Archive for December, 2012

Happy £1,000,000 New Year!

Last night a New Year’s message went out to all the Network Marketers in my team. Along with the good wishes I set them a “January Challenge”: To replicate in January what I did in December.

Readers who have been paying close attention will know this involves five clear plastic A4 wallets filled with a variety of marketing materials. Every weekday one of these wallets must be emptied. The theory is that if someone does this throughout January, the chances are they will continue for the rest of the year (it takes 30 days to create a habit, apparently).

And if they did that, by this time next year they would have distributed the following:

4600 company newspapers
2300 product information cards
2300 opportunity information cards

…. and they would have made appointments to call 690 people who had expressed a serious interest in money to see what they liked about the DVD and the company newspaper.

More to the point, if they had ten people in their team doing the same, the figures would look like this:

Company Newspapers: 50,600
Information cards  (total) 50,600
New contacts: 7,590

I was explaining this to my friend the computer guru who was round first thing this morning sorting out the wi-fi so that the children’s Christmas presents will work. The guru is a distributor of course and while he tinkered with the microchips, I showed him today’s plastic wallet, loaded with its marketing materials. I could see he was impressed. Three hours later I was able to send him a text: “Plastic wallet empty”.

Here’s how it happened: I had to go into Ipswich to the dentist – I lost a filling the size of a peanut on the Saturday before Christmas and had to wait until today to get it fixed (I ate a whole Christmas lunch on one side of my mouth). A lot of other people seemed to have the same trouble because I had to park in the town car park instead of outside the surgery. This meant it was easy to breeze into the shopping precinct afterwards and give out the 20 cards on the way to the Post Office. Anybody sitting on a bench or waiting for friends got a newspaper. That was the easy part. I was still left with the three prize draw forms and three DVDs with newspapers tucked in the covers.

I tried asking people in the street but it was too crowded and everyone seemed to be in a hurry.  Never mind, there is a little parade of shops on the way home – much more relaxed – and besides, tomorrow there will be 25 £1,000,000 prizes in the Euromillions Lottery. It’s only once a year. I couldn’t miss that.

It was as I was waiting to buy the winning ticket that my phone rang: “I’m looking at your car and it says something about earning money. Can you tell me what that’s all about.”

One minute later I had abandoned the chance of winning £1,000,000 and found myself sitting in his passenger’s seat while his wife finished her shopping. His son had lost his job so we filled in the first prize draw form on his behalf and Dad will pass on the DVD and the newspaper.

But before I could get back into the queue for my £1,000,000 (I was getting quite certain of it now), my path was blocked by a cavalier King Charles spaniel whose owner was trying to tie him up so she could go shopping too. She went in for the draw as well and I’m to call her on New Year’s Day to see what she likes best about my MLM business.

Finally, I got to buy my ticket (which, of course, would not have been the winning one if all this had not happened).

But just in case those odds of 14,000,000: 1 against do not land in my favour, I asked the man who was entering the shop just as I was leaving whether he would like to fill in the last of my prize draw forms. Maybe I really am lucky. I’ll be calling him in the afternoon of January 9th.

– and all done by lunchtime. Now all that remains is to wait for our friends to arrive to see in the New Year with us.

And a Happy New Year to you too!






It rained today. In fact it rained all day today.

It rained on Thursday as well – all day.

On Wednesday I announced that every day I will set out with my plastic wallet full of MLM marketing materials – and come back with it empty.  But then, on Wednesday, it did not rain.

Getting rid of 20 cards, ten newspapers and finding three people to enter a prize draw is not so easy in the rain. So on Thursday I stayed home (venturing out only to get soaked with the dog). Of course this left me having to make up for it on Friday). Suddenly two folders full of marketing materials looked an awful lot. But Friday is Clarinet lesson day and I go into Ipswich – and there are a lot of people in Ipswich, especially on the last Friday before Christmas.

It took ten minutes to give out the 40 cards. Personally I think these were wasted: Only one person stopped long enough to ask me what it was all about. But that wasn’t the point – the point was to get rid of them: As people walked towards me, I smiled broadly and said: “Everyone’s getting one of these today, here you are.”

