One of the great things about writing a blog is the comments you get – one of them was from an Englishman living in the USA, Paul G. Walmsley. He said some nice things and gave me a link to his book. It was called “Hello to Yes in 3 Minutes or Less” – which by anybody’s standards is a great title for someone in Network Marketing.
I followed the links and ended up on the Amazon website. By the time I had bought the book and paid the transatlantic shipping, I was down about £24 (getting on for $35.)
Some people may consider paying $35 for a book an extravagance. Such people do not have a Multi-Level Marketing business – or at the very least, they are not taking it seriously.
How much do you spend on dinner in your favourite restaurant? What would you pay for a new pair or running shoes? Try putting a value on a shovel if you had a gold mine at the bottom of your garden…
So I paid the money and I have since recommended the book to Knowledge Is King which is the UK network marketer’s online bookstore of choice. For the fact is that there were two nuggets I got out of that book which I have not seen anywhere else – and I’m sure Paul G. will not mind my paraphrasing them here (especially if you go on to buy his book).
So here they are: The Golden Nuggets from “Hello to Yes in 3 minutes or less” (there’s the second plug):
Imagine you are playing tennis. It’s you to serve. You step up to the base line, bounce the ball twice, toss it high (but not too high) swing your racquet back, weight on the front foot and POW, the ball takes off like a missile, fizzing with topspin, it’s no more than knee high as your opponent begins to lunge for it but too late! The smack of the impact into the back fence can be heard in the pavilion. 15:0.
You allow yourself a grim smile and move to the other side of the court. You bounce the ball twice…
You do it again. Another ace! 30:0.
Now imagine you do this again and again with every serve. Then, when your turn comes to receive, you smack every return into the last inch of the court. You win in straight sets. Your opponent has not scored a single point.
Now imagine the same thing happens in your next match – and the one after that…how long would you keep playing? Where’s the fun if winning is so easy?
Now translate this to your daily calls. You have your list. How would it be if every person you spoke to said “Yes” straight away. No questions, no three-way calls, no “Let’s get together for a cup of coffee…” just “Yes”.
Now here’s the question: What’s the difference between that and taking orders in a call center for minimum wage?
Well, of course the difference is that the Network Marketer does not earn a minimum wage. The Network Marketer earns a income that would make the call center operative’s eyes water. But that’s the point, isn’t it. It’s worth making the calls.
Making calls is not supposed to be easy. It’s supposed to take skill and patience and the ability to keep stepping up to the line and giving it your best shot even though, time after time, your opponent continues to slam the return past your ear.
Until suddenly – to your astonishment – to the surprise of your opponent and also of those spectators who had rather given up paying attention and started discussing the Chairman’s inappropriate friendship with the Hon Secretary, you suddenly win a point!
Because no matter how bad you may think you are, you will always, one day, win a point. Maybe your opponent has an off day, is distracted by the sun or a sneeze in the crowd …maybe you just got better…
… and in just the same way, someone will always say “Yes”.
Maybe we all get too obsessed with the idea of success. Maybe we should take a little time to relish the challenges we meet on the way – after all, without that, where would be the sense of achievement?
Well this is a first: posting from a smartphone in the departure lounge at Stansted Airport while the family go shopping.
I went to get the money (they have Kuna in Croatia – I never knew that. Last time we were on the company cruise and isolated from money).
So where in all this does Network Marketing come into the story?
The man counting out the notes was very cheerful so I suggested that it might have something to do with handling large some of money – and he said it would if it all went into his bank account!
So that’s how the conversation got round to making money and the choices you get when you don’t have to work for it any more.
There was nobody in the queue so I told him how shocked I had been to be turned down for a job paying £22,000 a year – and how I had been forced out of the job market into the world if the entrepreneur…and how that was the best thing that ever happened to me.
We had quite a chat. I wonder now whether it will turn out to have been a life- changing chat?
Don’t forget to check out the Cold Market Academy tab for more top tips.
