Archive for May, 2009

Not so much a day off

by John Passmore

No pressure on the day off but I happened to see a solar heating van in the car park when I took Theo to the sailing club. Couldn’t waste the opportunity so I sent them a text – no reply so far.

But then I had to go and get some more bread for the new guests and on the way back I passed a van with “Computer Recycling” all down the side. There was no mobile number but since they were in the business, I thought I might ring them anyway – after all it’s worked before.

But then, getting back on the bike, I realised there was someone in the driving seat – who had been watching me quizzically all along.
So I went round and he wound down the window:

“Hi,” I said. “I was writing down the phone number because I’m in the technology business too. Tell me, would you be interested in an extra income alongside the one you get already?”

And now he’s looking at the website.

And yes, number two son had a good day on the water – apparently they were leading the fleet at one point and that’s never happened before.

A Very Busy Day

All the women reading this are going to say: “Soooo…?”

But for all the blokes, this is what I had to do today:

Take number three son to Tennis
Take number two son to his friend’s house.
Persuade number one son to come home from his sleepover and do some revision
Make up the beds in the guest room.
Get the front door fixed.
Buy bread for the guests.
Ring number one son again and mention revision.
Get everyone’s maths done.
Practise clarinet for an hour.
Nag number one son who still hasn’t come home.
Dry and re-pack number two son’s sailing gear.
Make sure number one son has quick sandwich.
Mention revision in passing.
Get to Ipswich for clarinet lesson.

… and we’re still only up to lunchtime.

I mention all this because today was always going to be a tough one. In fact before I started this blog it would have been a day when my Network Marketing business might have taken second place.

But on the way back from tennis and in between the revision nagging and finding out that none of the pillowcases in the house seemed to match, I called some of those distributors who missed the Ipswich COP last night.

And guess what. Every single one of them had a good excuse. I won’t go into the excuses because some of them were very good indeed – even ingenious. But the fact is that the people who are really, really successful – the ones who take this business really, really seriously, look at the COPs a different way. The way they see it is that – barring matters of life and death, perhaps – the COP is at least as important as anything else in their life.

The same can be said for my list of things to do and my list of prospects – although I must admit that when I started today, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to say my 30 second thing to six people by the end of it.

But if you set your mind to something, it’s strange how events re-arrange themselves in your favour.

The first thing that happened what that on the way to the bakers I had a phone call from someone I was due to see about the business. Would he like me to come on another day?

“No, better not,” he said. “I really don’t know what I’m doing at the moment – fact is, I’ve just lost my job.”

And on went the light bulb.

“Well I might be able to help you there. You see this club isn’t just about saving money. It can make you money as well. Would you like me to tell you how that works – it takes 30 seconds.”

One down – five to go.

Next I was invited to sign a petition against the closure of the Cardiac unit at Ipswich Hospital. Gladly I signed it. Then I asked the man with the clipboard: “Tell me: If you could afford private medical insurance, would you have it?”

“Of course”, he said. “Who wouldn’t?”

“If can show you in 30 seconds how you could afford it, would you like to know?”

Two down – four to go.

When I got home the man from the garage brought my Mini back from its service – and so I had to tell him why it was plastered with pink pigs

Three – but by this time I’d been for my lesson and time was slipping by. Then a carpenter phoned. I’d called him yesterday after seeing his advert in the little Services Directory which had come through the door. He too had 30 seconds to listen and now he’s now looking at the website.

After that my luck ran out. I just needed one more but discovered that I’d pressed the wrong button on the phone when trying to record mobile numbers in last night’s traffic jam. All I got on the playback was Radio 2.

Never mind – back to those ads. I phoned seven and not one wanted to know. One even said: “I haven’t got the time for anything else. I’m run off my feet as it is.”

“And how long’s that going to continue,” I asked him.

“Probably until I have a coronary or a nervous breakdown.”

“Then don’t you think it’s time to try something different?


Never mind. Number eight was a plumber who said: “Sounds fantastic. Tell me more.”

I looked at my watch: 4.50 p.m. and all done.

Except, of course, it never is.

Bong! An email dropped in from HQ.

Subject: New lead enquiry.

“There has been an enquiry about our services from the above..They enquired about the following services :
They have been sent an information pack regarding all services. Please contact to follow up.”

Ah, bless ‘em.

Six Prospects and Colin

by John Passmore

Only one more day of Hugo’s half-term tennis course to go. It never occurred to me that taking my six-year-old down to the courts every morning was going to be such a rich source of prospects. But look what happened today:

We were early and the young champion went bounding in along with another boy whose mother hung back as well, waiting for the lesson to start.

