Archive for June, 2013

The pressure of a goal

If you hadn’t guessed, the best thing about this blog is that it helps me set goals in a most public fashion – and of course the more people you tell about a goal, the more you have to stick to it.

Ten days ago I discovered that we were already half way through the month and I had made no inroads at all into my four-customer-qualification for the company’s holiday promotion. This led to some quite regular posting as I became more and more stressed about the situation. Then, if a day went by without a post it tended to mean there was nothing much of a positive nature to report.

Now I can reveal that a day without a post means the pressure is off: The last two days have yielded customers three and four – and if just one of the two distributors completes their training, they will be the insurance against mishaps.

This is how the last two came in: On the 20th I mentioned that I had an appointment with a couple who had solar panels on their roof. I knocked on their door and yesterday I went round and signed them up.

No sooner had I arrived home feeling rather pleased with myself than the phone rang: This was a woman I had met while doing my prize draw in the street in March 2009. She didn’t join at the time but I kept on ringing her at annual intervals and eventually she joined joined in October 2012. Then she started giving me referrals (one to a woman who had “down-sized” from a ten-bedroomed house to a six-bedroomed house). Now she was ringing me with another referral – or as she put it: “Would you mind terribly helping her to join?”

“Not at all,” I said (I am very generous). Today I went round and signed her up.

It doesn’t mean to say I have to stop now. There will still be calls to make and some more visits to houses with solar panels. But there’s no pressure any more.

This is just as well. We’ve had our offer accepted on the new house.

… and do you know the oddest thing? It has a cart lodge – and on my earliest goals list from when I joined eight years ago, it turns out that I always wanted a cart lodge.

And I hadn’t even mentioned that.

What has Columbo got to do with Multi-Level Marketing?

I shall start smoking cigars – and wear a trenchcoat. I am turning into Colombo.

The scruffy detective is more famous for his “close” than his cases. The Colombo Close, it’s called: He interviews the suspect, he asks lots of questions but none of them quite get to the heart of the matter. The suspect grows in confidence, maybe they will get away with it after all. This detective is not so bright. As they grow in confidence, they give more away but what does it matter, they’re going to get away with this…

And then, as the Inspector leaves, his hand on the door handle he turns, frowning: “Oh, just one more thing…”

And there it is: the clincher.

Now I don’t claim to be putting away murderers but I do have 3,102 names on my list and yesterday one of them stayed on it.

You may remember the elderly lady with the solar panels from June 22nd: She rang yesterday. She had been thinking, she said and she had decided not to go ahead and so she would like to cancel our appointment.

“That’s fine,” I said. Quite frankly I had bigger things to worry about – like people coming to view the house in half an hour and the kitchen floor still unswept.

“Is that alright?” She wanted to know.

“Yes absolutely. Thank you for letting me know.”

“Is that everything then?”

What she didn’t say – but what she was thinking, obviously, was: “Aren’t you going to try and talk me out of cancelling. Aren’t you going to go for the hard-sell, start arguing with me…”

“Yes that’s everything.”

“Oh, alright, then.”

And then, hand on the doorknob, I turned – metaphorical finger to my temple and released the clincher: “Maybe another time?”

And sure as surely as the suspect walking into their confession, down the line came the magic words: “Yes, yes, maybe another time!”

And now she is in my diary for a call in six months.

Psychologists tell us that the average person has to see something for sale in a shop seven times before they will buy it – or fifteen times on the internet. The reason that not everyone wants your Multi-Level Marketing product the first time you show it to them is because they’ve never seen it before – or more to the point, they know that it’s brand new for you too. Of course they have no confidence in it.

But show it to them again in six months time -and be prepared to wait another six months after that…

I can promise you that in due course you will hear these words: “So you’re still doing it then? So it’s still going is it? ”

… and even: “So do you think we should join…”

And, of course, where there is a cancellation there must always be another appointment. As soon as I put down the phone after talking to the elderly lady with the solar panels, I called the husband from the 20th – and now I’m going to see him and his wife on Tuesday.

Incidentally the people who came to see the house said liked it very much. Their children played on the castle and the trampoline. They stood on the terrace and marvelled at the view.

