How to Start A Conversation with Propects

A question I’m frequently asked is: “How should distributors start conversations with prospects?”

The simple answer is – always start with a question that allows a prospect to describe his or her work. My favorite question is, “Just out of curiosity, what do you do for a living?”

Then I listen carefully to what they have to say. A quality person will always reciprocate by asking what I do … and that’s when the fun begins.

Sometimes I’m an “Emergency Retirement Planner.” Other times, I’m a “Unit Actuary.”

Either response will cause a prospect to become curious. Most will ask me what the heck a Unit Actuary is.

I simply point out that I help people compute the total effort required to retire in one, two or three years based on the number of units they need to fund their favorite retirement lifestyle.

I explain that a fisherman might only need two units in order to have a nice boat and fish several days a week, while a pilot who likes to travel may need six or seven units in order to fund a nice plane and afford fuel.

I end by explaining that my job is to compute unit needs and then help a person find a funding vehicle which will yield that number of units in three years or less.

Virtually all prospects will appear completely befuddled and most will ask what a unit is. In response, I simply tell them it’s a bit complicated, but one unit equals $10,000 a month for life with no principle drawing interest.

I tell them to check out www.15yearsleft.com and then I give them my home number and ask them to call me if they’re still curious.

Those of you who own the first four Holy Grail books and accompanying CDs know exactly what to do next.

Obviously, this is one of many strategies and applies to situations where you’re face-to-face.

Many distributors laugh when I teach them this approach, but I’m very serious. Some say they can’t possibly start a conversation that way and that’s perfectly okay with me. I’ve got a big pile of money and maybe when people stop making excuses they’ll get theirs.

In the meantime…how’s your approach working for you? Been to Tahiti lately?

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Ant Farm Network Marketing

When I was a kid growing up in Missouri I sold Christmas Cards one year just to make enough quarters to buy an ant farm. The kid next door had one and I loved to sit and watch through the glass sides as a small army of industrious ants tunneled through the sand.

I never really thought about the ant perspective until I read a humorous dialogue in a marvelous book called Ant Farm by Simon Rich.

It’s not only a fascinating book crammed with short, humorous stories, but a very interesting collection of bizarre tales that metaphorically reflect the human condition. Buy the book and I promise you a day of absolute wet-your-pants laughter.

In the Ant Farm dialogue below, the author has imagined a conversation between the leader ant and his workers as they try to find a way out of their desperate situation.

What struck me were the similarities between the plight of the ants and the equally frustrating efforts of many Network Marketers who just keep doing the same things year after year and expecting different results. Here’s how Simon Rich imagines it.

“Ant Leader – All right team, listen up. As you know, we’ve built seven tunnels and we still haven’t found a way through the glass. I can tell you’re discouraged and I don’t blame you. Tunnel 7 was our most ambitious project to date and you all risked your lives to make it happen. But rest assured, we’ll be out of this hellish wasteland soon enough. I have a plan.

Ant Worker – What is it? What’s the plan?

Ant Leader – An eighth tunnel. Through the sand.

Ant Worker – I don’t know, sir…we’ve been digging tunnels ever since we got here. We always end up hitting glass. We lost ten on the first tunnel: Brian, Jack, Chris –

Ant Leader – I know their names.

Ant Worker – Why don’t’ we just give up? I mean seriously, what’s the point?

Ant Leader – The point? The point is we have no food or water. The point is we’re trapped in this crazy desert, and if we don’t find an exit soon we’re going to suffocate.

Ant Worker – What kind of God would put us here, just to torture us? Sand to the left…sand to the right…

Ant Leader – It’s a test, William. He’s testing us.

Ant Worker – You’re right. We can do this. We just have to work ten times harder than we’ve ever worked before! (Starts digging)

Ant Worker – You want to know something? I’ve got a good feeling about this one. A really good feeling.”

Many times I’ve wanted to point out the futility of some MLM companies, but that’s not my role as an industry author and mentor. Unfortunately, many people fail in our industry because they join companies with pay plans that are cash games, products that nobody needs, owners who are inexperienced and leaders with no loyalty.

