I’ve just been offered free broadband for life. Currently I’m paying £7.99 a month for it. So that means it’s worth about £96 a year – not bad.
But then I started thinking about the cats. Soon after we moved into our house in 1999 – and long before I started my Network Marketing business, we acquired a pair of cats called Treacle and Custard. Being responsible pet-owners, we thought we ought to get them insured – but this was going to cost £7.50 a month…each!.
So instead of insuring them we decided to put the £15 a month into the Ipswich Building Society – after all it was unlikely the cats were going to need expensive veterinary attention when they were young – and after a few years, if they did, then there would be enough to pay for it.
Well, after a few years Custard disappeared – possibly in disgust at Treacle producing kittens. We kept one of them and called him Porridge. Then a couple of years ago Porridge disappeared too – and last year Treacle followed him – she was 14 after all. But isn’t it odd how cats don’t die, they just disappear…
Meanwhile, for 14 years, that monthly payment of £15 had been clocking up in the Ipswich Building Society. I really didn’t pay much attention to it. In fact I forgot all about it – until I came home from a weekend away and found that Thumper the giant lop-eared rabbit had been unwell and my daughter had persuaded my wife to take him to the vet… on a Sunday… which meant the emergency vet.
Thumper died anyway and we buried him with a certain amount of ceremony at the bottom of the garden (it was nice to have something to bury, after all – at least rabbits give you that…)
However, he did leave us with a vet’s bill for £250 and Tamsin insisted it should come out of the Cat’s fund.
I went along to the Ipswich Building Society (for what was only the second time) and presented my pass-book. The Cashier looked at it. I don’t think she had ever seen a pass-book before. Now they give you a card. Anyway, before she could tell me how much was in the account, she had to update the pass-book – and then issue another and update that… and another… and another.
Eventually, with a queue of savers stretching behind me almost to the door, she was able to announce the accumulated total at the end of 14 years’ compound interest. The figure was £3,400.
Now, it must be said that saving the £7.99 a month I would otherwise spend on broadband will only reach about half that figure. But it does make you think…
Take a look at this photo of my new pitch: If you look closely you will see there is not a single person to be seen. You can enlarge it and still not find anyone even in the distance.
So how is it that, if you look at the statistics below, you will discover that by choosing this spot for my “pop-up” free prize draw, I was able to make an appointment in just five minutes.
I know this flies in the face of all the advice published in my book Network Marketing in the Cold Market (see the tab above) but to me this is like discovering the Theory of Relativity or the Meaning of Life…
Here’s what happened: I had an appointment in the New Town a couple of miles down the road (if you want to know why,you will find the reason on the post for March 13th (and yes, the picture to go with that post was taken from the same spot).
As a result of being there on that day, I had an appointment nearby and, arriving early (as you do), I thought I might as well take a look at the shops to see if anyone else might like to win a prize. I must say there aren’t many places in this country which are completely deserted but this was one of them. There was not a single person. No sign of life. It was a ghost town.
Nevertheless, I took out my form and my script and my pen and stood there feeling a little bit like Dr Who arriving somewhere new and wondering whether he has take a wrong turn somewhere in space and time.
But then a woman came out of the convenience store. I smiled and hefted my planner and prize draw form in front of me.
And here is what I find most interesting. In fact, if you have seen the videos that go with the book, you will know that normally I move around a bit, so that people pass close to me (if you stand still, they have a tendency to make a wide detour to avoid you).
But this woman headed straight for me as if I were some sort of homing beacon. When my son comes home from his psychology class, I must ask him about this – was it because we were the only two people present and human beings have a natural instinct to form groups? Did she feel sorry for me?
All I can say for sure is that she walked straight up to me. I asked her my question. She entered the draw. She answered my four questions, listened attentively while I read her my script and we now have an appointment.
The whole process, from arriving at the deserted shops to getting back in the car to go on to the original appointment took just five minutes.
