Archive for May, 2010

What would the successful distributor do?

I knew I had the right house because they had a carved plaque with their name beside the door. But there was definitely no-one home.

Ever had that happen? You ring the number and you can hear it ringing inside?

I blamed myself. I hadn’t phoned before I left and said I was on my way- but then I only made the appointment the previous evening…

Still, there was nothing for it but go into the routine: Out came an armful of leaflets from the box in the back of the car and for ten minutes I went round the houses, all the while keeping an eye on the closed front door with the name beside it. Nobody arrived. There was nothing for it but to go home.

So what to do with the extra 50 minutes I had suddenly acquired? What would the successful distributor do?

So I drove past my front door and on down to the town car park. There I set myself  do half an hour of  “Win a Mini” – just hanging around the corner of the car park where everyone walks back and forth to the shops, saying to all the likely prospects: “Hello, I’ve got a prize draw. D’you wanna have a go? You could win a car!”

You see, the law of averages dictates that if you get a duff prospect who skips the appointment, it is only a matter of time before you get a good one who signs up and stays forever – providing, of course, you keep asking.

But I must say I honestly wasn’t prepared for what happened.

I pitched up at my corner, clutching my Win-a-Mini forms and found that I arrived at exactly the same time as a women on her way to the shops – so much at the same moment that I had to step aside. This meant it was only natural to say something – and so guess what I said…

What she said was: “All right, why not. I always like to win something.”

And off we went into the old routine.

The routine, at one point calls for me to mention some well-known high street stores. One of them is Sainsburys.

“Sainsburys!” she said. “I spend a fortune in Sainsburys!”

And now we have an appointment for Tuesday.

Simple lesson

There’s a story going round of a distributor who gave a flyer to an RAC salesman. The RAC man calmly reached under his kiosk  and pulled out a handful of the same flyers.

“People keep giving me these things,” he said. “Nobody’s told me what it’s about.”

So the distributor told him – and he joined.

Sometimes we forget that this is a word-of-mouth business.

I was thinking this when I went to drop my children at their after school maths class. I was ready to settle down to make 20 minutes of calls while they wrestled with long division when I noticed, in the next car, another father looking bored. The trouble was that I recognised him – and there’s nothing worse than pitching the same people again and again. It gets you a reputation for being annoying.

So instead, I said: “Did I give you one of my pigs?”

I held it up for him to see.

He looked. He said “Yes.”

“Did you look at it?”

He smiled: “No.”

“D’you want me to tell you about it. It takes a minute,” I asked.


And so I did – and guess what, he runs a convenience store and not only is he fed up with the cost of running all the chillers and freezers but he’s already excited about making an extra income off every one of his existing customers – not to mention all the sales reps who call on him every day.

What do they say? Never presume, never assume…

Tee Hee Hee

Apologies for the inane giggle. But you can’t help it when you’ve just discovered something brilliant by accident.

We talk a lot in the new Getting Started Skills training about giving value to the DVD – the idea of holding onto it until someone has committed to watching it… of fixing a definite time to get their feedback etc…

And look what happened on Saturday (see The Day Off 15/05/2010): I was a bit grumpy and didn’t want to talk … but the guy insisted on hearing what I had to say. Well, last night it happened again.

I had been up to Stevenage for a presentation, I had done everything on my Business Development Plan: I had given out cards, I had added names to my list, I had called people…

I was on my way home with a two-hour drive ahead of me when I saw the sign to South Mimms Services and suddenly a cup of tea and an apple beckoned. Walking in, I passed a woman with her laptop on the table in front of her, surfing with the wi-fi. I didn’t even have to think about it: In one swift motion, I slipped a piggy card out of my pocket and onto the table: “This is a good website,” I said.

And since I had the cards out, I just went round all the rest of the tables: “Here, have one of these… this is about money…have you seen one of these before…”

Some people said “Thank you very much”. Nobody said “No”.

So I drank the tea and ate the apple and contemplated the two hour drive. I’m not very good at long drives late at night. But in emergencies, a bottle of Lucozade does tend to pep me up for half an hour. So I went over to the shop to get one, giving a card to the customer at the till as I went – and since the man behind the till was clearly curious, he got one too. After a while, of course, this gets out of hand: Half a dozen browsers in the shop got cards too. Finally, I collected my drink and went to pay.

