Boring post

A reader contacted me recently to say how much inspiration they received from reading about the small details of a typical day and how a Network Marketing business can be fitted into it.

Frankly I only bother with this stuff if something unusual comes up – after all why would anyone be interested in what happened today. Anyway Tony, this is for you:

There was a bit of confusion over who was going to take our 18-year-old to catch the Athletics Club coach to Lincoln and I had stayed up late last night so it seemed reasonable to go back to bed afterwards – which meant my day didn’t really start until 10.00 a.m.

Then our 13-year-old was very rude about finding the power cable for the X-box (it was in his room) and without it our 15-year-old couldn’t employ technology to bridge the language barrier with the 14-year-old French student we have staying this week.

Result: 13-year-old left in a huff to go long-boarding with his friends and (deliberately?) left his helmet behind. I set off in the car to deliver it and found no sign of them on the usual hill. I determined to lay in wait.

It so happened that I had delivered Written Invitations in this neighborhood so I spent 15 minutes following up. The second door was answered by a woman in an apron. Since this was a big house, I read her the Magic Minute instead of the Magic 30 seconds. Here is what she said (from memory, admittedly): “Look, I don’t want to put you off and I really would like to know more about it but this really isn’t a good time. We arrived home half an hour ago from Florida where we’ve been visiting my son for two weeks and we’re just having breakfast…”

So I wrote down her name and cell number on my street log with a note to call her on Monday or Thursday evening (and that reminds me, I must put her in the Database with a reminder).

Then Tamsin rang to tell me that the 13-year-old was only out on a penny-board not a long-board and so, didn’t need his helmet (she knows these things).  This meant the search could be called off and I could return to my letter to the insurance company informing them that their proposal had missed out a speeding conviction. Since it was such a short letter and looked a bit offhand, I thought it would be nice to add a friendly postscript.

So I wrote:

P.S. I’m always looking for good people from the Insurance industry who would like to earn an extra income using the skills they have in their spare time. Contact me if you’re interested.

There now. It must be lunchtime. I always look forward to Saturday lunch…


I just thought I’d share this with you to show what’s possible in the Cold Market if you just follow a simple routine.

I am not halfway through my morning cup of coffee and already I have logged four new people into my database. They all came from half an hour of prize draw in the street yesterday (see the statistics below).

For the record here are the details:

1: “Would you call my wife tomorrow”.

2: Appointment for Monday 11.00 a.m.

3. Just exchanged contracts on a new house. Check in a month for a moving date and – most important – get a cellphone number.

4: Elderly, tired and didn’t want to stand for a two minute video so call for appointment today.

Date Venue Time Minutes People Entries Appointments Callbacks
04.02.16 Car park 1235 -1245 10 16 1   1
    1245 -1254 9 2 1 1  
    1254 – 1301 7 1 1   1
    1233 -1235 2 1 1   1
    1235 -1236 1 0 0    
Total     29 20 4 1 3


Can you a fit a Network Marketing business into a busy life (even if all your friends give you the cold shoulder)?


What works

We had a home meeting round at my place tonight. The prize draw came up. A colleague revealed that he had spent six hours in B&Q offering shoppers the chance of a fabulous prize if they filled in his questionnaire – and he didn’t get a single taker.

Now, not only had he needed to give up six hours of his time but he had to pay for it too because B&Q is Britain’s best-known do-it-yourself superstore. You can’t just rock up there with a promotional stand and start pitching their customers without giving them a cut (and of course they don’t wait until you’ve got a customer before they take it – you have to pay up front … which meant my friend was down by probably £20 or £30).

And I know how long an hour can be in one of those places. However, in all the hours I spent there, I never walked away without a single form filled in. All the same I can believe it.

In Network Marketing as in any other business, what worked once does not necessarily work forever. We used to send text messages to numbers from the Yellow Pages and get a 20% response rate – not any more…

And maybe doing a prize draw in the street will not work forever. But it did work today. This was not a planned exercise. In fact it was hardly a conscious decision at all: I needed to retrieve my bank card from the shop where I had left it, the dog needed a walk and it was due to rain after lunch.

