by John Passmore
It’s a favourite story and if you’ve come for Meeting One any time over the past couple of years you’ve already heard it. But the old ones are the best and it goes like this.
I’d just come back from holiday – a day early and on my own to let the guests into their rooms, it was seven in the evening on a lovely summer Saturday and I thought: “Well, I’d better do some work – after all I haven’t done anything for a week.” So I got out my list and picked up the telephone.
At the end of the first sheet – that’s 34 names, I didn’t have one appointment. People were out or they were having a barbecue or this wasn’t a good time, could I call back in the week…
At the end of the second sheet I still had no-one. But was I getting despondent? If I was a brand new distributor ringing through my list for the first time, I might have been. I might have concluded this business doesn’t work.
But I’d been in for a couple of years by then. I knew what was about to happen. I was about to strike gold. And at the top of the third page, I did. Someone a mile away had just come in from a day’s gliding. He’d had something to eat, there was nothing on the telly: “Come round now if you like,” was what he said.
So he joined and I said: “Do you know your neighbours? Do you think they’d like to save some money too?”
And he did – and they joined.
And I said to them: “Do you know your neighbours on the other side…”
And they joined – and he became a distributor.
The reason I bring it up now is because I have the same feeling of excitement about tomorrow – when I tell you about today, you’ll see why.
I was having lunch with a distributor who’d come down from Norwich to pick my brains. After a plate of pasta and two pints of Adnams I found I was waxing fairly lyrical about talking to everyone. So as we got up and went to take our glasses back to the bar – and happened to be passing a man standing outside the door smoking a cigarette – I thought: “Why not?”
“Can you do me a favour,” I said. “I’ve just been telling my colleague here about the way I talk to everyone I find myself standing next to – and since I’m standing next to you. May I demonstrate?”
“Well, I’m in the Utilities business…”
This would have been fine if the man had not been an itinerant builder with no fixed address. When I told him about 5% of what people spent going into his bank account he said: “I haven’t got a bank account.”
Later, when I realised I’d left my sunglasses on the table, I went back and found a young couple sitting there. Would they like to hear how they could afford to have lunch out every day?
They would – but what I had to offer would be no good to them, they pointed out. Both of them lived with their parents.
“Ah, but if you could afford it, would you rather have your own place?”
Not really. Their Mums cooked for them, did all their laundry. Why would they want to move out?
Very good point. Still, that meant I’d done three.
Next up was a man who made me groan as soon as he told me his address. It was the street where all the cars are up on bricks… and everyone likes British Gas because it’s ages before they realise you haven’t paid them…
Then there was the man who deliberately gave all the wrong answers to the questions on the Win a Mini form – including saying that he didn’t want to win free utilities for a year (there’s always one).
And finally I had an old man who listened politely and then said, equally politely, “No thank you.”
Never mind, I’d got my six. And what it means is that tomorrow is going to be just great. That’s what the law of averages dictates – and the law of averages never lets you down.