Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneur’

Back in the game

I said the blog was back – and so I had to go and do something to write about…

In fact, there was more to it than that. If you’ve been keeping up, you will know that I have bought a boat and very soon I will be off on my big adventure – doing what I have wanted to do since the age of eleven. However, I have spent the past few days working out the money and, to put it mildly, it’s a bit tight.

 I know that after more than a decade in Network Marketing, I should give the impression that I am stinking rich and can afford to go off and do whatever I like. The trouble is that if I did that, my family would probably complain – after all they are quite content with their lifestyle. I can make a case for saying that the two oldest children have, technically, left home, but the arithmetic still doesn’t look too encouraging.

Make no mistake: Network marketing income is still our biggest source of income. In fact the monthly payment from just the Utility company is more than my three pensions combined – and it took 50 years to build those up.

So for the last month or so, I have been casting around for what I might do to fill the gap. Twenty years ago, I wrote for the Daily Telegraph and so I’ve suggested I might do so again. But I’ve heard nothing and, in retrospect, there is nothing I want less than to be obliged to write something if I don’t feel like it. I’m supposed to be retired, for Heaven’s sake…

If I want to boost my passive income, I want to do it in a way which is as close to being passive as possible. In other words, I do not want to be chasing up with prospects. I certainly do not plan to be unloading my folding bike and riding miles to appointments.

I have already decided that I will try my hand at busking – and will have a sign advertising my blog (where people can learn about my health business and the utility business – and even how to invest profitably in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin). The blog, by the way is www.oldmansailing.com if you haven’t discovered it.

And, of course there are links to my books which sell steadily, if spectacularly, on Amazon.

It was thinking about this that reminded me that the Network Marketing Book (MLM, Network Marketing and the Secret of the Free Prize Draw – if you’re looking for it) always gets a boost when I report in this blog on my statistics from standing in the street talking to total strangers.

…and I quite like talking to total strangers (all to do with ADHD).

So, today, I printed off some forms and had another go. I am rather pleased to report that I slipped back into it as if I’d never stopped. The only difference was that I wasn’t trying to make an appointment. If someone was interested, I offered them to send them some information by email.

If they weren’t I’m sending them an email thanking them for their time, assuring them that I have not added their details to any database and that they will not be hearing from me again (but it just so happens that my standard signature contains a plug for my novel  … oh, all right then, here’s the link… 

…and now for the stats…

Venue Time Minutes Asked Talked Result
Next to town car park, Woodbridge 1210 – 1213 3 1 1 No
  1213 – 1217 4 6 1 Email
  1218 – 1222 4 2 2 Call
  1222 – 1231 9 9 1 Email
  1231 – 1237 6 10 1 No
  1237 – 1244 7 1 1 Leaflet
    33 29 7 4

 

Make £££’s from your children playing on the X-Box!

20160510_080521Great headline isn’t it? Can’t you just see that being shared all over Facebook?

Well here’s how it came about.  A week ago yesterday – which was a Bank Holiday Sunday – we had a crisis: Hugo, who is 13, had decided that he was going to spend the whole bank holiday weekend on the X-Box. But there was one problem (no it did not have to do with fresh air and exercise): The battery in his headset had died. Without the battery in his headset, how was he to talk to teenagers in Japan and Slovenia? And this was no ordinary battery. This was a CR2 battery.

Since I was about to walk the dog, would I (please, please) go down to the town and get him a new battery. He was on Level 796 and if he  didn’t get to Level 797 by teatime he would implode.

We began a short period of negotiation. People who have seen me negotiate with Hugo say I am a wimp. In my defense, I should say I had the same trouble with his oldest brother who is  now  a high-powered corporate lawyer who helps Russian oligarchs sue each other for billions. I came away with a promise that Hugo would venture out in the afternoon just long enough to join his friends in disrupting the traffic with their skateboards.

And so it was that I found myself in the Cheap Shop. Actually it’s called something else which I can’t remember but in our family it’s always been called The Cheap  Shop just as the smelly bookshop is called “The Smelly Bookshop” because way back at the turn of the millennium there was a man in there with the most dreadful body odor. Anyway The Cheap Shop sold  CR2 batteries – and although they were cheap, they would probably see Hugo through the Bank Holiday weekend.

It was while I was fishing out the modest few coins which is all The Cheap Shop demands that I became aware of a consternation. One of the assistants came in to announce: “There’s a dog tied up outside.”

