Tweamster's Blog

Get Lucky

April 5, 2012
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Today’s article comes courtesy of Grant Cardone – supersales trainer extraordinaire.  Being a sales trainer, he is talking about sales in particular, but obviously, his advice applies just as well to network marketing as it does to any other area of life.

I don’t need to add anything – he says it just fine. Enjoy!

Create your own luck.

Because the truth is, luck isn’t something that someone hands over to you. It’s something that you create for yourself. It’s something that’s created by those who make the sacrifice of putting their nose to the grindstone and working hard at their craft, relationship or hobby.

Only YOU can increase your luck. Here’s how:

1. Focus on Opportunity

Lucky people see all situations – even problems and complaints – as opportunities. Many people might perceive these situations as unlucky, but you have to see it as an opportunity to progress. Every problem, complaint, and difficult moment is a chance to become successful at what you want to do.

2. Persist Until You Are Successful

This quality is necessary to make any dream a reality. If you want to increase your chances of getting lucky, you have to keep putting yourself out there until you become lucky. You can’t expect to do something once and get lucky. You have to keep doing it over and over again until you overcome all the odds.

3. Take Risks

No one gets lucky without taking risks. If you don’t ever put yourself out there, how do you even expect yourself to get lucky? It’s impossible. Put your foot out, step forward, and take the risk to achieve the kind of luck you want to get. Remember, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

The bottom line is, you can’t get very far by only relying on luck. You have to rely on yourself to create your own opportunities and to create your own success. Only then will you be lucky.

by Grant Cardone; follow him at @GrantCardone or www.GrantCardone.com

What  do you want to be lucky at? Find something you love to do, focus on it, persist against any and all obstacles, take risks; and you will find your luck.

Till next time,

Alan


Are You Obsessed?

February 6, 2011
2 Comments

I recently picked up a book on the 25 most common sales mistakes. I opened it at random and what should I turn to but a chapter called “Not Being Obsessed.”

Being Obsessed Can Be A Good Thing

In this chapter called “Not Being Obsessed,” not being obsessed was one of the 25 most common sales mistakes. In other words, being obsessed was a good thing.

From the book: “You must like what you are doing for a living – selling – enough to become obsessed with it. Not fifteen-hours-a day obsessed, but rather I-have-absolutely-got-to-do-this-right-day-in-and-day-out obsessed.

“For my money, the most crucial word in sales today is obsession. …”

He goes on to expand what he means by obsession as follows “Every day, I make twenty cold calls, I can get through to maybe seven people. Once I get through to seven people, I’ll usually set up one appointment. I do that five days a week, which, by extension, means that every week, I have, on average, five new sales appointments. I close one out of five, so at the end of the year, I should have fifty new customers.”

Now, I know we’re not supposed to call network marketing selling, but I prefer to call it like it is. It’s called marketing, marketing generates sales, sales generate commissions for you and profits for the company. Call it sharing if you like, just make sure you’re obsessed with sharing.

Are You Obsessed Yet?

If you’re having trouble getting obsessed, I recommend figuring out what you’re working towards, and why you’re working towards it. You can check out my article “Motivated By The Future” for more on this, and also an earlier article of mine called “Why, Oh Why.”

Quotes

“There is one quality that one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it.”  – Napoleon Hill

The challenge for marketers is to figure out what daily progress looks like and obsess about that.  – Seth Godin


Don’t Trash Network Marketing

August 30, 2010
1 Comment

I Seldom Get Upset…

But, one of those rare occasions when I do happened the other day. I was reading some blogs and commenting on them like I try to do once in awhile. I started reading a blog post titled “Residual Income,” always a favorite of mine given that that is one of my primary attractions to network marketing. Think of it like real estate. Once your network reaches a certain size, that network becomes an asset that continues to generate income whether you work or not. (For my take on residual income, see here.)

So I start reading this blog post called “Residual Income” and this individual starts trashing network marketing in order to build up his solution to residual income, which, by the way, was and is a valid solution, but did not require bashing network marketing to make his solution look good. It would be kind of like Ford trashing GM to sell more cars rather than pointing out the features and benefits of owning a Ford.

Anyway, it annoyed me enough that I decided to write about it.

What Do Others Say?

