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.
I’ve just been challenged to post this on here. There is absolutely nothing to say about it that is remotely interesting. What it does demonstrate is that in half an hour while walking the dog and buying a permanent marker from W.H.Smiths, I spoke to four people and one agreed to my going to see her to have a cup of tea and show her my home-based business.
The point I suppose I’m trying to make is that most Network Marketers can probably find half an hour most days…
Someone wrote on my company’s Facebook page the other day saying that she had been out in her local High Street offering passers-by her free prize draw and not a single person had stopped. She was despondent. She wondered if she was saying the wrong thing. Was it just her…
Of course the Facebook group promptly swamped her with supportive comments: “Don’t give up…Hang in there… Go for No…”
So I thought I should post my results from yesterday: As you will see below: 29 minutes, 44 people, three forms and not so much as a callback. So I should put that down as “weighting the Law of Averages in my favour?”
(If you’re thinking: Had he waited one more minute and made up the full half hour, it might have been different, I should tell you that is exactly what I did – but didn’t see the point in wasting a form by writing across the top if there was going to be nothing to write underneath.)
Anyway, what could I say to this Facebook friend? “Yes, I had a rotten day too… it’s like that sometimes…just keep going…”
But all that comes under the heading of platitudes and there’s nothing more infuriating if you’re having a rotten time than platitudes – my mother used to be very good at them (something her daughter-in-law reminds me about even now.)
Anyway the point of all this is to tell you about Joan. I have just looked to see if I posted my results on the day I met Joan but it was December and, as you will see, I only made one post in the whole of December* and that was on the 16th – and I met Joan on the 11th.
I have her form in front of me now and all it tells me is that she agreed to enter the draw between 1126 and 1131 and she was the third person I approached after arriving at my usual spot by the car park.
I went to see her on the 15th. She joined, taking all our services and gave me ten referrals. Of the ten, four agreed to see me and three have joined – again taking all the services. The fourth didn’t join but did give me four referrals. Of the other three, two have given me ten referrals each although one cancelled; but from their referrals one has joined so far (again taking all the services and giving me ten referrals). I have just called the last batch, got through to four of them and have one appointment so far. And of course once the services have gone live for the person who didn’t give referrals, I shall be collecting ten there as well…
So what I suppose I’m driving at is that according to the Law of Averages, I deserved a rotten day – just as my Facebook friend now deserves a good one.
*The reason for only one blog post in December is because I was finishing the third edition of the book (and in particular the very troublesome audio-book which now comes with it). The whole program is currently available under the Cold Market Method tab above – and now I can get back to business!
How crazy is this: I sat down to write something because I’ll have some big news in the next couple of weeks and I want everyone to hear it so I need to get the blog back onto the front page of Google. But then I thought: “There’s nothing worse than writing something just for the sake of writing it. You’ll just turn people off – I might as swell outsource the job to a copywriter on the other side of the world who’s not even writing English as a first language.
So instead I decided just to upload the figures – after all it had been a very dull day with hardly anyone about. Indeed, as you will see, in the first 20 minutes, I talked to only 18 people which is well below par.
But then, on looking closely, it turns out that this may have been a very productive 18 minutes. It’s all coming back…
The very second person I spoke to was not passing by at all. He was waiting for a lift.
“Here you are,”I said. “While you’re waiting you could enter my free prize draw…”
“What’s it about,” he wanted to know.
So without filling in the form, I turned it over and read him the script. I was going to say “to cut a long story short” but it can’t have been a very long story because the whole process took just seven minutes. By the end of it I had established that my new friend was recently returned after living for many years in the Philippines, had been unable to find a job (he’s in his mid-fifties) had never considered having his own business – and is now coming to see me on the 30th.
Shortly after that a young Mom walked past pushing two children in a stroller. She didn’t want to enter the draw but I said: “Ah, I see you have children. I always give one of these to people with children…”
I gave her a brochure and we got talking and it turned out that her father was a very happy customer. She had always been intrigued by the idea of the club but had never joined herself. We ended up filling in the form after all. On top of that she would rather stay at home with her children then juggle childcare to keep her job and I must ring her tomorrow.
So I suppose it must have been the last form that made me think this had been a dull day: The last form has no name and address filled in – just 38 marks showing the people who walked past without entering the draw.
I think what I’m struggling to say is that in Network Marketing there is no such thing as a dull day…
If you’re good with people, you’ll be great at Network Marketing.
That’s what they always say – and by that standard, I should be useless. My problem, you see, is that I have tremendous difficulty in remembering people’s names.
Actually that’s not quite right: I have tremendous difficulty in remembering anything at all about them. My wife despairs and says it’s because I’m not interested in other people – but then she can meet someone new and, within five minutes, knows the names and attributes of their entire family, where they grew up and has identified half a dozen mutual friends.
I claim this is a perfectly normal male trait. My father was no better and I once worked for a boss who called everyone in the office “Matey” or “Love”.
Me? I get my own children mixed up.
So it was that the other weekend I was at our company’s seminar in Manchester and, at the gala dinner the night before, by way of polite conversation, I asked a fellow distributor whether he had been to the event before.
He said: “I run it.”
Today could have been equally awkward. I was out by the car park doing my half-an-hour of prize draw when a woman came up and said: “Hello, how are you?”
I swear I had never seen her before in my life. This meant I had a choice: Either I could cover myself in embarrassment by saying: “I’m terribly sorry. I really should know your name. This is awful…”
Or I could take refuge in the script.
