Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Art of Thinking Big - Universe Fly-Through

I am in awe of the minds who came up with this wonderful concept:

Dream big for 2011.

Never Let Action Become Inertia

I'm as guilty of this as the next person - it's the Holiday Season, so I deserve a holiday. I take a few days off, so what happens to my business?

That really depends on whether you're an Apprentice, a Journeyman or a Master.

Apprentice - "It's only a few days, I'll start up again after the break." The danger here is that the break stretches into a few weeks, a few months, and before you know it, the Apprentice has left the business completely.

Journeyman - "It's only a few days, I'll contact my customers in the week beforehand, let them know I'll get back to them in a couple of weeks." Much better, the Journeyman has communicated the action plan to the customers, and now has a psychological imperative for when he needs to get back to work.

Master - "It's only a few days. My customers know exactly which day I'll be seeing them next, and my automated lead generation tools are prompting me with a steady trickle of interested prospects. I'll talk to those as their details arrive in my inbox".

None of these phases is completely set in stone; Masters can act like Journeymen sometimes, but so can Apprentices. The key factor, as always, is consistent action aimed at SMART goals.

If you're a team leader with a number of apprentices in your team, how do you deal with them? Do you let them forget their focus, or do you manage them until they've learnt how to manage themselves?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Seasonal Flu - How to Win with Network Marketing

For the past 3 weeks, I've struggled to keep going. I admit it. No matter how buoyant a distributor's personality, there are times when you have to run as fast as you can just to stay still.

In my case, as with many others at this time of the year, my family got knobbled by the seasonal flu that's doing the rounds. So I spent 2 weeks trying to cope with a full time job, a 90 minute round-trip commute and my Kleeneze retail targets, as well as ensuring that my sons were being looked after to the best of my abilities. Building a team was not on my list of priorities. Surviving each day was.

Just as they started getting better (this year's flu seems to hit people with a week of the usual symptoms followed by two weeks of bronchial problems), I got the darned bug myself. For four days, I struggled in to the day job, dreading every minute of that 45 minute each way trip. On the first day, my youngest son got clipped by a car on his bike ride back from school. He was extremely lucky and got away with scrapes and bruises; he walked his bike home before the shock set in. I took a day's holiday to keep an eye on him; I'm not sure who ached the most. By day 5, I'd got to the point where I crawled out of bed, phoned in sick and crawled right back again. It's now day 9 and I still feel like death warmed up, but I'm back at work with the bronchial phase warming up for Christmas.

So what has this to do with winning in network marketing?

Simply this: both I and my youngest son followed the same basic principles - to only commit to what we knew we could deliver, to do what we said we'd do when we said we'd do it, and to revise our planned activity to suit the new circumstances.

I delivered ordered goods, put out far fewer catalogues than normal, but ensured I got my 10% bonus volume by week 3 of the period, as per my goals.

My youngest son, despite the flu and his injuries, turned up to do his paper round every morning, regardless of how ill he felt, because he knew the newsagent was short-staffed. I'm so very, very proud of him.

The great thing about a good network marketing company is that, if you are diligent and consistent, results happen when you least expect it. I currently have a dozen people to contact with more information about building their own Kleeneze business, many of whom came in directly via my Kleeneze website, all due to the effort I put in before the seasonal flu took hold. I'll be talking to them over the next few days, sending further information and discussing their joining my team. 2010 was good - 2011 is going to be even better.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

When Life Gets In The Way - Live It!

You've read your favourite self-development books, listened to the CDs/MP3s/podcasts, watched the DVDs, subscribed to the best blogs. All of them say something similar:

Consistent effort breeds long-term success.

I have two book/CD sets on the go at the moment - Jeff Olson's Slight Edge and Darren Hardy's Compound Effect. Both excellent and, if you live in the UK and haven't got them, you should be ordering them from Knowledge is King. I tend to go for book and audio packages where possible as I find I learn more that way.

But what happens when Life happens? You know what I mean - the cat's sick, your child starts a new life elsewhere, you get divorced, a parent's health deteriorates dramatically, you move to another area. The issues that turn day-to-day life into Life!, the soap opera you didn't want to star in.