“While seeking rewarding methods for my Network Marketing career, I will employ techniques and strategies that reflect positively on the MLM industry, my company and me.”  – from the Code of Ethics of the Multi-Level Marketing International Association (MLMIA)

When considering purchases, I will attempt to purchase at retail from another MLM/Network Marketing company.  – from the same source

Member companies shall not make misleading comparisons of another company’s direct selling opportunity, products or services. Any comparison must be based on facts that can be objectively substantiated. Member companies shall not denigrate any other member company, business, product or service – directly or by implication – in a false or misleading manner and shall not take unfair advantage of the goodwill attached to the trade name and symbol of any company, business, product or service.  – from the Code of Ethics of the Direct Selling Association (DSA)

In his book “Big League Sales Closing Techniques,” ©1971 (out of print, unfortunately) Les Dane says of the technique of running down the competition to promote your own company or product, “The second salesman got the sale for two reasons: he didn’t try to convince the prospect the competition was junk; didn’t spend his time knocking the other dealer.

“And, he did spend the time selling his product, with facts, and with sensible arguments. … The salesman selling tractors did the same thing. Rather than concentrate on pulling his competitor down, he sold his product and his dealership, being fair to the competition in the process.”

A Bad Taste In My Mouth

Even though he had a valid idea, finding or creating a product to market and sell on one’s own website using all the available channels to attract people to one’s website, after he belittled the entire network marketing industry, I had no further interest in what he said. I did read it, to ensure I didn’t incorrectly duplicate his intention, but, alas, he was just bashing network marketing to build up what he was selling. So, I left a comment, in civil terms, explaining that he should not do that, and that he would get better results if he pushed the features and benefits of his system.

Examples

Remember the old Avis car rental commercials back in the 70s? They used their number 2 position in car rental to position themselves as “we try harder.” They didn’t belittle Hertz (# 1) or say their cars sucked or that Hertz has crappy service, just that one memorable little line, “we try harder.”

Miller Lite, “less filling, tastes great.” No mention or knocking of Bud or Coors or any other beer.

Have you seen any Coke or Pepsi commercials lately? Do you ever see them mention the other one in their commercials? Don’t think so. They sell you on why you should drink their beverage.

So What Am I Saying?

If you work with Mellaleuca, don’t knock Shaklee products, don’t knock Shaklee’s compensation plan, don’t call Shaklee distributors ethically shaky.

If you work with HerbaLife, don’t denigrate Amway.

If you work with NuSkin, don’t put down ReLiv.

If you are selling your company, your products, your compensation plan; sell them. Don’t try to make them look better by making someone else look bad, you only end up making yourself look bad.

We’re all in this together, so let’s act like we are and be supportive of each other.

And if you need something that is sold by another MLM, please do so.

More Data

If you’re considering joining the network marketing industry and haven’t made up your mind yet, check out the video by Tim Sales called Brilliant Compensation.

If you don’t have a company yet, or you’re looking for a better one, check out www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the (free) “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter.

If you already have a company, and need tips and how to’s on marketing, check out John Eberhard’s RealWebMarketing Blog

Here’s a couple blogs that I like that are specifically on network marketing:

http://www.marcus-baker.com

http://karyrogney.com

Till next time, make it a great week!


If It’s Network Marketing,

August 9, 2010
2 Comments

Why Aren’t We Taught How To Market?

If you’ve read some books on network marketing, you will probably have noticed that very few, if any, of the books out there mention what marketing is. Does anyone else find this strange?

We work in an industry called network marketing, or multi-level marketing and nowhere within the industry does anyone explain what marketing really is. I have read a couple blogs where other people have noticed this lack, but it’s actually pretty humorous that this seems to have gone undetected for so long.

Kind of like a dog groomer not knowing what grooming is (caring for an animal’s cleanliness and appearance). Or an airplane pilot not knowing what pilot means.

Seems sort of silly when you apply it to other industries, doesn’t it?

What Is Marketing

Let’s start with the easy, my Encarta Dictionary says marketing is “the business activity of presenting products or services in such a way as to make them desirable.”

The Oxford Dictionary says “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services , including market research and advertising.”

From BusinessDictionary.com we get “As a practice, it consists in coordination of four elements called 4P’s: (1) identification, selection, and development of a product, (2) determination of its price, (3) selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer’s place, and (4) development and implementation of a promotional strategy.”

Now, if you look over those four elements, in network marketing we are left with number four as the only area we normally have any control over.

The purpose of marketing is to create a want or a desire and to sell something to the people in whom you’ve created that want or desire.