Many great people fail because they are sucked into Ant Farm Networking.

If you wind up digging and digging over and over and continue to remain financially desperate…maybe it’s time to try some new digging strategies or sell the farm and join a new one that at least meets the basic criteria for a viable Network Marketing company.

…More on those basic criteria in a future blog.

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How to Recruit Realtors into Your MLM Business

This is a very simple strategy – so simple anyone can do it. Do not deviate from this system.

Step One

Obtain a list of Realtors’ names and telephone numbers.

Step Two

Call one Realtor at a time from a landline.

Step Three

Identify yourself and ask them if they’d be willing to sell something besides real estate if they could triple their income in the first year.

Step Four

If they say “no” or argue, thank them politely and hang up immediately.

Step Five

If they say “yes” send them to www.15yearsleft.com or some other short enticing message that works and ask them to call you back if they’re interested in checking it out further.

Step Six

If they call you back interested, present your business opportunity in any manner you wish – face-to-face, or walk through a web presentation, or whatever works best in your company. Most companies provide a presentation booklet or web site presentation.

Step Seven

Repeat those six steps 30 times a day.

Do not worry about any details. You’ll become better with practice and within a couple of months you’ll easily sponsor one out of thirty Realtors who go through the entire process. It’s all a numbers game, just like any other form of sales, with one major exception…do it for a year or two and you’ll be sipping your favorite beverage on some exotic beach and jetting to Paris for Fois Gras and Crème Brulee.

How can I be so sure? Been there…done that.

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Trust in Network Marketing

If you really want to know why MLM has become so filled with money games and goofy scams, I have the books for you.

The first one was written by the editor of “Machinist”, the daily technology newsblog at www.Salon.com, F. Manjoo. The book is called True Enough and Mr. Manjoo is a dynamic, young technology expert who explains in simple English what guys like me have been trying to say to the world for years.

When I say or write these facts, some people dismiss my comments. When a technology genius like the contributing editor at Salon.com says or writes this stuff…you need to pay attention because his wisdom will help you avoid the money-game scams and prepare you to earn those huge checks you’ve always desired.

The problem is lack of trust and the biggest challenge is now the process of picking an ethical company. Now that pseudo-MLM leaders are changing organizations like jumping beans and bad mouthing their former companies, who can you trust?

Now that some company owners are taking away checks, lowering payouts, adding bogus products with questionable science behind them, creating silly front-end load sign-ups, inventing training that doesn’t work, allowing people to lie about their checks or change downlines and all the while hiding behind the mask of Christian values, how can people ever hope to join a long-term, ethical company?

Well, first, we must understand why trust is so important in human ventures and then we must be willing to never compromise our principles. A good start is Monjoo’s book, True Enough.

Here’s one quote from his book that will make sense to you:

“Society works better when people trust one another. The US was once among the most trusting countries in the world. In 1960, nearly 60% of Americans said they trust most people. By the early 70’s, it had dropped to below 50% and by 1990 it was just below 40%.

In 2006, only 32% of Americans surveyed said that they trusted most people. Modern communications technology has shifted our understanding of the truth and completely altered our grasp of ethical reality.”

Folks, trust this book recommendation and stay tuned to these blogs because in the coming weeks, I’ll arm you with some additional materials that will help you sort the scams from the real companies. In order to succeed in MLM, you need to know who you can trust, how you can find them, what questions to ask and how to avoid unethical companies and pseudo leaders.

After 23 years in this industry, both as a builder in 2 companies and author of numerous books and articles, I’m still persuaded that MLM is the last bastion of capitalism in a world of dramatic change.

But due diligence is more important than ever to those who truly need to create a good life for their families. Some  future blogs will be dedicated to helping ethical Networkers and their prospects navigate though the expanding vortex of entrepreneurial leaders —many of whom are just plain untrustworthy.