Simple. You revisit your plans and your tracking and you look at your life realistically. Then you revise those plans to take Life into account. If you can only manage to spend 30 minutes per day on your business, instead of 8 hours, then plan accordingly. Communicate your new plans with whoever needs to know and then stick to them. As always, always underestimate your committment and then do more than you've promised. Set a timescale to review your plans by a given date, depending on what Life has thrown at you, and give yourself permission to deal with the immediate necessities.

Don't forget, there are different ways of approaching bad news, as the following story proves:

A business woman was working away from home when her son phoned her.

"Mum, the cat's dead!"

After a brief moment of shock, the mum mode took over. "Darling, next time you have bad news like that, especially if you feel it might upset others the way you are upset right now, try to soften the blow by gently leading up to it. For instance, you could have started by saying something like - You know how the cat loves climbing the roof, well it's fallen off and it's badly hurt. We don't think it's going to survive. Then you could have called back a little later and told me that the cat was dead. OK?"

Her son agreed to try that the next time he had bad news to tell.

Two days later he phoned again, just as she was packing to come home.

"Mum, you know how Granny loves climbing the roof?"

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Network Marketing - 3 Simple Steps to Help Beginners Succeed

I've just had my first article approved on Ezine Articles - 3 Simple Steps to Help Beginners Succeed. More will follow. I have a firm belief that business building should be based on simple, but solid, foundations. Why not have a read and let me know what you think?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Building an Ethical Network Marketing Business

Did the title get your attention? Good.

Firstly, let's get a few NOTs out of the way.

This is NOT a criticism of the network marketing industry as a whole, nor should it be seen as an opportunity to take pot-shots at individual companies.

What I am concerned with is the ethical perspective of some network marketing "experts". As an example, the advocation by some of lead generation activity that verges on spamming. The sort of advice that recommends creating 100 webmail accounts of the getinfo01 - 99 @ variety, so that you can bypass the submission terms and conditions of free advertising sites by simultaneously using all 100 email accounts to produce your leads. You can predict the resentment that this behaviour causes amongst both website admins and other users.

I know of one "expert" whose idea of lead generation is to effectively steamroller over the "opposition" by inundating an area with lead generation aimed at his website. He gets his accounts revoked on a regular basis, but he doesn't care because he's got his leads. His behaviour has a negative effect on both his downline, who can't emulate him, and the other poor network marketers whose adverts look similar to his and who can't work out why they've been booted off a particular site with their first and only advert.

What these "experts" fail to remember is the networking part of network marketing. Networking involves building relationships with others and that includes the moderators of the sites where you are promoting your own business. Spamming sites with cut-and-paste advertising clones is just one of the reasons why MLM is held in such low regard by others, to the point where you can't promote yourself as a network marketing representative on many free sites.

Now, I'm not saying that you shouldn't have a couple of backup email addresses, in case you accidentally fall foul of the submission guidelines on a given site. Nor am I saying that you shouldn't place a variety of adverts on the same site, if the guidelines permit that. But you need to be clear in your mind as to what you are trying to achieve - is it long-term sustainability or short-term profit?

To be a leader in network marketing, you need a strong set of values as a foundation for how you do business with others. If you behave like a flim-flam artist, you will drive away honest hard-working distributors who have been told to duplicate their upline's systems, but cannot bring themselves to use your methods.

These aren't precepts, but they are common-sense guidelines for building an ethical business:
  1. Treat everybody you 'meet', whether online administrators, customers or potential representatives with respect.
  2. Keep in contact with everybody you 'meet'. You never know who may join your business - it may be the friend of the person you were nice to 2 years ago.
  3. Ask yourself, how do others view me/my behaviour/my business activities. Then ask your best friend for an honest appraisal. If you don't know how you come across, you can't improve.
  4. List 5 qualities that you want to make part of your personal brand. Mine are honesty, loyalty, hard-working, nurturing, coaching. Write them down and put them somewhere prominent. Remind yourself to be your brand every day.
  5. List 3 core values you intend to adhere to. Simple is better - think of the French motto, "Liberté, égalité, fraternité" - both catchy and pithy. Add those to your brand statement.
  6. Commit to a kaizen mindset.
Nightingale Conant's UK website has a good mission statement generator. Why not try it out and see what your mission statement looks like when you slot in your core values and qualities?