“What’s this?” said the man who took my money. Clearly he had been reading every word on the card. So I had to tell him. It took all of a minute – including writing down his name and his mobile number and fixing a time to get back to him.

The trouble with this is that it can go on forever. So when I went to leave and was accosted by one of the browsers wanting to know what his card was all about, I had had just about enough: “It’s about money,” I said shortly. “Just have a look and if you like what you see, give me a ring.”

“Can’t you tell me now?” he demanded.

… Oh for heaven’s sake!

I sighed.

“I work with a large and successful discount club which saves people about £900 a year. Do you know anyone who would like to save £900 a year?”

“Yeah, lots.”

“Well, when  you introduce them to the club you get paid. And then you get paid every month they remain with the club. It starts small but in time you get  hundreds or even thousands of pounds a month – every month. Would you be interested in finding out more about that?”

“Yeah, course…”

I looked sceptical: “Are you serious about that?”


“Hmm. Look I’ll take your number…. and your name is? I wrote them down. I could feel his breath on my cheek.

“Right, here’s a DVD. How soon will you watch that?”

“Straight away. Soon as I get home.”

So now I’m calling him this morning. Somehow fixing an appointment to talk at midnight didn’t seem to fit with my new and grumpy persona.

The Day Off

I don’t work on Saturdays – at least I don’t unless the opportunity is irresistable. But there I was at a car boot sale picking up a bike which wouldn’t fit in Tamsin’s car – and there really didn’t seem any point in not going round all the stalls with piggy cards.

I dished out about 20 and it took no more than five minutes – or at least it would have done but for one stallholder who said: “What’s this all about then?”

Now I didn’t really want to stop so I just said: “It’s about money. Have a look. Let me know what you like best.”

But no, he wasn’t having that: “Can’t you just tell me…”

With something like bad grace, I demanded: “Are you interested in money?”

“Always interested in money.”

“Saving it or making it?”

“Well, both.”

With something like a sigh of resignation, I went into the one minute explanation – which ends up with an invitation to the two minute explanation. But I really didn’t want to get into that – not on my day off…

But he insisted and as I prattled on, he looked at me more and more intently. Then he said: “It sounds brilliant.”

So now he’s got a DVD and we have an appointment for a phone call at 12 O’clock on Monday.

And I remembered this on Sunday when I was coaching a new distributor in what to say. She was having trouble getting the hang of it: “Don’t worry,” I told her. “Some people are going to join no matter what you say.”

I know I’m right – that’s how I joined.  I wonder if tomorrow will be another of those occasions.

The part-time thingy and the man in day-glo

He knew my name. He knew my wife’s name. He knew everything about us – and all I knew about him was that I had never seen him before – but then maybe he hadn’t been wearing a yellow day-glo running jacket last time.

Being somewhat embarrassed by my chronic inability to show enough interest in other people to remember their names (my wife’s diagnosis) I went along with the pantomime, nodding and smiling as we walked side by side along the river path – all the while hoping for some sort of clue. But then he rescued me by saying: “What’s all this Make Money – Save Money”?

Thank heavens for the badge.

“Ah, well,” I began, warming at once to the theme. “That’s my little part time thingy. It’s my major source of income now.”

And then, of course he asked what it was and so I had to tell him… and ask him if he was more interested in saving money or making money… and of course he said “both” and then I had to give him a DVD. But you know what the awful thing was? Because I didn’t like to admit I didn’t know his name, I couldn’t really ask for it. So now I have no way of getting back to him to find out what he liked best!

Never mind I did better with the man in the Mini. The Mini has been making peculiar clonking noises for some months and it seemed like a good idea to get it checked out before a wheel fell off. So I took it round to the BMW garage so that their troubleshooter could drive me round the block with his ear cocked. Yes, there was definitely a clonk, he concluded.

Then on the way back, he pulled up at some traffic lights. I looked out of the window. The woman in the next car was reading the stickers on the side. I knew she was reading because her lips were moving. I wound down the window but at that moment the lights changed.

“Too late,” I said. ” I was going to give her a card. Actually I was thinking of getting the stickers changed. On the new Minis they say: “Save 30% or more on your household bills”.

