This is getting silly. On November 20th I wrote about Tony Wallis who had been teasing me that he had made an appointment with his prize draw in just three minutes (you can see his comment at the bottom of the Contact page).
Then to rub it in, he posted yesterday that the prospect had signed up for everything including 32 lightbulbs (our company now replaces people’s lightbulbs).
Well, before I had seen this comment I went out this morning and was passing by my usual spot with a bit of time to spare, so there seemed no reason not to try a bit of prize draw. How long did it take to get an appointment? Three minutes!
(I really hope they have more than 32 lightbulbs…)
All we’re doing is what’s explained at www.coldmarketacademy.com
The trouble with having a system – something you just do again and again so that it becomes automatic – where you follow the process on autopilot and nothing can throw you because you’ve been there and you know where to go next…
…is that when something totally unexpected happens, you just tend to stop dead: A rabbit staring at headlights.
It happened today. Today is Monday – so yesterday was Sunday. There was a time early in my Network Marketing career when I didn’t like calling people on a Sunday. Over the years I discovered that Sunday is the best day for calling people – they’re at home. They’re not doing anything much. They might even be bored and welcome a call…
Then I worried about calling on people on a Sunday: This would be their family time, it would seem like an intrusion. But this isn’t the 1950’s. These days Sunday is just another day.
Then as I overcame these prejudices and my Network Marketing business grew (as it must do when you start overcoming prejudices and all those other limiting beliefs) I worried about calling on people unannounced on a Sunday. This was the real killer. But then I had spent ten years under the impression that Cold Calling – door-knocking – whatever disparaging term you choose to give it – was just the pits. What kind of low-life reptile who just crawled out from under a rock would resort to such tactics in the honorable name of Network Marketing?
Um, me, I’m afraid. I would. I would now that I’ve learned to do it in a way that is comfortable for me – and more to the point, comfortable for the person on the other side of the door. In fact this story is going to feature prominently in the new Cold Market Academy seminar on December 6th (book here!). But to give you a taster, here’s what happened:
It was a chilly but sunny morning when I might otherwise have been sitting over a cup of coffee trawling through Facebook. I was standing on a street where I had delivered a full complement of 30 written invitations (all my printer can cope with in one go) and I had called here twice before – once in the early evening and once on a weekday morning. On my “street log” several of the houses had a tick showing that I had knocked, someone had answered and I had read my Magic Minute to them. Interestingly, not against a single number was there a cross denoting someone who had not allowed me to read my Magic Minute.
There were a few, admittedly, with “NCC” against them; meaning that there was a notice on the door with words to the effect of “No Cold Callers”. Another note on the log just said “DOG” to remind me that if I should be inclined to post anything else through the letter box, I should be very careful of my fingers (in this country mailboxes are simply a slot in the front door with Fang on the other side).
There were other notes too: “Dinner at 6.30”, “on phone”, AT (Another Time). Yet more had a name, a phone number and a second name – meaning I should call the first-named person and say that the second had asked me to phone. One of these included the advice: “Perforated eardrum wait two weeks”. One person had already heard about my business from a colleague and there was a reminder to get them to call again. Another name had two ticks: This was someone who invited me in and signed up straight away – and there was one with a name and the word “Member”.
Now you might think it would be infuriating to have someone invite you in, sit you down on their sofa and then, no sooner do you begin your fabulous presentation than they recognize the company. Someone else has got to them first: They are already a customer.
Infuriating maybe; but in fact this is just what you want. First you ask them how long they’ve been a customer, how they came to know about your company – what they like best… Then you can ask a big favor: Would they write something nice in your book. This particular lady wrote: “I have been a member for eight years and have never looked back. Service is excellent.”
I didn’t look at her testimonial straight away – that would seem a little ungracious, as if I’m checking to see that she hasn’t said something nasty. Instead I asked: “Would it be alright if I show this to some of your neighbors as I go round?”
Of course she agreed.
“And are there any particular neighbours I should show it to? The Jones’s at Number 28? That’s great. And would it be OK if I called them by their first names? Mr and Mrs Jones sounds so formal… Jim and Doris… lovely… anyone else?
And before we knew where we were I had the referrals form out and I was collecting ten names – there’s a whole chapter about how to do it in the book.
But I digress (and if you can’t digress on your own blog, where can you?) I was telling you about being knocked off course. Well, I spent about an hour going down the street checking off those houses without anything written against them. One was “call in a year”. One was “call after Christmas” (Too much on his mind just now: Redundancy, pension worries… hmm…) One was “call midweek”.
