Archive for November, 2009
Some days there’s something that so obviously takes precedence that there’s no point even in thinking about it.
Today was the day of the clarinet exam and from breakfast through to the time to leave for Ipswich, I practised scales.
Scales and more scales. Arpeggios and more arpeggios. A deep breath of technical ability, I called it. All I had to do was hold it until 12.18 p.m.
As for the day’s ration of piggy cards – ! stuffed them in my pocket for afterwards. I even took off my badge (I didn’t want anyone distracting me by saying ‘ All right, how?)
And what good did all this do? When the time came, the sound that emerged sounded more like the frog chorus than Scott Joplin.
However, in accordance with the Law of Attraction, I have a tradition that after every exam, I walk round to the music shop and buy the book for the next grade – and so far I have always needed it.
And it was only then, giving out cards as I walked, that I realised what I should have done.
Because, giving out piggy cards is very theraputic. It focuses your attention on your business – and you think very clearly when you focus your attention.
What had I done by spending a full 90 minutes practicing scales? I had reinforced the suspicion that I wasn’t good enough to pass. After all the scales count for only a tiny proportion of the marks – and I was well rehearsed in the pieces themselves. If only I had devcted the time to giving out cards and trusted that I had already practised enough, then probably I would have sailed through the exam.
I was shaken out of this reverie by a man in a suit. People in suits get special attention: “You look successful,” I told him. “Are you?”
“Well, I hope so,” he said. It turned out this was his first week at work in 51 weeks being made redundant.
“And do you like to keep your business options open?” I asked him…
There was somebody else I remember too – the man in the music shop: Christmas is coming and my 14 year old wants a keyboard. The salesman had been really helpful and we got to talking about money (as you do). It turned out that his wife was really clever with money and all their’s was now in a Turkish bank where they were getting 6%.
But if there’s another way of making money, he was sure she would want to know about it.
So the question is, which of them downloaded the information pack from my website? Because at 20.33 hrs last night, somebody did. Judging by the name, I suspect it was the man in the suit. But we shall find out today.
And when the two of us get together, I must make a point of telling them that one of the best things about this business is the certainty of it: That if you tell enough people, the money follows.
By the time yesterday’s recalcitrant customer had cancelled again (I have to go and see my grandson), I was past caring.
I had two new distributors coming form their first meeting and what with that and dashing into Ipswich for an extra Clarinet lesson (that proved I need to take a very deep breath of technical ability if I’m going to pass my Grade 4 tomorrow), there wasn’t much time.
Never mind, half an hour in the town centre with the piggies is wonderful for salving the conscience over all that skimped practice.
Of course most of the people who took the the cards are now faceless in my memory. It was very much a rapid-fire: “Have you had one of these… have one of these…you’ve got children this is brilliant…).
But two do stand out: The young customer service representative in the bank when I asked him: “Have you had one of these before.”
“I did. But I think I lost it.”
“Well don’t lose it this time.”
Then there was the older man who asked for the 12 second explanation and turned out to have heard about the company years ago: “I remember it sounded rather good but I never took it any further.”
“Well take it further this time. Take it all the way.”
If only, in all the rush, I’d remembered to take the DVDs out of the car…
Some days just start – and some start with a cancelled appointment. It happens.
Better if it didn’t of course – particularly since the mysterious Holly who had downloaded the information pack remained just as mysterious with emails bouncing back and a phone number that was “not in service”.
The only thing to do was carry on as normal: Take the dog to the vet (give some cards to the other pet-owners), get a new sheet of glass for the picture that wouldn’t have been broken if I’d got around to hanging it on the wall instead of standing it on the floor (give some cards to the other people in the shop). Come home and find the phone ringing.
And that was when things started to perk up: An old customer asked if I could come round for some more business.
Certainly I could. And on the way, guess what? Holly answered her phone. Could she get to our Career Opportunity Presentation tonight? Certainly she could.
This was good news since I was going to be presenting it…
Back from Ipswich with three new orders in my bag, I found the visitor from Refer-On waiting on the doorstep. Refer-On in my business breakfast club and Paul had come to meet us for bacon and eggs the previous week. He’d asked if anyone knew of a tax-free pension for a friend. Well I didn’t have a tax-free pension but I did have a part-time busines which pays a residual income which goes up every month and surely that had to be as good as a tax-free pension (or, if you prefer, a good deal better).
So I’d invited Paul round and we sat and drank coffee and did our one-to-one – and as I explained how the money worked, I could see him thinking.