“Really,” said the troubleshooter. “How do you do that?”

So I had to tell him. But he didn’t think it would work for him: “I expect you have to have your own home.”

Apparently he was renting.

Was that from choice or because of the mortgage famine?

“And the deposit,” he said.

I nodded sympathetically: “Yes, I know what you mean. It’s criminal what they ask now… Tell you what. Maybe I could help: Would you be open to looking at ways of making an additional income alongside what you do already.”

And so he’s got a DVD too – and this time, I’ve got his number.

An Hour in the Middle of Nowhere

What can you do in an hour – especially an hour in Coxtie Green?

Coxtie Green is a tiny village on the North Weald in Essex and it just happens to be where we hold our Essex training. Our venue is the very comfortable Weald Park Golf  Club and I had planned that in the hour between sessions, I would settle myself in the bar with my bank of names and my mobile phone and set up some appointments for Friday – except I left the bank of names at home…

So there was nothing for it but to see what Coxtie Green held in the way of prospects.

Actually it wasn’t bad. First of all there was Warwick Place, a close of new “executive style” detached houses – all double-glazed mullion windows and block-paved driveways. I knocked on ten doors and this is what I said: “Hello, my name is John Passmore and you are…?”

Ever single person shook my hand.

Then I said: “I understand you have a Sainsburys not far away. Would you like me to tell you how you can get Sainsburys to pay your electricity bill? If you’d like to hear it, it takes me one minute.”

Six of the ten wanted to hear it. Three wanted to know more. Of those, two asked me to call again when I was next in the area and the third gave me his phone number so I could call for an appointment.

With half an hour left, I drove up the road and stopped where an AA driving instructor’s car was parked outside a small semi. Driving instructors are having a tough time in the current economic climate. Also they have a lot of “dead” time between alessons which they could put to good use if they knew what to do with it. He got an invitation to our evening meeting and I have his phone number.

His neighbours all got copies of our company newspapers and then it was off to the pub to distribute some more to the people in the bar. But before I could get there, a smoker outside wanted to know what the Mini was all about – it’s not every day you see a bright yellow Mini decorated with pink pigs and stuff all over the back window about making money.

So I had to stop and tell him and invite him to the meeting and give him a DVD and write down his phone number – which just about left time to whizz round the pub doling out newspapers, saying: “Have one of these, sorry it’s nothing to do with the Jehovah’s Witnesses – but it is about money.”

Now here’s the interesting thing: Not one of those people turned up for our meeting. But the secret is not to look at the results. If I measured my success by the number of people who pushed their dinner to one side, left their drinks on the bar and set off for the Golf Club, I might conclude that this business doesn’t work. Instead I know that if I put in consistent activity – even if it’s only an hour a day, then the results will follow… if not immediately then maybe in a week or a month – or even a year down the line.

And if they don’t then what have I lost – what else was I going to do with that hour in the middle of nowhere?

Just ask

This sign on the door said: “No reps without an appointment”.

But I had already rung the bell. It never occurred to me that I might be considered a “rep”. I don’t think of myself as selling anything. I just show people how they can save money on what they’ve already bought. Is that the same thing?

I was still wondering about it when the door opened onto a lobby decorated with finger paintings. This was the nursery school in the “light industrial” complex next to the Golf Club where we  hold a training session once a month. Being a conscientious trainer, I always allow an extra hour for the journey and try and find something useful to do when I get there rather than using up the time at the other end. On this occasion I had set myself to go round to all the small businesses to see if they wanted to hear about increasing their profits.

Now all I could do was apologise and say: “I’m not sure if I’m a “rep”. What do you think?”

The young woman who answered the door had no idea. All she could do was call for the manager. This was probably for the best. She could go back to wiping little noses.

“Am I a rep?” I asked the manager.

“I don’t know,” she said. “What do you do?”

Ah well now, there’s a question which demands and answer: “Well I go round local businesses showing them how to increase their profits. It takes me one minute. D’you want to hear it?”

That’s the magic of one minute. Everyone says “yes” – and so did she.

And of course after one minute she wanted to know more and after three minutes, she was giving me the name of the owner and after five we had established that she was open to looking at ways of making money and I had her mobile phone number.