Maybe this is why I am so attached to the script. The script is like a suit of armor. The script is like Harry Potter’s Bezoar: An antidote to almost anything.
Because with a script you assume a role – and if you stick to it, the other person will have no choice but to assume their role – which is why, within ten seconds this woman who had appeared to know me was now behaving like a total stranger and entering the draw (which of course involved her telling me here name and address).
Now we have an appointment for February 4th.
I have no doubt that if I had known her name, we had chatted for a minute or two and then I had suggested I go round to show her my MLM business, she would have said: “No it’s fine. We’re all right thanks…”
The trouble with writing an international blog is that you have to explain the jokes first. Here is an explanation of the British Railways joke: Every autumn (fall) dozens of trains are cancelled because of “leaves on the line”.
One year – decades ago in the days when people were still surprised when train services were cancelled – a newspaper reporter asked why a train service should be cancelled because of leaves on the line – after all, this was October and it should come as no surprise that the leaves fall off the trees – and since trees often grow alongside railway lines, it follows that some of them may indeed fall onto the rails. So why, suddenly, should this be a problem?
The response from the Network Rail press office was the now legendary: “They were the wrong kind of leaves.”
Well last week we had the wrong kind of wind. I had been to one of my company’s many “Kick Off” seminars. These are put on around the country in the New Year to get everyone motivated after Christmas and I had always wanted to go to the one in Manchester. I should explain here that I live in the South East of the UK and Manchester is in the North West – 227 miles or 4hrs 15mins driving away – and probably two tanks of gas (petrol).
Alternatively I could go on the train which would take five hours nine minutes including the two changes and travelling on the tube (subway) from one London terminus to another. Moreover because of my great age, I could go all the way there and back for £36 which is about half a tank of fuel (gas, petrol).
It all went terribly well. The seminar was brilliant, the train journey there was effortless and nothing is more enjoyable than spending 24 hours in the company of happy smiley Network Marketers. The only fly in the ointment was that while all this was going on, the wind was blowing. The wrong kind of wind… the kind that blows down overhead power cables on railway lines.
On the Monday morning, I arrived at the train station to find that three trains had been cancelled – including mine. This meant that all the passengers who had been hoping to travel from Manchester to London were now mooning about the concourse waiting to squeeze onto the fourth train.
I was at the front of the line (queue). I secured myself a window seat and put my bag on the one next to me. I was prepared to do all I could to stop anyone sitting next to me. I’m British you see. The British do not like anyone sitting next to them unless they are related or have seen each other either naked or drunk.
Obviously this needs explaining too: Recently I happened to see a website written by Americans which was devoted to all the weird things they had noticed about Britain. One correspondent complained about the racism in London: “No-one would sit next to me on the subway.”
It had to be explained to her that sitting next to someone on any form of public transport in Britain is not at all polite – and the British, if nothing else, are scrupulously polite. Only if every other seat is taken should a newly embarked passenger approach someone already seated – and then only with a lengthy preamble along the lines of: “Excuse me…. is this seat taken…do you mine…awfully sorry…terrible crowd…and so on…”
Which is more or less what the man with the banjo case said after walking the length of the train from Manchester.
Only after he had settled himself with further apologies and jammed his instrument between his knees did I feel friendly enough to nod at the case and say: “Banjo”.
You see that’s the trouble with making conversation. It’s so easy to offend people.
“Banjo!” he retorted as if I had said box of scorpions. “It’s a mandolin.”
It turned out that he was a mandolin maker. He made them to order and took two or three months over each. They were hugely expensive maybe £2,000 each!
I agreed that they must be fabulous – and obviously there were people who were prepared to pay that much for their perfect instrument… but meanwhile I was calculating that if it took three months to make one, that was an income of only £666 a month – even before you deducted the cost of the wood, most of which seemed to come from the most inaccessible places on the planet.
We chatted on – about guitars costing £10,000 and how my clarinet teacher had insisted I buy a better instrument and then, when we were somewhere south of Market Harborough, he asked what I did.
I told him: “I help people.”
– Help people?
“Well you know how sometimes people love what they do – they have a real passion for it and they want to keep on doing it even though they don’t get paid as much as they really need? I’m thinking of teachers and nurses… gardeners sometimes…people in really specialized occupations who would probably carry one anyway even if they got paid nothing at all? Well what I do is help those people earn some more money without it interfering with what they love to do. In fact sometimes what they love to do can even help them earn even more.”
And then I shut up and waited. I watched some cows out of the window. I studied the extraordinary hair of the woman in front. It was purple.
Presently my companion said: “How does that work?”
The reason I tell this story is because this is an example of the best way to approach someone about our business. But see how long it took – about two hours before I said a word about money – and of course I have no idea if he’s interested; I’m due to ring him tomorrow.
But that is exactly why I am so keen on my method as described in the Cold Market tab at the top of this page. You cannot assume you are going to spend two hours sitting next to someone while you wait for the right moment – so why not spend half an hour talking to 70 people and seeing which of them is interested. As you will see from the table below, when I did this on Friday the answer was three.
Astute students of Network Marketing in the Cold Market will have spotted that although I have three people to call back, I only completed two forms. This is because one of the people came up to me as if she had known me all her life and started telling me all about her children and their homework and sports and her hospital appointment. I had no idea who she was and eventually was forced to confront my embarrassment and ask. It turned out that she had already entered the draw and we were supposed to be getting together to discuss her becoming a distributor but I had missed a digit from her phone number (we put that right). Now we’ll be meeting up next week when she’s been cleared by the doctors.