Archive for October, 2010
As the husband of my wife’s old friend from her student nursing days, he was a name on a Christmas card – somebody I’d been introduced to. I’ve a feeling they came to our wedding…
We’ve all got people like this in our past and it’s people like this who get put on the list.
If you’re already in network marketing you’ll know all about The List. This is what they make you do when you start – write down all the people you know – all the people in your mobile phone contacts list, all the people in the address book in the kitchen drawer – everyone.
But do you really know them? Could you ring them up and say: “Can you do me a favour? I’ve just started a new business and I’m really excited about it…”
Could you invite them to join your business?
It’s at this point that the embarrassment factor kicks in and you pause over the the name and go on to the next one. And after a while other people join and they put you on to more people and after a while the list gets forgotten as your business gains a momentum all of its own.
For a while I carried the list around with me to show people how easy it was – that I hadn’t even needed to call all the names.
Then two things happened.
I went to see Dani Johnson, the American network marketing guru and she conducted an interesting experiment. She asked all those people in the room who were earning more than six figures to stand up. About a dozen people stood up. Everyone applauded.
Then, a quarter of an hour later, she asked who in the room had called every single name on their original list. She asked them to stand up.
Guess what? The same dozen people stood up.
That day I went home and stated calling people on the list – in fact I’m sure I wrote about it and if there was a way of searching this blog I could tell you when.
The first person I called turned out to be an elderly lady who had just been to stay with her daughter and experienced Skype for the first time. Now she wanted a computer so she could see her grandchildren in the USA – for which she would need a broadband connection (and guess who could provide it).
But the absurdity is that after that one success, I left the list alone once more.
That is, until the other day.
I was presenting a training and encouraging all the delegates to write their lists and I asked: “And how many of these people are we going to call?”
Pausing only for effect, I answered my own question: “All of them!”
And then I explained how awkward we would feel years down the line when we were earning good money and had to explain to someone we meet unexpectedly at a wedding or a funeral why we hadn’t told them about this fantastic industry before – and think how angry they might be with us.
Suddenly I felt this sign light up on the top of my head: A big, red flashing sign saying “Hypocrite!”
Because, of course, I still hadn’t called every name on my own list.
And that was enough: I went home and called a name at random – the husband of my wife’s old friend.
He didn’t seem at all surprised to hear from me. He recognised my name. He knew something about the children. It seemed we had met up sometime in the last few years (although this was a mystery to me).
And then we got to talking about him – how he was involved in an industrial tribunal dispute. About his wife’s new job and how she was finding it really hard…
And so I jumped in with both feet. As I remember it, this is what I said: “Actually there’s a reason I’m ringing you out of the blue and it’s a bit embarrassing. You see I’ve got your name on a list. Five years ago I started a part-time business from home and the first thing they asked me to do was write a list of everyone I knew and ring them. But I didn’t ring you. I don’t know why. I suppose we don’t see each other very often and we live in different parts of the country – anyway for one reason or another I didn’t.
“But in the meantime my business has grown and now I’m the one who tells people to make a list and ring all the names and, because I never called you, that makes me feel like a hypocrite and so now I’m having to make the call after all.”
He said it was OK. Better late than never, he said. He asked what it was all about – and so I asked my question: “Are you in the market for more time or more money … or, perhaps, both.”
“What do you mean?” he wanted to know.
“Well, it’s not something that’s easy to explain over the phone. It would be better if I send you some information by email…”
And that’s what I did.
Two hours later he rang me: “I’ve looked that the information you sent me and I’m really very interested,” he said.
Today he tells me he’s joining.
How am I going to tell him that he could have joined five years ago – if it hadn’t been for me letting my embarrassment get in the way.
I now feel really awkward about this. How long is it going to take him to realise how much my embarrassment has cost him?
But here’s something else to think about: Do you think I am now going to be embarrassed about calling all the other people on the list?
I will feel more embarrassed if I don’t.
For someone with six points on their licence and a speeding ban to live down, I admit that I have no business to be out with a speed gun enforcing the 30 mile-an-hour limit outside my front door.
But the Neighbourhood Watch came up with the idea and I was one of the very few people who doesn’t have to go out to work.