This was not necessarily a good sign. There’s a chance he may join Refer-On and if he decides he wants to be a distributor as well, he’s never going to give me any referrals. But on the other hand, I can hardly refuse him – he’ll only go and join another team.
And sure enough both Paul and Holly came to the presentation – and both of them joined. What’s more, people were very kind about my presentation and so we had to have a drink in the bar – and what with one thing and another it was 11.00 O’clock by the time I set off home – and realised I still had about 20 cards in my pocket.
Of course, they had to go.
Some people in the petrol station got one – and some people in the supermarket on the way home. This late in the evening, it takes longer – about half an hour. But I did have something to drive me. When Holly had finished filling in the form, I asked her were we’d met.
“Asda on Monday night,” she said. “You gave me a little card shaped like a pig.”
So it works, then…
“And who has already given out their 50 pieces of information?” they asked the class at the Advanced Leadership Training.
Half a dozen hands shot up – the ususal teacher’s pets.
Of course I would have loved to have put my hand up too. I had added half an hour onto my journey time in order to stop at a motorway services area and dispense my 50 cards all in one go in the space of 15 minutes (or half an hour if it wasn’t crowded). But what with one thing and another I left late and the traffic took care of the rest.
So there I was stuck for the entire day in the Holiday Inn at Milton Keynes with 20 top distributors who made sure that everyone who entered the hotel got a card. I course I helped with this but it only shifted five. By 9.30 in the evening, when I stumbled out into the rain, I was not much looking forward to a two-hour drive let alone finding homes for 45 piggies.
But this has now become an obsession.
First I stopped at Toddington Services for a meal. The place was virtually deserted and to pre-judge the other diners (which of course I shouldn’t) I’m not holding my breath.
And at the other end of my two-hour drive in the rain I pulled into the Ipswich Tesco’s and set about cheering up the midnight shelf-fillers. I always imagine such people will jump at the chance of building up a large income which gets paid every month whether they do any work or not – particularly if they can do it with “hours to suit”. But nobody has ever seen it my way.
However, right at the end – as usual it was something like card number 45 – I found someone who listened intently. He couldn’t come to tonight’s meeting because he was based in Thurrock. But he was clearly intrigued. And even if he was working through the night, if he had been drafted in from Essex, he was obvioiusly no mere shelf-stacker.
So we shall see. Quite honestly, by that time, I was glad to give him a DVD and say goodnight.
But the reward came when I reached home. There is always a reward for putting in the activity – and sure enough, when I looked at the Blackberry, it turned out that while all this had been going on, someone called Holly had been looking at my website and downloaded an information pack.
Now there’s a high note to end on…
If something happens three times in a row, it’s no coincidence. As Jim Rohn tells us, you now have a pattern.
Once again I found the best prospect of the day from the last dozen of my 50 cards. In fact he was number 42.
I started off with an appointment that was so easy, I stopped in the middle to do a bit of prospecting. What happened was that the customer was so clearly impressed that when I rang his current supplier to get his service switched over, and the call-centre operative turned out to be one of those really helpful people, I said: “You’re very good at your job. You could make some good money in your spare time. Have a look at this website…”
And then back to the job in hand.
Next two estate agents were interested to look at our new Independent Representative position and after that, since the birthday season is in full swing in our family (not to mention Christmas) it was off to Comet to look at keyboards and iPods. The assistant now has a DVD with an invitation to Wednesday’s Career Opportunity Presentation hastily scrawled in the back.
And when it came to paying, I said to the young woman on the checkout: “Do you take the Exclusive Discount Card?”
…which meant I had to continue: “It’s brilliant. I get 5% off with it.”
And now she’s got a DVD and an invitation too. In fact I’ve a feeling she might be the one who downloaded an information pack last night. I must ring today to find out.
If you know Ipswich you’ll know that not far from Comet is Asda, so with about 40 cards left, I wandered round there and bought some wine they had on offer. This took longer than usual because an extraordinarily large proportion of the people in there did not look like the sort of people I was interested in. I don’t wish to be rude but I’m sure you know what I mean.
Of course one should never pre-judge. But if you have a limited number of cards, why not give them to the people who look as though they have “a bit about them”.
Like, for instance, number 42.
“Are you interested in money?” I asked him as he peered at the card.
“Always interested in money…”
“I’ll tell you about it if you like – takes me 18 seconds. D’you want to hear it?”
(That’s right. I’ve got it down to 18 seconds now – have a look at www.pigincome.co.uk)
So he said he was interested in making money and I gave him the DVD and asked him what he did. He was a police officer.
