31 03 2010

It’s the end of the day, on the last day of the month. It’s late (about 10:30 p.m.) and I need to be up at 5:30 a.m. to take my daughter to swim practice, so this will be short.

Phase One is all about seeing the people, showing them the plan, getting them to training and enrolling them in the process.

A month ago I started tracking my daily and weekly numbers. I created a new list of people in the area.

  • I called 85 people
  • I actually spoke to 36 people
  • I piqued interest with 29 people
  • I invited 19 people to presentations
  • I presented to 10 people
  • I followed up with 6 of those I presented to
  • None of those have enrolled (yet).

This has been an interesting month for me to actually begin tracking my Phase One numbers.

I can look at the above numbers and see that I was only able to reach 42% of the people that I called. I left voice mails and emailed others, but it took 85 calls to reach 36 people. If I want to talk to 50 people, I need to make 118 calls. If I want to talk to 100 people, I need to make 236 calls. In reality? That’s 11-12 calls a day (factoring a five-day work week).

The other thing that stands out to me is that when I DO get in touch with people, it’s become relatively easy to pique interest with people. Two-thirds of the people are open to looking. Not surprisingly, only half of those actually show.

Any direct sales opportunity is just a numbers game. I need to increase my numbers, to increase my productivity. Right now? I need to put March (and myself) to bed.



30 03 2010

Today I got a late start. I had trouble sleeping last night and then had to get up at 5:30 a.m. to take my daughter to swim practice. Since I didn’t fall asleep until about one this morning, I was operating on about four hours of sleep. So I went back to bed after dropping my daughter off and decided to let my body dictate when it was ready to get up.

I am not the kind of person who lives to sleep (unlike my teenage daughters). My body told me it was done sleeping at 9:20. So I got in a solid eight hours. That is one of the benefits of working for yourself. You don’t have a boss dictating when you have to get up.

I went thru my morning ritual of reading and journaling, got caught up on some Spring Training baseball news and then I was off for a lunch meeting with a friend of mine from my high school days. This friend of mine was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” when we graduated from high school. She has always been a hard worker. She has also become a great networker. She is the PR Director for a major health care provider.

The last time that I had met up with this friend, we had coffee and I used that time to pique interest with her. I showed her the videophone and she told me that she had already been exposed to ACN because a friend of hers had tried to “get her in” for years. I asked her at that point if she was open to talking about ACN some more, and she said yes. So we met today to talk about again.

There are times when you have to play things by ear. Today was not the time to go thru a standard 1-10 presentation with her. It would have been boring. It would have been insulting. She’s already seen it before. So instead I brought the 1-10 sheet and had it available just as a reference piece to refresh her memory.

What I really wanted to know was what her life looks like right now and what she would like it to look like. While she maintained that she loves her job, she also acknowledged that she wouldn’t mind running her own show and calling her own shots. She said that her job is extremely stressful and non-stop. She also has some other issues in life right now that make starting a new venture just a bit complicated.

But she also admitted that she isn’t above leaving her current position for another company. She also said that when her youngest daughter graduates from high school in a few years, she would probably go back to school for another degree (she’s a very intelligent woman).

We talked about ACN being a vehicle to set up the rest of her life. I even had one of my partners (who went to high school with us) drop by to say “hi” and talk to her about why he is now with ACN. In the end? She said that the timing probably wasn’t right for her and ACN at this point. I invited her to come to our Business Overview Meeting this Thursday. I sent her the details and we’ll see if she shows. If not, hopefully she’ll help me out as a customer.

After she left, my business partner and I talked about launching a weekly Saturday Training in the area. The Redlands office closed recently and we both agreed that there is a vacuum in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire as far as training is concerned. So we’re going to approach our upline Rich Secchiaroli about supporting us with a Super Saturday to kick things off in about a month.

When I got home this afternoon, I emailed the directions to Thursday night’s BOM to my friend from lunch, and returned a few other emails. I then got on the phones and made an appointment to do a 1 on 1 with another old friend from high school. She’s a single mom and is a teacher.