So What Is Sales

This is another oddity that I’ve noticed in network marketing, we’re selling a product or service, but we’re not supposed to say that’s what we’re doing, we call it sharing or telling a story.

So let’s define sales and selling. Sales is the exchange of goods or services for an agreed-upon amount of money. That seems safe enough, I have a car, you want the car, offer me $2000 for it and I agree. You get the car, I get the $2000.

Okay, selling; the process where the salesperson ascertains, activates, and satisfies the needs or wants of the buyer to the mutual, continuous benefit of both buyer and seller.

Or, as I like to put it, selling is a conversation designed to help the buyer acquire what he needs or wants.

I think the problem arises, and where most people’s dislike of sales as an occupation comes from, is most of us have experienced the salesperson who did not have the intention to help, but only wanted your money, and would do pretty much anything to get it.

I used to hate sales, with a passion, but since I found and understood these definitions, I actually like selling. It’s enjoyable helping people acquire what they need.

What Does This Mean?

Once you’ve joined your company, what do you do? You have to market yourself and your company/product/service/opportunity.

The almost universal method that we are all taught in network marketing is to make a list of friends, family and acquaintances, the longer the better. Then learn how to approach these people and present your company/product/service/ opportunity. I don’t know that this is the best method of marketing, it certainly is easy enough to learn and practice will improve your skill at it.

You can apply the three-foot rule and talk to anyone within three feet of you. This requires developing a speedy method of communicating what you’re all about to a stranger or good skills at developing conversations with strangers.

You can hand out business cards or flyers to people in shopping malls or grocery stores. You can post flyers, you can put ads on Craig’s List, start a blog, there are probably hundreds of methods of getting your name in front of other people.

A whole new world has opened up in the form of social media, Facebook, Twitter, Linked.com, MySpace, etc. These are valuable ways to market yourself and your company very cheaply.

The whole point is to get your information in front of someone who’s interested so that they can act on it.

The best way, in my humble opinion, is to find or pick a certain type of people, or a certain occupation, or people in a certain location, find out by asking people what they think is good, bad or indifferent about green apples (or whatever product/service/opportunity you’re asking about). Ask enough people and a pattern will emerge. Use that pattern to your benefit and grow your business.

Marketing Is Valuable

People spend years learning marketing and business colleges teach it for one reason, it’s good business. Network marketing companies depend on you for the majority of their marketing and they pay very nicely if you figure it out. Are you interested enough to figure it out?

One of my favorite blogs for marketing is the RealWebMarketing Blog, written by John Eberhard. He writes about once a week on topics of great relevance to what we are doing as network marketers. I urge you to check it out and add more knowledge about marketing to your arsenal along with the motivational and inspirational to keep you going and growing.

Quote

If you’re attacking your market from multiple positions and your competition isn’t, you have all the advantage and it will show up in your increased success and income.  – Jay Abraham


Network Marketing and Product Sales

July 12, 2010
6 Comments

Where Does The Money Come From?

I really didn’t think I was going to spend any more time on the basics of picking a network marketing business to work from home with, but an email I received this week changed my mind.

It was an email asking me to check out a company that this individual thought was a “winner” and wanting to know what I thought about it. Since one of the things I do to continue my own education is check out other companies, I did go to the website and look around a bit.

Doing so got me to wondering if people have any clue where the money comes from in a business – traditional or network marketing – either one.

What does a company get paid for? Anyone want to take a guess? Yes, you there in the pink blouse? Sales, you say. Well, close, anyone else? Okay, you there in the cowboy boots. A product or service. That’s right!

The only thing a company gets paid for is delivery; delivery of service (think electrical company providing electricity, lawyer providing legal service, phone company providing phone service) or delivery of product (anyone not know what Wal-Mart, Target or 1-800-FLOWERS sells). Every company is in the business of delivering something, whether it is a service, a product, advice or access to information.

Some people think it is sales because that is where the money usually changes hands, but what is that money paying for? It’s paying for the past, present or future delivery of the service or product.

You may be asking by now, what the heck does this have to do with network marketing? (Or, maybe not, you might be brighter than I was when I first started in business for myself.) But bear with me, I’ll get to the point shortly.

What Does The FTC Say?

In a 2004 United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Staff Advisory letter to the Direct Selling Association states: “… The critical question for the FTC is whether the revenues that primarily support the commissions paid to all participants are generated from purchases of goods and services that are not simply incidental to the purchase of the right to participate in a money-making venture.”   – Kohm, James A. (January 14, 2004) (reprint). RE: Staff Advisory Opinion – Pyramid Scheme Analysis. Federal Trade Commission.

