Sunday, February 28, 2010

What is Not Being Understood?

This is kind of a rant, so bear with me, because I'm sure I'm not the only one who is thinking this.

I haven't been on Facebook or Twitter for even a year. For the most part, I have had some of the most amazing connections occur, some of the most incredible conversations, and some great business acheived.

By now, we've all read the post of do's and don't's on social media. The biggest one is to imagine social media like a big party. Most of the time, as far as I know, we don't bust into a party and start going up to people barfing our business opportunities.  You'd be thrown out of the party for sure.

Like other life situations, there is certain etiquette expected. When we enter a party, we introduce ourselves, get to know these new friends, ask about them, find out what they do, and see how we can help them. We listen. We become friends.

And this has been working quite nicely. Up until recently.

In the past month or so, people have seemed to forgotten these tips. I dunno, perhaps the turn of the calendar really threw people off. It seems we are back to people striking up conversations with the total agenda of puking their opportunity onto us. And it's rather disgusting, if I do say so myself.

One person asked me what else I do, aside from my mlm opportunity. I told him I am a private coach for people who request coaching in mlm. His response was, and this was after he had heaved his presentation all over my computer screen, 'well, you'd LOVE our company, our sponsors and coaches are the best! Check it out! Here's my link! What do you think? Interested?'

Oy. I politely thanked him and unplugged for a bit.

Today, I wished someone on FB a happy birthday. I love birthdays, so I really love wishing people happy birthday.

I kid you not, not half an hour later I received a response on my FB wall. It said,'thanks for the birthday wishes. Here's my new website, with lots of things for you and your friends to buy from ME. Please share with ALL of your friends. Buy from me.'

Oy. I deleted the message. That was probably one of the tackiest business barfs I've encountered.

Folks, don't piss people off. Behave. Mind yer manners. Otherwise, you'll end up the subject of blogs like mine and others.

We've been nice with gentle reminders that are accompanied by smilie face icons. Now, we're just annoyed. Don't be one of  'those' people. We're all begging you, please stop it.



Friday, February 26, 2010

The Old 'Do As I Say'

"Just pick up that phone!" "Get to ALL the conventions that you possibly can!" "Here's all you need to do"

Heard those in your NM career?  Wise words, to be sure. Have you told your downline things like this? Great.

The real question is, are you walking your talk? Are you picking up that phone and making calls? Are you getting to conventions? Are you doing all you need to do?

I remember when I worked for corporate America, I worked for two kinds of employers. One was the 'boss' that told us what to do. He delegated, but never would any of us employees catch him in the warehouse where it was cold and dirty, helping out with the staff on a large order that needed to go out that day.

The other was an employer, that had told me, 'I won't ask you to do anything that I'm not prepared to do myself.'

That was his truth, and he walked it. Every now and then he would be helping the staff with whatever needed to be done. He had the experience of doing it. He knew what it felt like. He had walked through the experience.

Same thing with NM trainers. If they are telling you, 'what you need to do is parties!' and haven't done one in their NM career, how are they going to help me?

Don't get me wrong, I don't expect everyone to do parties continually throughout their career, however, if someone tells me 'do this' I expect that they have done it. Otherwise, how would they know?

Same with making calls. Telling me to pick up that 90lb phone without having done it themself, how are they going to help me?

Look at what you are suggesting to your downline, and see if you've done what your expecting of them. Have you attended your company's corporate convention? No? What about talking to two people a day, while out and about. No? How, then do you expect others to overcome their fears and hesitations if you can't?

Only by walking through the fear itself, can we help others walk through it as well.

Or do you think otherwise? Do you think you can teach without having the direct experience? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.



Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bedtime Stories

Yet again, my kid's shows provide for a life lesson. This time, the kids and I were watching Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. My friend had let us borrow it and said it was a cute kiddie film, and it was, but I found a really good life lesson in it as well.

The basic story of the film is about an uncle who is watching his niece and nephew for a few nights. Each night, he creates a bedtime story where he is the hero. Towards the end of the bedtime story, the kids jump in on the play and create the ending for the hero.

The next day, Adam Sandler's character, Skeeter, actually experiences the story, and it's outcome, in real life. Once he discovers that this is happening, Skeeter realizes that it's the kid's input that is actually controlling the outcome of the story and he starts to depend on them to dictate how his life will be. He stresses on it daily, and starts manipulating the kids in hopes that they will create a fairy tale outcome for his life.

As expected, the kids create an ending that Skeeter never expected, leaving him high and dry without the girl, without the love of his niece and nephew, jobless, and homeless.

