Archive for the ‘Home business’ Category

The Addict

You know when you’re addicted to a Free Prize Draw in the street: You start at 4.54 in the afternoon…

That’s just the way the day panned out. If you saw my Facebook post yesterday you’ll know that I got kidnapped by my 16-year-old daughter for a completely unnecessary school run followed by my 19-year-old son needing me in the passenger seat while he drove to his school for one lesson (and then back  90 minutes later) – and what with the dog to walk and the dentist, you can understand that the time slipped away.

But we had a count-up the other day and in the last year, I have filled in 1,123 prize draw forms for my Network Marketing business (it must be over 1,200 by now). So if the late afternoon arrives without any more filled in, the Fish Kiosk starts calling (if you’ve been following this for any length of time – or have seen the videos on the MLM Prize Draw tab above – you’ll be familiar with the Fish Kiosk).

Anyway, that’s where 4.54 found me (wrote it on the corner of the first form) and within a minute a woman with a shopping bag came clopping along heading for the car park. In fact, she appeared so quickly that I was still shuffling paperwork which meant I could wave a sheet in her direction – always a good move: “Here you are, you can win a Hamper or £20. We just put your name in a hat…”

I swear we must have been there for ten minutes. If we’d had glasses of Pino Grigio in our hands we couldn’t have been more companionable. Absolutely yes, she definitely thought her phone bill was too much – especially with all the broadband and whatnot… and would she like to save 25% off on her other household bills… well, yes it was a bit of a leading question… I mean, who wouldn’t and would she like an extra income? Or a new car? Well, she didn’t mind if she did…

But no sooner had we got to paragraph three of the Magic Minute than the light dawned: “I know what this is…”

And she said the name of the company (which of course I’m not allowed to say here).

Exactly right. And how long had she been a member? And was she happy?

And this is what is so great about the prize draw: If I ring up existing customers and check that they’re happy and ask if there is anyone they can recommend, they consider the call as a bit of an intrusion – not really much better than those people who ring up from somewhere in the Middle East pretending to be from Microsoft so they can steal all your money and then spend it trying to blow you up.

But in this situation with the Fish Kiosk and the imaginary Pinot Grigio, everything was different. She promised to call her friend who she was sure would be interested – and her son who’s just moving house…

And when she finally moved on – with protracted goodbyes – it wasn’t five minutes before Sandra turned up. Now I know Sandra, although I didn’t recognise her at first: “I went grey,” she said. “and decided it was better to go blonde.” We had a lot to catch up on – I don’t suppose we’d seen each other since our children were at nursery school

And she too recognised what all this was about – and as can happen if you don’t work hard enough on building your list – it turned out that she had been signed up by someone else. She couldn’t remember who but it was years ago and she wouldn’t dream of leaving the club: “I’m constantly amazed at how small my bills are – and then there’s the CashBack. I really like the CashBack…”

– And would she mind calling three friends to ask if they would like a call from me?

Well, of course she would – and that was before I told her the company would reward her if they joined – and reward her again every Christmas as long as they remained members…

You would think that she had won the Lottery.

I  must confess to a smile as she walked off (on her mission to spread the word, it seemed). I have colleagues who say they couldn’t possibly do this – stand in the street being ignored by passers-by – enduring the sneers of those people who look down on canvassers.

Maybe it’s all down to mindset. Maybe I’m just lucky.

But I tell you: I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Sales

20151225_105504

If you stand in the street offering a Free Prize Draw to total strangers there are always going to be two questions that come up: “What’s this all about” and – rather less often – “Who are you”.

I have covered many times what to say to the first (but to save you searching, I’ll give you the answer…)

“What’s it about? Ah, you mean ‘What’s the catch?’”

  • Yes, what’s the catch?”

“Well, the catch is that if you can’t run faster than me, I get to ask you four questions. Is that OK?”

The second question which people ask is the easy one: “Who are you?”

In my case the answer is absolutely brilliant because it opens up a wonderful avenue for rapport-building. As you might have guessed, the answer in my case is “John Passmore” and, where I live in Suffolk, the Police and Crime Commissioner is a man named Tim Passmore. He’s terribly nice, works amazingly hard and gets his picture in the local paper almost every day – which is no doubt why he keeps getting re-elected.