“Right. That’s it then. Here’s your task for tonight. Watch that and tell me how many police officers you see on it – past and present. In fact one of the first people you’ll meet will be an officer called Nigel Reilly-Cooper. He sound’s just like everyone’s idea of a copper.”
And forgive me Nigel but there in the aisle at Asda I did a really rather splendid impersonation: “As a serving police officer, I there are very few things I can be involved in outside work…”
And here’s a bonus. I’ve just looked at my customer status page and there are two new customers whose names I don’t recognise. I can only assume I must have given them a card and they signed up online.
That was what she said: “No.”
A bit startling, this. She was a lovely lady. She had told me how serious she was. I had showed her all the wonderful things I had to offer her and she had agreed they were indeed wonderful. But when I said: “Would you like to give it a go?” She said “No.”
There wasn’t any particular reason: “I know where I am,” was what she said – whatever that means
I’m sorry to begin today’s blog on a downbeat but that’s the way it is sometimes – and when it happens we need something to pick ourselves up. An inspiring CD in the car – a chat to a fellow distributor about something cheerful – or another appointment which turns out well…
Ah well, there’s a thing: When I got to the next appointment, there was a note sellotaped to the door: “Sorry, John. Had to go out. Will call you.”
I’m told this is termed the testing time. This is the moment that decides whether you make it in this business. It’s when you have to remember why you joined, read through your goals, look in your rear-view mirror and say your affirmations – whatever it is you do. This is the time to do it.
And at that moment, looking down, I found that quite unconsciously I had my hand curled round my stack of piggy cards. In my company our business cards are shaped like piggies and they fit comfortably into your palm like a set of worry beads – which is no bad thing because, if they’re in your hand already, they tend to get given out.
And so, putting the past behind us, the piggies and I set off for the rest of our day.
We went to Halfords to buy some stuff to stop the handle falling off the fridge door and in the queue we got talking to a man who said he didn’t have enough money. So now he has a DVD with an invitation to Wednesday’s Career Opportunity Presentation scrawled on the back.
When we got to the checkout, we found the woman behind the till had been a customer for years. But no, she didn’t know she could make money at it. Since there was no-one in the queue behind us, we had quite a talk to her and she thinks she’d like to come on Wednesday too – and she’s planning to bring her friends.
And that might have been it. With confidence in my business restored, I could have headed home with a smile. However, there were still about 20 cards in my hand – and you may recall that the other day, I decided never ever to go home at the end of the day with a single card left. To do so now would effectively land us back on the doorstep with the sellotaped note.
And so we stopped at the supermarket and some people were interested enough to want to know more and some took DVDs and invitations for Wednesday… and regular readers will know what tends to happen when you get down the last few cards. There seems to be something magical about these. In fact today, it was card number 49 which contained the magic.
The man who now held it in his hand wore a suit (always a good sign) and read it carefully.
“It’s about money,” I explained – and then, because he was now reading the back: “Are you interested in money?”
This seemed to have an electrifying effect. Suddenly we were joined by his wife. He had been made redundant, she explained. Of course they were interested in money.
And so, standing there while people went past with their trolleys and the shopping list was forgotten, I told them how the money worked and we discussed the best was to invite their friends on Wednesday – and the day took on a lovely rosey glow.
And do you know what’s the best thing? There’s another stack of piggies in the cupboard ready to cheer up tomorrow.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity, it only costs £200,000.”
I didn’t like to say “Well mine only costs £2oo and I bet it makes you more money.”
After all, we’d only just met – he had pulled up to ask for directions when I was walking the dog. Isn’t it funny how you can get into conversation with people?
You can guess what happened: He wanted directions to the local care home, I told him and then said: “I always give one of these to people who ask directions.”
And he said: “What is it?”
And I said: “It’s about money – are you interested in money?”
“I’m always interested in money.”
“Well, if you like, I’ll tell you about it. It takes me 35 seconds. Would you like to hear it?”
And off we went. He got the DVD and I got his phone number and then he asked me if I knew anyone who wanted to buy his company. It makes makes air mattresses for the bedridden. I promised to look at it – after all it makes me appreciate what I’ve got!
For instance I don’t have to drive all over the country selling mattresses. I can fit my business around popping into town to pay in the B&B cheques which had been piling up in the kitchen. But as soon as I put my foot on the bicycle pedal the back wheel locked and I ended up with a huge gouge out of the gravel drive. In fact I nearly fell off. The entire gear assembly was sticking out at right angles.