And one woman – she was called Daphne – asked me to call her husband on Monday. Well actually that’s not quite true: It was my idea to call the husband. Daphne was all for me going round to do an assessment but I said that as a courtesy I would rather give him a call and read what I had just read to her – just so he knew what it was all about too. This is so important. The last think you want is one party telling the other: “Oh I’ve arranged for a door-to-door salesman to call back on Monday…”
No, you want to put the husband in the same frame of mind as the wife had been when she said “Yes”. How do you do that? You just read them the Magic Minute.
But when I said: “It takes a minute to tell you. D’you want to hear it?” He was supposed to say: “Er… yeah…OK”. Instead he said: “Could you come round this afternoon?”
He wasn’t supposed to say that. Nobody says that. It threw me. I knew I couldn’t do anything today. Now it was my turn to say “Er…yeah…OK” which is not at all what you would expect from the experienced Network Marketing professional I purport to be. But either he didn’t notice or his wife had done such a good job promoting my business that he just waited while I collected myself, switched on my calendar and squeezed him in between a piano teacher at 3.30 p.m. and a double glazing entrepreneur at 6.00 p.m – and all of this before my daughter’s birthday dinner at the curry house at 7.30 p.m.
Now all of this may lead somewhere or it may not. But ever since the dawn of this industry it has always been understood that the size of your check depends entirely on how many people you talk to.
That – and I venture to suggest – what you say.
Maybe today I just said the right thing to enough people.
If you look at the comments section at the bottom of the Contacts page there is description from Tony Wallis about how he spent 15 frozen minutes offering his prize draw to 31 people and not one of them gave him the time of day.
But Tony, not being the sort of Network Marketer who gives up in the face of adversity, went out the next day, gave it three minutes, spoke to one person and ended up with an appointment.
I mention this because there are those who read about my activities in my Network Marketing business and say: “Oh it’s all right for you. You used to be a war correspondent. You’re not scared of talking to strangers. Ordinary people couldn’t do what you do.”
In fact I had this from one of the senior leaders in my company only recently: “Ordinary people are comfortable talking to their family and friends. That’s what we should be encouraging them to do – not trying to get them into the cold market.”
And I heartily agree that everyone should start with their family and friends. But what if they family and friends say “No” or “I’ll see how you get on” or “Let me get back to to you…”
Because some of them do and anyone who claims otherwise is deluding themselves and sowing false hopes in their team.
Also I would agree that not everyone can bring themselves to do what I teach in the Cold Market Academy. In fact in the last chapter of the book and at the end of the Live Event I talk about Law of Human Nature. This is the law that divides the human race into two: the Ordinary People and the Special People.
In fact if you haven’t read the book, here is an extract:
There will always be more ordinary people than special people – which is the way it’s supposed to be. The special people need a lot of ordinary people to do the ordinary things they don’t want to do.
They need ordinary people to service their cars, wait on their tables, design and build their houses, look after their teeth and their health, mind their money…
Let me explain: The special people have big dreams and they achieve them because they control their own lives.
The ordinary people allow others to dictate how their lives will turn out. This is not natural for human beings. Cavemen didn’t allow other people to decide what happened to them. They went out and determined their own destiny. So why is it that so many people today are content to put their future in someone else’s hands?
Because that’s what most people did when they went to work for someone else.
It is quite clear from Tony’s comment that he is one of the special people. I dare say that like most special people he tells himself this every day – how else would he be able to brush aside the memory of the freezing 15 minutes getting nowhere in order to reinvent himself the next day and succeed?
And just to drive home the point; on the very day that Tony was getting his appointment in three minutes, I spent half an hour getting nothing (as you will see from the statistics below). In fact worse than that, when I checked my cellphone at the end of that half-hour there was a message cancelling my evening appointment… not “can we do it another time?” but “Thank you for the reminder but unfortunately I would like to cancel the appointment. I apologize for the inconvenience. Kind regards”.
I went home and told my wife. She said: “Your appointments are always cancelled.”
This was a moment for setting the jaw in what the suspense novelists call a “grim line” – a time for being special. A time for doing something dramatic.
So I went out and did something I had never done before. I followed up written invitations after dark.
Now, if you know my story you will know that I used to have a horror of knocking on people’s doors uninvited… until I learned how to do it and get a smile from the person on the other side. But I had never, ever done it on a dark winter’s evening: After all people wouldn’t want to stand on their doorstep talking to a stranger and letting in all the cold air would they?
Amazingly they would. Within an hour I had an appointment for Monday afternoon.
And so I tried it again last night. I have three people to call back and another appointment, this one for Monday evening.
There’s a line in Apollo 13 in which Tom Hanks says: “You never know when events are going to conspire to bring you home.”
But you do have to be open to allowing these things to happen.