So there I was today with the Community Speedwatch Co-ordinator, both in our day-glo jackets, officiously logging any car daring to come down the hill at 36 miles an hour.
Yes, I’m ashamed of myself (the Speedwatch Committee don’t know my guilty secret and don’t read this blog – at least I hope they don’t.) But it’s a good story and like any good story, I can’t resist it.
So there we were, the co-ordinator and me, with our clipboard and our “holier-than-thou” attitude when an e.On meter reader stopped his van opposite.
Now, one of the things about the Community Speedwatch is that it’s unbelievably boring – think about it: Standing at the side of the road for an hour watching traffic. You can imagine that any diversion is worth a comment… and every comment has to be stretched into some sort of a conversation until a better diversion comes along.
That was how we got from the e.On van to meter readings and from there to the price of electricity – and my oh-so-innocent comment: “You never did join our discount club did you?”
Of course I knew darned well he hadn’t (I keep the names of all those who turn me down written in blood on my dungeon wall).
“Oh yes, I remember you telling me,” said the Speedwatch Coordinator equally innocently. “Remind me how it works.”
So I told him how we could get Marks & Spencers and Sainsburys to pay his electricity bill. It sounded good to me – but of course the sort of person who is going to be a Community Speedwatch Coordinator is the sort of person who is going to say: “We never shop outside Woodbridge.”
But Woodbridge does have a Boots. How much did he spend at Boots?
£10 a month. This was not going to pay his electricity bill.
But wait a minute: If he was so keen on supporting the local community, how about offering him a call centre that was right here in his local community… like four doors down… at my house…
“And think about this,” I went on, basting my theme and adding seasoning. “At the moment a proportion of what you spend goes straight to the Advertising Industry in London. But our club doesn’t spend any money on advertising. Instead they give it to me… and I spend it right here in the local economy!”
I’m going to see him on Monday.
Posts from this blog frequently appear in the MLM forum on www.4networking.biz and lately I’ve been getting some grief for “hanging around in car parks touting for business”.
So today, this is my reply and I thought it might as well go up here as well:
May I make a point: When I reached the age of 55 and realised that I had miscalculated slightly in retiring at 45 (and was fast going broke), I discovered that the only job on offer was filling shelves at Tesco’s in the middle of the night for £6.22 per hour.
Yesterday, I went to see a couple I met in a car park. I was in their house for an hour and a quarter. They joined our discount club and took all the services available which pays me a bonus of £47.50 – an hourly rate of £38 (which is not bad compared to Tesco’s). From now on I estimate they will pay me about £7 a month which is £84 a year. That means that over the next five years they will pay me £467.50 (an hourly rate of £374).
Now let’s look at a man I met in a car park a couple of months ago. He became a distributor. I spent an hour with him and then a further two one-hour sessions to help him get started. I have no idea how good he will turn out to be but let’s assume he proves to be average and earns me £250 a month over five years – a total of £15,000. That is an hourly rate of £5,000.
For that I’m quite prepared to hang around in car parks. Don’t forget that in my last employment I was paid £60,000 a year which – had I worked a 40 hour week (in fact I worked much longer hours) – would have equated to £28.84 an hour. Since the work was as a newspaper reporter specialising in wars and revolutions, I was required to be shot at in a haphazard sort of fashion and do my best to avoid getting kidnapped. So if people say I’m thick-skinned, maybe that’s where it comes from.
Of course not all network marketers want to approach total strangers and that’s fine: They can stick to their friends and relations and trust that some of them won’t mind talking to strangers.
Similarly, not everyone wants to be a network marketer in the first place – and that’s fine too: they can stick to traditional business which, in the main, involves getting paid once for each piece of work you do. If you can find something that pays you over and over again and does not involve heavy investments like buying a rental property or unusual talent like writing a bestseller, then I’d very much like to hear about it.
But until then, I’m happy in the car park – and if anyone asks me to move on – well, there are plenty of car parks…
Footnote: I know that Phil will point out that these calculations do not take account of the time I spend in car parks without making any appointments. Well, on those occasions I’m not prospecting – I’m parking the car!
And besides, as our top distributor says: “What people think of me is none of my business”. It works for him: He earns £1.50 a minute day and night every day of the year and is universally adored by his network.