And, of course, when I tell people my name, they always say: “Any relation to the Police Commissioner?”

This provides me with a cue as loaded as anything in pantomime: “Well, if you’re a traffic officer stopping me for doing 70 miles an hour on the Orwell Bridge, he’s my brother. Otherwise, I’m sorry, no relation…”

By the time we’ve gone through that, do you think my new prospect is ready for the four questions?

So the other day I was about to go through this little performance when the woman asking the questions stopped and said: “Did you have a child at Kyson Primary School?”

  • Well, yes I did – four actually…

Then I looked again at her name … and she had taught all of them! So of course at this point I had to explain that the oldest is in his final year of English with Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, the next one has just been offered a place by Plymouth Medical School, Number Three is doing her GCSE’s and currently aspiring to a career in journalism while the youngest is in Year 9 at the local high school and has never wanted to be anything but a lawyer for as long as anyone can remember (something in which he should excel, given his aptitude for argument…)

Now, I know this sounds like one of those awful Christmas Newsletters you find parodied in the Guardian but the fact is that none of it would have been possible without the hard work and patience of the primary school teacher and her colleagues. So I made the point of emphasising this – and asked her about her life in retirement. I can’t tell you much about that for fear of identifying her.

But what with one thing and another, we finally got around to the four questions and now I shall be going to see her on Thursday to introduce her to my Network Marketing business.

But it was only later, thinking about all the other teachers who had been so much a part of our lives for twelve years, that I realised I had, at one time or another, attempted to prospect every one of them – and failed miserably on each occasion.

So what made the difference?

I may be wrong but here’s my take on it: All those attempts to turn a social situation – a quiet moment after class, a cup of tea in the interval of the school play – into a pitch for my business, was seen as just that… a crass attempt to sell something.

Standing in the street with a clipboard full of Prize Draw forms – it’s obvious that I’m selling something – and proud to do it.*

I know I get into trouble for “bucking the system” but I think this proves that there is no one way to succeed in this business. You hear people saying that Network Marketing is not about selling. It’s about recommending…

This sounds comforting and for some people, undoubtedly it works. But the plain fact is that if money changes hands, something just got sold.

And if nobody sold anything global commerce would cease to exist overnight. So if you’re happy to admit that you’re in sales, stand up, be proud – especially in the street…

 

* If the Police and Crime Commissioner is reading this, I should explain that in fact, I am not selling anything in the street – that is illegal without a licence.  In fact what I am doing is canvassing – the sale comes later…

Date/Venue Time Minutes Asked Email/brochure & Callback Appointment
5.1.17 City Center 1.52 – 1.56 4 1 1
1.56 – 2.01 5 4 1
2.01 – 2.08 7 6 1
2.08 – 2.13 5 1 1
2.13 – 2.18 5 9 1
2.18 – 2.27 9 4
2.27 – 2.35 8 1 1
2.35 – 2.38 3 1
2.38 – 2.42 4 2 1
2.42 – 2.47 5 3
Total: 53 20 7 2

The dilemma

Anyone who ever had an appointment with a prospect will be familiar with the dilemma: You’re running late. Do you call?

If you do call you are giving them the opportunity to say: “Oh, I’m so sorry. Something’s come up. Can we do it another time…”

Whereas, if you just turn up on the doorstep – even if they had forgotten you were coming – the chances are they’ll feel sufficiently apologetic to let you in.

But of course we’re not desperate are we?

So when I set off yesterday, I was only two minutes down the road when the call connected and the excuse came out of the speakers: “The school’s just phoned and one of the children is ill. They want me to go and collect her. Can we do it another time?”

– Of course. When would you like? Hold on let me pull over and get my diary…

In fact it was a very good and friendly conversation. Wednesdays are best for her so it’s going to be next Wednesday at the same time.

There was a time when a lost appointment – or even a rescheduled appointment was a disaster – if you’ve only got one a week, there goes your whole week.

But you have to look at the reason I was running late.  If you look at the statistics below you will see that I spoke to eight people in 42 minutes. The trouble was, I only intended to do half an hour of prize draw – that would have given me time to walk home and drive to the appointment.

