Posts Tagged ‘Christmas party’
“… and what do you do?”
It’s the standard question at parties – and now, at the end of the Christmas Party season, I reckon I’ve cracked it.
The problem is that if you’re a supermarket manager, an accountant, a teacher or whatever, you can just say so and people will know how to respond (it might be boring but they’ll know how to respond).
But if you’re in network marketing you’re in a different world. For one thing people will ask “what’s network marketing?”
Now, when I started nearly six years ago, I thought this was a wonderful opportunity. I mean they’d asked me… I couldn’t very well refuse to tell them, could I?
So I did. I launched into the wonderful services that everybody uses every day – I delved into the compensation plan which pays you forever. I told fabulous stories of ordinary people who had wrought extraordinary changes in their lives through this wonderful industry… and I went on telling them while the mulled wine grew cold in my hand and the Edith Piaf CD went into replay.
It would have been fine if their faces had glazed over and they’d started looking over my shoulder for the cavalry. I like to think that if that had happened, even I would have noticed. But no, they appeared to be genuinely interested (OK, who wouldn’t be?)
The trouble was that in other parts of the room there were other people who were not so interested. Obviously these people had only picked up snippets (otherwise they would have been riveted). But I suspect that to them I must have been something of a spectacle. Imagine a Bateman cartoon “The network marketer at the cocktail party” with people jumping out of windows and drowning themselves in the fruit punch.
My wife had a word with me afterwards and I remember saying plaintively: “But they asked me…”
After that I became much more circumspect: “What do I do? Well I help people save money and I help people make money… how do I do it? Well, I’d love to tell you but that’s my wife over there and if she catches me talking shop there’ll be hell to pay. But are you interested in money? Well let’s get together after the holidays and I’ll tell you all about it.”
And this tactic reached its logical conclusion this Christmas. I had just escaped from the vicar – who was a very nice chap but had a habit of standing there smiling in devout silence while people thrashed around for something appropriate to say to him. Anyway, the next moment, I found myself in front of the new owner of the village’s most tumbledown cottage. This kept us going for a good ten minutes during which time I learned that he had been in public relations, had left London, considered and then rejected the idea of doing B & B and was now going to have to find some way of earning a living in order to support the terrifying cost of thatching.
“…and what do you do?” he asked finally.
“Well, I said,” drawing a breath and scanning for Mrs Passmore’s radar which was doubtless operating at full power from the other end of the room. “Well,” I went on for more dramatic effect: “I think that you might like to take a look at what I do. Would it help you to work from home? and get paid over and over again for work you do once? and build up a full-time income from a few hours a week between the plastering and the joinery?”
“Yes, it would.” he said. “It sounds ideal,” he said. “What do you do?” he said.
“Can’t tell you.” I told him. “Not here. People would accuse me of talking shop – and my wife’s over there, she hates me going into business mode at parties. But if you’re interested, I’ll call you in the New Year…”
As we left he made a special effort to accost me by the door. Pumping my hand, he looked me straight in the eye and said: “You will call me in the New Year, won’t you?”
So I suppose I’d better…