They did all the right things. Maybe it was the kitchen floor that let me down.


A viewing today and another tomorrow! Could it be that someone will actually buy our house.

And which was more important? Get everything tidy for the prospective purchaser or go out and get an appointment for my Network Marketing business? After all we’re about to go into the final week and I still don’t have my four customers for the month.

The silly thing is that with hundreds of thousands of pounds at stake, I still found it difficult not to put Network Marketing first. In fact I made about a dozen phone calls as I pottered about the house hiding the mess. (This may sound like brilliant multi-tasking but in fact, like most men, I cannot walk and talk at the same time. This means that although the mess did get hidden, now I have no idea where I put it).

But then, when things had quietened down at about four O’clock, I slipped out to Solar Panel Alley – this is the road I have discovered where it seems every house the panels on the roof. As I learn each person’s name, all I have to do is go to the next house with a personal recommendation.

But today, at the first door, there was no-one home. I popped round to the next one and found an elderly lady – very sprightly but a little deaf. She invited me in, sat me down in the conservatory and gave me an appointment for Wednesday – and then said: “And you should go and talk to Jim Smith next door. He would go for this.”

Jim, of course, was the one who hadn’t been home. Just as well really. Think how much more credibility will I have when he is home and I am able to say: “Mary Jones suggested I pop by…”


It’s an interesting experience stealing a bicycle. People look at you as if wondering whether they should call the police. It is a tribute to my inherent respectability that they didn’t.

So I just went on sawing away at the bike lock and after a while someone came up to help by holding it down while I plied the hack saw.

“You’re an accessory now,” I told him. Also I had to tell him that it was my bicycle and there was something wrong with the lock.

But that was just one of the things I had to do today – in a day with a seemingly endless string of mundane tasks which came along to distract me from the business of four customers by the end of the month (keen readers will be aware that so far the score is one).

Also I had to stand in the wreckage of our bathroom and listen knowledgeably while the bathroom fitter explained what he was going to do to the shower tray (he is going to “offer it up” which makes it sound like some sort of sacrifice.

And on top of everything else, the estate agents rang to say we have a viewing tomorrow – and we’ve found another house to look at (the vendors suddenly chopped a whopping £250,000 off the price!)

This meant the clarinet lesson had to be shifted to today – the clarinet lesson is non-negotiable just like the daily network-marketing activity.

And I suppose at this point I should explain that some Network Marketing did get done – this being The Network Marketing Blog and all…

In amongst everything else (did I mention walking the dog in the woods near the new house – every house has to pass the dog test – and the woods turned out to be so extensive that we got lost and I had to use the map on my phone to find our way back). Now where was I? Ah yes, eventually I got around to ringing the man I mentioned back on the 17th – the runner from the sailing club. I called and asked if he wanted me to come round and see what I could do with his feed-in tariff payments.

“Yes please,” was what he said.

An hour later I was out of the house with the second customer in the bag. In fact I was so chuffed with this solar panel lark that after the clarinet lesson, I stopped at a house with these things on the roof and knocked on the door: “I hope I’m not disturbing but I pass this way regularly and I never noticed your solar panels before. Are they new?”

They were. In fact they were so new that the lady in the hall started trying to sell them to me (well not hers, of course – but the idea of solar panels generally)

Finally finding a pause in the conversation, I explained: “The reason I stopped is because this morning I was with a friend who has them and I was able to show him how to get an extra 2p per kilowatt hour on his Feed-In tariff. It seemed churlish to drive past without telling you too. It takes me a minute to tell you. Would you like to hear it.”

And now I have to ring her husband. It would be nice to say that I had done it already and had an appointment.

But life’s not like that – not with the 17-year old to get to Drama and two 15 year olds to collect from Athletics. I’ll do it tomorrow…


Not so good

The trouble with announcing that I am going to report on my progress towards four customers by the end of the month is that it can work both ways: Monday was fine. On Monday I got a customer.