My life as an industry leader has become a series of phone calls from people who feel confused and betrayed. They wonder why so many of us earned such huge checks when there were only a dozen companies. They wonder if our industry has grown too saturated now that there are thousands of companies. Some have squandered thousands of dollars in sign-ups and systems and strategies that never worked and they wonder why they’ve failed in our industry after succeeding in others.

Simply put, people wonder what’s going on. I’m going to tell you. I will argue that Network Marketing has always been based on trust and word of mouth distribution. Trust is the essence of MLM. As that trust has eroded, our industry has suffered. The question is this…can we recover and once again grow and prosper as an industry?

You bet we can and if I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t waste my time writing these blogs. When I recommend a book, I suggest you read it. When I present a concept, please think about it. When I warn you about a delusional strategy…avoid it.

Or, keep right on doing what you’ve been doing and keep right on earning what you’ve been earning. How has that been working for you so far?

Anyhoo, I’m going trout fishing and the next blog will appear in a couple of days.

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MY FINAL COMMENT ON CODEX

Today I was half way through writing a blog about how to recruit Realtors when I received a very disturbing telephone call. A woman from Atlanta called to tell me that I was a “fool” for thinking that Congress would allow Americans to lose their freedom to use and sell nutritional food supplements by accepting the World Trade Organization’s Codex rules.

She basically told me that we live in a constitutional democracy and our right to consume nutritional juices, vitamins and herbs of our choice are protected. That’s when I realized that some Network Marketers need a basic course in reality.

If you’re among those people who think that CODEX isn’t coming or Congress will protect us from it, here’s a short history lesson from a year and a half ago. The mainstream media didn’t cover this story because many Americans were more focused on Brittany Spears. And, of course, most journalists don’t want to wind up like Dan Rather.

As societies evolve, they tend to become more compassionate. The more educated, the more rational and decent. In America, we once bought slaves, yet today we respect defenseless animals. That is, we did until November 27, 2006 when Congress passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act by a vote of 5 to 1. Out of several hundred Congresspersons, only 6 were present for the vote.

Let me explain. If special interest companies want to ramrod a bill through Congress, they simply have the House Judiciary Committee place the vote on the “suspension calendar” which allows for a voice vote. Then they hold the vote hours before the scheduled time so less than 10% of the lawmakers will be present.

That’s how they passed the AETA Bill (Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act). That’s also how they might approve CODEX. That way, congressional representatives will be able to act upset when the supplement industry is handed over to big Pharma and MLM is basically dealt a fatal blow.

Before 2006, if animal rights activists discovered that a major company was testing new shampoo by dropping it into the eyes of rabbits to see how they responded, they could file a formal protest. Now, they can’t or they’re called terrorists and put into jail.

By violating the first and fourteenth Amendments and defining whistle blowers of animal cruelty as terrorists if they “interfere with corporate profits,” they can and already have put people in jail.

The group Earth First was charged with terrorism and sentenced to 22 years in prison collectively for posting a website that exposed corporations involved in the vivisection industry. Vivisection is the act of cutting into or performing operations on live animals for the purpose of experimentation or scientific research.

Now for the insanity…160 groups opposed this law before 5 Congress people passed it. The National Lawyers Guild, the League of Human Voters, the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine and The New York City Bar Association were among the credible groups that opposed this nonsense.

That’s why in an earlier blog I suggested that you send a letter about CODEX to your Presidential candidate. Congress will not protect MLMrs against CODEX and the plan of big Pharma to take total control of the herbal, vitamin, nutritional juice and supplement industry. Period. End of the story.

I’m not necessarily against animal testing. I’m against animal testing in secret. Consumers should have the right to know which companies are engaged in animal testing so they can decide which products to purchase based on full disclosure. Calling people terrorists and putting them in jail for posting facts about animal testing is potently absurd.

Giving our government the power to monitor and control our use of supplements is patently absurd. But when journalists remain silent as a bogus congressional act makes factual disclosure of business practices a punishable offense, that’s anarchy.

So, I’ve done my part by telling the truth. The ball is now in your court and I’m terribly sorry for being so negative.

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