When I asked her if she is open to making some extra money outside of teaching, she said she is looking into becoming a Notary to make extra money. She can’t make it to our Thursday night BOM, so I am going to her kid’s soccer practice Thursday afternoon to talk to her. Sometimes you can’t lead the horse to water. Sometimes you have to take the water to the horse (sorry Patty…you’re much prettier than any horse I’ve ever seen). And that’s the point. Personal presentations can take place any time, any place, any way.

If you want to have what other people don’t have, you have to be willing to do what other people won’t do.


3 03 2010

I’m an avid reader. I tend to read at least one book a month. February’s title was “Go For No!” by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. While it’s a small volume (only about 70+ pages), it is packed with game-changing (and by extension LIFE-CHANGING) wisdom.

Written as prose, the book chronicles four days in the life of a struggling salesman and how he learns that getting “no’s” is a part of the sales process regardless of your product or profession. Once this is understood, then not only should we be “willing” to get no’s, we should WANT to get no’s. We should embrace and in fact, CELEBRATE the no’s.

For example, if you knew for a fact that to become an RVP, you have to get thru one hundred no’s personally first, why wouldn’t you just want to get them out of the way? If you know that three out of every ten people that you talk to about the business are going to “get in,” then you should be ecstatic when you come across the seven no’s.

On his classic recording, “Building Your Network Marketing Business” the late Jim Rohn says, “look I’ve got a new business, and I’m getting about three out of ten to join. And I don’t mind you just come to the meeting and be one of the seven.” Jim Rohn understood the lawa of averages and that “going for no” is just a part of the process.

While the premise of this book may seem like an absurdly simple process, there is genius in the paradigm shift that occurs while reading this book. One of the biggest challenges that most people face is not failing, but rather…having a little success. When we get one or two “yesses” most of us tend to take our foot off the gas. But by focusing on the need to get 100 no’s, a modicum of success will not allow us to take ourselves out of the game. This has been my biggest challenge.

I have always been “willing” to risk failure. I have never actively pursued it though.

All that changed after reading “Go For No!” In the last week, I increased the amount of phone calls I had been making by 400%. I’m on track this week to exceed that amount this week. I have presentations scheduled today, tomorrow and Friday. But even MORE significant? This is duplicating in my downline.

I’m not sure that I will ever meet Richard Fenton or Andrea Waltz, but they saved my life.

YES is the destination, but NO is how you get there.


3 12 2009

I have five kids. The youngest is in the 7th grade, one is in the 10th grade and three are in college. While they are all old enough to read for themselves now, there was a time where they loved to be read to.

One of the books that most kids love to look thru are among the famous “Where’s Waldo?” collection. Each page has a collection of characters painted into a scene. Waldo creator Martin Handford assures us that Waldo can be found on each page. You just have to be persistent in your search.

I was thinking about this concept the other day, and I began to realize that ACN is a lot like the Waldo concept. When we launch a new rep and ask them to put together their list of a hundred contacts, there are Team Coordinators and RVPs (Waldos) on every page. We just have to be persistent in our search.

The next time you go thru a bookstore, take a minute to flip thru a Waldo book. You’ll see that on the first few pages, Waldo may be relatively easy to find. As you advance thru the book however, Waldo becomes increasingly more difficult to find. He’s there alright. You just have to be persistent and thorough.

Anaheim is tomorrow. Off to pick up my name badge in a minute.


5 10 2009

One of the maxims of network marketing recruiting is that you “can’t prejudge” when you’re making your list or deciding who to talk to. Over the years, I’ve developed the ability to blend in with a variety of social circles. I’m just as comfortable with “the beautiful people” as I am with “pocket protector wearing, card carrying ‘geeks’.” I fit in with the OC nouveau riche, church-goers from South Central L.A,  middle-class suburbanites and self-proclaimed “trailer park” trash (their term, not mine).

Friends of the FriendlessAs a result, I have made friends with people who others might be “uncomfortable” around. There’s an old I Love Lucy episode where she joins up with a ragtag band in a park who proclaim themselves the “Friends of the Friendless.”

Kirk would be the first to say that he would qualify as a member of that group called “the friendless.” Kirk and I used to work together as trainers for a previous company. Kirk is incredibly adept technically. Kirk could stand to read the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Needless to say, “people skills” are not his strong suit.

