Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
You may have heard of the paper trail – the idea that Network Marketers leave a trail of business cards behind them wherever they go. This is fine as long as you don’t expect anyone to ring you. Oh, you might get one in a thousand…
So why have I been giving out 20 a day this week?
I decided, on a whim, to do something a colleague recommended years ago. I remember thinking “what a good idea” and then not doing it.
The idea was that on Sunday night you sit down with five clear plastic wallets labelled Monday – Friday and into them you put your marketing materials. In my case it was ten newspapers, ten opportunity cards, ten product cards, three prize draw forms and three DVDs. Obviously the idea is that by the end of the day, you have given them all out.
Well, let me tell you how it worked yesterday: I gave out 15 of the cards before ten O’clock while walking the dog. One man who got one had a springer spaniel just like mine – he even had a long walking stick with a carved spaniel’s head. We got chatting, I gave him the card. As far as I remember I said: “Here you are, everyone’s getting one of these today.”
He asked what it was all about. I told him a bit and now I’m going to see him after Christmas.
Later I went to the supermarket to buy some more stuff for Christmas and as I was putting it into the back of the car, I turned to the man doing the same in the next parking space and said: “I always offer the people in the next parking space a chance to go in for my free prize draw.”
- What prize draw is that?
Now he has a DVD and a newspaper and I’m going to ring him tomorrow.
In the petrol station, it was the woman filling her car on the other side of the pump: “Here you are, I always give one of these to the person on the other side of the pump.”
She looked at it and said: “Ah yes, I’ve been looking at this. I had a card through the door but it looks very complicated.”
“Not complicated at all,” I told her. “Why don’t I pop round after Christmas and show you how it works.”
And she said: “Would you do that for me? Oh that is kind…”
Next it was the do-it-yourself store and a nice young man walked me all round looking for the right-sized container. He got the very last card. He looked at it and said: “What’s all this about?”
- It’s about money. Are you interested in money?
“Always interested in money. Haven’t got enough of it.
And now he’s got a DVD and a newspaper too.
That just left eight newspapers and the last DVD.
Well, seven newspapers ended up on the counter at the do-it-yourself store’s cafe (Do you mind if I leave these on your counter for your customers? They’re all about money – have a look.)
It also left one newspaper and the last DVD. In fact I still had them when I got home and Lou, our cleaner, met me at the door. She was on her way out, clutching the gift-wrapped bottle of sparkling wine we had left on the kitchen table.
We chatted. You like to chat when it’s Christmas: Was she going away? Did she have family coming?
No, Lou was going to be working at her full-time job on Christmas Eve and she was going to be working on Boxing Day too – and that stopped me in my tracks. The idea that somebody has to go to their job in the holiday season tends to leave even the most successful Multi-Level Marketer lost for words. But the fact is that I had been waiting patiently for the right moment with Lou: You can’t just gush your opportunity all over someone just because they have the misfortune to be hoovering under your feet…”
But this is the season of goodwill to all men – and to Lou. This year she got an extra Christmas present. “It might not seem much,” I told her as I handed over the last DVD and the cheap newspaper. “But it’s worth a lot more than you might think and this is one Christmas present that will last forever.”
We have a protocol for hotels. Given the number of trainings and presentations we hold in them, we have to. You can imagine how unpopular a hundred network marketers would be turning up once a month and each deciding to give out fifty cards…
But there are ways – ways of helping people ask us what we’re up to.
One of my favourites is to do a sweep of the bar just as we’re signing in the last delegates: “Are you with us?” I ask here and there, pointing to my badge. Most people shake their heads and carry on with their conversations. A few really have forgotten the time and hurry to finish their drinks and join us. And then there are the others. They say: “I’m not sure. Who are you?”
- We’re having an open evening about making money. Are you interested in making money?
But the other evening I found a splendid variation – and it had nothing to do with me.
I had arrived in the hotel’s conference wing to find another meeting just about to start in the adjacent room. The young woman on the sign-in table asked – just as I do – “are you with us?
Her badge said she was with the Pharmacy Workshop. I didn’t know what a pharmacy workshop was but they certainly seemed to have more takers than we did. Our room was gloomily empty while her’s had twenty people grouped in a semi-circle in front of a screen.