* Please note there are still places available on the Cold Market Academy Live Event on December 6th – see the tab above.
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The Cold Market Academy (see tab above) deals fairly extensively with the prospect of using your time five minutes at a time. After all one of the main objections we hear in Network Marketing is “I don’t have the time”. So let’s just see what you can do in five minutes – even when things don’t go according to plan.
First some scene setting: If you’ve read my book, you will ‘ll know about my sister-in-law – the one who didn’t sign up for my company’s services for four and a half years. Well she’s come to stay this weekend and we’re delighted to see her.
After all, if you build your business in the cold market, you don’t have to worry about what your nearest and dearest might say.
But we did want the house to look its best and so the pile of cast-offs which had been gathering in the hall really did have to go to the charity shop – and on Friday afternoon I got around to taking it. This was a quick trip into town. No messing about, no popping into the grocery store…
But there are some habits you just can’t break – and so, before getting back into the car, I spent just five minutes offering the passers-by my Free Prize Draw.
Five minutes, that’s all it was. Not the half an hour a day which I advocate.
And as you’ll see in the statistics below, in five minutes I spoke to six people and filled in one form.
It would be nice to say I made an appointment or that the prospect agreed to a Callback at some point in the future. But no, as she said, she was in contract for her utility services. Now, if I had been planning to spend half and hour there, I would have thought nothing of it and moved on to the next person.
But suddenly it occurred to me to ask: “And why do you think your suppliers put you in a contract?”
-So I can’t leave?
And out of my bag, I produced my “Something to think about” letter. This is something I leave with people after an appointment (whether they say yes or no). Because the fact is that after people have signed up to something new, they invariably wonder whether it was a good idea. This explains the company philosophy, what makes us different. It works very well.
… and in this instance I was able to hand it over with the words: “Have a look at this and I’ll give you a ring on Monday. You might find it interesting.”
Guess what? She said: “All right, I will.”
So I think I can put her down as a Callback after all. I’m rather proud of that…
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Do your friends laugh at you behind your back – or come to that to your face?
Does MLM in their lexicon spell SCAM?
One of my team reports that recently two very good friends ridiculed her Network Marketing business, saying: “You’re not doing that! Oh, come on, you’ve got a good job. What are you doing that for?”
And we wonder why it is that new distributors disappear into the Witness Protection Program… One minute they’re all up for it, making their list, reading up about the products, building their dream board…
…and then suddenly they’re not there any more. Calls go to voicemail, emails disappear into the great electronic void.
What happened? Their brother-in-law got to them: “You’re not doing that! Oh come on: Everyone knows those schemes never work.”
… and certainly they will never work if you have to rely on a warm market like that. Fortunately you don’t. Because out there, over the heads of those skeptical friends and family with their patronizing smiles is a world of other people who will take you and your business at face value. All you need to do is find a way to get in front of them – without embarrassing yourself or them.
And you only have three weeks to wait. The *NEW* Cold Market Academy Live Event is on December 6th in Ipswich, U.K*.
No matter which Network Marketing Company you are with – Any product or service – Direct Sales or Multi-Level Marketing…
Learn how to write your own Invitations – give a proper answer when someone asks “What’s it all about” – collect ten referrals at a time – and much, much more.
* If you can’t make it to the live event, click the New Cold Market tab above for the online version.
Here’s what people in Network Marketing say: They say: “How could you do a prize draw in the street? How could you approach strangers? I would never be able to do that… Imagine all those people who are going to say No… You must have a hide like a rhinoceros! Most people could never do that…”
Here’s what I say: “I love my prize draw.”
Here’s why I love my prize draw. Today I had an appointment. It was one I had made through a Written Invitation but the prospect did not know her cell-phone number. This meant I had been unable to schedule a reminder SMS message. Also I had forgotten to call to confirm. In other words I arrived somewhat unannounced.
“Oh there you are!” she came to the door all in a fluster. “I’ve been trying to get in touch with you. I’ve called and I’ve left messages…”
Well, of course, all of this was a mystery to me. I had received no calls and no messages. What transpired is that she had written down my number and had been unable to read her writing. Anyway what she had been trying to tell me was that today she was having a new garage door fitted and when she couldn’t get hold of me – and here she apologized – she was afraid to say that she had rather written me off – and then for good measure she had gone and made a hairdresser’s appointment. Then she thought “what the heck” – and signed up to a one-year telephony deal with our competitors…
So within about two minutes of arriving, there was not much for me to do but smile graciously and leave – and, of course, put her back in the diary for another eleven months.
The smile faded slightly as I got into the car. It was my own fault, of course – and one of the things I have done since is to create some appointment slips with the wording from the SMS reminder and, most importantly, my phone number.
