Archive for April, 2011
The new Mini has arrived in the team – and the proud owned put on a party to celebrate. I went up to East London to lend my voice to the cheers – but then, as I drove past the gate and saw the team standing admiringly around the shiny prize on the drive, I realised that my own Mini was not shining. Indeed it was distinctly grubby.
I drove on.
In the boot I keep a wonderful waterless car-cleaning kit for just such emergencies, so I pulled up outside some sort of education centre and started polishing. I’d completed one side when I realised I had an admirer – or at least the car had an admirer.
“I like your car!” she said when she saw me look up.
“D’you want one?” I asked her – I always ask that. In fact I don’t think I could fail to ask that if my life depended upon in.
She said she would.
“Well there are two ways you can get one: You can win it in a competition – or if you want to be sure, you can talk to a lot of people. Which way would you choose?”
She chose the second (they always do). So I pulled out a piggy card and handed it over. On the back are six reasons people give for joining my business – everything from “Financial Freedom” to “Leave a Legacy”.
She chose “Time with the family” and over the next five minutes, while I cleaned the other half of the car, she told me her story: She had ten children and 28 grandchildren but they all lived in Suffolk, around Sudbury. But for various personal reasons which you don’t need to know, she ended up in East London, working as a cleaner for the council.
She hardly ever got to see her grandchildren. She would love to help out and look after them – and she was sure her children would appreciate the help. It was just that circumstances had landed her in East London and she couldn’t see a way to change them.
“I could show you a way to change them,” I told her. “If you had enough money so that you didn’t have to work any more – and if you had enough money so that you could choose where you lived instead of having to live where the council will give you a flat, would that make you happy?”
She said it would. It would make her very happy. It would make her children happy too – and her grandchildren.
She has a DVD and we’ll talk again on Tuesday.
The King Prawns with Noodles looked good. In fact they had just arrived at my table in the bar of the Stevenage Novotel when the phone rang.
For a moment I debated whether to answer it – since I was dining alone, I had only myself to worry about and there’s nothing worse than cold king prawns. In the end I was happy with my decision: I answered briefly and said I would call back.
Which was good because it gave me something interesting to think about over dinner.
This is what had happened:
On Sunday, my wife, Tamsin, competed in the London Marathon. She completed it in 4hrs 8mins – not her best time but she was happy with it considering the heat. We all went up (well all of us except Number One Son who is not into spectator sports). We watched her whizz by at Mile 14 and then pass by somewhat more doggedly at Mile 21 and then met her at Liverpool Street for Starbucks Frappaccinos and drove her home – the car reverberating to shrieks of excitement when she took off her shoes and socks and displayed the horrifying state of her feet…
Back home, it seemed an obvious occasion for a take away kebab. It was automatic, as I picked up the car keys, also to pick up a handful of Independences.
The Independence is our company newspaper – well, it hasn’t changed in years so it hardly qualifies as a newspaper. Really it’s a recruiting leaflet, telling the stories of some of the successful distributors who have developed significant part-time incomes with the company. I always leave a few in the Kebab shop when I go.
And that was on Sunday evening.
On the Monday evening, the phone call I received while sitting in the Novotel about to pick up my fork, turned out to be from someone who had picked up an Independence while he waited for his kebab.
And so finally, after the last prawn, I rang him back.
We’re meeting tomorrow for a coffee. Isn’t it funny how things turn out?
If you want to sponsor Tamsin’s Marathon, there’s still time: www.justgiving.com/tamsin-passmore
Buying dogfood was on the list. It’s just that I didn’t happen to look at the list and at 9.00 p.m. the dog had not been fed.
She’s a springer, not a labrador so you wouldn’t know she was hungry. My solution was to let her go a day without food – it wouldn’t do her any harm. Alternatively she could have cat food – she loves cat food.
But no, as Tamsin pointed out, it would take me no more than five minutes to walk her up to the Co-op and get some dogfood – and why should she go hungry just because I forgot?
I threw on a jacket, I called the dog and I went.
At the checkout, the girl said: “Where do I get a badge like that?”
The badge said: “I Love the Club” with a big red heart for “Love”.
“D’you like shopping?” I asked her.
“Well, you’ll love this!”
Then she said: “I’ve seen it before. What’s the company?”
Now this was not on the script. But if someone asks you a straight question…
I told her.