I couldn’t go until the teacher arrived. The other boy’s mother had to hang about too.
“I’ve seen you down at the community hall,” she said suddenly. “Your son does Maths there. You’ve got a dog. I’ve seen you walking about outside.”

Ah yes, I had to admit – and usually on the phone.

She laughed. ”Yes, always on the phone.”

“Do you want to know what I talk about?”

“Well I did wonder…”

So once again, the tennis courts had produced the first prospect of the day. Do you think the magic will work again tomorrow?

I certainly hope so because for the next four days I have three children and a detailed timetable of their activities – Tamsin is away in Scotland running the Edinburgh Marathon if her damaged foot will take it.

This means my time is going to be limited and I need to make special arrangements to speak to my six prospects a day. I do have the Services Directory to fall back on. This is the little magazine which came through the door the other day and turned out to be conveniently full of adverts for small businesses whose proprietors seem most interested in looking at a bolt-on business to help with their cash-flow.

But I want to keep that for emergencies. I always have this nagging fear of getting to four O’clock without speaking to anyone.

Meanwhile today my problem was that I was going to be out of circulation for an hour with an appointment. Crazy really: That I should feel resentful that an appointment was taking me away from the business of getting appointments!

Anyway it turned out to be quick and straightforward: Just phone and electricity and five referrals. But you take my point: that doesn’t really count as talking to a new prospect. Besides there were only eight hours to go to the Ipswich COP and although I had seven people who had said they were coming, Sod’s Law said that most of them wouldn’t turn up.

So I started on the list again and managed to get three more saying: “Well I’m not doing anything tonight. Maybe I’ll come along.”

This was just as well because while I was doing it I got two texts and an email from people who suddenly discovered they were babysitting or in Wembley or something.

And then the man who was fitting the floor tiles in the bathroom came down for his cheque and walked off with a DVD saying: “My wife would be interested in this.”

And that made five. Only one to go. Better take the Win-a-Mini forms into town when I get the bread…

The first five people said they didn’t want to Win a Mini, their parking ticket was running out, they had to pick up the children…

I like it when this happens. I get a buzz knowing that the sixth will say “yes”.

(Of course if it isn’t the sixth, it will be the seventh – but in this case we didn’t get even that far).
Number six wanted to Win a Mini and also said she was interested in “additional part-time earnings”.

And you might think that was it. Job done!

Except of course, opportunities don’t stop presenting themselves just because you don’t need them any more

So, sitting in the Suffolk Show traffic there seemed no point in ignoring the mobile phone number on the back of the van in front. In fact I found myself wishing the congestion had been even worse so I could have sent him a text there and then.

It gets compulsive, you see.

And how do I know that this compulsion to continue putting in these small bursts of daily activity is going to get me somewhere?

Because when I got to the COP there was an electrician called Colin waiting for me. I had first spoken to Colin back in December when he responded to a text – and tonight, five months later, he signed up as a distributor.

One customer and one distributor today. Yes, that will do nicely.

Good night.

The 90 Minute Day

by John Passmore

Have you noticed how blokes watching the DVD always flinch when Ruth Curzon comes on.

“I’m a single mum,” she says. “I’ve got two small children but I can still find time every day to do this business without a problem.”

You can just imagine her multi-tasking, making appointments at the school gate – saying she’ll pop round for a coffee and a chat as if that really is all she’s going to do.

No wonder women are so much better at this business. Men either go to work or go fishing.

But if you added up Ruth’s working day, how much time do you suppose she’s talking about?

Today I found out. Today I was a single Dad. Tamsin had taken our oldest to an audition in Cambridge, number two son was sailing and number three played tennis all day.

That left just me and Lottie. Lottie is eight and quite happy to spend all her time drawing and writing long and amazingly detailed stories about people getting married and having babies. But I really didn’t want to leave her to her own devices for hours on end. It seemed a waste of that “quality time” we’re supposed to have with our children.

However, writing this blog every evening does put me under a certain amount of pressure. How can I admit that today I decided I just didn’t need to speak to six people? So the question was, how fast could I do that – and without cheating.

It was probably this pressure that persuaded me to wander across the car park by the tennis courts to the plumber sitting in his van: “Excuse me, I’m on the lookout for plumbers – not for the pipes or anything. I’m just keen on having plumbers in my business. Would you be interested in earning some more money alongside what you do already?”

Turns out he wasn’t – but who cares, he was prepared to listen and I was up and running. Best of all it was still only 9.30 in the morning.

Of course the real reason for the excitement was because I have this theory that if you put in the effort then for some unaccountable reason, opportunities will start popping out of the woodwork.

