Archive for the ‘networking’ Category
There has been such excitement about the dog’s career as a Network Marketer (see “The Network Marketing Dog” May 9th) that I couldn’t wait to put her to work again. However, for the reassurance of the dog-loving fraternity, I should add that she did get her walk in the woods as well.
We didn’t manage the full half hour because when we showed up at the car park this morning, who should I find there but two members of my team who had already grabbed the best pitch. Meg and I did consider going into competition but thought better of it so it was not until four O’clock in the afternoon (not the best time) that we actually got started.
What happened? The seventh person walked past with what I have now come to call a “red” excuse – that is to say she didn’t want to enter the draw. I countered with the charity gambit. She paused, she turned back to me and agonised about which of the many charities she supported would benefit. Eventually it was “St Elizabeth Hospice” by far the most popular in my part of the world.
Then she saw the dog. The dog put on her most wistful expression: head on one side, big brown eyes dripping with sadness. The woman said: “Aaaah… and walked back to us. We now have an appointment for June 17th. That’s so far ahead it’s almost in a different time zone. But I know she won’t forget.
“I couldn’t forget you,” she said.
And she wasn’t talking about me.
1600 – 1608
1608 – 1615
Note: This is not as bad as it looks. I spent a good part of the second period talking to one of my oldest customers – old in both senses. She was bemoaning the fact that she sold her house to the owners of her new sheltered accommodation for a good deal less than the market value.
Well here’s something new:
“Government statistics confirm that you are paying more than you need to for energy. To find out how you can pay less, press one.”
It took me a minute or two to realise this was a recording. I pressed one. I was told that an advisor would be with me shortly.
And shortly Kayleigh came on the line. She asked me a series of questions about my energy services and discovered that there was probably nothing she could do to help me.
But there was something I could do to help her: “Before you go, may I say how impressed I am with the way you’ve conducted this call. After all, I’m still on the line – which I can tell you, doesn’t happen every time. The thing is I’m looking for people who are good communicators. Tell me, would you be open to looking at ways of making extra money using the skills you’ve got in a little bit of spare time?”
Kayleigh said: “Extra money?”
Of course she said “Extra Money?” How much do you think she’s getting paid sitting in a call centre all day? So now she’s looking at a part-time business in Network Marketing.
Next I went to get some Euros for next week’s ski trip with a bunch of other distributors from my company. This is not one of the six-star holidays costing £18,000 they send us on for introducing four customers a month for 18 months: We’re having to pay for this one ourselves – but then the great thing about Multi-Level Marketing is that it does pay for a lot of holidays!
Anyway there I was in the bank (getting would you believe it, an exchange rate of 1.10 Euros to the British Pound) and I happened to have with me my day’s quota of the company newspaper to hand out. I gave one to the bank teller at the next-door position. When I had collected and paid for my Euros, he was still reading it. I smiled. He said: “It’s very interesting.”
“Yes,” I said. “All about money. Are you interested in money?”
Daft question, really. He works in a bank. Se we put him in the prize draw, he has a DVD to go with his newspaper and I’m going to give him a call tomorrow.
It went on a bit like this all day: The wife of the man who sewed the pocket of my ski jacket got one, All the taxi drivers at Ipswich station got newspapers to read when I went to buy a student railcard so my son can go to an Open Day for English students at Oxford on Saturday.
And, I’m not sure whether this is allowed, but about 20 went into the free newspaper dispensers outside the station.
Well mine’s a free newspaper too…
Despite what my wife says about my 25 years in newspapers and what it did for my tendency to exaggerate, everything you read here is true.
Which is why I must tell you that over the past three days the results from my prize draw activities have been abysmal:
There you are. You didn’t expect that did you? Click on the Cold-Market Academy tab and there’ll be nothing but positive feedback. But today, not a single appointment!
This is not supposed to happen: After just one day without an appointment the Law of Averages is supposed to kick in and deliver two the next day. An appointment a day is what we expect. In fact in the five years I’ve been doing this, never once have I gone three days without one.
So you’ll understand there was a certain pressure on the rest of the day to yield something.
Which the day duly did. The day yielded two emergency trips to school to deliver running gear for the Suffolk heat of the National Schools Cross Country Championships.
