Archive for the ‘Mini’ Category
We took the older boys to see “One Man Two Governors” at the Theatre Royal in Norwich this evening (must-see, and be prepared to fall off your seat laughing).
It all worked very well: Theo, the 15-year-old had been cross country running and the Athletics Club dropped him off at Tescos in Bury St Edmunds where we picked him up an hour later. It gave us plenty of time for dinner in Wagamama with a large bottle of Tiger beer for me (I had driven there and Tamsin would be driving back).
In fact I slept most of the way back, only waking with the familiar lurch as we turned into the drive.
The car behind us turned in too. It was a police car.
You know how people say British policemen are wonderful. This was one of those occasions. The officers were sure there must be some discrepancy but their computer was showing that Tamsin’s Mini was uninsured. If we wouldn’t mind showing them a certificate of insurance, just so they could establish that everything was as it should be.
Would they like to come in, we asked.
They both thanked us very much and stepped into the hall while I went and rummaged in the “official documents” box knowing full well that if the car was taxed then it had to be insured as well – and of course it was…
The officers were very grateful and advised us that we might like to contact our insurers just to make sure that they had updated their database.
Almost as an apologetic afterthought one of them said that his colleague might disagree but he felt Tamsin might have been going just a little fast for the rather damp road conditions – it was just his opinion of course…
Tamsin agreed that might indeed have been the case and that she would be very careful to watch her speed in future. It was all terribly civilised.
With a good deal of smiling and nodding the officers began to make their goodbyes and turned to the door.
And that was when I said: “Just before you go, I’ve got something you might like to see” and I ducked back into the office and pulled out a couple of leaflets about my network marketing business. Hastily sticking the address labels on the backs as I went, I presented them to our new friends: “You might find this useful. It’s what I do. In fact I’ve been doing it for nearly eight years now and a lot of my colleagues are police officers. it seems to suit them very well.”
They each took a leaflet and asked what it was.
“It’s a pension that you don’t have to put money into. You just put a bit of time into it instead and with what the Government’s been doing to public sector pensions, we really do have a lot of police officers joining us.”
They thanked me and they walked out of the house both reading their leaflets by the porch light.
Whether they will be open to what Multi-Level Marketing can offer them, I have no idea. But of course that’s not my concern. It is only my concern to make sure that whenever an opportunity arises to promote my MLM business, I take it no matter the time of day or the circumstances – or whether my first thought is one of intense relief that I shall be heading for my bed instead of being carted off to the police station.
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…)
The man shopping in his lunch hour laughed as he walked off – the sort of laugh that goes with a shake of the head and muttered amazement at someone who says: “OK, I’ll call you in a couple of years…”
A couple of years is a lifetime away. A couple of years is so far into the indistinct future that nobody in their right mind would make an appointment a couple of years ahead.
But my diary goes up to the next millennium – and it goes backwards too….
Today was a bit of a rush all round. Things to do, people to see… and a Cold-Market Academy in Gloucester to get ready for tomorrow. But along with half an hour of Prize Draw in the street, the day wouldn’t be complete without 15 minutes of phone calls…
Reaching into the microchips, I plucked a name at random. I said my piece and the woman on the other end agreed that what I had would benefit her. Now I have to phone her husband on Friday to confirm the appointment for next week.
It was only afterwards that I looked to see where we had met – at a Prize Draw in January 2009, it turned out.
That’s three-and-a-half years ago – and she talked to me as if we had been interrupted by the doorbell ringing or the potatoes boiling over.
And so when Shopping Man smirked at my idea of calling him in a couple of years, I knew something that he doesn’t know – something you only get to understand if you were born in the first half of the last century – that time is an illusion.
And time is magic. Time can transform something that is new and unknown into something that is familiar and trusted.
If you were to take half an hour a day to get six prize draw forms filled in – and you did that five days a week, for 50 weeks of the year … and you went on doing that for three years, at the end of that time you would have 4,500 people who knew you and were at least some way down to path towards trusting you.
Do you think you would have a big business?
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.
Plumbers should not play rugby. He had ended up at the bottom of a ruck and by Sunday he could hardly stand.
It was now Friday and his first day back at work. Not a very profitable day either: He brought the wrong taps (at least, I said they were the wrong taps) – but you could see the relief all over his face: He would not have to crawl into the cupboard under the sink.
So once he had replaced the timer for the immersion heater there was not much else to do except talk. “Is that what you do?” he asked, gesturing to the Mini parked next to his van. For anyone new to this blog, I should explain that my Mini is bright yellow and covered in pink pigs. If you are casting around for small talk, it tends to elbow its way into the conversation like like a toddler at a cake stall.
It turned out the plumber had done some work for one of my team – who also had a Mini parked outside. And yet he had no real idea of what we do. The team-member, it seemed, had been more interested in plumbing than inviting. So in we went, me and the plumber, for a cup of tea and while the kettle boiled, I sat him down in front of the laptop and played him the ten minute video.
Then I signed him up. It really wasn’t much more difficult than that.
