28 09 2009

roosterWe all have one.

That list of people who (because of their influence)  we know that “if” they were to happen to get involved in our business, could lead to a lot of people. I’d like to think that I’m above it. But as I go thru my list, there are people that I put off calling for a “more appropriate” time.

James is a friend of mine who owns his own business. He is an intelligent, witty if not smug (at times) man in his early fifties. He is analytical but friendly. He also has a tremendous amount of influence with a specific circle of friends of ours. If I had to venture a guess? I would have figured that there would be no way that James would be interested in ACN.

The one thing that we all learn in MLM is that we should not prejudge people.

“Those you think will? Won’t! Those you think won’t? Will!”

So I approached James from the perspective of asking him for his opinion on a business venture. James loves to give his opinions. So I edified my upline Team Coordinator Rich, and put us on a three-way call. Rich was masterful in his approach and handled James’ sufficient ego with the skill of a craftsman.

James had confided in me that his business had slowed down to the point where they have closed down shop on Fridays. He comes in to answer the phones each Friday so that none of his clients are aware that they are dark those days. That should tell you that business must be off by at least 20% if they have to close one day a week.

As Rich spoke to James though? It was a different story. James volunteered to Rich that he had all the money and the time in the world. Everything is hunky-dory. Rich took a couple more stabs at piercing James’ “veil of illusion,” to no avail. Pride is a tough wall to hurdle.

So the end result? James was not even interested in even meeting Rich and I for a cup of coffee to even take a look at ACN. Sometimes those you think won’t? Don’t! It doesn’t change anything. You can’t prejudge in this business.



25 09 2009

Network marketing begins with networking. Look it up in a dictionary and you will see that the definition of networking is: “a group or system of interconnected people or things.”

One of the interesting dilemmas that is bound to occur as you begin to build your network marketing business is the “interconnection” of relationships between people already IN your organization and those that you will go on to recruit later.

One of the ETTs in my group, I have known since we were kids. We worked together at one company a few years ago, and as a result? We know a lot of the same people from that company. So what should you do once you recruit that friend? Should all of those people from the company that you both worked at automatically (by default) go in his organization?

It’s easy to definitively say “yes” or “no” to this question.

You could make the argument that it’s better to keep them all in the same organization. That makes for less conflict and keeps everyone happy. Right? It also promotes teamwork as everyone knows each other. Cool, that settles it right?

But what if the person in your downline has been in the business a few months and has yet to tap into that “network” of contacts? What if you have a different leg that needs help and it’s time to go back into “Phase I” recruiting?

Then it’s easy to justify “no” right?

We need to create a sense of urgency when it comes to recruiting. If you don’t talk to the people you know? Someone else will. That someone may be a complete stranger, or someone who is cross-line to you. It could be someone in your downline (which isn’t a problem at all) but what if it’s your upline? ARGHHH then the new recruit BECOMES your cross-line. That can lead to hard feelings.

And this leads me to today’s dilemma. I had a one-on-one with a woman who worked with my ETT and I at a previous company. In fact she was his assistant at one point. But he’s been in the business for a few months now and hasn’t touched base with her yet. And she’s an incredibly sharp woman. Not amazingly? She got really excited after the presentation and will probably come on board.

So what to do? I really need the help in a leg that is lagging. But I also can’t afford to alienate this ETT who is doing a great job and is a leader. I had this issue come up in my previous go-round with ACN. It led to hard feelings. The one thing that I learned from all that? I need to treat people (especially “leaders”) in my organization with respect. I owe it to my ETT (who is first and foremost…my FRIEND) to, at a bare minimum, talk to him before I do app up this new recruit.

She’s coming to the Regional in Orange County this Saturday. We’ll see how things develop after that.


21 09 2009

Today was a day of frustration. Lots of calls, no appointments set up. The few people that I did manage to connect with? Turned out to be brown apples or not available this week.

Blech. That pretty much sums it up. One part of me wants to say that it was a day “wasted.” But the wiser part of me knows that some days prospecting is just about digging through dirt. Gold is just around the corner. I know it.


19 09 2009

We recently began a new Saturday Training in Glendora, CA in the conference room of an executive suite that one of our ETTs leases for his other business. I say this because I don’t believe that we will fit in there much longer. We have a Regional event (featuring Nathan Goldberg YES!) next week, so we’ll shut down for that. Then I think we’ll be able to hold Saturday Training in our current location for maybe two more Saturdays.

