebody else.
You have something right here, right now, that most people don't have
And that's the answer.
It’s the real opportunity to change somebody's life for the better, to make a difference.
That’s the REAL value you have.
Don't obsess over questions about how much money you've made, how long you've been in the business, or the results you have or haven’t had.
Focus on what you do have, what you can provide, and what difference you make every single day in business.
That's all that really matters, so lead with that.
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Director of Leadership Development
Elite Marketing Pro
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