While alone and packing his things, the spirit of Skeeter's dad starts talking with him. Skeeter expresses his disappointment in the fact that the kids didn't give him a happier ending. Skeeter's dad answers with, 'why don't you just create your own happy ending? You have just as much power to do it as they do. It's your life.'

Needless to say, the hero jumps into action, rights the wrongs, gets girl, defeats the villian, and they all live happily ever after.

HELLO. Did ya get the lesson? How often do we let others dictate our outcome? How many of you allow life to happen 'to' you?

Skeeter goes from the ultimate victim, 'poor me, others have determined my fate and my life, and look at how it ends. Woe is me!'

Unfortunately, this is how most people live. Little do people realize that we can create our own ending. We have the power to do this. We just haven't given ourselves permission to have that happy ending. Perhaps we are 'afraid' that we might screw it up, because, god forbid, if we are actually held accountable for our actions, and we look around at our lives, that can be a bitter, bitter pill to swallow. But, for some it can be a very rewarding thing.

Ultimately, it's true. We are responsible for our own happy endings. I'm sure all of us at some point in our lives have depended on others to make it 'right', to create our future, then were disappointed because it didn't work out the way we 'expected' or thought it 'should' be.

Weeelllll, guess what my peeps. Just like Skeeter, we DO have the opportunity to create our own outcome and we can start right now.

Think you can do it? I know you can. I recommend watching the movie and see what experiences Skeeter had to go through in order to realize his own personal power and how he created his own happily ever after. Then go and create your own. ;)



Friday, February 19, 2010

The Close, Cont'd

Here's the thing with the 'close'. Everyone has a tendency to get freaked out about it. The common belief that the close is this manipulated, controlling, and directed procedure is enough to not ask for the business. It is true that in the past that is how the close of the sale happened.
However, if you have read and have applied the lessons from 'The Go-Giver', you'll understand the relationship that has been developed, the value that has already been given, and the close then becomes a natural movement in the conversation.

Asking someone, 'So can you see the benefits and ready to sign today?' is a bit different then the conversation flowing towards a natural close of, 'How does this opportunity feel to you? Does it feel right? If not, that's ok. I want what works best for you, even if it's not my opportunity.'

People are so terrified of asking, for fear that they are pressuring the other person that they end up just leaving the opportunity dead on the floor.  Have you ever heard the story of the person who told their friend about their opportunity, stating how great it was, how well they were doing with it and so on? Then they were shocked when their friend signed on to the company but with someone else.

Confused, the person asked why. The friend said, 'You never asked me, they did.'

It's ok to ask. It's not ok to pressure someone. You can close the conversation with asking without 'closing' the sale. There's a difference. :0)



Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Close

This has been a hot topic lately, which is good, because it is where the action is happening. It's something that every sales person must learn and must learn as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, most, and this included me for a long while, learn everything but the close. We find hot prospects, people looking to create extra income or replace it, we talk with them, learn about them and their needs, introduce our product line and opportunity and then.....nothing.  We get nothing. They don't sign up.

What happened?

We don't ask for the business, that's what. We don't ask, 'so are you ready to get going?' We don't ask! It's as simple as that. Because when it comes to brass tacks, this is where most of us won't make it. We can talk a good talk, but start to choke when the actual question comes up.


Because it might result in a 'no'. And that 'no', for most, is taken personally. We suddenly start to think that perhaps what we have isn't the best thing since sliced bread. But that's a whole other entry.

Is it safer for you to never ask the question? True, you'd never hear that 'no', but you'd never hear that 'yes' either. What you might end up hearing is, 'hey I just signed on with your company with so and so, do you know them? I'm LOVING this!'

You've got to ask the question. Learn how to close the deal. Don't tell the prospect everything and then leave them hanging. Ask them question, get them thinking, get them intrigued, and then ASK. 

If you don't know how to close, get with your upline, and learn from them. Read books on sales and closing. Trust me, you don't have to sound like the used car salesman down the road saying, 'so what do I need to do in order to get you into this car today?' (although that's a pretty fun line).

Closing is a learned thing, just like most everything else. Remember, this business is about growth. If you didn't have any where you could grow in your life, you'd already be where you want to go.

So learn the close. Learn to ask the prospect, learn to ask the person about holding a party, learn to ask the person about purchasing product.

Now, real quickly I want to remind you, you aren't begging. No begging! You're asking. Know the difference.

If you've already got your close down, tell me what works for you. What's your best close? How did you discover how to close? I'd love to hear it.

