Archive for April, 2012
Back on April 13th I was panicking. You may remember – what with everything else going on – that for my business, April is not much more than a week long.
And in that week I needed to get a minimum of two average customers to stay on the Share Option promotion – and considering that is assumed to be worth £350,000 – falling off it is not to be considered.
My month ends tomorrow at 6.00 a.m. when Tamsin and I set off for the airport on the company holiday to Las Vegas. That’s an £18,000 holiday. You wouldn’t want to spoil it. So it is with considerable relief that I can get you that the two signed up on Friday.
One was the man from the Sailing Club who has been helping me get started in my new Laser sailing dinghy. I had been talking to him about somewhere to put it and before saying goodbye, I said: “Tell you what, there’s something I always say to people when I’m talking on the phone. Can I say it to you?”
He asked what it was, so I told him…
On Friday lunchtime, he became a customer and then signed up as a distributor as well.
The other was the woman from the Prize Draw on March 1st (yes these things can take time). The appointment had been twice postponed and this was the one I mucked up so disastrously on April 13th. After sleeping on it, working out where I had gone wrong, I phoned and left a message apologising profusely, saying I had made a mistake and asking if I could come back and see her again.
Frankly I didn’t hold out much hope. But astonishingly she agreed.
Of course the appointment had to be postponed once more – but on Friday afternoon she signed up as well.
Of course it’s not over yet. Either one of them could cancel. Also, for various complicated reasons the second one had to be done on paper instead of online – which increases the potential for problems. Therefore I still need another two to be on the safe side.
Today I have three appointments – the last of them at 7.30 p.m. in a village which, according to Google Maps, is 59 minutes away… and we’re leaving at 6.00 a.m. tomorrow…
I hope, I really do hope that the first two sign up. They’re both from the prize draw – one on March 23rd and the other from January 30th (this is this second appointment – he wanted to check it out). Once I’ve got them both safely in the laptop, I very much look forward to ringing the third one and asking whether I can come and see her when I get back.
And in case you’re wondering how I met her, it was through a text – on June 2nd 2009!
“He’s a bit ‘Suffolk’, I’m afraid…”
This from the Dog Lady – who you may remember gave me an appointment on April 9th. When I arrived it turned out that her husband had had a puncture and was not at home so we had to reschedule – and now he had decided he didn’t want to see me after all.
The Dog Lady was very apologetic. Her message on the Ansaphone was full of how much she valued me as a customer … how if it had been up to her…
And then she let off the Big Gun: “He’s a bit ‘Suffolk’ if you know what I mean…”
I knew exactly what she meant: Stick-in-the-Mud… Set in His Ways…
But, then of course, this business doesn’t work in Suffolk.
I have heard it doesn’t work in Milton Keynes either – or Somerset…
In fact, as I mentioned on the 13th, customer gathering in Suffolk has now reached crisis point. The piano teacher cancelled as well (he looked me up on Google).
There was nothing for it but to return to the bosom of the Cold Market. I grabbed my prize draw forms and headed for the Car Park – I had to post my grandson’s present anyway…
There were six people in front of me in the queue at the Post Office and four behind – and two tellers.
“It doesn’t matter what time you come in here, there’s always a queue.”
The woman behind me nodded: “I was in here this morning and had to give up. It’s no better now.”
We grumbled contentedly for a minute or two. Then I said the following:
“Mind you, if we’re stuck here, I’ve got something you might like: It’s a prize draw. You could win a car or £10,000 d’you wanna have a go?”
She said: “Oh yes, that would be fun. Better than standing around waiting.”
And now I have an appointment with her on Friday.
|17.04.12||1615 – 1618||Post Office||1||1||1|
Here’s how April is going:
Week One: Skiing
Week Four: Las Vegas
Weeks Two and Three: One bank holiday, five days’ training – and somehow I have to get my four customers in order to stay on the company’s share option promotion.
OK, so the sharp-eyed will be screaming “Ohmygod, I thought it was two!” It is two but unless you make a point of always doing double, then sod’s law will dictate that someone will cancel at the last minute.
