Sunday, January 22, 2012

Commit To One Opportunity & Give 100% Effort

"One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular."-Tony Robbins

The beauty of the network marketing industry is that it represents free enterprise. The industry truly does allow individuals to create products and/or services to be offered to the general public at competitive prices, with very little input from the state.

The industry also allows aspiring entrepreneurs the freedom to achieve unlimited earnings, with unlimited growth and expansion potential.  Any individual with access to minimal capital required to gain entry into the business, is granted the right to go as far in the business as his/her talents and work ethic will allow.

I believe then that the one thing that separates those who are successful in the network marketing industry from those who fail, is simply COMMITMENT. The dictionary defines the word "Commitment" as-The act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action.

There is a dangerous element that is ever-present within the network marketing industry, and that danger is the tendency of members within a particular organization to recruit individuals who belong to competing organizations.

For newbies entering into the network marketing arena, the act of being sought after can present a bit of confusion. I have personally interacted with numerous individuals who had no form of commitment to any particular organization or opportunity, but instead dabbled a bit in this one, and dabbled a bit in that one.

I would like to stress here that it is VERY important and even vital to your career within the industry that you do your research PRIOR to joining a network marketing organization. Check out the compensation plan. Meet with the leaders. Express your concerns. Inquire about the training programs, and/or support. When all is said and done, COMMIT heart and soul to working with ONE opportunity.

Once you have made this commitment, study the top producers in your organization. Learn the system. Develop the skills necessary to become a top earner. Read the books, attend the seminars, show up at the training events, and really devote your focus to being the best that you can be with that ONE opportunity.

The grass will always appear to be greener on the other side. The average newbie entering into the network marketing industry lasts less than 90 days, prior to either quitting the industry altogether, or switching to a new opportunity.

The truth of the matter is that in many instances, it may take more than 90 days for individuals to obtain a clear understanding of the business. Yes, there are stories of those who have reached the top of the compensation plan in 72 hours. Yes, your company may have recruited you with photos of six-figure checks, mansions, and exotic trips. However, you need to do your research to understand the background of these success stories, so that you can establish realistic goals and expectations for yourself.

Last, you cannot, and you will not succeed in this business alone.  Once you have settled upon the decision to commit WHOLE-HEARTEDLY to a particular opportunity (as a newbie in the industry), then it would be wise of you to seek out a top producer, or someone who has achieved the level of success that you desire, who is willing to also commit WHOLE-HEARTEDLY to you.

If you are unable to find THIS within your organization, then it would be wise at this point for you to seek other avenues.  However, the best way to assure your success in the industry, is to avoid operating as a jumping jack, bouncing from company to company; or WORSE, trying to work with multiple opportunities simultaneously, and to simply devote your attention, focus, skills, and effort to one particular venture.

Once you have made this committment, then ride it out. If it takes you six months, 12 months, or even 18 months to achieve your goals; ride it out. Follow your company's system. Most importantly, DO THE WORK!

There are more than 60 million people involved in the direct sales/network marketing industry throughout the world. Research shows that 80% or more of these individuals, dedicate less than four hours each week to running their businesses. You WILL FAIL in the network marketing industry, if you are not able, and/or willing to invest more than four hours each week into your business.

I certainly do hope that the information provided here has been of some value to you. I welcome your feedback. I would also encourage you to reflect upon this information, and to apply it to your business today.  By doing so, you will surely reap the benefits of your FOCUSED efforts.

"There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstances permit. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results."-unknown

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Slow To Speak & Swift To Hear. Poor Listening Skills Will Kill Your Business

Years ago, I worked as a new and used car salesman.  I noticed very early on in my automotive sales career that there was one particular salesman who was producing double and triple the sales output of nearly every other salesman on the lot. Naturally, this peaked my curiosity, and I set out on a mission to find out what made this man so special, and how he was going about conducting his business.

I approached this salesman, and requested permission to shadow any future customer interactions.  I received his approval, and shortly thereafter, the two of us set out on a mission of earning and learning.

Later on that day, a middle-aged woman entered the dealership, and the man (who we'll refer to as Ted) informed me that it was game time. I was beyond eager to hear Ted's fancy pick-up lines. I wanted to listen in on guile and empty promises; which I assumed had to be the reasons for his success.