Now you might be thinking “Why didn’t he leave a card?” Graduates of Cold Market Academy (see above) will know the answer to that. But it still left me with an empty hour in the middle of the day – and what do you do with a fading smile and empty hour?
If you’re in Network Marketing or Direct Sales of MLM and it’s all gone pear-shaped, I can tell you the answer to that: You cheer yourself up with half an hour of prize draw.
Because the prize draw will never let you down. The Prize Draw will always put things right. Because the Prize Draw relies on your eternal ally The Law of Averages and the Law of Averages will always rescue you if you have faith and you trust in it.
And sure enough, within half an hour of arriving at my favorite spot I had another appointment. This one is for Friday morning and yes, this time I do have a cell number…
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Eight O’clock on Sunday morning and I am sitting outside my son’s girlfriend’s house waiting to take him to athletics training. Once there I am to wait for an hour and a quarter while he runs round the houses with the rest of the Ipswich Harriers team before taking him home.
Does this sound familiar? The BBC has an evening radio program which invites requests from parents running the taxi service to ballet, judo, football, gymnastics etc.
You can see these parents sitting in the car park poking at their phones or fast asleep with their mouths open. I make calls. But eight O’clock on a Sunday morning is not a time to make calls. So what to do with 75 unsocial minutes?
The first and most obvious thought was that a good many of the houses around the Sports Center had received my Written Invitations – invariably delivered in similar circumstances late in the evening. Now, I could follow them up… or maybe not at an hour when most people are rolling over and going back to sleep.
Never mind, there was a convenience store on the corner. The early risers would be streaming in for their Sunday Papers. I could offer them a chance in my prize draw…
But the world has changed since I used to be sent round the corner for four (yes, four!) newspapers before breakfast. After ten minutes with no-one to talk to, it was clear the early risers were accessing the Sunday Scandal on their iPads.
For a minute I considered parking up and watching videos of cats on Facebook. But once you’ve got into Network Marketing and you’re up to here with Personal Development and you have a jar of marbles on your desk counting down the time you have left on earth, you just can’t waste a minute. You have to find something productive to do – and there is always something productive to do: Check the bag in the trunk: Oh good, a stack of new invitations. Find a street with some moderately prosperous-looking houses. Start delivering – one day there will be a more sensible hour to follow up.
Why do I mention this on a Monday evening? Let me tell you: Today at Two O’clock I was due to see a neighbor who I didn’t know until she entered the prize draw last week. But she rang me just before lunch (while my morning appointment made the tea) and she cancelled. She had a doctor’s appointment, so she told me.
So what was I to do with this unannounced hour at Two O’clock? I had already walked the dog. I had made my morning calls…
Looking in my referrals book and flicking through the street logs, there was one with most of the entries blank. Time to try again. If you’re in Direct Sales or Multi-Level Marketing, take note. You need to do this: I found a parking space, checked the number of the house immediately adjacent, saw from the book that there had been no answer last time I called – and rang the bell.
A vaguely familiar figure came to the door. The fact that he was vaguely familiar will come as no surprise if you know about my shocking inability to remember anyone at all. Anyway he gave a smiling response to my magnetic opening line and invited me to read my Magic Minute. Now I will be going back on Wednesday to do an assessment for him and his wife.
It was only afterwards that he said: “You’re Eddy’s Son-in-Law aren’t you?”
Indeed I am – and my new prospect used to teach at my children’s school.
Odd isn’t it: If you put in the effort, the results will come.
You get to an age when you don’t approach attractive young women any more.
For one thing it’s pretty pointless and for another I just can’t take the rejection.
As a Network Marketer, I should be used to rejection – but it does cause a bit of inner turmoil because attractive young women make particularly good Network Marketers. Get them started in any kind of Multi-Level Marketing or Direct Sales business and they just tend to fly.
So there I was on my way to the big leadership conference. I had been talking non-stop on the hands free to the team. I was, as you might say, “In The Zone” when, walking into the Motorway Services for a bite of lunch, I was confronted not by one attractive young woman but by four of them. I just remember this overwhelming impression of wall to wall big eyes and sparkling teeth and red lips and …. well, you get the idea (and, of course, the big booming voice in my head saying: “Don’t look there, don’t look there…”
And all of this would have been fine had it not been for the leader of the pack latching onto me as effortlessly as a lioness brings down an ageing and infirm old Wildebeest.
Whatever it was she said brought me to an abrupt halt. I have no idea what she did say because at the time all my senses seemed to be fully occupied with the big eyes, sparkling teeth and red lips at close range. Also by this time she had her manicured and painted hand on my arm.