As you will see below, I devoted just 30 minutes to the draw. The first two people weren’t interested – and on closer inspection I decided I wasn’t interested in them either. But then a woman came along pushing a supermarket trolley which insisted on turning right.

“It wants to go that way!” I called out. She looked and saw me smiling. She smiled too and made the sort of remark people reach for when inanimate objects take over.

“Never mind,” I went on. “I have just the thing for you. It’s a free prize draw…”

We made an appointment for Thursday and I would like to claim  it as proof of my superior system. But as I advocate in The Cold Market Academy it was necessary for me to ring her husband and read him what I had just read to her. When I did so this evening, he wasn’t interested.

Ah well; as you can see, it was only two “No’s” later that I got my next “Yes”. This was a woman who had started off with a polite “No thank you” but changed her mind when I played the charity card. This time it was her idea that I call her husband (he deals with all the bills) and when I did, he was just on his way out. He was quite apologetic about it. He asked if I wouldn’t mind calling again tomorrow evening.

After that it was just another 26 No’s to finish off the 30 minutes.

The point I would like to make is that the whole exercise barely interrupted my day,  cost me precisely nothing and may yet have gained me a customer.




Date Venue Time Minutes People Entries Appointments Callbacks
01.02.16 Car park 1212 – 1217 5 6 1
1217 – 1220 3 3 1
1220 – 1226 6 1 1 1
1226 – 1230 4 3 1 1
1230 – 1242 12 26 0
Total 30 39 4 1 1

Pebbles in the pot

Largo photoThis is me before the start of the 1988 Single-handed Transatlantic race – posing for the Evening Standard photographer. I was a newspaper reporter in those days and the paper had given me the time off in return for reports about my experiences on the way.

It took me 32 days and I came 65th out of 96 starters. I was rather pleased with myself – at least I got there.

The reason I mention this is because of the post a couple of days ago (The Alternative, Jan 30th) which mentioned sailing – and I hope that something I learned then will stand me in good stead as a Network Marketer today.

Now, you may remember that I said I had qualified for my company’s January prize. To do that I had to sign up four top-class customers and four new distributors. Well I got the distributors – in fact I recruited five but out of my six customers one was second class (nothing wrong with him but he couldn’t  take enough services to be top-class) and another cancelled – which left me with exactly four. Four is enough but it’s not enough for a safety margin. One thing I’ve learned about these competitions is that you always need a safety margin.

In fact to be sure of four, you need six because if you have five and one cancels you end up biting your nails hoping another one doesn’t do the same. Six is comfortable. Six is good.

And today was the last day of the month. How did I know my fourth customer was not going to cancel. I didn’t think she would: I had done everything right. I even sent her a card to arrive the next morning. I think she liked me. I felt fairly certain she would stick.

But how could I be sure?

Today it occurred to me that what I needed was a “pebble in the pot”.

The idea of the Pebble in the Pot was something I came up with more than 40 years ago when I started serious single-handed sailing. If you were a reader of Yachting Monthly or Yachting World in the 70’s and 80’s you will know how this happened (sailing from Poole to Brittany and finding the landfall covered in fog, I kept going and ended up in Spain). It took three or four days and for the first time I experienced that strange sensation of being completely content with being completely alone in the middle of nowhere.

This is when you can spend hours at a time just looking at the sea. An entire afternoon can pass without you having any idea what you’ve done with it.

And this, of course, is dangerous: It is all too easy to slip into an endless reverie during which the boat sails on, placidly heading for who knows where. And a boat sailing for 24 hours a day is a breeding ground for small problems which – left unchecked – can rapidly develop into disastrous ones.

But no matter how fastidious the skipper might be about watching for chafe and tightening shackles and scanning the horizon, he still needs a measure of luck. I found mine in the shape of an enormous metal cylinder. It was about 20 feet long, covered in rust and barnacles and streaming long skeins of seaweed. It looked like some part of some bigger structure and it was floating just beneath the surface as I sailed swiftly past it at a distance of about three feet.

I suppose that when I talk about the luck of finding it, what I really mean is the luck of not hitting it. If I had run into it – powering along as I was with a hatful of wind behind me – it would have punched a hole in the hull that would have sent the boat to the bottom in a matter of minutes.