And they took them: 40 in ten minutes.

That left the prize draw forms and DVDs – not so easy when everyone’s really busy – and I had six of them to shift, don’t forget. But first it was lunchtime.

The guy behind the counter in Subway was rushed off his feet but he was certainly in his late 50’s. What was he doing in a job like that at his age? Rushing around is for teenagers. However, with a queue of people behind me, this was not the moment to stop and chat – certainly not the moment to ask if he would like to enter my prize draw. So I cheated. I tucked a newspaper into the DVD cover and pushed across the counter. This was not what was supposed to happen. This was like throwing  it away and I dare say it ended up in the trash at the end of the shift. Only five to go.

Next it was off to Jessops the Camera shop to buy my wife a camera case for Christmas (it’s OK, she doesn’t read this). Now there was time to talk: “Hey, I’ve got something you may like. It’s a prize draw. You can win a car or £10,000. We just put your name in a hat and if you win the car, I win one too…”

The nice young salesman entered the draw and I sketched out how the the money works on the back of the DVD and gave it to him along with another newspaper. I’m due to ring him back after Christmas. Four to go…

I tried walking back down the street saying to all and sundry: “Here you are, you can win a car or £10,000… ” but it was as bad as giving out cards. People are in a hurry just before Christmas. I arrived all the way back at the car park with nothing but a whole lot of marks on my form to show me how many people had said “No”.  The total was 53.

And then I discovered something about the car park. I should explain that it is one of those spiral ones which winds down and down deep underground. What I had not appreciated is that some people would rather wait in the fresh air at the top while their partners go to fetch the car – and since they’re just standing there, waiting, it’s an ideal opportunity for them to enter a free prize draw to win a car or £10,000…

I filled in all my remaining forms and shifted the rest of the DVDs – and have to ring a woman who knows all about us, used to be a member and just never got around to re-joining.

By now the astute reader will have noted that there are still 14 newspapers to go. I stopped at the petrol station on the way home. I didn’t need any petrol and it wasn’t the station where my company gets me a discount so I had to buy a pack of TicTacs to get me to the girl on the till.

“May I leave these on the counter for your customers?” I asked her. She didn’t know. She would have to ask her supervisor.

The supervisor came out – closely followed by the manager. I asked the manager.

He wanted to know what it was all about. I told him: “It’s all about money. Are you interested in money?”

I left all 14 on the counter – and, walking back to the car, I could see through the window the manager, the supervisor and the check-out girl all reading about growing a substantial second income and having the freedom to choose their future.



You don’t have to be smart to be a success in Multi-Level Marketing.
Today is Thursday and over dinner it was arranged that Tamsin would take Number Two son and his friend to Athletics for 6.30 and I would take Number Three son to Judo for 7.15. I would then be able to come home because Number One son was not going to Judo which would have run from 8.30 to 10.15.
If he had been, then I would have had to stay and bring the first three back (the Athletes waiting in the Dojo for 15 minutes at the end of their session) and then I would have nipped back at 10.15 for the oldest…hold on, that’s not right, we’ve now got two cars with four seats at the sports centre but if Tamsin’s bringing them all she needs the big car…
Is this getting confusing? It was for me – so you can see it’s hardly surprising that I got it wrong and waited to bring Number Three son back when I didn’t need to. Instead I was stuck in Ipswich for an hour – and when this happens I drive the five minutes to the pub and sit in front of the computer with a large Coke for an hour.
But as I arrived, I found a man standing outside under an enormous umbrella, waiting. It turned out that he was waiting for his office party to start (so why he was outside, I couldn’t fathom). But anyone waiting gets a card.
He looked at it: “Oh I know them. My father’s with them.”
– Really, so you know them? And is he pleased? Is he saving lots of money?
“Yes, I think so. They gave him a laptop. Now you can’t get him off it.”
– Well you know, we’re always looking for people with a good story to tell. Did you know you can make some very good money in your spare time with this company?”
“Haven’t got any spare time,” was what he said.
I was just about to explain that we all have spare time it’s just that we do things with it which don’t make us any money. But then he went on: “My wife might be interested, though.”