76 days left calendarI created a calendar for our group which I believe makes it incredibly clear just how important and fleeting the next 76 days are. I passed it out today and invited everyone to check off the days every night, so they would constantly be reminded of the urgency of going to work.

I also recreated the ACN slides that Tony Cupisz put together. All the information is still the same. It’s just laid out in a much more aesthetically pleasing and impactful way. I’ve been a corporate trainer for years and the overwhelming majority of PowerPoint presentations that I see are absolutely TERRIBLE. Your presentation should enhance your message, not BE the message. If all you do is stand there and READ the slides? No offense, but what the hell are YOU there for.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Seems like there are at least a thousand words on far too many of the slides in the ACN Saturday Training deck. So we’re implementing the new slides at our training. Are they more effective? Time will tell.

75 days left til Anaheim.


18 09 2009

Yesterday I was in South Pasadena doing a one-on-one presentation for a friend of mine who I’ve known since elementary school. Miguel is a fireman who has been with his Department for twenty years. He’ll be eligible for retirement in four years. In order to retire with health insurance, he’ll need to work for another six years beyond that.

When I ran into him at a reunion picnic a few weeks ago, he told me that there was no way that he was going to “make it” another 10 years. So I called him and asked him if he was open to taking a look at a way to make money outside of fighting fires. He accepted my invitation and we met for lunch yesterday.

One thing that really bothers me about some people in this industry is the “disposable” way that prospects can be treated. Prospects are really just people. If you’re working the business the right way, these people are (or were at one time) your friends. So I felt a need to catch up with Miguel and find out what is going on in his life. We talked about faith and marriage. Our conversation took a turn that I would never have anticipated.

Miguel has a bit of an abrasive personality. I would imagine that it has served him well in fire houses for the past two decades. But underneath the veneer, was a sensitive and giving man. I was pleasantly surprised. Men typically keep conversations light and superficial. My lunch with Miguel was anything but.

After spending about 90 minutes “catching up,” we then went to Starbucks to grab a cup of coffee and go over ACN and how he might fit in. When all was said and done, Miguel gave me plenty of reasons ACN probably wasn’t for him (he considers himself “lazy,” he’s not money-motivated etc…), but then he said that he wanted to at least check out the training Saturday. I was shocked, but happy.

Then I was off to Chino Hills to meet a co-worker of my wife who she has been talking about since we got involved in ACN a few months ago. This woman and I share a common professional background (Training) and we built rapport quickly. By the time we were done with the presentation, “Priscilla” was so excited and could not wait to get home to talk to her husband. She just “knew” that he was going to LOVE ACN. I’ve been around long enough to know not to send her home empty-handed so she went on her way equipped with a DVD and “Success from Home” magazine.

We had two new people coming to Saturday training. The “emotional rollercoaster” was definitely on the upswing.

This morning I got the following text message from my wife: “I’m going to cry.”

“Crap” I thought, Priscillas husband must have turned out to be a rotten apple. I texted her back to find out what was wrong. I received the following message back, “Her hubby joined 2 weeks ago with his dad.” “CRAP” I thought (again) to myself (this time with more feeling).

We all hear about the sense of urgency in talking to people we know. If we don’t talk to them, someone else will. It finally happened to us. The thing that REALLY upset my wife was that she had piqued interest with Priscilla a month ago, but hadn’t followed up until a few days ago. I was amazed at how her husband could have joined ACN 2 weeks ago and not have said anything to her in all that time. Different strokes I suppose.

I texted my wife back and reassured her that it was a “lesson learned” and would only serve to give us a good “story” for training. After a few texts, she resigned herself to the news. At least we had one new person going to Saturday training still.

An hour later? I got a phone call back from another friend of mine named Carlos, who I had “piqued” earlier in the week. I invited him to come to our Saturday training and he accepted. We had TWO new people coming to training again…YES!!!

An hour and a half after that? Miguel called to tell me that he had decided to “pass” on ACN. I respected the call (and actually appreciated him calling instead of just standing me up). The emotional rollercoaster was definitely on a downward slope now. But at least we still had Carlos coming.

And then there were none...

And then there were none...

Just 10 minutes ago (as I was typing this blog post), I received a text from Carlos telling me that something had “come up” with the death of an uncle in another country and he wouldn’t be able to make it tomorrow.