I called Kirk a few days ago and asked if we could get together because I wanted to “bend his ear” on a new project that I am working on, with an old boss of his (who happens to be in my downline). He called me this morning and said that he would have time today at noon to get together.

After catching up for a few minutes, I let Kirk watch the ACN Opportunity video and then showed him how the videophone worked by calling his old boss. I then proceeded to walk him thru the 1-10 sheet. By the time we got to Box 3, he chuckled when I talked about how we each have “relationships” with people that companies like AT&T, Verizon and DirecTV would LOVE to have. “Maybe SOME people” Kirk offered in a self-depreciating manner.

Kirk does have a bit of a “bull in a china shop” personality. He just rubs (most) people the wrong way. He’s not a jerk. He’s just could stand to refine his “people skills.” He’s very focused and analytical. He’s not the kind of guy that you look at and think “wow this guy is the next ACN SVP!” But we can’t prejudge.

Kirk then proceeded to tell me that he had been in PrimeAmerica and had only sold one policy in two years. He went on to tell me how he’s not cut out for MLM. I then stopped the presentation and just started “talking” with him. Not AT him, but WITH him. I realized that whether or not he joined us in ACN? I was now presented with an opportunity to treat Kirk with compassion and understanding.

As I stopped talking about ACN and started just talking WITH Kirk? An amazing thing happened. KIRK THEN started asking me about ACN and asked me to explain the comp plan to him. Before I knew it, our time was over (it was Kirk’s lunch hour). Kirk asked if he could take the 1-10 sheet with him and if I had anything else that he could take with him. I gave him a “Success from Home” magazine and thanked him for coming.

I also asked him to refrain from talking to people at his work about ACN. He laughed and said, “don’t worry, I wouldn’t do that to your business. If I said anything? That would ruin it for sure!” I wanted to just hug the little guy.

I guess I’ve been given a gift. I can not only BE a “friend of the friendless,” I kinda enjoy it. As I reflect on my previous group (back in the 90s), I had recruited a “Kirk” back then too. Curiously? His name was Kirk too (must be something about the name). Yet another person who was deficient in the “People skills” area. That Kirk (and his wife) worked hard to build their business. They led me to numerous people, but his persona just seemed to “get in the way” time and time again.

If I had been in Phase I back then, I could have helped support their efforts by personally recruiting and placing reps in their group. I also could have taken more of an interest in the people that they led me to. But I was lazy back then. I could have been more of a “friend” to the friendless. The whole thing made me realize what I would have to do to help “this” Kirk (should he decide to come on board at some point).

Some will, some won’t, so what? Not all brown apples are bad apples. Ya just gotta get out there and keep talking to people.

59 days til Anaheim.


2 10 2009

“Man plans and God Laughs”
-Yiddish Proverb

If there is one thing that I have learned in all my years of network marketing experience, it’s that you can plan and plan all you want, but you still ultimately have to “go with the flow.” This journey to Regional Vice President is much like going white water rafting. You know where you are ultimately destined to end up. And you  know the general path that you are going to take to get there. But the ebb and flow of the river make for an interesting and exciting ride.

I had a one-on-one on Wednesday with an old friend of mine. I won’t mention his name (he was a brown apple), because it really doesn’t matter (some will, some won’t, so what…NEXT!). As he left, a young woman approached me and pointed at my video phone and asked the question that I love to hear…“what’s that?”

The ACN Videophone truly is the greatest tool for piquing interest that network marketing has ever known. Before too long, I was exchanging information with Jessica and we set up a time to meet at Starbucks the next morning so I could explain all about the video phone and how we make money.

I ended up meeting with Jessica yesterday at 9:30 a.m. She seemed to catch the vision and said that she will be at training tomorrow in Glendora.

dollar sign foreheadI then drove to Woodland Hills to have lunch with a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in two and a half years. One of the lessons that I have learned in my MLM career is to treat people with respect and dignity. We should never look at our friends as if they have dollar signs on their foreheads. Because it had been so long since I had seen this friend, I felt it appropriate to spend the majority of lunch “catching up.” This year has been a particularly trying year for my friend and I genuinely cared about the trials that she has had to face.