And as far as I am concerned that is history in the making.
|Mar 17||New Town||1550||5||1||1||1||0|
If you look back through this blog, you will see I have been doing my “pop up” free prize draw since the beginning – in fact I have been doing it for almost exactly eight years. You would think there wasn’t much for me to learn.
Well today I learned something.
If you’ve been anxious to you grow your Network Marketing business and followed my method (see the Cold Market tab above) you will know that when you stand in the street and offer people the chance to enter a free prize draw, you will naturally attract people like yourself – this is why it is important to dress as if you can afford whatever product it is you’re promoting and act as if you are a cheerful, friendly, open-minded sort of person like the ones you want to meet.
And this was fine – after all I am nothing if not well-dressed, cheerful, friendly and open-minded (and I know that comments are invited on this page but there’s no need to disagree!)
What I had not counted on was the fact that I was going to get older. When I started, I found that naturally I attracted people in their 50’s and 60’s – which was ideal since my business is in the utilities industry and such people tended to have big houses with big bills – and if they were wealthy enough to afford big houses, they got that way by being open-minded.
However something peculiar has happened recently. It happened so slowly – almost imperceptibly – that I didn’t notice. But gradually I have begun to attract people in their 70’s and 80’s. In fact recently I sat down with a man who waved aside my presentation, saying: “I’m too old for this. I’m going to lie down.”
And he did!
The fact is that I, too, have grown older and I live in a town where it seems the only people who can afford to own their own home are the ones who got on the housing ladder in the 1970’s. I was bemoaning this fact to my wife when suddenly she suggested an obvious but rather startling alternative: Try somewhere else.
Somewhere else? But I like my spot between the car park and the shops. I’m a fixture there – half an hour, two or three times a week, keeps me in appointments. Everybody knows me and so everybody stops eventually – if only because they reason that since they have seen me there so often, I must be doing something worthwhile.
But since change has to come, I got in the car and drove two miles down the road to the local New Town. The houses here are more modest but then the people are younger. In fact they’re so young they’re all out at work. The heart of the town was deserted – just a few forlorn-looking shops around a square consisting of nothing but some straggly trees and a handful of park benches.
I very nearly turned round and went home. But as you may know the rules for the Pop-Up Prize Draw call for half an hour or 100 No’s. If you have studied the statistics in this blog, you will know that in half an hour, I expect to get a No from between 40 and 60 people and a Yes from between four and six – and out of those yes’s, an appointment or two and a callback or two.
But if you look at the figures below you will see that in the New Town, in 36 minutes, I got five no’s, five yes’s, two appointments and a callback.
In other words it didn’t matter that there were hardly any people about. In fact it was precisely because there were hardly any people about that I did so well.
Take a look at this picture, I took it just after I finished. As you will see there are four people standing in the street chatting. You do not get people standing in the street chatting at my usual spot between the car park and the shops. Those people are rushing from the one to the other. Nobody has time to stop and chat.
So just for educational purposes, let us examine what happened: The first person didn’t want to stop. But the second had a dog. I have a dog and other dogs know this. We got talking. He was extremely skeptical. In fact to begin with he wouldn’t give me his name. If I had encountered him in my usual spot, it would have been all over before it started. But here there was no rush, the sun was shining. He was happy to stop and chat – and ten minutes later I had an appointment for Monday.
Look at the figures again: The next two people stopped – they didn’t want to do any more than fill in the form. But they stopped…
Then we come to number four. She was as old as me and, it transpired, she was already a customer – and a very contented one. So I have to ring her so she can give me the phone numbers for her son and daughter (and possibly all her friends as well).
And what happened while we were talking was that two other people came along to see what was going on – and then a third. Which led to another appointment because of course the woman who was a customer could now refer me to the others.