Thank God I had been putting pebbles in the pot.

You see the pot is an imaginary earthenware container that looks a little like a miniature chamber pot but without the handle – and every time I got up out of my warm bunk to investigate a strange noise on deck or stood up to have a proper look round instead of just glancing up while lying on the foredeck watching the dolphins play under the bow – then I was tossing an imaginary pebble into the pot… for luck.

As long as there were enough pebbles in the pot, then to my way of thinking, we would sail past the dangers instead of into them. And when we did, of course the pot had to be emptied into the sea and the whole game had to begin again.

And so today I went out to put pebbles in my Network Marketing pot. It was Sunday and rather damp and there were a dozen things I would rather have done (and dozen more I certainly should have done). But from lunchtime until five O’clock I followed up Written Invitations.

And no, I did not get another customer. I did make two appointments for next week and I have half a dozen people to call in the future.

But more than that I filled up the pot – right to the brim.

The Alternative

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you may be wondering why it stopped. If you are particularly observant, you may wonder why the Cold Market Academy page disappeared for a few weeks.

The reason is that I have been going through a crisis of confidence. A few weeks ago I was taken aside by one of the top leaders in my company and told that what I have been teaching was not helpful: I was told that while I might be able to stand in the street and talk to strangers other people could  not. The theory was that because I have sailed round the world (not quite true) and I am a former war correspondent (true but less impressive than it sounds) then I must be without fear (definitely not true). Consequently other people cannot be expected to do what I do.

Instead other people should be taught to talk to their family and friends.

Since the top leader has a business about three times the size of mine, I didn’t argue.

Then two things happened to restore my faith in myself.

First of all I attended my company’s big New Year event – I expect all Network Marketing companies do something like this – get everyone together and stoke up the enthusiasm after Christmas.

It was only a day in a somewhat industrial-style conference center but a number of people came up to me and thanked me for my teaching and the inspiration they have received on this site. Others spoke with excitement about the Cold Market Academy and what it had done for their businesses…

I can only call this humbling. I had no idea anyone took it all so seriously (I know I take it seriously, but I thought that was just me…)

Then today I qualified once again for my company’s latest prize. I’m sure you understand the compulsion to win the prizes – whether it’s a matter of demonstrating what’s possible or just for good old-fashioned personal glory, we like the prizes.

The trouble was that having qualified for it (and more to the point, having told people I had qualified for it) one of my customers cancelled. Quick: The end of the competition was just four days away. I needed some more customers…

And that meant I needed some more appointments.

I didn’t think “where will I get them? Who can I ring?” I didn’t get out a list of people I had already called or who I was too scared to call in the first place. I just marched out into the street with my prize draw forms. I followed up on written invitations delivered in the past. In other words I went out into the Cold Market and put in some activity knowing full well that at some point it would yield results.

It did. On Wednesday I made two appointments for Friday afternoon. On Thursday morning both of them cancelled for perfectly good reasons. I went out again. I made two more appointments this time for Friday morning – next-door neighbours as it happens and back-to-back appointments.

The first one signed up. The second was very apologetic but his wife wanted to leave it a few weeks.

I admit, I would feel safer if they’d both signed – then I’d have one in hand. So I’ll be going out again tomorrow just to make sure…

The point I’m trying to make here that I didn’t know any of these people. I didn’t have to worry about having names on a list or how many times I had called them. In other words I didn’t need to have aching limbs as I tried to find people that I needed see.

I just went and talked to some new people and if they weren’t interested I went and talked to some more new people – and sure enough eventually I found someone who said Yes.

That is the beauty of the Cold Market – and that is why the academy is there at the top of the page once again for those who need it.

I hope you don’t. I really do hope that your friends and family look at your opportunity with an open mind and are happy to buy from you.

But if not, here is an alternative. It’s not a Better Way. It’s just an alternative way. Sometimes we all need an alternative.

Rabbits, pies and technology

“Well it’s not pies.”

The three of us looked at the sales assistant’s stomach. There was no doubt about it: She was about seven months gone.

I had noticed her as soon as I walked into the pet superstore – well you couldn’t really avoid noticing her. She helped me find the two-for-one packs of hay (as you can see, we now have three rabbits in the house).