Now the way I look at it, that one had walked in and climbed into my pocket. I mean how much work did I have to do? So now I had to pay for it – in other words, I had to do the work which – normally - I would have had to do to get a new distributor to sign up. So after the clarinet lesson, I headed into the centre of Ipswich for half an hour of Win-a-Mini. You can see the statistics below The problem with them was that the run of luck continued – one appointment and two callbacks out of 82 should be considered good in anybody’s book.
So where, I should like to know, was all this going to end. It could have ended with the man who rang me in the late afternoon to offer me a conservatory. I explained that we already had a conservatory (which was not true but was probably the right answer). We also had new windows and doors and soffits (although I’m not quite sure what they are if they aren’t a new brand of confectionery).
It was not until he began to run out of home improvements that I was able to thank him for the professional way he had handled the call.
“In fact,” I mused, placing my forefinger on my lower lip (which was completely wasted on him since he was in IP23 and I’m in IP4) “I’m always looking for people who are good communicators. Tell me, if the money was good enough, would you be able to find an extra hour a day. five days a week?
You see, since our company announced some enhancements to the bonus payments at the weekend, I have worked out that an hour a day, five days a week should earn you £2,000 plus an ongoing month income which, after a year, would have grown to £250 a month.
Now that may not sound much, as I said to the man with the soffits. But do you know how much you would have to have in a bank deposit account paying 3% to get 250 a month?
The answer is £200,000. How many people do you know who are able to pay £100,000 into a deposit account in year?
So now he’s got my website address and I’ve got his phone number.
Tomorrow I will pay for it – but then again tomorrow I am going to walk the dog in Christchurch Park for 90 minutes while my eldest son goes to his drama group.
I can’t imagine I will be the only one there…
For some reason the new version of WordPress won’t convert a table from Word so in future I’m going to have to give you the statistics like this (which is actually much less time-consuming):
Prize Draw Ipswich 1507 – 1539: 32 minutes
People approached: 82
Forms completed: 4
Callbacks agreed: 1
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…
I’m a trainer for my company. This is fairly unusual in Network Marketing – that the company organises a formal training programme. Usually it’s up to individual leaders to look after that side of things. But with us the company shells out more than £1million a year trying to give every distributor the best chance of success. It’s not wasted – well, not all of it…
Let me explain:
Periodically we get assessed: That is to say one of the most senior distributors turns up unexpectedly to find out whether we’re still doing it the way we should be – and although I passed… just…I was found wanting in some areas. One of them was the state of my Mini.
I have mentioned before that the company gives us a brand new BMW Mini covered in garish logos. I am very proud of mine but along with other generally declining standards, I had not cleaned it before last weeks’ training session.
My other faults – since I seem to be in a confessional mood – included not being fully prepared when the delegates arrived, fiddling with my Blackberry and wandering around the room looking at the paintings on the walls while my co-trainer was presenting. All this this appeared on the “development requirements” column of the assessment – which, I will have you know, I take very seriously.
So the next morning I set out to remedy the Mini situation at the local car wash.
I was sitting in the car waiting to be dried and fiddling with my Blackberry (this is allowed in the Car Wash) when I became aware of someone standing beside me reading the outside of the car. I lowered the window: “D’you want one?” I asked.
He said: “What’s it all about?”
It turns out that he owns one of the local estates and thinks what I’ve got “sounds brilliant”.
Which proves that Network Marketing works even when you’re no good.
|12.07.12||1141 – 1147||Woodbridge Car Park||6||11|
|1147 – 1155||8 (14)||17 (28)||Yes|
|1155 – 1159||4 (18)||3 (31)|
|1159 = 1208||9 (27)||21 (52)|
|1208 – 1213||5 (32)||4 (56)|
|1545 -1552||7 (39)||7 (63)||Yes|
I’m not complaining. When things are you’re own fault, you can’t complain – but you can set matters down in a factual manner and appreciate it if people find it in themselves to be sympathetic…
I crashed the car.
Honestly – once while cutting up someone in heavy traffic in Ipswich and then again in the same embarrassing circumstances on the roundabout not 200 yards from my front door. The second incident, on the very evening before the accident repair people were due to start fixing the first dent.
I am very sad about all this – not that I have any right to be. But I love my little Mini and very sorry for itself it looked with its door all bashed in and the graphics scratched off. I felt that the least I could do for it, before it went off to to the repair shop, was replenish it’s card boxes.
If you’re not familiar with these, they are little plastic boxes placed at strategic points on the sides and back of the car containing my business cards. At least it went off with a full set.
I miss them. I miss the Mini. I am driving round in a grey Vauxhall Corsa with no card boxes. It’s not the same.
Then I got a speeding ticket (I said I wanted sympathy). In fact it was as I was casting around for something to prop up my smile that I received a call from a young man named Adam. He had a card. He had seen the website. He thought it looked brilliant. He wanted to know more.
“That’s great,” I said, attempting to lever up my enthusiasm to match his. “And what do you do?”
This is what Adam said: “I’m a paint sprayer. I’ve been spraying your Mini. I took one of your cards. I hope that’s all right.”
Yes that’s quite all right. In fact if Adam turns out to be really good, he might just earn me enough to pay next year’s increased insurance premium.
|29.05.12||1516 – 1525||Woodbridge car pk||14||11|
Total for May: Prize Draw: 6hr 26 mins. Customers: 6. Distributors 5.