I told her I had my own conference and that she was welcome to join us – at this stage she didn’t know she would be the only one.
And that was when she asked me: “What’s it about,” she said.
So what was I supposed to say? “It’s about making money. Are you interested in making money? You could come and join us instead!”
She laughed. But at the same time, she was always interested in making money…
So now she’s looking – and as Jan Ruhe says, that’s all you need – enough people looking.
This was the question:
“I don’t suppose you know anyone who would be interested in some more money do you?”
And here are the answers…
The man who telephoned me while I waited for the garage to fit a new brake pad sensor. He wanted to know if I would complete a quick survey – I could win £150 which would be handy for Christmas wouldn’t it:
His answer: “Well I would.”
My Clarinet teacher after the lesson:
“I can’t think of anyone right now.”
The Cashier in the petrol station where I bought a (rather stale) chicken and sweetcorn pitta:
“What would I have to do?”
The assistant in the hardware store where I bought a pack of jointing blocks to mend a drawer:
“It depends on what’s involved.”
The owner of a business card left on the windowsill by one of the customers at the garage (I sent a text):
“What would be involved? And how did you get my number?”
So that’s three people who are looking at my Network Marketing (MLM) business who weren’t looking yesterday. It would have been four but the man in the hardware store didn’t want to give me his phone number and email address – so I didn’t tell him any more. (I must remember to go in and buy some glue next week just in case he couldn’t sleep for curiosity…)
We have progressed a little in eight years, my wife and me…
When I started my network marketing business, people would ask her: “What does John do? Doesn’t he go to work?”
And she would roll her eyes and say: “Don’t ask!”
Now she’s been on a company cruise round the Mediterranean and a six-star holiday in Las Vegas, she sees it in a slightly different light… slightly…
We have joined a wine tasting club. It sounds absurdly pretentious until you discover that it is no more than a bunch of friends giggling over the fact that they prefer the plonk to the £18-a-bottle stuff the wine merchant hopes we will order. As we sat in the back of the taxi on the way, she turned to me and said: “You won’t talk business will you?”
- Well, if anyone asks…
“Just don’t OK?”
So there I was sitting next to this young Mum, cradling a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with gooseberry overtones and a metallic finish, and talking about our children: Our 16-year-old has just gone into the sixth form. That led us on to university – and fees… and the fact that England is now the most expensive place in the world to go to University - it’s cheaper to to America and take a flight home three times a year.
“And you’ve got four children!” she added, incredulous (she had stopped at two).
- Fortunately we’ve got something to take care of that.
“Really. Do tell!”
- Ah, there we have a bit of a problem… My wife’s just over there and she made me promise I wouldn’t talk business… no really, I wouldn’t dare…
But she pressed me. Isn’t it odd how people really want what they can’t have?
Eventually I relented: “Tell you what, give me your number and I’ll call you next week.”
Now I’m going to see her on the 22nd.
Next there was the retired accountant asking me where we lived – the usual sort of polite banter. I told him.
More polite banter.
“And what do you do?”
- Ah well now, there we have a problem. You see my wife’s sitting just over there and she made me promise I wouldn’t talk business.
“Well she’s not going to know.”
- Honestly, she would. You’d be surprised… Look can I just say I help people to save money and I help people to make money but I’m not in financial services.
“Really that sounds intriguing.”
- Well, like I say, I can’t tell you any more here. But if you’d like to give me your number I’ll call you next week.”
I saw him on Thursday, signed him up as a customer and collected 11 referrals.
Now here’s the interesting thing. On Friday I went out for the Laser Social. This is a bunch of dinghy sailors who get together in a local restaurant every autumn. This time it was the turn of the Thai place. The man on my left was a retired doctor. He asked me what I did. My wife is not a dinghy sailor (she runs marathons instead) and in her absence, I felt able to explain a little.
The retired doctor said: “Oh really” in a way that suggested he would have preferred it if I had been a Neuro Surgeon and could have talked to him on his level. He doesn’t want me to go and see him.
I think Tamsin and I should go out together more often…
There is nothing quite so gratifying as an email from someone saying they attended the Cold-Market Academy and they got what they wanted.
Today it was Mark who was apprehensive about going out into the street and talking to people but gritted his teeth, screwed up his courage and just did it.