But the important thing about prospecting is timing. Some people are good at it. I’m not. In fact the reason I have made such a study of the Cold Market is because of the discovery early on in my Network Marketing career that determination and enthusiasm are not enough.

Determination and enthusiasm will just make people climb out of the window. You need timing as well. So it was not until I reached the till that the correct moment arrived. The young mother-to-be reappeared. Here’s what I said:

“I can’t help noticing – I mean, you have to notice, don’t you.” She laughed and cradled her bump. The young man scanning the bar codes laughed too.

|I floundered on: “The problem is what to say. I mean you could say ‘When’s it due?’ and then find that you’re talking to a girl who just has big bones…”

She laughed again – fortunately – and patted her bump with pride: “Purely temporary – I hope!”

I carried on with my agenda: “So what’s the plan? Are you coming back to work after maternity leave?”

She hoped so. It sounded as though she was really looking forward to it. So I said: “But would you prefer not to have to come back to work but still go on getting paid?”

Now she was really enthusiastic. You could tell. At the back of her mind there was clearly a tiny point of anxious curiosity about what it would really be like to leave her new baby with her Mum or whoever…

I continued – the determination and enthusiasm now safely obscured: “That’s what I do… show working Mums how they don’t need to go back to their old job if they’d rather stay at home. Tell you what. Put your number in there.” I handed her my phone. “I’ll give you a ring…and when would be a good time for a chat?”

Thursday is her day off…

And all of this might have been a huge success. It might even have put an end to my perennial moan that if I start chatting to people for no apparent reason someone calls the police. But then technology took a hand…

Now, I should explain that this is not my first time asking people to put their numbers into my phone. You’re much more likely to get a number this way than if you whip out a notebook and as if you’re about to arrest them. The difficulty arises because you need to make your own notes on their entry and if you haven’t saved it first, the whole lot can disappear – and if you have saved it first, you’ll never find them again unless you’ve first checked their name (and, more importantly,  you can remember it so you can find the entry again).

Which I did – and getting back into the car, typed it into the search field to find…. nothing.

Rude word: I must have forgotten to save her entrty. There was only one thing to do – go back and play the “daft old fool baffled by technology” card.

It worked. She was quite enjoying this. She tapped away again.

… and the same thing happened.

Very rude word.

It is at this point that I realize I am in danger of looking a fool – and you’ll never build a Network Marketing business if people think you’re a fool. On the other hand there really wasn’t any way I could extricate myself. If I couldn’t remember the number I might just as well look a fool – what had I got to lose?

So I went back once more – and this time the young man on the till wrote out the number on a slip of paper as his colleague keyed it into the phone all over again.

She now occupies three entries on the database – but I’m not throwing away that piece of paper!


Prize draw activity:

Date Venue Time Minutes People Entries Appointments Callbacks
14.12.15 Car park 1504 – 1512 8 1 1 1
1512 – 1525 13 8 1 1
1525 – 1531 6 2 1 1
15311 – 1540 9 11 1
Total 36 22 4 1 2

The dog again

Already I can sense the outrage building. Have you ever seen a more pitiful animal?.. Those pathetic brown eyes… full of longing… the body language which says: “I am going to make myself small and insignificant because I am unworthy and neglected….”

Send for the 20151208_140041-2RSPCA! Lock up the callous owner!

It all started with a delegate at the Cold Market Academy live event on Sunday who suggested that the main reason I get appointments from doing a prize draw in the street is because I have the dog with me. People come and pat the dog.  I am little more than appendage – my prize draw, just  a ticket to canine approval.

Like anyone with a successful Network Marketing business, I resent the suggestion that I have some advantage not available to the average rep. And so today I distanced myself from the main attraction by several paces: While I took up my position by the fish stall, the dog remained tied to a drainpipe outside the supermarket.

And as you can see below it took just five minutes to get an appointment.

Then the sky went black and the rain pelted down – and I am not so horrible as to leave the dog tied up in the open to get soaked.

Anyway, I think the point was made….


Date Venue Time Minutes People Entries Appointment Callbacks
09.12.15 Car Park 1400 – 1405 5 7 1 1  
Total     5 7 1 1  

Everybody’s after your money

doorThis is my new customer’s front door – it was a good thing they came from a referral.