Well, out of the letter box, actually. When I got back I found the postlady had left a little magazine called The Services Directory – and it was full of adverts from small businesses…

I started off with ten texts and immediately got two replies. One of them wanted to look at the website – and as a bonus, so did the man from Federal Express who interrupted me by delivered the dog’s whelping box.

On a roll now, I tried ringing some of the adverts – and found a woman who ran a cleaning company who said she was interested. Hey I was up to five already!

By the time Lottie came in with her painting of a mermaid for my pin board, I’d done my six – and all in 90 minutes. So off we went shopping – and since we were on our own, we decided to award ourselves a pub lunch.

And it was over the lunch that a customer sent me an email with the MAC code for his broadband and somebody called David replied to one of those ten texts and wanted me to call at 7.00 p.m.

As it turned out I was too late and obviously the football had started.

So what. He can be one of the six tomorrow…

The dog, the pump handle and the Post Office

by John Passmore

Nobody wanted to know.

The man who had been so keen when I talked to him on the Win-a-Mini stand had changed his mind. The couple who said “Give us a ring in a couple of weeks” would be quite happy to wait til Christmas – next year.

Maybe it was the aftermath of the Bank Holiday weekend. Maybe taking three days off means you lose your momentum.

Not that I really did take three days off, of course. We may have driven to Cambridge with the younger children to see the BFG at the Arts Theatre but I still wore my 5% off badge and now a woman in a shop called Octopus knows how she can make more money by not going to work than she ever will behind a counter…

But essentially I was off duty. This was family time and I was very proud of the way I allowed no fewer than three phone calls to go to voicemail.

However today it was business as usual and I was determined to put in a morning’s work. So I opened up the list and hit the phone.

Can you believe that three hours later, I had not a single appointment – not one person who said they would come to our open evening?

Of course, if this had been my first day in the business I would reasonably conclude that it doesn’t work – it’s a waste of time. I should find myself a job.

Fortunately I’ve been in long enough to know that this is normal. It’s called priming the pump. Just imagine all those fruitless phone calls in the same light as the effort your medieval villager had to put in on the pump handle first thing in the morning: For the first 20 or 30 strokes nothing happens…

And then, after lunch as I set off with the dog for the Post Office, we met another dog. The dogs introduced themselves as only dogs know how – and the owners complemented each other on their pets.

Whenever this happens to me, I go into sales mode – not about my business, you understand. It would never do to try and sell that sort of thing. No, I sell puppies:

“Actually she’s pregnant. You don’t want a Springer puppy do you – or half a dozen?”

It was at this point that I must have looked at the owner for the first time – because it was quite clear that she was going to be giving birth too. And reasonably soon by the look of it.

So, quite naturally the talk turned to getting paid to stay home and look after your children. Was that something she would like to know about?

“It sounds fantastic,” she said.

“It is,” I told her – and now she has a DVD.

And from that moment the sun came out and everything just got better and better. I found my way blocked by an electrician’s van on the pavement and hit him with a text. Standing in the enormous queue for the Post Office, I received an email from somebody who had been looking at the website. I called them while I waited.

And that meant that I had to turn to the woman behind me, who had two remarkably patient children, and explain: “Sorry about that. It must be infuriating to have to listen to other people’s phone conversations. But come to think of it, it’s something that might interest you. Would you like me to tell me how you can get paid for emnot/em going out to work?”

And in the time it took a man with a tatty holdall to deposit enough pound coins to pay off the Icelandic national debt, I was able to do a complete presentation.

And while I was doing it the Blackberry gave a little warble and there was a text from the electrician with the parking problem saying “Always interested in earning more money, please feel free to call any evening after 6 or any day on mobile, thanks.”

So it looks like two more the for Open Evening on Thursday.

I suppose that what I’m trying to say is that when the pump starts gushing, just make sure you have your bucket under it…

Job Done!

by John Passmore

9.30 a.m: This afternoon I’m off to Berkshire to see the great network marketing guru Ed Ludbrook. It means we’ll be getting back after midnight and I can’t see myself sitting down to write this blog at that time.

More to the point, I asked myself, how was I going to talk to my six people so that I could be sure of saying my 30 second thing to at least one of them and getting their name, address and phone number into my recruiting schedule (because that’s how you end up with a big business).

Then I looked at the post – something with “Teach me to Trade” on the envelope. Now this intrigued me because before discovering Network Marketing, I tried my hand at commodity trading on the internet. I made a fortune and promptly lost it all which tends to be what happens. This outfit promised better. Frankly I was sceptical but then I reasoned that if they had a lot of people going to their free seminars, then there would be a lot of people who might be prepared to look at a risk-free – and much better – opportunity to make a lot of money.