Before mentioning that I am going to be Network Marketing on the move later today and visiting IKEA, I thought I had better look it up to see if people would know what I was talking about. Would you believe that the furniture store with the absurd names and the incomprehensible instructions is now represented in more than 50 countries from Lithuania to Costa Rica. As far as I can see the only places it doesn’t have a presence are a few in equatorial Africa.
So, it is safe for me to say that my 16-year-old has promised to tidy his bedroom if I go there tomorrow to buy him some decent wardrobes. The Handyman is coming on Wednesday to put them together (see reference to instructions) – and only yesterday did I bother to see whether everything would fit in the car.
That’s right, at less than 24 hours notice I realised that some of the boxes will be 236 cms long - and although our stalwart people carrier has transported an entire fridge/freezer in its time, I have never attempted anything a big as this.
Which is why I was looking for a van hire company. I was sure I’d seen on on the by-pass. However, when when I arrived I found nothing but second hand cars for sale.
“Isn’t there a van hire depot round here somewhere?” I asked the young man sitting behind the desk with a computer, a telephone and an air of complete boredom. He came to life immediately as all the best salespeople do when suddenly confronted with a potential customer. But no, he did not know of anywhere hiring vans.
I was about to leave when I remembered I am supposed to be recruiting four new distributors this week. I turned back as I was about to leave (Columbo couldn’t have done it better).
“Just a thought,” I said. “But I’m always on the lookout for good salespeople who would like to earn an extra income alongside their regular job. I don’t suppose that would be you would it?”
“Extra income?” he said, perking up instantly. “Certainly!”
“Okay. Have you got five minutes? I just need to get something from the car.”
I then parked the car properly and returned with my tablet computer which I placed on the desk in front of him and we both sat and watched the country’s best-loved retired celebrity explaining what we do.
“Does that sound good?” I asked my new friend.
- Certainly does.
“Do you reckon you know some people who would go for that?
“Right then, now I’ll show you how you get paid. This takes three minutes.”
And I played him the animated video of the compensation plan.
“Does that sound good?”
- Certainly does.
“So would ;you like to join us.”
Two minutes later he was a distributor. I was in and out within fifteen minutes – and that included a phone call to introduce him to another member of the team who’s going to look after him for the first couple of weeks.
What gets me is that if I hadn’t been looking for a van this would never have happened – and that is why I am absolutely sure that this afternoon the whole venture with be crowned with success – and I will indeed find 236 cms of load space.
I’ll let you know how I get on…
Meanwhile for more examples of how to talk to strangers, see the tab above.
I’m not sure whether my oldest son is Hugh Hefner or Noel Coward. He seems to live in his pyjamas. Yesterday I took him to his friend’s house for a night of Warhammer in his pyjamas. This morning I went to collect him at 9.15 a.m. so he would have time to get out of them for the first time in 36 hours and go to work behind the checkout at the Garden Centre.
(Yes, I know he should be building his own Network Marketing business instead – or at least as well as – entering the world of employment. But it’s his choice and he chooses not…)
When I arrived I found he was, of course, not up yet.
The friend’s father, a customer in the said MLM business, offered to make me a cup of tea. Of course I accepted since I would earning a little something from the electricity used to boil the kettle. While this was going on, the talk turned to exam results and how his 18-year-old now needed to find a job for six months in order to go off travelling before university. We discussed the pay scales in garden centres and restaurants (my 16-year-old works in a restaurant).
It was only on the way home that it suddenly dawned on me that I had not mentioned the perfect solution. After all the pay scales in Network Marketing are the same for everyone – whatever their age. Also, the young man would continue to receive an income while he was away – and come to that, while he was at university. In fact, not to put too fine a point on it, the new opportunity brochure my company has just published includes a testimonial from someone who started as a student…
No sooner had I waved my own young employee off to his day’s work than I jumped straight back in the car and returned to the friend’s house. The boy’s mother answered the door. I explained the earlier conversation with her husband. I gave her a copy of the brochure, adding: “There’s a bit in the back about a student…”
(It seemed politic not to mention that the student did so well as a Network Marketer that he chose to drop out of university.)