But as you can see, I started at 11.51 and half an hour later (at 11.22) I had spoken to five people – bang on the average – and had one appointment. The only thing that was not average was that nobody had said no.

I had five new names on my list and all was well with the world.

So what was the hold-up? Well, it was the next person – the one at 12.22.

I was just about to put away the forms when she walked past and said “Good morning”.

So I said “Good Morning” and she said “Here again…”

Which made it rather difficult for me not to say: “This is for you. You can win…”

… and three minutes later, we had an appointment for next Wednesday morning when she gets back from taking the children to school.

It wasn’t so bad – only three minutes behind schedule. I went to untie the dog from the drainpipe when a friend came past – a good friend. One of those friends you see all the time, so you don’t have to make a point of ringing them up to pitch them because you know the topic is going to come up in conversation.

She smiled: “Hi, John…”

Of course then she looked at the forms and said: “You’ve already done me…”

Which I had. She’s been a customer  almost a decade and pays me well every month.

But No, I said: “Did you know about the lightbulbs? You can get all your lightbulbs changed for nothing…”

The only trouble was I was now I was six minutes behind schedule…

Of course it grew to 10 minutes by the time I got home and found the iPad and the car keys.

But it was while on the way back after the cheerful cancellation – in fact within a minute of the cheerful cancellation – that the music cut out and a call came in: “Er – my husband picked up a leaflet and it said I ring for more information…”

Time to pull over again. I began to write down her name and address. I looked at them a second time. The surname – and particularly the address – were identical to those on the envelope on the passenger seat. The one I was due to deliver on my way home.

“Well isn’t that extraordinary! I have a letter addressed to your husband right here. I was going to pop it through your door on my way home – which in fact is going to be in about one minute because I’m at the end of your road now. If you like I could knock on the door instead…”

As it happened she was just about to go out so instead it’s going to be Friday at 3.00 p.m.

Don’t you just love Network Marketing?

Date/Venue Time Minutes Asked Email/Brochure & Callback Appointment
2.11.16

Car Park

11.51 – 11.59 8 9 1
11.59 -12.05 6 1 1
12.05 – 12.12 7 5 1
12.12 – 12.16 4 3 1
12.16 – 12.22 6 4 1
12.22 – 12.27 5 1 1
12.27 – 12.30 3 1 1
12.30 – 12.33 3 1 1
42 25 6 2

Holiday Season

CrabbingNow this is something you should see. This is something to be proud of. In fact I believe this might just be a world record (well a record in a very small world). But first some scene setting:

Next month is the Autumn Convention. Anyone in the world of Network Marketing will know that in the month before the Big Convention we are all on a mission – we need to hit Double-Diamond Starship Commander status to get to the conference in Cancun – we need another 20 contracts to get the Maserati – we need this for that or the other for whatever.

In short, we need some activity.

The only trouble is that the Autumn Convention comes right after the Holiday Season – which means I have spent the last week with my family at the seaside doing all the things we have done every year since the children were little – and even though they’re now in their teens and twenties, we still do the same things because… because…. Well, it’s a tradition.

So we had sausages by candlelight in the beach hut on the first night and cockles from the fisherman’s hut and walked to Walberswick in the rain (only it rained just the once about ten years ago) and went to the Summer Theatre (The 39 Steps)…

And this year for the first time, there was a new activity. Every day Dad went into town for an hour of Prize Draw. In the seven days we were there I added 70 names to my list and signed up a new distributor (right there in the street). It didn’t interfere with the holiday and it was a great boost to the business just at the right time.

But none of that compares with what happened today.  Today we were home and the trouble is that once you’ve done something every day for a week, it becomes difficult to break the habit. The plain fact was that I just had to get out there with my little satchel over my shoulder and my wad of prize draw forms. The only trouble was that today is Sunday and the town centre was deserted. It shouldn’t be: Shops stay open on Sundays now – and this was Holiday Season. It should be crowded with visitors. But you can’t argue with the facts. The Town Centre was deserted.

But habits – even new ones – die hard. The next stop was the river wall where people stroll on a Sunny Sunday. That too – for some inexplicable reason – was similarly empty.