Paper Trail

You may have heard of the paper trail – the idea that Network Marketers leave a trail of business cards behind them wherever they go. This is fine as long as you don’t expect anyone to ring you. Oh, you might get one in a thousand…

So why have I been giving out 20 a day this week?

I decided, on a whim, to do something a colleague recommended years ago. I remember thinking “what a good idea” and then not doing it.

The idea was that on Sunday night you sit down with five clear plastic wallets labelled Monday – Friday and into them you put your marketing materials. In my case it was ten newspapers, ten opportunity cards, ten product cards, three prize draw forms and three DVDs. Obviously the idea is that by the end of the day, you have given them all out.

Well, let me tell you how it worked yesterday: I gave out 15 of the cards before ten O’clock while walking the dog. One man who got one had a springer spaniel just like mine – he even had a long walking stick with a carved spaniel’s head. We got chatting, I gave him the card. As far as I remember I said: “Here you are, everyone’s getting one of these today.”

He asked what it was all about. I told him a bit and now I’m going to see him after Christmas.

Later I went to the supermarket to buy some more stuff for Christmas and as I was putting it into the back of the car, I turned to the man doing the same in the next parking space and said: “I always offer the people in the next parking space a chance to go in for my free prize draw.”

– What prize draw is that?

Now he has a DVD and a newspaper and I’m going to ring him tomorrow.

In the petrol station, it was the woman filling her car on the other side of the pump: “Here you are, I always give one of these to the person on the other side of the pump.”

She looked at it and said: “Ah yes, I’ve been looking at this. I had a card through the door but it looks very complicated.”

“Not complicated at all,” I told her. “Why don’t I pop round after Christmas and show you how it works.”

And she said: “Would you do that for me? Oh that is kind…”

Next it was the do-it-yourself store and a nice young man walked me all round looking for the right-sized container. He got the very last card. He looked at it and said: “What’s all this about?”

– It’s about money. Are you interested in money?

“Always interested in money. Haven’t got enough of it.

And now he’s got a DVD and a newspaper too.

That just left eight newspapers and the last DVD.

Well, seven newspapers ended up on the counter at the do-it-yourself store’s cafe (Do you mind if I leave these on your counter for your customers? They’re all about money – have a look.)

It also left one newspaper and the last DVD. In fact I still had them when I got home and Lou, our cleaner, met me at the door. She was on her way out, clutching the gift-wrapped bottle of sparkling wine we had left on the kitchen table.

We chatted. You like to chat when it’s Christmas: Was she going away? Did she have family coming?

No, Lou was going to be working at her full-time job on Christmas Eve and she was going to be working on Boxing Day too – and that stopped me in my tracks. The idea that somebody has to go to their job in the holiday season tends to leave even the most successful Multi-Level Marketer lost for words. But the fact is that I had been waiting patiently for the right moment with Lou: You can’t just gush your opportunity all over someone just because they have the misfortune to be hoovering under your feet…”

But this is the season of goodwill to all men – and to Lou. This year she got an extra Christmas present. “It might not seem much,” I told her as I handed over the last DVD and the cheap newspaper. “But it’s worth a lot more than you might think and this is one Christmas present that will last forever.”

The dishwasher, the bank manager and the absent-minded teenager

Our 16-year-old went on his first trip to London on Thursday. Not his first trip ever, of course – I wouldn’t want you to think we live in a Thomas Hardly novel. But his first trip alone … or at least his first trip with nobody but three other 16-year-olds.

Off they went to see a recording of the Now Show at the BBC studios.

And after his mother had dashed down to the station and searched the platform for his wallet which he had dropped and then driven it to Ipswich station to catch up with him, they all had a splendid evening.

It was my job to collect them all at whatever time they might manage to return to Ipswich station.

Now this blog is concerned with nothing if not the mundane and the vagaries of life that bring us into contact with prospects. So I should explain that in the middle of all this crisis, we ran out of dishwasher tablets… oh all right then, I used the last one and did not put them on the list. Never mind, if I was going to have to be at the station at some indeterminate time in the middle of the night, I might as well go via Tesco’s and get some more tablets.

