Blog   The One Question That Turns Dormant Reps into Dynamos


As a leader you’ve got the big picture, you see it, you believe it and you act on it daily….. but you’re frustrated because the part timers, folks still working a job just don’t have the same vision and consequently are not taking action.

The big mistake most people make is to hammer the big picture at these folks, forgetting they’re volunteers and without realizing it we start to sound exactly like their boss.  As your frustration grows you try to reason with facts about the size of the market, a chance to capture income in that market….  yadda yadda yadda.

It’s not that long before they disappear, more new folks enroll, and the cycle starts all over again. 🙁


They have heard “big picture” stuff their whole life and they have some challenges, just like everybody does when they first get started.  What’s really happening is you’re trying to paint a multi million dollar picture for them while they are trying how to figure out HOW they can make phone calls, pay attention to their family and walk the dog.

It’s an impasse if you stay on the big picture and they dig their heels in and stay on the HOW.  What great leaders do is realize they need to shift off the big picture and get these newer talented reps off the HOW and onto the WHY.

What does getting off the HOW and to the WHY mean?


To the rep you’re trying to help, nudge or coax ……the big picture and the HOW seem like opposites.  If you’ll run them through this very short exercise you’ll be stunned at the results and how easy it is to make this simple yet impactful shift.

It usually goes something like this:

“John I know you got into this business so you could put your kids through school debt free.  Working this business into an already full life is challenging and it probably seems like what you need to do here, invest some time consistently,  is just the opposite of what you are able to do.  Does that make sense?”

Everybody always says “yes.”  Everybody.

“John let me give you a couple of opposites, at least what appear to be opposites and let’s figure out how they are the same.”



Usually I have to help John with the first one, pointing out earth and sky are part of the landscape.  On the second one the rep will generally say something like communicate or conversation.

I’ll say “that’a right they seem like opposites in the bigger picture they are the same.  Then I’ll throw two more at him.


door or heart are the two most common responses.  Again point out to your rep that these are opposites but at the same time they are unified.

Water…….Stone…… river.

Now the rep has the idea and is looking for ways the opposites are part of the whole.  Very cool.

Here’s the one simple question that will get the rep to take action.

OK to do one more John?


Your rep will think for a few minutes or seconds and they may or may not get it but that’s OK because you’re not beating them up about the big picture anymore and they are not defending their life.  If you want to say yes to losing weight you have to say no to ice cream.  The answer of course to the yes/no is priorities.  That is we have to say no to one thing so that we can say yes to something else.  The critical dynamic is that through this short 20 second exercise John has begun to think.

So John if we want to say “yes” to putting your kids through school we’ve got to say “no” to a few things during the course of each week.  Let’s figure out what we can say “no” to this coming week so you can say “yes” to your kids education.


mark januszewski

The World’s Laziest Networker

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