In desperation the third stop was the boating pond. The good thing about this concrete rectangle filled with two feet of murky water is that they’ve now relocated the tea hut next to it. The place was teeming – and better still, teeming with people hanging about watching the children who in turn were watching the grown-up children sailing their radio-controlled boats.

Now, if you look at the statistics below and compare them to previous statistics you will notice something quite extraordinary: The “asked” column contains only the figure “1” – five times I invited people to enter my free prize draw and five times they said “yes”.

Starship Commander, here I come…

 

Date/Venue Time Minutes Asked Brochure/email/

Callback/Appointment

28.08.16

Boating pond

11.45 – 11.47 2 1 B,C
11.47 -11.49 2 1 B.E.C
11.49 – 11.57 8 1 B,E,C
11.57 – 12.02 5 1 B,E,C
12.02 – 12.07 5 1 B,C
Total 24mins 5 5B, 3E, 5C,

Make £££’s from your children playing on the X-Box!

20160510_080521Great headline isn’t it? Can’t you just see that being shared all over Facebook?

Well here’s how it came about.  A week ago yesterday – which was a Bank Holiday Sunday – we had a crisis: Hugo, who is 13, had decided that he was going to spend the whole bank holiday weekend on the X-Box. But there was one problem (no it did not have to do with fresh air and exercise): The battery in his headset had died. Without the battery in his headset, how was he to talk to teenagers in Japan and Slovenia? And this was no ordinary battery. This was a CR2 battery.

Since I was about to walk the dog, would I (please, please) go down to the town and get him a new battery. He was on Level 796 and if he  didn’t get to Level 797 by teatime he would implode.

We began a short period of negotiation. People who have seen me negotiate with Hugo say I am a wimp. In my defense, I should say I had the same trouble with his oldest brother who is  now  a high-powered corporate lawyer who helps Russian oligarchs sue each other for billions. I came away with a promise that Hugo would venture out in the afternoon just long enough to join his friends in disrupting the traffic with their skateboards.

And so it was that I found myself in the Cheap Shop. Actually it’s called something else which I can’t remember but in our family it’s always been called The Cheap  Shop just as the smelly bookshop is called “The Smelly Bookshop” because way back at the turn of the millennium there was a man in there with the most dreadful body odor. Anyway The Cheap Shop sold  CR2 batteries – and although they were cheap, they would probably see Hugo through the Bank Holiday weekend.

It was while I was fishing out the modest few coins which is all The Cheap Shop demands that I became aware of a consternation. One of the assistants came in to announce: “There’s a dog tied up outside.”

Well of course there was a dog tied up outside. It was my dog. So many shops won’t allow dogs that I leave her outside by default. Even the stationers doesn’t allow dogs – and they don’t sell so much as a chocolate bar by way of “food products”.

Before long all three assistants were outside making a fuss of the dog. Once they realised they were all outside at the same time, one of them had to come back in to take my money – and then, of course, had to go outside again with the one “food product” the shop did stock (dog treats behind the counter).

None of this will come as any surprise to anyone who has seen the dog waiting outside a shop. I think I once parked her too near an RSPCA poster and she copied the expression. By now she had gathered a small crowd saying “Aaah,” and “Poor little thing – been left all alone have you…”

One way and another there was a good deal of fuss and introductions and explanations that the manageress used to have a spaniel called Bouncer. Not any more though. She doesn’t have time for another dog. Not with a family and two jobs and…

Can you see an opening here for a Network Marketer? I think the lady from the Cheap Shop is going to make a great distributor.

This morning I tried to explain all this to Hugo. All I wanted was a picture of him with the X-Box. It would look great on the Blog. More people would read it – and sign up for the Cold Market Academy. I would make money.

I could buy him more CR2 batteries, for heaven’s sake…

Attractive young women and old men

 

young women and old men

I make no apologies for posting this one again. It comes from November last year and I couldn’t find the photo until I stumbled on it this evening. In fact the picture doesn’t match the story at all – it was taken at Christmas the previous year. But hey, who’s going to let the facts get in the way…

You get to an age when you don’t approach attractive young women any more.

For one thing it’s pretty pointless and for another I just can’t take the rejection.

