1 02 2010

One of my goals is to read at least one book a month. Over the past few years, I’ve become a big Seth Godin fan. It all started with “Purple Cow” a call for the need to be remarkable. Last year I read “Tribes” and was wowed by his insight into the need of the masses to be led.

The first book that I read this year was “All Marketers Tell Stories.” As you can see from the cover to the left, the book was originally titled “All Marketers Are Liars.” Proof that even marketing gurus like Godin can make missteps.

I hate to admit it but…the misstep extended beyond just the original title of this book. I usually mark up Godin’s books with yellow highlighter and notes in the margins. Not so with this one.

Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve known for years that “facts tell and stories sell.” I’ve known the power of storytelling. It’s what’s transformed Shawn Corey Carter and Sean John Combs into Jay-Z and Diddy. It’s what calms the savage beast (also known as pre-school aged children).

Godin’s premise in this book is that consumers all operate from a worldview that exists before we ever approach them with our story. They then lie to themselves to preserve that worldview when they believe and pass on the stories they are told by marketers. “Successful marketers are just providers of stories that consumers choose to believe.”

Network Marketing is no different. Our job is to lay out a script that is so vivid, alluring and authentic that prospects should hear it and say to themselves, “I was born to play that part.”

If people aren’t buying into your story, perhaps you’re selling it too hard. Godin makes the point that “subtlety matters.” Tell a story that is believable and allows the prospect to come to their own conclusions. Make your points but leave room for them to “connect the dots.”

Steve Jobs of Apple is masterful at this. I was reminded of this last week when he unveiled the iPad. Every phone that has come out since the iPhone has been trumpeted as the “iPhone killer.” While the iPad has no doubt rendered the Kindle obsolete, Jobs never spoke poorly about the Kindle. Instead he made a comment to the effect of the iPad “standing on the shoulders” of the work that the Kindle has done thus far. He never had to say that the iPad was the “Kindle killer.” He just unveiled a remarkable product and allowed us to connect the dots.

Perhaps this is the lesson to learn in presenting the ACN opportunity. Nathan Goldberg is (in my humble opinion) the BEST presenter of the ACN story that I have ever seen. If you’ve never seen him in action, you can do so here. Nathan is the king of subtlety. He asks tons of rhetorical questions that we all answer “in our head.”  In so doing, he allows us to connect the dots.

I guess that’s the lesson that I’ve learned is that I need to be more cognitive of the worldview of the people that I present the ACN opportunity to. I need to be a little more subtle in my message and leave room for people to connect the dots for themselves. Without even realizing it, I’ve been tooting my own horn a little bit too much. I’ve made a few changes and in just a few days, I can honestly say that I can see changes in the way that people are responding.

So tell your story. Make sure it’s authentic. Make sure it’s real. Make sure it’s you. Facts tell and stories sell.



26 01 2010

Tomorrow at 10 a.m. Apple will unveil their long anticipated RAT (“Rumored Apple Tablet”…we won’t know what the “official” name is until then). I admit to being a tech junkie (and Apple fanboy) and so I have followed the news, leaks, guesses and opinions offered on the “wild, wild West” also known as the internet.

I’ve laughed at all the people who lack vision and see no use or need for such a product. I’ve snickered in disbelief every time some chucklehead proffers that it will be too expensive at $1,000+ (we don’t know the price yet). And I have smiled silently every time some doofus stock analyst pronounces that “it” is doomed to fail (ummm have they ever used ANY Apple product?) before they even really know what “it” is.

While we don’t absolutely “know” much about the RAT at present, this afternoon McGraw-Hill CEO, Terry McGraw confirmed on CNBC that the RAT will indeed be the new product that Apple is unveiling tomorrow. I’ve been an Apple user since 1985. I purchased my iPhone the first day that they went on sale in 2007 and will probably be in line to purchase the RAT on the first day that goes on sale. Based upon my experience with Apple over the past 25 years, tomorrow’s announcement is going to be a GAME CHANGER.

This RAT is going to revolutionize the way we as consumers relate to our media (print, online and video). It’s going to change the way gamers play video games. And if my hunches are right, it’s going to change the way that we communicate with each other.

I’ve been hearing rumors since last Summer that ACN (thru Worldgate) is developing an application for the iPhone that will enable VOIP video calls. I dismissed the rumors at first because the iPhone does not have a front-facing camera. Apple has traditionally released new versions of the iPhone in the Summer, so the use of such software would be at least a year away at best.

But over the past 60-90 days as the RAT has incubated into what will tomorrow become “reality,” it’s become more and more apparent that the RAT may be more conducive to video phone technology than even the iPhone. It’s speculated that any application devised for the iPhone will work on the RAT. Terry McGraw leaked today that the RAT will run on the iPhone OS (Operating System). Assuming that the RAT has a front facing camera (I will be SHOCKED if it does not), then it makes sense that if there is ANY basis to the ACN rumors about developing an iPhone app for video calling, that the RAT will be the first implement to use it.

So what does this all potentially mean for ACN reps? An opportunity that has never been seen before. If ACN/Worldgate develops an app to enable making video calls from the RAT, and those calls are able to be sent and received from ACN Videophones, then hold on to your seats ACN reps. We keep hearing how there will be hundreds of millions of videophone users in the next three years, the RAT may be the bridge to that.

Imagine being able to take the RAT out on a 2 on 1 and do videophone demo calls from it. How much credibility and excitement would that generate for your prospects? Imagine all the customers we’d be able to get if there is a subscription cost associated with the ACN Videophone App? How much would your residual income grow as a result?

It’s also being rumored that tomorrow may bring an end to AT&T’s exclusivity with the iPhone. If that happens, then it stands to reason that it won’t be long (San Jose anyone?) before we will be able to sell the iPhone thru ACN here in the United States. It’s already available to ACN reps in Canada. That just goes to show that the hold up has been with AT& T and not with Apple.

Of course these are all just rumors right now. Twenty-four hours from now? I’m sure we’ll all be on iTab/iSlate/iWhatevertheyendupcallingit overload.