I have never experienced anything quite like it – and the figures speak for themselves. Obviously I shall have to see if it works again somewhere else – and doubtless it helped that the sun was shining. But it does seem to give the lie to the idea that a successful free prize draw in the street requires a bustling town center and a hundred No’s.
|Mar 13 15||The Square||1047 -1057||10||1||1||1||0|
|1057 – 1059||2||1||1||0||0|
|1103 – 1117||14||6||1||0||1|
|1117 – 1123||6||1||1||1||0|
They don’t make champagne glasses like they used to. Watch any old movie and when the loving couple raise a toast there is a delicious “ting” – and it’s not Cupid’s bowstring twanging.
I don’t know what happened to proper glasses. Maybe they just got spilled too easily and the modern flute design was kinder on carpets during the sort of parties where everyone stands up trying to balance a plateful of canapés on one hand while gesticulating extravagantly with the other.
We have been through several sets – from the cheapest IKEA variety to others so ridiculously tall that they won’t fit in the cupboard. They look good but when you touch them for a toast they just go “clunk”.
And so, while I was out the other day, looking for a birthday present for Tamsin, it came to me: Proper champagne glasses with a delicate ring to them would make the perfect gift.
And I live in the perfect place: A medieval market town positively stuffed with antique shops. I browsed around several. Some sold only jewellery; others only furniture…
I looked in charity shops – you can find all sorts of things in charity shops.
For someone who doesn’t really like shopping, I must say I enjoyed myself. It was one of those early spring days with some real warmth in the air, the flowers were out, everyone was smiling…
In Oxfam I took a look on the DVD shelf as I always do and picked out Mary Wesley’s Harnessing Peacocks with Sir John Mills.
You can tell that this was turning out to be one of those gentle days for pleasing oneself – except that the Network Marketer never switches off.
And so, as the young man in Oxfam gave me my one penny change, I said: “Do you like magic tricks?”
– Magic tricks?
“Yes, magic tricks. I can’t do it here because you’ve got a shop full of people and any one of them might want to buy something at any minute. But if you like I’ll show you how you can double your income by working an extra five hours a week. Does that sound good?”
– That sounds very good.
“OK, we’ll do it later over the phone. Put yourself in there.”
And I pushed my phone across the counter: “Just your name and your cell number…”
But he didn’t have any champagne glasses. I went back to the first of the antique shops. They had six but two of them didn’t quite match – but wait, they had another set in a second display case – and much prettier with a leaf pattern, probably 1920’s or 30’s.
We filled two of them with water and touched rims. They gave a clear, high, resonant “ting”.
I carried them home triumphantly, bubble-wrapped and packed in a floral carrier bag.
But not before:”Do you like magic tricks…”
So… six champagne glasses and two leads. Not bad for a day in the sun.
The Chairman of IBM famously predicted that there would be no need for more than five computers in the world.
Admittedly he was speaking in 1943 but how wrong can you be? I have just conducted an inventory and we have in our family: One desktop PC, five laptop PCs, four tablets and six smartphones.
I wouldn’t have counted them but for the fact is that I am the one who has to keep them all running. If you had any idea of my technological prowess, you would find this laughable. But in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king and I have discovered over the years that you can learn to do just about anything by looking it up on Google.
However, I did appear to be stumped by my wife’s iPad. For some time she had suspected that it was not charging properly – but on the other hand, she could not be entirely sure how many hours it spent logged on to our daughter’s Facebook account…
We thought these days were over when the daughter bought a Chromebook (putting up half the money from her paper round). But if the Chromebook is upstairs and Tamsin’s iPad is on the kitchen table, then we are no better off…
And so it was that after a good deal of trial and error I ended up in the computer store buying a new genuine Apple charger – and the story ends up as a tale of Network Marketing (as, of course, most of them do..)
The young woman behind the counter was one of those brisk and efficient salespeople who you would really like to have serving you if you just wanted to buy a charger and be on your way. But those of us involved in Multi-Level Marketing don’t want to be on our way, do we? We want to stay and chat. However one thing we do learn with experience is that some people are just not the chatty type.