As a Network Marketer, I should be used to rejection – but it does cause a bit of inner turmoil because attractive young women make particularly good Network Marketers. Get them started in any kind of Multi-Level Marketing or Direct Sales business and they just tend to fly.

So there I was on my way to the big leadership conference.  I had been talking non-stop on the hands free to the team. I was, as you might say, “In The Zone” when, walking into the Motorway Services for a bite of lunch, I was confronted not by one attractive young woman but by four of them. I just remember this overwhelming impression of wall to wall big eyes and sparkling teeth and red lips and …. well, you get the idea (and, of course, the big booming voice in my head saying: “Don’t look there, don’t look there…”

And all of this would have been fine had it not been for the leader of the pack latching onto me as effortlessly as a lioness brings down an ageing and infirm old Wildebeest.

Whatever it was she said brought me to an abrupt halt. I have no idea what she did say because at the time all my senses seemed to be fully occupied with the big eyes, sparkling teeth and red lips at close range. Also by this time she had her manicured and painted hand on my arm.

Over the next few minutes I became vaguely aware that my wife and daughter would be forever grateful if only I would take home to each of them a miniature black carrier bag. This was modeled on the sort of thing you see being loaded into the back of Bentleys in Kensington – only small enough to dangle from her polished index finger.

It was difficult to believe that anything so small could be worth £160 but that was what she said the make up inside it should really cost – but I could have it for nothing…. provided I bought this small black cylinder with a brush which popped out like something in a Christmas conjuring set. The small black cylinder was priced at only £27.99.

It was only now that I found my tongue (I have a horrible suspicion that it might have been hanging out all this time). Anyway I was able to mumble something about my wife and daughter never forgiving me if I presumed to buy make up for them…

But once I managed to get the mouth working again, of course it went onto auto-pilot: “I must say you’re really good at this. Have you been in sales for long? Really? Well actually I’m always looking for good sales people. Tell me, have you ever thought of using the skills you’ve got in your spare time? You could earn a really good extra income – just as long as it doesn’t affect your full-time job, of course…”

And she said: “Is this Network Marketing?”

“It sounds as though you know all about it…”

And she did. She had been to presentations by two other companies and thought the concept was brilliant. It was just that this was her own company she was promoting – the three other attractive young women were her employees being trained up to run their own stalls in other motorway service areas. Next month she was off to America…

“But I do want to get into Network Marketing one day,” she said. “Maybe in two of three years when I can get someone to manage this for me…”

And she put down her conjuring set and took my phone and tapped away with her painted fingers and we’ll talk again in two or three years time.

I’d like to make that two…

Friends and total strangers

As excuses go, this was quite a novel one: The new distributor said that his family wouldn’t talk to him and he didn’t have any phone numbers for his friends.

Instead we were going to call on them. It would be a nice surprise.

Maybe they weren’t really friends. Maybe it was having me in tow… maybe it was just too early on a Saturday morning. Anyway, it didn’t go very well. At the last door we got a “No” even before we got inside – one of those definitive, belligerent “No’s” that you don’t argue with.

It just made me so grateful for the Cold Market: While the new distributor was mumbling apologies and saying he couldn’t understand it, I said: “Don’t worry. I’ll find us someone to talk to.”

It did involve a 20 minute drive to the other side of town because that was where I had delivered my Written Invitations. With the air of a confident conjurer, I announced: “I want to show you something…”

And we walked up to the first door and rang the bell. Within two minutes we had made a new friend (not a belligerent one) and had his wife’s name and phone number because she deals with what we have to offer.

Now I should add that we knocked on a further five doors and got nowhere – and by that time it was starting to rain hard.

“Never mind,” I said, pulling another rabbit out of the hat. “Let’s ring up some old numbers.”

And so we did.

I have a lot of old numbers – I think about 3,500 and the vast majority of them are very badly organised. If there is an electronic equivalent of the bran tub that you find at the best kind of village fete, that is my Customer  Relationship Management system. Anyway, I plunged my hand into the microchips and came up with a name.  It appears I last spoke to him on December 2nd 2008. Never mind, I poked at the number on the screen and it began to dial: “I don’t know whether my name rings a bell…” I said brightly as I do a dozen times a day.