Interestingly, the lady who referred them came from a prize draw and this was the second name on her list of ten back in December last year. At the time, according the notes in my database, these new people had declined the offer of an assessment to see how much they could save on their household bills.

But this year they agreed. And it turns out that my Network Marketing business can save them £883 a year – hardly surprising since they had never, ever changed their utility suppliers.

The suppliers, as you might imagine, responded to such loyalty by leaving them on the most expensive tariffs while offering huge discounts to new customers.

But then “We like to know where we are,” was what they said.

What this meant was that not only were they averse to anyone coming to their door uninvited but also they were very suspicious of new ideas in general – such as Direct Debits and Budget Plans.

“Everybody’s after your money these days,” was another well-worn theme.

So you will not be surprised to learn that, after a lengthy explanation and any number of questions, they agreed to “think about it”.

However, if you imagine the whole expedition was a lost cause, let me tell you that they did indeed sign up – although only after demanding that I show them written proof that they would be able to cancel.

… which they did. This morning.

And it was my fault. You see, last night when I put on my coat to walk the dog, what should I find in my pocket but the thank-you card they should have received the morning after the assessment – after they had “slept on it”.

Instead their only communication from the Network Marketing company had been an email – and we all know that the internet is full of people after your money.

A hand-written card might have made all the difference…

So anyway, back they go into the database. What do you suppose they will say next year?


* Gathering ten referrals at a time will feature prominently in tomorrow’s Cold Market Academy (book here) …. but hopefully, not all like this one!

Valley Road

With the New Cold Market Academy launching on Sunday (book here!)  and Written Invitations featuring prominently among the new material on offer,  now would be a good time to demonstrate how these little pieces of paper can fuel a Network Marketing business.

It’s just that Valley Road wasn’t the best place to do it.

Valley Road in Ipswich is part of the ring road. Before they built the Orwell Bridge all the traffic to and from Felixstowe docks used to thunder along here. It’s so long that it keeps changing its name and even so, the house numbers run in to the 200’s. Why on earth I decided to deliver my invitations here, I have no idea – only that last week I was dropping off the children at Athletics and it seemed like an interesting experiment.

It seemed less interesting at half past seven tonight with the rush hour still going strong. And these were big houses; every one with a burglar alarm – imposing front gardens – big gates. Alternatively I could sit in the car and make some calls – I’ve always got calls to make…

But the whole point of the Cold Market Academy is to prove that activity always gets its reward and you can put in activity even if you have not a single name on your list.

So I did get out of the car and in the next 17 minutes I knocked on 14 doors. By my usual standards this was not a success – although at the first door a pleasant woman apologized that she was in the middle of cooking and asked me to come back another time. The next house was in darkness (a great advantage of winter evenings is that you can see when no-one’s home). Then there was a door with a “No Cold Callers” sign and after that, a very charming and very tall man said that Yes of course he was happy to hear what I had to say – but that was as far as he was prepared to go.

From there on things went downhill. At the next six doors nobody wanted to hear my Magic Minute. This had never happened before. To prove it to myself I have just opened my book at random and find that in Wincanton Close which can’t be more than half a mile away, 18 out of 24 householders agreed to hear it (and the other six weren’t home). But absolutely nobody said No to hearing it.

What was it about Valley Road? Did the residents take refuge behind their front doors because of all the noise and chaos outside – now there’s an interesting topic for psychological discussion.

But if it’s science you’re after I can promise you that with every “No”, the Law of Averages was becoming more and more weighted in my favor. And no matter how negative people were, nobody was unpleasant – the most brusque anyone became was a simple “No thank you”.

And then, with no warning at all, a man in his early 40’s said: “OK, why not…”

I read him my piece. He agreed it would benefit him. We arranged that I will call his wife on Friday and read the same to her over the phone.

Now, let us not get too excited about this. I do not have a customer or a new team member. But I do have a definite invitation to call – and now I look at the sheet, there are another two people who agreed that I might go back another time.

And most importantly the entire process had taken just 17 minutes. If you add the ten minutes it took me to deliver the invitations the previous week, that is half an hour of activity.