However I started badly by completely mucking up the first appointment – overcomplicated it, went into too much detail. Didn’t take charge… disaster!
Panic set in. I looked at the number of appointments I had during the remaining days – and of course the Law of Attraction dictated that immediately they started to evaporate in a series of sudden deaths, boiler explosions and illness.
And it was in this frame of mind that I delivered our company’s basic training and thought to myself: Time to get back to basics. So I went home opened the kitchen address book and started a new list – a list of all those old friends I had first approached seven years ago and who had never got around to joining. Time to stop waiting for them to “get back to me”. Time to take the initiative.
You may be interested in two of the responses I received:
“I’m not remotely interested.”
“Look John, will you just leave it!”
And these are old friends…
I know it’s me. I know I must have been too enthusiastic when I started – too pushy. I know that because two of the new names added to the address book over those seven years – people I had still not approached – did give me appointments. But as for the rest…
And so shrugged, pulled myself up straight and went back to what I know. I went back to the Cold-Market. I took my prize draw forms, went down to the car park and you can see the results below.
But it’s the last one that’s the most interesting: He didn’t give me an appointment. He didn’t want a callback. But this is what happened:
“Here you are, you can win a car of £10,000. D’you wanna have a go.”
- I don’t want a car.
“You could have the money instead…”
- I don’t want the money.
“Great. Give it to charity. Which charity would you give it to.”
- The NSPCC
“Good choice. What’s your name?”
He told me and we filled in the form. He had bright blue eyes and a long grey pony tail. It turned out he was retired and spent his time doing voluntary work. He liked helping people. Helping people was what kept him going. Of course I suggested that he could join me in helping people – then he would get paid for it and could give even more to the NSPCC. But no, he didn’t want to do that. Instead he had an idea…
Five minutes later we had a deal: I would supply him with dozens of little cards about how to save money and how to make money – and every time he met someone who needed to do either of those two things, he would give them the appropriate card.
And as he said: “I meet a lot of people who are short of money and it breaks my heart that I can do so little to help them. I think this might be very good for me – and very good for them.”
And me… and me…
(And yes, there are some spaces left on the Cold-Market Academy on Sunday – see tab above)
|13,04.12||1248 – 59||Woodbridge Car Park||11||11||Yes|
|1259 – 1304||5 (16)||6 (17)||Yes|
|1304 – 1320||16 (32)||16 (33)|
The man at the door had called four times before. He sought my opinion and he would take no other. He was the Man from Mori.
I had no idea the National Readership Survey went to such lengths. But apparently my house had been chosen. It would take ”just 12 minutes” to find out what I read.
In no time at all we were sitting in my office, each holding a tablet computer while I tried to think whether over the last 12 months I had opened any of the hundreds of newspapers and magazines which flashed up on the screen. It was like playing cards with a hyperactive child.
The Man for MORI then required the same information from one other occupant of the house. I volunteered my eldest son – I think he felt rather important and I was startled to discover that he had read much more widely than I had.
As astute readers will have calculated, the whole exercise had now taken up nearly half an hour of the day and so it was necessary to get something more out of it than a vague sense of pride in our opinions.
First I congratulated the Man from MORI on his efficiency. Then I asked him how long he had been doing these surveys (18 years!) What he had been doing before (Corporate IT until he was made redundant) and pointed out that I was always looking for people with his skills.
And all I took of his time was two-and-a-half minutes to look at a video which explains that instead of getting paid once for spending 24 minutes in somebody’s house, he could get paid every month forever.
He said he was sceptical. But on the other hand he did admire our view.
He’s gone away to investigate.
|10.04.12||1227 – 1234||Woodbridge Car Park||7||15|
|1234 – 1252||7 (18)||45 (60)|
|1252 – 1300||8 (33)||7 (67)||Yes|
The first day back from holiday and Number Three Son and I went to collect the dog from her rather posh kennels (more a canine B&B really).
The lady who runs it knows what I do – I have prospected her several times over the years and she has always politely declined (her idea of our business relationship being to relieve me of large cheques three or four times a year and leave it at that.)