As I trailed closely behind 'Ted' I was literally stunned at what I observed. Ted was not selling this woman at all. He used no pick-up lines. There was no guile in his approach. In fact, Ted rarely spoke during this interaction.

Throughout the sales process, Ted presented one question after another, and after presenting each question, he became silent and listened as the customer provided answers.  By the time that we were done standing in the parking lot talking, for what seemed like close to an hour; Ted had finally settled upon two vehicles that matched each particular need expressed by his customer.

Ted walked the woman over to where these two vehicles were parked, and he then went through a brief presentation on each car, specifically making a point of only highlighting each of the features that the customer had identified as being important throughout his initial screening process.

The actual sales process was very short. In less than 30 minutes, Ted arranged for a test drive, negotiated a contract, and completed the sale. I was at a loss of words at the completion of this observation. However, I went away from this experience with the understanding that there were four steps that were vital for anyone with hopes of ever achieving success in the sales/marketing industry.

These steps were/are as follows:

  • Ask open ended questions that highlight the needs of customers.
  • Listen and take notes from each response.
  • Identify the products, and/or services that you have to offer that will meet each specified need
  • Present your findings to the customer                                             

Prior to this experience, I had one approach that I applied to every customer that I had ever interacted with on the lot. That approach was a quick greeting, followed by my leading the customer into the lot, and trying to convince him/her to purchase one of the vehicles that most appealed to me!

Ted's approach worked then, and Ted's approach still works today.  Regardless as to what your product, and/or service may be; slow down. Ask the right questions.  Allow your customers to share their goals and objectives, prior to going into all out sales mode, and chasing away potential business. LISTEN, and last; make a pinpointed presentation that addresses your ability to meet each need that has been specified by your customer.

Implementing these four steps into your sales process will dramatically reduce your stress levels.  This process will enable you to deal with less rejection, and you will also be able to control the sales process from start to finish.

Finding Success In Network Marketing After Exhausting Your Warm Market

The term, "Warm market" has single-handedly destroyed the hopes and aspirations of millions of ambitious individuals entering the direct sales industry.  Most companies within the industry have systems in place that train new business partners to create lists of friends and family, and to use these lists as the foundation for building business.

Although this method of marketing can be somewhat effective, it certainly is not without limitations.  The problem that I have observed within the industry, is that newbies often make the mistake of thinking that their marketing efforts should be restricted ONLY to the names of friends and family within these newly created lists. Once the list is exhausted, then the newbie burns out, and walks away from the business.

The truth of the matter is that although the list can and should serve as the foundation of all marketing efforts, working this list is just ONE of SEVERAL avenues that can be utilized when strategizing for business growth and development. Now that we've covered those bases, let's get into the meat of some of the other methods that can effectively assist with new business growth.

$100 drop cards

One of the more effective marketing tools used for decades within the network marketing industry, and still just as effective today are $100 drop cards.  These are business cards that appear to be actual $100 bills on the surface. You can purchase these cards on various sites across the web. The site that I've found that appears to have the best product for the most reasonable price can be found here:

Each time that we leave our homes for routine daily activities: shopping, gas, groceries, school visits, postal visits, library visits, etc represents an opportunity to effectively utilize this marketing approach. These drop cards are fail proof, and are SURE to result in maximum exposure for your business.

Social Media

Years ago, network marketers were trained to go out each day canvassing for prospects. These individuals would harass families in grocery aisles, stop traffic at lights, confront fellow members at church services, and even walk through shopping malls, stalking shoppers like prey. It was a very annoying and often confrontational method of marketing.

Enter the advent of social media. Today with just one click of a mouse, you can expose your business to thousands and even MILLIONS of people, who are actually interested and even LOOKING for the products and services that you have to offer.

Some of the most effective methods of marketing your business online include: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Weight Loss Forums, Blogging, and Youtube.  Yes, I said it: YOUTUBE! What you'll find in the network marketing industry, is that people don't often buy from companies; they buy from other PEOPLE. 

It has also been said that people tend to buy from those that they KNOW, LIKE, & TRUST.  One of the most effective methods for building the brand YOU, that people can grow to know, like, and trust, is creating, and posting videos on Youtube. I don't wish to get off on some tangent about marketing on Youtube, but you can find tons of information about the effectiveness of this approach on various internet sites.


The last thing that I will touch on today for the sake of time, is the value of developing and implementing a CUSTOMER referral system. Afterall, the business is known as NETWORK marketing.  Each time that you sign a new customer, you are immediately introduced, and/or exposed to a new NETWORK.