A bell did ring somewhere in his memory – and no sooner had I launched into my Magic Minute than he came up with the name of the company – not particularly difficult because it appears that no sooner had I prospected him as a distributor all those years ago, than someone else came along and signed him up as a customer – which he has been ever since.

However what they had not done – for which he will doubtless be very cross when he realizes what he has missed – is show him how the money works. I have a date to do that on Monday week.

My new distributor sat in the passenger seat while all this was going on. I’m not sure what he was thinking but I fancy it might have something to do with the question of why a pair of total strangers are happy to do what a long-standing friend plainly won’t.

I don’t have the answer. I guess it goes under the heading of “Isn’t that interesting…”

Anyone can make a mistake – again…

Do you ever kick yourself for making the same mistake over and over again?

Why do we do this? Don’t we ever learn?

I used to stand  up in my Network Marketing Company’s training sessions and tell the delegates: “It is essential that you have all the decision-makers present. It is a complete waste of time to show your presentation to Sid by himself – only to have him say: “That looks very good. I’ll tell Doris.”

The fact is that if Sid had attended the training session, he might have make a passable job of showing the products to their best advantage. Instead of which your fabulous presentation is going to be reduced to “Jim came round with some health pills” or  “Sally wants to sell us gas and electric”.

“Do not risk it,” I would tell them. “Make sure they understand you are expecting them both to be there and if they are not, you must – I repeat, must – explain politely that you will have to call again at another time. When’s best for them – both of them?

Come on, you have taken the decision to start this business, you have steeled yourself to pick up the phone and make the appointment. You can do this!

Yup – and you can do the other…

I had met the Penny when she entered my Prize Draw. “Oh, you must talk to my husband,” she had said. “He deals with all those sort of things.”

And sure enough, once I was sitting at his kitchen table and asked: “Will Penny be joining us?” He confirmed: “Oh, she has to go out. Anyway she won’t be interested…”

And so we began.

After about ten minutes Penny popped her head round the door to say she was just leaving. Her parting words were the following: “Now don’t go signing anything while I’m not here!”

And she was gone.

“Sorry, but I thought you said she wouldn’t be interested…”

– Well, she’s not really but I wouldn’t make any decision today anyway.

And time stood still. The Earth paused on its axis. The pendulum of the antique grandfather clock in the hall hung at an impossible angle and I had my chance to say: “Ah, right… well, you see we operate in a very highly regulated industry and it would be quite improper for me to show you what we have unless all the relevant parties are present. So I am afraid we will have to leave it there for now.

“So when would be a good time to continue when Penny will be available? I can manage tomorrow at 10.00 a.m. or, failing that. I have a slot at 4.30 on Friday…”

Instead I flunked it. The moment passed and sauntered off into that parallel universe in which people say: “Well that’s very interesting. I’ll pass that on to Penny and we’ll let you know…”

… and the answer, when it came was: “Penny’s decided we’re alright as we are. I know we’re paying a bit more (£1,100 a year, actually) but we don’t want to make any changes…”

Now it would be very unfair of me to end this post on such a somber note.  A NetworkMarketingBlog post – just like a satisfying novel – should leave the reader feeling uplifted and empowered and all that good stuff.

So let us ask ourselves what is the best thing about what just happened?

Well, we have learned what not to do (yes we have … and no we won’t do it again…)

And it has driven us out out into Cold Market again to go and find another prospect because we do not care what Penny and her husband decide to do. There will be no embarrassment next time we meet them at a family party or the Social Club summer barbecue. In fact in all probability we will never, ever, see them again.

At least that was what I told myself as I set out with my Prize Draw forms once more and – as you will see below – got myself another three people to talk to.

Date Venue Time Minutes People Entries Appointments Callbacks
11.02.16 Car Park 1147 – 1205 13 14 1 1
1205 – 1215 10 15 1 1
1215  – 1240 15 6 1 1
Total 38 35 3 1 2

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.

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. Then it went online as an e-learning course.
Now it is a book available through Amazon: MLM, Network Marketing and the Secret of the Free Prize Draw (you can see more about this on the "MLM Prize Draw" tab above.)
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 info@networkmarketingblog.org.uk

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 sceptical. 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.