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.
Sometimes the story is behind the headlines.
Today one of the people who declined to enter my prize draw was a good friend. She didn’t decline because the Terms & Conditions insist on only one entry per household – she has never entered and she didn’t enter today because the whole thing horrifies her. I have several friends like this – I daresay we all have: Those friends who would rather buy their products and services from a total stranger than enter into what they see as a business relationship with a friend.
And so, over the years, whenever the conversation has taken an appropriate turn and I have mentioned that I can save her a fortune on her household bills, the reaction has been: “Oh that’s that thing, isn’t it? Oh no honestly, can we just leave it…”
We did, we left it for nearly ten years during which time I have been saving hundreds of pounds a year and she hasn’t. I can’t say it has kept me awake at night – there are lots of people who would rather say “No” than try something new. Fortunately for me, there are also many thousands who have said “yes”.
In fact, as you will see below, two people said “yes” today to the idea of my going round and doing an assessment for them to see how much they could save.
So when I got home, I phoned my friend and the conversation went like this:
“Hi Roz, I thought I’d ring you because your face was priceless when I saw you this morning. I thought that from the safety of the other end of a phone like, I could tell you what I do. It takes a minute. D’you want to hear it.”
– John I’m really in a hurry now. I’m just going out of the house.
“Well it really does only take a minute.”
– No honestly, I must rush.
“That’s quite all right. How about I give you a ring this evening or tomorrow morning. Just for a minute. Which would be best for you.”
– No, look. I know what you do. You’ve told me all about it before and I really don’t want to do it. Can we just leave it?
“Absolutely. We’ll just leave it then. Lovely to talk to you. See you soon…”
Here is the note that I put under her name on my list: “Absolutely no. Never. She doesn’t want to know – will never want to know. Just leave it, OK? No, No, No.”
… so that would be “No for Now, then, would it?”
Today’s prize draw stats:
For those Greens among you who like to see all the figures, take a look at the table below. I find it fascinating (OK so I have an alter-ego out at a party at the moment – but I’m sitting here . It’s nearly midnight, and I’m looking at numbers).
What the table represents is about the only half-hour today when it wasn’t raining. I had to go into town to get a new battery for the car key because the children are all fed up with waiting for me to open all the doors from the inside and are also very bored with my stories about how that was what everyone had to do when I was their age…
Anyway, of course, I took my prize draw forms.
It was that dull patch of the day after lunch but before the schools turn out and there was hardly anyone around. In fact in 28 minutes (I thought it was half an hour but now realize I miscalculated) I spoke to only 27 people and only three of them went in for the draw. But it is not the numbers that count, as we shall see…
The first form bears the letters “LL”. This stands for “Low Life”. It means I was not surprised when she said: “I’m not having anyone coming round. I don’t want that…”
Frankly my dear, I didn’t want to come round.
The next one was a young Mom with a toddler asleep in a stroller. She didn’t know the answers to any of the questions on the form – her husband dealt with the bills. But she did know the answer to one: “Would you like to have an extra income.”
I think her answer was “God, yes!”
Now this next bit has nothing to do with anything but I find it interesting: Her husband is called Bod. Apparently, as a baby he looked just like the character of the same name in the children’s books of the 1970’s. I’m due to ring him on Saturday.
And then finally we had the woman who declined to go in for the draw because (a) her car park ticket was due to run out and (b) she was already a customer.
“Wait,” I said – perhaps too forcefully now I think about it. “I’ve been looking for you.”
“We’re looking for happy customers to help spread the word. Tell me, would you be interesting in telling your friends about us? You’d get paid for it.”
“I’d get paid for it?” she said. It seems that nobody had told her about that part. I’ll be calling her tomorrow.
“Now, I love old radio stories. And I know a million of ‘em. I’ve collected ‘em down through the years, like a hobby.”
Recognize that? You will if you’re a Woody Allen fan. It’s how he starts his wonderful movie Radio Days.
And I love Network Marketing stories. I know a million too. Maybe one day I should write them down – and this one would be in there…
I may have mentioned it before but my company gives its distributors a Mini – a brand new BMW Mini. Play your cards right and it’s yours for nothing – not leased or anything like that: A totally free car. No wonder we get so attached to them. Well I had mine for seven years. It clocked up 142,000 miles… which was probably why nobody wanted to buy it. I had it sitting out in the road with a “For Sale” sign front and back but in the end I had to take it to something called www.wewantanycar.com. The man walked round it knocking money off for every scratch and scuff.