But this time was different. This time I had just taken delivery of my new prize draw forms – and better still I had been up at six in the morning working out how to get my own words onto the back: The back used to be blank but is now clogged up with previous winners so the words had to be reduced to 9pt and the margins extended to within a hairsbreadth of the edge.
Anyway, having written the cheque, I said brightly to the dog lady: “Here you are, you can have a go in my new prize draw. You can win a car or £10,000! D’you wanna have a go?”
Of course holding my cheque for £140 (£20 a night for a dog!) she could not very well decline.
And now we have an appointment for Friday.
There you are, that wasn’t too much trouble was it?
And now I can say I am back in the old routine.
The Cold-Market Academy for Network Marketers is filling up. I have three courses scheduled over the next two months: In Wetherby, Ipswich and Gloucester – you can read about them and see video testimonials by clicking the tab above.
But still people have been asking: What will we learn at the Academy.
Essentially you will learn how to talk to thousands and thousands of people about our business. We do this by offering them the chance to take part in our prize draw – and we do it, not at a fete or a car boot sale, not in a supermarket…but in the street.
The huge advantage of doing it in the street is that you do not have to give up half a day, you don’t have to rely on anyone else to join you… you don’t have to pay for anything more than the forms…
Also you can do this for five minutes at a time whenever you have an empty gap in your day. You can do it in the queue for the Post Office – on the train. You can do it any time, any place, anywhere!
And yes there is a right way to do it. I started in 2007 and I’ve been doing it ever since – gradually refining it, learning what works and what doesn’t. For instance, if you get one small thing wrong, it can have dramatic effects.
Look what happened at the appointments I made on and March 14th and March 20th. There didn’t seem much to choose between them when I made them: The first with an elderly lady, the second with a man in his 50′s. Both said they would like me to visit for an assessment to see how I could help them. Both received a printed reminder card in the post. But with the first one I remembered to call the evening before to check that it was still convenient to call. With the second I forgot.
At the first appointment, the elderly lady welcomed me at the door full of apologies about the state of the house: Her mother had died (how old had she been!) and there was still a lot of clearing up to do. I sat in a sort of geriatric high chair provided by the hospital. My new friend talked virtually non-stop but never asked a single question and I left the house an hour and 15 minutes later with an order for all our services and having made a bonus of £50. Living alone as she does, she will probably not pay me an enormous residual income – maybe £3 or £4 a month. But she did give me a referral to some people who live in my road – and there are big houses in my road…
The second appointment was rather different. I had forgotten to make the phone call. The man in his 50′s answered the door after some considerable delay and, at 10 0′clock in the morning, he was still in his dressing gown (with nothing underneath it). A lovely young woman in my team has had this experience before and says politely that she will phone to reschedule before beating a hasty retreat down the garden path.
I stood my ground. The man in his 50′s smacked his forehead and apologised that he had completely forgotten. I offered to wait while he got dressed but instead he said: “No, if you don’t mind, I don’t mind…”
But then we entered his living room and found his wife was in her dressing gown as well – with clearly nothing underneath. Obviously neither of them was working and after a few years of that, I suppose it doesn’t really matter how much of the day you spend in your dressing gown – or come to that, how you fill the day: They had decided to watch televisiion.
The television seemed to fill the whole wall of the living room. It was new: it gleamed, it shone. Everything else in the room was old and filthy. I sat, grimacing inwardly and began to wonder whether these people qualified as customers: To qualify as a customer for my company you have to be cheerful and open-minded and want to save money.
But they were affable enough and clearly they were watching every penny. When I came to ask them how much they spent each month on groceries, they said £70. When I showed them a list of the stores where they could save money and asked if they had ever been in any of them, the wife jabbed her fat finger at one after another saying: “Too expensive… too expensive…”
Too expensive? Where did she shop?
Any enthusiasm I might have had for them as customers promptly evaporated. So it was with considerable relief on both sides that they announced that they would “think about it”.
But there was one good thing to come out of the episode: It proves the central tenet of the Cold-Market Academy: Some people will join and some won’t
But if you talk to enough enough people, enough people will join…