She fingered the brochure. She looked at the first page – and then, with what I took to be genuine enthusiasm, she said: “D’you know, I hadn’t thought of that. That is an idea… thank you very much.”
The new accountant has insisted. I am now John Passmore Ltd – a limited company with all the rights and obligations that go with being a fully incorporated legal entity. I am even VAT registered – although I must admit I have no very clear idea of what that entails.
I suppose this was inevitable: Every year the tax bill got bigger and bigger and I kept on meaning to do something about it – with the result that the new man was quite plainly horrified that anybody should be running a business this size through a personal joint account.
And obviously with a new business comes a new business bank account. I went to open it today.
Arriving on the dot of ten O’clock, I was a bit miffed to find that even though I had made an exhibition of myself running up the road (it is an exhibition, believe me) the bank hadn’t even bothered to open the back door. I went round to the front.
They hadn’t opened the front door either – indeed there were several members of the bank staff standing around looking at it.
“It’s stuck,” said a young man in a new pinstriped suite. “We think it might be an electrical fault.”
I now realise it was not tactful of me to tell him the story of my friend who worked in a casino and how they found that the safe had been glued shut with Superglue – but not before one of the more glamorous croupiers had emptied it. By the time anyone discovered what had happened, she was in Spain with the contents.
Never mind. If it was really urgent, I could go to the next nearest branch – the business manager had set up shop there.
I found him anxious for news of the jammed door. I told him the story about the safe and the Superglue.
“Right,” he said, changing the subject. “John Passmore Ltd: What is the nature of the business.”
He looked blank.
“MLM – that’s Multi-Level Marketing. Sort of Direct Selling.”
He was none the wiser. I started to explain. He asked a question. I explained some more.
He was quick to catch on: “So what you’re saying is that you have a product which every single person in the country has to use. You offer it to them more cheaply than the company which is currently supplying them because you don’t have any of the advertising costs which your competitor has to recoup from their prices.”
- Broadly speaking, yes.
“And so once you have a customer, that customer pays you again and again indefinitely.”
- Yes, that’s about it.
“And furthermore some of those people will start to do what you do and then you earn an over-ride on the income they produce.”
- Exactly. I think you’ve put it very well.
He paused here. Checked that it was not April Fools day and pronounced: “But that’s amazing. It’s brilliant. It means that you will carry on being paid more and more indefinitely.”
- Well that is rather the intention. Shall I show you how we do it?
I pulled out my phone and poked at the screen. After a minute or two the company video started playing (without the sound). In exasperation the business manager grasped the phone and did some poking of his own – closing down background programs, he explained.
Five minutes later, we were excitedly working out how he could build this around his other business interests. I said: “I expect you know lots of people.”
“Well, I suppose I do.”
- Well I’ve got plenty of time…
“And I know plenty of people,” he reiterated – I told you he was switched on.
The last thing he said to me – after we finally got round to opening the account – was: “I’ll definitely get back to you about this. I mean I really will. I’ll look into it. I think you might really have something here – and the investment’s only £100 you say? Amazing…
You might like to remember this story. It will stand you in good stead the next time some unemployable Neanderthal picks his knuckles up off the floor to poke a finger at you and tell you it’s a scam.
The trouble with being as old as me is that you can remember 1970, so when Matthews Southern Comfort came on the car radio playing Woodstock, I just didn’t want to hit the off button.
This was awkward because I had just made a phone call – being a compulsive Network Marketer, I do have a problem with not being able to stop myself making phone calls. What would happen if somebody answered? I’d never get to hear the end of the song…
I should explain at this point that I was stuck in a traffic jam, the car was stationery with the handbrake on and the engine stopped. On top of that I have a hands-free kit and a personal rule not to make initiate calls when I’m driving.