I rang up to book my place. The young man who took my call was called Oliver. He had a pleasant telephone manner (of course he had, that was his job). I complimented him on his telephone manner. I asked him if anyone else had said that (of course they hadn’t, they never do). I said I was always on the lookout for people who had a pleasant telephone manner – particularly people who wanted to make some extra money and I wondered if he might be one of those.

Two minutes later I had Oliver’s email address and phone number. Then I asked him if he wanted to know what it was all about – and 30 seconds after that he had the bare bones of my business. There is now an email in his inbox with a link to the website and a note in my diary to call him tomorrow.

Job done – and all before 9.30 a.m. All I need to do now is talk to another five people – and the wonderful thing is that it doesn’t even matter what they say…


1045: Just did a complete re-run of the Oliver story with a woman called Denise who rang to sell me a bed and breakfast website. It’s a good, good day!

Why And What

by John Passmore

So why on earth should you want to read the ramblings of an old has-been hack who gave up on journalism when he discovered network marketing?

Good question: First of all, it wasn’t my idea. You have Paul Johnstone to blame for this. He took a look at the emails I circulate to my team and said: “You should start a blog.”

The trouble is that with vain old hacks who haven’t seen their names in print for more than ten minutes, it doesn’t take much.

But mostly I thought it might help. The way I saw it, if I wrote a daily dairy of how I conducted my business, then it might give you some ideas.

And besides, if I knew that every evening (or at least a couple of times a week) I was going to sit down and account for my day, then I had better make sure I had done something to write about…

And today. On a whim, I started.

Actually today didn’t start well from an activity point of view – unlelss you count the unemployed man who came selling household products from an enormous holdall and went away with a DVD, a leaflelt and an invitation to our open evening.

Mainly the time got eaten up because today the company announced their end-of-year accounts which were so astonishing (turnover up 49% in a recession for heavens’s sake) that I had to tell everyone about it. Then the commission statements came out and there was a frantic round of emailing to see who’s residual income had gone up the most this month. My friend Mark was crowing about 14% and then Sonia topped it with 18%. I sent an email saying “Yeah, well I’m only up 11%. I told you this business wouldn’t work. I’m going to go and get a job…”

It’s at times like this that you have to remember most people have to be content with 3% a year.
But all of this meant that by Two O’clock in the afternoon I hadn’t talked to anybody at all outside the company – and that just won’t do.

Now I have a rule that every day I will tell six people about this business and so I went into town to post the broken bit of my shaver to the repair company in Dorking and looked for likely prospects. Normally, I make a point of falling into conversation with people in petrol stations and whatnot but when in dire straits like this I resort to desperate measures which sometime work and sometimes don’t.

I just walk up to people who seem to be hanging around waiting for something and say: “Excuse me, can you help me? Every day I ask six people the same daft question and here we are at two O’clock and I haven’t asked anyone so would you mind if I started with you?”

The first person said no but the next two said OK.

On I blundered: “I’m looking for people who would like some more money but don’t have the time to go out and earn it and I wondered if you might be one of those.”

They both smiled indulgently and said “No”.

It doesn’t matter of course. I was half way to my six. Then I saw a group of three people sitting on a wall. Brilliant: “Excuse me, every day I ask six people the same daft question and here we are at quarter past two and I’ve only asked three. But there are three of you so I could clean up and push off home…”

They smiled indulgently and off I went into my daft question.

And they all said no.

In theory, of course, I should have pedalled happily home content in the knowledge of a job well done.

Except that I hadn’t actually got any nearer any more customers or distributors. But in Cumberland Street I did find my way blocked by a huge removal van… and it had a mobile number on the back.

Great. Whenever I see a van with a mobile number I send a text asking if they want to make any extra money. You’d be surprised by the number of people who text back and say “yes”.

It was also surprising, come to think of it, that a removal van had a mobile number on the side – after all who would answer it? The boss, the person in the dispatch department… the driver?

Then on the door of the cab I read the words “Owner-Operator”. Doing a quick U-turn onto the pavement I doubled back and spoke to the man in the door.

Yes it was his van and no things weren’t quite so busy in the removals business now – all part of the housing slump, you know. Well, he was always interested in extra money… and out came my notebook for his name and email address.

It was while all this was going on that his client came out of his new house to collect his television (he was one of those extraordinary people who keep the original box just in case they should ever want to pack it away again). We chatted about the delights of living in Woodbridge – and what did I do, he wanted to know.

So now I’m going to ring him next Wednesday…

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

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.