It yielded a washing machine man who phoned to say: “I’ll be round in ten minutes with your new machine.”
- What new machine?
“The one you said you wanted.”
- I never said we wanted it. We haven’t decided.”
“Well I’ve got it now.”
- Oh, all right then…
There were lights that went out, people offering us rabbits, the gardener unpaid…
In fact it wasn’t until the early afternoon that I managed to make some phone calls. If in doubt make phone calls. The top distributor in our company is fond of saying that when he started, he made 70 phone calls a day.
Have you ever tried to make 70 phone calls in a single day? It’s unbelievably difficult. The most I ever managed was 35. But counting up today, I realise I made 27.
One of them was to a woman who runs a cattery. She entered my prize draw in May but somehow our meeting got put off and then put off again. But this time she said: “Yes, I’ve been meaning to call you but you know what it’s like… Please, please can you come round next week?”
…and yes, she really did say “please” twice.
Another call was to someone who had got rather lost in the microchips. I see my note is dated March 29th 2009 and says: “Should have called her before she went on holiday”.
Well today, finally, I did – and we agreed that I would go round after I finish at the cattery.
So there you are: Suddenly two appointments – and both of them originated from the prize draw… although admittedly after some delay.
It was while I was feeling rather good about this that I received the following text: “I wud luv 2 work wid u? Hope it’s in Accy.”
Now, popular culture has never been my strong suit in the pub quiz but technology can rescue anybody and it turned out this was a reply to a text I had sent at breakfast time. What had happened was that last night, on the way back from a training in East London, I had been stuck behind a builder’s van with a mobile number on the back. So I recorded the number on my handy voice recorder and today sent him the message: “Saw your vehicle in Woodford Green. I’m looking for business people to work part-time with a FTSE 250 PLC to generate a decent second income. Is that you?”
So we had a conversation and it turned out he lives in Accrington – which if you don’t know the UK, is pretty much the other side of the world. Never mind, he took a look at the website and promises to sign up next week. We’ll see if he does.
One way and another, it was very useful in maintaining good humour while our nine-year-old spent the whole car journey to Judo Club explaining his plight as the only one in his class (or possibly the world) without an iPod – and why this means he is now a deprived child. I escaped to the Co-op for some more milk. As I came out, I met a man reading my car.
If you are not familiar with the idea of people reading cars, I should explain that my company gives its successful distributors free BMW Minis all decked out with logos and slogans. There’s quite a lot to read.
“D’you want one?” I said.
- I beg your pardon.
“D’you want a free Mini. I’ve got a prize draw here somewhere. You can win one…”
And it transpired that he doesn’t have a car – never learned to drive. But he would like one. More to the point, he would like to have a part-time income as well.
So now we’ll be talking again tomorrow after he’s had a look at what we have to offer.
Was this the Law of Averages? Was it pressure of activity?
… or was it proof of the old adage that our Top Man keeps banging on about: Just put in the activity. The results will follow.
Even, apparently, if you don’t manage 70 calls a day.
“You’ve asked me that before.” said the man with the shopping bag on Friday when I asked him if he would like to have a go at my prize draw.
“Have I?” I said, quick as a flash. “What did you say?”
I’m getting very good at the smart riposte. In fact you could say it’s become a bit of a hobby.
He replied: “I said “Yes” and you’re supposed to be coming round on Tuesday. In fact I was going to ring you about that. My wife doesn’t want anyone coming round. Sorry…”
Hey, this was not the way the conversation was supposed to develop. The whole point of the prize draw is to make appointments, not to lose them!
So it was just as well that the very first person I approached had already given me another one!
Meanwhile I’m rather excited. I’ve got the new Ronda Byrne book The Magic. Normally I don’t recommend anything I haven’t already read but she wrote The Secret – nuff said!
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What can you do to further your business on Christmas Day?
Well, it didn’t look like a lot. By the time the children had unpacked their stockings and we’d breakfasted off the biggest pannetonne in the world (it must have been two feet high by two across – half price from M&S) it was time for the Christmas morning walk.
This involved saying “Merry Christmas” to everyone we met – but that was hardly a conversation likely to lead in the direction of: “Are you in the market for more time, more money or possibly both?”
So we came home and started eating again – and we didn’t rise from the table until late afternoon – just in time to start on the presents under the tree.