Now I haven’t been to Tesco’s in the middle of the night for years. I used to go a lot. I would wander about at two in the morning falling into conversation with people in their 60’s and 70’s who should have been home in bed. But their meagre pensions meant that they had to work until they dropped. Casually I would mention a way I had found to earn extra money in one’s spare time. I think that if you search the early days of this blog you will find the story of a redundant bank manager filling the shelves. He didn’t join because he thought it must be a scam. I wonder what he’s doing now.

But this time I had a genuine reason to be cruising the aisles which were awash – as they are late at night – with cardboard boxes and plastic wrapping.

And, as always, no sooner had I asked for directions than a man in his late 50’s dropped what he was doing and escorted me to the correct aisle.

“You always do this, don’t you,” I remarked as we walked from dog food to dishwasher tablets. You always show people the way rather than just telling them. I think that’s great.”

–  We have to, was what he said. But he sounded pleased to do it anyway.

“Well I’m always looking for cheerful people who like to be helpful. Tell me, would you be open to ways of earning an extra income alongside your job?”

And the next thing you know we were standing there among the household cleaning products discussing jobs and redundancy and possibility of him taking control of his financial future.

We would have discussed it further if my phone had not rung with the news that four over-excited teenage boys were just leaving Colchester.

By the time I turned back to my new friend he was walking away very slowly reading my card an inch from his nose.

Dog food

The dog thinks it’s a cat. Why else would it rather eat cat food?

My wife says this must not be allowed – in the same way that seagulls must not be allowed to steal chips on the promenade.

But last night was the dog’s big chance. We had run out of dog food. I tried it on rabbit food (the rabbit had died from eating a banana without peeling it first). But no, nothing but cat food would do – and since it was either that or tagliatelle with pork and butternut curry (yes, an odd combination I admit, but that was what I found in the fridge for the rest of us) then a feast of cat food it had to be.

But today I put that right. Just in time, I went off to the petshop… oh all right then, the pet superstore as we have now… and bought a bag of dog food.

How can a bag of dog food cost £48? You can buy a dog for £48!

There was a woman at the counter who didn’t seem to be buying anything at all. She waited while I made my purchase.. she wanted change, it turned out.

But I paid with a credit card – and so did the man behind me.

“But I only came in for £2 in change,” said the woman.

– I can’t open the till unless it’s for a cash transaction, said the assistant.

“There’s nothing in here that’s cheap enough to buy with cash,” said I.

And then as everyone hunted in their bags and pockets, I turned to the woman and said: “Well if you’re interested in cash, this is all about cash.”

And I gave her a card. For a Multi-Level Marketer, it seemed the obvious thing to do.

A brush with the law

We took the older boys to see “One Man Two Governors”  at the Theatre Royal in Norwich this evening (must-see, and be prepared to fall off your seat laughing).

It all worked very well: Theo, the 15-year-old had been cross country running and the Athletics Club dropped him off at Tescos in Bury St Edmunds where we picked him up an hour later. It gave us plenty of time for dinner in Wagamama with a large bottle of Tiger beer for me (I had driven there and Tamsin would be driving back).

In fact I slept most of the way back, only waking with the familiar lurch as we turned into the drive.

The car behind us turned in too. It was a police car.

You know how people say British policemen are wonderful. This was one of those occasions. The officers were sure there must be some discrepancy but their computer was showing that Tamsin’s Mini was uninsured. If we wouldn’t mind showing them a certificate of insurance, just so they could establish that everything was as it should be.

Would they like to come in, we asked.

They both thanked us very much and stepped into the hall while I went and rummaged in the “official documents” box knowing full well that if the car was taxed then it had to be insured as well – and of course it was…

The officers were very grateful and advised us that we might like to contact our insurers just to make sure that they had updated their database.

Almost as an apologetic afterthought one of them said that his colleague might disagree but he felt Tamsin might have been going just a little fast for the rather damp road conditions – it was just his opinion of course…

Tamsin agreed that might indeed have been the case and that she would be very careful to watch her speed in future. It was all terribly civilised.