In the meantime, keep on growing!



Sunday, February 7, 2010

How To Learn a Lesson, Better Yet....How to Teach One.

Ok, well, I don't know if it's the ONLY way to learn, but it's something that works best for me.

I remember reading years ago, and every year since, John Fogg's memorable, 'The Greatest Networker In The World.'

Hands down one of my favorite reads of all time. Engaging, entertaining, and offers the ability to teach lessons.

Today, I just read, for the first time, 'The Go-Giver', by Bob Burg & John David Mann.  I cannot believe I have not read this book yet. I guess it's one of those instances of, 'when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.'

I'm usually one to get my hands on books like this, and lordy knows I have seen this book everywhere, but for some reason I only borrowed it from the library today.

I drew up a nice, hot bath, and figured I'd start the book. It's pretty short, so hopefully I could get through it by the end of the weekend.

Well, it had me so involved, that I read the whole thing while in the tub. The water in the tub was pretty much cold by the time I got out. I just had to finish this book.

My head is still spinning, digesting the lessons taught in this book.

And then I realized something that was told to me once. The best way to teach is to put it into story form.

If we offer up lessons such as what is in the Go-Giver and TGN, and place them in just an outline or in a business outline, more than likely we'd forget the lessons quickly.

Why? Because it doesn't hit our emotions. Our brains don't allow it to get past our conscious thought. With stories, we are given the opportunity to attach emotion to the story, the characters, and the lessons involved.

Look at the great books on the market:

Who Moved My Cheese
The Go-Giver
The Richest Man in Babylon

and more....

The lessons are given to us in story form. The lessons sink in, in a different way then if they were presented to us in a standard, 'here are the lessons', type of book.

Another way to do this is to present the lesson, then give an example of how it was applied to a situation in real life.

So when we are working with people, whether it's with our kids, or with co-workers, team partners, speaking to a crowd, etc, think about getting the message across with a story. Capture their imaginations and present the lesson in the story.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

How is This Done & Do You Do It?

How many times have you heard the saying, 'think outside the box'?  Countless, right? Ya, me too.

But what exactly IS thinking outside the box?  How does it get done? How is it some people can do it so easily and it's so hard for others?

I'll tell you, it has taken me years to learn how to do this, and still when I see people do it easily, I'm blown away.  Som e people come about it naturally, while others have to learn it.

Our 'box' is the limits of our ideas and how we approach different situations in our lives. This is part of what allows people who have challenges in their lives to take those challenges and make something positive and productive out of them.

 Our 'box' is defined by our upbringing and programs. To think outside the box means to think outside of our every day programs, and since most people do the exact same thing day after day after day, it really does become extremely difficult to think outside that box.

When someone says, 'you'd do best by thinking outside the box', and what you know is just your box, or way of thinking, it becomes damned hard think outside of it.

So what can you do? You can shake up your programs. Shake up your thinking. Actually start moving outside your box. Start with simple ways of moving outside your box. Do thinks differently. Nothing major, you don't have to buy a truck if you currently have a car, or go out and buy a completely new wardrobe that is so not you.

Here's an extremely simple way to start moving outside of that box. At your next meal, if you are left handed, like me, use your right hand to eat. Drink with the cup in your right hand. Obviously, the opposite if you are right handed.

Try to drive (if you're one of the unfortunate ones who still commute ;) ) a different route on the way home from work.

Take a class that interests you but you never thought you'd take (underwater basket weaving, anyone?).

Attempt a different workout program that has nothing to do with your current one. If you run, like me, take a completely different route. Try Bikram Yoga, instead of just a yoga session, or if you don't do yoga at all....DO YOGA.

Get onto, and listen to music you never would have heard otherwise, because these dj's are from all over the world.

The smallest things can shake up your thinking. Most importantly be OPEN to doing things differently, and be open and receptive to new ideas. Sometimes new ideas come and we don't even acknowledge them. 

If you get a spark or hit of an idea, write it down. You can analyze later, just write it down now.

Here's a recent example of thinking outside of my box. There is a woman's expo in town. It's usually sold out, and is expensive to get into. Yet I wanted to have a presence there.

'Inside the Box' thinking would be that I either sucked it up, paid, and attended, or not go, right?

Here is my outside the box result. I looked at the vendors and realized many of them are MLM companies. The ones we all expect, Arbonne, Jafra, Avon, and others will be there.

