by John Passmore
Only one more day of Hugo’s half-term tennis course to go. It never occurred to me that taking my six-year-old down to the courts every morning was going to be such a rich source of prospects. But look what happened today:
We were early and the young champion went bounding in along with another boy whose mother hung back as well, waiting for the lesson to start.
I couldn’t go until the teacher arrived. The other boy’s mother had to hang about too.
“I’ve seen you down at the community hall,” she said suddenly. “Your son does Maths there. You’ve got a dog. I’ve seen you walking about outside.”
Ah yes, I had to admit – and usually on the phone.
She laughed. ”Yes, always on the phone.”
“Do you want to know what I talk about?”
“Well I did wonder…”
So once again, the tennis courts had produced the first prospect of the day. Do you think the magic will work again tomorrow?
I certainly hope so because for the next four days I have three children and a detailed timetable of their activities – Tamsin is away in Scotland running the Edinburgh Marathon if her damaged foot will take it.
This means my time is going to be limited and I need to make special arrangements to speak to my six prospects a day. I do have the Services Directory to fall back on. This is the little magazine which came through the door the other day and turned out to be conveniently full of adverts for small businesses whose proprietors seem most interested in looking at a bolt-on business to help with their cash-flow.
But I want to keep that for emergencies. I always have this nagging fear of getting to four O’clock without speaking to anyone.
Meanwhile today my problem was that I was going to be out of circulation for an hour with an appointment. Crazy really: That I should feel resentful that an appointment was taking me away from the business of getting appointments!
Anyway it turned out to be quick and straightforward: Just phone and electricity and five referrals. But you take my point: that doesn’t really count as talking to a new prospect. Besides there were only eight hours to go to the Ipswich COP and although I had seven people who had said they were coming, Sod’s Law said that most of them wouldn’t turn up.
So I started on the list again and managed to get three more saying: “Well I’m not doing anything tonight. Maybe I’ll come along.”
This was just as well because while I was doing it I got two texts and an email from people who suddenly discovered they were babysitting or in Wembley or something.
And then the man who was fitting the floor tiles in the bathroom came down for his cheque and walked off with a DVD saying: “My wife would be interested in this.”
And that made five. Only one to go. Better take the Win-a-Mini forms into town when I get the bread…
The first five people said they didn’t want to Win a Mini, their parking ticket was running out, they had to pick up the children…
I like it when this happens. I get a buzz knowing that the sixth will say “yes”.
(Of course if it isn’t the sixth, it will be the seventh – but in this case we didn’t get even that far).
Number six wanted to Win a Mini and also said she was interested in “additional part-time earnings”.
And you might think that was it. Job done!
Except of course, opportunities don’t stop presenting themselves just because you don’t need them any more
So, sitting in the Suffolk Show traffic there seemed no point in ignoring the mobile phone number on the back of the van in front. In fact I found myself wishing the congestion had been even worse so I could have sent him a text there and then.
It gets compulsive, you see.
And how do I know that this compulsion to continue putting in these small bursts of daily activity is going to get me somewhere?
Because when I got to the COP there was an electrician called Colin waiting for me. I had first spoken to Colin back in December when he responded to a text – and tonight, five months later, he signed up as a distributor.
One customer and one distributor today. Yes, that will do nicely.