So there were two reasons why I didn’t want the traffic to start moving:
1. The van might drive off before I had dialled the number.
2. I would have to switch off Matthews Southern Comfort.
In fact nothing moved and the van driver answered:
- Hi, I’m right behind you. Are you hands-free?
“I’m driving.” (I knew that!)
- I know, I’m in the car behind you but if you’re not hands-free, I’d better ring you back later.
- So when would be a good time?
“About an hour. I’ll be home then.”
An hour later, he was just pulling up outside his house. It turns out to be not far from where my children go for Athletics training on Thursday nights.
I know this because between 6.30 and 7.00 p.m. on Thursday August 21st, I shall be popping in to show him how he can earn an extra £2,000 from his flooring customers by joining my MLM business. He sounded rather keen on that.
And do you want to know the best bit? I got to hear the end of the song.
“My God woman, d’you think I’m made of money!”
This from my grandfather every time the grocer’s bill arrived.
My grandmother, so the family said, had married above her station and felt more comfortable with the tradespeople of the town than the gentry – with the result that she spent her days shopping. Back in 1950 the grocer would have a black bentwood chair at his counter and Granny would spend many happy hours sitting on the chair chatting and ordering this and that.
As I say, the only downside arrived with a resounding crash when Grandfather opened the bill over breakfast.
“Don’t be like that, Harry,” she would say.
But he would throw down his knife and fork and storm out of the house.
Most men would storm off to the office (or if they had come home from the office to be greeted with the bill, then they might storm off to the pub.)
But no, my Grandfather would storm off to America.
I should explain here that he was a timber merchant and did much of his business in the southern United States where he bought Hickory wood for golf clubs (and, during the war, stretcher poles – which was how he got torpedoed twice).
So, what with the voyage each way on the Queen Mary or the Queen Elizabeth (the old one) he would be away for months.
So the storming out – as you will now understand – had to be done with military precision.
His secret weapon was The Packing List. He would open his diary and there would be a list of twenty or so items that he would throw into a suitcase in the space of five minutes and he would be gone.
And the Packing List is something I have inherited.
I am devoted to the Packing List.
At this point (303 words into the story) you are wondering what on earth this has to do with Network Marketing.
Well, on alternate Saturdays Tamsin works at her job (don’t ask!) and Saturday was the day we left for our “bucket and spade” holiday in Southwold.
So I was left in charge of the Packing List. I was doing very well: Beach towels, sunglasses, suncream, after-sun cream… when the phone rang and I will report the conversation as nearly as I can, verbatim and trust you will forgive me for any lapses while I put in my bluetooth earpiece and carried on with: Hats, picnic rug, corkscrew, crabbing lines…
“Hello, is that Mr Passmore?”
“This is Chloe Bloggins from XYZ Home Improvement Ltd. This is just a courtesy call to make you aware that you could qualify for a government grant that might run into hundreds of pounds. May I ask the age of your property?”
- It was built in 1925.
“And do you have insulation?”
“Is it cavity wall or loft insulation?”
… I think the reader should be spared the next few exchanges. They certainly bored me! But then we continue with me asking:
- Chloe, it is Chloe isn’t it?
- May I ask you a question?
- If I were to buy your insulation. How would you get paid? Would you get a big bonus or are you on a wage and get paid whether I go for the insulation or not – or would you get a small bonus on top of your pay?
…pause: “I’m on a wage. I don’t get any bonuses.”
- Ah, because what I was wondering was, if I chose to have your double glazing – it is double glazing isn’t it?
- Then if I bought your double glazing, how would you like to get paid every time I looked out of the window?”
“Every time, you looked out of the window?”
“Well that would be awesome.”
- And would you like to see how that works?
- So if I sent you some information, you’d look at that would you?
- You’re quite sure.
- Right I’ll send you a text. What number should I send it to?
… and she gave me her mobile number and I sent her the website address in a text.