Half an hour later he had an appointment and a call-back.
And it worked for me today too: I had known it would – it was just that I never got onto the street. Today was the first day of my new Friday afternoon coaching sessions which meant that everything I had to do, needed to be done in the morning.
By midday the schedule was shot.
On top of everything else my Father-in-law had left a note to say that the guinea pig’s water bottle was broken. Recalculating wildly, I reckoned it would take me ten minutes to nip up to the new “Pet Supermarket” which has opened just off the A12 and get a replacement. This is what happened and it shows you how Network Marketing works:
As I pushed my purchases across the counter a man came in with his dog. I said to the assistant on the till: “Well this is one shop where you can bring your dog.”
- Oh yes, the more the merrier.
“Have you got a dog?”
- We’ve got two: A Newfoundland and a Jack Russell.
“Isn’t the Newfoundland one of those huge hairy things?”
- Not that big – they used to use them for lifesaving. The Jack Russell’s only little though – he’s weird.
- Well a bit peculiar.
“Yes, we’ve got one like that. Tell you what, I ‘ve got something here you might like. It’s a free Prize Draw. You can win a car or £10,000. We just put your name in a hat…”
- That sounds good. But I haven’t got any money.
“It’s free – see…”
In fact when a customer approached the till with a question and I stood aside saying: “I think you’ve got a customer,” she whistled up a colleague so we wouldn’t be interrupted.
… and now I have an appointment for Monday – and when you consider it, getting an appointment was the object of the exercise. What I did in two minutes while buying the guinea pig a new water bottle was exactly what I had hoped to do by spending half an hour in the street.
And I still got back in time for the coaching session. If someone else tells me they don’t have the time to build a Network Marketing business around their day job, I shall set the animals on them…
I’m in Rochdale in one of those featureless chain hotels – actually I like featureless chain hotels. You can feel curiously anonymous…
And they have a night porter. Just one person to look after the whole place – usually one of those slightly creepy silent people, short on social skills – you know the type…
But this young man was bright and chatty and helpful, sorting out the heating, offering extra duvets…
“You’re bright and chatty, ” I told him. It seemed an obvious thing to say.
- Ah well, you’ve got to stay cheerful.
in the next five minutes, here’s what I learned about him: He is 28 years old, has worked in hotels in Mexico, lived in Holland and had a dreadful experience with one very well known company which I’d better not mention. Then rather suddenly he decided that he wanted to be a lawyer.
He is now studying for a law degree and the anonymous hotel job supports him through his studies.
And here’s something else I learned about him: He does not eat a cooked breakfast, having been 26 stone not so long ago (skinny would be a reasonable description of him now).
And this is what I said to him: “Do you know what, there are two things I notice about you: You’re good with people and you’re the sort of person who knows what they want and makes sure they get it. In fact you’re just the sort of person I’m looking for in my business. Tell me, would you be interested in looking at a way of earning another income in your spare time?”
- Doing what?
“Well let me put it this way. Am I right in thinking that at the moment you get paid for the hours you put in. If you stop working they stop paying you, right?”
“Well the way we get paid is like this: We do a bit of work and we go on getting paid on it forever. Would that interest you?”
- Certainly would.
… and now he’s looking.
We nearly bought a double-decker bus on eBay. That is to say Tamsin nearly bought a double-decker bus on eBay. The logic went like this: It was painted with flowers as if it had just driven over from the Isle of Wight pop festival in 1968. It was furnished like a caravan. It would be perfect for holidays.
Now I hate to be a wet blanket but here were my niggling little questiions: How were we going to maintain a double-decker bus? Where were we going to keep a double-decker bus? Who was going to pass a Public Service Vehicle test to drive a double-decker bus?
As I say, just niggling little questions. In the end we didn’t buy it.
But we have bought another boat. I discovered this in the following fashion: “Oh by the way I bought a kayak. You need to go and pick it up.”
- We’ve got a kayak.
“Ah, but this one’s inflatable.”
It was the double-decker bus all over again – only this time the deed was done.
Actually it turns out to be a very nice inflatable kayak and I’m sure it will be very useful when none of our other three boats is suitable – and best of all, it’s going to be free.
What do I mean by that? Haven’t we already paid £77 by Paypal?