As I drove her back to her office, I asked her how the company she works for had been holding up in this recession. She shared that they had gone thru a round of RIFs (corporate-speak for layoffs, stands for “Reduction in Force”), but that so far she has been safe. I followed that up by asking if either she or her boyfriend kept their options open in terms of making money outside of what they are currently doing. She kinda looked at me surprised and said “well I guess so. More money’s never a bad thing.” So I gave her the ACN Opportunity DVD as we parted and told her I would follow up. She promised that she would watch it.

I then had a few hours to kill until my next scheduled appointment. I was 60 miles from home, so that wasn’t an option. I made a few phone calls, returned some text messages and emails and then went to a movie. It was a hot day in the Valley and the air conditioned AMC Promenade 16 theatres provided a nice refuge from the sun.

After the movie ended, I proceeded to the Starbucks in Porter Ranch to meet my next appointment. At the last minute, i got a call that they needed to reschedule. I was already set up for my presentation inside the Starbucks.

I had two options. I could be pissed off about it and storm off to my car. But that would only mean that I would have to sit in rush hour traffic FOR SIXTY MILES!!! I decided to “go with the flow” and just hang out. There was a Business Overview Meeting at the Hilton in Woodland Hills at 7:30 pm (or so I thought, but more about that in a minute). I could just hang around and check out that meeting.

iced latteA few minutes later, a craving for a “Tall Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte” would bring a Senior from Cal State Northridge thru the door. While waiting for the “barista” to dispense her drink, the ACN videophone did its magic yet again.

“What’s that?” I was asked for the second day in a row. I just laughed on the inside, smiled on the outside and answered “It’s the future…you wanna see it?” Cheri grabbed her “Tall Iced Skinny Vanilla Latte” from the counter and sat down.

One of the things that co-Founder Tony Cupisz has impressed upon me is that you should never “pique” and “present” at the same time. Always set a separate appointment for the presentation. A similar principle in fishing is that you want the fish to see the lure, but then you want to “take it away” a little bit.

I showed my new friend Cheri the phone, but didn’t go into a full blown presentation. I’m NOT a salesman. Network marketing is about relationships. For the next two hours, Cheri and I shared stories and laughed. I had time to kill and she had nowhere in particular that she had to be. We became friends.

But she kept getting back to ACN. “So do they have hotel meetings?” she asked. I thought to myself “are you freaking kidding me? Who ASKS such a question?” I was just about to the point where I was wondering if Candid Camera had been set up in that Starbucks before I had arrived. I just laughed and said “yeah as a matter of fact they do. There’s one starting in half an hour. You wanna go?” She replied, “sure why not?”

We each drove to the Hilton in Woodland Hills and walked in where the meeting rooms are. Curiously, they were empty. We walked to the lobby (neither of us had ever been in this hotel) looking for signs of the weekly ACN meeting. Nothing. I then sheepishly walked up to the front desk and asked where the meeting was. The woman replied that ACN met at that hotel on Tuesdays nights and Saturdays.

Woodland Hills BOMI was soooooo embarrassed. How could I have gotten that wrong? All I could think was that this 23 year old college student must have been thinking “oh so this old man lured me to this hotel for WHAT exactly?” Fortunately, Cheri didn’t respond that way. “Don’t worry about it. It happens.” HUH? WHAT? Had the Candid Cameras followed us to the Hilton? Was Borat lurking around the corner?

Figuring that we had now traveled to a second location (and therefore I would not be violating Tony Cupisz’ “never pique and present at the same time” rule) I then offered, “well you know, I have my stuff in the car. I could show you how we make money here in the foyer if you want?” Cheri replied, “ok sure.”

A little while later, I had walked her thru the “1-10 sheet”, had shown her the DVD and had answered her questions. She had one final question. “Do YOU ever present at these meetings?” I told her that I would be doing the training in Glendora (about 45 miles away from her) on Saturday morning at 9:30. She then said that she would like to see me present and train and so she made plans to come tomorrow morning.

Man plans and God laughs indeed. 62 more days until Anaheim.


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.