Years ago, a friend of mine sold life insurance.  She was one of the best in her industry, and as a new client and policyholder, I had the opportunity to observe one of her most effective methods for producing new business.

Each time that this friend would sell a policy, she would request the names and numbers of three OTHERS who might be interested in purchasing her products and services. Keep in mind that although she would be contacting many of these referrals on a first-time basis, the fact that she had obtained these referrals from friends of friends, or family members created an extended WARM MARKET, and eliminated the discomfort of cold calling.

The follow-up call would go something like this: "Hello Mr. Willis. This is Lisa from State Farm Insurance. Your brother Tom purchased a life insurance policy from me on yesterday, and he mentioned that you might also have a need for the products and services that we have to offer. I was wondering if I could schedule an appointment to share some information on the services that we have to offer with you. Would tomorrow evenin be a good time for the two of us to get together?"

The person being contacted would then take two things away from this call. 1-My brother has purchased one of these policies, so the company must be credible. 2-My brother has purchased a policy from this INDIVIDUAL, and so SHE must be someone that I can trust.

This method of marketing is HIGHLY effective. You can create a list of hundreds and even thousands of QUALIFIED leads, utilizing this customer referral approach.  "Well Winslow, what if people are not comfortable with providing names of their friends and family members?" If a person trusts you enough to enter into a business agreement with you, then it's safe to assume that they will also be comfortable with providing you with referrals.

So in conclusion, let's review each of the methods shared here today. We covered $100 drop cards, social media and/or online marketing, and customer referrals. Well GEEZ, that doesn't sound like ROCKET SCIENCE. If you take nothing else away from this article, please go away with this: If you will commit to utilizing each of these three approaches to marketing on a DAILY basis; your success (long-term) in the network marketing industry is all but GUARANTEED!

Good luck, and I will see you at the TOP!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012


“Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly.”-Richard Brach

When my now 13-year old daughter was just five years of age, she had a really hard time tying her shoes.  I had initiated the training process with regards to the tying of her shoes as early on as her third birthday.  Yet, whenever I found myself planning to leave my home after she had reached the age of five, I was forced to wait as she collapsed on the floor, crying, and telling me that she could not tie her shoes.

On the day that I finally reached the end of my rope, I stood in the door, and as opposed to breaking and tying her shoes for her as I had done for each of the previous five years, I told her that we would not leave the house until she figured out a way to tie her own shoes. At that moment, an amazing thing happened. Although my daughter's sobbing only intensified, in the midst of her tears she started wrestling with her strings. She failed with the first attempt. She failed again with the second attempt. However, her third attempt was a MASSIVE success. From that day forward, I never tied my daughter's shoes for her again.

"I CAN'T."  I am convinced that this phrase has single handedly destroyed more lives, families, marriages, careers, and dreams than perhaps any other phrase known to man.  You see God has equipped each of us to do and to perform above and beyond that which we could ever even think or imagine.  However, many of us learned to use this phrase as a crutch early on in childhood, and we have carried this crutch right along with us into our adult years.

A year or so ago, I took up the practice of exercising on the elliptical machine at my local gym.  For the first week or so of my workouts, I climbed onto the machine, and managed to last no longer than 10-15 minutes.  I was extremely disappointed with my calorie count each time that I cut my workouts short, because I realized that I would never achieve my desired results by running for 10-15 minutes.

The elliptical machine is not for the feint of heart. After five or six minutes on this beast of a machine, every muscle in the lower body appears to scream for dear mercy. I was experiencing numbness in my feet. My legs were burning.  My chest was heaving. My calves ached. I was close to retiring from working out on this "man-killer" altogether, when I made a decision.  I decided that I would block out pain.  I decided that I would focus my eyes on the football games that were blaring across the television screens in the gym, and that I would no longer allow fatigue or aching to cut my workouts short.

On my next visit, early on in my workout, I started to feel many of the same pains that had forced me into premature retirement on each of my previous visits.  However, I blocked out the pain. I was focused. After about 20 minutes on the machine, a MIRACLE took place.  My body kicked into a second gear!  The pain dissipated. I started to actually enjoy running. My mind entered into this state of relative calm, and it seemed as if I were the only person in the gym. I had entered THE ZONE, which was a new level that I had never experienced before as a result of my tendency to quit at the first sign of difficulty!