With a good deal of smiling and nodding the officers began to make their goodbyes and turned to the door.

And that was when I said: “Just before you go, I’ve got something you might like to see” and I ducked back into the office and pulled out a couple of leaflets about my network marketing business. Hastily sticking the address labels on the backs as I went, I presented them to our new friends: “You might find this useful. It’s what I do. In fact I’ve been doing it for nearly eight years now and a lot of my colleagues are police officers. it seems to suit them very well.”

They each took a leaflet and asked what it was.

“It’s a pension that you don’t have to put money into. You just put a bit of time into it instead and with what the Government’s been doing to public sector pensions, we really do have a lot of police officers joining us.”

They thanked me and they walked out of the house both reading their leaflets by the porch light.

Whether they will be open to what Multi-Level Marketing can offer them, I have no idea. But of course that’s not my concern. It is only my concern to make sure that whenever an opportunity arises to promote my MLM business, I take it no matter the time of day or the circumstances – or whether my first thought is one of intense relief that I shall be heading for my bed instead of being carted off to the police station.

Clever idea

I was standing in the kitchen reading The Week (rescued from my 16-year-old son’s pile of homework) when the brilliant idea hit me.

But first I had to take a phone call from a woman selling double glazing – well actually she wasn’t selling double glazing as such, she just needed to tell me that there had been a mistake and I had not received my money-off vouchers and as a result I had been awarded a bonus discount. This meant that now I could have £70 off each new window, £300 off my soffits or £700 of a conservatory. So which voucher should she send me?

Somewhere along the line I realised that she must have called my office phone – and all calls to that are forwarded to my mobile – in fact if I wasn’t worried about the number of people who have the landline number, I would do away with it altogether.

Now, most phone companies charge for forwarding calls to mobiles so there is a natural aversion to answering sales calls this way. Instinctively I asked her to call me directly on the mobile number.

She did. Of course she did. How many people ask for a call back instead of slamming down the phone in the middle of the clever spiel about the vouchers? Also, if she has had to invest in two phone calls, do you think she will be more inclined to stay on the phone… and listen to what I have to say?

And what I said was this:  “Well we had our windows done a few years ago so I expect they’ll see us out. But I would like to thank you for your call – and I must congratulate you for being very good at what you do … after all I’m still on the phone. So may I ask you a question: “Using the skills you’ve got in a little bit of spare time, would you be interested in looking at a way to make an extra income?”

And guess what? She would. She listened to my one-minute presentation – the same one that you can adapt for any network marketing or MLM business and which you can find by hitting the Cold Market Academy button – and now she’s looking.

I’d like to say that it only took up five minutes of my time – but then I wasn’t doing anything special…


We have a protocol for hotels. Given the number of trainings and presentations we hold in them, we have to. You can imagine how unpopular a hundred network marketers would be turning up once a month and each deciding to give out fifty cards…

But there are ways – ways of helping people ask us what we’re up to.

One of my favourites is to do a sweep of the bar just as we’re signing in the last delegates: “Are you with us?” I ask here and there, pointing to my badge. Most people shake their heads and carry on with their conversations. A few really have forgotten the time and hurry to finish their drinks and join us. And then there are the others. They say: “I’m not sure. Who are you?”

– We’re having an open evening about making money. Are you interested in making money?

But the other evening I found a splendid variation – and it had nothing to do with me.

I had arrived in the hotel’s conference wing to find another meeting just about to start in the adjacent room. The young woman on the sign-in table asked – just as I do – “are you with us?

Her badge said she was with the Pharmacy Workshop. I didn’t know what a pharmacy workshop was but they certainly seemed to have more takers than we did.  Our room was gloomily empty while her’s had twenty people grouped in a semi-circle in front of a screen.

I told her I had my own conference and that she was welcome to join us – at this stage she didn’t know she would be the only one.

And that was when she asked me: “What’s it about,” she said.

So what was I supposed to say? “It’s about making money. Are you interested in making money? You could come and join us instead!”

She laughed. But at the same time, she was always interested in making money…

So now she’s looking – and as Jan Ruhe says, that’s all you need – enough people looking.

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.