You can attempt to start a conversation and you just know it’s not going to be reciprocated – and there’s nothing worse than embarrassing yourself by trying to press your card on someone who doesn’t want it.
…or at least that would be the obvious thought process. But the one thing I have learned in the five years of writing this blog is that the only certainty is that I don’t know.
And so I pushed a card across the counter anyway. I didn’t do it with any great conviction. In fact I think I may even have said something like: “This is about money – you’ll probably say it looks too good to be true – certainly that’s what I thought. But there is anyway. Have a look if you feel like it…”
The card wasn’t even a new one because the new ones were in my wallet and I had put that away while debating what to do. This was an old one from the inside pocket of my jacket – and since I hadn’t worn this particular jacket since last autumn, it was somewhat dog-eared and uninviting.#
I didn’t even attempt to ask her for her number – that would have been really embarrassing.
But in the same way that you can’t say the wrong thing to the right person, so you can’t give them the wrong card.
That evening, I received this email:
“Hi John, You gave your card to me earlier today.
“I’ve had a look at your website and followed the link to watch the introduction video and download the information pack and I’m interested in possibly becoming a distributor. I do, like you said yourself, feel a little skeptical though. I’ve been looking for something to make a little extra money but I’m not 100% sure that this would be for me. How has your experience been?
“Hope to hear from you soon.”
- To be sure of meeting the right kind of people, see The Cold Market Method at the top of the page
You know why Harry Potter is so successful? Because we all love the idea of being able to do magic. What wouldn’t you give to just say the magic words and change your world to the way you want it?
Maybe that’s why I love magic words so much – and there are magic words for Network Marketers.
Tom “Big Al” Shreiter is a master of coining magic words (how else do you think he can teach hundreds of thousands of us to “manipulate people’s minds for fun and profit”?)
And I like to think up magic phrases too. One of my favorites iis “Does that sound good?” It’s uncanny but whenever you say that to people, they seem to have a compulsion to agree that whatever you have just said does, indeed, sound good.
Of course, what comes before it is the important part. For instance after the usual preamble of complimenting the server in the restaurant or the telesales person in the call center, I would say: “You know I’m always looking for people who would like to make an extra income alongside what they do already…”
Then I would add “…does that sound good?”
But no matter how good it might sound, the next thing I had to do was “sell” the idea of me sending them some information because I hadn’t mentioned that part yet.
What seems to work so much better is putting the whole thing together so that they don’t get to say anything at all until it is in reply to the “does that sound good?”
Here’s how it comes out: “I’m always looking for people who would like to make an extra income alongside what they do already. If that appeals to you I could send you some information. Does that sound good?”
Then you hand over your phone; and they type in their details. People are now so used to doing this that they don’t even think twice about it (which they might do if a stranger produced a pen and paper and asked for their name, number and email address…)
Try it and have some fun!
Here’s something you didn’t know about me: I used to be a door-to-door salesman.
Long before I heard of Network Marketing – even before I was a newspaperman – when I was 18 years old, in fact, I worked for a home improvements company, knocking on doors and trying to sell central heating to poor immigrants who didn’t really know what central heating was.
This target market was no accident because what I was selling wasn’t really central heating at all (although it cost the same). In reality it was nothing more than electric radiators linked to a central time switch.
And in fact I didn’t sell it at all. All I did was go up and down the street knocking on doors pretending I was conducting a survey about central heating and if there was any spark of interest I would run to the end of the street and get the salesman who was waiting in his Jaguar fast asleep.
I did it for six weeks and then resigned on a point of principle because the company refused to let a family out of the contract after the mother had to give up her job to be with her child in hospital.
Maybe this has something to do with my aversion to door-to-door sales. But the subject has come up again. A lot of my colleagues are having a good deal of success with what we call Neighbor Letters. The idea is that you drop 20 letters in nearby houses and then go back the next day to see if people have any questions. Yesterday a colleague told me that his wife was getting one appointment from every four houses where people answered the door.