What I mean is that, after packing it away in the Mini, I turned to the vendor and said: “By the way, whenever I collect anything my wife has bought on eBay, I always say the same thing to the people who are selling it. Would you like me to say it to you?
The vendor looked at my quizzically: “What do you say?”
- I say ‘Would you like to know what I do?’
“Why, what do you do?”
- I help people to save money and I help people to make money. Which would you prefer?
At this point his wife and children arrived back from a barbecue and so I had to say it all again.
And now I’m going back to see them on the 24th.
If they join, I shall probably make £40 and then another £5 a month after that.
In seven months the new kayak will be paid for.
This was supposed to have been written last week. It’s just as well it wasn’t – you will see why in a moment.
It was one of those really busy days – you know the kind: When you have to make a list…
- Take number two son to Windsurfing lesson
- Be home and in front of the computer for phone call (but walk dog first)
- Take trailer tyre to be mended
- Visit best customer for new order
- Be home for Sainsbury’s delivery
- Collect big car from garage
- Buy bread for guests….
The question was: Did I have time to fit in half an hour of Prize Draw.
Stupid question, really. The whole ethos of this blog – of the Cold-Market Academy – is that everyone can always spare half an hour a day; even if it has to be broken up into five-minutes pieces.
And so, with the still-warm bread parked with the bike, I slapped an entry form on the front of my planner and set to – supremely confident that this was going to be a good session.
Why was it going to be a good session? Because I had done the right thing: I had set my face against indolence and as we all know that virtue is its own reward.
And sure enough, as you will see below, during the next 30 minutes I spoke to 37 people and made two appointments and an agreement to call a third person another time.
In fact, if I had written about it at the time, I would have mused about how successful it was: How I had remembered to tell the first woman that I needed to call her husband to check that he was happy to see me – and made a note to call him at 4.30 p.m. (before she got home from work to ruin it with a garbled explanation of what I was about).
And then there was the other couple – we got on so well we had a long chat about their village and which of their neighbours I knew. And they were so interested in what I had to offer that they asked lots of questions. If I hadn’t been in a hurry, we would be there still…
And what was wrong with all this? I’ll tell you what was wrong with all this, because it all came home to roost over the next few days.
First of all, because I was in a hurry (see above) I did not ring the husband at 4.30 p.m. In fact he rang me the next day telling me – in that strange and stilted way a certain type of person adopts with tradespeople, that they “did not require my services”.
And this was where I made another mistake: I tried to tell him what I would have said if I had remembered to ring him – while all the while he talked over me, insisting he did “not require the said services…”
Disaster! If his had wife been thinking of being a distributor, she certainly won’t now – not if that’s what they have to do.
And then there was the nice man from the village. He left a message saying that they had looked at the website and did not think it was for them.
How did he know which website to look at? I had told him the name of the company!
And the daft thing is I know perfectly well what I should have said when they asked. I should have said: “Do you mind awfully if I keep all that for when I come to see you? Otherwise you’ll get me started! Much better to tell you everything all in one go when I see you…”
|29.08.12||1242 – 1245||Woodbridge||3||1|
|1245 – 1252||7 (10)||3 (4)||Yes|
|1252 -1301||9 (19)||5 (9)||Yes|
|1301 – 1312||11 (30)||28(37)||Yes|
There has to be some reason why I’m always the one to get stopped at security. At airports they spend ten minutes checking my bag for explosives – and going to the Olympics on Monday, even though I had unloaded all my pockets into the little tray, the machine went beep.
A very nice soldier ran his hands over me. Then he said: “How do I make money, then?”
This was at the same time as my family were saying: “Oh no, Dad’s been stopped again”…”Come on we’ll miss the first race”…”Keep up, keep up…”
The soldier just kept looking at my badge. It was made of metal. Indeed it had a sharp pin. But he seemed more interested in what it said: ”Save money, Make money. Ask me how”.
At this point the comments from the entrance turned to “He’s talking to the soldier”… “Oh for Heaven’s sake”… “Can’t he stop work for just one day…”
It was true. We were late. But when you’re going to a place like that with all those people, how can you not put the badge on. Irritably, I thrust a notebook at the soldier: “Look I haven’t time to explain right now but if you put your details on there, I’ll send you something. I just need your name, contact number and email address.”