So, I emailed the director of the event. I mentioned to her that since there were so many MLM  vendors, it woud behoove her to have someone speaking ON MLM, the differences between direct sales, party plans, traditional MLM, and so on. I told her it would add value to the vendors and to the attendees of the event.

I then offered my services to speak on the industry. For Free.  All I want is to have a table with my information on it, as well as my contact information on the website and brochures.

Total win-win situation. I made sure she knew this would be a win to not just her, but to her vendors and attendees.

It can be something as simple as that, which can produce huge results.

With that in mind, what are you doing to get yourself out of your regularly scheduled programs?



Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nuts & Bolts

I have a new client who is in one of the best MLM companies out there. I mean, if anyone has a system in place, it's them.

She told me her upline is local and they are wonderfully special people. And I have no doubt they are. She's been given the system, but is still contacting me for coaching.

So what's the deal, right?  She told me she needs the nuts and bolts of the industry. Who does she contact? What does she say? Where does she go to 'find' these people?

These are really good questions, and I think most that are overlooked by 'systems'. Most systems say, 'write up your warm market' or 'contact two a day'. These are true, but what happens when that warm market has been called? How does one bring up the subject? Then what??

Today, when you are out doing your 'thing' take notice of how many people you run in to who:

1. Have complained about their job
2. Are worrying about making ends meet
3. Who have been laid off
4. Is distressed over the current economy

I'm guessing you hear people ramble on quite a bit regarding these.  Hell, I complained constantly about my job when I was working outside the home. I still can't believe I didn't have MLM'ers coming at me in droves. Actually, I had to go out and find one. No one ever approached me.

Anyhoo, ith the approach you can do it a couple of ways. The traditional way:

"You know, Bob, I can't help but notice how often you bitch about your job. I mean it's ALL the time. I, personally don't know how you can stand it. (ok, maybe that's not how you would say it.) How open are you to opportunities that would allow you to leave your job and work from home within a certain amount of time? Totally open? Great. Here's my business card, let's talk."

If they say, 'Not open at all.' I hand them my card and say, 'Great, here's my business card, let's talk.'

Ok, maybe I will say that, maybe not. Depends on the person. But I DO say:

"Well, if you happen to know someone who is, perhaps someone at your job, would you be willing to give them my card? I'd like to help out as many people as possible."

Voila. Done.

You could approach them the way I mentioned in one of my earlier posts (similiar to above). The bottom line is, you need to get your opportunity in front of them.

Figure out a way that works best for you. Your way might be different than your upline. If you try to stammer out something that doesn't fit who you are, it's going to sound phony, contrived, and uncomfortable. As long as you keep with getting the question out "are you open" then you're golden.

The same process can be used with strangers. I've approached women in the park while my children played, I've approached people standing in line at the bank, the store, the post office, whatever.

Now, we need to go back to the 'some will, some won't, so what, next!'  Give them your business card and let go of the results.  I'm gonna repeat that.

Give them the business card and let go of the results.

You'll drive yourself nuts and burn out fast if you give a person your business card and then obsess on whether they are going to call or sign up or not.

The farmer, when seeding his fields does not throw out seeds and obsess over each one. He knows some will take and some won't. Do yourself a favor and let it go.

Eventually, you'll find the ones that take and the ones that don't. But none of them will take if you don't give them the opportunity.



Monday, February 1, 2010

What Does Arthur Get That You Don't?

I swear, I get the best lessons from my kid's tv programs. This is good feedback for me, as I realize that I'm having them watch the right programs for great lessons.

Today's lesson is from Arthur. On this episode, Arthur takes on the mail at the post office. He goes in with the best intentions, is excited, and ready to take on the world. Arthur goes in and when he sees what needs to be accomplished, he's totally overwhelmed, stressed, and, by the end of the day is ready to quit.

It's then that his mentor takes him aside and says, 'Arthur, if you use a system, the work gets done, and the results are there. All you have to remember is break it down. Focus on this: You deliver the mail letter by letter. That's all you need to do. Letter by letter.'

Arthur, tries it and goes from ready to quit to loving his work. Even his friends say, 'Arthur, come out and play, your work shouldn't be taking that long.'

To which Arthur replies, 'But I love doing this, this IS my play!'

HELLO! Did someone in MLM write this episode?

In the end, the mail 'master' gives Arthur something else to do AND, the ultimate reward, because his method has been so effective he gets to teach the next person.

If Arthur were in MLM, however, he'd get residual income from him training the next person. ;)

Remember, letter by letter. Friend by friend, step by step. It's all in front of us to accomplish and it's completely do-able.

Here's to YOU!