The odd thing is that half an hour later I had almost exactly the same conversation with a young man called Andrew who wanted me to buy some energy.
Now, as I say, these conversations took place while I was thinking of other things (boules, beach towels, picnic bag…) so I can only tell you that the exchange went down very similar lines.
But, as I say, we were about to go on holiday so I was not very keen on following up – after all, what were the chances it would lead anywhere?
Yet amazingly over the next few hours, I received two emails from my company saying they had both downloaded the “Free Money-Making Report”.
There followed two abortive phone calls. One when I was walking the dog across Southwold Marshes and the other on the pier with an ice cream in the other hand.
It is only now we are back that I can finish the story: Chloe – for all her sophisticated telephone skills in only 16 and we will be talking again on April 3rd 2016 (the day after her 18th birthday and the day before my 67th!).
As for Andrew, there’s no reply from him so he may well be on holiday too – which means he is down for a call in early September.
And yes, thank you very much, we had a lovely time.
More about this at The Cold Market Academy – see the tab at the top of the page.
A good many people have been asking : “Does it still work?”
This is because it has been a while since I posted my results – if you look back though the archives you will see that I used to record how many people I approached with my free prize draw, how many filled in the form, how many appointments I made…
And let’s face it, sometimes things do stop working: Years ago we could send texts to tradesmen advertising in the Yellow Pages and get replies from one in four – now people see that as spam.
But yes, offering a free prize draw to people in the street does still work – it’s just that I’m not doing nearly as much of it. Network Marketers who are students of the Cold Market Academy (see the tab at the top of the page) will know that with the free prize draw, you attract people like yourself. This is simple psychology – we are always more comfortable with people who we perceive to be like us… and in my case that meant that I was signing up a succession of well-to-do people over the age of 55. After all isn’t that me to a T?
And people like me make excellent customers. They pay their bills on time. They give referrals – to more well-to-do people over the age of 55… But rarely do they become distributors.
…and distributors – as anyone experienced in Multi-Level Marketing will tell you – are the lifeblood of your business. You need some customers – because without them you don’t have a Network Marketing or MLM business, you have a pyramid scheme. But just getting more and more customers is like giving yourself a job for life. Recruiting distributors and helping them to gather customers sets you free.
So I have set out to learn to recruit . This is not something I have ever been very good at – and this may come as a surprise to many readers whose Network Marketing businesses do not offer much a distinction between customers and distributors: This usually arises in a product-driven business where the distributors get a discount. So if it costs nothing to become one, then anyone who wants the products signs up as a distributor – which of course gives rise to another distinction, between the “producers” and the rest.
My company offers services rather than products and is government-regulated which means that everybody has to be offered the same prices whether they are distributors or not. Also the distributors have to pay a registration fee. They have to undergo official training…
The upside, of course, is that with services, people don’t have to take a conscious decision every month to re-order them. They don’t ever think to themselves: “Do I still need this?” With services, if you have a customer, you have an income for life.
But you see the difficulty: Why would anyone who has retired with enough money to live comfortably suddenly want to start all over again learning a new career?
Obviously there are exceptions: For instance I have just started working with a charming Pastor who sees this as a way to dig more wells in Africa and there is a couple who foster homeless children and have given so much of themselves over the years that – despite living in an idyllic farmhouse a mile from the nearest public road – they have absolutely nothing put by for their old age.
But generally speaking, the Cold Market approach which has seen me become one of the top customer-gatherers in my company, is not going assure my future.
So I have changed tack. I have decided to become a super-recruiter. So far it seems to be working – and if this continues, you will read about it here.
But just to show that the Cold Market Academy still does its stuff, I took my prize draw forms down to town the other day and I am pleased to report that yes, it does still work:
Footnote: And guess who gave me an appointment – a retired nurse in her late 60′s. She was a lovely lady and I spent the best part of an hour sitting at her dining room table with its ornate lace tablecloth, admiring the photographs of her three daughters clutching their university diplomas and heard all about her eight grandchildren.