Tuesday was not so good – but then I knew that about Tuesday on Monday. On Tuesday I was training all day in East London and was then invited to tea with my top distributor where I met his top distributor who had brought his three top distributors down from Burnley to collect his new BMW Mini from Network HQ. They were shown round, met the Network Director and the CEO. They were so excited I could hardly excuse myself and say I had to make some calls.

And so the evening Opportunity Presentation was not a success – at least not for me. It was a huge success for my top distributor given that of the 174 people there, 104 were guests – the vast majority in his team. His neice had 30 show up! When I finished speaking and had handed out awards to what seemed like an awful lot of people, two of the guests came up with questions. I asked who had invited them and they had no idea. One had received a text. The other squinted at his email and read out the name of my top distributor. He hadn’t even had a phone call and yet he turned up!

All of this would have seemed like just one of those things if today’s prospect had joined. Admittedly she had always insisted she was going to talk to her son. I remember not being too happy about this when I made the appointment but she did not want me to call him, insisting that she would be perfectly capable of explaining. Against my better judgement I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and go ahead anyway. We will hear the son’s verdict on Tuesday.

On the way out the postman was delivering in shorts. It was, after all, the hottest day of the year. We got talking about the heat and pretty soon he admitted that he had some colleagues who might be interested in a way of earning an extra income if it did not affect their Post Office work. So he got a newspaper – but when I rang him at the appointed time, it turned out he had made a mistake in giving me his phone number (you will notice that I did not say I made a mistake in writing it down…)

Home again and the director of the kitchen makeover company was there to get her cheque. She had done a good job – new cupboard doors, worktops and sinks. She said it would look like a new kitchen and it does – I shall have to write a testimonial for her website. But she will have to watch the DVD.

If I had not had to go and buy the tiles and the new shower for the bathroom, I would have done more. Still, there’s always tomorrow…

Wrong addresss

Here’s the good news: I got my customer – not the one I was after but isn’t that the nature of this business? Here’s how it happened: A week or so ago, while walking the dog, I heard a runner pounding along behind me but he didn’t overtake. Instead he slowed to a walk alongside me and it turned out to be a fellow member of the sailing club. We chatted as the dogs ran ahead down the lane. He was organising a pizza bake in his garden (yes, he has a pizza oven in his garden). He pointed out his house – the one with the solar panels.

Now my company happens to arrange for people with solar panels to get an extra payment for the electricity they generate (and I get paid on what they generate as well as what they consume) so I said: “I hope you’re getting your extra payment.”

Of course he wasn’t and he invited me round to sort it out – but after the pizza bake, of course.

Now I didn’t like to admit that I didn’t have his number and today I toyed with the idea of looking it up. But if you ring someone they can suggest an appointment next month and as readers of yesterday’s post will know, I’m in a hurry. I decided to drop in.

This was fine until I couldn’t find the house. There was another one with solar panels but it had a completely different name. Never mind, I could ask. It was only after I rang the bell that I saw the sign: “We do not buy at this door so do not knock and invite our wrath”.

In fact they seemed to have forgotten the sign because after they had told me how to get to the other solar panel house, I causally explained why I was on the way there and added: “If you like, I’ll tell you how it works. Takes me a minute. D’you want to hear it?” They did and so I went in and signed them up – and now I still have to go to the right house….

Just do it

I’m rather proud of this blog. I’m proud of the fact that it’s been going for four years. I’m proud of it getting more than 70,000 hits a month – with more readers in the USA than anywhere else even though I’m based in the UK. But mostly I’m proud of the fact that it’s all true.

Which is kind of scarey because I am now going to write about the next two weeks and they haven’t happened yet.

In the next two weeks I will sign up four customers. I need to do this because four customers a month is the requirement for my company’s holiday promotion and so far this month I have signed up none.

I have found two new distributors but they don’t count unless they complete their training and you can’t rely on them to do that. So, to be absolutely sure, four customers it will have to be.

(at this point distributors with my company will be wittering on about “lifebelts” and “share options” all of which is too complicated to enter into here. Suffice it to say the requirement is four a month and four it shall be)

You don’t need me to tell you why I have to do this; it has nothing to do with six-star luxury, wall-to-wall caviar or any of that nonsense. It has to do with self-respect. I am in the top 0.2% of distributors in my company. I cannot, with any conscience, stand up at our training sessions and tell people how to do it if I don’t do it myself.