And that was the last I saw it. The new one arrived (I crashed it ten days later, but that’s another story). One way and another I never gave a second thought to the old Mini.
Yesterday I had a call from a woman named Sue. She had bought it from a motor trader. The thought did cross my mind to ask how much she had paid for it but I think her answer would only have upset me. Instead it turned out she had a question about the unidentified switch down in the footwell and it just so happened that she found my business card in the instruction manual so she could ring me.
I had put the business card in there specially (whenever I give old books to charity shops, I always slip a card between the pages – it’s an old Multi-Level Marketing trick). Anyway she had found the card and thought to ring with her question. So we chatted about the car and I told her about the £2,000 I had spent on it in the last year (another reason not to know what she paid for it) and then I was able to say: “It shouldn’t give you any trouble for a few years now….but tell you what, how would you like a new one?”
“A new one,” she said as if I had suggested a trip to the moon. “I’ll never have the money for a new car.”
“Oh no,” I told her. “You wouldn’t have to pay for it. I’ll show you how you can get a new one for free if you like.”
And then I discovered that she works part-time as a secretary and her husband’s just been made redundant and a certain number of other details besides – including the fact that we were both supposed to be cooking supper and we’ll have to talk again tomorrow (by which time she will have had a look at the website).
I’ve heard of people stumbling across their MLM business by picking up a leaflet in a waiting room (and, of course entering a prize draw in the street). I have even heard of someone finding a cassette tape in a trash can and knocking on all the doors, trying to find its owner to sponsor them. But I have never heard someone buying a second hand Mini and ending up with a new one for nothing.
I do hope this is a story with a happy ending.
Of course some days it just doesn’t work. If you look at the statistics at the end you will see that I spoke to 83 people and didn’t get a single appointment.
Actually there were more than 83 but I lost one of the forms – well, not to put too fine a point on it, someone stole it. The thief seemed like an ideal prospect to begin with. He was friendly and chatty and answered all the questions but then everything started to go downhill.
“You’re not going to send me a lot of junk mail are you?”
– Why would you read it?
– That’s why there’s no point in sending it. Nobody reads junk mail. That’s why it’s called junk mail.
“Well you’ll bother me with phone calls then.
– If I rang you to tell you you’d won, would you be bothered?
“Well I don’t like it.”
– In that case I don’t think you would be suitable.
“Why wouldn’t I be suitable.”
– Well you sound like a skeptic to me – and we’re looking for open-minded people.”
“I am open-minded.”
– But you’re also skeptical.”
“Well yes, of course I am.”
– An open-minded skeptic, then?
“Well what’s wrong with that?”
It was at this point that he snatched the form out of my hand. I think it was a small price to pay for the chance of returning to the real world.
It had also taken up so much time that I could now return to my walk – and isn’t it interesting how things turn out…
We were walking back along the river (the dog and I) when I saw in the middle distance a man do something extraordinary. He had be standing on a back wall of a paved area with a bench. In front of him was the bench and then about two meters of empty space and then another low wall to stop children falling in the water while feeding the ducks. Suddenly this man leapt over the bench and landed with both feet on the other wall, steadied himself gracefully and then pirouetted and stepped down.
If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. How had he not fallen in the river? Surely the momentum of jumping three meters…
I was still marveling when we came level with him.
“Good morning,” he said brightly.
I told him I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. I asked him to do it again. Without a second thought he did. It was part of his training, he told me.
Training? What sort of training.
– Par Cours.
You mean running up walls and jumping off buildings?
– That’s it.
This was much more interesting than talking to the professional skeptic. I asked him what he did the rest of the time. He said he wrote articles for his website. It was about personal development. He was also a personal trainer.
Here’s what I said next: “That’s fascinating because I’m always looking for people like you – self-motivated, entrepreneurial people. Tell me if there was a way for you to earn an extra income using the skills you’ve got but without it affecting what you do at present, would that be something you might like to take a look at?”
We’re meeting for a coffee on Thursday. Where it will lead, I cannot say.
But I feel quite sure of one thing, I would rather have a cup of coffee with the man on the wall than the other fellow.
If you’ve ever been on one of my trainings, you will have heard me say that when I walk into someone’s house, there is a voice in the back of my head repeating: “Everyone says “yes”.