This was infuriating because I’m not getting a new bike until I make it to Marketing Director and I hope that’s close enough to make it pointless to repair the old one.
So instead I took the car. Personally I get quite excited about this sort of change in plan. Every time it happens, I wonder if this is a “sliding doors moment” – one of those random changes of course which can have massive consequences.
And guess what happened:
Walking back to the car park (which I would not have done on the bike) I handed a card to a young woman who said she was interested both in saving money and making money.
“OK, if you’ve got a minute, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee and show you how the money works.”
She said she was meeting her mother and so five minutes later, the three of us were sitting outside the cafe doing the Martini and they were saying things like: “Dad would be great at this… and Becky, don’t forget Becky…”
As far as I can see they plan to bring half a dozen people to the Career Opportunity Presentation on Wednesday.
And here’s an interesting thing: Until yesterday, I might have considered that a good day. I might have thought I could shift the rest of the cards tomorrow and I might not have popped into the garden centre on the way home to give out the rest of my daily quota of 50 – or after giving out another two dozen, I might have gone home with the last three or four, thinking they would hardly make a difference
But after yesterday, I knew that I had to give out every last one.
Well, actually it was the last two which seemed to hit the jackpot: A couple of plumbers who had been fixing a gas leak in the showroom got really quite excited: “We could do this easy…”
“Yeah, your Dad would go for it. It’s just his kind of thing.”
I just stood there at the van window agreeing with them.
So guess how many cards I’m giving out today?
The morning Twitter abhors silence.
This is when a bunch of us get together on a telephone conference call at 6.28 in the morning and talk about what we’re going to do during the day to complete our Business Development Plans. Today Christine Wise was the moderator. Already she had invited three people to share their plans but she wanted more.
“Is anyone out there?” she kept saying. But all she got was an electronic hum down the wire. In the end I thought I’d better say something.
Now I don’t normally contribute. I like to listen (I think that makes me a “lurker”) but as a rule at that time of the morning, I don’t much feel like talking. However nobody else was going to, so…
“This is John in Suffolk.”
And what would I be up to today? Christine wanted to know.
I explained that what with the Business Training to do in Norwich, it would be just the basic 50 cards. But I felt I had to add something so I explained that in my small town, I was finding that some people had already had a card. So now I offered them with the words: “Have you had one of these yet?”
Which turns out to be great because it demands an answer – usually another question: “What is it?”
And since people have asked, I have to tell them.
“What do you say?” said Christine.
“It’s about money.”
“Great,” said Christine (Christine is one of those perennially enthusiastic people who do so well in this business. To her everything is “great”. But in fact, thinking about it afterwards, just saying “it’s about money” is a wasted opportunity – and, anyway, that’s not all I say. In fact I go on: “You can save money or you can make money. Which would you prefer”
… and then: “If you’d like to know how it works, it takes me 35 seconds to tell you. When would you have 35 seconds?”
But, as I say, none of this came out on the call – and so off I went to Norwich, thinking I had some unfinished business to deal with before the day was out.
Actually there’s a can of beans there: Just as I was leaving, Tamsin reminded me I had offered to collect our seven-year-old from school, give him tea and take him to his tennis lesson. But if I was going to be in Norwich instead, then she was going to have to get back from Ipswich early which thoroughly mucked up her plans. This is the sort of domestic juggling act we all have to contend with (and I seem to struggle with).
So all of this left me even more unfinished business at the end of the day: Not only would I have a stack of cards still in my pocket but I would need to find some flowers and a sit down to write a suitaable apology. I had just under an hour before my 8.00 p.m. appointment with the neighbours who said “No” three years ago (they said “yes” this time, by the way)
So that was how I found myself pushing a bunch of oriental lillies round Tescos and dispensing the rest of the cards. I was down to the last doozen – I had reached the stage when the elastic band no longer holds them together. I had been through the checkout and paid for my flowers. I could have gone home and shifted the last twelve tomorrow. But I knew Christine would never do that – and also, I knew that I was going to have to confess all in this blog. So I had to give out the last of them whether I liked it or not.
There were three people waiting for their prescriptions at the pharmacy: “Here, have one of these….” I said to one. “We seem to be of a similar sort of age, have one of these.” I told another, ” It worked for me…”
The last had his son with him: “You’ve got children. I always give one of these to people with children…”
He looked at me hard. He took the card, and he looked at that hard. Then he studied my badge – and finally he turned his back and went off with the assistant to find his off-the-shelf medicine. But suddenly he called over his shoulder: “I’ll be back in a minute.”