And in Network Marketing Activity Breeds Results – wherever you are…

November weather

Don’t forget the New Cold Market Academy is on Sunday at Ipswich, UK. Book here: 

I just looked at the weather forecast: It’s going to rain all day. I just looked at the dog. She looked back with the same expression. Of course we could walk this afternoon but this afternoon the rain will be going sideways at 40 miles an hour.

In the meantime I have made a pot of coffee, put another log on the stove and thanked my lucky stars for two things.

  1. I started a Network Marketing business.
  2. I went out and did a bit with it on Saturday.

You can see what I did on Saturday at the foot of the page. It’s nothing very dramatic but I happened to be going down to the town so out of habit I slung my bag over my shoulder and spent half an hour offering my prize draw to the people walking between the Car Park and the shops.

Result: I have one person to go and see on Thursday and two have asked me to call to make an appointment.

Which means that for today’s activity, I can sit in the warm and pick up the phone.


Date Venue Time Minutes People Entries Appointments Callbacks
28.11.15 Car Park 1325 – 1330 5 3 1    
    1330 – 1332 2 3 1   1
    1332 – 1347 13 22 1 1  
    1347 -1352 5 7 1    
    1352 -1357 5 2 1   1
Total     30 37 5 1 2
What’s it all about?

This is the diary of a successful Multi-Level Marketer making money from home and fitting a part-time business into a busy life.
Over the years it has developed but the objective remains the same: To demonstrate how anyone can build a successful network marketing business in "the nooks and crannies of the day".
Eventually this spawned a training programme which I called The Cold Market Academy. This began as a seminar available only to MLM-ers working with my company. However this is now available as an e-book worldwide with a money-back guarantee! To order your copy click the tab at top labelled "Cold Market Method".
But at the heart of the Network Marketing Blog is the answer to the two most common questions people ask when they look at this business - and the two biggest challenges they face when they start:
1. I'm not a salesperson.
2. I don't have the time.
These are genuine concerns and all too often they get brushed aside: "Don't worry about that. We'll show you how..."
This blog is designed to show how it works in reality and in real time - how anyone, no matter how busy, can work their business consistently in small fragments of time. Because that's all you need; just a few seconds to find out if someone's interested.
And please bear in mind the entries here are only a tiny snapshot of the daily activity. Most of what goes on would make very dull reading indeed: Making calls from the list ... adding names to the list...making calls from the list...
As for being a salesperson: Have a look and decide for yourself.
Is it sales?
Let's say you call on a friend unexpectedly and find them up to their ankles in water and battling with a burst pipe.
Imagine it: There they are, soaked to the skin, trying to wrap a towel round the leak while they shout: "I rang the plumber but all I get is the Ansaphone..."
Honestly now, would you ignore their plight or would you volunteer the number of your own plumber.
Would you do what you could to help them or would you consider that going into "sales" on behalf of the plumber would be beneath you?
And what would your friend say when they realised you had deliberately chosen to leave them struggling to stem the flow and all because you felt embarrassed about "selling" something.
Network marketing is all about spreading good news and it's all about helping people.

If you're thinking of getting into Network Marketing - or already in it but not making enough money - contact me at

About Me

John Passmore,
United Kingdom.

For 25 years I was a newspaper reporter - ending up as Chief Correspondent for the London Evening Standard. Then I gave it all up and, with my wife, set out to live the simple life on a small boat while writing a column for the Daily Telegraph. Five years and two children later we moved ashore - and five years and another two children after that I ran out of money. Nobody wanted to give me a job and I couldn't afford to start a conventional business. Then at a craft fair in our local community hall, somebody showed me network marketing. It was described as a home-based business that would provide anyone with a second income if they were prepared to work for it. I was skeptical. There were claims of high earnings and something called a "residual income". But what if it did work? And besides what alternative did I have? So I threw myself into it wholeheartedly (which is the only way to succeed at anything). I'm not saying it was easy or there were never moments of doubt but if you're prepared to learn and determined never to give up, then there is a statistical certainty that you will make money. I started in April 2005. I was broke and embarrassed. Today I have no money worries whatsoever.