What I got was his name and email address – no contact number. As I’ve learned painfully over the years, you can never have enough information about a prospect. For a long time I didn’t bother with postal addresses – how did I know that one day I would be hosting opportunity meetings all over the country? If I had a list of postcodes, how many more people could I invite to them?
And I was thinking about all this yesterday as I sat on the train across the country to Oxford. I was to spend the day shut up in a Brasenose College – and for someone who has always regretted not going to university, it was worth the trip just for that. A dignified-looking porter conducted me to the correct staircase. They were filming an episode of Lewis in the quad…
“Have you been with the College for long?” I asked as you do – everything else was hundreds of years old.
And we discovered that he used to be a policeman, this was a part-time job. He got paid by the day.
“And how many times do they pay you for the day?”
- I beg your pardon?
“Well, do you do the work and get paid for it once or do you get paid for it over and over again? That’s how I get paid.”
- What? Over and over again?
“Yes, would you like to get paid over and over again?”
- Certainly would.
Now at this point, I could have given him a DVD. I could have given him a DVD and taken his name and phone number. But at some point, like the soldier, he may have baulked at the amount of information I was collecting. So instead I said: “Would you like me to send you some information by email? In fact, tell you what, why don’t we put you in for the prize draw as well. You can win a car or £10,000!”
A minute later I had his name, phone number, email address and postal address – and he thought he was getting something for nothing. In fact it was me who was getting something for nothing because you can pay £2 for that sort of information from a lead-generation company.
In fact I was so pleased with myself that at the end of the day, back at Oxford station, I bought a cup of tea and an almond croissant for the train and said to the young man behind the Upper Crust counter: “You look cheerful, have you just started or are you about to finish? Well I hope they pay you well… is that weekly pay or monthly… and how many times do they pay you… well,do they pay you just once or do they pay you again and again for the same work… because that’s how I get paid…
Don’t you just hate it when a prospect cancels right before the appointment – and there’s no reason for it? They’ve just changed their mind…
I rang back. I said: “Thanks for your call. It saved me a wasted journey – and don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal. In fact there are two main reasons why people change their mind: They don’t believe I can save them any money or they think I’ll come and sit on their sofa and the only way to get rid of me will be to call the police.
“So tell me, which of those two was it for you?”
She said: “The first.”
So I said my script to her again and she responded just as she had the first time but now she said: “But my husband doesn’t want you to come.”
So we agreed that I could give him another call as well – just in case…
Which meant that I now had an hour to kill – just in case…
I popped into Subway for dinner. The man in front of me in the queue was an expert on sandwiches. He was ordering three, foot-long subs: One without olives, one with olives but no peppers and the other with olives and peppers, no onions but a double helping of tomatoes and honey and mustard dressing instead of ranch dressing.
“You certainly know what you want,” I said.
He explained that sometimes he orders olives for his wife anyway and then picks them off her plate.
I said: “Tell you what. I’m always looking for people who know what they want. How about a new car or £10,000? I’ve got a prize draw here…”
But he said “No”. I could hardly blame him. His sandwiches were getting cold.
Anyway, for the first time, I ordered a foot-long Sub as well (I’m rather pleased to be able to tell you that I didn’t finish it) but once I’d ordered everything except peppers, I said to the young man who was so carefully pushing all the bits into the bun: “You’re very good at this! I hope they pay you well.”
“I wish. But it’s not bad. I work on my own 5.00 – 10.00 p.m – 30 hours a week.”
“Ah yes,” I said. “But I bet they only pay you once for each week’s work. Now in my business they pay you again and again for each week’s work. In fact they pay you forever. And over time that builds up. So if you imagine yourself in five years’s time with an income of £5,000 a month, would that change your life for the better.”
Then he thought for a bit with the sandwich half-wrapped: “In fact there’s a man who comes in for his lunch sometimes, gave me a card about that.”
We established that we were talking about the same company – but no he had never followed it up. Now he has a DVD – and we have a date for the follow-up.
Now, it transpired – by the time I had admitted defeat over the sandwich – that the man who had started all this by changing his mind about the appointment really had changed his mind. As he put it: “We just don’t want to know.”
“That’s fine,” I told him – and I really meant it. Because if you work this business right, every cancellation can have a silver lining…