So I waited for him – and it appears that this wait – and not giving up on the last dozen cards… and all the other little disciplines that had led to this moment – may have born spectacular fruit.
My new friend returned, still brandishing my card and said: “OK then, what’s it all about…”
So I told him. It took me 35 seconds. And it turns out that he is interested in making money – very interested. In fact what he said was this: “I run a finance company. Also I have a drainage cbusiness and I invest in property – and I’ll look at anything else that makes me money.”
So now we’re meeting in Costa’s In Ipswich on Monday.
And now you know why I get up so early in the morning.
by John Passmore
Ever since I heard that Chris Williams, one of the most successful people in our business, makes a point of targeting business owners, I have been seeing people in suits.
This is the reticular activator at work – that little nodule in the brain which searches for things we’ve told it we’re interested in.
And so it was that, coming out of the pub after an unscheduled lunch with my father-in-law, I met a man in a suit coming in.
I suppose it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say I “met” him. He was one of those typically important business people in a hurry. He wore the garish “power tie” which flapped about his face in the wind. He was shouting into his mobile phone. He walked at a speed that suggested the end of the world might arrive if he didn’t get to where he was so urgently required within the next five seconds.
In short he was the sort of person who, in a crowded street would be too busy and too important to take a card from a passer-by.
But that was before I decided I needed more business owners. Also, this was not a crowded street but a quiet country pub. So I went up to him, didn’t say a word (in fact I pointed to my firmly closed mouth) and held up a card and nodded hard.
Without pausing in his urgent conversation, he took it.
Of course, I’ve no idea what he’s going to do with it – that’s his concern, not mine. I’ve sowed the seed and that’s what the 50 cards a day is all about.
After that I had to take back the suitcase I bought in the supermarket (slight confustion there). But guess what? In the supermarket I found a smiling woman who offered me nut clusters to taste – and I always like a freebe.
“In fact, not only do I like a freebee, but I’m always on the lookout for in-store demonstrators,” I told her.
“Well, we’re only here for two days this week. They’ve cut our hours…”
And guess how the conversation went after that? In fact in the middle of it her friend turned up and I had to start again.
One way and another I shifted a lot of cards – especially considering I only took back a suitcase and bought one pot of yoghurt. But in the queue for the checkout, I turned to the woman behind me and said: “I always gaive one of these to the person in the queue behind me. Have you had one yet?”
“What is it?”
“It’s about money.”
She looked: “Save money, make money…”
“So which would you rather do?”
“Well both, I suppose.”
“I could tell you about it if you like. It takes about 35 seconds. D’you think we’ve got time?”
And we did – just. I’d have liked to have made the appointment but it was my turn to pay for the yoghurt: “Have a look when you get home. If you like it, give me a ring…”
by John Passmore
There has to be some spontaneous fun – and so, on a whim, I went to the cinema and saw “Amelia”.
So now when I’m sitting in a Career Opportunity Presentation and they ask: “Anyone here seen a good film… Did you tell your friends…”
I’ll have something to say.
But walking home afterwards, all the fun went out of the evening. It would be an exaggeration to say that I suddenly racked with guilt and remorse. But I did put my hand in my pocket and found that I still had about 20 cards left.
The thing is, I spent three hours on the Win-a-Mini stand today. I talked to dozens of people. I made three appointments. I felt that today I had done my bit.
But I still had 20 cards left.
Now that’s not allowed – and I know why.
Earlier on I had looked on the screen and saw that an inactive distributor in Surrey had suddenly gone from four customers to five. When this had happened, I have no idea – but I just noticed it because if she gets to six, she could be key to the structure of my business.
I rang her up. She had no idea how this had happened.
“It’s probably an email,” I told her. “You have a link on your emails don’t you? Have a look and see if you recognise the name.”
Later on she sent me a text. Yes, it was a friend she hadn’t spoken to for ages.
On the Sunday evening conference call the other week, we heard the same sort of story. The company’s top customer gatherer had six new customers who joined out of the blue. He could only presume he had given them a card somewhere – because he gives out 50 cards a day – every day.
It’s obvious really. If you give out enough cards, that’s going to happen.
So why was I walking home with 20 cards in my pocket?
I looked around the street. It was deserted. I looked in the window of the pub. I could see one couple deep in conversation. How was I going to get rid of them?
And then I realised I was standing beside a door with a letter box. So I stuffed a card in it.
…and then another one in the next letter box.
So here’s a tip: Never leave the house in the morning without 50 cards in your pocket.
And never go home at the end of the day with any left.
You never know what can happen…