So how does all of this apply to you?  I want you to know that you have the ability to do and to perform ANYTHING that you set your MIND to do.  Your body is at the mercy of your MIND.  Change is never comfortable, and so naturally, anytime that you begin to make demands of your body, after living in a sedentary or lazy fashion; you will (at least initially) have to wrestle with your body, in order to establish the fact that there is a new sheriff in town, and that things will be different from that point forward.

We all experience desires and ambitions for things that we'd like to achieve in life.  These desires may vary from person to person, but may include: acquiring new jobs, finding new mates, losing weight, earning more money, traveling around the world, writing books, etc.  Whatever YOUR personal desire or ambition may be, I am asking you to take just a moment to make the following statement: "IT IS POSSIBLE." How do you know that it is possible? It is possible, because it has been done by OTHERS.

So as you go away from this reading, take with you the understanding and the belief that you have all of the tools, talents, and abilities necessary to manufacture, or to create the life of your dreams. Eliminate the phrase, "I CAN'T" from your vocabulary, and make this new year of 2012, a year of, "I CAN & I WILL!!"

"The difference between the possible and the impossible lies in a man's determination."-Tommy Lasorda


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Goals vs. Resolutions

Each year, at or around this time, we hear lot's of talk surrounding the term, "resolutions." The dictionary defines this term as-A firm resolve to do or not to do something. We tend to place a great deal of stock in decisions and commitments that are made on January 1st of each calendar year. I have found in my personal experience that goal-setting is a much more effective method of achieving personal development objectives. Within this post I attempt to highlight some of the benefits of goal-setting vs. setting resolutions.

For starters, whenever I hear the term, "resolutions" the first things that come to mind are: restrictions, bondage, misery, punishment, and forced behaviorial changes. It's extremely difficult to see the value in a particular lifestyle change, when and if we are only adhering to this change in EFFORTS to remain true to some nonsensical decision made under the influence of the annual holiday.

Goals, on the other hand, tend to come with some sense of accomplishment. A great deal of research and thought usually precedes the setting of goals, and upon realizing written goals, confidence tends to soar, we experience drastic boosts in self-esteem, and we live with the awareness that the achievement of our goals means that we are in fact successful.

Here is an example: John states on January 1st that he will give up smoking in the new year. John is stressed, bursting at the seams, and trying with all of his might to stick with the resolution that was established at the start of the year. However, there is a 99% chance that John will falter, and that he will break from his aim of giving up smoking.

In June of the same year, Dave establishes a goal of giving up smoking by the month of December. Dave wants to be alive to see his kids graduate from high school. At the time that he establishes this goal, Dave is smoking a pack of cigarettes per day. He cuts back over time to half a pack per day. He rewards himself for this cutback. He then moves down to five cigarettes per day. He rewards himself for this cutback. Last, in October of the same year, he goes cold turkey, and gives up smoking. To celebrate, he posts a status on facebook, and all of his friends chime in congratulating him on this achievement.

Will there always be a chance of Dave also reverting back to the practice of smoking? Absolutely. However, when tempted to do so, the sense of accomplishment, the feelings of pride derived from the compliments of friends, and the knowledge that he would be letting down himself, as well as those who have stood in his corner, will serve as a deterrent to his making a move in this reverse order.

This is not to say that resolutions cannot be effective. However, I believe that in order for a resolution to remain effective over a period of time, the resolution must accompany a goal. For instance: Mike's goal is to save $10,000 during the year 2012. In keeping in line with his goal, Mike resolves on January 1st, to eliminate fast food, partying, and clubbing throughout the course of the year.

When paired together, this resolution, in conjunction with Mike's long-term goal, is much more likely to stick, than had he simply vowed to give up eating out, partying, and clubbing, just for the sake of discipline. Each month now, Mike will be able to take an inventory of his bank account, and he will enjoy the rewards of knowing that with each passing month, he is drawing one step closer to his goal.

So as we move into the year 2012, I would absolutely encourage each of you to stick with the resolutions that were made when the clock hit midnight. However, I would also encourage you to attach your resolutions to long term goals, so that you have something to look forward to, and so that you're not forced to feel as if you're living in bondage to the hype of New Year's Day.

"Most of us serve our ideals by fits and starts. The person who makes a success of living is one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That's dedication."-Cecil B. DeMille