Meanwhile I should explain that getting into this situation in the second half of the month has a little bit to do with trying to sell the house and a lot to do with excuses. Because here’s a fact: Everything other than success is an excuse (you might want to write that down). And next week there will be just as many excuses – the only difference being that we’ll have the builders in refurbishing the bathroom instead of the kitchen – and the week after that it’s the decorators’ turn…

I know all about this. Like all of us, I have distributors in my team who tell me they can’t get started because they have a cold or they’ve just started Italian lessons or the dog is very old and needs round-the-clock nursing…  and I have to treat those excuses with the same polite understanding as a death in the family, a child undergoing chemotherapy or a business partner who empties the company bank account and skips to Poland – all of which I have also heard in my time. They are all excuses and all perfectly valid to the person who makes them.

But later on – and I’ve been doing this eight years now – you realise that there are no excuses. In Network Marketing as in life, either you do it or you don’t.

This comes to mind because on Saturday I went to one of our company events where they showed the video of Art Williams saying: “Just do it.” (if you haven’t seen it, you should – you can find it on Youtube).

And half an hour ago the following text arrived in reference to my 10 O’clock appointment for tomorrow: “Sorry but unable to keep appt tomorrow at 10a.m as we are now both working. I’m sorry but no longer wanting another appt. Regards…”

It arrived just as I was cooking pancakes. My wife is away and we always have pancakes when she goes visiting because I make such a mess with them and insist that there should be no limit on fillings (the ten-year-old had chocolate and tomato sauce).

“What will you do?” asked my daughter. She is twelve and takes these things seriously.

“Get another one,”I said.

” How will you do that?”

“I’ll just do it.”

Nostalgia and the bathroom

Ah nostalgia! I clearly remember my father taking me to the Aldwych branch of the Westminster bank to open my first account. The manager wore a waistcoat and a watch chain and advised me severely on the benefits of financial prudence. He reminded me of my prep school Latin master, only without the physical abuse.

This week I took my son to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation branch in Woodbridge (it really annoys the HSBC people when you call them that). It was not his first account because nowadays you can have that when you’re three months old but it was a bit of an occasi0n none the less – not least because Owen is the only teenager in the world who doesn’t spend all his money as soon as he gets it.

(He also forgets to take his mobile phone with him – but then I did say he was unusual.)

So we went through all the intricacies of online banking and finally as we were about to leave I turned to the banking advisor and said: “Now I have to say this otherwise Owen will think not preparing him for a secure financial future: Tell me, if you had the opportunity to earn an extra income as long as it didn’t affect what you do at the moment, would you be interested?”

And she said “No.”

Now I must say I was a bit surprised – and conscious of the fact that Owen would not be impressed – but it would be worse to argue and so we left quietly. It was only on the way home that I started kicking myself. You see I have just finished reading Eric Worre’s book “Go Pro” in which he advises we should never prospect people directly: Always ask them who they know who …etc…etc…

But then today the bathroom arrived. Bathrooms arrive in a dozen cardboard boxes these days and they all have to be ticked off on a list. Once we’d done this, I turned to the delivery man and this time I played it by the book: “How many deliveries have you got today? My, you must have your work cut out…Now I know this wouldn’t suit you because you’re very busy but I bet you know two or three people who might be interested in looking at a way of earning an extra income as long as it didn’t affect what they’re doing at the moment.”

He thought long and hard about this. He put his head on one side and said: “Hmmm.” Then he put his head on the other side and said: “Hummm”. While all this was going on, I pressed him that he must know at least two people… at least one person…

But of course that was not what he was agonising about. What he was agonising about was why he should offer this extra income to his friends when he could use it himself. Finally he said: “The thing is, I’m self-employed.”

After a while he enlarged: “In fact there isn’t enough work for a full-time driver. They just use me when they need me.

– So you…

“So I would be interested in an extra income…”

It was amazing. I didn’t even have to ask for his details. He volunteered them.





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.