I have tried it several times over the years but have never had so much as a spark of interest. In fact most people made it very plain that they regarded my presence on their doorstep as an intrusion. I wonder if I would get a different reaction if I was an attractive young woman instead of a crusty old man.
Nevertheless I have been considering giving it another try (I’ll try anything). In particular, you may have notice that my last blog post I described how the last two appointments from my prize draw were both cancelled.
But then I rang Malcolm.
Malcolm turned up on my computer screen because his cellphone contract is about to run out.
What I find interesting is that – partly because of my somewhat haphazard record keeping – Malcolm knew more about me than I did about him. I could see that I had first recorded his details on December 17th 2012 but that was about all.
“We met me in the street,” he told me. “Pure chance it was but you were doing your competition and I had a go and then you came to see me and here we are all this time later. And it’s funny that you should call because you left me with a DVD and I played it only a couple of weeks ago.”
He agreed that now might be a very good time to look at ways of making some extra money – another £500 – £600 a month would make the most tremendous difference – all he has is the state Old Age Pension and something from his “little part-time job”.
“I don’t know if I’ll be any good,” he said. “But I’ll certainly have a look…”
And then he said something that made my day, the sort of thing that I remember when people look down their noses at Multi-Level Marketing and particularly at the idea of standing in the street with a Free Prize Draw.
What he said was this: “And John, before you go… Can I just say thank you? Thank you for thinking of me and thank you for staying in touch.”
If you would like to know more about meeting new people through a Free Prize Draw, see www.networkmarketinginthecoldmarket.com
One of the delights of doing a prize draw in the street is that from time to time a fellow Network Marketer with my company will come up and surprise me.
“So you really do it?” they will say.
Yes I really do – and I suppose it’s natural that people are skeptical: After all, there are still people who believe the Moon landings were staged on a Hollywood back lot and only this week an learned cleric popped up on YouTube to say the Earth stood still while the Sun whizzed around it.
So, yes, I do on a regular basis stand in the street with my prize draw forms and get appointments.
It was therefore with my usual supreme confidence that I said “Of course” when an eminent colleague called to say he wanted to come and watch me. When I say “eminent”; he was someone whose name I knew: One of the company’s earliest leaders. He had been a trainer when I was (metaphorically) in short pants. He had made a big success of the business but then gone away – which he subsequently regretted. Now he was back and looking for the best way to get started in the Cold Market.
I was flattered – not least by the fact that he was prepared to drive a hundred miles each way (which is a long way in my small country).
So we started. I walked around in my small circle between the car park and the shops and the people streamed past and ignored me.
“No thanks,” they said.
“I’m all right,” they told me.
I kept smiling and stuck to my script, secure in the knowledge that if I kept this up for half an hour one of two things would happen:
1: Someone would stop and give me an appointment.
2: No-one would stop, I would get to 100 “No’s” and I could go and have a cup of coffee.
I admit that I wasn’t being as efficient as usual because I kept stopping to give a running commentary to my eminent colleague. So it was a full 27 minutes before the first person stopped – and sure enough I am going to see her on Tuesday. My colleague and I cleaned up the last three minutes and then off we went to the coffee shop and I rewarded myself with an almond croissant to go with my cappuccino (he was paying).
But I couldn’t help thinking he wasn’t impressed. After all the stats looked like this:
|Feb 16 15||Car Park||1210||27||46||1||1||0|
It was something that troubled me over the following two days as I became heavily involved in planting a new hedge at the bottom of the garden but on Thursday I was setting off to walk the dog and wondered: Should I add half an hour to the expedition to allow for the Law of Averages to rectify the situation (and of course the answer to that sort of situation should always be “yes”.)
