Archive for January, 2016

Pebbles in the pot

Largo photoThis is me before the start of the 1988 Single-handed Transatlantic race – posing for the Evening Standard photographer. I was a newspaper reporter in those days and the paper had given me the time off in return for reports about my experiences on the way.

It took me 32 days and I came 65th out of 96 starters. I was rather pleased with myself – at least I got there.

The reason I mention this is because of the post a couple of days ago (The Alternative, Jan 30th) which mentioned sailing – and I hope that something I learned then will stand me in good stead as a Network Marketer today.

Now, you may remember that I said I had qualified for my company’s January prize. To do that I had to sign up four top-class customers and four new distributors. Well I got the distributors – in fact I recruited five but out of my six customers one was second class (nothing wrong with him but he couldn’t  take enough services to be top-class) and another cancelled – which left me with exactly four. Four is enough but it’s not enough for a safety margin. One thing I’ve learned about these competitions is that you always need a safety margin.

In fact to be sure of four, you need six because if you have five and one cancels you end up biting your nails hoping another one doesn’t do the same. Six is comfortable. Six is good.

And today was the last day of the month. How did I know my fourth customer was not going to cancel. I didn’t think she would: I had done everything right. I even sent her a card to arrive the next morning. I think she liked me. I felt fairly certain she would stick.

But how could I be sure?

Today it occurred to me that what I needed was a “pebble in the pot”.

The idea of the Pebble in the Pot was something I came up with more than 40 years ago when I started serious single-handed sailing. If you were a reader of Yachting Monthly or Yachting World in the 70’s and 80’s you will know how this happened (sailing from Poole to Brittany and finding the landfall covered in fog, I kept going and ended up in Spain). It took three or four days and for the first time I experienced that strange sensation of being completely content with being completely alone in the middle of nowhere.

This is when you can spend hours at a time just looking at the sea. An entire afternoon can pass without you having any idea what you’ve done with it.

And this, of course, is dangerous: It is all too easy to slip into an endless reverie during which the boat sails on, placidly heading for who knows where. And a boat sailing for 24 hours a day is a breeding ground for small problems which – left unchecked – can rapidly develop into disastrous ones.

But no matter how fastidious the skipper might be about watching for chafe and tightening shackles and scanning the horizon, he still needs a measure of luck. I found mine in the shape of an enormous metal cylinder. It was about 20 feet long, covered in rust and barnacles and streaming long skeins of seaweed. It looked like some part of some bigger structure and it was floating just beneath the surface as I sailed swiftly past it at a distance of about three feet.

I suppose that when I talk about the luck of finding it, what I really mean is the luck of not hitting it. If I had run into it – powering along as I was with a hatful of wind behind me – it would have punched a hole in the hull that would have sent the boat to the bottom in a matter of minutes.

Thank God I had been putting pebbles in the pot.

You see the pot is an imaginary earthenware container that looks a little like a miniature chamber pot but without the handle – and every time I got up out of my warm bunk to investigate a strange noise on deck or stood up to have a proper look round instead of just glancing up while lying on the foredeck watching the dolphins play under the bow – then I was tossing an imaginary pebble into the pot… for luck.

As long as there were enough pebbles in the pot, then to my way of thinking, we would sail past the dangers instead of into them. And when we did, of course the pot had to be emptied into the sea and the whole game had to begin again.

And so today I went out to put pebbles in my Network Marketing pot. It was Sunday and rather damp and there were a dozen things I would rather have done (and dozen more I certainly should have done). But from lunchtime until five O’clock I followed up Written Invitations.

And no, I did not get another customer. I did make two appointments for next week and I have half a dozen people to call in the future.

But more than that I filled up the pot – right to the brim.

The Alternative

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you may be wondering why it stopped. If you are particularly observant, you may wonder why the Cold Market Academy page disappeared for a few weeks.

The reason is that I have been going through a crisis of confidence. A few weeks ago I was taken aside by one of the top leaders in my company and told that what I have been teaching was not helpful: I was told that while I might be able to stand in the street and talk to strangers other people could  not. The theory was that because I have sailed round the world (not quite true) and I am a former war correspondent (true but less impressive than it sounds) then I must be without fear (definitely not true). Consequently other people cannot be expected to do what I do.

Instead other people should be taught to talk to their family and friends.

Since the top leader has a business about three times the size of mine, I didn’t argue.

Then two things happened to restore my faith in myself.

First of all I attended my company’s big New Year event – I expect all Network Marketing companies do something like this – get everyone together and stoke up the enthusiasm after Christmas.

It was only a day in a somewhat industrial-style conference center but a number of people came up to me and thanked me for my teaching and the inspiration they have received on this site. Others spoke with excitement about the Cold Market Academy and what it had done for their businesses…

I can only call this humbling. I had no idea anyone took it all so seriously (I know I take it seriously, but I thought that was just me…)

Then today I qualified once again for my company’s latest prize. I’m sure you understand the compulsion to win the prizes – whether it’s a matter of demonstrating what’s possible or just for good old-fashioned personal glory, we like the prizes.

The trouble was that having qualified for it (and more to the point, having told people I had qualified for it) one of my customers cancelled. Quick: The end of the competition was just four days away. I needed some more customers…

And that meant I needed some more appointments.

I didn’t think “where will I get them? Who can I ring?” I didn’t get out a list of people I had already called or who I was too scared to call in the first place. I just marched out into the street with my prize draw forms. I followed up on written invitations delivered in the past. In other words I went out into the Cold Market and put in some activity knowing full well that at some point it would yield results.

It did. On Wednesday I made two appointments for Friday afternoon. On Thursday morning both of them cancelled for perfectly good reasons. I went out again. I made two more appointments this time for Friday morning – next-door neighbours as it happens and back-to-back appointments.

The first one signed up. The second was very apologetic but his wife wanted to leave it a few weeks.

I admit, I would feel safer if they’d both signed – then I’d have one in hand. So I’ll be going out again tomorrow just to make sure…

The point I’m trying to make here that I didn’t know any of these people. I didn’t have to worry about having names on a list or how many times I had called them. In other words I didn’t need to have aching limbs as I tried to find people that I needed see.

I just went and talked to some new people and if they weren’t interested I went and talked to some more new people – and sure enough eventually I found someone who said Yes.

That is the beauty of the Cold Market – and that is why the academy is there at the top of the page once again for those who need it.

I hope you don’t. I really do hope that your friends and family look at your opportunity with an open mind and are happy to buy from you.

But if not, here is an alternative. It’s not a Better Way. It’s just an alternative way. Sometimes we all need an alternative.

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 info@networkmarketingblog.org.uk

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.