UGH, three strikes and you’re out. This business is about “sorting” not “selling. Miguel sorted himself out. Carlos has sorted himself out (for now) and Priscilla sorted herself in (but thru her husband).

The “highs” of yesterday have been replaced by the “lows” of today. The lesson in all of this? We just need to talk to MORE people next week. It’s just that simple. The answer is ALWAYS to talk to more people.

My daughter is leaving for college tomorrow. I’m taking the rest of tonight off.

Seventy-six more days left until Anaheim.

79 DAYS (and a drive to San Diego)

16 09 2009

Yesterday was a day for phone calls. Time to set up appointments for the rest of the week. The first one-on-one of the week was last night with a Finance Major from Cal Poly Pomona. When all was said and done? She was more interested in getting a “job” with ACN in the Finance Department.

Today took me to San Diego to meet with a referral that a friend of mine sent my way (a cousin of my friend). Unemployed and waiting for her Navy boyfriend to return from his deployment, she was anxious to hear more about the company. She became dismayed that ACN was a network marketing company. She and her boyfriend had previously dabbled with a company that sells “legal insurance.” That was enough to sour her on the whole industry.

Personnel ParachuteI just laughed to myself internally. It’s amazing how closed-minded some allegedly “open-minded” people can be. They say that a mind is just like a parachute: it only works if it’s open.

I chided that to the woman I was presenting to that if she was “close-minded” there is nothing I can do about that. She responded that she wasn’t close-minded at all. And then she proceeded to tell me why she wouldn’t even consider ANY network marketing company.

I didn’t get mad. It’s just a part of the journey. Building an MLM business is all about sorting thru people. In the past two days, I sorted. In the days of the Gold Rush, prospectors were paid to dig thru a lot of dirt. But they didn’t focus on the dirt, they focused on the gold.

So I got my hands a little “dirty” today, put a few miles on the car (and racked up $171.87 in mileage deductions in the process). I’m tired but not discouraged. I’m on a journey. I have two one-on-ones scheduled for tomorrow and a BOM.

Today is over. 78 more days til Anaheim.


14 09 2009

The Detroit ACN International Training is now behind us. As I mentioned in a previous post, ACN hosts these events every quarter in different regions of the country. If you have never been to one? You really have no clue.

“You really aren’t IN ACN until you’ve been to an International event.” This statement is heard often in the weeks leading up to each International. It may seem like a bromide, but it’s true. I’m always amazed at the profound affect that these weekends have on new reps.

Detroit’s proximity to Canada led to a lot of Canadians being in attendance this weekend. It was great to hear their roar everytime a Canadian RVP or SVP take the stage.

Getting your team to the International Trainings is the key to driving your ACN business. The rule of thumb is that once you have double digits (10+) in attendance (with at least two reps in each of three separate legs), that you are on your way to Team Coordinator. I had six reps in two different legs at this event.

Our team is based in Southern California. Last December my sponsor parlayed 20 reps (with 3 separate legs represented) at the Anaheim International into a TC promotion for both he and his wife. They now have over 1200 reps in their organization in less than 10 months.

A few weeks I wondered how long it would be before I would be able to take advantage of an ACN International coming back to So Cal. This weekend we learned that the next International event will be in Anaheim December 4th.

That is 81 days from today. While today is another travel day, I used the time at the airport to contact my team who did not make it to Detroit to set up appointments to map out a game plan for the next 80 days.

I have been around long enough to know that the next 11 plus weeks will FLY BY before I know it. So the focus has to be on making the most of each of the next 80 days. I need to make sure that everyone understands how we are going to build from “event to event” in the next 80 days.

First up? Saturday training in Glendora this week. This is where we’ll unveil the plan for the next 30 days.

Next up? The ACN Regional coming up a week later, September 26th in Anaheim. My goal is to have 20 people there for that event. Senior Vice Presidents Mike Bisutti and Jeff Weber will host that event.

yellow brick roadThree weeks later? Regional Vice President (and MLM training guru) Larry Raskin is coming to Southern California to do a Sunday Leadership training from 1-6 pm.

Could the roadmap be layed out anymore perfectly or clearly? Follow the yellow brick road people…follow the yellow brick road.

Today is just about over. I am writing this on my flight from Detroit to Houston. I’ll have time to make a phone call or two during my layover there, but it’ll be past 11 pm by the time I get home tonight.

One day down (see how quickly they go?), EIGHTY days left.