I don’t pay much attention to this voice because I am trying to push my ego through the door in front of me (my ego, I imagine as a huge yellow balloon which gets stuck on the way through).
By the time I get into the living room, I feel so good about myself that everyone else in the room wants a piece of what I’ve got.
…. you get the general idea…
So today it is with absolute horror that I have been introduced to the Total Perspective Vortex. Fans of The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will know about The Total Perspective Vortex. The Last thing a Network Marketer needs is The Total Perspective Vortex.
It works like this: You plug someone with an over-inflated ego into one end and you plug the whole of creation into the other. And when you switch it on, that insufferable big-head sees himself in relation to the entire universe – the infinite galaxies, the numberless suns… and finally appreciates his own insignificance.
Of course, in the case of The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the hero (anti-hero?) Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy, all round cool frood and the only sentient being ever to have survived a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster emerged from the experience to announce that it told him what he already knew: “What a really cool guy I am!”
And now you can experience the same: The Hubble Telescope took four months looking into the darkest, deepest reaches of space and this is what it came up with. Be warned: You will never feel the same about yourself again.
The phone rang just as I was putting dinner on the table – it does that…
The recorded voice informed me that according to somebody’s records, I had been involved in a no-fault accident in the last 12 months and that I was entitled to compensation. If I would like to know how much compensation I might expect, I should press “5” now.
I pressed “5”.
… not because I thought I might get some compensation – or indeed because I had been involved in a no-fault accident (I don’t believe they had any records at all) – but because I like to talk to people in call centres.People in call centres make excellent prospects for your Network Marketing business. After all, what qualities do they need: Tenacity, a strong work ethic, the desire to make money. In fact they might as well have a sign on their forehead: “Tell me about Multi-Level Marketing. It must be a better way to earn a living…”
I had a call from one only this morning: “Had I ever worked in a noisy environment?”
– Well, no, I can’t say I had – not especially. but the young man who was asking has now taken a brief look at my website and called me shortly after the “no-fault claim” recording (I was washing up by this time): He would look more fully when he got home but he just wanted my email address…
I mention all this because it is marginally more interesting than what else I did today. But I had better mention that as well because otherwise people will think I don’t actually go out and get appointments in the street any more. You can see the statistics below: 32 minutes; two appointments, one for tomorrow morning and one for October 10th. Interestingly the one for tomorrow was somebody who was already on my list. For these purposes, we shall call him John Smith. It wasn’t John Smith – in fact he had a fairly unusual name, so I was able to say: “Is that Colonel John Smith?”
He said it was. He sounded surprised.
“Well somebody recommended I should talk to you… who was it now….yes, it was Sheila Jones. I’m sure it was…. lives somewhere over towards Alderton… her husband died a couple of years ago…”
He knew exactly who I was talking about. He gave me an appointment – and when I got home, I checked my database and found that in September last year, I had spoken to him on the phone and put him down as “Maybe another time”.
Well, tomorrow is another time…
|1136 – 1141||5||1||Yes|
|1141 – 1149||8||10||Yes|
|1149 – 1200||11||6|
Today’s statistics are a bit open-ended. I had gone into town to stop the house burning down:
Honestly: There on Facebook was a terrifying picture of exactly the cheap USB adapters I had bought online from the Far East. I remember being astonished at how little they cost – how could anyone make them for that price? Now it’s obvious: By leaving out all the safety features…
But the errand put me in the proximity of people and the proximity of people mean it’s Prize Draw trime.
The very first person I asked agreed to fill in the form.
Well actually he didn’t. He said: “No thank you” but he didn’t mean it. More to the point, he was standing waiting for his wife and so I just asked him again in a slightly different way(you can learn all these Network Marketing tricks at The Cold Market Academy – see the tab at the top of the page).
The second person also said “No” but then she agreed to give the money to an Arthritis charity, so she filled in the form too.
After that there was a little gap while nine people walked past without stopping but the tenth was in no hurry at all. She had come into town to keep her friend company. The friend had an interview and Bridget was just looking round the shops – and looking for a new job at the same time.
Five minutes later we were in Starbucks with two Mochas and cream – and I was playing her the company video on my Smartphone – and now we’re meeting again on the 18th when she’s been paid so we can sign her up.
|Town Centre||1353 – 1355||2||1|
|1355 – 1356||1||1|