And although I have no doubt that she will indeed pass on my cards as she promised, I can’t help but think I was fishing in the wrong pond…
John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.”
I’ve got another one: “Network Marketing is what happens to you when you’re getting on with life.”
So the phone rings in the middle of a Thunderstorm. It’s a lone German cyclist wanting a bed for the night (actually what he’s wanting is a TV for the World Cup Final tonight).
Never mind, we are accommodating; even though The Studio, our luxurious Bed and Breakfast suite – (Google for full over-the-top description “Deben House Bed & Breakfast”) – was still in disarray from last night’s guests, Tamsin rushed around changing sheets and I was despatched to the supermarket before it closed at 4.00 p.m. for bread, yoghurt and fresh fruit compote.
Bread and yoghurt I can manage. But what exactly is Fresh Fruit Compote and where would you look for it? This is when a few grey hairs (very few, as it happens) come into their own. Shop assistants take pity on the poor old buffer with his shopping list and lead him meekly to the chiller cabinet.
Then, in contrast to the dismissive attitude I sometimes experience, the young man said: “Is that everything? Can I help you with something else?”
No, I assured him, that was everything…
Actually, no it wasn’t. I tracked him down again – to where he was scooping up handfuls of frozen fish to put them back in storage for tomorrow: “I just wanted to say thank you. Not everyone is as helpful as you’ve been and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate it.
- Oh that’s OK.
“Have you worked here long?”
- About six years.
“Really, and is it a good place to work?”
- Well it’s OK but I’m beginning to think I’ve been doing the same thing forever. Maybe it’s time to move on, you know…”
“Is that so? Well in that case I wonder whether I have something you might like. Now this might be for you and it might not – only you can decide that … but it’s a way to get yourself more money and more free time without it affecting what you’re doing at the moment. If I were to send you some information, would you take a look at it and tell me what you think?”
Certainly he would – and we’ll be talking again at 1.30 p.m. tomorrow to see what he likes best about it.
If he turns out to be a superstar, then the German cyclist and his piles of wet clothes will have been worthwhile after all.
I love doing Bed & Breakfast – not because of the man who asked, with a rather startled expression, if I could please remove the dead mouse from the mousetrap in the airing cupboard or the couple who broke the bed. But because I get calls like this:
“Hello is that Mr Passmore. This is Georgia calling from Happy Utilities. Is it yourself who looks after the gas and electricity.”
(Well it is myself but I’m not moving them because my Network Marketing business supplies Gas and Electricity so you can guess where I’m going to get them from. But Georgia does not know this.)
So she says: “I’ve sent you an email, have you seen it? Well do you know the end date of your contract? Oh, you’re on a domestic contract? So how come you don’t pay the full rate then? Because of the the telephone and phone and broadband? How’s that then?”
And at this point I put her out of her misery. I say: “But I would like to thank you for the call. Clearly you’re very good at what you do – after all I wouldn’t still be on the phone if you weren’t. But I have a question to ask, is that all right?”
“Do you work on salary or commission or a combination of the two?”
- Well we get a small bonus if somebody joins.
“That’s good. I’m glad to hear that. I bet you get some good bonuses.”
- Well they’re not very good and we’re on a very low wage.
“Oh dear. Well I’ve got something you might like. How would would it be if you got paid when somebody joins – and then got paid again every month when they pay their bill?”
- That would be ace!
“Well that’s how I get paid. Do you know I went to see a lady in Ipswich in April 2005 and she’s paid me every month since then. Currently she’s paying me about £5 a month and I only ever went to see her the once for about 40 minutes. Now if you add that all up it’s a lot of money for 40 minutes work.”
- It is a lot of money…
Actually I think I love Network Marketing more than Bed & Breakfast.
*For more tips on how Network Marketing in the Cold Market, see the Cold Market Academy tab at the top of the page.