That left just time to spend a jolly hour wrestling my son’s new time trial bars onto his bike before filling two bin liners with old wrapping paper.
And it’s now late in the evening, the older children are watching their new DVD and I have wandered into the office for the first time today and began jotting down a preliminary list of goals for 2012.
One of them is a “Clutter-Free Office.”
And when you set a new goal, it’s a good idea to do something towards it immediately. It doesn’t have to be anything big or dramatic. But it does have to be immediate.
So I took the letter from the overflowing pile in the basket on the desk and dealt with it.
The letter was from the Suffolk Constabulary (… nearly gave me heart failure when I opened it!) In order to maintain my status as a community volunteer – occasionally I man the community speed gun – I needed to update my details. Had I acquired a criminal record in the last 12 months… or begun to associate with known criminals?
… or been charged with a motoring offence?
And this is how my speeding conviction came to light – which is not good news for a speed gun volunteer.
But it did give me the opportunity – just before I sealed the envelope – to reach out and pop in a recruiting leaflet in along with the completed questionnaire.
Police officers make darned good distributors. Everyone knows that…
This is Chris Williams’ guide to Goal Setting. An absolute must for anyone who wants to achieve their dreams. Chris designed my company’s Goal Setting course and I go on it three times a year.
I don’t see why I shouldn’t post this. I received it this afternoon and I’ve already replied so it’s hardly any effort to paste it here along with my reply…
Subject: Your blog
Dear Mr Passmore,
Today I have discovered your blog and I want to thank you for documenting your experiences as you have built your business. Today I am ‘broke and embarrassed’ as you used to be but having read it I can now see that in a few short years I too can be in the position where I have no money worries either.
I signed up in March of this year and so far have only managed to sign up 6 personal customers, one of which is myself! I know why – I don’t know many people where I live and everyone I felt comfortable approaching has said no to me. I have lacked confidence then in approaching others.
Having read your blog I can see that I am really making a mountain out of a molehill regarding this and intend to change my approach and attitude immediately.
Thank you for being the ‘key’ which has unlocked this for me as, up to now, nothing and no one has managed to get me over my mental block. I think you have just succeeded.
I am looking forward to 2012 with renewed enthusiasm and I just wanted to let you know that.
So many, many thanks.
Kind regards, xxxxxxxxxxx
And my reply:
What a nice email. Thank you very much.
You’re right: Sometimes you just have to keep going, not matter what the setbacks – because if you are absolutely determined to succeed (or prepared die in the attempt) you are invincible.
Today I stood in the freezing cold market in Kinston-Upon-Thames and asked 52 people if they wanted to enter my prize draw. They all said “No”.
Then I asked the 53rd, an elderly lady leaning on one of those shopping trolleys with brakes like a bicycle. She said “yes”. Despite having broken her hip not long ago, she was as bright as a button and this evening I went to see her and she signed up. Also, she is rather excited about the number of friends she is going to tell.
I look forward to meeting you at one of our events in the New Year.
What happened here is that this person made the shift from employee mindset to entrepreneur mindset. I’m proud to have been the catalyst – but Darren Hardy does it better!
“What’s this all about? I have to pay to work?”
The curt response came in a one line email without punctuation and it followed an enquiry from someone who answered an online advert about working from home.
So it was someone who was looking for a job – and you can’t blame people for looking for a job.
Look at me: I spent most of my life working in a job. This was hardly surprising because all through my schooldays I was told “Work hard, get good grades, get a good job…”
And I did have a good job. I was proud to have it; but it was still a job: I was employed.
Now I realise what that meant. It meant that my employer decided whether I could have the job in the first place and then decided how much I would get paid… and they always paid me less than I was worth. If they hadn’t done that they would never have made a profit out of me.
That’s the way it is with a job – and yet all over the country, millions of people accept that having a job is the norm.
And just to add to the absurdity, these millions of employees all have to trust that their employers are going to run profitable businesses – otherwise their jobs may not be secure.
But of course it has always been this way – the relationship between the employee and the employer. A thousand years ago it was little different. Then we had the serf and the lord – and a thousand years before that we had the slave and his owner.
Admittedly, conditions have improved – but has the relationship really changed? Remember, the employer must always pay the employee less than they’re worth – the employer understands that, but does the employee?