And I still didn’t know whether I was a “rep”.  Never mind, there was someone else I could ask. I walked round the corner and into some sort of electronics company – so modern that they didn’t even have a receptionist; just a phone with a notice above it telling visitors which extension to ring. I rang.

“Hello,” I said brightly when a slightly distracted voice answered. “Are you the proprietor?” People love being asked this as if being mistaken for the proprietor somehow confers some sort of distinction on the lowliest of underlings. He bustled off to find the proprietor.

The proprietor arrived. He had left a customer on the shop floor, he said – and yet he had found the time to meet someone he’d never heard of who had come to show him how to increase his profits – interesting, that…

Well, since I said it would only take a minute, we sat down in the lobby and I told him what we had. Now we have an arrangement that next time I’m up there I’ll go in and collect copies of his bills.

And all I did was ask!

And no, I don’t get it right all the time

You can start some great conversations in the Men’s Room. But that’s all they should do – start.

“Are you here for our training,” I asked the suited gent washing his hands.

It turned out he was part of a sales conference for Humax, the people who make the set-top boxes for your TV.

Ah well, I knew all about these. It turns out we need one for the new telly in the kitchen. I told him all about this while I worked out how to get soap out of the dispenser. This took quite some time which gave him plenty of opportunity to tell me how much we would benefit from his product – and the longer  he went on, the more obliged he felt to end with the magic words: “And what do you do?”

I could have said: “It would take too long to tell you but if you’re interested, I could let you have something about it. Are you interested in money?”

I could have said: “I’m here to show people how they can do one piece of work and get paid forever.”

There were all sorts of things I could have said. But what did I say: “Well, I could give you the one-minute presentation if you like.”

He said: “Go for it.”

And like a fool, I did: “Well, what we’ve got is a discount club.  It’s got 350,000 0members…”

Gradually his head tilted back. His eyes began to glaze…

“… and it’s all done by word of mouth. They’ve got the Which? best buy…”

He took a step back. I floundered on: “And then we’ve got these partner stores…”

The more his body language screamed “Get me out of here”, the faster I talked – desperate to get it all out before he ran. Oh the shame of it! What was I thinking of? It took a lot of deep breathing before I was able to go into our own conference room and deliver a training on the right way to do it.

So I was pleased to see that this afternoon, I proved that I did know the right way. We were at The Cut Arts Centre in Halesworth where my 14-year-old son had spent the day making a film (yes, in a single day – as part of their High Tide Festival). Well we went along to pick him up and see the finished film and we were sitting waiting over tea and ice creams, all absorbed in his younger brother and sister playing a game with pens and paper, when suddenly I became aware that someone was talking to me. She was an elderly lady – but clearly a spritely one. She was one of those women who object to growing old: She wore bright colours, she had her grey hair in a long plait all down her back. She abbreviated her name. She wanted to know how she could make money.

Of course I was wearing my badge. It says “Save Money – Make Money. Ask Me How” and I wear it all the time (in fact I’m wearing it now at home at 9.30 p.m. on a Saturday night). I wear it because I’m proud of it. My wife is embarrassed by it (you’re not going to wear that silly badge are you?) but if anyone asks me why I’m wearing it, I say: “It shows that I’m in the top half of the top one percent of the top performing company on the premier stock exchange in the world.”

So when this lady asked about money, I got up (so as not to disturb the game) and I asked her: “Are you interested in money? Saving it or making it?”

“Making it,” she said. “I could certainly do with making some money.”

“Right,” I told her. “I can help you with that.” And I pulled out the notebook I always carry and the pen in the other pocket: “What’s your name… and your phone number. Now what you need to do is take this DVD home and watch it. Do you have a DVD player? (her daughter has). How soon will you be able to watch that? Right then, I’ll call you at seven O’Clock on Tuesday and you can tell me what you like best.”

Job done – and then we went in to see the film. Now here’s the question: Had I impressed her with my rhetoric about the company? Had I given her a sales pitch which she might not feel confident in delivering herself? Not a bit of it. I had done what I was supposed to do. I had delivered the DVD to someone who might want what was on it. I had been the messenger, not the message.

I hope she likes it. Don’t you love a happy ending?

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.