“We’re with them,” she said.
“Are you saving lots of money?”
“Well I think my Mum and Dad are – I live at home.”
“How would you like to make a lot of money?”
“What would I have to do?”
“You just listen. You listen for people who moan about the recession and the cost of living. Does anyone moan to you about those things?”
“All the time.”
I gave her a card. I didn’t take her number – it was late on a Saturday night and anyway, to my shame, I didn’t have a pen and notepad. But I did have a pocketful of cards.
Always have a pocketful of cards…
This weekend was my company’s annual convention and I’ve just spent three days in the Telford International Centre and the Holiday Inn. The only times I went out was to walk between the two.
But during those three days I was astounded by the number of people who came up to me and said how much they appreciated this blog. It really was heartwarming to know that sitting here late at night amusing myself with heavily contrived figures of speech, I am doing something that other people find useful.
So guys, this one’s for you:
First of all you would have thought that after a weekend dealing with several hundred network marketers, Scott, the young man behind the reception desk at the Holiday Inn would have heard so much about what we were doing there and how our business could give him anything he wanted, that he would start screaming if anyone else mentioned “an opportunity”.
So as I paid my drinks bill (slightly alarming which was why the company baulked at paying that part) I asked him: “I expect you’ve heard what we’ve been doing here this weekend?”
“No,” he said.
“What, nobody’s told you how much money you could make? Nobody’s given you a card?”
Very briefly, and shaking my head at the extraordinary oversight of some 150 distributors who had been staying in the hotel, I put this right. Presumably they all thought someone else had given him a card.
Then I went into the conference room to spend a solid eight hours learning the new training courses. When I came out at 5.00 p.m. I was aware of two things: It was a three-hour drive home – and today was a Monday, a working day, and all I had done to advance my business was to talk to Scott. Normally I like to spend an hour a day talking to people – it doesn’t seem much, given the income. In an hour, you can usually find a couple of people who are seriously interested in looking at ways to make money in their spare time.
But here’s what happened – and it just shows you how circumstances can arrange themselves to your advantage if only you give them a chance: To drive from Telford to my home in Suffolk is about three hours and that’s a lot of petrol. Half way along, I stopped to fill up. At the counter, waiting for the machine to read my card, I said to the young man on the other side: “Is this a long day for you? Are you just starting or about to finish? Well let me give you one of these. If you want to cut down on your hours, have a look – it’s all about money and time.”
Everyone gets a card and a helpful word. Honestly, I thought nothing more of it.
But as I emerged from the gents a few minutes later, the young man had come out from behind the counter – and so had his friend. He was holding the card: “What’s it all about?” he asked.
“Are you interested in more money … more free time?” I asked him.
“More money, yes very much. What do we have to do?”
“You really want to know?”
“Well, you listen. You listen for people who moan about the recession and the cost of living – does anyone moan to you about those things?”
“All the time.”
OK, well, when they moan I say 19 words. Here are the first nine: Someone moans, I say ‘I ought to tell you about my brilliant club’. What do you think they say?”
“Right. Then I say the other ten words: ‘It’s great. They get Sainsbury’s to pay my electricity bill.’ Now what do you think they say?
“”How does that work?”
“Exactly right – and now they’ve asked twice – so I have to tell them. And when I do that and they join the club, I get paid forever. Do you want to get paid forever for talking to someone once?”
“Yes please,” they said in unison.
So now I have their names and mobile numbers in my phone and we’ll be talking again on Tuesday after 8.00 p.m. Apparently I can call as late as I like – the petrol station is open through the night.
Before putting the car into gear, I made the last call from the succession of messages which had built up over the weekend. Driving off with the headset in my ear, I began talking to one of those delegates who had come up to me in the lunch recess. What he wanted was the phone number for the man who had won the £1,000 prize for breaking the record and signing up 29 new distributors in a single month.
I told him he didn’t need the number because there’s no secret. Quite simply the £1,000 winner talks to more people than anyone else.He drives from London to Birmingham at 4.00 a.m. to do a presentation – and then drives to Slough for an Open Evening.
I don’t do that. In fact one hotel receptionist and a couple of guys in a petrol station is not in the same league at all – but then how many people spoke to no-one at all today?
I suppose what I’m saying is that you don’t have to be a superstar. You just have to do a little bit and do it consistently – and even that advice isn’t original!