Well of course there was a dog tied up outside. It was my dog. So many shops won’t allow dogs that I leave her outside by default. Even the stationers doesn’t allow dogs – and they don’t sell so much as a chocolate bar by way of “food products”.

Before long all three assistants were outside making a fuss of the dog. Once they realised they were all outside at the same time, one of them had to come back in to take my money – and then, of course, had to go outside again with the one “food product” the shop did stock (dog treats behind the counter).

None of this will come as any surprise to anyone who has seen the dog waiting outside a shop. I think I once parked her too near an RSPCA poster and she copied the expression. By now she had gathered a small crowd saying “Aaah,” and “Poor little thing – been left all alone have you…”

One way and another there was a good deal of fuss and introductions and explanations that the manageress used to have a spaniel called Bouncer. Not any more though. She doesn’t have time for another dog. Not with a family and two jobs and…

Can you see an opening here for a Network Marketer? I think the lady from the Cheap Shop is going to make a great distributor.

This morning I tried to explain all this to Hugo. All I wanted was a picture of him with the X-Box. It would look great on the Blog. More people would read it – and sign up for the Cold Market Academy. I would make money.

I could buy him more CR2 batteries, for heaven’s sake…

Friends and total strangers

As excuses go, this was quite a novel one: The new distributor said that his family wouldn’t talk to him and he didn’t have any phone numbers for his friends.

Instead we were going to call on them. It would be a nice surprise.

Maybe they weren’t really friends. Maybe it was having me in tow… maybe it was just too early on a Saturday morning. Anyway, it didn’t go very well. At the last door we got a “No” even before we got inside – one of those definitive, belligerent “No’s” that you don’t argue with.

It just made me so grateful for the Cold Market: While the new distributor was mumbling apologies and saying he couldn’t understand it, I said: “Don’t worry. I’ll find us someone to talk to.”

It did involve a 20 minute drive to the other side of town because that was where I had delivered my Written Invitations. With the air of a confident conjurer, I announced: “I want to show you something…”

And we walked up to the first door and rang the bell. Within two minutes we had made a new friend (not a belligerent one) and had his wife’s name and phone number because she deals with what we have to offer.

Now I should add that we knocked on a further five doors and got nowhere – and by that time it was starting to rain hard.

“Never mind,” I said, pulling another rabbit out of the hat. “Let’s ring up some old numbers.”

And so we did.

I have a lot of old numbers – I think about 3,500 and the vast majority of them are very badly organised. If there is an electronic equivalent of the bran tub that you find at the best kind of village fete, that is my Customer  Relationship Management system. Anyway, I plunged my hand into the microchips and came up with a name.  It appears I last spoke to him on December 2nd 2008. Never mind, I poked at the number on the screen and it began to dial: “I don’t know whether my name rings a bell…” I said brightly as I do a dozen times a day.

A bell did ring somewhere in his memory – and no sooner had I launched into my Magic Minute than he came up with the name of the company – not particularly difficult because it appears that no sooner had I prospected him as a distributor all those years ago, than someone else came along and signed him up as a customer – which he has been ever since.

However what they had not done – for which he will doubtless be very cross when he realizes what he has missed – is show him how the money works. I have a date to do that on Monday week.

My new distributor sat in the passenger seat while all this was going on. I’m not sure what he was thinking but I fancy it might have something to do with the question of why a pair of total strangers are happy to do what a long-standing friend plainly won’t.

I don’t have the answer. I guess it goes under the heading of “Isn’t that interesting…”

What works

We had a home meeting round at my place tonight. The prize draw came up. A colleague revealed that he had spent six hours in B&Q offering shoppers the chance of a fabulous prize if they filled in his questionnaire – and he didn’t get a single taker.

Now, not only had he needed to give up six hours of his time but he had to pay for it too because B&Q is Britain’s best-known do-it-yourself superstore. You can’t just rock up there with a promotional stand and start pitching their customers without giving them a cut (and of course they don’t wait until you’ve got a customer before they take it – you have to pay up front … which meant my friend was down by probably £20 or £30).

And I know how long an hour can be in one of those places. However, in all the hours I spent there, I never walked away without a single form filled in. All the same I can believe it.

In Network Marketing as in any other business, what worked once does not necessarily work forever. We used to send text messages to numbers from the Yellow Pages and get a 20% response rate – not any more…

And maybe doing a prize draw in the street will not work forever. But it did work today. This was not a planned exercise. In fact it was hardly a conscious decision at all: I needed to retrieve my bank card from the shop where I had left it, the dog needed a walk and it was due to rain after lunch.