So here’s the alternative: You start your own business. That is to say you invest in yourself: You pay out money up front because you believe in yourself. Then you decide how much work you will do and you will get paid exactly what you’re worth – which may be more or less than you imagined; the marketplace will decide…
The point is that you are in control. Oh yes, the marketplace may change the rules as you go along. Your product or service may go out of fashion or become obsolete. You may have misjudged the market entirely and never get started. This is the risk the business owner takes – and their success or failure is dictated not by what happens to them but by how they react to what happens to them.
In other words, if you start your own business, you are in charge. Your success is dependent on no-one but yourself.
So I shall explain this to my correspondent who asks about “paying to work” and I shall pose the question: Job or business: which of those two ways of making a living would suit them best?
Of course, they may choose “Job”.
And I shall breath a sigh of gratitude that there are such people. Because, you see, the world is divided into two types: The ordinary people and the special people. And the special people are always going to need a lot of ordinary people.
They will need ordinary people to wait on their tables and service their cars and build their houses . They will need ordinary people to decorate their offices and look after their health and their bank accounts…
So it’s a good day when you meet an ordinary person.
But when you meet one and you show them that they can be special – well, that’s a great day.
What kind of day is it for you?
P.S> If you would like to explore this philosophy further, you can’t do better than Darren Hardy’s excellent 2-CD set “Making the Shift”.
This is the way it works: I was walking the dog through the woods this morning with a list of people to ring – just names on the list. I rang the first one. I said: “This is just a quick call. I have your name in my address book and the reason I’m calling you today is because I’m looking for ten people over the next seven days who would like to make £1million over the next seven years. Now I’m perfectly serious and I’m not a fool. Do you want to be one of them?”
(The secret to this, by the way, is to sound perfectly serious and not a fool!)
Five minutes later I had explained how we do it and he had drawn out the money on a piece of paper. Next he had written down the website address and now we have an appointment to talk again on Friday.
But then we come to the interesting bit. He asked: “How did I get into your address book?”
“Ah, now that’s a bit of a mystery. I’m afraid I wasn’t as efficient in the past as I am now. All I can tell you is that I gave you a DVD on May 19th 2007. That’s all the note tells me.”
For a while there was a silence on the end of the line and then he remembered: “I know what this is about. It was years ago. I was restoring a barge on the river at Woodbridge and you came by and we got talking and you asked me if I was interested in making money. Then you came back the next day and gave me a DVD. It must have been about four years ago. So you’re still doing it then?”
And that was music to my ears. Because the fact that I’m still doing it after all these years works like magic. That alone gives it credibility.
If you’ve been doing something for six years and you’re clearly more passionate about it now than you’ve ever been, then you don’t just have credibility: You’re a shining beacon that lights up those dark places of the recession that nothing else can reach. People listen when you’ve been doing it for six years.
And, if you make a point during those six years of never throwing away a phone number, you end up with a goldmine!
If you’re with my company, you got this when you did your training. If you’re not, buy it now. If you are, listen again.
I’ve just discovered that people have been leaving comments – and appreciative comments at that. I have a following!
… in which case I had better get on with it…
Here’s real life: One of the New Year’s Resolutions was to go to the gym. It’s not that I’m particularly unfit but having seen myself on the company video, I realise I have begun to stoop like an old man. This cannot go on and maybe the gym will help.
It was as I was coming out that the opportunity arose: I stopped to discuss my membership with the young man on the reception desk: Did I want to pay per session or take a monthly direct debit? Which was most cost-effective? Would I keep on going?
It was only when I was about to get into the car that I realised I had forgotten to invite him to look at my business. Now this must never happen. Everyone I speak to must be invited to look at the business.
But it was raining and I was anxious to get in the car – but that must never happen either. What must be done, must be done… that way lies success. In every other direction lies failure (I talk to myself a lot. I may appear to the passer-by to be mad but it keeps my attitude on course).
So back I went and found the young man talking with his colleague. They looked up.
“I thought I’d come back because I may have something for you,” I began.
They looked expectant.
“May I ask you both a question: “Are you in the market for more time, more money… or possibly both?”
They looked puzzled (they were supposed to look puzzled). They said: “What do you mean?”