In plain English, that means that if you make money from recruiting other people into the program without any product or service changing hands, you might be in a pyramid. On the other hand, if nobody makes any money from recruiting, it’s probably not a pyramid.

If the product or service sale is obviously separate from signing up for the business, it’s probably not a pyramid.

This gets tricky to evaluate sometimes because less ethical companies try to obscure it.

Where Does The Money Go?

In a traditional business, money gets allocated to various parts of the business; so much for basic overhead (rent, lease or mortgage; lights; phones; water; trash service; etc.). Then so much for marketing and advertising, so much for salaries, so much for the sales force, accounting department, the actual production of the product or service, and so on, to cover all the various functions that make a business go.

In a network marketing business, money gets allocated the same way. But it gets divided up differently. In a network marketing company, you still have the basics of putting the company there, just like with a traditional company. There has to a headquarters, production facilities, lights, phones, etc. But all the money that a traditional business puts into marketing, advertising and sales gets put into the compensation structure to reward the independent sales force for their work promoting the company and the product and making sales.

Traditional Business (Brick & Mortar)

Now, I’m probably belaboring the obvious, but here are a couple examples of traditional businesses.

TV Repair Shop – rent, test equipment, advertising, employees’ salaries, electricity, phone service, internet service, heating/air conditioning, water, trash disposal, shelving, computers, TV parts, etc. plus profit. Product  = repaired TVs. People pay for repaired TVs which pays for all the foregoing.

Flower shop – rent, advertising, employees’ salaries, electricity, phone service, internet service, heating/air conditioning, water, trash disposal, shelving, computers, flowers, vases, baskets, balloons, greeting cards, ribbons, stuffed animals, etc. plus profit. Product = beautiful ways of saying thank you or congratulations, Happy Birthday or “I love you.” People pay for those, which pays for all the foregoing.

Network Marketing

The network marketing company itself has to pay for the home office, the home office employees, rent, electricity, phone service, internet service, heating/air conditioning, water, trash disposal, product development, product delivery, etc., but theoretically no marketing or advertising. (Most companies do some marketing and advertising to their sales force, that’s you and me, to keep them motivated, interested and in the know about company plans.)

Then there’s the independent sales force. You/me/they sell the product or service the company provides which brings in revenue for the network marketing company, which in turn pays you for those sales.

Examples:

Mona Vie – sell a bottle of their nutritional drink and get paid for it.

Pre-Paid Legal – sell a legal plan and get paid for it.

Primerica – sell an insurance plan and get paid for it.

Seems Simple, Doesn’t It?

But, some companies don’t keep it simple like that.

One company I investigated paid a residual commission on cell phone service that your job was to find customers for. That’s legitimate. Where it got murky was that they paid commissions on the purchase of the website you needed to do business on line, they paid commissions on the sale of their promotional magazines, and there was a bonus on signing someone up for the business. Near as I could tell, most of the money was not being made on the sale of the cell phone service.

Point! I said I would get to the point shortly. Here it is, the company this individual wanted me to check out was a grocery company. You pay a one-time fee to sign up, I think it was $200. You recruit others into the company, who pay their $200, after five people cycle through under you, you get $500 of which part of it goes back to start your new “cycle” and part of it is paid to you in the form of a voucher.

The selling point was that this $200 voucher, which you could earn as often as you could sign up five people, would pay for your groceries and so you’d never have to pay for your groceries again.

Now stick with me here, if nobody ever actually buys groceries except with their vouchers, and you can’t get vouchers without recruiting people to work with you, what are you getting paid for? If you answered that you are getting paid for recruiting, go to the head of the class.

They are selling it as a business where you can earn free groceries, but in reality you’re getting paid for recruiting people. Which means when enough people complain to the FTC, they’ll look into it and shut it down. The people who haven’t had time to recruit anyone when the FTC shuts it down are out their $200.

For more on pyramids and scams and how to detect them, you can look at Pyramid, Scam, or For Real.

Free Groceries? Or Free Information?

One of the 7 Insider Secrets is what kind of products to look for, along with what kind of company to look for.

It’s really a great set of criteria to evaluate a company with. Go to www.AlansMLMTips.com and sign up for the “7 Days, 7 Insider Secrets” email newsletter.

Quote

I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.  – Lily Tomlin