So here are the statistics for Thursday:
|Feb 19 15||Car Park||1013||9||10||1||1||0|
Rather better, I think you’ll agree. The first one was a young Mom with a child in a stroller and two others hanging on the sides. I’m going to see her and her husband on Monday evening (although I still haven’t managed to get him on the phone yet). Then almost immediately there was a family with teenage children. They are quite happy for a visit but live in Norwich where, happily, my 18-year-old son is at University. So he’s going to see them.
And finally an elderly lady gave me an appointment for next Thursday but never makes any decisions without her son’s approval. I used to dread this situation but not any more…
I rang the son almost immediately and made an appointment to go and see him on Monday so that if it’s good enough for him on Monday, it will be good enough for his Mom on Thursday.
For a while, I was feeling rather at peace with the world – until the son left a message last night to cancel and the mother did the same this morning…
But never mind. They’ll both get a call in a year’s time. I once had someone who took five years to see the light.
My eminent colleague would understand about that.
Isn’t it odd how things turn out? I think that’s why I love Network Marketing. You just never know what’s going to happen next.
If you are familiar with my business you will know that we supply people with cellphone services. This is great in theory – after all everyone has a cellphone. In fact the other day I asked a roomful of people “Who has more than one cellphone?” Half the room put up their hands.
“More than two?…More than three?” there were still people with their hands in the air.
The trouble is that some people are not as technically advanced as their handsets. So it was no surprise when a customer left a message saying she had received her Unlock Code but it had come with completely incomprehensible instructions.
“Would you like me to come and help you?” I offered. I wasn’t particularly keen on driving ten miles and spending the best part of a morning sorting her out but the theory goes like this: If you are nice to your customers and do everything you can to help them, they will be loyal to you for life and recommend you to all their friends.
Like I say, that’s the theory. But this was one of those people who had said they wanted to try the services before they gave any referrals – and it transpired that they still wanted to try them. To be perfectly honest, the trial was not going particularly well. I certainly couldn’t unlock the phone. Come to that nor could the technical guy at Head Office when we called him.
It’s such an old phone…” said the customer.
“Well you could always have a new one,” said I, suddenly sensing a solution (not to mention a two-year fixed-term contract). Five minutes later she had ordered a new iPhone 6.
This is what you call a result.
Full of confidence, I suggested that since – as she would recall – we do not pay for expensive newspaper or TV advertising, all new members get to choose the next ten people who will be invited to join…
But no, she still wanted to see how she got on…
With an only slightly frozen smile, I said my goodbyes and left. All I had to do now was drive the ten miles home.
But first I had to turn the car round – and the obvious place to do this was in the turning area thoughtfully provided by the developer who had built two new “executive-style” homes right opposite my customer’s 500-year-old property.
It was only then that I discovered, hidden from the road, both houses had a full array of solar panels at the back. As students of the Cold Market Method* will know, I have a little note that I pop through the letterbox of any house with solar panels.
Now this might not suit your Multi-Level Marketing business if you are not in the utilities industry. You may find that you have to look for some other sign that you have stumbled on a hot prospect. But whatever it is you can help people with, you should find you get one or two replies from every ten notes. So, delivering two at the same time should give me a one-in-five chance of getting a call.
Except, of course, the odds were now weighted in my favour because the lady with the locked phone had not played her part in giving me any referrals at all. This meant I was owed a bit of good luck.
Good News: In the next half hour I had two calls saying: “You put a note through my door…”
Bad news: One was already a member and had a very good relationship with the distributor who had signed her up.
Good News: The other turned out to know all about me and was pleased to hear from me (when I looked him up, it turned out I had a been to see him before he moved – in 2009 would you believe).
Bad News: He’s happy as he is – although ready to hear from me again after our annual convention in March when I may have something that will interest him.
Now, if you’re sitting on bad news – even bad news with a hopeful rider, it is only a matter of time before the good news arrives.
It did so the next morning, when the original customer turned out to be so pleased with her iPhone that she sent me an email asking me to call her father.
I love Network Marketing.
*For more about notes through the door, see the Cold Market Method tab above.