And since they had asked, it would not have been polite if I hadn’t told them: “Well, I work with a big company which arranges for shops like Sainsbury’s and Tesco and Marks & Spencers to pay people’s electricity bills. Now what this means for you is that if you showed two people a week how to get the stores to pay their bills, then typically, at the end of the year you would be earning £500 a month on top of what you’re earning now. So would an extra £500 a month benefit you?”
They both said it would. They both said they would come round to my house at 8.30 that evening to join some other people who would be finding out some more.
Neither of them turned up.
Now, I could have left it at that. I could have shrugged and comforted myself with the knowledge that most people will never make the effort to help themselves – but I was passing the gym today and popped in. One of the young men was on duty. He was deeply apologetic. He said he hadn’t finished work until 9.30…
But the fact was, he didn’t think he’d have time for anything else. He was already doing two jobs…
Why was he doing two jobs?
Well neither of them paid very well…
We talked a little about jobs – about selling your life by the hour. We talked about wages and we talked about profits…
And we’re going to carry on talking when I go back in and see him and his colleague on Friday.
I’ve no idea whether they’ll join. If they don’t I shall comfort myself with the knowledge that at least there will always be someone to man the reception desk at the gym – and we do need someone to do that.
“… and what do you do?”
It’s the standard question at parties – and now, at the end of the Christmas Party season, I reckon I’ve cracked it.
The problem is that if you’re a supermarket manager, an accountant, a teacher or whatever, you can just say so and people will know how to respond (it might be boring but they’ll know how to respond).
But if you’re in network marketing you’re in a different world. For one thing people will ask “what’s network marketing?”
Now, when I started nearly six years ago, I thought this was a wonderful opportunity. I mean they’d asked me… I couldn’t very well refuse to tell them, could I?
So I did. I launched into the wonderful services that everybody uses every day – I delved into the compensation plan which pays you forever. I told fabulous stories of ordinary people who had wrought extraordinary changes in their lives through this wonderful industry… and I went on telling them while the mulled wine grew cold in my hand and the Edith Piaf CD went into replay.
It would have been fine if their faces had glazed over and they’d started looking over my shoulder for the cavalry. I like to think that if that had happened, even I would have noticed. But no, they appeared to be genuinely interested (OK, who wouldn’t be?)
The trouble was that in other parts of the room there were other people who were not so interested. Obviously these people had only picked up snippets (otherwise they would have been riveted). But I suspect that to them I must have been something of a spectacle. Imagine a Bateman cartoon “The network marketer at the cocktail party” with people jumping out of windows and drowning themselves in the fruit punch.
My wife had a word with me afterwards and I remember saying plaintively: “But they asked me…”
After that I became much more circumspect: “What do I do? Well I help people save money and I help people make money… how do I do it? Well, I’d love to tell you but that’s my wife over there and if she catches me talking shop there’ll be hell to pay. But are you interested in money? Well let’s get together after the holidays and I’ll tell you all about it.”
And this tactic reached its logical conclusion this Christmas. I had just escaped from the vicar – who was a very nice chap but had a habit of standing there smiling in devout silence while people thrashed around for something appropriate to say to him. Anyway, the next moment, I found myself in front of the new owner of the village’s most tumbledown cottage. This kept us going for a good ten minutes during which time I learned that he had been in public relations, had left London, considered and then rejected the idea of doing B & B and was now going to have to find some way of earning a living in order to support the terrifying cost of thatching.
“…and what do you do?” he asked finally.
“Well, I said,” drawing a breath and scanning for Mrs Passmore’s radar which was doubtless operating at full power from the other end of the room. “Well,” I went on for more dramatic effect: “I think that you might like to take a look at what I do. Would it help you to work from home? and get paid over and over again for work you do once? and build up a full-time income from a few hours a week between the plastering and the joinery?”
“Yes, it would.” he said. “It sounds ideal,” he said. “What do you do?” he said.
“Can’t tell you.” I told him. “Not here. People would accuse me of talking shop – and my wife’s over there, she hates me going into business mode at parties. But if you’re interested, I’ll call you in the New Year…”
As we left he made a special effort to accost me by the door. Pumping my hand, he looked me straight in the eye and said: “You will call me in the New Year, won’t you?”
So I suppose I’d better…