Over the next few minutes I became vaguely aware that my wife and daughter would be forever grateful if only I would take home to each of them a miniature black carrier bag. This was modeled on the sort of thing you see being loaded into the back of Bentleys in Kensington – only small enough to dangle from her polished index finger.
It was difficult to believe that anything so small could be worth £160 but that was what she said the make up inside it should really cost – but I could have it for nothing…. provided I bought this small black cylinder with a brush which popped out like something in a Christmas conjuring set. The small black cylinder was priced at only £27.99.
It was only now that I found my tongue (I have a horrible suspicion that it might have been hanging out all this time). Anyway I was able to mumble something about my wife and daughter never forgiving me if I presumed to buy make up for them…
But once I managed to get the mouth working again, of course it went onto auto-pilot: “I must say you’re really good at this. Have you been in sales for long? Really? Well actually I’m always looking for good sales people. Tell me, have you ever thought of using the skills you’ve got in your spare time? You could earn a really good extra income – just as long as it doesn’t affect your full-time job, of course…”
And she said: “Is this Network Marketing?”
“It sounds as though you know all about it…”
And she did. She had been to presentations by two other companies and thought the concept was brilliant. It was just that this was her own company she was promoting – the three other attractive young women were her employees being trained up to run their own stalls in other motorway service areas. Next month she was off to America…
“But I do want to get into Network Marketing one day,” she said. “Maybe in two of three years when I can get someone to manage this for me…”
And she put down her conjuring set and took my phone and tapped away with her painted fingers and we’ll talk again in two or three years time.
I’d like to make that two…
Those people who have already bought tickets have been sent a £5 refund.
If you haven’t got yours yet, just click the tab at the top of the page – there’s less than a month to go!
The reason for the excitement is invariably because I came within an ace of making three. But then someone wanted to talk to their spouse… they didn’t have their diary with them… some enormous bird of prey swooped down at the last minute and stole their decision making ability…
One way and another, I never got three.
But in Network Marketing as in everything else, your past does not determine your future.
Today I got three.
It was really weird how it happened: Today – as you will know if you live in the UK – was a miserable wet day (which is significant because it is November 5th, the day the British with their natural sense of the perverse celebrate the occasion someone tried to blow up the Government – and we mark it with [traditionally damp] firework displays).
It really was not a day for going out into the street with my prize draw forms and inviting people to talk to me. But my company has a November promotion going and I’m keen to make the most of it.
… and it has to be said that now I have retired from my position as a company trainer, I have a certain amount of income to recoup….
So, as you will see from the statistics below and the photograph above, the dog and I set up shop between the supermarket and the car park (just by the fish kiosk) – and watched people walk past and ignore us.
And this went on for a full and depressing two minutes. In fact I distinctly remember thinking: “This is ridiculous. No-one’s going to stop. It’s a miserable day. I’ve stood here on lovely sunny days and nobody’s stopped. I might as well pack it in… etc…etc…
But the point to remember is that if you’ve done this a thousand times before and you know that the Universe is ruled by the Law of Averages, then what you do and what the weather does and – come to that – what the dog does, has nothing to do with anything. Someone, sometime, is going to stop.
And they did. Actually they stopped after two minutes… and they were not remotely interested in what I had to tell them.
But the next people were… and four minutes after them, so was the next person. In fact this one started offering their details before I had even noted the time on the last form.
And then, would you believe it, I was juggling both forms and trying to work out the combined time when a woman came up and started talking to the dog. She used to have an Afghan hound, she told me – and her mother had a Yorkshire terrier (the joke here, if you don’t know your dogs, is that an Afghan is possibly the biggest dog you can have – and a Yorkshire terrier is the smallest).
“But it was the Yorkie who was the boss,” she went on.
And then we filled in the form and made the appointment.
Making three appointments with total strangers had all happened so fast – in just over 12 minutes according to my hasty notes – that it was a moment two before I realized the significance. I had finally done it! (I looked round to see if anyone was on the way back demanding to cancel, retract their entry into the draw or possibly demand and tear up the entry form…)
But no. I really did have three appointments for Monday and Tuesday of next week (and I have another one for Monday already!)
This had to be marked in some way. This was not just for my blog. This would have to go on Facebook too. I needed a picture.
Actually this took some time. I tried the first likely passer by – “likely” meaning someone who was young enough to know how to take a picture on a smartphone but not so young they might run off with it – but he cut off the dog’s feet.
The next one made a good job of the photo and then, of course, had to be offered the Prize Draw. For a minute there, I thought I was going to get a fourth appointment. But no – although she did agree to me calling her another time…
And as we know, there’s always another time.
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