As you will see below, I devoted just 30 minutes to the draw. The first two people weren’t interested – and on closer inspection I decided I wasn’t interested in them either. But then a woman came along pushing a supermarket trolley which insisted on turning right.

“It wants to go that way!” I called out. She looked and saw me smiling. She smiled too and made the sort of remark people reach for when inanimate objects take over.

“Never mind,” I went on. “I have just the thing for you. It’s a free prize draw…”

We made an appointment for Thursday and I would like to claim  it as proof of my superior system. But as I advocate in The Cold Market Academy it was necessary for me to ring her husband and read him what I had just read to her. When I did so this evening, he wasn’t interested.

Ah well; as you can see, it was only two “No’s” later that I got my next “Yes”. This was a woman who had started off with a polite “No thank you” but changed her mind when I played the charity card. This time it was her idea that I call her husband (he deals with all the bills) and when I did, he was just on his way out. He was quite apologetic about it. He asked if I wouldn’t mind calling again tomorrow evening.

After that it was just another 26 No’s to finish off the 30 minutes.

The point I would like to make is that the whole exercise barely interrupted my day,  cost me precisely nothing and may yet have gained me a customer.

 

 

 

Date Venue Time Minutes People Entries Appointments Callbacks
01.02.16 Car park 1212 – 1217 5 6 1
1217 – 1220 3 3 1
1220 – 1226 6 1 1 1
1226 – 1230 4 3 1 1
1230 – 1242 12 26 0
Total 30 39 4 1 1

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.

Valley Road

With the New Cold Market Academy launching on Sunday (book here!)  and Written Invitations featuring prominently among the new material on offer,  now would be a good time to demonstrate how these little pieces of paper can fuel a Network Marketing business.

It’s just that Valley Road wasn’t the best place to do it.

Valley Road in Ipswich is part of the ring road. Before they built the Orwell Bridge all the traffic to and from Felixstowe docks used to thunder along here. It’s so long that it keeps changing its name and even so, the house numbers run in to the 200’s. Why on earth I decided to deliver my invitations here, I have no idea – only that last week I was dropping off the children at Athletics and it seemed like an interesting experiment.

It seemed less interesting at half past seven tonight with the rush hour still going strong. And these were big houses; every one with a burglar alarm – imposing front gardens – big gates. Alternatively I could sit in the car and make some calls – I’ve always got calls to make…

But the whole point of the Cold Market Academy is to prove that activity always gets its reward and you can put in activity even if you have not a single name on your list.

So I did get out of the car and in the next 17 minutes I knocked on 14 doors. By my usual standards this was not a success – although at the first door a pleasant woman apologized that she was in the middle of cooking and asked me to come back another time. The next house was in darkness (a great advantage of winter evenings is that you can see when no-one’s home). Then there was a door with a “No Cold Callers” sign and after that, a very charming and very tall man said that Yes of course he was happy to hear what I had to say – but that was as far as he was prepared to go.

From there on things went downhill. At the next six doors nobody wanted to hear my Magic Minute. This had never happened before. To prove it to myself I have just opened my book at random and find that in Wincanton Close which can’t be more than half a mile away, 18 out of 24 householders agreed to hear it (and the other six weren’t home). But absolutely nobody said No to hearing it.

What was it about Valley Road? Did the residents take refuge behind their front doors because of all the noise and chaos outside – now there’s an interesting topic for psychological discussion.

But if it’s science you’re after I can promise you that with every “No”, the Law of Averages was becoming more and more weighted in my favor. And no matter how negative people were, nobody was unpleasant – the most brusque anyone became was a simple “No thank you”.

And then, with no warning at all, a man in his early 40’s said: “OK, why not…”

I read him my piece. He agreed it would benefit him. We arranged that I will call his wife on Friday and read the same to her over the phone.

Now, let us not get too excited about this. I do not have a customer or a new team member. But I do have a definite invitation to call – and now I look at the sheet, there are another two people who agreed that I might go back another time.

And most importantly the entire process had taken just 17 minutes. If you add the ten minutes it took me to deliver the invitations the previous week, that is half an hour of activity.

And in Network Marketing Activity Breeds Results – wherever you are…

November weather

Don’t forget the New Cold Market Academy is on Sunday at Ipswich, UK. Book here: 

I just looked at the weather forecast: It’s going to rain all day. I just looked at the dog. She looked back with the same expression. Of course we could walk this afternoon but this afternoon the rain will be going sideways at 40 miles an hour.

In the meantime I have made a pot of coffee, put another log on the stove and thanked my lucky stars for two things.

  1. I started a Network Marketing business.
  2. I went out and did a bit with it on Saturday.

You can see what I did on Saturday at the foot of the page. It’s nothing very dramatic but I happened to be going down to the town so out of habit I slung my bag over my shoulder and spent half an hour offering my prize draw to the people walking between the Car Park and the shops.

Result: I have one person to go and see on Thursday and two have asked me to call to make an appointment.

Which means that for today’s activity, I can sit in the warm and pick up the phone.

 

Date Venue Time Minutes People Entries Appointments Callbacks
28.11.15 Car Park 1325 – 1330 5 3 1    
    1330 – 1332 2 3 1   1
    1332 – 1347 13 22 1 1  
    1347 -1352 5 7 1    
    1352 -1357 5 2 1   1
               
Total     30 37 5 1 2

Changing saddles

Update on the story so far. Avid readers  will remember that the last time I arrived for an appointment, the prospect was waiting for me on the sidewalk (his wife had sent him to get rid of me).

It was, if you like, the Network Marketing equivalent of falling off the horse – and the cure is to get back on straight away.

Students of the Cold Market Academy (see above) will be familiar with my idea of Written Invitations: You deliver the invitations and then you have an excuse to follow up on them. I always have a couple of streets of people to follow up – and this was the perfect time to do it.

It was on the sixth doorstep that I met the postman. Not our regular p0stie (she is called Helen) but this was a man in his late 40’s who must have been covering for her one day because as soon as I introduced myself he said: “I know who you are – and I know where you live… in fact we were just talking about you!”

Now, for somebody who is working their Network Marketing business in the Cold Market, this has to be about the weirdest thing…

But it so happened that the postman’s son is an athlete and goes to the same club as my son – and his parents have been having trouble getting him there and back on a Thursday night… and what a help it could be if we could share a lift.

Now I don’t know if we will be able to take another middle-distance runner as well as our own two and the shot-putter who always brings a big cake tin with him in the back seat. But what I do know is that I now have an appointment to go and show them my Network Marketing business on Wednesday. Interestingly the postman said he knew all about it because I had mentioned it one day when I was signing for a package. But as we know, the fortune is in the follow-up…

Oh dear…

In any Network Marketing business, this is going to happen sometime: The other day I was cock-a-hoop because I had made an appointment in just three minutes with my Free Prize Draw.

“And how many adults are there living permanently in the house?” I asked.

There were two – him and his wife.

So once we had made the appointment, it goes like this: “Now what I suggest I do is that I give your wife a ring and just read her what I read to you – just to check that she’s OK with me coming round…”

Normally this works brilliantly – people say: “Oh yes, good idea…”

But on this occasion, it was: “No, she’ll be fine. You won’t have any trouble from her.”

Have you ever had that feeling that someone somewhere is clanging warning bells for all they’re worth?

Anyway there wasn’t much I could say except: “Fine, I’ll see you on Thursday then…”

And what happened on Thursday? I arrived at the house to find him standing outside with a face like thunder: “I thought you said you would send me a text..”

It turned out that his wife had her own version of how much trouble she might be when faced with the prospect of an uninvited guest. “She’s not at all happy” was the version cleared for public consumption. And as the for text message – well I had the wrong number (even though I had been most careful to check it with him.) So he’d never received the text message and had been unable to contact me to cancel the appointment. Would you believe he’d made a special trip down to the town the following day in the hope of finding me there!

 

What could I do? I wrote him a nice letter of apology and put a First Class stamp on it.

(… and of course, I added him to the database for a call this time next year…)

 

.

In competition

This is getting silly. On November 20th I wrote about Tony Wallis who had been teasing me that he had made an appointment with his prize draw in just three minutes (you can see his comment at the bottom of the Contact page).

Then to rub it in, he posted yesterday that the prospect had signed up for everything including 32 lightbulbs (our company now replaces people’s lightbulbs).

Well, before I had seen this comment I went out this morning and was passing by my usual spot with a bit of time to spare, so there seemed no reason not to try a bit of prize draw. How long did it take to get an appointment? Three minutes!

(I really hope they have more than 32 lightbulbs…)

All we’re doing is what’s explained at www.coldmarketacademy.com

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.